Saturday, January 15, 2011

Government Intervention In Business
Government intervention in the free market system
By Pierre Belhomme
January 15, 2011.  Revised January 26, 2011

Free Market Fundamentals
American philosophy seems to value free market capitalism highly.  A primary free market goal seems to be to allow community needs (demand) and resources (supply) to direct trade and industry decisions.  This goal seems to be contrasted with that of other economic models whose trade and industry decisions are made centrally by sole or committee leadership.

The term "supply" seems used to refer to naturally-occurring resources which can include environmental resources as well as human effort. Seemingly, "demand" can be used to refer to general desire for resources and, at times, can refer specifically to unmet resource needs.

Advantages of the Free Market
Suggested advantages of this system seem to include the theory that market participants are more cognizant of their needs and of local resource supplies and can more quickly react to changing market conditions than central and sometimes far-removed decision-makers.

Motivation in the Free Market
One free market school of thought seems to suggest that the sole focus for free market decision-making should be each individual's self-interest whereas another school seems to advocate considering the interests of others and of the environment.

Although these two schools of thought might be considered mutually exclusive, in my perspective, they seem simply to be two important facets of economic decision-making. Of the two concerns, an individual's first concern might appropriately be the individual's own well-being. Perhaps, however, free market decisions that affect others and/or the environment should include the concerns of those parties.

Aversion to Government Involvement in the Free Market
U.S. market suppliers (businesses) seem reported to oppose government intervention in the free market because such intervention replaces appropriate, natural and healthy free market dynamics with government's vision of the marketplace, shifts market decisions away from appropriate local decision-makers and slows down market reaction time to changing market conditions.

Equality of Market Influence in the Free Market
The theoretical free market seems to assume that market participants have the same or similar influence on the market. In reality, however, market influence seems to vary widely among market participants where market participants with the most resources seem to have the most market influence.

Market Manipulation by Market Participants
Reports seem to suggest that some free market participants attempt to manipulate free-market decision-making beyond supply and demand "voting" to favor the manipulators' economic interests. These manipulators seem reported to attempt to alter natural circumstance so that the resulting circumstance invokes reflexes and/or decisions in other market participants that favor the manipulators' economic interests. These interventions seem to make the free market, essentially, less free.

Such market manipulation might be less desirable than government intervention because government intervention goals seem suggested to be community well-being whereas these market manipulators seem to exhibit and profess self-interested disregard for community.

Government Intervention as a Market Referee
Government intervention in business seems to include the role of referee in curtailing market manipulation and any other market activity that insufficiently provides for the interests and well-being of consumers and the environment.

A concern regarding such government intervention seems to be that the fallibility of humankind makes for a fallible market referree who might overlook significant infractions and punish appropriate free market activity.

In addition, human fallibility seems to subject human government to the tendency to expand beyond its useful purpose.

The Take-Away
It seems that government intervention in free market business might both foster and prevent community success. Therefore, regardless of its success in curtailing inappropriate free-market activity, its dependency on fallible administration creates its own hazards.

A successful community free market, therefore, seems to require market participant commitment to appropriate, seemingly logical principles such as concern for well-being beyond one's own. Unfortunately, the community seems to have traded in such principles -- and the apparent spiritual guidance from whence they seem suggested to come -- for human government. After witnessing the harmful potential of human government without such positive spiritual guidance, the community seems also to have rejected the human government they traded for.

It seems that the success of community business might depend on these choices. If so, perhaps community individuals, and therefore, the community as a whole might profit from revisiting individual choices regarding the foundation of their faith.

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