Ms. Orr gets dreadfully confused about capitalism and markets here and you can see a nice little Marxist assumption rearing its ugly head:
Capitalism, unregulated, is a beast that eats itself, killing the impulse that creates it. Competition is healthy until an undisputed, unbeatable winner emerges. Then the game is over, and monopoly dictates. How anyone can find this assertion controversial, in the light of the recent financial collapse, is the only real mystery.
Yup, it\’s that capitalism tends to monopoly argument.
Which, as we\’ve said before, is how the capitalists might like it to be. Any and every capitalist worth his salt would desire to be a monopolist, absolutely true. But we have a way of stopping that happening:
Again, neo-liberals \”believe in\” cuts, pretty much always, because they believe in a small state that can\’t interfere with the market-God.
That\’s where the confusion over capitalism and markets will get you. We \”neo-liberals\” don\’t set up altars and sacrifice virgins to the market (maidens being in such short supply that we couldn\’t anyway). Rather, we simply acknowledge that the market, through the creation and maintenance of competition, is the way to tame the monopolistic impulses of the capitalists.
And, please, note very well, there is absolutely a place for the State in this. Maintaining the space for that competition to exist.
Which is why we rage and shout about much of the regulation that is poured into that market space: we\’re convinced (on the basis of some pretty strong logic and empirical evidence as well) that much of it serves not to open up that space but to close it down.
When only large companies can afford the barracks full of form fillers required by the regulators then only large companies will exist, trending us towards that monopoly and stifling that competition which we need to counter it.
We absolutely do not worswhip either markets or capitalism: but we do insist that it is markets which manage to tame capitalism.
Why in buggery do you think we scream about the awfulness of the Soviet economy? No, it\’s bugger all to do with the fact that the State owned it, leaving no room for capitalists to wax greasily rich. It\’s because there were no markets to stop the monopolist screwing over the consumers.