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The uncoerced, consensual exchanges of goods and services between individuals, antithesis of the State
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  • In economics, a free market is an idealized system in which the prices for goods and services are determined by the open market and consumers, in which the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, price-setting monopoly or other authority. Proponents of the concept of free market contrast it with a regulated market, in which a government intervenes in supply and demand through various methods such as tariffs used to restrict trade and protect the economy. In an idealized free-market economy, prices for goods and services are set freely by the forces of supply and demand and are allowed to reach their point of equilibrium without intervention by government policy.


    Free Market, by Murray N. Rothbard, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 1993
    Originally published in the The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics; definition of the free market and some related terms, e.g., exchange, prices, demand, using lay examples
    "Free market" is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is undertaken as a voluntary agreement between two people or between groups of people represented by agents. These two individuals (or agents) exchange two economic goods, either tangible commodities or nontangible services ... The peaceful market competition of producers and suppliers is a profoundly cooperative process in which everyone benefits and where everyone's living standard flourishes (compared with what it would be in an unfree society).
    Related Topics: Baseball, Free trade, Socialism

    Web Pages

    Drew Carey - The Advocates for Self-Government
    Libertarian celebrity page at Advocates for Self-Government; includes picture, biographical essay and quote
    Carey’s libertarian perspective extended to a wide range of issues. Some examples from the Reason interview:
    • On the free market: “Some people don’t like competition because it makes them work harder, better. I’m competitive at everything. It’s a natural driving force, a way of testing yourself, of measuring how you’re doing. How can people not know that competition makes everything better?”
    • ...
    Related Topic: Reason


    The Abstract Concept of Human Liberty, by Robert LeFevre, The Freeman, Dec 1982
    Discusses how people may be interested in other people, in events or in material things but only a few are interested in ideas, and how each group of people tends to view liberty from those perspectives
    Those thinking at [the level of things] usually forget that a free market has its merit because the customer is king. And, as customers rule, it is customer choice that finally determines who will profit and who will lose. A free market is a profit and loss system, with only the customers making the final decision ... Here are often ... businessmen who speak from both sides of their mouths. They favor a free market until they face effective competition. Immediately, they clamor for protection ... The important item ... is the dollars to be gained rather than ... of deserving those dollars.
    The Affordable Care Act Doesn't Go That Way, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 1 Nov 2013
    Examines the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act from the perspective of basic economics and its unintended consequences
    What's also overlooked is that before passage of the ACA, we had no free market in insurance or medical care. Both industries had long been cartelized in the states through licensing and other regulatory barriers to free competition. When people say that the medical market failed, they really should say that a government-business partnership failed. In light of that failure, it makes no sense to expand the partnership further under the central authority of the federal government, as the ACA does. Single-payer would compound the error.
    Annotated Bibliography of Frédéric Bastiat, by Sheldon Richman, Jul 2000
    Opens with a biography, then discusses Bastiat's major works and concludes with a current perspective; includes short list of works about Bastiat and links to other sites
    For Bastiat the task of economics is to explain this order produced by that "prodigiously ingenious mechanism"—the free market—which harmonizes the interests of the multitude, enabling each person to enjoy an array of consumer goods no one of them could produce in ten centuries. Bastiat leaves the reader no choice but to marvel at both the market's complexity and its peerless facility at improving our material circumstances. For him, society is a system of exchange of services founded on self-interest, private property, and free competition, whose rationale is the benefit of consumers.
    Antitrust Reform: Predatory Practices and the Competitive Process, by Dominick T. Armentano, The Review of Austrian Economics, 1989
    Examines so-called "predatory" practices from various perspectives, such as the purported "intent" of lower prices, pricing "below cost" and the alleged effects on "consumer welfare"
    One implication ... is that buyers in a free market may (occasionally) decide to support only one (or a few) major business organizations in some specific line of commerce. Such an extreme supplier situation is certainly possible (although not typical) and there is no reason, from a market-process perspective, to object to any momentary market structure of suppliers. After all, free markets are always open to potential rivalry and entry, and dominant suppliers can attempt to maintain their market positions only by maintaining an overall efficiency advantage over potential users of resources.
    Related Topics: Business, Prices
    Bad Medicine, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Nov 2003
    Discusses the potential effects of passing the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, signed into law in Dec 2003
    From the way people talk, you'd think the current problems stem from an existing free market, but nothing could be more wrong. There's been no free market in medicine for many years. Dubious patent laws interfere with competition. The Food and Drug Administration grossly raises the cost of developing new medicines. And government control through licensing and prescriptions cartelize the entire medical profession. If the reformers were really interested in lowering medical costs ..., they'd be addressing those issues instead of paving the road to medical serfdom.
    Bastiat on the Socialization of Wealth, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Dec 2014
    Explains what Bastiat meant when saying that real wealth is constantly passing from the realm of (private) property to that of the "communal domain" (communauté, or community in the original French)
    Why is Bastiat's distinctive framing of the case for the free market worthwhile? Because there is, I believe, an untapped potential constituency for radical libertarian ideas among people who have an aversion to free markets only because they mistakenly believe "free market" means corporatism and illegitimate gains. Before those people can be persuaded by libertarian arguments, we must get their attention, and the best way to do that is to present the free market as a process that embodies social cooperation and, à la Bastiat, the "socialization" of wealth.
    Begrudging Another Battle of Ballot-Boxing, by Kenneth R. Gregg, 23 Nov 2006
    Explains how those seeking power through politics are led to compromise, even if they are members of a group espousing principles over expediency, and urges others not to ballot-box but instead vote in the marketplace and the social realm
    In the marketplace, your choices and decisions are unanimously made. You and another party agree on a purchase price and sales price. You make the trade. That's it ... Our social realm succeeds because we vote constantly in the marketplace for the goods and services which we need and desire. There is no plunder in our profit, only the produce of willing hands and hearts which we purchase and sell ... The social world advances with every refinement of choice, every act of profit, recompensing each for the products and services which are placed in the hands of others within the marketplace.
    Bernie Is Not a Socialist and America Is Not Capitalist, by Marian Tupy, The Atlantic, 1 Mar 2016
    Clarifies the meaning of various terms which young people tend to misunderstand, including socialism, communism, capitalism and corporatism, and then discusses the relative levels of economic freedom in the United States and other countries
    Many people on the right eschew using the word "capitalism." According to the economic historian Robert Hessen, capitalism is "a term of disparagement coined by socialists in the mid-nineteenth century, [and it] is a misnomer for 'economic individualism,' which [the founder of economics] Adam Smith earlier called 'the obvious and simple system of natural liberty.'" Thus, people who favor Smith's system of natural liberty tend to refer to it as "economic freedom," "laissez-faire" economics, "private enterprise," a "free market," or "competitive enterprise."
    Book Note: Rothbard: Man, Economy, and State: A Treatise on Economic Principles [PDF], by Manuel S. Klausner, New York University Law Review, Jun 1963
    Review of Rothbard's Man, Economy, and State with emphasis on areas of interest to lawyers
    After completing his examination of the free market, Rothbard critically studies the effects of government intervention ... [H]e states, "There are two and only two ways that any economy can be organized. One is by freedom and voluntary choice—the way of the market. The other is by force and dictation—the way of the State." (p. 830) He goes on to demonstrate that while superficially "it may seem that the way of the market is only anarchic confusion and chaos ... [and that] the way of the State constitutes genuine organization and 'central planning,'" in fact "the truth is quite the reverse."
    Bourgeois Virtues?, by Deirdre McCloskey, Cato Policy Report, May 2006
    Offers an apologia (formal defense) of capitalism, in particular of the phrase "bourgeois virtues" as being neither a contradiction in terms nor a lie
    A little farmers' market opens before 6:00 a.m. on a summer Saturday ... in Chicago. As a woman walking her dog passes the earliest dealer setting up his stall, [they] exchange pleasantries about the early bird and the worm. The two people here are enacting a script of citizenly courtesies and of encouragement for prudence and enterprise and good relations between seller and buyer. Some hours later the woman is moved to buy $1.50 worth of tomatoes from him. But that's not the point. The market was an occasion for virtue, an expression of solidarity across gender, social class, ethnicity.
    The Bridge of Asses, by Lew Rockwell, Mises Daily, 2 Oct 2003
    Argues that minimum wage legislation is "the pons asinorum of the relationship between economics and politics", explaining that labor prices (wages) are no different from other prices in the marketplace
    If the free market works—meaning the existence of exchange under private property and contract enforcement—then there is no need for such laws; indeed, such laws do violence to the market. If ... we need such laws to guard against exploitation ..., there is every reason for all-round central planning ... Politicians who enact these laws imagine themselves as central planners magically bringing compassion and high living standards into being with the stroke of a pen. People who support the laws have a flawed view of the market process that sees exploitation behind all exchange relationships.
    The Bright Side of War, by Sheldon Richman, 24 May 2004
    Comments on a Washington Post article on the presumed economic benefits of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
    It is important not to confuse exertion with productive work. The free market consists of incentives for people to become richer by making others better off. Market activity creates value, which can be seen by the fact that people willingly pay for products; the products no one will pay for pass from the scene. Government spending ... is different ... [N]o one willingly buys the output. How many people would voluntary help finance the war in Iraq? ... [T]he jobs created by government activity are not aimed at serving willing consumers ... [T]hose phony jobs displace real productive jobs.
    The Brilliance of Turgot, by Murray N. Rothbard, Apr 1986
    Biography and review of Turgot's major writings; introduction to The Turgot Collection (2011), edited by David Gordon
    Turgot [makes] a vital ... point about the uses of ... particular knowledge by individual actors ... in the free market. These ... on-the-spot participants ... know far more about their situations than do intellectuals aloof from the fray ... Turgot points out that self-interest is the prime mover of the [market] process, and that in the free market, individual interest must always coincide with the general interest. The buyer will select the seller who will give him the lowest price for the most suitable product, and the seller will sell his best merchandise at the highest competitive price.
