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Market Economy

2015-05-14

Here is a controversial subject: the economy, what is often called a “market economy”, that is, a system in which things are priced by reference to an open market of the top bid by any potential buyer (also known formally as an “auction economy”), which is supposed to be either good (if you are a Republican) or bad (if you are a “left-wing Democrat” although few Democrats would endorse this point of view.)

Thus, a market economy is considered the ideal state of affairs by Republicans, while at the same time there is a strict moral code prohibiting pornography, homosexuality, abortion, and so on.  Democrats are far more equitable in their moral views, with at least some Democrats tolerating homosexuals, abortions, etc.

At the same time, Republicans view Democrats as “secretly opposed” to a market economy.   Democrats would say that they were not opposed to a market economy but would like to have it regulated and abuses prohibited.  Republicans shudder at the concept of “regulation.”

What is a “market economy” and how does it supposedly work?  First, there is supposed to be a public market in which people offer their products and services for sale and others buy what they wish to and can pay for.

In addition, it appears that, ideally to most Republicans, government would place no restrictions on individual’s ability to corner stock markets, take over corporations, consolidate into monopolies, suppress minimum wages, avoid medical insurance, give out enormous salaries to top executives, and so on.  Most Republicans would also accept the many fraudulent enterprises who currently find ways around ordinary taxes by claiming to be religions, and favored corporations such as Halliburton who still enjoy privileged access to government contracts.

The Democrats and Barack Obama especially have attacked this ideal situation that the Republicans had under Bush.  They have instituted an attempt at universal health insurance and some companies have been forced to raise their minimum wages even though the labor market is very soft.

Many of the Democratic reforms are now in the hands of the Supreme Court.  It remains to be seen whether the Court will be able to block these changes that the Democrats want.  For one thing, the Court could destroy the foundations of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) by a case it is currently considering and will promulgate this summer.  There are numerous other cases in which initiatives of the Obama administration are being attacked by Republican plaintiffs who expect the Supreme Court to derail Obama’s plans.  Decisions to come out this summer will tell the tale, with more cases to follow this fall.

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