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Free Markets

Thanks to Karen J. Savage for this cogent encapsulation of my own views:

“There is no such thing as a “free” market.  Every market is controlled for someone’s advantage.  Many business make their profit by externalizing the costs of doing business.  For example, where would Wal-Mart be without the transportation network of public roads and highways, which are now disproportionately subsidized by wage earners?  The scales of fairness are tilted in favor of the 1,400-plus-pound gorillas of society, who have little if any reason to look out for the little guy. I want the government to be there making sure my interests and the interests of other little guys are protected.  And if we want smaller governement, lets cut defense and justice services to the same – or greater – extent that we are cutting social programs.”

This piece appeared in the Christian Science Monitor.

I’d like to add that Wal-Mart is also subsidized by public welfare, since many of its employees earn so little they qualify for food stamps, subsidized health care and other services.  In addition, the trucks used to transport Wal-Mart’s mountains of Cheap Plastic Crap pay a disproportionatly small amount in taxes used to maintain the roadways, compared to the wear and tear they cause. Lobbying efforts on the part of businesses that rely on trucking trumped the public good.

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