    California's Energy Meltdown, by George Reisman, The Free Market, Mar 2001
    Examines the causes underlying the problems of California's electric power system, countering those who claim they were due to deregulation and the free market
    When faced with the need to restrict consumption, a free market does so by eliminating the least important of the uses to which a good was previously devoted ... In the California case, such uses will probably turn out ... to be power-intensive industrial uses [for] products that are unable to bear substantially higher power costs. To the extent that the free-market price were higher than the previously controlled price, it would operate to increase the profits of power producers and thereby provide both the incentive and the means ... to increase investment in and thus production ...
    Cantillon, Richard (c. 1680-1734), by George H. Smith, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical and bibliographical essay
    Cantillon developed an abstract model of a self-regulating free market. Throughout the Essai, Cantillon refers to the "natural" phenomena of the market; these are cause–effect relationships that operate independently of the desires and intentions of particular individuals. F. A. Hayek has noted that Cantillon, in developing his theory of an economic system governed by natural laws, uses "the method of isolating abstraction," including "the device of the ceteris paribus clause," with "true virtuosity."
    Central Planning of Electricity Must Fail, by Sheldon Richman, 20 Aug 2003
    Explains why deregulation was definitely not responsible for the widespread power outage in Aug 2003 in the northeast and midwest United States, also examining deregulation effects in California
    Since the historic blackout, politicians and commentators have hastened to declare—even before they knew what caused the outage—that deregulation, that is, the free market, was the culprit. The verdict and execution come first. The trial? Perhaps we'll have time for that later. There's one tiny problem with this rush to judgment. The free market has an airtight alibi. It was nowhere near the scene of the crime. The free market has not been allowed to operate in the generation, transmission, and retailing of electrical power. Many people think it has lately, but they are wrong.
    Confessions of a Welfare Queen, by John Stossel, Reason, Mar 2004
    Discusses the National Flood Insurance Program, subsidies to farmers and farm corporations (such as Archer Daniels Midland) and Donald Trump's attempt to use eminent domain to expand a casino in Atlantic City
    When I make speeches about free markets at Farm Bureau conferences, farmers applaud enthusiastically. But despite their surface support for free markets, most of them operate in a market that's very expensive for all of us ... Farmers argue, "We need subsidies—because the food supply is too important to be left to the uncertainties of free market competition." But farmers who grow beans, pears, and apples receive no government subsidies, and they thrive. Free markets are best at producing ample supplies of everything. Notice any shortages of unsubsidized green beans, pears, and apples? Me neither.
    The Consequences of Liberty, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 30 Jan 2015
    Compares consequentialism (or utilitarianism) to deontological ethics, also mentioning virtue ethics, and reviews Roderick Long's essay "Why Does Justice Have Good Consequences?"
    We know that a radically freed market would create a high level of prosperity even for the "poorest." But before ..., there is a point worth putting on the table. Sometimes the question posed to deontologists is different: What if free markets increased income inequality (not poverty)? The switch from poverty to income inequality is sometimes unnoticed, but it is significant. I noted recently that increasing "market inequality" (as opposed to what I call "political-economic inequality," which results from government privilege) is consistent with dramatically rising prosperity for all ...
    Crushed by the Fed, by Glenn Jacobs, Freedom Daily, Jan 2008
    Discusses the role of the Federal Reserve in supposedly "controlling inflation and running the economy"
    A free-market economy is based on mutually beneficial, voluntary exchanges. Since no one is forced to participate, all of the parties involved in an exchange expect that their exchange will benefit them in some way. On a large scale, the free market consists of millions of individuals making decisions about how to better their lives. In a free-market economy, the participants run the economy ... [I]f government has any legitimate role in a free-market economy it is solely in using its police power to minimize violent crime and fraud.
    Does the Market Commodify Everything?, by Thomas Woods, Mises Daily, 18 Sep 2006
    Contrasts the behavior of participants in a free market vs. the state's attitude towards those it considers its subjects
    More clichés have been directed at the market economy than at just about any other social phenomenon ... It is not an unusual argument: the free market allegedly "commodifies" everything, and reduces all of life to a matter of dollars and cents. But is that really what the market does? Murray Rothbard described the free market as simply "the social array of voluntary exchanges of goods and services." ... [He] was positioning "power" and "market" as antinomies. The market consists of voluntary transactions between willing parties; the state, or "power," introduces compulsion into human relations ...
    Do Greedy Spinach Merchants Want To Kill You?, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 6 Oct 2006
    Comments on the September 2006 North American E. coli outbreak in spinach, the reaction by merchants and intervention by government agencies
    At the first notice of problems, five different companies immediately announced a recall, as did merchants around the country. Baggers started shipping salad with greens other than spinach. Grocery stores immediately switched vendors ... This is one of the benefits of the information age, when word gets out to hundreds of millions in a matter of minutes. The response was a marvel of how markets can work. A valuable product said to bring health suddenly becomes a source of sickness and within hours, people not only stop eating it; it isn't even available for purchase!
    Don't Do It, Google, by Lew Rockwell, 2 May 2006
    Cautions Google not to take the rumored action of asking the U.S. Justice Department and the European Commission to intervene to prevent Microsoft from setting their search engine as the default in a new version of their web browser
    In a free society, producers enjoy the freedom to manage how their products are presented to the customer. Bad decisions in this regard are not as profitable ... as good ones are ... But what if Microsoft still dominates the market with inferior technology? Here we must speak to a common myth about free markets. It is not the case that the best technology always wins. All we can say about free markets is that there is a tendency for the most economically suitable products to dominate the market over the long term. That could mean that mainstream America will settle for convenience over quality ...
    Related Topics: Government, Property Rights
    The Drug War as a Socialist Enterprise, by Milton Friedman, Friedman & Szasz on Liberty and Drugs, 16 Nov 1991
    Chapter adapted from keynote address at Fifth International Conference on Drug Policy Reform; examines why, 20 years after his admonition against the drug war, the government continues its attempts at enforcement, in spite of the predicted results
    My last is economics, the study of how society organizes its limited resources to meet the many and varied wants of its members. Fundamentally, society's resources can be organized in only one of two ways, or by some mixture of them. One way is by market mechanisms: from the bottom up. The other way is by command: from the top down. The market is one mechanism. Authoritarian organization ... is the other. The general gives the order ... and so on down the line. In the market, the orders come the other way. The consumer walks into a store and gives the order and the orders go up.
    The Early Economists Who Tried to Save France, by Richard Ebeling, 31 Oct 2016
    Discusses the Physiocrats, focusing on Quesnay and Turgot
    [Turgot] abolished all restrictions on the free trade in grain within France ... He eliminated discriminatory taxing ... that discouraged investment and work ... He went about breaking the power of privileged monopolies by ending legal restrictions that prohibited new competitors from entering various markets and local taxes that made entry too costly ... [He] began the arduous process of eliminating layers of bureaucracy ... The more Turgot instituted such sweeping free-market-oriented reforms, the greater the number of special interests who found themselves with a common goal to defeat him.
    Economic Fascism and the Bailout Economy, by Gary North, 7 Feb 2009
    Discusses the fascist roots of the U.S. political system and events since September 2008 to extend government control of private institutions
    Anyone who does not understand the magnitude of what is taking place is an economic ignoramus ... Here is their intellectual problem. They do not believe in the free market. They cannot conceive of a social institution based on voluntarism that can break the backs of government planners and central bankers ... They think of themselves as defenders of the free market. But they do not grasp the power of the free market to enforce consumers' decisions ... This is not a matter of a conspiracy; this is a matter of the free market finally voting no against the conspirators.
    Economic Nationalism, Enemy of the People, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 17 Nov 2006
    Considers the outcome of the 2006 U.S. congressional elections and explains the benefits of free trade and the perils of protectionism and economic nationalism
    [W]henever we can have ... products with less labor and fewer resources than before, the freed-up services and resources are now available for things we have had to go without ... In a free market material progress consists in increased productivity (more for less) and temporary unemployment as people and resources shift to new purposes, culminating in additional production and wealth. The whole process is driven by entrepreneurship. I am describing the free market, of course. To the extent that government interferes with the market on behalf of privileged interests, it doesn't work quite that way.
    The Economics Lesson Obama Needs to Learn, by Sheldon Richman, 25 Jul 2013
    Explains economics (scarcity, the marketplace, entrepreneurship) in simple terms and contrasts government projects and "services" to those undertaken or provided subject to the market test of the consumers
    The marketplace, when it's free of government privilege and regulation, lets us accomplish this to a remarkable degree. In doing so, it raises our living standards and creates an orderly environment, thanks to the price system, which coordinates and facilitates our plans ... [A]ren't the politicians' projects worthwhile? ... [M]any government projects are of zero value or worse ... Other projects might be useful, but—and this is key—we can't be sure, because they are not subject to the market test ... The market test assures that bad trade-offs are avoided, or at least quickly corrected ...
    The Economics of Self-Ownership, by Michael S. Rozeff, Mises Daily, 6 Sep 2005
    Explores ten economic arguments in justification of the self-ownership axiom
    When a society adopts the rule of self-ownership, then mankind as a group makes headway faster and easier ... because such a rule is consistent with free markets and cooperative behavior. In fact, self-ownership and free markets are implied by each other. Given self-ownership, we can expect free markets to occur given that people benefit from trade because of specialization. Conversely, where markets are free, people are able to exchange and produce freely, which means that they have self-ownership. All of the many virtues of free markets ... are support for the axiom of self-ownership.
    Les Economistes Libertaires, by Carl Watner, Reason, Jan 1977
    Discusses the French economists of the 19th century and in particular Gustave de Molinari and his thoughts on the provision of security and defense services by private agencies
    If security were offered on the free market by private firms or individuals, it would become necessary for the consumer to investigate the claims of the producers in order to determine which one would best suit them. Consumers would have to know whether their supplier was actually strong enough to provide the degree and type of protection they would require ... As in any open market, Molinari believed that the purchasers of security would shop around for the best deal. If they couldn't find a satisfactory supplier, then the consumers would provide for their own security.
