Free-market capitalism has taken a beating of late, even by some who generally support the free market. We have been told that the economic meltdown is the fault of greed, speculation, unregulated markets, business cycles, and market failure – even capitalism itself. “We Are All Socialists Now” proclaimed a recent cover of Newsweek magazine.
These recent attacks on capitalism are not only wrong they are misdirected. One of the greatest myths about the free market in the United States is that we have one. The U.S. economy – after a hundred years of Progressive Era reforms, the Square Deal, the New Deal, the Great Society, and, most recently, government ownership stakes, rescue packages, stimulus packages, and bailouts – is a mixed market economy. Behind the façade of the free market is a myriad of government prohibitions, restrictions, and regulations.
So, if it is not the failure of the free market, then what is it that has caused the worst economic crisis in this country since the Great Depression? More importantly, what is the cure?
Read Laurence Vance’s answer here.Published in