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Thread: Free Markets

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Free Markets

    Through many threads, I think we have decided that while some do and some don't like the idea, we do not have a truly free market in the United States. We subsidize some businesses, regulate others, give money to farmers not to plant, and set price controls on others' produce. We provide money to help export, and impose tariffs on incoming products. We even have damned commie planners who tell people where they can and can't put a factory.

    So imagine that you have been given the power to change US economic policy. What would you do to create a free market? Why?

    (This game is for the folks in Australia, Canada, UK, NZ and the other islands as well.)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Free Market: Personally, I want to see an end to our dairy pricing system. It promotes inefficiencies and hurts dairy farmers while raising costs for consumers. Nobody wins except mostly large farmers in places that would otherwise not support a dairy industry.

    Non-Free Market: I would like to see more government spending on basic research. Knowledge is the future. We need to spend to develop it. This means NASA, NSF, etc.

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    We're going to hear a lot more about intellectual property and associated copyright in the coming months. Because the entertainment industry sees its future threatened by piracy, there will be more calls on their part for government intervention; quite the opposite of what is typically encountered in other industries. The government will have to make a tough call ... protect a very flawed industry model, or let market forces reach a point where the entertainment industry is forced to change from within.

    I'm not a fan of the Microsoft monopoly, but I remember the days when there was literally tens of competing operating systems, with industry pundits crying for one to become dominant. There may not be the perfect balance between what's most efficient (i.e. one universal operating system) and most competitive (a good number of strong, viable, non-threatened alternatives), but with the emergence of the open source movement and Linux, and the continued existence of Apple, we're much closer than we were five years ago. I would have broken up MS myself, into separate OS and application companies. We really lost a lot of the drive to improve day-to-day software applications with the decline of other application providers such as Corel and Lotus.

    Bill Clinton really screwed up by de-regulating the broadcast industry. We've all heard the complaints ... radio sucks, payola is back, there's few venues for budding musicians who want to break beyond the bar circuit, and so on. The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, which happened a few years before the Telcom Act, led to the dominance of rant radio, which hurt the quality of political discourse in the country. I'd re-regulate local broadcast media ... local control, with no chance of one broadcasting company becoming a monopoly except in a very, very small market. I'd also reimplement the Fairness Doctrine.

    It's been obvious that the free market isn't working with health care. Market failure isn't going to happen .... it's already here. Universal single-payer coverage, I fear, is the only way out.

  4. #4

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    This maybe really controversial, but I would add to Dan's list my support for the growing trend to limit retail monopolization. I like the store size limits (45,000 seems to be a good number).

    On the free market side, I would probably:
    1. Reduce the ability of entrenched neighborhood groups to derail any project that is different than (or even the same as) the existing suburban community.

    2. I might also reform some of the California environmental regulations.

    3. Finally, I'm not sure every farmer's ditch should be under the jurisidiction of the Army Corps of Engineers.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Originally posted by BKM
    3. Finally, I'm not sure every farmer's ditch should be under the jurisidiction of the Army Corps of Engineers.
    Yeah!

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