21 March 2012
To paraphrase Keith Law of ESPN's 'Baseball Today'
Something that pretty much sums up neoclassical economics in its modern manifestations:
"When stupid people use a meaningless stat it does not give the meaningless stat meaning, it means that stupid people are stupid."
(thanks to my students at John Jay)
A free market is not a market where someone can buy or sell "anything" they want, or where people are free to deal in illegal goods.
The term free market has little to do with the freedom of the individuals participating in market transactions.
The misconception that market freedom somehow relates to personal freedom is a commonly held min this society, and is dangerous in the sense that it equates a process (market transactions) that should be at best neutral, and is part of capital's power in this country, with a process that many of us deem to be positive (personal freedom).
A free market is one where the price is free to move and is not constrained by regulations, etc. Nothing more, nothing less.