One of the many social issues discussed and examined throughout thisessay is the main question of whether a democracy and the ‘free market’ couldbe true allies or rivals? In order for someone to truly understand and answerthis question, you would need to be able to thoroughly analyze both terms andalso find a correlation between how both terms can greatly impact a society ina negative or positive way. To begin with, Democracy can be considered by someas a system or type of government in which certain rules or leadership has fullcontrol, being elected by it’s residents, with wishes to serve their chosenleader. In comparison, Free Market is said to be a type of economic systemwhere the cost or prices for certain goods and services are heavily determinedby an ‘open’ market where there is no government regulation. As Phillipsagreed, both Democracy and the free market can be seen as rivals in the factthat the free market strongly suggests that markets should be able to managethemselves and democracy should stay away, letting labour markets adjustdepending on what the goods market offers; “Unfortunately, however, the humanand social costs of reliance on self-regulating markets have proved sodevastating that governments have been forced by society to limit certainmarket excesses, to regulate markets, or in some cases, to replace marketsaltogether” (Philips, p. 18). When Phillips discussedpolitical economy, he was explaining the Canadian economy based upon history.He thoroughly explained Canada as a capitalist society, that throughout thedecades of time of financial trouble around the world, Canada has managed tolearn and adapt to the other countries mistakes.
The thought of Canada as acapitalist country is not highly credited since heavy regulations wereintroduced, especially during The Great Crash of 1929 otherwise known as “BlackTuesday”. With this in mind, what if the free market were true, people wouldthen receive minimal pay with no benefits and all the corporations would bemaximizing in profits. We as workers are better off because of a currentsocialism concept of labour laws. In our day to day lives, the products andservices around us are more expensive, but that expense is being made lesssevere or serious because the workers would have the benefits and policies inorder to help them afford such a lifestyle.
Just like a perfect competition, sincecertain companies won’t be able to maximize their profits and bring down the prices,there ends up being more huge companies which then form a Monopoly-likestructure to fit in with the current labour regulations. Therefore, accordingto Phillips, these such issues can be negative and the issues rises due to acomplete self regulated market. In his article,Phillips describes the political economy as “a fusion ofeconomic and political theory into one single social theory” (p.
1). By this statement, Phillips combines bothrelationships between the economy, the politics, and aswell states the impactcaused upon a society. In my opinion, Phillips is trying to say that anypolitical system in anyone’s life can be affected by that system, whether thatsystem being capitalism, communism, or market socialism.
The political economycan help people truly understand our everyday lives and how it can be impactedupon, one way for example, can be the discussion of immigration in Canada. Fora Canadian citizen, the current immigration policy can affect them in a verynegative way, due to the mass amounts of immigrations or refugees from aroundthe world being able to be brought in. To relate this example to the political economy,if two parents in a household are financially struggling to cope withthemselves along with their children, they wouldn’t want to make the decisionto adopt more kids to take care of since they are already struggling to financiallysupport their current children. The same can be said for Canada, they could bringin more immigrants/refugees, but then have less goods and therefore be worse.The increasing amounts of immigrants/refugees into the country would cause evenmore stress on the economy as it is already reduced due to the low prices ofoil. This could then lead to an increase in difficulty for Canadians to getjobs, and get more affordable housing due to an increase in the cost of living.
Immigration follows along with Phillips idea of political economy asimmigration has both a political aspect and as well as an economic aspect. Thepolitical aspect of immigration being with Justin Trudeau’s agreement to allowmore refugees into the country to get more votes for the election. The economicaspect, as stated before, would be the increase in the housing market, anddifficulty finding opportunities to get job.