EconoMinute: Election as a Weapon of Mass Distraction


Showing 4 comments

  • commented 2016-11-20 10:55:13 -0500
    If you read what I wrote you will see that I want real competition, with many parties, not just three or four. To use the economic example, real competition would not come from just creating a new start-up corporation to compete with, say Comcast. It would require a changing of the rules to allow any such start-up to compete on an equal basis with Comcast.

    One more little party with no chance of ever winning is not a solution; it is more like a placebo. We need to change our electoral rules to allow more parties a real chance to take power. We don’t have that now and the root of that problem is our continued use of plurality voting – a voting system that makes new parties and independent candidates suffer from the spoiler effect and which also severely penalizes relatively unknown candidates.

    By the way, Adam Smith did recognize the problem inherent in in Capitalism that capitalists (not a word that was used at that time) would be able to collude and use there economic power to eliminate competition. He devoted considerable space in his writing to examples of this phenomena and to suggestions for dealing with this danger.
  • commented 2016-11-20 08:30:47 -0500
    And if you believe in competition, why would you support a monopoly of parties rather than a competition of parties? How about a competition of ideologies? We don’t want a monopoly in ANYTHING – not in corporations, not in economics, not in parties, not in opinions. Right now 3rd parties are squashed. And if you open up in your own mind various ways of looking at things you might consider that cooperation has its place just as competition does. Also consider that competition can be good or bad depending on the intention. If the intention is to overpower the competition so that you can then exploit the customer that is a very different idea than being motivated by wanting to be able to serve the customer the best you possibly can for the sake of the customer.

    Adam Smith was just a person. He did not foresee the incredibly ability for centralization and monopolization we have today. And of course there are other competing voices and opinions. They all have their place on the table. Or at least should have.
  • commented 2016-11-20 08:21:11 -0500
    Worker coops can of course compete against each other. It’s not either/or.
  • commented 2016-11-19 10:43:05 -0500
    I disagree with the idea of creating a new party.

    That is much like saying that the problem with our economy can be solved by creating one new corporation. That just won’t solve anything even if the party or the corporation is wildly successful and succeeds in supplanting one of the existing parties or corporations. What would that solve.

    Competition is a good thing and we need more of it. Traditional capitalism as described by Adam Smith appreciated the need for free competition and that was the basis of a free market – not freedom from government but freedom to compete. But capitalists hate competition and try their best to eliminate it. Politicians likewise hate competition and do their best to eliminate it. And those are forces that militate against a successful democracy and against a free market.

    What is needed in both instances is more competition. Let’s have worker coops grow and compete against the existing powerful corporations but let us be careful not to forestall some even better alternative model that compete with worker coops.

    Likewise, we don’t just need some new party to replace one of the major parties we now have, what we need is a true multiple-party system that will give voters more options on election day than they have now. Take a look at to see some ideas about how this might be accomplished.
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