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Hasn't the free market failed

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Akosiwa
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I just know that all wealthy people aren't the most productive like most of you claim on this forum(And yes there is evidence of this). People don't hate the rich they just know that the rich will be alright(Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian etc.) while others have to struggle and work two jobs even just to make ends meat.

No one claimed everyone who is rich produced their wealth themselves. (Although Paris Hilton is a bad example: she is yet to inherit what's left of her great graandfather's fortune, and she is earning money herself-sure, it's partly from getting paid for going to a party or having sex on tape, but that still is wealth she herself produced, and is therefore perfectly entitled to)

The point is wealth is produced by somebody, it doesn't fall from the sky. If you have wealth, there are only 3 possibilities:

1. You produced that wealth yourself, by hard work and consentual trade, with other productive members of society.

2. You were given that wealth by someone who produced it themselves.

3. You obtained it through fraud (theft, breach of contract) or force(such as armed robbery or a government program).

In the third case, it is the government's job to punish you, however in the first two cases, it is imoral for members of the govenment to even ring your doorbell over it, let alone take half your profits at gunpoint.

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No one claimed everyone who is rich produced their wealth themselves. (Although Paris Hilton is a bad example: she is yet to inherit what's left of her great graandfather's fortune, and she is earning money herself-sure, it's partly from getting paid for going to a party or having sex on tape, but that still is wealth she herself produced, and is therefore perfectly entitled to)

The point is wealth is produced by somebody, it doesn't fall from the sky. If you have wealth, there are only 3 possibilities:

1. You produced that wealth yourself, by hard work and consentual trade, with other productive members of society.

2. You were given that wealth by someone who produced it themselves.

3. You obtained it through fraud (theft, breach of contract) or force(such as armed robbery or a government program).

In the third case, it is the government's job to punish you, however in the first two cases, it is imoral for members of the govenment to even ring your doorbell over it, let alone take half your profits at gunpoint.

Excellent. Couldn't have put that any better.

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am I wrong, or is it true that until 1914 there was no income tax at all? and until 1920's there has never been any kind of economic depression? could there be a connection there? pure capitalism existed in the US of A until the 1914 amendment.

The Sherman Act of 1890 was the first major swing toward statism.

Before that though, there were still other taxes and eminent domain among others. So never was it laissez faire, but it was pretty close, all things considered.

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<snip>

Also I must add that the wealthiest aren't always the "most productive" as I hear Rand say over and over again. Most of them were just hooked up and some were born into it. I don't see anything wrong with taxing more from the wealthy because they can afford it. McCain has 3+ houses for goodness sake while others who aren't so lucky(Didn't get hookups or weren't born into it) have to worry about keeping there "one" house. Plus President Bush is wealthy and he isn't that smart.

You're absolutely 100% correct. Many wealthy people inherit it. Inheriting wealth makes it easier to stay wealthy. A lot of life circumstances and attitudes change when you have the freedom and power that money gives. It's easier to focus on the long term when you're not worried about putting food on the table tomorrow.

This doesn't make it right to just "tax the rich" because they inherited their money. As Agrippa noted, the taxes make it harder for truly productive people to become wealthy because they are punished like those who inherit. But there's a more fundamental philosophical point here. You're saying, essentially "You own this. I want it. You didn't work for it, so it's OK for the government to take it from you and give it to me/society." Um, no.

Money is power. Inheriting money means inheriting power. Yes, this is often unfair. But money is the fairest arbiter we know of. Fools tend to lose their money over time. Unproductive people tend to lose their money. Productive, capable people can gain money and power over their lifetimes. (Look at the founders of Google for a modern example.)

Society is run by money. This is not a bad thing. If not money, it necessarily becomes politics, and politics is run by pull. Who knows X, who has the dirt on Y, who can do a favor for Z to be repaid later. If you think money is unfair, you haven't seen anything yet. With money, your future is at least in your hands, to shape or destroy by your own choices. With politics, your future is at the whim of whoever has power over you at this moment.

(That fact that politics and money are inextricably linked is a flaw of the current system; Ayn wanted to see government and the economy separated for just this reason.)