    Entrepreneurship and Social Progress, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 20 Dec 2006
    Discusses the two usage senses of entrepreneurship, the attributes of an entrepreneur in the "more narrow and heroic sense" and contrasts politicians with entrepreneurs
    [Some] oppose the free-market process that makes improvement possible. They seize on some innovation that they don't like, and instead of declining to buy, seek to deny that opportunity to others by passing laws against free exchange and economic progress ... In the market economy, a job well done means serving the public. Profits, as Mises emphasized, accrue to individuals who serve others through enormous personal sacrifice ... The market is not the only place that permits idealists to serve society, but it does provide a test to make sure their ideals conform to reality.
    The Founding Fathers and the Economic Order, by Forrest McDonald, 19 Apr 2006
    Speech given at the Economic Club of Indianapolis; contrasts the economic system the Founding Fathers intended to create with the one that was actually created
    Had the will of the majority prevailed, had the Jeffersonians prevailed, had those committed to pure republicanism prevailed, the United States would have remained an agrarian, colonial economy destined to become a collection of banana republics. Fortunately, a handful of like-minded visionaries working through Alexander Hamilton and his office as Secretary of the Treasury used the freedoms of the Constitution and its protections to create a capitalistic, free-market economy and ensured that the United States would become the richest, most powerful, freest country the world has ever known.
    Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850): Between the French and Marginalist Revolutions, by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, 2000
    Biographical and bibliographical essay which also analyzes Bastiat's ideas in relation to the Austrian School
    Perhaps the main underlying theme of Bastiat's writings was that the free market was inherently a source of "economic harmony" among individuals, as long as government was restricted to the function of protecting the lives, liberties, and property of citizens ... Bastiat also explained why in a free market no one can accumulate capital unless he uses it in a way that benefits others ... While establishing the inherent harmony of voluntary trade, Bastiat also explained how governmental resource allocation is necessarily antagonistic and destructive of the free market's natural harmony.
    Freedom in Transactions, by Frédéric Bastiat, 1848
    Constrasts how freedom of exchange furnishes Paris daily with vast numbers of provisions versus government-directed exchange; extract from Social Fallacies (1944), translation of Economic Sophisms (1848), series 1, chapter 18
    Imagination is baffled when it tries to appreciate the vast multiplicity of commodities which must enter [Paris] in order to preserve the inhabitants from falling a prey to the convulsions of famine, rebellion and pillage ... [E]ighty departments have been labouring today, without concert, without any mutual understanding, for the provisioning ... How does each succeeding day bring what is wanted, nothing more, nothing less, to so gigantic a market? What ... is the ingenious and secret power which governs [this]? That power is an absolute principle, the principle of freedom in transactions.
    Related Topic: Government
    The Free Market Is the High Road, by Bart Frazier, 2 Aug 2004
    Discusses how government regulations bear on countless areas, how regulation distorts free market prices and the benefits of deregulation, both financial and moral
    [Government regulation] is costly, not only in terms of liberty but also in terms of prosperity. Free markets maximize both ... Though the financial benefits of ending regulation are enormous, they are not the most important reason for freeing the economy. A free market is superior to a regulated one because individual liberty is the only moral foundation ... The moral path is to let people live in peace so long as they do not violate the rights of others. This is the essence of a free-market society, it is the path to prosperity, and it is the only honorable way to live with one another.
    Related Topics: Government, Prices
    Free Markets Aren't Conservative, by Sheldon Richman, Feb 2001
    Explains why businesses, especially the larger and well established ones, favor regulations and taxes, and why a free, unregulated or "self-regulating" market protects consumer better
    One of the great myths of the Industrial Age is that businessmen generally like free markets ... that conclusion crumbles when we realize that businessmen historically have opposed laissez faire ... Free markets were too uncertain for many businessmen; they never knew day to day what competitor might pop up and take away market share ... Businessmen ... know there is no safe harbor in the free market—which is why so many companies try to get government to adopt anti-market—that is, anti-consumer—regulations and taxes ... Regulations don't protect consumers as well as the free market does.
    Free-Market Socialism, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 14 Nov 2014
    Counters the progressives' caricature of libertarians as hyperindividualists or atomistic and explains the benefits that could be gained from truly freed markets
    When the marketplace is really free and competitive (rather than constricted by the state to protect privileged interests), it is we collectively who decide who controls the means of production. We don't do this in the legal sense, ... by literally expropriating the assets of some people and transferring them to others. Yet that's the effect of free competition and individual liberty ... [T]he freed market would give traditional leftists what they say they want: a society in which free, voluntary, and peaceful cooperation ultimately controls the means of production for the good of all people.
    Related Topics: Ethics, Libertarianism, Prices, Society
    Free Market Thinking: Not Applicable, by Per Bylund, 12 Jun 2006
    Discusses how many libertarians associate themselves with conservative political positions overlooking one important fact
    [T]he "right" speaks of the free market and the need for deregulation ... They speak of free market economics and use free market logic while arguing that low wages and poor working conditions are not problems ... So far, the language and arguments are strikingly similar (if not the same) to the ones many libertarians use ... I too argue low wages and poor working conditions are not necessarily problematic—in the free market ... Those small words, in the free market, are most important because without them, the argument fails and is utterly false.
    Free Trade. XX. Manchester, January 15, 1846, by Richard Cobden, 15 Jan 1846
    Speech to the National Anti-Corn-Law League, discussing their work over the past seven years and predicting immediate repeal of the Corn Laws in the upcoming session of Parliament
    [L]et the Corn-law be abolished instantly; let foreigners see what the English market is in its natural state, and then they will be able to judge from year to year and from season to season what will be the future demand from this country for foreign corn. There will be no extravagant estimate of what we want—no contingency of bad harvests to speculate upon. The supply will be regulated by the demand, and will reach that state which will be the best security against both gluts and famine. Therefore, for the farmers' sakes, I plead for the immediate abolition of this law.
    Related Topic: Free trade
    The French Employment Fiasco, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 11 Apr 2006
    Discusses the business and labor situation in France where a 2006 law deregulating job contracts led to protests and a repeal of the law
    Imagine if jobs were available for everyone who wanted to work ... Or imagine if French workers were in the position of deciding—as many young Americans are—whether to work for someone else's company or take the risk of starting their own ... But how can we know that a free market would guarantee high employment opportunities? In any society, in any time ..., there is always and everywhere work to be done because there are people with unmet needs ... Is there work to be done on your plumbing, paint, carpets, yard, and cabinetry? Is there not work you would gladly have done if the price were right?
    Related Topics: France, Labor, Unemployment
    Friedman, Milton (1912-2006), by Aaron Steelman, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical and bibliographical essay
    In 1962, [Friedman] published Capitalism and Freedom, the product of a series of lectures he gave ... in 1956. Although directed at a general audience, the book contains sophisticated and sometimes technical arguments for a number of free-market proposals, all presented in clear and accessible prose. For instance, [he] called for the establishment of unilateral free trade and flexible exchange rates, introduced the idea of school vouchers, and argued for the privatization of social security. [He also] argued that economic freedom is a necessary prerequisite for political freedom ...
    Full Context, by Sheldon Richman, The Freeman, Apr 2006
    Explains why, when arguing against government interventions, such as an oil windfall-profits tax or labor market regulations, it is essential to be aware that the existing corporatist economy does not equate to the free market
    By dropping the historical context we ... sound like defenders of the corporate state, the opposite of laissez faire ... In arguing against the [oil windfall-profits] tax, many libertarians (and conservatives) explained why in a free market, prices and profits would rise under the current circumstances. Thus higher prices and profits warranted no government intervention ... But something was missing, and this gap gave credibility to the free market's adversaries. What was missing? An acknowledgment of the contemporary effects of the long period of pro-business interventionism ...
    Related Topics: Corporatism, Adam Smith
    The Futility of State-Directed "Market Reform": Privatization, by Kevin Carson, 5 Aug 2013
    Examines how so-called "privatization" typically works, with examples from various industries and how Carson thinks it ought to work
    [T]he examples ...—... utilities, prisons, "free market healthcare," etc.—make it pretty clear it's only "free market" insofar as it involves corporate profit ... This is what the right-wing "free market" think tanks mean by "market reform." But it's delusional to expect anything else, no matter how much they throw around the term "free market." It's just as foolish to expect genuine "free market reform" from right-wing capitalists as it is to expect genuine pro-worker policies from left-wing capitalists. Trying to promote free markets ... through the state is like doing origami with a hammer.
    Related Topics: Private Property, The State
    Gertrude B. Kelly: A Forgotten Feminist, by Wendy McElroy, The Freeman, Oct 1998
    Biographical essay on Dr. Gertrude B. Kelly, Irish immigrant, individualist feminist and contributor to Benjamin Tucker's Liberty
    Like most radical individualists of nineteenth-century America, Kelly viewed "capitalism" as the major cause of poverty and social injustice ... [S]he mistakenly believed that interest, profit, and rent were usuries through which capitalists exploited laborers ... Although it sounds ironic to modern ears, Kelly—along with many other early individualist theorists—considered the free market to be a cure for capitalism. She considered voluntary cooperation, unregulated by anything but the laws of economics and the desires of individuals, to be the solution to this social injustice.
    Government Failure, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 5 Oct 2007
    Examines the validity of the concept of "market failures" as an argument for government intervention, reviewing arguments made by David Friedman in the article "Do We Need Government?", Liberty, Dec 2005
    "[M]arket failures," Friedman recaps, are the exception in real markets and the rule in democratic political systems. He takes this a step further and points out that "a market failure is also a profit opportunity." A profit opportunity—in a genuinely free market void of privilege—indicates that consumers are underserved; that is, scarce resources are not being used in ways consumers would most prefer if they knew what they were missing. The entrepreneur rights things in this regard. Profit is his reward. The lure of profit is the incentive to discover how to better serve consumers.
