Friday, March 28, 2014

The Beneficial Consequences Of Consumer Choice

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Reply to reply: Is This Forum A Market?

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"Representative democracy" has zero to do with markets. It can't be turned into a command economy, because it's not a fucking economy. There's no trade involve, merely free distribution. It's no more a market than throwing things out of a window is. - Salandriagado
Representative democracy is where impersonal shoppers choose which items are placed in your shopping cart. For all intents and purposes it is a command economy.
I'm not giving you time. I am choosing to spend my time throwing my opinions around the internet. - Salandriagado
Of course you're giving me time. You're clearly allocating your time to this product that I created.
There is no trade involved, no exclusivity. This is no more a market than walking around outside shouting my opinions is. - Salandriagado
I agree that walking around shouting your opinions is not a market...any more than a song is a market. Products aren't markets.

If you walk around outside shouting your opinions...and people can choose to spend their time listening to your sermon on the mount...then it's a market.

If the sidewalk is full of street performers...and you can choose which performances you spend your time/money consuming...then it's a market.

If the bar is full of single ladies...and you can choose which ladies you spend your time chatting up...then it's a market.

If the class is full of students...and you can choose which students you spend your time studying with...then it's a market.

If the forum is full of threads...and you can choose which threads you spend your time replying to...then it's a market.

All forums, without exception, are markets. Why is that? Not a single person has attempted to answer this extremely straightforward question.

Consumer choice has logical and extremely beneficial consequences. Something happens to the supply of goods...

Variety? Skyrocket
Quality? Skyrocket
Cost? Plummet

If you eliminate consumer choice...then what do you think happens to the supply?

Variety? Plummet
Quality? Plummet
Cost? Skyrocket

If kids couldn't choose which candies they spent their money on...then what do you think would happen to the supply of candies?

Variety? Plummet
Quality? Plummet
Cost? Skyrocket

Right now consumers can't choose which public goods they spend their money on. But if they could...what would happen to the supply of public goods?

Variety? Skyrocket
Quality? Skyrocket
Cost? Plummet

The increase of demand, besides, though in the beginning it may sometimes raise the price of goods, never fails to lower it in the run. It encourages production, and thereby increases the competition of the producers, who, in order to undersell one another, have recourse to new divisions of labour and new improvements of art which might never otherwise have been thought of. The miserable effects of which the company complained were the cheapness of consumption and the encouragement given to production, precisely the two effects which it is the great business of political œconomy to promote. - Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

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