What is meant by:
A market is any one of a variety of different systems, institutions, procedures, and infrastructures where by persons trade, and goods and services are exchanged, forming part of the economy. It is an arrangement that allows buyers and sellers to exchange things. Markets vary in size, range, geographic scale, location, types and variety of human communities, as well as the types of goods and services traded. In mainstream economics, the concept of a market is any structure that allows buyers and sellers to exchange any type of goods, services and information. The exchange of goods or services for money is a transaction, some markets are based on using barter rather than cash.
Market participants consist of all the buyers and sellers of goods/services/possessions who influence its price. The basic market forces are supply and demand and there are two roles in markets, buyers and . The market facilitates trade and enables the distribution and allocation of resources in a society. Markets allow any tradable item to be evaluated and priced. A market emerges more or less spontaneously or is constructed deliberately by human interaction in order to enable the exchange of rights (ownership) of services and goods.
Most markets are imperfect, that is to say either buyers or sellers are in a more dominant position, where the market is not open, free or fair. At the extreme, the market is exploitative when it is controlled by parties that either have a monopoly or some other hold over the market. Most co-ops & mutuals were born out of the need to intervene in the market on behalf of groups of people who were being exploited.
Intelligent Markets - Where decisions are made not based only upon price but also upon other factors, for example: ‘fair trading’, ‘sustainability’, ‘health risks’ etc. Also, where markets are free, open and accessible to co-ops & mutuals.
Free markets or distorted markets?
We should have no problems with honest traders or with them making reasonable profits. The problems arise when businesses seek to exploit their customers or achieve super profits by dominating the market, distorting free competition and preventing market access to would be competitors. The real problem with many big businesses is that the bulk of their shareholders gain only minimal benefits from the companies that they invest in. Many of them are in fact the holders of investments via their pension funds and insurance policies, the problem is that the lion’s share of the benefits are being commandeered by directors and executives.
Co-operatives and mutuals - to be valued for what they deliver
last updated: February 2012 © Edgar Parnell 2012