    Government in Business, by Murray N. Rothbard, The Freeman, Sep 1956
    Contrasts characteristics of government-run enterprises with those of privately operated businesses and counters the argument of running government "like a business"
    On the free market ... each group finances and supports its own preferred product, whether newspaper, school, or package of baby food. Socialists, free enterprisers, progressives, traditionalists, gossip-lovers, and chess-lovers, all find schools, papers, or magazines that meet their needs. Preferences are given free rein, and no one is compelled to take an unwanted product. Every political preference, every variety of taste, is satisfied. Instead of a majority or the politically powerful tyrannizing over a minority, every individual may have as much as he can afford of precisely what he wants.
    The Great Thanksgiving Hoax, by Richard J. Maybury, The Free Market, Nov 1985
    Describes what really happened to the Mayflower pilgrims (and also at Jamestown) by relying on governor William Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation
    To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of the famines. Many early groups of colonists set up socialist states, all with the same terrible results ... Then the Jamestown colony was converted to a free market, and the results were every bit as dramatic as those at Plymouth ... Before these free markets were established, the colonists had nothing for which to be thankful.
    Related Topics: Socialism, Thanksgiving
    Henry Hazlitt, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 1998
    Biographical and bibliographical essay
    [Hazlitt] told the story of his job search to an interviewer ... "I had no skills whatever. So I would get a job, and I would last two or three days and be fired. It never surprised me or upset me, because I read the Times early in the morning, went through the ads, and I'd practically have a job that day. This shows what happens when you have a free market. There was no such thing as a minimum wage at that time. There was no such thing as relief, except maybe there were places where you could get a soup handout for something, but there was no systematic welfare. You had a free market ..."
    Home Study Course: Module 4: Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (Part I)
    Fourth module of the Cato Home Study Course, includes link to listen or download audio program (2:33:34), questions and suggested readings
    Enemies of free-market relationships tend to portray voluntary exchanges as "zero sum," that is, a gain to one party can come only at a loss to the other. But Smith showed how trade is based on mutual benefit, rather than conflict over fixed resources. The division of labor, so bemoaned by socialists as the source of "alienation," is seen as the foundation for an enormous system of social cooperation and wealth production ... [F]ree markets and the attendant economic progress and growth are to the long-term benefit of all the members of society, including the least powerful ...
    Related Topics: Netherlands, Adam Smith
    Housing Discrimination Laws and the Continuing Erosion of Property Rights, by George Leef, Freedom Daily, May 1999
    Discusses a decision by the Michigan Supreme Court whereby a married couple who (for religious reasons) declined to rent an apartment to another, unwed couple were deemed to be in violation of the Michigan Civil Rights Act
    In a free market, everyone with the means to purchase housing (or food, cars, clothing, and everything else) is able to get the goods and services he needs. The great majority of landlords are interested only in the ability of the prospective tenant to pay the rent and take reasonably good care of the property ... The market provides housing for all, and the fact that a few landlords have what politicians and judges call irrational preferences is no justification for the use of coercion against them ... [E]veryone can obtain housing through the peaceful processes of the free market ...
    Related Topics: Michigan, Property Rights
    The Housing-Financial Meltdown Revisited, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 11 Oct 2013
    Examines the history behind the 1933 Glass-Steagall act, its repeal in 1999, and the causes behind the 2008 financial meltdown, with quotes from "The Rise and Fall of Glass-Steagall" (2010) by Jeffrey Rogers Hummel and Warren C. Gibson, and other sources
    This tale is favored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and others of her ilk, who hold ... that the United States had free banking between the 1980s and the passage of Dodd-Frank in 2010 ... [I]t's hard to know if this is anything more than an incantation designed to blame the "free [sic] market" and to bolster their case for bureaucratic management of our lives (which they call "the economy"). It takes Herculean ignora-nce or dishonesty to claim that America had free banking before 2010 ... [N]o matter how much the government controls the economic system, any problem will be blamed on whatever small zone of freedom remains.
    Related Topics: Banking, Jeffrey Rogers Hummel
    The Idea of Liberty is Western, by Ludwig von Mises, American Affairs, Oct 1950
    Argues that the "idea of liberty is and has always been peculiar to the West", beginning in ancient Greece and moving westward to Europe and America, and discusses "liberty" as viewed by Harold Laski, contrasting life under Stalin with Italy under fascism
    What gives to the individuals as much freedom as is compatible with life in society is the operation of the market system. The constitutions and bills of rights do not create freedom. They merely protect the freedom that the competitive economic system grants to the individuals against encroachments on the part of the police power. In the market economy people have the opportunity to strive after the station they want to attain in the structure of the social division of labor. They are free to choose the vocation in which they plan to serve their fellow men. In a planned economy they lack this right.
    In Defense of a Free Market in Health Care, by Robert D. Helmholdt, 16 Apr 2004
    Explains why government health care reforms will not improve the status quo, recommending instead complete deregulation of the industry and reliance on the free market
    The only health-care reforms that will make a real positive difference are those that ... draw on the strength of the free market! ... Oh, what a godsend it would be to restore a free market in health care and a two-party contractual agreement between doctor and patient, which is what the true doctor-patient relationship is: only if treatment is agreeable to each party ... is it likely that treatment will be efficient, effective, and cost-controlled. Restoring a free-enterprise, voluntary system to health care would produce the best health care at the least cost that the world has ever seen.
    Inequality of Wealth and Incomes, by Ludwig von Mises, Ideas on Liberty, May 1955
    Describes how attempts to equalize incomes and wealth lead to lowered standard of living for the masses and eventually to socialism
    In a market economy not sabotaged by the government the owners of property are mandataries of the consumers as it were. On the market a daily repeated plebiscite determines who should own what and how much ... Profit and loss tell the entrepreneur what the consumers are asking for most urgently. And only the profits the entrepreneur pockets enable him to adjust his activities to the demand of the consumers. If the profits are expropriated, he is prevented from complying with the directives given by the consumers. Then the market economy is deprived of its steering wheel.
    Related Topics: Capital Goods, Socialism, Taxation
    The Invisible Hand Is a Gentle Hand, by Sharon Harris, 14 Sep 1998
    Originally published at; defends the free market and individual liberty, quoting among others Bastiat, Thomas Jefferson, David and Milton Friedman, John Lott, Isabel Paterson, Proudhon, Adam Smith, Sowell, John Stossel and Walter Williams
    That invisible hand is a gentle one ... In the free market we see, not a survival of the fittest, but a survival of the kindest. Survival of the most cooperative. Survival of the friendliest. A gentle Darwinism, if you will ... Compare [dealing with government] to the gentle hand of the free market. If you don't like the way one grocery store treats you, you can go elsewhere ... Cooperation is inherent in the free market ... In a free market, you would have the opportunity to retire better off than you are while you're working. Even if you're a minimum wage-earner.
    I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to LEONARD E. READ, by Leonard Read, The Freeman, Dec 1958
    Read's most famous essay; resource page at FEE website includes PDF, MOBI and ePub versions, and MP3 recording; 2019 version with introduction (2015) by Lawrence W. Reed and afterword by Milton Friedman (previously the introduction, 1999 version)
    Here is an astounding fact: Neither the worker in the oil field nor the chemist nor the digger ... nor the president of the company performs his singular task because he wants me. Each one wants me less, perhaps, than does a child in the first grade ... Each of these millions sees that he can thus exchange his tiny know-how for the goods and services he needs or wants ... There is a fact still more astounding: The absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work.
    Related Topics: Capital Goods, Government, Labor, Land
    Is Free Trade Obsolete? Part 1, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Apr 2004
    Critiques a Paul Craig Roberts and Charles Schumer article arguing against free trade due to a "new economic era", introducing first the law of comparative advantage
    In the last several decades, areas of the developing world ... have become politically more stable and free ... This sounds like something to be welcomed, not only in a humanitarian sense, but in terms of economic self-interest. In contrast to the teachings of nationalists and protectionists, free-market economics has always taught that, since social cooperation through the division of labor generally benefits everyone, the wider spread that division, the better. Thus, as formerly undeveloped areas of the world join the global marketplace, we can expect living standards to rise even higher for everyone participating.
    Israel M. Kirzner and the Austrian Theory of Competition and Entrepreneurship, by Richard Ebeling, Freedom Daily, Aug 2001
    Written on occasion of Kirzner's academic retirement at age 71; begins with biographical summary and then focuses on Kirzner's understanding of entrepreneurs in the market "process" and the detrimental effects of government intervention in the market
    Mises, as Kirzner explained, viewed the market as a "process." But what kind of a process is it? Kirzner has emphasized that it is a process of entrepreneurial alertness ... In Israel Kirzner's view, one of the most important reasons for open, competitive markets is for individuals to have the profit incentives and the chance to benefit from alertness. The free-market institutional order creates the conditions under which people will be more likely to have the motivation to be alert, even though we can never know ahead of time what their creative discoveries will generate and unearth.
    James Buchanan's Subjectivist Economics, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Apr 2013
    Reviews Buchanan's writings in What Should Economists Do? (1979), a collection of several of his essays
    Buchanan made an important contribution to our thinking about markets ... [H]e took issue with the claim that an omniscient being could in principle predict the outcome of the market process. He thought that claim indicated an incomplete understanding of the nature of spontaneous processes and therefore made a regrettable concession to the market's opponents. For him, the market doesn't aim at some external objective ... Rather, Buchanan wrote, "the 'order' of the market emerges only from the process of voluntary exchange among the participating individuals ..."
