Everybody wins

It is fashionable to be disparaging about market forces. All too often this attitude is justified as, unfettered, these forces produce outcomes that are less than optimum – or worse. But reason demands we allow that every once in a while market forces are actually an effective way of resolving complex issues of supply and demand.

The SNP Conference offers organisations unique access to nearly 4,000 political leaders and activists, The people who shape party policy and, thereby, government policy. The people who are among the most active in politics at every level from grass-roots to cabinet. People who are knowledgeable and influential. There’s massive competition for places. This has to be managed.

The likes of Common Weal are making a fuss about the cost of this access. The question they fail to ask while whining about these charges is, how else might the SNP go about the task of rationing such a valuable commodity? The party managers have a duty to maximise the return to members – who actually own the commodity being haggled over. They have no duty to subsidise other organisations. And doing so would involve subjective judgements that would inevitably provoke even more graceless complaining from those who considered themselves unjustly denied the patronage of the SNP.

If we could all just stop the knees jerking for a moment and look at what the result of the new pricing arrangements has been. Has it not worked out for the best all round? It has made this new venue possible, opening up affordable space for even more organisations, while allowing the SNP to cover the costs of mounting the biggest political event in Scotland – and maybe even replenish the war-chest it will need in order to fight next year’s crucial council elections and the coming referendum campaign.

Sometimes market forces actually work to everybody’s benefit. This may be one of those occasions. It would be gratifying if people could see it as a happy outcome rather than just another excuse for petty, pointless and exceedingly tiresome sniping at the SNP.

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2 thoughts on “Everybody wins

  1. Bill Dale

    It is fashionable to criticise market forces as being unacceptable. Examples usually involve big companies putting smaller firms out of business. On the surface this validates the “market forces bad” meme, but look closer, and you will find that the big firms, like the banks, are directly and indirectly subsidised by governments both at home and abroad.

    Far from being examples of market forces, they are (albeit surreptitiously) state-subsidised oligopolies, or in some cases outright monopolies.

    And all this before considering the state investment in infrastructure and education on which they depend.

    Time for all of us to see neo-classical economics for the con that it is. Read Professor Steve Keen if you doubt this.

    More power to your elbow Peter.

  2. Sandy Watson

    It is always disappointing when organisations/individuals opposing a situation use hyperbole and rhetoric to decry and influence. The end never justifies the means.

    Market forces usually indicate people voting with their feet or they wallets!

    It is not good if those wanting independence start walking in different, disparate directions. The lead parties in all of this have responsibility for holding it together.

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