Saturday, February 04, 2012

Free Market Fantasy

Can there be any such thing as a free stock market when corporations and stock exchanges are creations of law? The stock market is a rarefied OTB where gamblers/investors/speculators place bets on companies' success or failure. Because the shares are fungible and entitle the largest holders a say in the operation of the corporation, the quickest paydays will be made by artificially inflating the value of the the corporation at the expense of long-term planning. Success has become synonymous with apparent profitability. Investors expect an eternal rise in profits.

Both corporations and markets are entirely legal creations. Thus, there is no such thing as a "free" or "unregulated" stock market. If the power of law is in the people and the authority for the corporation and stock market created by law, then we the people should ensure that corporations operate for the maximum benefit of the people as a whole. Acting as if a certain set of rules that protects the supremacy of the powerful represents a state of freedom is how this nation's elite have convinced a majority of the populace that we need to treat GE in the same way that we treat Pop's Grocery.

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