Free Markets & Socialism: An Alternative View

Transitioning from socialism to pragmatic, technological solutions.
commentary by Tony Cartalucci

Building things, making things, technological and scientific
progress moves forward the frontier of human knowledge
and makes all that follows in its wake more accessible and
affordable to the average person.

Bangkok, Thailand April 29, 2011 - Why is medical care subsidized by insurance schemes and socialism? The answer is quite obvious in that medical care requires highly trained practitioners and state-of-the-art technology to provide the absolute best care. Such trained practitioners and technology is of limited supply, in great demand and thus incredibly expensive to procure for the average person without financial assistance, be it from insurance schemes or socialist handouts.

However, perpetually subsidizing medical care will never address the underlying cause of its scarcity and in turn, its incredible price. Subsidizing is also unsustainable economically. It requires rationing and difficult "moral" decisions to be made regarding who receives what treatment. Such scenarios belittle both human dignity and the full potential of humanity in general.

Of course no one could seriously suggest people deserve to be denied medical care for the simple fact that they cannot afford it. The sad reality is that many people do not receive the best treatment available, subsidized or not, because neither they nor the state can afford it. So what is the answer? When is it ok to subsidize political solutions and what can be done to find permanent, pragmatic, technical solutions?

The answer is quite simple - perhaps so simple, especially when divorced from political ideology, it eludes understanding in today's political arena. Socialist handouts are tools. Like any tool they are only as good as the people using them. While the intentions of socialist medicine, welfare, education and so on seem noble, in reality they are primarily used by self-serving crooked politicians as bribes handed out in exchange for the voting public's servile dependency on a particular political agenda. Generations of voting blocs have been created using socialist handouts in just this fashion. Pragmatic solutions are never seriously pursued because pragmatic, permanent solutions - while alleviating entirely any particular social problem - would undermine the real purpose of the handouts, namely, building a dependent, servile voting bloc.

However, let us imagine socialist handouts for a particular social problem such as medical care applied in the context of a temporary stop-gap measure. While people are subsidized for care, the commitments are temporary and voluntary only to prevent people from dying without proper treatment. Meanwhile, investments are put into education and biomedical technology with specific benchmarks and time frames in mind. Simultaneously, barriers such as crippling "intellectual property rights" and monopolizing business practices are eliminated to allow real competition to flourish.

By increasing the supply of trained practitioners and biomedical engineers through improved education, and advancing biomedical technology past current levels of precarious scarcity the price for medical care will drop accordingly. With monopolies eliminated, real progress can be effected. If a particular company has a viable, affordable treatment for cancer, no established monopoly will be able to lobby Washington to regulate it out of business to protect their particular racket. Similar solutions could also easily be applied to the inadequate, antiquated, parasitic oil and car industries as well.

We should look around society today and take stock in industries and commodities we take for granted. We do not kill one another over the last chicken leg or leaf of lettuce nor do many people go without basic food. This is not because we have mastered subsidizing socialist handouts to feed our populations, rather we have developed agricultural technology that allows us to create an affordable market nearly anyone can benefit from under normal circumstances.

Likewise, medical technology and other essential industries can and must be advanced to where the market price is affordable to all. This will not happen with socialist handouts or monopolizing regulations in place. It will happen with improved education and healthy competition within the markets, where the only protection given is the rights of entrepreneurs big and small to pursue their trade without being hindered by monopolistic practices. In the meantime, it is sensible to transition away from total, permanent (and pandering) socialist solutions and move toward temporary stop-gaps until this is achieved.

Real, technical education in engineering, design, medicine, and other physical, world shaping trades should be re-prioritized over the degenerate fixation the West has for "administration" and "service sector" occupations. Economies still performing during the current economic depression including Germany, South Korea, and other nations that ply in real industry are proof of the merits of this argument. Engineering, design, and science is what advances the frontiers of human knowledge and makes all that follows in its wake more accessible and affordable to the average person.

Of course, another essential aspect of a fully functioning free market is a well informed consumer base. Without an informed consumer base, monopolistic regulations are easily put and kept in place. Failed business models can perpetually stay in business no matter how horrendously and consistently they fail their consumer base. The entwined relationship between big business and government is allowed to grow unchecked, perpetually to the detriment of the average person.

We can begin today to rectify this problem and begin our journey toward a more promising future by first turning off the crass entertainment that has intentionally lulled us into the ignorant, uninformed stupor within which these corporations operate with impunity. We can instead use our time to teach ourselves in areas where our public education has failed us and reignite our interest in shaping the world rather than watching it pass us by on the sofa. We need not wait for this paradigm to shift nationally. We can begin shifting it locally amongst proactive groups of vigilant, ambitious citizens. In many cases, such as organic farming and home school education, this is already being done. Ultimately if we want change, we must take the responsibility upon ourselves to make it happen pragmatically, not politically.