Death of laissez faire?

The Economist posted an interesting article defending free-market capitalism. What surprised me about this article is how unusually defensive, clear and one-sided its perspective is. While I agree in principle with the premise that what we need is “not bigger government, but better government”, I think the author mistakes the movement in general towards greater regulation and government oversight. No one wants a communist government nor to refute capitalism (other than for fringe idealists who don’t understand economics), nor, for that matter, to overly constrain the market economy. We simply want government to do what it is supposed to do—formulate responsible policies and regulations—rather than sit idly by and allow the market to run wanton (and destroy the environment in the process).

Part of this is making government policy and electoral processes more transparent and efficient, which entails utilizing internet and software technology. That means streamlining government, not adding to its bureaucracy. I don’t think that the way to the future lies in more overtly “Great Society” type of programs, but rather in simply attempting to bring the government back up into the present age, to keep up with businesses and civil society.

I would like to say much more on this timely and interesting topic, but I have to dash out the door to work right now. Talk amongst yourselves.

Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

2 thoughts on “Death of laissez faire?”

  1. I agree with you. Having “effective government policies” that aid the development and growth of the markets is what distinguishes this country from uncivilized systems where special interests are domineering of the wealth and opportunity. What benefits the most benefits the few and vice-versa. I think we’ve seen this at work this year and to advocate for LESS or no regulation is a slap in the face of intelligent Americans who know better than to think that the few will put their interests before that of the most.

  2. Exactly. I’m amazed that our national discourse is still so dominated by “free-market” B.S. The only proof we need of the failure of such an approach is the state of our current economy and the size of our deficit—and that’s not even mentioning the complete inability of the “free market” to redress environmental devastation.

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