Markets in Everything?

A really dumb idea. Read why here.


  1. I agree that "Markets in Everything" is a really dumb idea if your idea of "everything" includes, say, slaves, or assassination contracts.

    But I don't find these examples to be so persuasive. For instance, what makes the "beauty" of an advertisement-free city intrinsically preferable to a less "beautiful" city with lots of ads? Sure, one must be sacrificed, to some extent, for the sake of the other. But this is no different from any other decision -- every choice involves some trade-off!

    And so what if money can't be made by resisting advertising -- money isn't the only motivator in life; psychic profit is a big motivator, too.

    1. "But this is no different from any other decision -- every choice involves some trade-off!"

      It sure does. And my choice is that we be a lot more ad free.

      That fact that Roepke is Swiss and these ideas prevailed there is probably why so much of the US looks likfe a garbage dump compared to Switzerland.

    2. If we are going to acknowledge that there is a psychic profit to be had by resisting advertising, can we say that there is a psychic profit from not being subjected to advertising that is stolen from us by advertisers?

    3. " For instance, what makes the "beauty" of an advertisement-free city intrinsically preferable to a less "beautiful" city with lots of ads?"

      By the way, Mike, I think we can objectively answer questions like this, but let's say we can't. Alright then, you run your "Lots of billboards" campaign, I run my "No billboards" campaign, and we'll see who gets more votes.

      I know! "The property owner should decide!"

      Well, I disagree. I don't believe that owning a piece of property means getting to impose whatever cost you want on others in the course of using that property.

      And we can either fight about that, or use the political process to mediate our views.

    4. Anonymous5:30 PM

      So, seeing ads is considered a cost? What do you intend to do with ugly people?

      "we'll see who gets more votes"

      Well, you could just as easily put up to vote the question of whether the state should financially support you or not (not you personally, just in the general sense), and I'm sure that the votes would tend toward the former. Just because you vote one way on an issue doesn't make it correct or even possible. In fact, I would say that voting more often than not renders reality a prisoner to impractical solutions

  2. What exactly did prevail in Switzerland?

    Heritage Foundation and Fraser Institute list Switzerland above US on their lists of economic freedom and World economic forum list Switzerland as most competitive country in the world, their federal government has less fiscal and overall powers...
    As illustration, has anyone ever heard term "Great Swiss statesman" in the last 100-150 years?

    1. And something else that prevailed in Switzerland? LOTS of environmental regulation -- which is what we should expect; Roepke was a market-friendly economist, but one who realized the market needing to be set within the proper social setting:

      "Switzerland has one of the best environmental records among nations in the developed world;[117] it was one of the countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol in 1998 and ratified it in 2003. With Mexico and the Republic of Korea it forms the Environmental Integrity Group (EIG).[118] The country is heavily active in recycling and anti-littering regulations and is one of the top recyclers in the world, with 66% to 96% of recyclable materials being recycled, depending on the area of the country.[119]

      "In many places in Switzerland, household garbage disposal is charged for. Garbage (except dangerous items, batteries etc.) is only collected if it is in bags which either have a payment sticker attached, or in official bags with the surcharge paid at the time of purchase.[120] This gives a financial incentive to recycle as much as possible, since recycling is free.[121] Illegal disposal of garbage is not tolerated but usually the enforcement of such laws is limited to violations that involve the unlawful disposal of larger volumes at traffic intersections and public areas. Fines for not paying the disposal fee range from CHF 200–500.[122]

      "Switzerland also has internationally the most efficient system to recycle old newspapers and cardboard materials. Publicly organized collection by volunteers and economical railway transport logistics started as early as 1865 under the leadership of the notable industrialist Hans Caspar Escher (Escher Wyss AG) when the first modern Swiss paper manufacturing plant was built in Biberist.[123]"


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