I've been a libertarian for a number of years and I consider myself a staunch anarcho-capitialist. But one thing that I've never been able to resolve is how to stop exploitation (environment, people, etc) in a true free market. I'd like some of your opinions on how this might be addressed. Let me give you some examples:
We don't really want no regulation, we want self-regulation.
Currently, we have several companies that are basically destroying the environment in several African countries and decimating the regional or local economies. If they were unregulated, would this behavior not increase?
That is because the state has destroyed the concept of private property and punishes anyone that try to enforce property rights there.
What about labor exploitation? While I don't agree with the assessment most people have about Walmart being a slave labor company, let's use it for our example. So Walmart pays its workers slave wages and they toil away long hours working for little money. Right now, we can say that they choose to do so because, if they didn't like it, they could go elsewhere and earn a higher wage or upgrade their skills to get a better job. But what happens in an unregulated market where Walmart gets together with every other retail giant and price fixes labor costs? At that point, the laborers only option is to upgrade their skill but then they aren't making enough to pay for the education required to do that.
There will always be a group of relatively poor in society. In a government regulated labour market it will be unemployed and they have no hope. In a free-market it will be people who have just entered the workforce with very poor skills, and they generally advance to better positions eventually. Among the employed it is not the same people that are poor year from year even if the poverty rate should remain unchanged.
Cartels don't hold not on the sale or employer side. If they are trying to fix the wages below market equilibrium the first one breaking the cartel and paying equilibrium wages will soak up all the non-stealing and smiling people willing to do a Wallmart job and it will make there service better and reduce cost from employees being lazy or stealing and breaking stuff without reporting it. So they will become more effective then all the other firms and take much of the market from them.
Cartels only work when government makes the barriers of entry very high so you have the same few huge business in a market for a very long time that can develop the connections and trust to each other necessary for it to hold.
It is even more unlikely a wage cartel would work then a sale price cartel. Because they aren't just competing against other companies selling the same product or service. They are competing against all low-skilled labour employers, which can be in completely different industries.