"In the market economy the only way left to the more gifted individuals to take advantage of their superior abilities is to get the masses to believe you are serving them, which might be done by actually serving them, or, alternatively, say, by marketing an addictive product to them and getting them hooked on it."
I wonder how you can stand by your statement, Gene Callahan.
I guess it all depends on your definition of the market economy. My question to you and to others who are critical of the market economy is why stop at the midpoint?
If you understand the implications of a market economy then you understand that information flows at its optimal for each specific time in history. As information flows at its optimum civilization advances and the ethics changes.
Sure you can pick a time along that continuum (when the market economy is distorted by interventionism) and say that addicitive goods are produced and consumed but to use that as a criticism of the market economy is erroneous. The flaw is not in the market economy but rather it is in the character of the individuals at that specific time in history (and it is not unrelated to the corruption of the flow of knowledge caused by interventionism).
Carry that forward in time - when the ethics changes - and then you will see that those playthings will be seen and regarded as silly and even ridiculous. In the future there will still be a market economy (imperfect but relatively more perfect) but without the barbarism of an earlier, less developed civilization.
In other words, it is improper to blame the market economy.
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