The difference between a free market, and what corporations actually want
The free market. Capitalism. Call it what you will. The truth is that people often don’t understand the difference between capitalism and what we currently have. They mistakenly call our current mixed economy capitalism, and they blame companies that try to stamp out competition as being capitalistic. They’re wrong.
Today, many companies spend a great deal of money on lobbyists that take their wish list to Congress. That wish list does occasionally call for relaxing of some regulations, but more often than not it calls of increases in regulation. Why? Because they like the idea of making in harder to enter the market and provide competition. Increase regulations also give them the benefit of possibly stamping out smaller competitors. That forces consumers to go to one of the big guys for their products.
This, my friends, is not capitalism in any way, shape, or form. It’s not. This is corporatism, plain and simple.
In capitalism, these regulations designed to stamp out the little guy wouldn’t exist. Would the little guy thrive? Maybe, maybe not. It would be up to that little guy to make it though. He (or she) would have to work hard, make good decisions, and convince his potential customers that they should be from his company. If all that comes together, then he’ll survive just fine. If not, well…it’s all on him.
Capitalism isn’t a pretty system, but it actually is the most fair. When progressives talk about fairness, they never consider capitalism as being just that. However, it really is. An open market, where each individual is free to determine their own destiny. If they want to start a company, there’s not a governmental body standing in the way trying to keep them from it. There’s nothing to it but their own determination and skill.
No, not everyone makes their millions in capitalism. It’s the sad fact that not everyone is cut out for owning their own business that is to blame, not the capitalistic system. There’s no way around that unless you start requiring everyone to buy a product and that’s just wrong health care.
Capitalism also isn’t about killing the competition, though they do work towards that goal. The truth is there’s usually room for multiple competitors in any industry. There’s never a real reason to kill competition, except for greed. Now, I don’t have a problem with greed per se. I recognize much of what we identify as making the modern world what we see around us came about as a result of someone’s “greed”. However, there are lines that get crossed from time to time, and that’s where the problem comes in. And yes, someone actively trying to use the force of government to stamp out competition is most definitely in that camp.
I remember reading Atlas Shrugged for the first time and hearing the characters talk rather blithely about destroying each other through fair competition. It was weird to my mind, because I didn’t understand how they could be so nonchalant about losing everything. However, they weren’t. They simply didn’t expect to lose. Ever. However, if they did they would take their lumps and move on.
Unfortunately, Rand’s capitalist are primarily works of fiction. Are there people like that who exist though? Probably. And those are the true capitalists. Not the greedy bastards who go to Congress and support laws that would kill the competition for them. Oh no. Capitalists don’t mind killing the competition, they’ll just be damned if they outsource it to Uncle Sam.