I started to comment on “The reason the economy crashed and has been slow to rebound is because of government intervention, not the market mechanism” by Nick Sorrentino and got carried away. So I transformed the comment into a post of my own.
I fully agree with your conclusion “I prefer an open sourced economy to one which is manipulated by programmers writing in a language which is full of bugs and which brings the system down periodically.” but I find your initial assumption to be too vague.
The current situation was indeed heavily influenced by government decisions. And yes, they were completely out of touch with reality – central planning never works.
But here is where our ways depart.
The solution for the current situation is not at all ‘less’ government. Or, god forbid, ‘no government’!.
Free market is the most efficient way of running an economy only it has two limitations. It is populated by people and the total amount of trade-able goods is limited. Hence the market is never really free. We do need a free market only the natural evolution of any limited system is to gradually loose it’s freedom. So it is us who have to guard the freedom of the market.
And this is what ‘government’ business should really be. Not to tell us what to do – to plan for all of us – but to make sure that nobody becomes so powerful as to be able to dictate to others what to do.
Some of you might wonder “Why should we not accept any monopoly if it has been ‘lifted to power by the free market'”?
I mentioned earlier that there is no such thing as a really free market.
OK, you might disagree with that, after all we both advocate freedom and I’ll use a reason we both agree upon: “central planning doesn’t work“. Ever! So why do you think that a private monopoly would be able to function any better than a public one? Just because it’s private? I assure you that Lenin saw the entire Russia as his back yard and that didn’t stop him from messing that country so big that it’s still reeling under the consequences. King George saw the American colonies as his private possessions and that didn’t make the early Americans any happier.
So what we have to implement is a completely different kind of government, not a weaker one. Blaming ‘the (notion of) government’ instead of specific government decisions only induces the impression that ‘government’ as a whole is useless/despicable and that drives people away from (the concept of) government.
What we really need, that different kind of government I was speaking about, is a government that is closely watched by the people and who jealously defends both the political and economic freedom of the individuals, not either notion of ‘central planning’ or ‘vested interests’ – which, in the end, are uncannily similar.