Deirdre McCloskey Throws Down the Gauntlet
The master narrative of High Liberalism is mistaken factually. Externalities do not imply that a government can do better. Publicity does better than inspectors in restraining the alleged desire of businesspeople to poison their customers. Efficiency is not the chief merit of a market economy: innovation is. Rules arose in merchant courts and Quaker fixed prices long before governments started enforcing them.
Pointer from Don Boudreaux, who views her post as a classic. Read the whole thing and decide for yourself.
I think she makes a valid point that historical narrative matters, and that the mainstream narrative is excruciatingly statist. Should one be concerned if, from a Leo Strauss/Tyler Cowen/Rodney King perspective, McCloskey’s post does not help?