Yet another reminder of how free markets undercut discrimination.

Just how miraculously the world market works.

See this picture? It is a pack of Chanukah decorations. Made in China!! How many Jews do you suppose are in China? How many celebrate Chanukah? How many people there even know what Chanukah is? Yet, some factory finds it profitable to find out about it and produce this stuff for Jews in the wider world, selling at a price competitive with alternative sources. Talk about the division of knowledge! Notice the miracles.

My friend Peter Lewin, an economist at UT Dallas, posted the above on Facebook yesterday. He gave me permission to use it.

Peter’s comment reminded me of this famous passage in Milton Friedman’s pathbreaking 1962 book, Capitalism and Freedom:

No one who buys bread knows whether the wheat from which it is made was grown by a Communist or a Republican, by a constitutionalist or a Fascist, or, for that matter, by a Negro or a white. This illustrates how an impersonal market separates economic activities from political views and protects men from being discriminated against in their economic activities for reasons that are irrelevant to their productivity—whether those reasons are associated with their views or their color.

The case Peter highlighted illustrates Friedman’s point. But it even goes further, noting that the people creating the product—who are unlikely to be Jewish—know that it will be bought almost entirely by Jews. Whatever their views on Jews, they want to make money by selling to them.