....the oil market is not a free market. Our government as well as the governments of all the main oil producers are deeply entrenched in the process and prevent our consumption and production from being anything close to a free market. As usual, most folks complaining about capitalism and the "evils" of it are really just complaining about the evil that government does to the market. You've just been tricked into thinking that free market capitalism is culprit.
Secondly, if you forced every human to take a survey every week about what products seem most important to them that week, then maybe you could put that into the computer and get a somewhat accurate picture of the "needs" of the economy. However, the price function in a free market does that without all the excess work. People value different things at different levels at different times in their lives. The price funciton allows for that value to dictate that cost of a product and it allows for people to decide how much they really need something based on their ability to afford it. No matter how utopian you want this great computer to be, in the end, all it really could do is ration goods. If we allowed the market to work without government interference, then "rationing" would simply be a process of supply and demand. As supply goes down, some company who is starting to lose out in one sector must invent a new way to meet the needs of its customers. Your central computer idea would do nothing better than treat all people as children at the dinner plate who all have to eat the same, and all only get the same amount until its gone. Computers aren't magic.
Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).
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