Originally posted by sligtlyskeptical
In order to keep capitalistic markets fair "regulation" has to be significant because quite frankly there appears to be little morality/ethics in
the capitalistic system. Thus such morality and ethics will have to be legislated in order for the capitalistic system to actually be fair and
beneficial to society.
So...who says what is moral? What dictates that which is ethical?
The problem with 'regulation' as you're describing it is that you have--consciously or not--decided that you know what is moral and ethical and you
want everyone else to be made to conform to your versions, whether they agree, or like it, or not. So how moral, or ethical, is that kind of thinking?
This is just my opinion, but I'd describe that mindset as 'elitist.'
But I don't think you really are an elitist. I have friends that say the same things you just said, and I know that they are, at heart, kind
individuals who truly want the best for everyone and are attempting to express what they think would achieve that. And, like you, they espouse a
system of heavy regulation in order to make things 'fair' because 'there's just so much greed out there,' and furthermore, 'people are
I agree completely with the last two. People are greedy assholes, check. But to me, that seems to automatically preclude any truly just and honorable
regulation. Because said regulation would have to be legislated and enforced by people, and as we can all agree, people are greedy assholes. Greedy
assholes do not regulate justly.
So what is a solution? Well, let me start by saying there isn't a perfect one.
This is reality we're dealing with, and real lives of real
people, and nothing is perfect. There's nothing wrong with working towards perfection, I think, as long as it is yourself you are attempting to
perfect, and no one else. And perhaps, if you really wish to work for a perfect world/society, you can see that 1)working to perfect yourself will
certainly be a step toward attaining that goal, and 2)striving for perfection is laudable, but believing it is attainable is--at the risk of sounding
melodramatic--the road to destruction. This is difficult enough without the added headache of the impossibilities resultant from utopic thinking.
Back to greedy assholes, and what to do about them, and free market capitalism, etc.: In short, the purpose of a free market is to
--note this does not mean enforce
, or ensure
-- 'fairness' by allowing each to act according to his or her own
. People seem to react to this concept as a quaint but laughable bit of propaganda; but usually it is because when they hear
'self-interest' they are always thinking of only one side of the market system: the supply side. But this principle of self interest also applies to
the demand side...and that's the whole point.
The biggest problem with such a system is that profits control the direction we take as a society. As such, endeavors that are not profitable but
would be very beneficial to society are never undertaken. We all know there are better ways but the capitalistic structure does not allow us to pursue
This is what I mean. People equate profit with self-interest--which is correct--but they associate profit with supply side only, which is not correct,
and distorts the picture massively.
The concept of each acting according to his or her own self-interest
is applied over the entire market system
, not just the sellers. A
transaction does not take place without the willing consent of both the buyer and the seller. The seller is trying to get as much as he can for as
little as possible, but so is the buyer. In old marketplaces, haggling
was a common occurrence, and was, at root, a vocalization of
self-interest by both parties. In modern markets, haggling is done more subtly and is much more one-sided, because it is now mostly consumers making
choices as to who they will buy from.
There's more in this vein, but it's late and I need to sleep before I go to work tomorrow and fleece as many people as possible,