Thursday, August 17, 2006

Final Free Market Reactions For The Day

Just one more post on the subject.

As I mentioned earlier, I think one of the biggest problems liberals have is their tendency to lump all of their opponents- conservatives (paleo cons, neocons, and all other sorts of cons), authoritarians, and neoliberals (which, to put as simply as possible, is just another word for libertarian)- into the same Republican bucket, regardless of how contradictory these philosophies may be.

As I pointed out earlier in the week, the extent to which conservatives believe in the free market is up for debate. Many libertarians of late have questioned the Republican commitment to small government. All non-liberals are not of the same state in mind, nor do they share the same goals.

Of course, the real problem is that many liberals don't understand what those of us who support free markets actually want. Wanting the government to "do something about oil prices" does not reflect faith in the free market. Corporate welfare does not reflect faith in the free market. Farm subsidies do not reflect faith in the free market. Trade agreements and other laws designed to benefit certain companies, or certain types of companies do not reflect faith in the free market. And liberals who fear some sort of corporate plutocracy have nothing to fear from the free market.

Most people who believe in the power of the free market understand that 1- a free market is the most efficient way for distributing goods and services, and 2- a free market is the most moral means of economic organization. The "free" part means that people are free to make exchanges with one another and free to form relationships with one another- government plays its role by protecting people from fraud and coercion, and ensuring that agreements are kept. People who believe in the free market believe that capitalism saves lives- that our high standard of living is a result of our free market system.

But to read any of those postings from earlier today, you wouldn't understand any of those basics in the slightest. (Think also, of people who urge not free trade, but fair trade.) Reading those postings you'd think that free market ideology exists only to defend the interests of large multinational corporations looking to take over the world.


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