I still want to use the original introduction as a guardrail for my posting, but I hope my reader (are you still there? Anybody?) will forgive me if I expand on the Fair Market Movement's remit so I can address government policy as one component of the system of organized markets that is our political economy.

The Fair Market Movement seeks to be the premier forum for the exchange of ideas regarding fair markets. In my view, fair markets are best thought of as regulated modes of economic organization that prohibit structural biases for or against different participants and require an active effort to internalize all costs associated with economic activity, while still embracing the legitimacy of sellers and buyers to operate in their own best interest. Fair markets are consciously constructed to be different from markets in society today as well as theoretically free markets. Importantly, Fair Markets are distinct from "Fair Trade" in that they are not explicitly concerned with outcomes for participants. The criteria for judging the fairness of a market depends entirely on the ability of various actors to compete, rather than the end state of transactions.

Fair markets are different from the markets we currently participate in because they do not permit structural biases that favor one participant over another, either arbitrarily, or by design. Even a casual observer, with basic training in economics (like myself), can identify numerous anecdotes in markets they participate in, that violate this rule. Simple examples include banks that enjoy too big too fail financing to the detriment of small banks, subsidies for large scale agriculture that are unavailable to small farmers, or even college sports franchises not paying the taxes that the major sports leagues pay.

A key element of a Fair Market is that all real parties to a market exchange, whether directly or indirectly affected, are represented in the pricing and terms of a transaction. Thus the buyer and seller may not subvert a third parties interests without just compensation. A classic example of this would be a polluter not paying for the damage they cause to a neighbors farmland when she manufactures chemicals, but there are many others as well. I look forward to expanding on how this differs from the current understanding of free market ideology in later posts

I welcome additions, amendments and edits to my definition, but assume that all suggestions will be offered in the spirit of adding clarity and specifics, rather than to try expanding the concept to cover social outcomes, distribution of wealth, etc. The reason for this is simple: there are other forums to develop those ideas. Moreover, I think the legitimacy of Fair Market concepts will be easier to demonstrate if they are divorced from any political ideology or desired social outcome.