Subject: Re: Free market (Was: Re: Lehman Report, Software patents, and more)
From: peter@globv1.hacktic.nl (Peter Busser)
Date: Sun, 4 Sep 1994 10:31:11 +0000 (GMT)

>    > The alternative to a free market is an unfree market, one in which
>    > people's choices are coerced by force.
>    That is not *the* alternative, that is the other extreme. There are
>    more alter- natives. I am not pro plan market just because I'm anti
>    free market.
> The free market plans in just the same manner as you and I plan.  I
> plan to buy food tomorrow; the merchant plans to sell it.  This is
> free market planning.

Planning is just an aspect of the market. But there are more aspects that
characterize a market.

> If you are anti-free market, then you are pro-forced market.  What
> aspects of other people's business are you so sure about, that you feel
> you can force them to do what you want, not what they want?

I'm not pro-forced market just because I'm anti-free market. I'm anti-
communist. Does that make me a fascist?

> I'm not trying to be dogmatic or idological about this.  The plain
> truth is that if you support forcing people to do things, then you are
> taking their freedom away, and making plans for them.

I definitly do *NOT* support forcing people to do things. But there are limits
as to what people are allowed to do. There are many laws that restrict the
freedom of the market in any given country, even in the US. My point is that
as long as these laws exist, a truly free market does not exist. All real
existing markets are shades of gray. Maybe they're light gray and dark gray,
but never ever black and white.

A perfect free market, nor a perfect forced market can exist. Possibly because
we're imperfect beings (at least, that is my experience). Yet we're discussing
here the grayness of the market (as it is limited by patents, copyright laws,
information monopolies, etc.) and people put forward theories about a perfect
black or a perfect white market. Then they draw conclusions from these theories
without realizing the limited applicability of these theories to our imperfect
world.

>    There are many shades of gray between the extremes white and
>    black. I think that a market where monopolists are prohibited by
>    law is not a free market for one thing.
> Monopolies are more often *created* by law than *prohibited* by law.

That may be true, but it's besides the point.

> Do you think monopolies are bad?  Can you name some monopolies that
> were not created by government fiat?

Microsoft, Intel, IBM, the Dutch house-building industry (officially until
recently, but in practice?). I'm sure I could come with more names if I
wanted.

Groetjes,
Peter Busser