- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Supply and Demand (uh oh!)

Posted by: David ( USA ) on December 27, 1999 at 13:34:17:

In Reply to: That's right posted by Stoller on December 25, 1999 at 12:26:37:

: As I mentioned here, how many hours were needed in any field would be determined by society's needs. If the majority of people wanted a lot of toasters, for example, then there would be a lot of production hours needed to make toasters to everyone's satisfaction. On the other hand, if only a few people wanted toasters, then it would be a 'dying industry.' What this infers is that production itself should be decided along democratic lines (meaning the minority doesn't do without, they just simply have less work hours available to make whatever it is they wanted).

I don't know if you've dealt with the issue elsewhere, but whenever governments have tried to determine what is in "demand" and what is not, it has invariably failed. The reason for capitalisms success is that supply and demand are self-regulated by the markets. On a large scale, it is hard to determine who needs what. That was the problem with the soviet union, there may have been a surplus of cross-country skis but there wasn't enough bread. Or, there were enough socks, but not enough shoes. People deciding democratically what it is that they need is kind of like how we do it now. Except in the case of a free-market society, every dollar bill is like a voting ballot. If there is no supply for something but plenty of demand, than some entrepeneur starts to supply it. Works like a charm.

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