Stupidity of free markets

This post is a slight, but important, detour from my usual posts about startups. Today, I watched the documentary Zeitgeist: moving forward. Even though I may not fully agree with the proposed solution, the problems and current flaws of free markets are very real and left a deep impression on me. If you care about the world, do watch the movie once. Here’s what the movie proposes:

Abolishment of money. Collapse of mindless consumption and materialism. End of profit-maximization at nature’s expense.

We humans are too narrow minded to comprehend the fact that the current system isn’t sustainable. The false hope that free markets will eventually take care of us all is a myth. Have they taken care of hungry, dying children in Africa? Have they taken care of species on brink of extinction? Do they really believe Earth’s resources and oil is endless?


But free markets are getting bailed out. Trillions of dollars spent on bailing them out can be spent curing poverty and hunger, but who will do that? Government officials take a narrow view of their 4 or 5 year term.

Who will think ahead and see if the current system of free-markets, consumption and wastage is sustainable till, say, 2050? If we don’t act today to stop the stupidity, who will?

Sadly, there may not be a tomorrow if we don’t act.


  1. It is true that corporate interests are often short-sighted and greedy. But it doesn’t mean that people being free to buy and sell what they like, with who they want (a free market) is bad.

    It is wrong that corporations are getting bailed out in the US with a trillion dollars–but that is not a free market thing to do, that is welfare for rich people. These corporations should be allowed to fail, and new corporations allowed to fill their void. When the government bails them out, they are violating the very concept of a free market.

    Now, have free markets fed the starving in Africa? Well, do African nations have free markets? Take Ethiopia for example, a poverty stricken nation where your picture probably came from. In Ehtiopia, corporations own nothing. Instead, the government owns all the land and leases it to the people. The government owns the means of production, that is socialism. Entrepreneurs can’t exist. People can’t buy and sell as they please. There is no innovation, and everyone is starving. The government owns everything.

    You should amend your statement. Free markets are just that: free. Free to fail, free to succeed, but free nonetheless. When governments bail out rich people, that is not a free market. That is wealth redistribution from the middle class tax payer to corporate fat cats.

    If we gave the people of Ethiopia a trillion dollars it would amount to $11,000 per person. This would last for a little while, then peter out, and things would be exactly the same.

    If you feel bad about the poor, then help the poor. Don’t sit around voting for people to take money from other people and send it to poor people.

  2. I agree with the previous comment (Afrend). I have very mixed feelings about the Zeitgeist series. In the end, I think they’re more misguiding than enlightening, and they achieve nothing other than to perpetuate fear.

    The fundamental truth is that there isn’t anything wrong in the world today. It just is (and given it’s history, it can be no other way). There is also ultimate justice in the world. Everyone is RIGHT where they deserve to be (read this again). There is good in the world (ENORMOUS amounts of good), and there is bad. There is money in the world (ENORMOUS amounts of money!) and there is poverty. And the gap between these two extremes will only ever grow bigger. And it is NOT your job to change any of this (nor can you ever). It is the natural order of things in our universe, for we live in a universe of diversity. A universe of contrast. Ever-growing contrast. And you just have to realize that BALANCE is in the CONTRAST, and it is good.

    Now the only question, the only thing that ever matters, is: What do YOU choose to focus on?

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