@codewiz hmm, I wonder about the "cosmopolitan" and "progressive" things since I did the test while feeling I didn't click "strongly (dis)agree" enough. I'm pretty capitalist tho, so that difference does makes sense… overall, nice
@espectalll when I lived in Europe, I was all "yeah, free market!", "regulation is bad!"
Then, after seeing the effects of unregulated markets in the US and now in Japan, my views shifted more towards the center 😳
@espectalll to be fair, I don't know how heavily regulated businesses are here in Japan. All I know is that there are giant monopolies engaging in anti-competitive behaviors that the EU wouldn't have tolerated.
@codewiz the US market looks regulated in favor of companies rather than unregulated… Japan meanwhile has high taxing but relatively low regulations – while still having antimonopoly laws (enforced by the JFTC) and such. Which monopolies are there in Japan BTW? Not even NTT or JR (previously state monopolies) seem to be free from pressuring competition, right?
@espectalll Saying that a market is regulated in favor of companies contains two hidden assumptions: the first one is that economic transactions between companies and individuals don't usually benefit both sides. This is on direct contradiction of the efficient market theory, which is a pillar of any free market economy... (continues)
@espectalll The second assumption you seem to be making is that companies are somehow disjoint from individuals. In a real free market economy, anyone can freely choose to start a company. If laws were slanted in a way that being a company is more advantageous than being an employee, the number of companies would keep increasing until we reach equilibrium: if these companies need to hire, they would be forced to pay higher wages due to the lower supply of workers. (continues)
@espectalll For these reasons (either one is sufficient, in case you don't agree with the other one), I don't think it's possible to regulate a market in favor of companies, *unless*... (suspence...)
@espectalll Unless we regulate it to favor *certain* companies against others, or certain industries against the rest of society. Say, for example, that companies were allowed to pay policy makers to create policies that make it hard for their employees to quit their jobs and compete against them... This would benefit established businesses and reduce competition, but I wouldn't call it a free market any more, not by any sane definition of the word free.
@espectalll This is *exactly* what's been going on in the US for some time now, at least in certain industries. You can easily tell which industries by looking for suspiciously few competitors in the face of suspiciously high profits: telcos, health insurances, record labels, tax preparers...
@espectalll Granted, some of these markets are natural monopolies. Instead of paying policymakers to pass regulations that will benefit them, which could be difficult under public scrutiny, all they have to do is nudge policymakers into doing *nothing* at all. (continues, but check these links too)
@espectalll And so, Americans increasingly find a single Internet cable provider in their city, and their bill goes up up up, but there's no corrupt politician you could blame for it!
*POOF*! ...and the free market is over!
@codewiz that's exactly why I find it to be a government that regulates in favor of companies – at least, the local ones which lobby well enough. For that, the governments have to be as transparent, decentralized, powerless and strictly regulated/operated, audited and watched over by citizenship as possible (as there's no magic solution but that certainly gives the right incentives) and easy creation of companies and competition has to be incentivized along.
@espectalll Sorry, it may sound like I think that the US economy is a complete disaster, but it's only certain sectors, really. The European economy has even more instances of regulatory capture and various other market failure modes. As you say, the government needs to be transparent and there needs to be public scrutiny, but it doesn't work if the public doesn't care enough to scrutinize! Try asking your non-nerd friends if they know what Article 11 and Article 13 are.
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