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How Free Market Competition Presents a More Cooperative System

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The image of the robber baron has been burned into the psyche of the American consciousness. When one thinks about capitalism or free markets, this is the image that comes to the forefront of most people's minds. This image has helped create the misconception that capitalism and free markets have come to create the financial mess that the world finds itself in. The truth is that government and their attempts to regulate markets is what created the robber baron in the first place. They would have never been able to reach the pinnacles they reached without the levers of power that government provides.


There's a difference between a good businessman and an elitist "capitalist" robber baron who claims to be a businessman. A good businessman will provide an excellent product or service which he will constantly be trying to improve upon in order to keep his customers happy and satisfied. An elitist "capitalist" robber baron will try to eliminate all competition so that anyone wanting the product or service he provides (usually through the form of some soulless corporation) will have to be forced to purchase it through his corporation no matter how poor the quality. He is not interested in keeping his customers happy or satisfied because his goal is to create a system where they have no alternative vendors to buy from. He is only interested in keeping his "shareholders" happy and satisfied as an excuse to implement anti humanitarian policies and not be held responsible either in the marketplace or in his own conscience, if he has one.

I put the word capitalist above in quotes because that's what most schools would teach, that these robber barons of the past were capitalists. A capitalist is someone who invests his own capital (money or wealth) in some venture or business in order to make a profit. The robber barons of old, the Rockefellers for instance, didn't get their monopolies through investing their own capital in business per se, however, they invested in government and government power so that laws and regulations could be created that would help eliminate competition. This is done by creating regulations that only the very wealthy corporations can afford to pay for hence preventing most competition from even entering the market in the first place, thus limiting consumer choice.

I think there's a bigger problem in that in a free market the consumer needs to be well informed. This is a problem because it seems to me that most people don't care to be informed about the most basic things regarding consumption and the economy, let alone being well informed about the things he's consuming and how the economy he takes part in works. It seems to me that too many modern day common folk just want the politicians to make the economic decisions for them which gives away their power to someone else. They shouldn't be surprised when such people do a poor job or abuse that power or make decisions based on what benefits them personally rather than what benefits the public at large.

It would seem counter intuitive that a free market based on competition would result in a more cooperative system, but that is because most people don't stop to consider that they are part of the system, along with all other consumers who wish to partake in the modern marketplace. The need for them to become well informed translates into an ability to judge a product based on more than just its price. Unfortunately most do not seem willing or able to judge past price and perhaps quality and to seek out information on things like the conditions the production workers endure to make the product, the environmental effects the product might create, the contribution to community the producer makes, long term health effects the product might have, and other more ethereal details on how a certain product might be good or bad for humanity in general. People only seem worried about whether they want something or not and how much it will cost. Corporations love a less educated consumer because then all they have to worry about is cost, more or less.

A free market, when operating properly, would let the world of ideas come to fruition and elevate humanity to its highest potential. This would work by allowing the consumer the ability to chose with his money which competitor is the best. For instance, let's take the idea of a widget. In the marketplace, company A claims to have the best widgets at the cheapest cost on the planet. Just about anyone who uses widgets wants to buy their widgets from company A. But Joe Public has what he considers a better idea on how to produce widgets and bring them to market. He goes about using his own capital and perhaps borrowing from some friends and family to create company B and begins competing with company A in the widget industry.

Perhaps the widgets company B produces are equal in quality, but they cost a little more. They are made, however, in a way that has much less impact on the environment in a facility that treats workers with fairness and respect. It would be up to company B and the consumers who felt these were important issues to get the word out. It would be up to the consumers to decide what was more important and how much they were willing to support company B's principles. In this way, everyone has their say in the marketplace. In this way, everyone decides which ideas prosper and flourish and which ones wither on the vine and die. In this way, everyone's vote counts.

There are those who would argue with these ideas. They would claim that people are too stupid, or lazy, or apathetic to make such decisions. To these people I have a couple of things to say. First, do you really have such disdain for your fellow human beings that you would judge them so harshly? On what basis? Are you prepared to be so judged yourself? Perhaps you're making this judgment about people you don't even know not based on reason, or even emotion, but based on what you know about yourself.

The second thing I'd like to say is perhaps that's because of the government owned education system. We are all imperfect human beings and have a tendency to behave in ways we've been trained to behave in. Unfortunately many of us seem to think that once our formal education has ended we are no longer learning. Perhaps if we wish to build a freer society where people take more responsibility for themselves and for their community, we should start by training the children to be free thinking individuals rather than mindless consumers. Perhaps we should all realize that we should spend our entire life learning, whether we're attending school or not, and strive to become free thinking individuals rather than mindless consumers. It's a shame that we have little choice in how our children are educated because so much of our income is taken through property taxes that hardly anyone has the means to send their children to any school other than public school. Are you truly surprised when public schools indoctrinate children to empower the system rather than training them to empower themselves? It is this government system where the training to compete truly begins, and often children are trained that competing against authority is futile.

The alternative to free markets is what we have today. It is less choice for the individual. It is the individual having less to say about what is important. It is those in charge having more power to make decisions for you instead of you having the power to decide for yourself what's important and what isn't. It is a seepage from the marketplace of products and services into one's personal life and the marketplace of ideas. It is a growing tyranny that starts in a seemingly benign manner and quickly mutates into horrors we as human beings seem to have to keep revisiting from time to time for some strange reason. It is, as always, the empowerment of a wealthy elite who seem to harbor dangerous world domination fantasies. Do you truly wish to see these people continue to steer us all down the path they've chosen? If so, then just go along with the status quo, put your head down and continue to go along to get along.

Remember, change begins within. If you wish to see change in the world, it is important to first create that change in yourself. As a consumer, you have a great deal of power. Do not allow that power to be taken from you. Insist that you be allowed to make your own choices. And when the powers that be become determined to make laws limiting your choice and therefore your power, insist upon denying consent. We are many and they are few. Don't be afraid to stand up and be counted. Let them know that you know. Just as they need your cooperation in order to rule over you, the free market needs your cooperation in order for you to rule over yourself.

If you enjoy my writings, please visit szandorblestman.com to make a donation.

Below is a list of all my works available at smashwords.com. Please help me by purchasing one or more of my ebooks and writing favorable reviews if you like them so that others might also find and enjoy them.

Caged in America: A Collection of Essays Celebrating Freedom. By Szandor Blestman

Ron Paul's Wisdom, A Layman's Perspective. A Collection of Opinion Editorials. By Szandor Blestman

Galaxium. A screenplay By Matthew Ballotti

The Colors of Elberia; book 1 of The Black Blade Trilogy. By Matthew Ballotti

The Legacy of the Tareks; book 2 of The Black Blade Trilogy. By Matthew Ballotti

The Power of the Tech; book 3 of The Black Blade Trilogy. By Matthew Ballotti

The Edge of Sanity. By Matthew Ballotti

The Ouijiers By Matthew Ballotti

 

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Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2013 22:55  

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