Capitalism, as defined by Adam Smith, only functions in societies with the proper economic institutions and the proper respect for the rules of behavior” (as cited in Galbraith, 1993, p. 12). Therefore, Smith claimed that the market is a universal institution natural to human beings.Smith (1982) wrote, Nobody ever saw one animal by its gestures and natural cries signify to another, this is mine, that yours; I am willing to give this for that” (p. 118). As a part of laissez-faire, Cowperthwaite refused to impose any restrictions on imports, and insisted to keep taxes low (Friedman, 1999).Friedman (video file, December 26, 2005) called this unrestricted market complete economic freedom” during an interview with Charlie Rose. Stossel (2010) concluded that Hong Kong is rich because its market encourages entrepreneurs.
Friedman (2011) argued that Hong Kong’s per capita income rose one-third higher than the per capita income of Britain’s between 1960 and 1996 as a result of the unrestricted market. This ease of entry into the market is another element to Smith’s capitalist ideals, in that each individual has an equal opportunity to participate in the market system (Bowles, 2006). Volume remains light – which shows that there is little conviction in the market.
While Smith would argue that capitalism is natural to human beings, critics argue that the ability to participate in the market is hampered by private ownership. The nature of the market is measured by the size and power of competitors within the market (Bowles, 2006). In its early stages, capitalism was competitive, in which individual firms held little market power. The media’s dependence on the market system creates an inherent pro-market bias within the news media.
He has also claimed that the news media, specifically the televised news media, does not find it profitable to provide enough information for individuals to be good consumers of news. By 1987, that number decreased to 29 corporations and now it is down to five: Time Warner, Disney, News Corp, Bertelsmann, and Viacom, with GE as a close sixth (Bagdikian, 2004). Washington, DC: The U.S. Agency for International Development Center for Democracy and Governance.
But, the media participate as acting on self-interests as well as in the interests of their competitors, distorting Adam’s vision of a free market. News media critics, like Kathleen Jamieson and Joseph Cappella (2010) have argued that the news media have come to be known as an echo chamber—in which many news outlets are delivering homogenized products. The mainstream news media operate as a corporation, and they inherently have the same market goals as any other corporation: profits.