    James M. Buchanan and the Rebirth of Political Economy, by Peter J. Boettke, Economics and its Discontents, 1998
    Examines Buchanan's contributions in bursting the "romantic vision of political science," advancing subjectivism as a challenge to modern economics formalism and re-integrating moral philosophy into economics
    There is an ancient legend that ... a Roman Emperor was asked to judge a singing contest ... On hearing the first contestant, [he] simply gave the prize to the second under the assumption that the second could be no worse ... The second singer could have indeed been worse. The theory of market failure as developed in the 1950s committed the same mistake as the Emperor. Demonstrating that the market economy failed to live up to the ideals of general competitive equilibrium was one thing, but to gleefully assert that public provision could costlessly correct the failure was quite another matter.
    Jean-Baptiste Say: Neglected Champion of Laissez-Faire, by Larry J. Sechrest, 15 Jul 2000
    Biographical and bibliographical essay, discussing Say's life, methodology and his writings on money, banking, the law of markets, entrepreneurship, capital, interest, value, utility, taxes and the state
    "Say's Law" ... or law of markets ... remains, in some guise or other, essential to any defense of free markets. Moreover, all collectivists attempt to refute it in the course of their assault on liberty and the free society ... It is certainly possible for there to exist either a shortage or a surplus of any particular commodity, but general overproduction or general underproduction can be no more than momentary phenomena ... [M]aladjusted production results from "some violent means ... a political or natural convulsion." Left to its own devices, the market will correct such imbalances.
    John Stuart Mill and the Three Dangers to Liberty, by Richard Ebeling, Freedom Daily, Jun 2001
    Evaluates John Stuart Mills arguments in his essay "On Liberty", in particular the three forms of tyranny posited by Mill and an element (private property) not emphasized by his analysis
    [T]he advantage of the market economy is that an individual can choose how and in what form he will find his niche in the nexus of voluntary exchange to acquire those things that will enable him to fulfill his own vision of the good life ... This will not come without a cost. To earn the income that permits him, as a consumer, to buy the things that will enable him to live that unconventional life may require him to work as a producer at tasks he finds irksome or unattractive. On the other hand, he can choose to earn a living doing something he enjoys more, but ... forgo the higher income ...
    Julian Simon, Lifesaver, by Donald J. Boudreaux, The Freeman, Apr 1998
    Reflections on the passing of Julian Simon; opening quote: "The real issue is not whether one cares about nature, but whether one cares about people", The Ultimate Resource 2 (1996)
    More clearly than almost anyone else, Julian understood Adam Smith's insight that in free markets wealth is the product of human creativity. And the greater the number of free people, the greater the number of innovative ideas for transforming raw resources into goods and services that improve human lives. In free markets, more people mean more wealth ... Precisely because a free market inspires literally millions of people to add their creative geniuses to industrial and commercial efforts, relatively few individuals are singled out as great benefactors.
    The Labor Theory of Value (An Analysis), by Donald C. Ernsberger, Jarret Wollstein (editor), 1988
    Examines Marx's Labor Theory of Value, including an example, and compares it to the market-exchange theory, exploring some of the flaws in the former
    The free market, in contrast, rests upon voluntary trade. If workers choose to contract for employment in factories rather than work their own farms or produce handicrafts, it is because they prefer the wages and conditions in factories ... True free-market capitalism, capitalism free of state intervention, prohibitions, subsidies and protectionism, means economic prosperity and freedom for all. Indeed, the free market is the only economic system which enables consumers rather than bureaucrats to determine what is produced and at what price.
    A Libertarian Visits Cuba, Part 2, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, Jul 1999
    Describes the meetings Hornberger had while conducting an informal study of socialism in Cuba, with "hard-liners" and reformers at research centers as well as people on the street
    There are also the "reformers" in the research centers—people who seem to understand the benefits of free markets and who seem to want more market openness, competition, and cooperation in Cuba. Many of these people make it a point to keep abreast of intellectual developments in the United States ... I saw economics journals on the bookshelves, books by Milton Friedman and Ludwig von Mises, and standard American Keynesian economics textbooks. The advocates of reform have to be extremely careful to phrase their proposals so that they seem to advance the Cuban revolution, not question or challenge it.
    Ludwig von Mises and the Justification of the Liberal Order, by William Baumgarth, The Economics of Ludwig von Mises, 15 Nov 1974
    Critically examines various Mises' writings on liberalism, democracy, the wisdom of the masses, special-interest politics, equal treatment under the law, anarchism, self-determination and of course economics
    The decentralized planning of the market offers a greater probability of success than "societal" planning on a centralized or command basis. In a market situation, the individual's plans are not subject to the plans of any one person or even a few persons: the individual conforms to the plans of others because he thereby advances his own. The market not only provides the individual with the autonomy needed to carry out his plans but also offers information about the plans of others by way of the pricing mechanism.
    Ludwig von Mises: An Economist for Freedom and Free Enterprise, by Richard Ebeling, 29 Sep 2016
    Discusses three major themes in the works of Mises, namely, business cycle theory, his critique of socialism and the unfettered market economy; includes list of suggested additional readings
    Partial government regulations and controls ... [prevent] the competitive market system from operating as dynamically and adaptively ... This latter point highlights an element that runs through most of Mises's writings on economics, and that is his emphasis on seeing and understanding the market economy as a dynamic process of never-ending change containing within it the potential and possibilities for human creativity and entrepreneurial innovation that when left free and open offers a wide arena for human improvement and rising standards of living for all over the long run.
    The Many Monopolies, by Charles W. Johnson, 24 Aug 2011
    Describes four ways in which markets are distorted by government interventions, explains Benjamin Tucker's "Four Monopolies", examines five present-day monopolies and discusses Tucker's libertarian views
    We libertarians defend economic freedom, not big business. We advocate free markets, not the corporate economy. And what would freed markets look like? Nothing like the controlled markets we have today. But how often do we hear mass unemployment, financial crisis, ecological catastrophe, and the economic status quo attributed to the voraciousness of "unfettered free markets"? As if they were all around us! The crises laid at the feet of laissez faire are the crises of markets that are nothing if not fettered.
    The Market Is a Beautiful Thing, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Jul 2013
    Explores whether most people's aversion to the market is aesthetic and explains the beauty in the dynamics of the (freed) market, with quotes from Bastiat and Adam Smith
    The freed market is a political-legal setting in which people are at liberty to peacefully pursue their chosen plans. This activity generates, unintentionally, an undesigned order that facilitates cooperation and coordination among even distant strangers, making each person's pursuit more effective and efficient than otherwise ... The market is beautiful not because it lives up to some mathematically elegant equilibrium model—but because it does not! Its beauty lies in its power to coordinate activity and correct errors. And it does [it] without compulsion or authoritarian central direction.
    Monopolies versus the Free Market, Part 1, by Gregory Bresiger, Freedom Daily, Sep 2006
    Contrasts state-backed monopolies or quasi-monopolies vs. regular businesses in a free market, with historical and current examples, and discusses antitrust laws
    Market domination that has been achieved in the private sector through efficiency and consumer satisfaction is a phenomenon of a free-market economy. Even without any competition, such a business can never take customers for granted because of the possibility that new entrants will enter the marketplace to compete. Indeed, big, well-established companies with large market share must constantly strive to satisfy consumers ... Owners of big, successful businesses can never be sure that they will retain their strong position no matter how dominant they may look at a particular point in time.
    Mr. Bush, Mind Your Own Business, by Sheldon Richman, 21 Oct 2005
    Criticizes George W. Bush's unsolicited advice to Americans that they should drive less in order to conserve gasoline
    [T]he genuine marketeer ... understands that nothing compares to unfettered markets at (1) respecting freedom and (2) placing the division of labor and knowledge at the service of everyone in society. Part of this process involves the price system's dual constructive role of summoning greater supplies by offering entrepreneurs new chances for profit and encouraging consumers to economize. Once the nature of the market process is grasped, one readily sees that there is no economic role for government whatsoever, except to repeal any interventionist measures that may exist.
    Murray N. Rothbard: Mr. Libertarian, by Wendy McElroy, 6 Jul 2000
    A tribute to Rothbard as a "system builder," an integrator of multiple disciplines into a "philosophy of freedom"; examines several of Rothbard's essays and books
    [In "Ludwig von Mises and the Paradigm for Our Age", Rothbard] explained, "There is, in the body of thought known as 'Austrian economics,' a scientific explanation of the workings of the free market (and of the consequences of government intervention in that market) which individualist anarchists could easily incorporate into their political and social Weltanschauung." This was the point at which radical civil liberties embraced the free market and became virtually indistinguishable: that is, economic and civil liberties became points on the same continuum of freedom.
    Murray Rothbard's Philosophy of Freedom, by David Gordon, The Freeman, Nov 2007
    Examines the arguments made by Rothbard that, given the premise that slavery is wrong, self-ownership, private property rights and a free market without government interventions follow
    We can defend the free market, Mises said, without resort to any controversial assumptions about the nature of ethics ... Rothbard [extended] Mises's view that there can be a defense of the free market that rests on no controversial ethical assumptions ... In Power and Market, [Rothbard] contends that some types of interference with market can be rejected because they aim at a logically impossible goal. If a proposed ethical ideal cannot be realized, it must rationally be rejected. To accept this requires no adherence to a particular ethical view: it is a requirement of reason.
    The Myth of the Rational Voter, by Bryan Caplan, Cato Unbound, 6 Nov 2006
    Posits that voters mistaken beliefs, in particular about economics, do not "cancel each other out" but instead they compound; lead essay of forum on "Majority Fools: Irrationality and the Limits of Democracy"
    So what remedies for voter irrationality would I propose? Above all, relying less on democracy and more on private choice and free markets. By and large, we don’t even ask voters whether we should allow unpopular speech or religion, and this "elitist" practice has saved us a world of trouble. Why not take more issues off the agenda? Even if the free market does a mediocre job, the relevant question is not whether smart, well-meaning regulation would be better. The relevant question is whether the kind of regulation that appeals to the majority would be better.
