The sad paradox of free markets
By Alberto Mingardi
The sad paradox of free markets is that free markets do not need people to understand them to work. But democracy does require voters to understand how things work.
Most people indeed are very shrewd consumers and hefty producers, but they seldom derive, from their own ability as market actors, any general idea about the relationship between government and the private sector. More often than not people would advocate strong regulations to “protect” customers, even though they themselves feel they would not quite need any similar rule and act responsibly besides. We are as good at “using” the market as we are naturals at calling to patronise our fellow men and women. At some point, this latter feature of human nature shall jeopardise the first. Cochrane put it elegantly and succinctly. A sentence to ponder.