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Tom Britton

Director, Teacher, Language School

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Is America being destroyed by the Free Market system?

Could it be that unrestricted business and privatisation has created a profit drive and not competition to provide better quality goods and services? At what point would American people decide that the unrestricted Free Market doesn't serve the people?

Topics: behavior change
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    Oct 7 2013: If the “free-market” theories of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman were correct, the United States of the last three decades should have experienced a golden age in which the lavish rewards flowing to the titans of industry would have transformed the society into a vibrant force for beneficial progress.

    After all, it has been faith in “free-market economics” as a kind of secular religion that has driven U.S. government policies – from the emergence of Ronald Reagan through the neo-liberalism of Bill Clinton into the brave new world of House Republican budget chairman Paul Ryan.

    By slashing income tax rates to historically low levels – and only slightly boosting them under President Clinton before dropping them again under George W. Bush – the U.S. government essentially incentivized greed or what Ayn Rand liked to call “the virtue of selfishness.”

    Further, by encouraging global “free trade” and removing regulations like the New Deal’s Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banks, the government also got out of the way of “progress,” even if that “progress” has had crushing results for many middle-class Americans.

    True, not all the extreme concepts of author/philosopher Ayn Rand and economist Milton Friedman have been implemented – there are still programs like Social Security and Medicare to get rid of – but their “magic of the market” should be glowing by now.

    We should be able to assess whether laissez-faire capitalism is superior to the mixed public-private economy that dominated much of the 20th Century.
    • Oct 8 2013: The USA did not have a free market in the last three decades. Instead, there was active collusion between business and government to eliminate the free market. There has never been laissez-faire capitalism. Government has always interfered, and businessmen have always sought out and obtained government favoritism.

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