By: Thomas Lee Abshier
The Free Market Economy self-organizes a prosperous mutually beneficial system by simply allowing the individuals comprising the society (people and corporations) to maximize their pleasure and minimize their pain. Allowing individual self-determination has proven the most successful model to create a prosperous economy.
The Republican philosophy of government has embraced allowing the market to regulate itself.
Adam Smith’s invisible hand has proven to produce the most prosperous nation on earth
The reason for this exceptional success is probably multifactorial
A market which allows personal effort to produce personal reward results in a sense of control, power, and security.
The human heart has unlimited wants. Some feel that drive more than others. Those driven by the desire for more wealth can engage and satisfy that desire in the market.
The Free Market may be self-correcting in the long term, but it does not inherently fine-tune itself. But, if the market is properly directed toward ecologically sound and progressive technology then the market needs little regulation.
However, if unregulated by righteous law, the market may engage in excessive self-interest.
The pure economic competition and profit motivation can result in industry/business engaging in practices with damaging cumulative effects.
Such practices include pollution, monopoly, and marketing low quality or dangerous products.
These behaviors are the economic/social equivalents of disease states.
Proper regulation of economic business practices by government levels the playing field so that unfair advantage is not given to a corporation willing to take the road of deception and collateral damage (e.g. environmental).
The requirement to deliver short-term profitability may limit the ability of the corporate world to address long-term threats such as global warming and depletion of resources. Thus, governmental oversight, regulation, and enforcement may be required to curb the appetites and conduct of the corporate world.
Corporations may not switch to a new technology (that makes their installed production base obsolete) while still heavily invested in a current technology. They may desire to continue business as usual, capitalizing on their market share. They may wish to fully depreciate their investment in an established technology and/or natural resources before transitioning into a new technology. Profitability is far more certain while engaging in an established market rather than attempting to penetrate and survive in a new, less proven market.
In other words, without the wisdom and far-reaching vision of an organizing directive, an economically protected social system can delay implementing new technologies. Therefore, I believe it is necessary for the government to take the lead in directing resources and effort into developing inexpensive, reliable, and plentiful utilization of solar, wind, biomass energy generation systems; hydrogen-fuel cell transportation systems; and solar/geothermal/electrical desalinization technology.
When the technology has matured sufficiently, industry may begin to implement these technologies. Tax incentives may be necessary to nourish and encourage these fledgling industries.
Full implementation of this technology may take many years due to the scope of the infrastructure installation required to produce a fully functioning hydrogen-fuel cell-based transportation sector.