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"There is No Such Thing as a Free Market"

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by LOVEthroughINTELLECT, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. poolerboy0077

    poolerboy0077 Well-Known Member

    +43
    Atheist
    That may be true for social conservatives, but many libertarians have advocated for open borders, namely Milton Friedman. That's not an inherent and inevitable restriction to markets.

    Can you give one example of an unavoidable restriction in a free market such that it would restrict freedom?
     
  2. LOVEthroughINTELLECT

    LOVEthroughINTELLECT The courage to be human

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    Private ownership restricts freedom.

    If one person owns a piece of land then the millions of non-owners have limited access or no access to it.

    Contrast that with viewing the sky. No person owns the rights to viewing the sky. Every person can view the sky unrestricted. That is freedom.

    Viewing the sky has not been commodified for private ownership and exchange in "markets". Every time something is commodified for private ownership and exchange in "markets", freedom is lost.
     
  3. Nithavela

    Nithavela Music is no solution

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    There is no free market, and that is a very good thing.
     
  4. theFijian

    theFijian Well-Known Member

    +440
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    Married
    Private ownership is protected in the 10 Commandments.

    That's not a great analogy since 'viewing the sky' is pretty much uncommodifiable, I can't stop people from looking at my house but only my family and I get to live in it. And the sky has been commodified to some extend by the way, eg. air-rights.

    In no way, in this universe or a parallel one, can everybody have free access to everything they want when they want. Does that mean that there's no such thing as freedom?
     
  5. High Fidelity

    High Fidelity Well-Known Member Supporter

    +5,340
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    Indeed.

    People think the past decade was rough...
     
  6. poolerboy0077

    poolerboy0077 Well-Known Member

    +43
    Atheist
    That's a fair example, but how do you propose we resolve this?
     
  7. theFijian

    theFijian Well-Known Member

    +440
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    Has it ever existed? Anywhere?
     
  8. theFijian

    theFijian Well-Known Member

    +440
    Calvinist
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    How is it a fair example? Unless he shows how 'viewing the sky' could realistically be commodified then it's a bad example.
     
  9. Nithavela

    Nithavela Music is no solution

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    Sure. A free market is what you get when government breaks down, or doesn't exist at all. After a war, for example, or in prehistoric times.
     
  10. High Fidelity

    High Fidelity Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Or those dreamy excursions into insanity that Anarchists frequently take when they convince themselves it's actually a good thing.
     
  11. poolerboy0077

    poolerboy0077 Well-Known Member

    +43
    Atheist
    Fair (at least to me) because it argues that individual property rights exclude others from their access and use. We live in a world with finite resources, like land, but unlimited wants, and liberty will necessarily be restricted the more property rights get accumulated. My question was how do we resolve this problem (assuming that there is a way to resolve it without invoking other economic models that, at least to me, have proven to be inferior). I would agree that capitalism has it's limitations and downsides; I just think it's the best we've currently got. Whether we should have it be as free as possible or apply some measure of regulation is a different discussion than whether or not free markets can truly ever be free given the nature of property rights.
     
  12. leftrightleftrightleft

    leftrightleftrightleft Well-Known Member

    +323
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    The concept of "market" implies ownership and commodification.

    "Market" means trading my stuff for your stuff.

    I don't even know how a market could exist, free or otherwise, without private ownership.
     
  13. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    Public rights of way across private lands, like in Britain.
     
  14. poolerboy0077

    poolerboy0077 Well-Known Member

    +43
    Atheist
    Britain still gives people private property rights. The paradox of public rights, however, is that it also diminishes freedom because no one is given the sole right to use the fruits of their own labor as they see fit since it belongs to everyone.
     
  15. Gene2memE

    Gene2memE Newbie

    +1,638
    Atheist
    Private
    Markets are never absolutely free, because in order for anything beyond the simplest personal exchange, a market cannot function without imposed boundaries. A free market requires contitions of perfect competition, which are unatainable in the real world.

    The concept of private ownership grants individuals some freedoms (this is mine, to do with as I want) and takes away others (you cannot have something that is mine without some form of payment).

    Even anarchic markets are not truly free. Without the protection of the law to provide equal standing for the transacting parties, power imbalances completely disintegrate the free market concept ("I'll take what is yours and there is little/nothing you can do to stop it").

    Generally, economists look at two criteria when examining markets in the larger context: Freedom and efficency. In this instance, freedom means whether the parties involved in the market have choice and are free to participate/withdraw. Efficency, in economic terms, is much more complex, but generally it could be said to be a situation where the maximum economic benefit is being derived from the exchange with the minimum amount of interference.

    In most societies, freedom and efficency in economic markets are weighed against non-economic considerations like equity, fairness, morality, justice, human rights and other non-tangible outcomes.

    As it was through Babylonian law (Code of Hammurabi, Laws of Eshnunna and other documents), Sumerian law (Code of Ur-Nammu), Egyptian law (Ma'at), Greek law and the legal codes of almost all civilisations that we have examples of their formal, written laws. Mosaic Law was neither special or unique in this regard.
     
  16. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    Oh please. Right away for travel across land doesnt mean you get to take a sheep, or a tractor, with you on the way out.

    In this case, net freedom is increased.
     
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