The market ideal
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Consider the ends of the continuum as ideal models. A perfect market is based upon competition among anonymous individuals: buyers compete for the goods and services of sellers; sellers compete for buyers. Market participants undertake productive activities in order to exchange and then to resume their productive activity; their goal is accumulation of *property or making a profit. Market relationships are ensured only by contract, and market expectations emphasize the need for wariness, caution, and vigilance. As a competitive game, the market should offer a ‘level playing field’ or free entry to all participants, but in fact some enter with greater resources and secure outcomes based on their financial power.