Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 28th Dec 2010 23:34 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Every now and then (or, actually, rather often) you come across a story which once again exemplifies why governments should keep their paws off anything remotely related to technology. It seems that not knowing anything about technology is one of the prime reasons why governments the world over fail so spectacularly when it comes to technology-related lawmaking. The latest in the series? France. My southern neighbours (I never acknowledged Belgian independence) are thinking about extending their piracy levy, normally found on CD-Rs and mp3-players and such, to cover tablet computers as well. However, tablet computers running Windows are exempt.
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RE: Unstable equilibriums
by rycamor on Thu 30th Dec 2010 19:28 UTC in reply to "Unstable equilibriums"
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The problem with that free market theory is that like many other political theories it does not work in the real world.

Assumption unsupported by historical evidence. Free(er) markets whenever practiced in history have produced more equity among peoples--and more importantly--opportunity (equal misery is still misery). In fact, it is the only thing that has ever produced anything of the sort. Granted we have never been allowed to witness a true free market, but the closer societies have come, the more the theory has been borne out.

No one has interest in a genuine free market, because everyone wants a bigger slice of the pie. Thus it's an unstable equilibrium, because once someone gets big enough through merit or agreements with other parties, he can pressure governments or crush competition and the pretty utopy is over.

Again... assumption. I know quite a few people who are interested in a genuine free market. They don't want hand-outs, nor do they want government interference in their private affairs. That is the free market in its essence. In the USA, the current Ron Paul "End the Fed" craze is a perfect example of that.

However, I do agree that this is the crux of the matter of the free market. It depends on a culture that values independence. The worldwide revolution in intellectual thought beginning in the early 1900s brought socialistic thinking and Keynesian economics into every single Western society, as well as many non-western ones, and free markets fell out of favor. This mindset led the elite to view an economy as a giant hackable virtual machine which can be tweaked and short-circuited to get something for nothing. The orgy of intervention in economies is finally bringing us to another great depression, which I argue will be even bigger than the depression in the 1930s. The whole problem is to convince the general public that free markets are in their best interest (a tall order, I know...)

A working market-based theory would make cheating governments impossible or undesirable, would guarantee that everyone has a fair chance, and would prevent small groups of people from getting more powerful than the rest of the world. Currently, it does not work this way however.

Somewhat of a utopian dream, but a good one. The world has already seen a working market-based theory (Austrian economics), and those in power have done everything possible to prevent that precisely because of the rest of your paragraph above. Every attempt to discredit Austrian economics has been done by those with a vested interest in preserving governments' ability to practice the hidden taxes of inflation and intervention--all for the best possible reasons, of course. While we can't say that Austrian theory is 'proven' (a loaded word in economics), we can indeed say that Keynesian theory is disproven, especially when judged by its own metric.

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