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  • 2 weeks later...
am I wrong, or is it true that until 1914 there was no income tax at all? and until 1920's there has never been any kind of economic depression? could there be a connection there? pure capitalism existed in the US of A until the 1914 amendment.

Marty Mcfly the numbers don't lie...

post-5301-1225322085_thumb.png

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pure capitalism existed in the US of A until the 1914 amendment.

We have never had pure capitalism in this country.

Akiosawa, you put no source whatsoever for your chart. Also, it is also very unclear what constitutes "recession", "expansion", etc.

Edited by NickS
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We have never had pure capitalism in this country.

Akiosawa, you put no source whatsoever for your chart. Also, it is also very unclear what constitutes "recession", "expansion", etc.

MAE_Lesson_14__29__AS_AD___Business_Cycle__ppp.ppt

Slide 21 is the chart. It is from Macroeconomics. "Recessions" and "Expansions" are part of the business cycle.

Edited by Akosiwa
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Marty Mcfly the numbers don't lie...

post-5301-1225322085_thumb.png

MAE_Lesson_14__29__AS_AD___Business_Cycle__ppp.ppt

Slide 21 is the chart. It is from Macroeconomics. "Recessions" and "Expansions" are part of the business cycle.

First of all, that is a slideshow that a professor made, who did not cite the original source.

Second, you did not CLEARLY say what constitutes "recession" and "expansion". I am familiar with what they mean, but what specifically must happen in order for it be declared a "recession" or "expansion"?

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Slide 21 is the chart. It is from Macroeconomics. "Recessions" and "Expansions" are part of the business cycle.

I think a chart showing depth of recession, would be more interesting. Your slide show for instance claims that the longest and deepest single receesion was TGD, which falls in the wrong bar.

This chart implies that all recessions are created equal. They're not. Nice try.

http://www.aynrandbookstore2.com/prodinfo.asp?number=BS70M

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Marty Mcfly the numbers don't lie...
Akosiwa, I'm not sure if you're using this graph as a polemical device, or if you;re trying to understand the facts. I'm going to assume the latter.

In general that graph is not useful information. Kendall has explained one reason in his post above. For instance, consider the following two situations:

A. Economy has a recession for 2 years

B. Economy has a recession, government starts the printing-press and pulls things out using the tried and tested formula of inflation ending the downward trend in 1 year. The economy sees some growth, but it splutters and there is another year of recession.

Summary: Situation A has a 2 year recession, while situation B has two recessions of 1 year each, with a short interval -- likely of slow real growth. The fact that the average duration of the recession has halved is deceptive. It does not tell us anything that is useful.

To those who asked for a source, I assume that graph is using the NBER data.

Basically, trying to understand recessions by taking the 32 official recessions and working off aggregated statistical data is not going to yield useful results. There are too few data-points, too many definitional problems, and too many other factors for such an approach to give one anything other than clues and hints about what further research one ought to do.

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The free market hasn't failed.

In fact what happened was that a bunch of people sold a bunch of financial instruments at completely incorrect prices and lost money as a result.

Why were the prices completely incorrect?

The models used to price the instruments didn't accurately reflect the real behavior of the markets.

So yes, if everyone is going to go around devising weird exotic financial instruments that they are unable to price correctly then they are all going to lose money to people who can exploit the fact that the prices are all wrong.

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Yea hasn't freedom obviously failed? I think the principles of engineering have failed too because I saw this dude build a bridge and it collapsed.. although come to think of it he didn't really use any math or calculations or anything, mostly just this voodo witch doctor stuff.. but he said he was an engineer. Anyway the case is definitely closed on freedom though and we should really just give the whole thing up. I mean everyone in the media agrees that freedom caused the financial crisis! Can I nominate myself for Fuhrer?

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Yea hasn't freedom obviously failed? I think the principles of engineering have failed too because I saw this dude build a bridge and it collapsed.. although come to think of it he didn't really use any math or calculations or anything, mostly just this voodo witch doctor stuff.. but he said he was an engineer. Anyway the case is definitely closed on freedom though and we should really just give the whole thing up. I mean everyone in the media agrees that freedom caused the financial crisis! Can I nominate myself for Fuhrer?

