Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Free" Market Capitalism--the Imploding Myth

I wrote in a recent post re: the notion that markets are truly free in America is a common economic fiction due to the artificial protection (i.e. corporate welfare and lobbyist secured monopolies) afforded some in the "Big-business" community.

A minor but not insignificant example is the Gulf (of Mexico) Coast Sports-Fishing/Charter Boat business. Large commercial fishing interests and their lobbyists have succeeded in limiting the "red-snapper" season so severely (next year the season will be significantly shortened) for sport fishermen and charter boat small businesses that these are becoming economically nonviable while large commercial fishing concerns are being treated to increasingly monopolistic and predatory control of the Gulf salt water fishing economy. Under the false guise of protecting red snapper fish populations from over-fishing, commercial fishermen have been delivered a veritable bonanza of these fish through artificial legislative protection while small charter boat businesses and sportsmen languish.

Were a totally "free-market" to exist, all would have the right to compete for the same fish population(s) or in the event that a truly dangerous depletion of a given fish species occurred; commercial fishermen who take far greater numbers of fish would be limited before individual sports fishermen or small charter boat businesses were selectively curtailed. Obviously, the market is not really "free" or unregulated, it is artificially controlled in the interest of those who can afford to employ the most powerful lobbyists. The idea that the United States fosters free market capitalism is simply pablum for the uneducated masses.

All Americans of good will must understand that our markets are heavily regulated not free. Similarly, foreign trade is not free but heavily regulated in favor of large international corporations who enjoy a veritable monopoly which includes access to slave labor (Indian, Chinese, Bangladeshi, Korean etc) in which occupational and environmental conditions are substandard all so that unconscionable profits can be made for an increasingly small number of corporate internationalists. It should be apparent that the present system is highly immoral in the short-term and non-viable in the long term--should it continue the US will complete its rapid descent into third world status.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert