Are Market Forces Forces of Nature?

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Are Market Forces Forces of Nature?
Crockett, Member
Just slightly worried by the idea that the market is a force of nature which somehow naturally moves to the point of highest welfare.
Firstly, there is nothing natural about market forces beyond psychology (rather than physics or biology) and secondly, humanity has developed precisely because we have learnt to effectively intervene in the control of water, animal and crop husbandry, disease, sun light (electricity) amongst practically all examples of human development.
Those who say it is nature that the market should be allowed to be free from government control do not see a problem controlling the natural physical advantages that other stronger individuals may have who may want to steal their property.
Nature is not a rationale for markets!

The Nature Rationale for Markets
Don Shaughnessy, Member
Crockett is missing an important point. That is time. Someone who steals your stuff will not prosper in the long run. You can only do a few deals that way until no one will return your phone calls. The question becomes, "do short term government interventions, which have so far at least, created sub optimal markets, work better than natural markets that have long run efficiency and short term anomalies?'.

Markets are not Natural..
Crockett, Member
All markets have a degree of government intervention - for example to protect property rights. They are therefore not "natural" creations, but man made.
I just think the idea of talking about markets as if there are gravitational forces at work is bonkers! It is well known that they often overshoot. They are a combination of upward and downwards spirals, fed more by herd instincts than by any aggregated understanding of where equilibrium lies.
Markets are not "naturally" more efficient than areas where the government gets involved. Look at the American health system, the most “competitive” but also most expensive and lowest quality in the western world. The market in this case does not provide long term efficiency. There are numerous other examples of market failures.
We need to be innovative and think of appropriate solutions to these rather than the simplistic “markets are natural” belief. Expecting the market to solve our problems is like doing a rain dance rather than digging an irrigation ditch.

Market Forces and Creating Shared Value
R Hallagan, Member
Market forces cannot be controlled very easily and well-intended but misguided efforts to do so can have tragic effects on the local businesses/economies where such interference is contrived.
Although market forces (supply & demand) are about as predictable as the stock market, they can be and are affected by marketing, technology, innovation and education.
These are the best tools for making change, but they involve time, money and unpredictable results.
Which is why some like government intervention, which takes less time and money to impose, but inevitably have worse results and much higher costs after implementation because of poorly-thought out regulations, lack of understanding markets, unanticipated consequences and just plain hubris.


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