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Liberals say that capitalism is a system of competition but...


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8 replies to this topic

#1
LovePrevails

LovePrevails

  • 1382 posts

The primary component of the free market is not competition, it is the voluntary exchange of goods and services. Competition only arises as a bi-product of that in the same way that being invited out to two events on the same night creats a choice over which event to attend. Naturally, the attendee is going to want to go to the one that appeals to him most for whatever reason, the quality of the event is higher, or it is cheaper to attend, or it is compatible with the plans of his friends, or whatever ties into his perceived interests. To say, therefor, that the events are competing and that this is detrimental is to entirely miss the point that the two events available create choice for everyone who wants to go to one or both of them - just in the same way as seeing the free market as promoting competition miss the point that it is not competition which is being offered, it is choice. Since different things appeal to different people the event organizers may differentiate their events to make them appeal to different crowd, or increase the quality of their events. Either way they are simply making their own attempts to encourage people to choose to go to their event.

 
To say that because competition is a consequence of this that the attendee should not be able to choose between the events and should either be assigned one event to go to, or that one of the events should be shut down because it is not fair for the two to compete, would seem ridiculous to most people, but it is only as ridiculous as saying that because voluntary choices create competition that the free market should be abolished in place of central planning.
 
Of course if the events organizers want they can always put their heads together and agree that it would be in each of their interests if one of them would be moved to the following night they are welcome to do so, unless the government has passed laws calling this "collusion".It is only when the event organizers can go to the government to force people to buy their product, or shut the other event down, or get preferential legislation to make the other event more economically appealing or regulate the other event out of the market that we see competition become a more important component of the market than choice.

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#2
tasmlab

tasmlab

  • 306 posts

I was having a similar conversation with a good lefty friend of mine who suggested that some sectors should be based "cooperation" (as delivered by government) instead of systems of "competition" as delivered by the market.

 

I suggested that the market was "cooperation", not competition.  After all, I don't compete with my grocery store or my pharmacy or any of the other places I shop at.  Nor do I compete with my clients.  In fact, as a market actor, I'm almost never competing.

 

He didn't buy this, but I turned it to be 'cooperation' for markets and "coercion" for government.   

 

Senselessly oversimplified for sure.


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#3
dsayers

dsayers

    man in a pink bunny suit


  • 1345 posts

@LovePrevails: I think that is a good point about the origin of a product/service (event). What about the competition that comes afterwards? You have a restaurant in order to profit from filling a need. Others do the same also, so you do things in order to compete. Whether that's providing better service, adjusting prices, advertising, etc. Not saying anything about this is evil or unhealthy. In fact, competition is one of the two components that allow the market to be self-correcting. Just saying that competition is part of it, even if it's not part of the origin.

 

Or, in an established market, the origin of a product/service (event) could be said to originate with the understanding that there are alternatives. Then the competition I mentioned would be an integral part of original planning by the proprietor/entrepreneur (coordinator).

 

In fact, as a market actor, I'm almost never competing.

 

He didn't buy this

 

Why not? Is that not an accurate description of his life also? Or was it rejected because it didn't conform to his prejudice?


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I am interested in the truth. I welcome all corrections and critiques.

 

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#4
LovePrevails

LovePrevails

  • 1382 posts

@LovePrevails: I think that is a good point about the origin of a product/service (event). What about the competition that comes afterwards? You have a restaurant in order to profit from filling a need. Others do the same also, so you do things in order to compete. Whether that's providing better service, adjusting prices, advertising, etc. Not saying anything about this is evil or unhealthy. In fact, competition is one of the two components that allow the market to be self-correcting. Just saying that competition is part of it, even if it's not part of the origin.

 

Hi thanks for the questions I appreciate them

 

"What about the competition that comes afterwards? You have a restaurant in order to profit from filling a need. Others do the same also, so you do things in order to compete."

 

As I stated, this is a bi-product of voluntary choices, it is not the initial force at work. So I agree that competition is "a part of it" as you put it.

 

Whether that's providing better service, adjusting prices, advertising, etc. Not saying anything about this is evil or unhealthy. In fact, competition is one of the two components that allow the market to be self-correcting.

 

What is the second?


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#5
Prairie

Prairie
  • 121 posts

I have competitions in my mind to make my own life better. For example, I've held a competition of ideas for the least time-consuming way to manage the kitchen. I regularly hold smaller ones for improving preparation of food. I benefit by spending less time to get something of roughly equal enjoyment. When I was younger I didn't realize that I could improve almost any area of my life by doing something like this, so I just did things whatever way I did them and didn't ever think of the costs in time and energy.

Looked at another way, it's not businesses that make it a competition, it's the buyers. They relentlessly choose the best product for the best price, leaving a business owner out in the cold if they consistently provide inferior products at high prices. Every buyer can do their part to make things purely cooperative, by randomly choosing whom they buy from and what brand of product to buy. This ensures that the choice isn't based on price, quality, or the character of the business. This way every business owner and product producer will have equal funding and be able to improve things (or not) at their own pace, and not have to worry about competing.

 


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#6
dsayers

dsayers

    man in a pink bunny suit


  • 1345 posts

In fact, competition is one of the two components that allow the market to be self-correcting.

 

What is the second?

 

I would say consequence. Responsibility accruing to the responsible. In a free market, soylent green is people means people stop consuming soylent green. In a coercive market, "protection" stealing and preying upon the "protected" leads to more of the same.

 

I say this while observing my bias in that I came to the conclusion that "competition and consequence enable a free market to be self-correcting" while considering why the statist paradigm is impervious to correction. So there may be more or it may be that these aren't applicable outside of the consideration of a statist paradigm. What do you think?


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I am interested in the truth. I welcome all corrections and critiques.

 

dsay's audio reprocessing service


#7
cab21

cab21
  • 632 posts

its a system of competition and cooperation depending on the context

people try and get people to voluntarily trade with.

 

it's certainly not a system of cooperation to force others to trade with you or to steal from others

there can only be cooperation in a system of free trade and competition.


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#8
Cosmin

Cosmin

  • 48 posts

Competition_regulation.png


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#9
tasmlab

tasmlab

  • 306 posts

Or was it rejected because it didn't conform to his prejudice?

 

Pretty much.


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