You hit that one out of the park, SkyTrooper! Nicely done. Funny how the statists use that sort of argument and all the collectivist robots nod and clap in mindless agreement. Funny, that is, if it weren't for the destruction of our freedom that was taking place.

Many excellent points have been posted here. The original poster of this thread asks if the free market has failed, yet uses the extremely non-free market as evidence.

The current recession, like the Great Depression, is a glaring example of how the non-free market has failed. Of course, the statists/central planners/socialists refuse to admit that the regulations are to blame. Faced with the failure of their own policies, they call for more power and control by the government. Trying to "fix" the current economic crisis with more government involvement is like trying to repair a broken-down car by pouring a truckful of concrete on it.

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Since we're now delving into the precedents of economic tampering, and the faulty arguments used to rationalize statist legislation from the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to Sarbanes-Oxely, I recommend people read The Myth of the Robber Barons for the real story.

http://www.amazon.com/Myth-Robber-Barons-B...3181&sr=1-1

I'm betting you have the firepower to have my vote. ;)
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You all dismissed the graph as if it holds no weight at all? Roosevelt was the first to use Gov. intervention. The recession vs. expansion rate before Roosevelt was about half and half. After Roosevelt we had unheard of success for a long time. It is pretty obvious to me what is going on and isn't it funny how every time there is an economic crisis the people turn to the democrats(the former socialist party)? Just mere coincidence I think not.

Edited by Akosiwa
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You all dismissed the graph as if it holds no weight at all? Roosevelt was the first to use Gov. intervention. The recession vs. expansion rate before Roosevelt was about half and half.
You've simply ignored the reasons you were given. Try to step back and understand the reasons.

After Roosevelt we had unheard of success for a long time.
Roosevelt's term was a disaster for the economy. Really, though you won;t get anywhere unless you understand the reasons for what was happening at different stages.

It is pretty obvious to me what is going on and isn't it funny how every time there is an economic crisis the people turn to the democrats(the former socialist party)? Just mere coincidence I think not.
It is unwise to base knowledge upon opinion polls and election results (which are similar).
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After Roosevelt we had unheard of success for a long time.

You mean starting in 1933? Or do you mean the massive expansion driven by America's rebuilding of the world after the failure of national socialism in Europe? Or do you mean the expansion of socialism in the '60's that forced Nixon to abandon gold, set price and wage controls, and led to 2-digit inflation by the late 70's? Or do you mean the 1980's expansion pumped up by runaway gov't spending and the accumulation of trillions of $$ of debt? Or do you mean the dot com and real estate bubbles, caused by easy money from the Fed and Treasury? Intervention has gotten more severe over the past 100 years, and while the short term fluctuations have been dampened, the long term result has been a weakening of the economic fundamentals to the point of collapse.

It is pretty obvious to me what is going on and isn't it funny how every time there is an economic crisis the people turn to the democrats(the former socialist party)? Just mere coincidence I think not.

You're falling into the trap of ascribing capitalist ideals to the Republicans (the current socialist party). Bush's compassionate (literally, suffering together) conservativism and McCain's ideological vacuum put the lie to that premise. As for the country turning Democrat at each crisis, okay, I'll give you the depression, (but please allow me that FDR did more to exacerbate than help until the war), but the monetary crisis of the late sixties led to Nixon. The runaway inflation of the late 1970's led to Reagan. The recession of the early 1990's was over well before Clinton ran on "the economy, stupid." So it seems that the people turn to the other party, whichever that is, in a crisis. And that's no coincidence.

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You all dismissed the graph as if it holds no weight at all? Roosevelt was the first to use Gov. intervention. The recession vs. expansion rate before Roosevelt was about half and half. After Roosevelt we had unheard of success for a long time.

I know this is a couple of days old, but I've been away from the forum. First, no one dismissed the graph out of hand. Instead, they showed why is was flawed in many ways, not the least of which is that there's no citation of where this information comes from originally. According to the graph, the Great Depression lasted less than two years at most (as the scale is given in months for duration), despite the fact that it continued on for closer to ten years. This alone indicates that the information is wrong and therefore insufficient for proving your point.

Also, the "unheard of success" had more to do with the large quantity of savings people had as a result of rationing during World War II which enabled them to purchase "big ticket" items than any of FDR's socialist policies. There has been ample arguments made elsewhere that FDR's policies actually prolonged the Depression.

