A belief in the free market means a belief that people have an innate right to the fruits of their endeavors, and the right to dispose of the fruit the way they see fit, as long as other people don't get pasted in the face with a rotten peach or something.There's a bunch more comments like these throughout the book, but I won't spoil it for you. Go out and buy it! (Incidentally, I got my copy for a dollar at a library book sale. Being poor is fun.)
Accepting the free market allows us to avoid the political abuse and financial mismanagment inherent in trying to design an economy that's fair. It also allows us to see that economies can't be designed. Economics is the measurement of how human nature affects the material world. The market is "heartless." So are clocks and yardsticks. Saying that economic problems are the result of the free market's failure is like gaining twenty pounds and calling the bathroom scale a bum.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I just finished reading P.J. O'Rourke's Eat the Rich, and I really enjoyed it. It's a humorous introduction to economics, complete with scenes from countries at all corners of the economic landscape. He discusses what makes Wall Street different from Albania (please, hold your snide jokes until the end), Sweden from Cuba, Hong Kong from Tanzania (You've heard of Hong Kong). O'Rourke's a free-market guy with a likeable cosmopolitan wit. And he hates the Clintons, to boot. Here's a couple of my favorite exerpts.