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How the World Works

© August J Pollak

As Mitt Romney recently put it, “Corporations are people, my friend.” Indeed they are. Large organizations, whether they are corporations, government, religions, unions, etc. are all made up of people. And these individual people are all trying to get ahead — to make more money, or get more power or influence. Capitalism is based on the idea that when individuals push their own agenda, the invisible hand of the market will channel this competition into socially desirable ends.

I agree, but only if the market provides equal opportunity to all through a set of rules that enforces fairness. Just as freedom requires that nobody is above the law, economic progress requires that everyone obeys the laws of the market. That is why we have laws against monopolies (and used to enforce them), and why allowing speculators to gain control of a market is a very bad idea.

As this comic points out, corruption also distorts markets, when an organization whose goal is to report the news is in bed (literally or figuratively) with an organization that would benefit from suppressing the same news. The same thing is true when politicians (or even Supreme Court justices) are in bed with those who benefit from their official decisions.


One Comment

  1. Jeff wrote:

    What strikes me as odd is how people will willingingly believe what a private, for-profit corporation says about it’s own operations, but will treat the government with suspicion. It’s as if they believe in the honesty and ntegrity of the quintessential American Businessman. Even when there is irrefutable proof of misconduct, there are those who will either continue to deny that it happened, or justify it. This is what happened with the economic meltdown we are still recovering from. Once it was painfully obvious that the banks and lenders were at fault, conservatives started complaining that they had to do it because of government restriction. What is so wrong about pointing the finger at businesses when something goes wrong and it was their fault?

    Monday, February 27, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink