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View Diary: The Myth of the "Consensual" Marketplace (124 comments)

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  •  Veblen would argue that's the whole point (8+ / 0-)
    Your diary had me imagining the military as our current market model. Decisions are top-down, unquestioned, not driven by consumer consensus or valid consumer input. This hierarchical model is so deeply  embedded in our economic culture that its problems go unchallenged.
    Production of goods has never really been a priority for capitalism in that it's always been happy to let millions of people go without things, even necessities like food, shelter, etc.  People who were truly motivated to sell things would look at the poor and see a gigantic untapped market: "Look at all those people who'd buy stuff if only they could."  

    But capitalism is about profit, with selling stuff only one of the many ways to make profit ... and not necessarily the best one.  And besides, what truly matters to the ruling class is that they be the ruling class.  If you're sitting in the corner office raking in the dough but all your decisions are made for you by the needs and desires of employees and customers, who's really in charge?

    •  Monopoly (8+ / 0-)

      Monopolies maximize their income by producing less of the things they control.  That insight tells us a great deal about the economy in which we currently live.

      •  Yes. Yesterday I was listening to a representative (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Troubadour, salmo, dfarrah

        of the plywood manufacturers saying that they can't crank up their production to meet current demand for several years. I thought to myself, well why would they?

        Poverty = politics.

        by Renee on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 03:06:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They have to eventually. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Renee, salmo, dfarrah

          Ultimately the amount of profit they extract through monopolism makes the industry attractive to innovative new entrants who could offer lower prices and still make massive profit margins.  But that's only over the long-term, so Big Business plays this game where they go through cycles of price gouging followed by undercutting to make sure no competitors can enter the market.  

          The entire nation of China plays this bullshit game with the whole world, most recently by churning out a vast oversupply of solar panels in order to destroy solar manufacturing in every other country.  After they've swept away their competitors, then they start jacking up the prices and gouging everyone until the cycle repeats.

          Business doesn't distinguish between making money and taking money.

          by Troubadour on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 04:18:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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