Sat, 24 Feb 2007

FreeER Markets

A the end of 2006 (literally) I posted on "Faith in Free Markets". Through the (free market) miracle that is Google, I found a blog posting by Jeremy Hunsinger objecting to the possibility of saying anything about free markets, since all markets have interventions, saying:

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.

Unfortunately, this idea exhibits a profound lack of understanding of economics. Jeremy isn't the only person to make this claim. A quick Google search for "no such thing as a free market" finds this and this and this which agree 100% with Jeremy, and are equally wrong. Economists rarely study anything by itself. Economics isn't the study of one thing; it is the study of one thing versus another. Economists try to figure out what you'll give up of one thing in order to get another, and why.

There's no point to objecting to advocacy for free markets by pointing out there is no pure free market, free of any coercive influence. We can compare more-free markets to less free markets, and decide which ones we like. If we like more-free markets, then we advocate for free markets, all the while realizing that the people who like less free markets will prevent us from having a completely free market.

It's not about free markets. It's about free-er markets.

Posted [11:35] [Filed in: ] [permalink] [Google for the title] [digg this]