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There is a thread on this by Ruth Rosen (one of the founders) on TPMcafe (with my 2 cents as well as many others).

http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/coffeehouse/2007/jan/28/note_to_nancy_pelosi_challenge_market_fundamenta lism

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Tue Jan 30th, 2007 at 09:51:10 PM EST
My $0.02 there is an argument that the perverse properties of information in health-insurance markets undercut universal market fundamentalism at a wonkish level, while showing why one can advocate universal health coverage without advocating a principle that supports commie-socialism. (The essence: Usually, perfect information helps to perfect a market; here, perfect information would destroy it.)

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Wed Jan 31st, 2007 at 04:04:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kind of.

The point about market fundamentalism is that it's a fantastic misdirection. Market pirates and locusts aren't really all that interested in markets, and they're certainly not interested in running them according to fair and open rules.

What they're really interested in is domination of every feature of their environment, creating a vast asset sink with themselves in the middle, gulping down as much negative entropy as they can find.

Which is why the 'health care' industry is only tangentially interested in providing health care, and far more interested in creating predatory relationships which allow it to feed off its victims parasitically.

The best model for corporations isn't a religious one. The religious model explains one common kind of signalling and indoctrination strategy, but it's not the whole picture.

The most accurate model is the termite nest with the queen in the middle, and the drones working mindlessly around her. The difference is that termite nests are mostly steady-state and have very limited growth rates, while corporations are built to expand their influence at every possible opportunity using every possible physical, emotional and intellectual tool that their environment can provide.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jan 31st, 2007 at 09:51:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I understand your point. Any undercutting by the argument above would very much be limited to "a wonkish level", which, as you suggest, is far from the level of corporate operations and propaganda.

Corporation are indeed emergent systems driven to act with "interests" not necessarily aligned with those of any human being. This is hard to avoid, given their evolutionary pressures, but different corporate governance structures can make a difference.

What I would like to know is why the law imposes a fiduciary responsibility on boards of directors and company managers that requires them (for example) to poison children with bright, cheery, toxic food dyes? That is, provided that the poisoning promises to increase (wrongly defined) shareholder value, and isn't (yet) prohibited by law. And, of course, this principle may similarly mandate that they lobby against such a law...

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Thu Feb 1st, 2007 at 03:50:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Point of Personal Exasperation, Mr. Chairman!

There is no aether. There is no philogeston.  There is no Philosopher's Stone.  One cannot fly to the moon on gossamer wings.  There is no such thing as "perfect information" of a market.  

Insisting what is Not, is operative, only lands the thinker in a vat of intellectual goo.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Feb 1st, 2007 at 10:55:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree entirely. It is often useful, though, to consider ideal limiting cases when trying to understand how systems change as they move in that direction (even though the limit can never be reached). My point is that increasing information, e.g., of customer's genes and the risks they imply, undercuts the value of insurance in a market that is free to use that information. Ideally, it destroys the very value of the product. This runs contrary to the foundations of market fundamentalism.

Besides, the argument is directed to the wonkish wing of a group that plans already the glory of wingéd lunar flight.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 at 03:39:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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