    The Nature and Significance of Economic Education, by Israel Kirzner, The Freeman, Oct 1998
    Revised version of lecture given 19 March 1998; explains why economic education of both the general public and legislators is needed and why a teacher, such as Mises, must remain scientifically detached even if passionate about the teaching goals
    First, despite individual freedom in the making of decisions in the free-market economy, there do emerge "law-like" regularities in economic phenomena–regularities that society can ignore or defy only at its own peril. Second, these regularities appear as powerful tendencies in free markets toward the directing of scarce resources:
    • Into those branches of production which the consuming public values most urgently and most highly;
    • Into those methods of production which, judged from the consumers’ perspective, must be described as the most efficient;
    • ...
    On Equality and Inequality, by Ludwig von Mises, Modern Age, 1961
    Examines the premise that "all men are created equal" and some possible as well as purported conclusions
    In the market, economic power is vested in the consumers. They ultimately determine, by their buying or abstention from buying, what should be produced, by whom and how, of what quality and in what quantity. The entrepreneurs, capitalists, and landowners who fail to satisfy in the best possible and cheapest way the most urgent of the not yet satisfied wishes of the consumers are forced to go out of business ... It is the patronage of the masses that make enterprises grow big. The common man is supreme in the market economy. He is the customer who "is always right."
    On Evil Acts, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 19 Apr 2007
    Analyzes the typical mainstream ("liberal") and conservative responses to acts of violence such as the April 2007 Virginia Tech shooting
    What we really need is a system of social organization and political management that creates the best possible environment for human thriving regardless of man's propensity toward evil ... There is only one system of social organization that strives daily for a more perfect way of identifying the problem of evil, assessing its likelihood, and curbing it as much as humanly possible, and that is the competitive market economy rooted in the private ... control of property. Matching security to risk is a very complicated undertaking, so firms work with insurance companies to discover the right means.
    Related Topics: Conservatism, Society, The State
    Parity: Bureaucratic Tyranny by Moral Fraud, by James Bovard, Freedom Daily, Sep 1999
    Discusses the consequences of establishing "parity" for agricultural prices, in the name of "fairness", as was done by the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 (and subsequent legislation)
    In a free society, no individual or group has a moral right to the same income as any other ... A profession's income is the result of billions of voluntary decisions of that group and other groups throughout the economy. If people are dissatisfied with their incomes, they are free to change professions. But farm lobbies have always thought that the answer was ... for the American economy, consumers, and even farmers to be shackled to benefit farmers. Yet there is no reason to equalize farmers' and city folks' income that would not justify forcibly equalizing the incomes of all professions.
    The Phony Trade-off between Privacy and Security, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 16 Aug 2013
    In the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations and subsequent policy directives by Barack Obama, examines the claim that, in a dangerous world, a "balance" must be struck between privacy and security
    I can imagine hiring a firm to look after some aspect of my security. To do its job the firm may need some information ... It's up to me to decide if I like the trade-off ... In a freed market, firms would compete for my business ... As a result, a minimum amount of information would be requested ... If I did business with a firm that violated the terms of our contract, I would have recourse ... One size wouldn't be deemed to fit all. The market would cater to people with a range of security/privacy concerns, striking the "balance" differently for different people.
    The Pope Dabbles in Economics, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 20 Dec 2013
    Examines the economic premises of Pope Francis' 2013 apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium, explaining where the Pope has a point and where he is wrong
    One of the things that was devoured, long ago, because it stood in the way of (politically generated) profits, or rents, was the free market ... [T]he pope shows his confusion when ... he equates the free market with the "sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system." Whatever you wish to call the prevailing economic system, ... it is not the free market. A freed market would have no eminent domain (the victims of which are the economically disfranchised), subsidies, corporate bailouts, government debt-fueled speculation, and all the obstacles to individual advancement listed above.
    Related Topics: Corporatism, Government, The State
    The Pretense of Regulatory Knowledge, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 3 Oct 2008
    Written shortly after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, amidst calls for "re-regulation" of financial markets, contrasts regulation and central planning vs. the market discipline
    Advocates of the free market are sometimes parodied for their seemingly all-purpose answer to any problem: Let the market handle it. What may sound like a simplistic answer, however, is actually the most complex prescription imaginable. In the modern world, the workings of any particular market are so complicated, they are beyond the grasp of mere mortals ... [P]roposing the market as a solution [is a] short way of saying: let the multitude of knowledgeable people seeking profit, risking their own money, and responding to incentives find a solution based on persuasion not force.
    Professor Ludwig von Mises Discusses Free Enterprise, La Prensa, 2 Jun 1959
    Original title: De la Libre Empresa Habló el Profesor Dr. Ludwig von Mises
    Translation of article reporting Mises' visit to Buenos Aires; discusses his views on free enterprise, inflation, the policies of De Gaulle and Adenauer and the possibility of an Argentine economic recovery
    [Mises] told us he "deeply believes in the benefits of free enterprise," and considers that "only a free-market economy can resolve the problems of the current world, at the national as well as in the international level, including—he added—the question of peace between nations." Dr. Mises insisted that "most international conflicts could be eliminated by the general acceptance of the principles of free trade and the conditions of a free economy."
    UpdPundit in Wonderland, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 28 Sep 2007
    Criticizes a Washington Post op-ed by columnist Harold Meyerson about the results of a survey showing an increase in those who consider themselves the "have-nots" of American society
    Clearly, Meyerson's perceptions go no further than the public statements of politicians. For him, if a president talks about the benefits of the free market, that must mean we have a free market. No need to consult reality to see if word and deed diverge ... We can expect the widest diffusion of wealth in a truly free market because government wouldn't be discouraging production or granting privileges to the well-connected. Working people, who often feel they are without economic power, would have maximum bargaining clout if government kept hands off. Clout comes from having alternatives ...
    A Real Free Market Benefits Workers, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Nov 2006
    Discusses The State of Working America: 2006/2007, a report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and arguments from both progressives and their opponents as to whether workers are losing ground in spite of increased productivity
    Considering that for a couple hundred years local, state, and federal governments in America have intervened in the economy largely in behalf of business interests, we may reply that whatever we call it, it is not a free market ... In an unmolested market economy—one where all dealings are consensual—the "allocation" of wealth and income is the result of transactions. There is no literal allocation, because there is no storehouse from which a custodian distributes wealth ... If someone efficiently produces a good that many people willingly trade their money for, he becomes wealthy.
    Related Topics: Capitalism, Corporatism, Government
    Robert Nozick and the Value of Liberty, by Aaron Ross Powell, 21 Jun 2011
    Responds to Stephen Metcalf's essay "The Liberty Scam", published on the previous day
    The beauty of the free market is not that it specifically supports basketball playing or philosophy writing, but that it rewards those who have talents that are actually and voluntarily valued by the rest of us. Arriving at an array of values this way seems a good deal better than the alternative, at least. For if we aren't to leave "value" to the market, we have to leave it to someone. Which means substituting that person's (or committee's) particular, uniform conception of value for the variegated bramble that is a free society.
    The Ron Paul Revolution: A Lesson in Free Market Economics, by Jason Rink, 19 Sep 2007
    Discusses how the grassroots Ron Paul supporters demonstrate how an unfettered market works
    On a micro level, the grassroots campaign efforts are a demonstration of the unregulated, free-market forces that Ron Paul espouses. A simple internet search will reveal a number of websites that are designed, hosted and paid for by individual Ron Paul supporters ... The Ron Paul Revolution may end up being one of the great contemporary examples of the free market in action. It promotes personal sovereignty, and keeps power concentrated at the local level. It rewards creativity and excellence, and creates stability and diversity in the marketplace.
    Related Topic: Ron Paul
    Smith, Adam (1723-1790), by Ronald Hamowy, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical and bibliographical essay focusing on Adam Smith's two major works
    Wealth is produced and distributed, Smith argued, [because] the market constitutes a self-regulating mechanism producing complex patterns without the need of an orderer. It is as if ... economic interactions were directed by an invisible hand, by which men, seeking their own private gain, benefit society and thus promote an end that was no part of their intention. Indeed, the notion of an unfettered market is predicated on the idea that a socially beneficial ... arrangement is likely to emerge out of the free actions of countless individuals, each aiming at the satisfaction of his own private ends.
    Socialism, by David Prychitko, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Describes socialism, the economic calculation debate and some socialist variations such as market socialism, decentralized participatory socialism, anarcho-communism and the welfare-regulatory state
    The collapse of socialism does not necessarily imply that free-market capitalism will win by default. Markets, profit and loss, entrepreneurship, and competition are indeed necessary features of advanced societies. But these institutions require trust and legitimacy to function. Furthermore, market institutions are quite capable of supporting a parasitic welfare-regulatory state. However, the utter collapse of socialism as an economic system accounts for the fact that the bulk of socialist thought in our postcommunist era has finally acknowledged the necessity of basic market institutions.
    Related Topics: Socialism, Prices, Property Rights
    Socialism and Medicine, Part 2, by William L. Anderson, Freedom Daily, Jun 2008
    Examines the economics of medical care in the United States, including the influence of third-party payers and comparisons to medical care in Canada
    [W]hen economic calculation no longer makes sense, we then see situations in which someone has to choose between which fingers to have sewn back ..., as Moore points out in his documentary Sicko. This is the world of insurer-led medical care that Moore calls "free-market." It clearly is not. American medical care is heavily regulated on all fronts, and is dominated by third-party payers who are under pressure to keep from giving away the store. (That includes government payers and providers of medical care, which also face real cost constraints and often are stingier than private insurers.)
    Socialism and Medicine, Part 3, by William L. Anderson, Freedom Daily, Jul 2008
    Further examination of medical care in the United States, analyzing the calls for "mandates" for universal health care
    Paul Krugman may insist that what we have now is the free market, but he simply is wrong. There really is a better way, one that would produce a healthier society. There is one thing to remember that is very, very important when speaking of free markets: they are entities that are free of coercion. We often fail to remember that free markets are called such precisely because they involve voluntary and consensual behavior on behalf of the individuals involved in those exchanges ... Much of modern medicine and health care does not operate without coercion ...
