Myth 219, The myth of free market forces
Shall I call it the legend of free market forces now that myth has been elevated to the status of honouring our heroes? Our national heroes and their myths! I think I shall still stay with myth as what most people understand. Is our environment and life govern by the so called free market forces? I think 'astroturfing' has been working overtime all these years to get the people to believe that what happens to our lives is all governed by market forces and we can do nothing about it. From the number of babies born, school fees, housing, cars, population growth, medical fees, ministerial salaries, and yes, even our economy, boom or bust, are dictated by market forces or external forces. Lao Tzu must be smiling in his heavenly abode. I told you so 2,500 years ago. No need to do sweat, everything will just go on by itself. History has actually manifested itself in these ways, it is always boom and bust, according to the mandate of heaven. No amount of super talents will change the course of destiny. In a way, Hongkong is more subject to free market forces than us. In Hongkong, everything goes, with little govt intervention. The Hongkong govt knows that it is not that brilliant to be able to decide the fate of its people from cradle to grave. And they leave it as such. To each his own, the govt just provide the infrastructure and the system, and the people make the best of it. So we have the multimillion dollar villas in the mountains and the 300 sq ft dog kennels for the losers. And the best part is no one is complaining. Those living in the 300 sq ft homes accepted that. And the developers gave it to them, knowing that that is all these people can afford and are fit to live. No moral persuasion, no arguments of good or bad. No one claiming to be on moral high grounds. No rebellion or revolution as it is the order of things in a free wheeling enterprise. Do we have that kind of free market forces to determine our lives? No. If there is, our people will be living in 300 sq ft kennels as well. We plan carefully, every step and every inch. Our free market forces at work is as good as a myth to be served on the platter when needed. But in many ways we are better than Hongkong. Our people still got something like 600 sq ft to 900 sq ft of space to live in and at very affordable price. But there is danger that this may not be if we allowed astroturfing to get a free hand. If we keep talking about the 300 sq ft homes in Hongkong as an acceptable way of life, soon this will quietly sink into some silly heads. Then statisticians and smart people will use this as a justification and say it is ok. And when that song is played, we gonna get it. As things are fairly acceptable, let the myth of free market forces remain as a myth. Let not it becomes a legend.