Monday, July 30, 2012

The Market is Flawed

Evolution is a stochastic, self-organizing process. There is no invisible, guiding hand. It produces a lot of wonderful things. It doesn't produce perfection. It doesn't produce morality1.

The same is true of the market. I follows different rules, ad is based on a different system, but it's fundamentally similar. Organisms compete, some flourish and thrive, others whither and fail. Some get together and cooperate for mutual benefit.

It doesn't produce perfection. It doesn't produce morality.

Why is that so hard for some people to comprehend?

The free market allocates resources, money, and manpower to solve problems, and it does so with marvelous efficiency. However, it only solves profitable problems. It doesn't give a damn about anything that doesn't generate a profit. Caring about your fellow human beings doesn't generate a profit.

You only have to look at 90% of the examples for the last five hundred years for examples of appallingly selfish, inhuman behavior. Outsourcing jobs and shoveling the profits into foreign banks. DuPont lying about CFCs. Ethyl and Big Oil lying about lead. Tobacco lying about cancer and addiction. And that's all just within the last 60 years. In the nineteenth century, prior to the Roosevelts, they were even worse.

We have government for a reason, because self-organizing principles don't actually lead to the best possible outcome. It would be better for everyone if everyone had a good education and a decent job, but the market leads to inefficiencies and so some people don't have either of those things. The market honestly doesn't care; government steps in to take up the slack.

Is it a coincidence that the people who don't believe in evolution also fetishize the market's ability to solve all problems?

This is surprisingly appropriate. In a month, no one will understand why I chose it.




1 - Okay, actually it does. Problem is, it produces good and evil in equal measure as competing strategies.
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