It is pretty obvious to me what is going on and isn't it funny how every time there is an economic crisis the people turn to the democrats(the former socialist party)? Just mere coincidence I think not.

Of course it's not a coincidence. The Democrats scream about how it's someone else's fault and how they're going to save them by taxing the rich. People love the idea of problems being someone else's fault and that they're going to get part of the rich's money. Tell people what they want to hear, and you just about can't lose an election. That doesn't mean that people are right. Once upon a time, the majority supported slavery and thought the Earth was flat...so clearly the majority isn't always correct.

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I am in agreement with Akiosawa. Much to the chagrin of Ayn Rand, with the current crop of free marketeers and neo-cons she was and if alive today, is against the belief of a "free" market. Like the Rand Institute states, there should be a free market, to keep costs down, but exploitation and bail outs goes against the hands-off approach Ms Rand promotes. The ONLY role the government should have and the government being We the People, and not the Bush Crime Family and the DLC, is to be judge of a corporation. Judge meaning, we make sure the beef we eat does NOT contain CJD (Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease) AKA madcow disease or:

January 2007

* Toxic Overalls: Samarra Brothers recalled Chinese-manufactured children’s two-piece overall sets because the coatings on the snaps in the overalls and shirt contain excessive amounts of lead, posing a serious risk of lead poisoning and adverse health effects to young children.

* Fire Hazard Heaters: Family Dollar Stores recalled 35,000 oscillating ceramic heaters that were found to overheat and smoke, which could pose a fire hazard to consumers.

* Bad Wiring In Fans: Holmes Group recalled about 300,000 Chinese-manufactured oscillating tower fans that were found to have bad wiring that creates a fire hazard.

* Dangerous Candles: Sally Foster recalled over 46,000 sets of imported Tea Lights candles after it was reported that the candles have a clear, plastic shell that can melt or ignite, posing a fire or burn hazard to consumers.

* Dryers With Electrocution Hazard: Metropolis Beauty recalled about 18,000 Travel’N Baby Mini Hair Dryers, which were not equipped with an immersion protection plug to prevent electrocution if the hair dryer falls into water. Electric shock protection devices are required by industry standards for all electric hand-held hair dryers.

* Improperly Wired/Flammable Lamps: Hong Ten Trading recalled about 4,000 electric oil lamps that had power cords that were not correctly secured and had no strain relief on their switch housing. The switch housing was also not flame-retardant, which poses a fire hazard.

February 2007

* Overheating Remote Controls: Best Buy recalled about 10,000 Isignia DVD Player remotes after it was found that improper battery placement in the remote could result in overheating and present a burn hazard.

* Lead Poisoning Hazard: 115,000 Claudia Jublot children’s rings, which were sold at Big Lots stores, were recalled because they contained dangerous levels of lead.

* Defective Lamps: Currey & Company of Georgia recalled about 2,600 Chinese-manufactured lamps that had defective light sockets, which could pose electrical shock and fire hazards.

* Lead Accessories: Kidsite jewelry sets, which were sold at Kmart stores across America, were recalled for containing high levels of lead.

* Toxic Jackets: Samara Brothers recalled thousands of its outwear jackets for children because the snap closures on the jackets contained excessive amounts of lead, which poses a lead poisoning hazard.

* Lead Bracelets: Imported Chinese bracelets that were sold under the “Ultra Gear” brand were recalled because they contained high levels of lead.

* Hazardous Toy Batteries: JAKKS Pacific recalled over 240,000 battery packs for toy vehicles after dozens of reports of the batteries melting or catching fire.

* Lead Rings: About 280,000 children’s Rachael Rose Kidz rings were recalled after they were found to contain high levels of lead.

March 2007

* Breakable Bike Frames: Target’s made-in-China Triax PK7 and Vertical PK7 bike frames were recalled after it was found that the frames could break rather easily, injuring anyone unlucky enough to be riding such a bike.

* Razor Blades For Kids: Tri Star International recently recalled a made-in-China children’s stationary, which contained a dangerous razor blade.

