Re: Will the free market solve everything?

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Mon, 24 Feb 1997 14:35:29 -0800 (PST)

> He says, "Insofar as there is a dominant belief in our society today, it is
> a belief in the magic of the marketplace. The doctrine of laissez-faire
> capitalism hold that the common good is best served by the uninhibited
> pursuit of self-interrest. Unless it is tempered by the recognition of a
> common interest that ought to take preference over particular interests, our
> present system--is liable to break down."

Ug. First be begins with an outright lie, then a strawman so plain it
should be obvious even to a politician.

(1) To test the "dominant belief in society today", it would be easy
enough to do a simple poll. Ask 10,000 randomly selected people
which statement they most agree with:

a) "The free market can solve problems like crime, poverty, defense..."
b) "Government can solve problems like crime, poverty, defense..."

Ask yourself which statement will get more agreement. Without
question, the latter. So the "dominant belief" in society today is
in government, not in the free market.

(2) Since he postulates that those who believe in the free market say
that it will magically solve all problems, and they are clearly wrong,
he asserts that government is superior. First, he offers no evidence
that capitalists actually believe that, or that the conditions he
describes (like "inequality") are actually problems, or that the free
market's failures are more or fewer than government's, only that it
isn't perfect. Well Duh. Life's a bitch. What else is new?

"Unless tempered by the recognition of common interest..."

That's the source of the problem right there. If he postulates the
existence of a "common good", of course he'll come to the conclusion
that a system based on its complete rejection--capitalism--won't
achieve it. Another winner of the "Duh" prize. A screwdriver isn't
very good at setting nails. Capitalism doesn't serve collectivist
ideals. That's not the purpose of either, so of course they fail.

And to top it all off, he sneaks "our present system" into the last
sentence, as if to suggest that our present system is capitalist!
This is one of the most thoroughly despicable essays I've read in a
long time.

Lee Daniel Crocker <>