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Published: Saturday, 8/23/2008

Free market is not the whole picture

A July 20 letter writer claimed morality as a virtue of the free market.

Reviewing my college economics text, although I could not find morality mentioned anywhere, I did find the following: "the market therefore guides firms to make efficient use of society's resources. However, the market [does] a rather poor job of distributing income in accord with commonly held notions of fairness and equality."

Efficiency, fairness, equality. It seems to me that the last two are more synonymous with "morality" in our society, the absence of them being cited as drawbacks of the free market, not as virtues.

The above looks at the free market in the theoretical, ideal sense. One might get the impression from the July 20 letter writer and others that we live in pure capitalism, a pure meritocracy that distributes wealth to each according to his/her qualifications and hard work. While this is the case a lot of the time, it is often not the case. Of hundreds of people I've talked with over the years, some honestly admitted this. Some even admitted that, in their own case, who they were related to or connected with was a big factor in their eventual economic status.

An economic system is a means to an end, not an end in itself. I advocate the economic system that helps people's lives. The free market certainly is a large portion of that picture, but cannot be the entire picture.

Paul Chad

Bowling Green

There is politics in most businesses because of the 30-plus lobbyists per congressman in Washington and others in state government.

There are many businesses that earn more on their percentage of investments than oil companies. Oil companies now pay more than twice as much in taxes to the federal government, state, and local governments as they earn in profits.

We have got to drill wherever there is oil or gas to give us the next 10 years to develop other sources of energy. Reduce the speed limit to 60 mph on interstate highways and get better fuel mileage on cars and trucks.

Robert Schuster

Elmore

A couple of years ago I listened to economists, politicians, and developers saying that the economy was so strong that $4 a gallon for gas wouldn't hurt it. One senator said we needed a 50-cent tax on it.

I thought to myself, I'll give it a little over a year to see how bad it gets. Surprise. In my 84 years, other than the Great Depression, I have never seen it this bad.

With the presidential elections coming up, I predict gasoline to be in the high $2-per-gallon mark and 20,000 troops to be brought home, supposedly for the holidays. Let's see what happens.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said there would come a day of the rich and the poor. What a smart woman she was.

Glenn Reamsnyder

Williston

The Aug. 10 story in The Blade about "New Urbanism" draws the conclusion that Toledo's downtown may be on the path to revitalization because of gas prices.

The story doesn't take into account the criminally stupid city government we have in this town. If our government isn't trying to ram some stupid tax down our throats (COSI, for example), then it's throwing money away on things that don't work, such as the Erie Street Market.

Perrysburg doesn't build outlandish boondoggle buildings in the hopes of drawing new business.

I myself prefer new suburbanism.

Jake Lydey

Beechway Boulevard

Indian Trust-Fund Larceny: Once again the blood of my people is spilled across the land.

RON TALLOAK EVERETTMaumee



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