* Shocking Extension Cords: Dollar Stop Plus recalled 15-foot extension cords that had undersized wiring, and failed to connect properly at the plug and receptacle ends. This poses fire, shock and electrocution hazards to consumers.

* Lead Easels: Discount School Supply recalled Elite about 2,500 5-in-1 Easels after finding that the chalkboard side of the Chinese-manufactured easels contained high levels of lead.

* Lead Necklaces: Children’s necklaces sold at Accessories Palace were recalled because they contained high levels of lead.

* Toxic Paint: Toys R Us recalled over 128,000 Elite Operations toy sets because the paint used by the Chinese manufacturer of the toys contained high levels of lead.

* Lead Mood Necklace: About 47,000 children’s mood necklace imported from China by Rhode Island Novelty were recalled for containing high levels of lead.

* Dangerous Sconces: Home Dectorators recalled about 900 Chinese-produced wall sconces, after finding that many were missing back plates, which exposes consumers to live wires and poses a risk of electrical shock to consumers changing the light bulb.

* Lead Paint On Baby Toys: Stuffed Fun Balls, which were sold at dollar stores and other discount stores from June 2006 until March 2007, were recalled because the paint used by the Chinese manufacturer of the baby toy contained dangerous levels of lead.

April 2007

* Poison Pet Food: Two Chinese companies intentionally exported contaminated pet food ingredients to the United States, killing hundreds of American pets that ate the food.

* Unhappy Hanukkah: Aviv Judaica Imports recalled its Chanukah Oil Candles sets after it was found that they can become engulfed in flames and melt the plastic cups holding the candles in place, allowing hot wax to leak out, which poses fire and burn hazards to consumers.

* Oil Heater Fire Hazard: Holmes Group recalled about 300,000 of its oil-filled electric heaters after discovering that a poor electrical connection within the Chinese-manufactured heaters could overheat and cause fires.

* Flaming Boomboxes: Coby Electronics recalled over 13,000 USB/MP3/CD boomboxes due to electrical problems that could cause them to overheat and catch fire.

* Collapsing Baby Seats: Infant Bouncer Seats were recalled by Oeuf LLC after reports the seats’ metal frame breaking.

* Flammable Baby Clothes: Disney Stores recalled its Baby Einstein Caterpillar Sleepwear and Baby Einstein Duck Sleepwear because of a failure to meet the children’s flammability standard, posing a risk of burn injury to children.

* Hazardous Candles: McCormick Distilling Company recalled 60,000 Tequila Rose Strawberry Cream candle sets after finding that the martini glass containing the gel candle can break while the candle is burning, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers.

* Lead Bracelets: A&A Global Industries issued a recall for about 4 million of its Children’s Groovy Grabber Bracelets, which were painted with paint that contained high levels of lead.

* Lead Key Chains: Dollar General Merchandising recalled about 400,000 Chinese-manufactured Keychains because they contained high levels of lead.

* Shocking Palm Trees: iObjectSolutions Inc. of Georgia’s Chinese-made Pre-lit Palm Trees was found to have electrical problems with its lighting system, which could cause fires or electric shocks.

* Unguarded Blades: Sears warned customers to remove the “Craftsman” logo label from their Chinese-made Craftsman Circular Saws, after it was found that the label could become partially detached, leading to exposure of the saw blade and injury to those operating the saw.

May 2007

* Toxic Fish: It is believed that imported Chinese monkfish was actually deadly puffer fish, a labeling disaster that lead to the hospitalization of at least one person in America.

* Tween’s Lead Jewerly: Tween Brands Inc. of New York recalled a set of Chinese-manufactured metal jewelry for children that jewelry contained high levels of lead, which can cause adverse health effects and is toxic if ingested by young children.

* Toxic Drums: The Boyds Collection of Pennsylvania recalled its “Eli’s Small Drums and Liberty’s Large Drums” when it was found that the paint used by its Chinese manufacturer contained dangerous levels of lead.

* Children’s Rings: Cardinal Distributing Company of Maryland recalled its “Children’s Turquoise Rings” for containing dangerous levels of lead.

* More Lead Jewelry: Spandrel Sales and Marketing of Arizona recalled 200,000 children’s necklaces, bracelets and rings because they contained dangerous levels of lead.

