OT - I don't _hate_ McMansions

Stuart Jansen sjansen at buscaluz.org
Thu Jun 26 12:22:55 MDT 2008


On Thu, 2008-06-26 at 10:30 -0600, Kyle Waters wrote:
> Andy Bradford wrote:
> >
> > You  mean the  ``free  market'' where  people  voluntarily exchange  for
> > things they desire more than what they have actually works and you would
> > willingly particpate in  it? Of course this kind of  utopian thing can't
> > work. 
> 
> I just want to point out the irony here.  Utopia is a book about a 
> democratic socialist society.

I'd also like to point out that a "free market" is only possible when
government exists to protect it. Lack of government is not a "free
market" it is an anarchy (more commonly referred to as a war zone). 

There are many reasons the US is an economic powerhouse. One of them is
the fact that we more strictly enforce contract law. But too much of a
good thing is not a better thing. For example, compare the enforcement
of non-compete agreements in California and Massachusetts.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20080620/tc_pcworld/147337

Government is also useful to make hidden costs apparent. Laissez-faire
capitalism alone does nothing to account for the cost of pollution
because it unfairly offloads to cost to third parties that have not
chosen to "willingly particpate in  it". Sending cars trucks out to sit
in gridlock (with their engines turned off lest you think I'm still
talking about pollution) may be sustainable for a company, but not for
society. It is the roll of government to institute taxes and make
companies consider the societal costs of their decisions.

Along a similar line, laissez-faire does nothing to unlock the full
benefits of high quality communication and transportation
infrastructure. The interstate highway system was a giant boost to our
economic development and another reason we're an economic super power.
The Internet is following the same course. Were they created by "the
market"? No. They were both created by the government as part of our
defense infrastructure. It took government to create them, and "the
market" to take full advantage of them. You can't separate one from the
other.

Attempts to ignore the critical role of government to nurture and
regulate a capitalist economy are not only stupid, they are willfully
blind and stupid.




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