    Socialism: Illegitimate, Not Just Inefficient, by Gary North, 15 May 2001
    Discusses two aspects in the criticism of socialism: whether it is efficient compared to capitalism (according to the theory of value-free economics) and whether it is immoral (or contrary to human nature)
    There is moral cause and effect in social and economic affairs ... The problem is, the most efficient defenders of the efficiency of the free market have generally been defenders of value-free economics. They have let their technical case against socialism stand alone. This lets the socialists off ... the hook that offers them their greatest propaganda advantage: the myth of their high moral ground. We need defenders of the free market who understand both the inefficiency of collectivism and its immorality. It would be nice if they were effective coiners of aphorisms, the way that Bastiat was.
    Socialized Medicine in a Wealthy Country, by Lew Rockwell, Mises Daily, 2 Dec 2006
    Discusses the view of socialized medicine held by left-socialists, examining the problems that existed in Soviet-controlled countries as well as current U.S. problems, and urges a "complete separation of health and state"
    [T]here is an overuse of approved drugs and nonuse of needed but unapproved drugs and other remedies. The way around this problem is to leave it to the market, but that is a solution hardly anyone wants to consider ... But fortunately the market–meaning innovating and cooperating human beings–seems to find a way around the problems that government has created. This is nowhere more true than in the medical sector. It is thanks to the market that there is more medical information available today than ever before in history, more life-saving techniques, more access to services, and more choice.
    Speaking to Nonlibertarians, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 11 Jul 2014
    Suggests an approach by which libertarians can try to persuade others of the undesirability of government-provided services and the benefits of free markets
    We [libertarians] must demonstrate that people cooperating in freed markets (not to be confused with today's corporatist economy) would be better providers than the state ... [T]he free and competitive market ... ties rewards to customer service and stimulates entrepreneurial discovery, which makes products and services better and cheaper ... [M]arket-based consumer protection would be superior to the government's ersatz version precisely because it would be ... offered by competitors trying to prosper by demonstrating competence, establishing reputations, and winning the favor of customers.
    Stigler, George J. (1911-1991), by Aaron Steelman, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical and bibliographical essay
    In the early 1960s, Stigler's attention turned in large measure to examining economic regulation. He was skeptical of the view ... that most regulations were ... necessary and rational responses to problems with a relatively unfettered market system. Through a number of careful empirical studies, on the electricity and securities industries, for example, he found that regulations often reduced consumer welfare rather than enhanced it. If true, then, why had the number and power of regulatory agencies expanded so greatly in the 20th century? In answer, Stigler came up with his "capture theory."
    Related Topics: George Stigler, Prices
    Stiglitz is Wrong on Government, by Michael S. Rozeff, Mises Daily, 6 Sep 2006
    Criticizes the 1986 Bruce C. Greenwald and Joseph E. Stiglitz paper "Externalities in Economies with Imperfect Information and Incomplete Markets", which posits that certain government interventions "can make everyone better off"
    In or out of the [Stiglitz] model, it is not at all clear that government, however constituted, is somehow better suited to handling externalities than free markets. The real economic questions concerning externalities are why they arise, how they relate to property rights, what to do about them, or when it pays for interested parties to do something about them. In a sense, they are no different than any other kind of inefficiency. Therefore, the presumption is that free exchanges can address the perceived costs and benefits associated with them whereas government is ill-suited to the task.
    Synchronized Boom, Synchronized Bust, by Marc Faber, The Wall Street Journal, 18 Feb 2009
    Examines how the 2008 boom/bust cycle came into being and the allegations that it was a "free market" failure
    The world has gone from the greatest synchronized global economic boom in history to the first synchronized global bust since the Great Depression. How we got here is not a cautionary tale of free markets gone wild ... It is not that the free market failed. The mistake was constant interventions in the free market by the Fed and the U.S. Treasury that addressed symptoms and postponed problems instead of solving them ... The best policy response would be to do nothing and let the free market correct the excesses brought about by unforgivable policy errors.
    Related Topics: China, Federal Reserve System
    Taoism in Ancient China, by Murray N. Rothbard, Economic Thought Before Adam Smith, 1995
    Chapter 1, section 1.10; discusses the three schools of political philosophy and then concentrates on the Daoists, covering Lǎozǐ (Lao Tzu), Zhuāng Zhōu (Chuang Tzu), Bào (Pao) Jìngyán and the historian Sīmǎ Qiān (Ch'ien)
    Since Ch'ien thought very little of the idea of limiting one's desires, he was impelled ... to investigate and analyze free market activities. He therefore saw that specialization and the division of labor on the market produced goods and services in an orderly fashion ... Furthermore, prices are regulated on the market, since excessively cheap or dear prices tend to correct themselves and reach a proper level. But if the free market is self-regulating, asked Ch'ien perceptively, 'what need is there for government directives, mobilizations of labor, or periodic assemblies?' What need indeed?
    Thank You ... for a Free Market, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 30 Jun 2006
    Explains why so often both parties to a commercial transaction express gratitude toward the other
    The [subjective theory of value] is based on the following principle: In every economic exchange, each side gains because each side gives up something he values less for something he values more. Therefore, each side to an exchange is grateful for being given something that, in his mind, is more valuable than what he surrenders in order to receive it ... Both sides have gained from the transaction, each from his own individual perspective ... An important corollary to the subjective theory of value is that people's standard of living rises through the simple act of exchange.
    Related Topic: Labor
    Toying with the Free Market, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Dec 1998
    Discusses the 1998 Toys "R" Us restructuring announcement and the 1996 Federal Trade Commission complaint that the firm had engaged in monopolistic practices
    If we have free consumers, why ... do we need the Federal Trade Commission? An advocate ... would reply that companies must not be allowed to engage in abusive practices. But if [that] means practices that harm consumers, we can see that consumers are perfectly able to take care of themselves. When they (or their kids) decided that Toys "R" Us ... stores were unpleasant, they went to Wal-Mart or Target instead. They didn't need anyone's prompting or permission. They didn't need to petition a government agency. They just found a store they liked better. That sounds like real power to me.
    Two Kinds of Income Inequality, by Sheldon Richman, 22 Jan 2015
    Differentiates between market (or inherent) and political-economic inequalities and recommends elimination of legislation enforcing the latter, such as intellectual property laws, regulations and licensing
    We can identify two kinds of economic inequality ... The first kind we might call market inequality. Individuals differ in many ways, including energy, ambition, and ingenuity. As a result, in a market-oriented economy some people will be better than others at satisfying consumers and will hence tend to make more money. The only way to prevent that is to interfere forcibly with the results of peaceful, positive-sum transactions in the marketplace. Since interference discourages the production of wealth, the equality fostered through violence will be an equality of impoverishment.
    Related Topics: Economic Barriers, Government
    An Unstimulating Idea, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 25 Jan 2008
    Examines the economic "stimulus" proposals being made by "everyone and his uncle" during the 2008 United States elections
    [T]he market process solves the problem of how to coordinate the productive activities of countless people in order to satisfy consumers. Those who are biased against freedom will proclaim that our economic problems show that the free market has failed. What free market? Do they mean the "free" market which for ages and in myriad ways the government has straitjacketed and skewed on behalf of favored interests? We are in our present position because government has burdened us with taxes, spending, debt, regulations, subsidies ..., trade restrictions, fiat money, and other impositions.
    Related Topics: Government, No Free Lunch
    Variations on a Corporatist Theme, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 13 Apr 2012
    Contrasts the rhetoric on both sides of the 2012 U.S. presidential contest, finding it fundamentally alike
    [T]he presidential campaign is shaping up as a contest between a Democrat who says we had a free market from 2001 through 2008 and a Republican who ... says "[w]e are only inches away from ceasing to be a free market economy." ... Barack Obama claims and Mitt Romney implicitly concedes that the free market ... existed and ... presumably created the housing and financial debacle ... The loser? The people, who would benefit from ... freed markets—markets void of privileges and arbitrary decrees. That's what maximizes consumer and worker bargaining power and enhances general living standards.
    What Is the Enemy?, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Apr 2006
    Discusses why corporatism, also known as state capitalism or political capitalism, is the "the great institutional threat to liberty"
    To be blunt, from time immemorial business has probably been the biggest opponent of the free market ... In terms of educating people about the virtues of the free market, nothing has been more damaging than the identification of free markets with particular business interests, particularly Big Business ... In a truly free market new products and services are always appearing, making dominant products passé. This is also true for the production of capital goods and for services. Thus under laissez faire, without government-bestowed privilege, market share is never guaranteed.
    What Should Libertarians Do?, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 25 Apr 2014
    Examines what libertarianism requires of people, such as an understanding of economics, and suggests focusing on the (classical) liberal insight that "societies run themselves" spontaneously, with example quotes from Thomas Paine and John Quincy Adams
    [M]ost people have never heard of unplanned, undesigned, or spontaneous order. When they hear libertarians talking about markets unregulated by the state, they can't digest the idea. How can there be order without a top-down designer or regulator? How can markets regulate themselves? ... The explicit order they are familiar with is associated with someone's conscious plan. Asking them to believe we can have order writ large without plan or command is like asking them to believe that if you quickly removed a table, the dishes wouldn't fall to the floor.
    What's Wrong with Public Schools?, by Sheldon Richman, Separating School & State, 1994
    Excerpt from chapter 2 of Separating School & State (1994), published online on 25 March 2005
    [The proprietor of a shoe store] cannot raise prices and compel payment from you whether you are happy about the price increase or not. All he can do is try to attract you to the store and hope that you like the shoes and will freely agree to exchange money for them ... The people who come into the shoe store are potential customers, free to walk out without buying ... When shopping for shoes, the customer makes a straightforward decision for himself. He picks the store and buys ... A person can choose to buy only what he likes from a given store and to go elsewhere for other items.
