Don't Let Me Stop You

What the heck, you'll do what you want anyway.

Capitalism vs. Corporate Privilege

Posted by Dan Draney on November 12, 2008

This is a somewhat long, but excellent, article on the important distinctions between free market and pro-corporate policies. This distinction is often missed by people from all perspectives:

Cato Unbound – Blog Archive – Corporations versus the Market; or, Whip Conflation Now: “Defenders of the free market are often accused of being apologists for big business and shills for the corporate elite. Is this a fair charge?

No and yes. Emphatically no—because corporate power and the free market are actually antithetical; genuine competition is big business’s worst nightmare. But also, in all too many cases, yes —because although liberty and plutocracy cannot coexist, simultaneous advocacy of both is all too possible.

First, the no. Corporations tend to fear competition, because competition exerts downward pressure on prices and upward pressure on salaries; moreover, success on the market comes with no guarantee of permanency, depending as it does on outdoing other firms at correctly figuring out how best to satisfy forever-changing consumer preferences, and that kind of vulnerability to loss is no picnic. It is no surprise, then, that throughout U.S. history corporations have been overwhelmingly hostile to the free market. Indeed, most of the existing regulatory apparatus—including those regulations widely misperceived as restraints on corporate power—were vigorously supported, lobbied for, and in some cases even drafted by the corporate elite.[1]“

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3 Responses to “Capitalism vs. Corporate Privilege”

  1. Louëlla said

    That’s a great point. I’m not entirely sure what to make of it. It’s not just corporations. There are all kinds of systemic problems with this so-called “free market.” Inequalities of all sorts. I would like to know more about your kind of “free market” because I have for a while now thought of the “free market” as actually existing, but a disaster. Maybe, with corporations and structural inequalities, it actually does NOT exist in the current world.

  2. [...] Capitalism vs. Corporate Privilege « Don’t Let Me Stop You says: February 21, 2010 at 10:07 pm [...]

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