Monday, October 18, 2010

Statist paranoia, part 4

In another discussion yahoogroups, my co-debater there complained that I "resort into 'Sloganeering' and 'name-calling,' and insinuating that everyone who goes for some form of regulation or taxation is either a 'statist' or a 'socialist'."

I apologized to him and others in the said yahoogroups, for insinuating that people who love more state intervention, regulation and taxation, are also socialists. The term "statist" however, is more appropriate. More power to the state to regulate and intervene in our lives, in our enterprises. So, statists. I make no apology for such terminology. So I will keep using that term.

Our advocacy for minimal government, for more free market, for less -- not zero -- govt intervention, regulation, prohibition and taxation -- should be seen as expanding the range of intellectual discourse in the country. We've seen the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP, pro-Stalin) in the 40s-60s, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP, anti-Stalin, pro-Maoist) from late 60s to the present, the various shades of socialists groups and parties (PDSP, BISIG, SWLP, Pandayan, etc.). Even the majority of NGOS act and speak like they are with govt, instead of being non-govt. Have you heard of any libertarian party or group in this country?

To equate the free market economy as equivalent to a "dog eat dog system" is hyper confusion of, if not an insult to, the economics discipline. Go back to Econ 11 (Basic Econ) and Econ 102 (Micro Econ).

Supply is upward-sloping, demand is downward sloping. A low point in the demand curve can never meet the high point of the supply curve, no market-clearing. Both consumers and sellers realize it, one cannot sell and the other cannot buy, they both feel miserable. So sellers adjust their supply offer price downwards, and consumers adjust their demand offer price upwards. They meet at an equilibrium price, supply meets demand, zero govt intervention needed, taxation or subsidy, and everyone is happy. Freedom of sellers and consumers to meet and adjust with each other. If seller A cannot satisfy the offer price of a consumer, the latter moves to seller B, to seller C, and so on, until consumer meets the appropriaite seller where their offer price to each other exactly match. Free market. What is so difficult to understand about it?

I did not say that "anything that isn't free market is now totally wrong." I asked him where that statement allegedly from me came from. It was just his fabrication.

Believers of limited or minimal government, of free market and more individual liberty, do not propose that government should be abolished. Personally, I believe that govt should be BIG -- in running after killers, murderers, rapists, thieves, robbers, kidnappers, carnappers, extortionists, terrorists, bombers, arsonists, land-grabbers, other criminals. I cannot leave it to the free market like you and me, in dealing with armed killers and organized criminals. If an armed hold-upper will block my way while I'm walking and demand that I give him my cell phone and wallet, and there's no way for me to run away quickly, I will readily give it to him, so long as he won't stab or shoot me. There should be a bigger armed force that should stamp out those armed criminals.

Thus, the advocacy for free market is not absolute. It is focused mainly on the economic sphere. You, me and others, as consumers, we want lots of choices. Dozens or hundreds of choices. That is why people love the malls, the tiangge-tiangge, Divisoria and Baclaran, because of the huge choices among many sellers and many products on sale. Free market means encouraging the blossoming of more businesses, more shops, more sellers, more capitalists, more profit-driven entrepreneurs. So that consumers will have more choices who to patronize among them. Sellers who are lousy and non-friendly to consumers will slowly go bankrupt. And future consumers are protected from such lousy and unfriendly sellers. The prospect of bankruptcy is a fear that helps discipline sellers and suppliers to think of consumer interest as much as possible. Free market, freedom to expand, freedom to self-destruct.

To say that "free market capitalism and Marxism socialism are the same in some respects or the flipsides of the same coin" is wrong. Socialism is state ownership of the means of production (in behalf of the proletariat). Capitalism is private ownership of the means of production. How could they be the same? Statism is concentrating the power in the hands of the state to regulate people's lives -- where they can smoke or not, where they can put up a bake shop or gas station and where not, when they can start operating a business and not, how much they can keep and bring home out of their monthly income, etc. Free market is concentrating the power of running one's life with the individual.

If an individual wants to meet his creator soon by over-drinking or over-smoking or over-eating fatty foods, why should the state prevent him by giving him free or subsidized healthcare (from other people's tax money) to prolong his life because "health is a right"?

1 comment:

lamename said...

"If an individual wants to meet his creator soon by over-drinking or over-smoking or over-eating fatty foods"

What is really ironic, is the state worsens obesity by subsidizing corn..