In this essay, I say that libertarians had a bad month in November.

Howard Dean came out in favor of re-regulation of “utilities, large media companies and any business that offers stock options.” As Megan McArdle put it, “those of us with libertarian tendencies had better keep looking for a politician who is really interested in making markets work.”

We saw the Bush Administration railroad through a prescription drug bill that appears to take the country a little closer to socialized medicine, over the objection of Democratic opponents who wanted it to go further.

Only a flimsy filibuster stood between the Bush Administration and passage of energy legislation, brought to you in part by Archer-Daniels-Midland, the company that produces the gasoline additive ethanol — energy made from pork…

Thinking along similar lines, Bruce Bartlett wrote,

Perhaps the stupidest proposal of the entire campaign so far is that by Howard Dean, the leading Democratic candidate, to re-regulate the American economy if elected. Not only is this dumb substantively, but he threw away any hope of getting votes from libertarians sympathetic to his views on foreign policy and civil liberties.

For Discussion. Are free market ideals in retreat in this country?