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A market economy?

Imagine you had to buy meat at the butchers because no one else sold it. If the prices kept going up, that could be because there was a lack of competition. If there are only two butchers on the High Street and the nearest one apart from those were 50 miles away; they might take advantage of that.

If you then noticed that your local butchers were turning up for work each morning in chauffeur driven Rolls Royce’s; you might think they were exploiting the lack of competition. What if there were a number of butchers and the one supplying the local council was suddenly seen around town in a chauffer driven limousine? You might suspect corruption.

Now take a look at your community and your country with it’s market economy. Who is displaying wealth and consuming far more resources than we would expect? Would you expect the boss of the National Lottery to be making a million a year, if there was fair competition and no corruption? Would you expect the chief executives of your local council and hospital to be making over 100,000 a year? Would you expect bankers to be getting millions in bonuses?

In a free market, prices would adjust themselves. When there was a shortage they would go up and when there was a surplus they would go down. Some would argue that there is a shortage of bankers. People educated in the fine art of robbing people blind and manipulating interest rates. Celebrities seem to make huge amounts of money too. Do we have a shortage of people who can sing and dance or is the entertainments industry fixed and only favouring the few?

Fair competition also needs regulation or we get a free for all. If there is a shortage of potatoes, we expect the price to go up. If someone starts buying them all up and filling warehouses full of potatoes and holding the public to ransom, we expect the government to act. That is is manipulating the market and it happens in the banking industry, in the energy industry, in the water industry and any industry where there is a lack of free competition combined with regulation. We even see it in health where companies will hold people to ransom because they hold a patent on a drug that no one else can compete with. They will get an exclusive contract to run the hospital car park, the hospital makes lots of money; the company makes a bundle, but the general public pay for it.

Do you have an example of people making lots of money at everyone else’s expense? Do you think anyone deserves a salary of a million (or more) a year? Does anyone deserve to live in a mansion surrounded by thousands of acres of land while others sleep on a bench in the park? Does anyone deserve to travel the globe on jet aircraft adding to global warming, while vulnerable elderly people have their fuel taxed and struggle to keep warm.

Do you have an example of someone taking more from society than they deserve at the expense of society itself? Please comment and share you views.


One response

  1. Pingback: Saturday roundup of this weeks ideas | Mike10613's Blog

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