Gerard Lameiro’s ‘Nine characteristics of a free market’. But if you’re a capitalist and any of these characteristics become a problem you can call on the capitalist state to nanny you and circumvent the free market; if you’re a worker it’s actually illegal most of the time to set the price of your labour-power
by Phil Duncan
The list of ‘private enterprise’ elements that simply can’t cope with the operations of the market continues to grow.
For instance, we’ve had dairy farmers who require state money for irrigation when, surely, they should be relying on the market – sell shares in the business, attract financial investment from and on the market, or whatever. Anything but nanny state money, surely?
In Christchurch, we have businesspeople in the CBD with their hands out for nanny state support, rather than relying on the operations of their beloved, all-knowing, all-seeing, all-providing market to set, maintain and raise the price-value of their properties and businesses.
We have huge companies, like Hollywood movie outfits and Rio Tinto, who require nanny state intervention. The movie moguls got the nanny state National government to intervene in the market for labour-power by passing laws restricting what workers (labour-power) could do, while Rio Tinto requires the nanny state to intervene to guarantee cheaper than market prices for resources that it uses, like electricity.
And, of course, all laws which inhibit the right of workers to withdraw their labour or organise collectively for their interests are – surely? – nanny state interference with the free market.
The latest bunch of sorry capitalists whining about the operations of the market are a bunch of Queenstown employers. They are upset that people aren’t lining up to work for them for the minimum wage of $14.75 an hour.
But doesn’t capitalist economics tell us it’s all about supply and demand. You have to work to these. So if $14.85 isn’t getting workers queuing up, then surely that’s the market sending a message that the pay being offered isn’t high enough? Shouldn’t the government be upholding the free market and telling Queenstown bosses, “You’ll have to offer more, folks! You can’t buck the market.”
However, rather than meeting the market, Queenstown employers wanting more workers are pushing for nanny state to organise the supply for them.
Far from upholding market principles, associate tourism minister Paula Bennett and immigration minister Michael Woodhouse leapt quickly Read the rest of this entry »