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You call this capitalism?

July 27, 2008

Here is a huge piece in City Journal by Guy Sorman, the ostensible purpose of which is to herald the triumph of markets over socialism. He tells us that economics teaches this. Fair enough. But once you get into the article, you will find support for pollution trading permits, US imperial patrol of seas, central banking, bailouts of failing banks, patents, limited welfare, restrictions on insider trading, forced transparency rules, and a host of other interventions slyly mentioned in passing as somehow essential to markets. If this person were writing in say 1900, he would be considered a more socialist than capitalist in his thought, since his tendency is support every institution that was born of a market failure argument. Hey, I'm glad he is against wholesale nationalization but that's about all that can be said for this disguised treatise on behalf of the interventionist social-democratic state. If this writer ever confronted a real supporter of the market, he would probably recoil in horror and start talking like a post-Marxist: dog eat dog, the jungle, survivalist of the fittest, and all that.

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