U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Politics and Other Controversies
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-11-2007, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Your mind
2,923 posts, read 4,489,183 times
Reputation: 589

Advertisements

Do you believe that the free market is a moral or just economic system, or way of distributing goods and services? I'll save my own opinion for after a few people respond...

(I don't mean this as a question of "whether capitalism works better than socialism or social democracy," but simply as a matter of morality... assuming each system "works" as it's supposed to, which is the most preferrable from a moral standpoint. For the sake of argument discard pragmatism.)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-11-2007, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Haddington, E. Lothian, Scotland
752 posts, read 595,113 times
Reputation: 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishmonger View Post
Do you believe that the free market is a moral or just economic system, or way of distributing goods and services? I'll save my own opinion for after a few people respond...

(I don't mean this as a question of "whether capitalism works better than socialism or social democracy," but simply as a matter of morality... assuming each system "works" as it's supposed to, which is the most preferrable from a moral standpoint. For the sake of argument discard pragmatism.)
Economic systems aren't moral and just. The're amoral, like the weather.

I'd spin the question a different way: is forfeiting the accountability of our elected representatives in favor of governance by the free market moral & just?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2007, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Your mind
2,923 posts, read 4,489,183 times
Reputation: 589
Quote:
Originally Posted by FistFightingHairdresser View Post
Economic systems aren't moral and just. The're amoral, like the weather.

I'd spin the question a different way: is forfeiting the accountability of our elected representatives in favor of governance by the free market moral & just?
That's true. No system is really going to be "moral" or "just" in itself... but I get the impression from some people that they believe the free market is a system where people generally get what they deserve, or pay is intrinsically linked to productivity (don't tax the rich cause they deserve what they have, etc.) so I was wondering what people's thoughts were on that. Is the free market a meritocracy? Is a meritocracy desirable, or should a system be designed to achieve more utilitarian goals?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2007, 08:41 AM
 
13,502 posts, read 14,478,754 times
Reputation: 7677
Quote:
Originally Posted by FistFightingHairdresser View Post
Economic systems aren't moral and just. The're amoral, like the weather.

I'd spin the question a different way: is forfeiting the accountability of our elected representatives in favor of governance by the free market moral & just?

I liked your weather analogy. Good explanation.


" is forfeiting the accountability of our elected representatives in favor of governance by the free market moral & just"

If I understand your question correctly, I would say that when the electorate chooses (and I believe they do choose - can't blame others) to not make their leaders accountable, and to provide a balance against unbridled capitalism, they've behaved irresponsibly and taken what I believe to be two good systems (democracy and capitalism) and squandered their resources.

The electorates behavior, or lack of, is immoral and unjust in that case..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2007, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Port St. Lucie and Okeechobee, FL
1,305 posts, read 4,936,938 times
Reputation: 1069
A market that is determined by government is not a free market. If you want a free market, the only decision the government can make is to keep their hands off the market, no matter what.

It is possible for a free market to take many different shapes. That's sorta the definition of "free" (as in "without rules", not "without cost").

So, the question really becomes, should the government set any rules?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2007, 09:35 AM
 
2,356 posts, read 2,469,729 times
Reputation: 864
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishmonger View Post
That's true. No system is really going to be "moral" or "just" in itself... but I get the impression from some people that they believe the free market is a system where people generally get what they deserve, or pay is intrinsically linked to productivity (don't tax the rich cause they deserve what they have, etc.) so I was wondering what people's thoughts were on that. Is the free market a meritocracy? Is a meritocracy desirable, or should a system be designed to achieve more utilitarian goals?
The free market is a system where people generally get what they deserve. What someone "deserves" is subjective, and IMO is simply a product of one's behavior and choices in the market. I don't think that makes it moral or immoral. I don't see how an object is within the scope of morality. It's like asking if the letter "J" is moral - it doesn't make any sense. When I think of morality, I think of actions, not objects.

Pay is not intrinsically linked to productivity, however it is intrinsically linked to your value to your employer, which is likely influenced by productivity. In other words, working hard only gets you so far; it's more important to work smart.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2007, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Your mind
2,923 posts, read 4,489,183 times
Reputation: 589
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous View Post
The free market is a system where people generally get what they deserve. What someone "deserves" is subjective, and IMO is simply a product of one's behavior and choices in the market. I don't think that makes it moral or immoral. I don't see how an object is within the scope of morality. It's like asking if the letter "J" is moral - it doesn't make any sense. When I think of morality, I think of actions, not objects.

Pay is not intrinsically linked to productivity, however it is intrinsically linked to your value to your employer, which is likely influenced by productivity. In other words, working hard only gets you so far; it's more important to work smart.
Right... I should have phrased this whole thing differently, but you can look up seemingly hundreds of articles on the internet with philosophers and economists arguing over the relative "morality" and "justice" of everything from lassiez-faire capitalism to Marxism, so I decided I'd try to get the debate going here because I was bored.

But to keep it going... you hold to the belief that the free market is a system where people generally "get what they deserve..." "Deservingness" is obviously subjective, but how does this reconcile with the fact that the ranks of the wealthy are disproportionately made up of people who were born wealthy, just as the ranks of the poor are disproportionately made up of those who were born poor? How much of a meritocracy do we really have?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2007, 10:03 AM
 
6,760 posts, read 10,194,331 times
Reputation: 2992
Their is nothing wrong with capitalism. Its the way our governmenot allows capitalism to control it.

We could always change our economic system over to one like they have in North Korea. Maybe that would be better.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2007, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Haddington, E. Lothian, Scotland
752 posts, read 595,113 times
Reputation: 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishmonger View Post
But to keep it going... you hold to the belief that the free market is a system where people generally "get what they deserve..."
I think that the free market works within certain boundaries of scale. At the small to medium scale supply & demand hover around an equilibrium, prices are rational and everyone is rewarded for effort & risk.

But global corporations have a size & gravity that's so large that they can distort normal market behaviors. Take labor, for example: when the local supply of labor falls below demand, wages should rise. But for multinational businesses, they can avoid the S-D curve altogether source their labor in a lower-cost location, like China. This is one example of how size distorts the market.

Free market economics are kinda like physics...the normal Newtonian mechanics work nicely within a certain scale. But go very big or very small, and the whole framework falls apart.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2007, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Your mind
2,923 posts, read 4,489,183 times
Reputation: 589
Quote:
We could always change our economic system over to one like they have in North Korea. Maybe that would be better.
I don't think anyone would really argue that would be better, but there's infinite shades of grey between the two extremes of libertarianism and communism. Almost every country in the developed world rests somewhere within that grey area... in America we're largely capitalistic with some mild social democracy, in Sweden they're more like half socialist, half capitalist, Venezuela and Cuba would be closer to the communist extreme...

So do you believe that economically we should move closer to pure capitalism, stay approximately where we are now, or shift to the left in some areas?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Politics and Other Controversies
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top