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From what I understand, the whole point of the EU is to economically compete with large markets like the US, China, Southeast Asia.
Which, in an era of cross border ownership and transnational corporations , is no point at all, since you only compete with yourself.
"Competition" is all about depressing wages and living standards for the many to the benefit of the few. As has been exhaustively analysed and presented on ET...
Having said that, I know I'm in a minority here on ET since it is not clear to me what the EU is actually for in a globalised world.
"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed"
Competition and free market economies benefit the CONSUMER. Business produces goods and services for people in exchange for money and profit. Prices are determined by supply and demand. Price is determined from information from a varity of sources. No one person controls the price of anything. That is what is democratic about the pricing system. Free marketers dont want government intervention into the pricing system because it distorts market prices and causes unintended consequences such as shortages, etc. So, for example, government starts giving out student loans to help students. Now, students have more money to go to college if they are willing to hock themselves in debt. The result in the US, massive inflation in education costs. Or, Clinton imposed a luxury tax on boats in the 1990s. The result-boats went up in price-massive layoffs in the boating industry, lost profits, lost taxes. Or, government starts subsidizing corn for ethanol. The resulting distortion, massive inflation for corn products, corn sweetener, animal feed resulting in higher beef prices. Poorer people now have to pay more for food. All for ethanol which is not a good fuel alternative.
Here is a great link to Milton Friedman explaining the economics of how a pencil is produced-it is two minutes long but worth 4 college credits.
Competition and free market economies benefit the CONSUMER.
No one person controls the price of anything.
So, for example, government starts giving out student loans to help students. Now, students have more money to go to college if they are willing to hock themselves in debt. The result in the US, massive inflation in education costs.
Suitably regulated markets are among the tools we have to achieve our aims as a society. The stock and financial markets rely on brutal regulation to function at all: look what happens when the regulations are enforced badly or not adapted to the changing market.
I dont agree that energy, railroad and healthcare are good areas for government intervention. These are business areas and bureaucrats are incapable of regulating industries properly. If they were, they would be in the private sector. Our medical industry is heavily regulated, especially with prices. This causes massive distortions in prices. So, a doctor I know gets paid $75 for a spinal tap. My father in law goes into the hospital for observation only for ten days and the insurance company pays $65,000.00 (no tests, no operations).
As to education, I dont have a problem with a public role. It's just that private schools are better. The curriculum is more reading and writing oriented toward a British style system.
As to the higher education costs, do a lot more people have access to higher education now thanks to student loans? No, because the price of one year at college went up to $45K a year. Student loans do not come close to that level.
As to stock markets, I think they are casinos. I do not think buying stock is "investing", it is gambling.
Being a free marketer doesnt mean your against regulation or laws. It depends on the regulation and what is trying to be accomplished. Unfortunately, much government regulation ignores human nature resulting in unintended consequences.
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