Why the Free Market argument is relative

'Cynical it may sound, but for someone like me with a very modest understanding of economics, it seems clear that the pursuit of profits (the sole reason of existence of companies in a capitalist system) will always cause human misery and deprivation. It also seems to me that the word ‘Free Market’ is a farce because a truly free market means all participants have access to information. You must be joking if you still think the underprivileged have access to information in a capitalist system wile making transactions. I know; one cannot dismiss Capitalism and Free Markets completely as evil because they have actually lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. And yet, I wonder if free markets can ever swat away the stench of human misery.'

The problem with Sutanu Guru's cynicism is its assumption of absolutes when everything's relative. Sure, free markets may not swat away the stench, but it surely goes a long way in dimming the awful rot that's so prevalent in places where regulations rule.

But the more important question is a relative one. What can guarantee better levels of prosperity (read, access to products and services) to a populace? Socialism or Capitalism? Regulated markets or Free markets? The answer is starkly out there for all to see. Regulated markets bring in greater misery because it curtails the power of human ingenuity and replaces it with inefficient and slothful government bureaucracy. Why that happens is almost daftly simple. Governments have no reason to be inventive or productive, after all its public money. Where's the accountability or the incentive to be fruitful? Private entrepreneurship on the other hand, though allegedly seeking after profits, is our best bet to lifting a citizenry out of penury into modest if not considerable wealth. This happens because there's that sole incentive that spurs private entrepreneurs on. Creation of wealth. Call it profits, call it what you want. This act is at the heart of prosperity because it puts income into the hands of producers for them to then save or spend.

What other formula exists to put money into the hands of people? Socialism, Communism and Big Government takes money out of the hands of hard working private individuals in the name of prosperity causes. The sad reality is, none of the money reaches where it must. We Indians should know. After all, if there's one country that stands testimony to it, its the one we live in.

Surely, free markets will not guarantee Sutanu's utopian dream of all round-equitable prosperity. But that's no reason to junk it, because its our ONLY hope for enhanced prosperity.


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