Monday, March 2, 2015

The myth of free market capitalism

For all those who rant about how our free market system is a failure, relax.  We don't have a free market system.  We certainly don't have a capitalist system.  And it just got worse.

The banking industry has been subjected to 11,000 new regulations based on Dodd-Frank, the law that is supposed to keep us safe from crashes such as the one in 2007.  From the Daily Signal:

By the end of 2014, federal financial regulators had finalized more than 11,000 pages of rules and regulations. But they had also missed more than 36 percent of the Act’s rule-making deadlines, and they hadn’t even bothered to propose more than 20 percent of the required rules.
Anyone think there might be potential for problems in there?  Anyone think that there are no special provisions for "friends" of the regulators?  Anyone seriously think that this will prevent anything but prosperity?

The reality is that in a truly free market there are going to be winners and losers.  The market, however, makes those decisions based upon what people want and need.  Want a better Iphone?  The market will provide one if you are willing to pay for it.  Want a more fuel efficient car?  The market will provide one if you are willing to shell out the extra cash.  The government distorts those markets using tax dollars (also known as your money).

I don't want an electric car.  I have to help pay for the subsidies to create said car anyway because the guy that owns the electric car company is a big supporter of insert your favorite politician's name here.  This is not, as the left would have you believe, a problem with Republicans alone.  It is a problem with government.  It is the Obama administration that gave billions to companies like Solyndra and Tesla.  Republicans do likewise when they are in power. 

It is government, not parties, that leads to this problem, and a problem it is.  11,000 pages of new regulation, mostly written by those being regulated.  After all, who else has the knowledge of financial markets to write coherent regulations?  Now your investment dollars are being further diluted complying with 11,000 pages of new regulation. Notice in the quote above that they probably aren't done, they are just behind schedule.  There will be more to come. 

And when there is a problem that arises from the new regulations will they repeal the regulations that caused the problem, or will they pass new regulations to fix that issue as well.  Anyone?  Yeah, we all know the answer to that question.  The regulations never go away and anyone who proposes such action is demonized.

So next time someone tells you that free markets don't work and points to the last twenty years as proof, you might point out to them that 11,000 pages of regulations (on top of those that already existed) is not, by definition, a free market.

No comments: