The untouchable free market: Dangers of idolatry

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  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2014 11:59 a.m.

    @Deforrest "As the winners increase their share of the market, the losers bail out and the cost of entrance into the market become prohibitive, leaving essentially monopolies. "

    The late Joan Robinson, the famous "Mrs. Robinson" of economics, said mainstream economics was wrong to work off of an assumption of perfect competition. Rather, she said, it should proceed from an assumption of an array of monopolies. She was right. But economics hasn't figured this out yet.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 29, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    Most excellent article.

    And this line: priceless --

    "Today, however, some who are called conservative (but may not be) fall into the same trap. The problem is not the successes of capitalism, but rather its idealization; one that blinds us to reality."

    It's true,
    The fact that "poor" conservatives defend the uber-wealthy tooth and nail is the lie that with a little hard work, the promises of uber-wealth is theirs for the taking as well!

    Idol Worship!

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 29, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    So I've watched this for a couple of days and I'm wondering where the "conservatives" are in this discussion. Surely they read it. The title alone would draw them.

    My guess is well written reasonableness is not there thing. It's easier to twist and outright fabricate about the less well written thoughts of some of us here who have tried to say the same thing.

    My favorite idea in the article is just how well conservatives are at framing a conversation. To originally baptize capitalism, and then to sanctify it as a part of nature is brilliant.

    Read the conservative posts on this thread every day and you will see both ideas simply accepted as fact.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    March 29, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    "Beware of any endeavor that requires new clothes" - Henry Thoreau

    The rat race get's very tiresome.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    March 28, 2014 10:05 p.m.

    It is nice to see a balanced and reasoned editorial for a change.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    March 28, 2014 5:40 p.m.

    A superb commentary.

    It brought to mind President Spencer W. Kimball's talk titled "The False Gods We Worship," wherein he commented: "we are, on the whole, an idolatrous peopleā€”a condition most repugnant to the Lord."

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    March 28, 2014 3:12 p.m.

    Excellent editorial. The idealistic view of capitalism is what keeps the GOP going these days. Not a realist among them. Take the notion of free markets, for instance. There is no such thing as a free market. Totally a myth. And the most ardent devotees of government intervention are large corporations. They know that unfettered competition actually destroys the conditions that make competition even possible. As the winners increase their share of the market, the losers bail out and the cost of entrance into the market become prohibitive, leaving essentially monopolies. So nobody in the real world really wants a free market. And we've seen the damage that can result when government neglects its duty of maintaining the conditions in which markets (not free) can perform their expected function.

  • One of a Few Layton, UT
    March 28, 2014 1:40 p.m.

    The notion that capitalism fosters creation of wealth is questionable. Assuming scarcity of resources, capitalism seems more to focus on capturing and hording wealth at least in its current form in the US and internationally. I think we might find creating a means of accessing capital that focuses on creating jobs, instead wealth for share holders, might just lead to a better economy. My point being that I'm perfectly happy if folks get rich creating middle class jobs. But for the past 40 years, the US has focused its capital resources on creating wealth by cutting employment. And that doesn't seem to be working all that well.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    March 28, 2014 11:49 a.m.

    Excellent, thought provoking column.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 11:23 a.m.

    "It is not idolatry to recognize the power of markets. It is not idolatry to highlight the tremendous creativity that capitalist organizing principles harness or the productivity that has resulted from them. Nor is it idolatry to point out the failures of alternative organizing principles."

    A true statement. But has the writer read Marx? If so, she knows Marx appreciates the productivity and inventiveness of capitalism. Most technology has come out of capitalism. But Marx describes the mechanism of capitalism's collapse - accurately IMHO. Why do I think Marx was right? For many reasons, but consider that with our enormouse accuulation of productive capital things should be getting better for the mass of us, but they are getting worse. All of the benefits are going to the top. Marx predicted this with elegant theory.

    Unfortunately, Marx didn't give us a roadmap for post-captialism. He thought that was somebody else's job. We socialists are trying to develop that roadmap, but we haven't succeeded thus far. Meanwhile, capitalism continues its inexorable decline.