Monday, November 14, 2011

I feel that the vast majority of people don't stop and think about how amazing it is that we can go to the store and find what we need. The fact that we can go onto the internet and buy literally anything is straight-up mind blowing. I wish more people would respect how markets work.

There was a recent discussion in the blogosphere on this topic. David Henderson asked his blog readers who was the modern day Bastiat. Bastiat was a French economist who is famous for many insights regarding the benefits of trade and markets. Center-left blogger Karl Smith voted for Paul Krugman while others thought that Russ Roberts, Thomas Sowell or Steve Landsburg was the modern day Bastiat. It was an interesting discourse with some of economics most interesting people interjecting their views. I would encourage you to check this out.

One of my favorite lines came from the hard-hitting and awesome Don Boudreaux--

Krugman spends the bulk of his time today, when writing for the general public, assuring the general public that its economically untutored instincts are correct.

And another thought,

Adam Smith may or may not have been referring to God with his "invisible hand" simile, but I can understand how humans turn to a deity to explain such phenomena. Many people seem to hold "the market" in a religious like reverence that I find interesting.

I may be mistaken but there seems to be a positive relation between traditional Christian values and some degree of respect for markets. If you are a religious person are you more likely to support "the market" than someone who is not?

Peace yo


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  2. Actually that's the contrary and many religious groups have lobbied government to hamper the markets. We can start with the temperance movement. I should add that Nobel Prize in Economics Douglas North does agree that capitalism was born in protestant countries and more particularly the Lutheran as opposed to the Catholics who he believed were anti-capitalism and markets where wealth accumulation is seen as a sin. There is some economic history literature that argues (rightly or wrongly) that's why in the early age of capitalism, banks and credit businesses were mostly owned by Jewish people because they were the only one for whom usury was not immoral or prohibited by their faith.
    So I wouldn't argue that religious people are more in favor of markets than non-religious people.
    I also believe you are mistaken to believe that people who support strongly free markets have some faith in free markets. We believe that markets are superior (or less inferior) than governments. There is very little evidence of things the government can do better than markets other than putting people in jail. Even taxation is better practice by private organization than the government. Our conclusions are largely supported by empirical evidence across the board.