There are many people who feel that the free market is the cure all for all ills. For health care, education, defence, indeed for any sphere of public and private life there are many that believe simply and without question that the free market can do it all, and for less money.
The problem is though, just like Communism, which in principle itself is great, the free market can only deliver the things its supporters say if it is truly free. The problem is though that it isn't.
The free market works on the basis of anyone with a product being able to access a market, if their product is good enough, and that the price of their product is dictated by what people are prepared to pay. The problem is though that all those people who act within the framework of the free market are themselves not interested in "the free market" as a concept, all they want a free market for is to gain access. And the problem thereafter lies in the fact that companies and individuals who trade within the free market work to a different set of rules, and that is to extract as much money from their customers as possible, and if that means breaking the rules of the free market, so be it, so long as the companies get richer.
It's like the old adage about Communism making everyone equal, but some are more equal than others. the same goes for people in the free market. The only difference is that the richer the company, the more influence it has, the less interested it is in the free market.
So where is my evidence for all this ?
Well in the last few months we have seen that companies have sought to fix the price of milk, houses and now cigarettes, and reports today suggest that the office of Fair Trading has a number of other areas that it has been investigating for some years that will also be revealed shortly.
As far as I am concerned this shows why we have governments. Leave everything to industry and nobody can stand in the way of money. We need a free market, but anyone who believes that it solves all our ills is as crazy as committed Communists.