Truth In The Longest of Terms

Mar 11, 2008 Michael Wurzer

Greg thinks I’m benighted (“being in a state of moral or intellectual darkness; unenlightened”) and is no longer participating in the discussion, but I think there is more to understand here, if only for myself. Greg extols the virtues of capitalism over government correctly:

Socialism fails, Fascism fails, Progressivism fails because they are all attempts to supplant the sometimes-imperfect reason of the marketplace — the weighing of incentives and disincentives — with the consistently-perfect irrationality that is brute force.

My point, which Greg calls fear, is that substituting one “seal of approval” for another because the market will eventually correct one but supposedly not the other ignores the very real and long-term impacts the “sometimes-imperfect” decisions of the market can have on people, especially when companies evolve into market-dominating positions. The difference between the power of a government and a market-derived monopoly (which have many shades of market power) is not a bright line, despite that one is subject to a vote and the other the market. Or, at least, the time to correct the sometimes-imperfect decisions of a company with market power can be so long as to make ignoring it (to turn Greg’s artful phrase) “childlike wishful thinking — endearing only in children, and, even then, only for a little while.”

Why wish for companies to be put in the position of judging others? Merely because one believes a “seal of approval” is needed for the otherwise ignorant consumers who supposedly can’t think or ask questions for themselves? A corporate “seal of approval” is needed to create a more perfect capitalism? I disagree. In fact, a “seal of approval”, wrought by humans and only corrected by markets in the longest of terms, is just as likely to create more disinformation as information. Instead, I suggest buyers beware. Think for yourselves, without relying on any imprimaturs for success. In doing so, you’ll be pursuing and creating the truth of capitalism, which abhors king-makers of any kind and for any term.