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Challenging choicesIdeology, consumerism and policy$
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Michael Clarke

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847423986

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847423986.001.0001

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Some wider problems with choice

Some wider problems with choice

(p.94) (p.95) Five Some wider problems with choice
Challenging choices

Michael Clarke

Policy Press

This chapter examines a number of examples that demonstrate the manipulation of choice in markets. It notes that the preservation of choice in markets is secured by making them open to newcomers, so that competition is endemic — a basic mechanism for the advancement of the capitalist market economy. It discusses how collaboration with rivals is one solution for those who do not enjoy competition. It then describes cartels as associations which involve either price fixing or market sharing. It evaluates the causes and effects of bad choices and how the rise of the credit industry shadowed and enabled the rise of consumerism. It demonstrates that choices is at times abusive and disadvantageous, rather than a boon. It emphasizes how choice does not always deliver what it claims.

Keywords:   choice, markets, capitalist market economy, competition, cartels, money illusion, credit industry, consumerism, price fixing, market sharing

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