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Well, I'm new here and of course, I have some questions. (I've only just begun the 3rd part of 'Atlas Shrugged') First, in an ideal society how is the free market regulated? Hypothetical Situation : Suppose there is great demand for a commodity that has not yet been invented but is being actively researched. One team finds the answer (while others are close), patents the product and sets an exorbitant price for it as well. Now the problem is, is it ethical for them to do so? They would get a lot of money but do they deserve it? Even though they worked for it, aren't they making more than should have? (I have the same questions regarding the patenting of 'Rearden Metal'. Sure, he should have been the only person collecting money for it in the beginning, but after he received a specific sum for his achievents, the patent should have expired [it seemed Rearden had no intention of it]). In such a case, where competition is effectively eliminated, how is money regulated? When patents are absent the situation gets worse, the original inventor would get little or no money. (Basically how is the money value for work determined?) Secondly, from the point of view of an objectivist, it is our 'need' that the rest of the society functions according to our moral code (because an individual cannot make any money in a rogue society by just means and would probably not survive if he follows his own ideals). So we 'need' others to change as per our requirement. So this would mean we are holding others based on our needs, aren't we? (I know I am wrong but I dont know how to put it) Also how do we change others anyway?
I posted the following question to http://www.peikoff.com/ Q&A section. I would like to hear from you guys too. so here is my question: -------------------- Stock market and ethics: Market makers hunt for stop loss orders shaking weak holders out from a profitable position. Big institutional investors often artificially mark up or mark down prices just before a big price move in opposite direction. What do you think about the above behavior? If at all I make any profits, I think that's going to come from exploiting the above behavior, will that make me an immoral predator? How would an objectivistic trader behave in such a zero sum game with deception as one of the tactics!? Losers pay the winners in this game, does that justify deception of above type!? ----------------- Thanks for reading this!