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| |-+  Economics (Moderator: ag)
| | |-+  Consumer Choice.
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Author Topic: Consumer Choice.  (Read 451 times)
CelticHoosier1993
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« on: February 15, 2012, 12:00:47 pm »
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I describe myself as a free-market socialist, and I believe in consumer choice. If someone wants to shoot up heroin and wants to buy it legally, I say let them. We should be allowed to take our own risks. Any thoughts on the subject?
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Gustaf
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2012, 12:34:15 pm »
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Do you think a heroin addict's actions to get more heroin can be accurately described as free?
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2012, 12:36:25 pm »
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Do you think a heroin addict's actions to get more heroin can be accurately described as free?

The same could be said of the poor's actions  to get food.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 12:37:59 pm »
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Do you think a heroin addict's actions to get more heroin can be accurately described as free?

The same could be said of the poor's actions  to get food.

Ok, that was actually a bit amusing. Well done.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 01:13:38 pm by Gustaf »Logged

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ag
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2012, 12:59:14 pm »

Do you think a heroin addict's actions to get more heroin can be accurately described as free?

The same could be said of the poor's actions  to get food.

Your Lordship suggests that the poor should be weaned off food? This has been done, you know. They've almost managed to train them to live without food. They would have surely succeeded, if those damn poor weren't dying at such a high rate.
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Redalgo
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2012, 01:08:33 pm »
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I think consumer choice is a wonderful thing, but in my opinion it has three major limitations:

1. Consumers lack the resources and mental faculties required to make perfectly rational decisions.
2. Consumers who utilize goods and services in a reckless manner threaten to harm fellow people.
3. Consumers' pursuits of self interest may very easily come into conflict with those of communities.

Whether markets are capitalist or socialist, I think a regulatory (albeit flawed) role for state is vital.
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Politico
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2012, 07:00:15 pm »
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I describe myself as a free-market socialist

What the hell is a "free-market socialist"? It sounds about as nonsensical as being a "freedom-loving fascist."
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2012, 07:02:05 pm »
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I think consumer choice is a wonderful thing, but in my opinion it has three major limitations:

1. Consumers lack the resources and mental faculties required to make perfectly rational decisions.

1. Speak for yourself.

Quote
2. Consumers who utilize goods and services in a reckless manner threaten to harm fellow people.

2. Speak for yourself.

Quote
3. Consumers' pursuits of self interest may very easily come into conflict with those of communities.

3. Speak for yourself.
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Redalgo
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2012, 08:33:31 pm »
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Yes, I did... and then for others in acknowledgment of the fallibility of human beings. Maybe you misread something, or consider it as less of a problem, but so far as I can tell I really didn't type anything controversial - especially since I am not advocating a command economy or arguing for the rejection of a market economy here.
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LastVoter
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2012, 09:42:53 pm »
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I think consumer choice is a wonderful thing, but in my opinion it has three major limitations:

1. Consumers lack the resources and mental faculties required to make perfectly rational decisions.

1. Speak for yourself.

Quote
2. Consumers who utilize goods and services in a reckless manner threaten to harm fellow people.

2. Speak for yourself.

Quote
3. Consumers' pursuits of self interest may very easily come into conflict with those of communities.

3. Speak for yourself.
Speak for yourself.
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Politico
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2012, 09:53:17 pm »
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Yes, I did... and then for others in acknowledgment of the fallibility of human beings. Maybe you misread something, or consider it as less of a problem, but so far as I can tell I really didn't type anything controversial - especially since I am not advocating a command economy or arguing for the rejection of a market economy here.

Most consumers are a lot smarter and less harmful than you give them credit for. I would rather have millions/billions of individual consumers being the ultimate driving force of economic activity rather than a select few individuals in government. Whether or not you realize it, your ideas (hell, propaganda) about consumers promotes a pro-government/anti-free enterprise agenda.
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Redalgo
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2012, 12:47:30 am »
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With respect, the point is not that consumers are dumb and dangerous. They are simply flawed economic actors, which I feel warrants saying. I seldom see it acknowledged when discussing political economy with people. Public officials suffer from limitations of their own that are no less serious and guarantee that the policy-making process is riddled with imperfections, as well. We really have to make do with what we have got. That is not propaganda - merely an observation. Using a handful of sentences to decide what I give a group of people credit for is presumptuous.

I am pro-government. The state is useful as a tool for moderating social conflict and upholding social rights. This tool is not useful for everything but that does not mean we need to throw it away or be afraid of using it in a limited capacity. I do not think an industry has to be privately owned and thoroughly deregulated to function well for the benefit of the individual and society alike. If that makes me anti-free enterprise, then so what? One can express some criticism of consumers and still place a moderate measure of trust in them and fancy markets, you know. :p
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 01:01:31 am by Redalgo »Logged

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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2012, 12:49:04 am »
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I describe myself as a free-market socialist

What the hell is a "free-market socialist"? It sounds about as nonsensical as being a "freedom-loving fascist."

I would take it as meaning a socialist who does not advocate a command economy.  The root concept of socialism is that the means of production is controlled by other than capitalists.  It doesn't mean government control per se.  Say for example that GM, Ford, and Chrysler were all placed under the control of their workers.  Then under free-market socialism, each company would be free to make its own decisions as to what to produce and what to sell it for.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2012, 04:53:00 am »
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That consumers are not perfectly rational economic agents is a well-documented empirical fact.

And, of course, markets in general are far from perfect. I believe that we do need the government to overcome information asymmetries for example.

What many on the left often miss though is that we don't necessarily need everyone to be perfectly rational in order to have a functioning market. Aggregate long-term outcomes may still be good enough.
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opebo
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2012, 07:01:49 am »
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Do you think a heroin addict's actions to get more heroin can be accurately described as free?

The same could be said of the poor's actions  to get food.

Your Lordship suggests that the poor should be weaned off food? This has been done, you know. They've almost managed to train them to live without food. They would have surely succeeded, if those damn poor weren't dying at such a high rate.

Nothing about my post suggested that.  The point is the poor are lacking in 'freedom' (power).
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