Friday, June 24, 2016

Free Trade v. One Market

A few years back I began a series of articles on economics.

One of the themes I wanted to explore was the difference between two closely related ideas: free trade and the concept of one world market.

Free trade simply means that countries place few restrictions on trade and people can freely trade with people beyond the local market.

The one market concept involves a group of countries attempting to develop their economy as a single market.

Free trade tends to enhance the well being of the people at large because free trade expands opportunity and brings more goods to local market.

The one market concept, however, can have devastating effects on the people. This is especially true when that one market is developed as a centrally controlled market.

What happens in a single market is that a few huge companies can come to dominate the one market pushing the people at large into a subservient position.

The EU was developed as one market. The Bureaucrats in Brussels were creating regulations that favored politically powerful interests at great cost to the people at large. The predictable effects of the EU was a great concentration of wealth at a cost to the people at large.

The concepts of Free Trade and One Market are not opposites of each other. The difference between "Free Trade" and "One Market" is a matter of perspective.

In free trade one has a huge number of small autonomous entities seeking to maximize the return of their interest.

The One Market concept has a small number of billionaires seeking to create a dominate position in the one market.

The European Economic Union was originally sold as though it would create a huge free trade zone.

What happened instead was that ruling class and bureaucrats in Brussels began developing the EU as if it were one market.

While the ruling elite prospered under the EU, the people at large felt disenfranchised and saw their economic condition diminish under the new ruling regime.

Now, I am stuck here in Utah with no resources. But it would be fun to create an actual academic study that fully developed the distinction between "free markets" and unified markets.

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