Faith in Free Markets

Faith in Free Markets:
I agree, then, that economists have faith in free markets. We can’t prove that free markets will generate a better result. But we’ve observed them long enough to have faith in them. We believe, with faith and evidence, that free markets provide the most prosperity for the most people.

I’d love to know where they found a free market to have faith in. I’ve never seen one that wasn’t structured, biased or otherwise guaranteed by governmental or corporate structures.

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0 comments on “Faith in Free Markets

  1. raj says:

    You could’ve used the same arguments against the democratic system in the 1700s (or 1800s depending on where you are from).

  2. jeremy says:

    actually no, the idea of democracy, in the form of a republic, had precedent is what many people saw as a golden age in the 1700’s, that golden age was ‘ancient greece’, which was supplemented by its later parallel in Rome. Democracy thus had a model for action. Free Markets though… as best as I can tell are impossible. However, markets can be more or less free than they are now.

  3. David Andersen says:

    You’re not looking very hard then.

    What does structure have to do with a market being free (free meaning to what extent people can trade voluntarily)?

    Where’s the bias or interference in local markets such as babysitting or lawn mowing or lemonade stands by youth? What about garage sales? These are just a few. There are many transactions that occur under the radar of corporations and government all the time. I pay people to work on my house doing various projects (painting, hanging shingles, etc.) and these transactions are completely voluntary. There is no governement or corporate involvement.

  4. jeremy says:

    perhaps you are missing those who are guaranteeing your fair dealing there? are you trading, or are you using currency? are you setting a price, or is there a price negotiated, where does that come from? you might think that it is all from your nascent creativity, i assure you… it isn’t. it is because the market, to the extent it exists in these transactions relies entirely on the guarantor of your rights and freedoms and that… isn’t you.

  5. David Andersen says:

    You want to be pedantic? You’re apparently making the ill-conceived assumption that government-backed currency or a court system is required for free trade. It’s not and do you really think the general recourse in garage sales, babysitting, and hiring handymen is the court system? Is that what you would do? Many people resolve disputes just fine without resorting to the courts or law enforcement. Too much Judge Judy on your part perhaps?

  6. jeremy says:

    too much recognition of the very real infrastructure and conventions that ground our day to day reality perhaps.

  7. Oh, yes, markets definitely depend on institutions and conventions. You tread far from reality if you think government or corporations creates them. A better model of government is “the conquerers who married our women and decided to stay” or more simply “The most organized crime gang out of all of the crime gangs.”