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Market Place

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CHAPTER 13

Making Markets Work
Ceaseless market vigilance — How cheap a future — The myth of free markets — Skewed markets mean lost capital — Fiddling with the switches — An ordered arrangement of wastebaskets — “Satisficing” — When regulation fails — Golden carrots — Plain vanilla motors — Making a market in nega-resources — Alternative annual report C H U R C H I L L O N C E R E M A R K E D T H AT D E M O C R A C Y I S T H E W O R S T S Y S T E M O F

government — except for all the rest. The same might be said of the market economy. Markets are extremely good at what they do, harnessing such potent motives as greed and envy — indeed, Lewis Mumford said, all the Seven Deadly Sins except sloth. Markets are so successful that they are often the vehicle for runaway, indiscriminate growth, including the growth that degrades natural capital.
A common response to the misuse, abuse, or misdirection of market forces is to call for a retreat from capitalism and a return to heavyhanded regulation. But in addressing these problems, natural capitalism does not aim to discard market economics, nor reject its valid and important principles or its powerful mechanisms. It does suggest that we should vigorously employ markets for their proper purpose as a tool for solving the problems we face, while better understanding markets’ boundaries and limitations.
Democracies require ceaseless political vigilance and informed citizenship to prevent them from being subverted or distorted by those who wish to turn them to other ends. Markets, too, demand a comparable degree of responsible citizenship to keep them functioning properly despite those who would benefit…...

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