* Collapsing Stools: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store recalled over 2,000 Chinese-manufactured kitchen stools, which had been found to unexpectedly collapse during use.

* Lead Bamboo: Anima Bamboo Collection Games, manufactured by HaPe International Ltd., of Ningbo, China, were recalled when the toys in game sets were found to contain lead paint.

* Hazardous Grills: Grills produced in China by Sagittarius Sporting Goods were recalled after many were found to be missing a hose that connects the grill manifold to its side burner, posing a risk of fires and burn injuries to customers.

* Toxic Jesus Fish: Oriental Trading Company of Nebraska recalled over 130,000 religious fish necklaces for children, which had been found to contain high levels of lead.

* Hazardous Candles: Vivre Royal was forced to recall a set of Chinese-produced candles when it came to light that their exterior coating and decorations were highly flammable.

June 2007

* Kerosene Eyeballs: Gemmy Industries recalled several hundred plastic “Floating Eyeballs” because they contained kerosene, which if broken, presents a chemical hazard to children.

* Deadly Tires: Tire importer Foreign Tire Sales, based in Union, N.J., recalled as many as 450,000 tires after it was reported that the treads on light-truck radials manufactured by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. in Hangzhou, China, were shoddily manufactured and could separate. Several traffic deaths have been blamed on such tires.

* Tainted Seafood: The FDA detained imports of three types of Chinese fish — catfish, basa and dace — as well as shrimp and eel after repeated testing turned up contamination with drugs unapproved in the United States for use in farmed seafood.

* Toxic Thomas the Tank Engine Toys: American toy company RC2 was forced to recall a series of wooden toys based on the popular children’s show after it was revealed that they were painted with dangerously toxic paint.

* Lead Earrings: Accessories・Silver Stud Earring Sets, jewelry for kids that was sold in Kmart stores across America, were recalled after being found to contain dangerous levels of lead.

* Deadly Cribs: American company Simplicity Inc. recently found that the directions for its made-in-China Nursery-In-A-Box crib had been improperly produced. If followed, the Chinese-made directions could cause the crip to come apart and trap/injure babies.

* Poisonous Toothpaste: The FDA recently found that several low-priced toothpastes imported from China contained diethylene glycol, which poisons the liver and kidneys and depresses the central nervous system.

* Lead Necklaces: Geocentral’s Butterfly Necklaces for kids were recalled when it was found that the metal clasps on the necklaces contained dangerous levels of lead.

* Unexpected Shattering: Pier 1 Imports recalled over 200,000 Chinese-made glassware pieces after it was found that they can crack or break unexpectedly, posing a laceration hazard to consumers.

* Collapsing Recliners: Rockingham Deluxe Lounge Chairs, imported from China by Rockingham Deluxe Lounge Chairs, were recalled because the chairs can collapse or fall backward due to faulty support brackets or weak frames, posing fall and severe laceration hazards to consumers.

July 2007

* Dangerously Crappy Hammocks: A free-standing hammock manufactured by the Chinese company Danlong Industries has been found to break quite easily, sending anyone unlucky enough to be resting in the hammock to the ground. Several people have reported injuries.

* “Essential” Lead Jewelry: Future Industries of New Jersey recalled their “Essentials for kids” jewelry product line after the Chinese-manufactured jewelry was found to contain dangerous levels of lead.

Is this the Free market Ayn Rand was talking about? And even in the U.S., does not the U.S. have the obligation to make sure products does not have the products stored? Under a free/unregulated market, the FDA does nothing. Bush said to meddle with products coming in from China. So havuing Melamine for example in baby food, trace amount, is OK for a free market? The WHO think so. Click here.

So when is a free market actually free, when there are no safety caveats to protect the consumers? And Rand escaped the Soviet union to escape the oppression the fascist dictatorship called Russia. Fascist? The Soviet Union's economy was based on a Cold War budget, until 1989. the USSR collapsed and revamped itself by creating its own New Deal, designed after Franklin Delano Roosevelt, so how is Russia? Ask a fellow NATO ally Iceland:

Why Russia Is Bailing Out Iceland

Looks like the Free market ain't working well and a socialized government is coming to its rescue.

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