Re: [OPE] free competition

From: Alejandro Agafonow <>
Date: Sat Apr 16 2011 - 22:22:47 EDT

Jerry, I am surprised that you find in my resort to “non-market-based, non-competitive-based dynamics” to support the market a reason to reject my argument. It is not a secret that market socialists stand for mixed economic systems. But what about the lack of “market-based, competitive-based dynamics” in your support of State driven resource allocation? Well, we know the sad consequences of such experiments but you persist in denying them. It would be nice to see you addressing the disastrous outcomes of such a path of development. It would give the impression that you are not advocating an ideological position just out of stubbornness. A. Agafonow ________________________________ De: GERALD LEVY <> Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <> Enviado: lun,11 abril, 2011 21:24 Asunto: Re: [OPE] free competition > Jerry: “Is it good for workers that there is competition in the market > for labour-power? No, this competition exerts a downward pressure on > wages.” > A. Agafonow: If there is any market where differentiation hinders > competition, it is labor market. This downward pressure is due to an > increase of population and automation of production. That would be the case for some types of structural unemployment, Alejandro, but not cyclical unemployment. The latter is a consequence of the *business* cycle which, as you know, is associated both historically and theoretically with capitalism. > Jerry: “Is it good when there is competition among potential tenants > for working-class housing? No, it tends to drive up rents.” > A. Agafonow: Provided that there is not enough investment in housing… > How competition drives wages down while driving rents up? Why is that puzzling? If the demand for labour-power is less than the supply of labour-power then that exerts a downward pressure on wages, ceteris paribus; if the demand for working-class housing is greater than the supply of working-class housing, then that exerts an upward pressure on rents, ceteris paribus. This doesn't mean that the two events are synchronized, however: the downward pressure on wages tends to occur during a slump and rising rents tend to occur in regions when the growth of the population exceeds the supply of housing and the growth rate of its stock (this can occur because of the very same mechanism which creates structural unemployment in some areas and reduces it in others). > If we guarantee enough > funds going to social housing, we will not have hiking rents and the > market will guarantee that the working-class get what they want in > terms of location and design. Again, without market you will have to > condemn people to live in neighborhoods that they don’t like. The creation of public housing (which I guess is what you mean by social housing) is a non-market-based, non-competitive-based dynamic, just like the provision of a 'basic income' to people substitutes a cooperative, solidaristic ethic for the ethic of the marketplace. It is the market which condemns the overwhelming majority of people in the world to live in neighborhoods they don't like - it condemns them to live in hoods they can afford rather than the areas they prefer. > Jerry: Is it good for the hungry that there is competition for food? > No, it drives up food prices and means that only the hungry who can > afford the food can obtain it through the > market.> > A. Agafonow: Earth overpopulation What over-population? Over-population in reference to what? Are you referring to Marx's relative surplus population or are you referring to the banal Malthusian concept? > is partly due to historically low > price of food. Cases of famine like in Burkina Faso are partly because > of the lack of market at all, not only “free” or “regulated” markets. Actually, people don't starve to death because of a lack of food. They starve to death because of a lack of *money*. Evidence of this is to be found in the fact that in every case in modern history the wealthy never starved to death. Only the poor die of starvation - and that is related to market activities, including the market for labour-power. > Competition > provides for commutative justice, which is essentially good. Competition is just if you think that survival of the fittest and ruthlessness (you do whatever you need to do to win the competition) is just. I guess the Mafia would agree with that. In solidarity, Jerry _______________________________________________ ope mailing list

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