published Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Free markets work

Americans love our electronics. The smartphone has turned into an appendage for most that carries our favorite music, photos, email, contacts, and serves as a virtual vault of our lives, personal and professional.

The computer market has evolved in much the same way as the cellphone industry, upgrading to meet consumers' needs, and desires, for expanded options.

Microsoft, Apple, Dell, Samsung and other industry giants are household names. Desktop computers have transitioned into more portable options such as laptops, notebooks and now tablets, including Apple's iPad and Microsoft's new "Surface." These innovations occurred because of consumer demand, and they continue based on the same driver.

These companies, through their research, their marketing, their sales and successes, and some failures, demonstrate the successes of free markets.

The tablet computers that now slip into the side of your briefcase or into your purse didn't come about because of a government stimulus package or a federal subsidy.

The massive shift from simple cell phones to the technologically superior iPhone and smartphones that run on the Android platform has occurred, not because of a congressional committee's call for action, but out of an industry free to reflect its customers' requests and tastes.

Often during political cycles, the question is asked, "Are you better off now than you were before so-and-so was elected?" America is able to answer in a loud voice, "Yes!" when the question is altered just a smidge: "Are you better off now using your improved electronics and innovations than you were when the desktop, the basic cellphone, etc., were introduced?"

Government competes with and displaces commerce and private industry with inefficiencies untold. As Milton Friedman, an economist and champion of free markets, quipped, "If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara desert, in five years there'd be a shortage of sand."

Let's get government out of the way to see job creation and growth. Free markets work.

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nucanuck said...

There are no free markets.

June 20, 2012 at 12:55 a.m.
librul said...

And slave labor makes it all possible.

I hope Milton Friedman has an especially hot seat ih hell, right next to Reagan and that the only empty seats on the row are reserved for the Bushes.

That's it, Beelzebub - let the flames trickle down.

Can you hear me now ?????

June 20, 2012 at 7:46 a.m.
Leaf said...

You mean free-ish markets with limited regulation to protect the consumer? Like we have now? And have had since the Republic was created? Yes, better than total fascism, I agree.

June 20, 2012 at 9:28 a.m.
Livn4life said...

If you don't like "free market" approaches, just go where they do not exist in any "ish" forms and see how you get along. Or maybe wait long enough here and find out how great it seems to be this liberalized utopian dream of all being equal(some joke, ask former Soviet citizens). There are some who are More equal than others, ie government officials and party patsies. But you go on and mock ones who have sought to keep our freeish system free. You enjoy the growing untrustworthy government bungles and join right in when responsible parties blame anyone else but themselves. Look out cliff, here we come!

June 20, 2012 at 10:16 a.m.
librul said...

So, Livn, are you so bereft in your thinking that the only choices are totalitarian communism or totalitarian fascism?


June 20, 2012 at 10:24 a.m.
conservative said...


"there are no free markets" - what a profundity!

Yes there are no absolute free markets just as there are no absolute free people in markets. They will always be Socialists in the woodpile.

June 20, 2012 at 11:10 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

The mindset of you conservatives today is so rabidly anti-government you've gone competely bonkers. You honestly think that just getting "governmnet out of the way" is going to yield a perfectly functioning, jobs-creating, socially responsible, money-flowing-for-all free market? We've already experienced a time when we had "free" markets without government intervention: those were the days of the robber barons and rampant employee abuse - no child labor laws, no minimum wage, no workmans' comp, no maternity leave, no paid vacations, a work-'til-you-drop attitude among employers. Oh wait...that IS free market bliss to you guys, isn't it? - as long as you yourself aren't the victims.

June 20, 2012 at 11:55 a.m.

You know, I think the writer of this editorial would be surprised how much government involvement has gone into those industries.

Some appropriate, some perhaps not, as anybody who has been involved in a patent trolling case might know.

Just ask the Fab labs in Taiwan how much they got in the way of tax subsidies. Just ask how much Apple loves having copyright, patent and trademark protection from the government. Not to mention more than a few tax advantages.

Heck, just ask yourself how much money the government spend developing the internet, funding research and paying for devices. Call Apple, ask how much of their revenue has been derived from school purchases. Ask them where Wifi and cellular technology would be without the FCC.

But no, instead we get this naive article from a myopic writer who doesn't even realize that genuine advocates of freedom would tear apart the idea of Apple or Microsoft being pro-freedom with rather strong language.

Friedman's likely to be right though, because the government would realize that carting away the Sahara's natural resources would be a short-sighted and thoughtless act that would serve little purpose. Either that or they'd be implementing something like the soil restoration they implemented to get rid of the Dust Bowl. Either would be a reasonable enough outcome.

June 20, 2012 at 3:27 p.m.
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