Jim de Bree, a semi-retired CPA, wrote July 15 of capitalistic economies and their vulnerability to monopolies, oligarchies and consumer manipulation using high-tech algorithms. He compared the cost of drugs here in the U.S. with those of Germany, the U.K. and Switzerland (by the way, I have spent a good deal of time in all three of those countries, and all things considered I’d much rather be here).
Anyway, while I was reading de Bree’s concerns about how the “evolving” U.S. economical model is allowing for market manipulation and price gouging as regulatory legislation is lagging in the evolutionary curve, my mind was already brainstorming rebuttals.
Now, I am by no means an accountant, an economist, a business owner, or a governmental regulator. Hell, I can’t even balance my own checkbook, which is why I was more than happy to hand it over to my wife. But I certainly am a consumer, and I’ll share with you some of the random and spontaneous thoughts that were materializing on my mental whiteboard as I was reading the article:
Charge what the market will bear. There’s a sucker born every minute. The U.S. government doesn’t subsidize consumer goods. Europeans are under too much control and taxation. People usually get what they deserve. All markets are self-correcting. There is such a thing as an “affordability index.” Being the leader in anything can be a burden. Every American should spend a year in a developing country.
These thoughts came to me without my even thinking. Perhaps I am subconsciously preprogrammed to see things this way, but it was clearly my “knee-jerk” reaction to de Bree’s statements. I am in the laissez faire camp when it comes to markets, and society in general, because there is no rule or law that cannot be circumvented one way or another. You cannot regulate human nature.
Consequently, much like God himself, I don’t feel the need to interfere in human affairs, economically, socially, or otherwise. Or to put it another way, you can’t teach people anything.