“Maybe market forces alone can deprive people of freedom.”
Many are picking up on an essay by NotPhil on free markets. I found it a comfortable read that exposes some of the errors we’ve made while deregulating laissez-faire bullies.
“Scholars have begun to doubt that free markets lead to freedom. They’ve correlated the extent of market regulation in a nation to the extent of human rights abuses that occur in that nation. And they’ve found that there is, in fact, a clear correlation, but it’s not the correlation they had been told to expect.
“Apparently, the freer the market, the less free the people.
“But how could this be?
“Throughout the Cold War, we were told that free markets are democratic, while anything else is authoritarian. After all, what could possibly be a better way to vote than by voting with your dollars? Is there really a reason to think that unhampered markets might hamper human rights? Surely, only government interference can deprive people of freedom.
“But maybe the word free means something different for markets than it means for people, and, maybe, markets aren’t as benevolent as we’ve been told.
“Maybe there’s a reason citizens keep demanding that their governments reign in the activities of domineering market players.”