    What the Immigration Bill Overlooks, by Sheldon Richman, 9 Jul 2013
    Discusses the 2013 Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (approved by the Senate, but not considered in the House) and how it disregards basic human rights
    [T]he free-enterprise system, which conservatives claim to support and pretend that we have, necessarily includes the freedom of business owners to hire whoever is willing to work for them. It is the height of hypocrisy for conservatives to call for harsh penalties on businesspeople who hire "illegal workers." When it's a choice between free enterprise and border control, most conservatives choose border control—and that speaks volumes. The flip side, of course, is that any individual should be free to accept a job offer from any business owner.
    Related Topics: Law, Rights
    Where Free-Market Economists Go Wrong, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 1 Feb 2008
    In view of the early 2008 economic stimulus proposals, admonishes free-market economists and libertarians who fail to point out that the current economic system is not truly a free market but rather a corporatist, government interventionist system
    That message should make advocates of individual liberty squirm because it implies that the market today is essentially as free as it needs to be ... [A] few months ago the news media were proclaiming that gasoline prices were at historic highs ... [W]hen adjusted for inflation they were not. But the economists pointing this out sounded a little too defensive, as though they were the defending the free market's honor against market critics. What should we say if next week gasoline does hit a historic high and the anti-market folks blame the free market? I know what I'd say: What free market?
    Who Owns the Internet?, by Tim Swanson, Mises Daily, 4 May 2006
    Explains how and why "net neutrality" proposals came about, monopolistic tendencies, comparisons to natural resources and others held in common, and how variable pricing has been used elsewhere to solve similar problems
    Many users mistakenly believe that the current radio spectrum and telecom regime is the product of the free-market. It is not. The FCC did not create the radio spectrum nor does it have some homesteading claim ... It is, simply, a bureaucratic sophistry, which ... believes it can distribute something it does not own ... Leonard Read detailed the complex processes of pencil construction ... from excavating Earthen elements to placement on the store shelf ... [I]t was through the independent entrepreneurial actions of the market that coordinated the supply and demand through prices ...
    Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism? [PDF], by Robert Nozick, Cato Policy Report, Jan 1998
    Posits that "wordsmith" (as opposed to "numbersmith") intellectuals often resent capitalism because the market society does not reward them as their schooling did
    [A] capitalist society does not satisfy the principle of distribution "to each according to his merit or value." Apart from the gifts, inheritances, and gambling winnings that occur in a free society, the market distributes to those who satisfy the perceived market-expressed demands of others, and how much it so distributes depends on how much is demanded and how great the alternative supply is ... The wider market society, however, taught a different lesson. There the greatest rewards did not go to the verbally brightest. There the intellectual skills were not most highly valued.
    Related Topics: Capitalism, Socialism, Society
    Why Markets Are Dreaded, by Tibor Machan, 27 Apr 2007
    Insights on why higher education professionals prefer not to have to compete in "markets" and instead want governments to run colleges and universities
    What is meant by "markets" and why the scare quotes ...? Markets are arenas wherein people exchange goods and services with one another, once they have freely reached agreement on terms. The market is ... a place of voluntary commercial and professional interaction. It is not a place regimented by criminals or by governments. The latter at most stand by to help adjudicate certain disputes, although even there arbitration agencies can often be hired to work out terms of resolution. Markets are free forums of trade and those in markets are free agents dealing on terms they can agree to.
    Related Topics: Business, Government
    Will 2016 Be a Good Year for the Corporate State?, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 13 Dec 2013
    Considers the prospective 2016 U.S. presidential contenders preferred by "Wall Streeters", Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie, and how they line up with the aims of the corporate state, and further comments about South Africa under Mandela
    This disagreement is useful in discouraging spectators from discovering the radical alternative to statism, the free market. Those with an aversion to state socialism will be drawn to the plutocrats, thinking they represent the free-market choice—hence the free-market rhetoric from people who want no part of [it] ... [T]hose with an aversion to corporate abuse will find the "statocrats" ... appealing, believing they represent the only alternative to plutocracy ... [N]ot even Nelson Mandela could see beyond this rigged framework. (Apartheid, of course, was the negation of the free market.)
    Winning the Battle for Freedom and Prosperity, by John Mackey, Liberty, Jun 2006
    Updated from speech given at FreedomFest 2004; after a brief background on himself, Mackey criticizes the freedom movement from a marketing and branding perspective and suggests a different approach by de-emphasizing some issues and prioritizing others
    Business, working through free markets, is possibly the greatest force for good on the planet today ... The freedom movement has also poorly defended the social legitimacy of both business and free markets. A new paradigm for business and the free market is necessary—one that accepts the importance of profits, of course, but also one that recognizes that business has legitimate social responsibilities that go far beyond merely maximizing profits ... [W]e know the truth: democracy + free markets = peace between nations who share these social, economic, and governmental structures.


    UpdBook Review: J.-B. Say: An Economist in Troubled Times, by Richard M. Ebeling, Freedom Daily, May 1998
    Review of J.-B. Say: An Economist in Troubled Times (1997), writings selected and translated by R. R. Palmer
    [T]he main focus of [Say's] writings was to emphasize the importance of sound economic principles for understanding why the market should be freed from government control. He strongly believed that freeing the market was the best avenue for reducing poverty, eliminating the artificial inequalities in income created by state regulation, and bringing about a much better world ... As Say expressed it ... "In general, it results from the study of political economy that it is best in most cases for men to be left to themselves because it is thus that they reach a development of their faculties ..."
    The Writings of F. A. Harper—A Review, by Paul L. Poirot, The Freeman, Aug 1979
    Slightly amended from the "Introduction" to The Writings of F. A. Harper, published in 1978 by the Institute for Humane Studies, and serving as a review of the "two-volume memorial edition"
    Unfortunately, ours is not an ideal free market economy. Not all men are always peaceful ... Some will resort to coercion to gain advantage and to rule over others. They will turn to government to tax some and subsidize others, to regulate and control people "for their own good," to dispense "charity," to prevent failure, to penalize success, to invent a magic money machine, to apply rent and wage and price supports or ceilings and thus refute the vital signals of market pricing, to manage the rearing and the education of the young, to interfere with ... free trade ... in countless other ways.


    Curing the Therapeutic State: Thomas Szasz interviewed by Jacob Sullum, by Thomas Szasz, Jacob Sullum, Reason, Jul 2000
    Subjects discussed include involuntary commitment, the insanity defense, ADHD, government drug policies and physician-assisted suicide
    Reason: Suppose someone feels depressed, and ... when he takes Prozac he feels better [or] he's anxious, and ... calms down when he takes a Xanax. He can get these pills from his doctor. Is he doing anything wrong by taking these drugs?
    Szasz: I don't think he's doing anything wrong, except I think he should be able to buy these drugs in the free market so he can compare them to opium, marijuana, or other drugs. There is no competition now between the prescription drugs and the traditional drugs which people took when they felt bad ... [P]eople have medicated themselves since time immemorial.
    Free markets king in Sweden, at least for a day: Ten minutes with ... Donald Boudreaux, by Donald J. Boudreaux, Bill Steigerwald, 18 Dec 2002
    Comments on Vernon Smith's Nobel Prize and about the firing of Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill
    A: ... [A] typical textbook ... says for markets to work efficiently there need to be many, many sellers and many, many buyers ... They need to be perfectly informed. And Vernon [Smith] finds that you only need as few as four sellers and you have no problem with monopoly. It's rare that markets are prone to monopoly. You don't need a lot of buyers. You don't need a lot of sellers. People ... don't have to know what the conditions of the market are. The natural competition of sellers, even when you have a few of them, is sufficient to make markets work pretty darn efficiently.
    Risky Journalism, by John Stossel, Jacob Sullum, Reason, Apr 1997
    Lengthy introduction and interview, discussing Stossel's early work, his ABC News specials, his response to criticism, ABC's policies, objective reporting, and topics he would like to cover
    Reason: What about Nader's argument that it's hard attacking corporations, and now you're taking the easy way out by parroting the free market line?
    Stossel: In the culture where I work–in network TV, living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan–it was much easier to go after the corporate bad guys. Then all my colleagues were on my side. To talk about abstractions such as how freedom and voluntary transactions can benefit people in ways that central planning can't even approach–that is much more difficult to do on TV. So I think [Nader] is totally wrong about that.


    The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey
        by Ken Schoolland, 1988
    Partial contents: A Great Storm - Troublemakers - A Commons Tragedy - The Food Police - Candles and Coats - The Tall Tax - Best Laid Plans - Two Zoos - Making Money - The Dream Machine - Power Sale - Opportunity Lost - Helter Shelter - Escalating Crimes
    The Free Market and Its Enemies: Pseudo-Science, Socialism, and Inflation
        by Richard Ebeling (introduction), Ludwig von Mises, Foundation for Economic Education, 2004
    Based on lectures delivered in 1951; partial contents: Economics and Its Opponents - Pseudo-science and Historical Understanding - Acting Man and Economics - Marxism, Socialism, and Pseudo-science - Capitalism and Human Progress - Money and Inflation
    Free Markets Under Siege: Cartels, Politics and Social Welfare
        by Richard Epstein, 2003
    Contents: Modern Justifications for Classical Liberalism - Between Socialism and Libertarianism - Competition and Cartels - Agricultural Markets, Protectionism, and Cartels - Cartels in Labor Markets - The Importance of Getting the Easy Cases Right
    Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty
        by Gary Chartier (editor), Charles W. Johnson (editor), 5 Nov 2011
    Partial contents: The Problem of Deformed Markets - Ownership - Corporate Power and Labor Solidarity - Inequality and Social Safety Nets - Barriers to Entry and Fixed Costs of Living - Freed-Market Regulation: Social Activism and Spontaneous Order


    The Power of the Market, by Milton Friedman, 1980
    Volume 1 of the PBS "Free to Choose" series. "Friedman explains how markets and voluntary exchange organize activity and enable people to improve their lives. He also explains the price system. Friedman visits Hong Kong, U.S. and Scotland."

    The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Free market" as of 11 Jul 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.