Why are so many people so hostile to free markets?(via Sigmund, Carl & Alfred)
Markets provide miracles that we take for granted. Clean, well-lighted supermarkets sell 30,000 products. Starvation has largely vanished from countries where private property and economic freedom are permitted. Free markets have rescued more people from poverty than government ever has.
And yet, when innovators propose extending this benign power, people shriek in fear.
This was clear reading The Wall Street Journal not long ago.
The "Letters" section led with complaints about Bob Poole's column on well-maintained private highways that keep traffic moving. One writer complained that such highways exist for "the privileged … who can afford surprisingly large … fees … to drive a very boring 45 minutes around metropolitan Toronto. Highway 407 is certainly a great success -- for its bondholders."
Surprisingly large fees? Only if you are clueless about what you pay for "free" roads. And why is success for the bondholders a bad thing? Is the writer envious? If the ride is boring, he doesn't need to take it. No one forces anyone to use a private highway. Why do so many begrudge the successes that voluntary private exchanges bring?
Saturday, January 19, 2008
ABC News's John Stossel: