6 thoughts on “Neither socialism nor ‘compassionate conservatism’ help the poor. Free markets do”

  1. Posted 16/06/2017 at 08:53 | Permalink

    Surely it depends on which market. Health care for example has manifestly failed in America.

    The are many ways that markets can fail. A free market requires an informed buyer that will act in his or her best interests. It can be hard to be informed when it comes to health care, especially if you need to buy quickly. Also we see people will act against their best interests by factoring immediate cost against the not present now risks. “Save a little now, worry about the horrible painful death bit later. At the moment I’m alright.”.

  2. Posted 16/06/2017 at 13:39 | Permalink

    After Grenfell, you still believe profit seeking markets lead to the best outcomes for consumers? Shaving around a few thousand pounds (fire retardant vs non-retardant panels) off a £10m investment to squeeze additional flats in for more profit? You feel liberalised planning rules would help protect residents in future? Before you blame the fire on environmental regulation, just bear in mind the same insulation could have been provided but with fire retardant panels instead for a very low cost.

    You are on the wrong side of history, my friend.

  3. Posted 16/06/2017 at 17:55 | Permalink

    Beautifully written article, I am happy that educated people like you with a gift to explain things to broader audience still exist in this world where forgetting what brought prosperity and what diminished poverty is rather the norm than the rule. May all Conservative (and Labour/EU/socdem/Dem/Rep) politicians read this! Actually I wanted to write something similar in a different language for a different country but could not find the time yet.
    To Richard who commented before me: Sorry, what US has in health care, is not a free market. Free market requires free entry into industry causing a surge in competition driving prices down and quality up which is not the case there, by far. US health care example is actually so much in line with the costly housing issue Kristian describes here. The same issue – overregulation, not free market, causes US health care to be over over over priced even vs. other regulated half-markets. So no, this is not a good example of market failure, but rather of over-regulation failure.

  4. Posted 16/06/2017 at 18:07 | Permalink

    That ‘Conservative quote’ was pure Marxism. What the hell has happened to them?

  5. Posted 17/06/2017 at 17:49 | Permalink

    Kristian, you imply that housing affordability issues are mainly due to over regulation. But are these issues not actually a case of under regulation, or rather the wrong taxation?

    By radically lowering selling prices/rental incomes and increasing disposable incomes, a nice simple LVT would improve housing affordability by nearly a factor of four for typical UK households (including tenants). It would also reduce costs by allowing the market to rationalise our existing housing stock, eliminating excessive vacancy, under occupation and the tendency for sprawl.

    Loosening planning regulations won’t achieve anywhere near that improvement in affordability, and by adding to existing inefficiencies in our housing market will further increase costs.

    Lesson to be learned is that fair and efficient markets are not “free for all” markets.

    Your point about rents increasing prices is wrong. You might be surprised that in high rent London, consumer prices are the cheapest (other than embedded rents for locational goods like a hotel room, or a pint of lager in a pub). Rents are set incomes/profits at the margin of production ( I doubt planning is much of an issue for a super market on the outskirts of Hull).

  6. Posted 19/06/2017 at 04:29 | Permalink

    Economic liberalization is often associated with privatization, which is the process of transferring ownership or outsourcing of a business, enterprise, agency, public service or public property from the public sector to the private sector. Liberalized and privatized public services may be dominated by big companies, particularly in sectors with high capital, water, gas, or electricity costs.[citation needed] In some cases they may remain legal monopolies, at least for some segments of the market like consumers.

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