CHOICE membership

How market forces have failed the nation (its citizens and consumers)



Is Alan Jones a market force? Gambling is a market, I guess.


I think you have an inadvertent misspelling: ‘force’ should be with an ‘a’ not an ‘o’. :grin:


K[quote=“n3m0, post:61, topic:16065”]
Is Alan Jones a market force?
What ever “He-who-must-not-be-named” is, I suspect he does not need any further enhancement of his profile.

More than 235,000 individuals would challenge what he represents. I’m not buying what he is selling.

Apologies to Harry Potter fans.


… as someone who long ago spent a lot of time trading wax for waves, and spent enough time looking for the surface from below, I’ve never understood how market forces would be any different, and/or any more predictable. It’s a wave we choose to ride, and we submit to whatever it brings. Part of it is within our control - some of the finer trims, but the big patterns seem outside of everyone’s control, none more so than those who try to convince us they are ‘in control’ - it’s all ok until it isn’t … so many are waiting for Superboy to take his plutonium wife, maybe they don’t know how lucky they really are? :wink: I don’t believe we live in the shadows people would have us believe …


The metaphor of surfing as life has some good points. The obvious, that no matter how much you develop strength and skill the waves are still in charge is good to learn, sadly some never do.

One clear difference is that while waves do rise and then break, with a pattern but also a random element, the ebb and flow is unlike the market in that the fluctuations in waves are not self reinforcing. It is human belief that works upon itself that exaggerates market rises into booms well above value and falls into crashes well below.

To go down this rabbit hole try “The Black Swan” by Taleb.


Overly generous, perhaps. In my view, less belief than stupidity. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong about market forces. They’re a powerful set of tools, but I’ve heard them likened to a bag of hammers. Not the best tool for every job. Not every problem is a nail.

To me, market forces are more like wild beasts than ocean waves. Like market forces, there’s nothing wrong with a shark or a crocodile. Pass your child to one though and it’s likely to be cared for in ways that you didn’t intend.

I believe we live in the shadows of people, foolish and evil. For this forum, that’s relevant only in its impacts on consumers. Among others, the Banking Royal Commission bears me out well enough.


Hey Mark. You may have missed a ‘not’ in you first sentence. I think you meant to say “…he does NOT need…”.


Thanks @meltam. Glad you saw past the obvious. I have made the edit.


Some may choose to ride the wave of market forces. Many of us realise that we are given no choice in the matter, and our elected ‘representatives’ pay lip service to democracy while spending their time and our money on the few who keep them in power - such as the afore-mentioned shock jock, but more often people whose names we do not even know.

“The market” is not some self-managed, all-wise entity - no matter what your economics texts might say. The only reason its booms and busts (as mentioned by @syncretic) are not all the greater is that we the people bail out the businesses that have taken their risks to earn more money.

For more on this I recommend books by J K Galbraith, as well as John Pilger and Noam Chomsky. I also suggest reading Friendly Fascism, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, 23 Things They Don’t Tell You about Capitalism, and that classic The Prince. (I have not yet got to The Black Swan, but it is in my library along with the other two books in Taleb’s series.)


We always have a choice. There are always options … we might not like them, they may not seem practical or palatable, but they always exist.

I’m thinking that was my point … you ride the wave for what it is, nobody knows and certainly the wave doesn’t … when you are dumped you hold your breath and hope you gasped enough before you went under :slight_smile:

I mostly rode the ‘breaks’ on the south coast of SA, between Victor and the Murray Mouth - it’s much more like the financial market as I perceive it than the nice clean surf at Cactus :slight_smile:


Is there an alternative? What choices do most of us have?

Are there?

If popular culture is any guide, we’re losing the capacity to even imagine a way out of the looming dystopia.


The view from Britain. Australia’s different, of course. :roll_eyes:


We always have a choice - or more specifically, we are always presented with choices. Of course there may be no fork in our road, and I’d contend there is never actually a fork in our road unless we open choice to random coin toss, in itself a choice, but the choices are always presented, few or many. To me it’s tied in with having no regrets - I might choose differently now based on past experience, but that is now, not then.

Like, hypothetically, if I went to a masquerade ball and was a silly boy in some embarrassing way, I might leave hastily and come back later with a different mask on, but with the wisdom of hindsight and the freedom to choose, I wouldn’t want to be a silly boy again in a hurry would I? And for me, I would try hard to own my mistakes and have no regrets - I might even out myself as the former silly boy and have a laugh … Forums/communities can be like a masquerade ball sometimes …


So we don’t necessarily have a practical choice. Wisdom in hindsight is one thing. Having realistic alternatives at the time is quite another.


Indeed, but still a choice and importantly often not avoidable. I feel I’ve been in situations where, to put it bluntly, all of the options sucked and had to choose, at the time, what I believed sucked the least. In a more general sense, electing politicians springs to mind as an example :slight_smile: Options that leaders and common people are presented with in financial markets another, albeit more complex and less transparent. I often wonder if people realise our leaders are usually nothing special, or worse, they are potentially in a position of leadership due to ‘qualities’ and/or ‘skills’ that are more about control and manipulation than any trace of leadership. I suspect this is veering somewhat off topic so will leave it there.

And no, I’m not trying to prime the search engines with the word ‘choice’ on the Choice Community :rofl:


That’s where we disagree. I didn’t choose to live in what Monbiot calls Totalitarian Capitalism. I was dropped into a market economy that’s grown increasingly extreme. I really don’t see that I have a choice. It’s that or what? List my options.


I suspected this was veering somewhat off topic so left it there.

  1. Put up with the current totalitarian state of affairs, and eke out a living at the low to middle levels;
  2. sell your soul, enthusiastically embrace the current state of affairs, and earn the big bucks;
  3. start the revolution, and be remembered (if at all) as a martyr; or
  4. drop out of society and live at (hopefully) subsistence levels.

I agree with you that most of these options are inconceivable.

Drop out and you lose any health care, access to decent nutrition, the company of others, the ability to read a book at night (and only the books that you could carry with you)…

Start the revolution and be its first martyr? It is hard to see how to change the current system; where does one start, when power is not held by the ‘leaders’?

Sell your soul? I was given this opportunity many years ago, and declined - but everyone’s different.


Power is not held by our elected representatives. It’s therefore not held by the people. We live in a plutocracy.

I see no alternative. :frowning_face: Australian democracy, it seems to me, is irretrievably degraded.

I had misgivings when I started this topic. The more I think about it though, the more I come to believe that it’s vital for Australian consumers. Much of what Choice battles can be traced to corruption, founded in excesses of Capitalism (viz financial & aged care industries).


We may never get to an ideal democracy but the current framework can be made much more serviceable. There are several ways to do this, one is to insist on more openness and disclosure of vested interest. You may not completely prevent representatives being swayed by big business but you can moderate it. And moderation is something that we surely need.

One practical step is to make all political donations, regardless of size, available for public scrutiny within a short time of receipt, say 14 days, and not many months later. Another is to tighten up the rules regarding the revolving door where industry insiders, lobbyists, elected reps and senior public servants can slide in and out of highly paid positions with ease and to place all such moves on a public register. Independent auditing of necessary records for both systems would be required. Sunlight is good disinfectant.