Another popular criticism of the market is that its outcomes are inequitable. Some individual traders are successful; some not so successful; and others, those who refuse to participate, are relegated to surviving on handouts from others. These critics value equality of outcome, which is anathema to free market capitalism. They lobby for a system of property and exchange which is controlled by authority and in which equitable outcomes are coerced.
Such a system is by nature uncompetitive. The talented individual is granted the same outcome as the untalented. Ambition earns the same reward as sloth. The resolute and the spineless enjoy the same standard of living. Health and infirmity are equivalent conditions. There is no success, no failure, no envy.
And what of the minority who cast dissenting ballots? They will learn to love and obey their new maximum leader and all his edicts for the sake of community peace and the common good.
Bureaucracy he writes:
The capitalist system of production is an economic democracy in which every penny gives a right to vote. The consumers are the sovereign people. The capitalists, the entrepreneurs, and the farmers are the people’s mandatories. If they do not obey, if they fail to produce, at the lowest possible cost, what the consumers are asking for, they lose their office. Their task is service to the consumer. Profit and loss are the instruments by means of which the consumers keep a tight rein on all business activities.Planned Chaos Mises writes:
The market is a democracy in which every penny gives a right to vote. It is true that the various individuals have not the same power to vote. The richer man casts more ballots than the poorer fellow. But to be rich and to earn a higher income is, in the market economy, already the outcome of the previous election. The only means to acquire wealth and to preserve it, in a market economy not adulterated by government-made privileges and restrictions, is to serve the consumers in the best and cheapest way. Capitalists and landowners who fail in this regard suffer losses. If they do not change their procedure, they lose their wealth and become poor. It is the consumers who make poor people rich and rich people poor.
Human Action he writes:
"The democracy of the market consists in the fact that people themselves make their choices and that no dictator has the power to force them to submit to his value judgments."The question is: Why do those collectivists who adore economic democracy and democratic socialism damn free market capitalism which, as Mises describes, is the very definition of economic democracy?
The answer lies in confusion and misunderstanding. Socialist critics conflate free market capitalism, as described by Mises, with crony capitalism, as it exists today in the United States. As I've said before, socialism and capitalism are separate and contradictory economic systems. Once those in authority overrule the individual's right to own property and to trade property, freely and voluntarily, without state intervention, that economic system is no longer free market capitalism, but socialism, more or less, depending on the degree to which the state intervenes.
Property is either owned and controlled by individuals or it is not. The market in which property is traded is either free or it is not. If it is not, then that system is authoritative and socialistic.
But let's put aside our discussion of capitalism and socialism for the moment and examine the leftists' beloved democracy in a bit more detail.
Furthermore, the election ballots must be honestly counted and the candidate with the most votes must be declared the winner. We can all agree that any election not conducted in this manner makes a travesty of democracy. In short, a rigged election is no election at all; it is tyranny attempting to hijack the halo of legitimacy that a just election confers on authority.
Imagine a political election in the United States in which a candidate was declared "too good to lose." Imagine an election wherein the government stuffs the ballot box with votes for its preferred candidate, or declares the winner of the election before the ballots are counted.
When the political election process is corrupted by government meddling, leftists, progressives, rightists and conservatives are all smart enough to notice and criticize government coercion and cronyism. They don't disparage the democratic system of free and honest elections.
However, when the economic marketplace is corrupted by government meddling, all these factions grow suddenly blind and stupid. Rather than criticize government coercion, interventionism and cronyism, they disparage the capitalistic system of free and voluntary exchange.
The bottom line is that critics who decry free market capitalism are either ignorant or intellectually dishonest. They should know full well that the capitalism they criticize so violently is not free market capitalism, but crony capitalism, bought and paid for by the privileged cronies, owned and controlled by the powerful, parasitic few who pull the strings and levers behind the scenes.