RE: Think Again: The Economist’s “Happy” Ignorance
This is an interesting subject Mav.
It is my opinion, having studied economics, that the concept of "laissez faire economics" is an intellectual exercise and not something that ought to be imposed as an end in and of itself. Many, but not all, radical capitalists have conflated the idea of the free market with freedom.
This is a huge intellectual leap. If I took a dollar from you, how much of your "freedom" have I deprived you of?
Suppose if your car gets broken into and your car stereo gets stolen, suppose it costs you a $100 deductible. Which deprives you more of your "freedom"? Having your car stereo stolen or having $100 taken from you in, say, taxes? The car stereo example is only a mild example, but I have had my car stereo stolen and while it is certainly not as bad as being raped (not even close) there is a sense of violation that my car was f***** with. That's my space and it matters more than a sum of money that I can replace.
I'm not sure I explained that very well, but if you study "freedom" and philosophers from whom our notions of freedom have derived I believe you will find that they made this distinction. Having money, per se, is not a big part of what freedome is about and conflating lassaize faire capitalism with freedom is not impressive.
Studying the markets and using a lassaize faire capitalist model is more instructive than trying to actually impose lassaize faire capitalism. As an intellectual exercise it works reasonably well but things like "utils," or supposed measures of the marginal utilities that people derive from various choices, is just not real applicable to real peoples' lives.
Like Keynes said, markets work always and everywhere in the long run, but in the long run we're all dead.
There's so much in that simple statement. . . I wish I could explain more of it but I'm afraid I have to leave it at that.