Thursday, October 14, 2010

Statist paranoia

My co-debater in the earlier thread, "NINJA loans" below made further rebuttals. Unfortunately, his counter-arguments that free market policies caused the recent global financial turmoil were actually pointing to heavy state intervention as the real cause.

Here are some of his statements, in quotations, and my comments to them.

1) "US government... supporting oil cartel, and engaging in war in Iraq and Afghanistan" -- those are state interventions, not free market policies.

2) "there is coercion from the long range of economic strategies of war economy." -- again, state intervention, not free market.

3) "If coercing banks to lend money by way of NINJA Loans, I think that should be the case." -- another justification of state intervention.

4) "US Govt using Taxpayers' money bailed them out. And they even have the temerity of having "bonuses" during these financial crises." -- that is one product of state intervention. Why would those failing but bailed-out corporations not give away bonuses to their people? Even if they will give away money to their non-employees, the US government and its interventionist policy will bail them out anyway, the US government has oodles of tax money anyway, why won't they do it?

If you expect free market solution to those troubled corporations, the proper policy would be to let all of them go through bankruptcy proceedings. There is penalty to corporate irresponsiblity. You don't reward it with tax money bail-out.

5) "How about international trade? How about the on-going currency war? How about the external debt problems of America?" -- those are signatures and indicators of heavy state intervention. No free trade, so negotiations by government trade bureaucrats dictate the terms of trade. Currency war is a spat among central planners in central banks in different countries. Debt problems is pure fiscal irresponsibility. Living beyond one's means. If your revenue is less than your expenses, every year for many decades, why not cut spending? Why raise public debt to the roof?

Those sentences are clear statists' inconsistencies.

Then he came back with one of the most ridiculous sentence:

"Free market does not exist in the real world."

Wow, what a hypocrisy of statement.

You want to buy a cell phone -- Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, Android, etc.; and within nokia for instance, you choose among 60+ models depending on your needs and budget. This freedom to choose a brand and model of cellphone, the competition among cell phone manufacturers to attract more buyers, this does not exist?

You want to deposit your money in a bank -- BDO, BPI, Metrobank, Citibank, PNB, other commercial banks, a rural bank, etc. And if you have chosen already your bank, you choose whether a short-term or long-term savings instrument, peso or foreign currency, etc. And if you don't like their services and interest rates anymore, you pull out all your money and move to another bank or just invest it all. This is free market, freedom of the savers and freedom of the bankers. This does not exist?

You want to buy food and replenish your grocery items -- SM, Rustans, Puregold, Landmark, Robinsons, Waltermart, Shopwise, other supermarkets, or public market -- no one forces you to choose just one supermarket. This is free market. This does not exist?

You want to go to Europe or other Asian financial centers -- KLM, Cathay, Sing Air, Thai Air, JAL, KAL, PAL, MAS, etc. And once you've chosen your airline, you choose whether to take business class or first class or economy class. This freedom to choose your airline, your class and the mode of payment (cash or credit card or whatever). This does not exist?

You want to refuel your car -- Caltex, Shell, Total, Petron, Phoenix, PTT, etc. And you choose whether premium gasoline or unleaded gas or premium with additives, etc. This freedom to choose what gas station, to demand a good toilet from them, etc. This does not exist?

You want to run and stay fit and need a good running shoes -- Adidas, Nike, Fila, NB, WB, Puma, skechers, etc. And within each brand, there are dozen plus different models of running shoes. And you can choose whether to buy the pricey original product or fake but very cheap product. This does not exist?

Dozens of other examples how people benefit from free market, and they choose to ignore or be blind to it. Do people want the government to over-regulate banks so that people can choose only between BDO/BPI and DBP/Land bank? Do people wish that government will over-regulate retailing so that they can only choose between SM and Robinsons? Do people wish that government will over-regulate health insurance that people will only choose between PhilHealth and no private HMOs?

Do people want their tax money be used to bail out failing big corporations? Why? Corporate expansion and corporate bankruptcy are 100 percent part of capitalism. Why disallow corporate failures and bankruptcy?

Statists' paranoia of the free market and their deep desire for heavy state power, for more regulation and intervention of other people's lives, is the main driving force why many people want to enter politics. When they become an official, a legislator especially, we ordinary mortals will expect more government regulations, more intervention, more taxation, more authorization and accreditation.

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