CMV: Social democracy (regulated capitalism with strong safety nets) is superior to socialism (social ownership and democratic control over the means of production)

Thanks for the comment, but I wanted to clarify a few things. So I'm saying that market forces in general are effective, and it's best to leave most things to the private sector. However, when left to their own devices, markets will fail to allocate the optimal amount of goods and services in a market. These are called market failures, and they often necessitate government intervention to improve the outcome in the market. The free-market cannot provide an effective national defense, for example. So the government has to provide that. Similarly, it has been shown that government is more efficient at providing healthcare than the private sector (due to overhead costs, competition, advertising, etc. among private health insurance providers).

The minimum wage is a complicated case: you are correct in that it hinders the efficiency of market forces when markets are competitive. But in cases where there is only one employer in an area, or only a few employers (monopsony and oligopsony respectively), then the minimum wage can actually improve efficiency by preventing employers from artificially reducing wages and employment.

There are many government interventions that enhance the free market: interventions such as infrastructure spending, spending on education, anti-trust policies to encourage competition, public-private partnerships, cap-and-trade policies (to enable sustainable growth), a legal system to defend property rights, and other market institutions.

Basically, you can have freer markets with more governmental rules. We need to transcend the basic mindset that government intervention and capitalism are mutually exclusive.

But it is definitely true that government intervention can be bad, and can lead to sub-optimal outcomes. You brought up industry subsidies, bailouts, etc., as examples of crony capitalism. There's also the case of how means-tested welfare can reduce incentives for work, which is why I prefer a system of basic income. But it's not true that government is inherently inefficient, and that the private sector is inherently more efficient. We need to look at it on a case by case basis: markets do some things better, and governments do some things better, and markets and governments can have a symbiotic relationship.

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