Economics is not a religion.
In studying the current tax reform legislation being considered by our nation I realized that the Republican Party relies on “faith based” economics. It has nothing to do with facts, history, case studies or examples from other countries. It is simply the “belief” in free markets. That faith remains un-swerved by any clash with reality.
That faith gives a warm fuzzy feeling of importance… our representatives love to huff up their chests and profess their faith. But where is it really leading us? Does this free market thing have an enlightened soul of truth, beauty and love? Is it going to envelope us in a blissful prosperity with no downside? Do we even know?
The reality is that there is no such thing as a free market. A market, by its very definition, is a system of regulations. Money is highly regulated from it’s very conception.
For instance: we can’t just print our own money. If we do, they throw us in jail. That’s a regulation. The things we are allowed to buy and sell are highly regulated. We can’t buy and sell people. That’s a regulation. We can’t buy and sell murder for hire. That’s a regulation.
Our very concept of free market STARTS with regulations… regulations that we agree upon as a nation. The reality is that these are protections: a series of agreements designed to protect the regular guy. It protects us from having our daughters kidnapped and sold, and from your ex-wife deciding to eliminate you on a whim
Any idea of “free market” starts as a lie.
Arguing about free markets is nothing more than a deflection from the real issue. What we should be arguing about is what set of rules we want to make around money. Our only real question should be: How do we make a society in which human beings can flourish?
Instead of arguing about free markets let’s argue about what happens when we have particular laws in place: Who benefits? Who loses? Or the most important question of all: Does anyone know? Has this ever been tried?
Otherwise we are constantly stuck in a loop of arguing about something that does not exist, and we have no idea how deep into disfunction our representatives are willing to take us to fulfill their belief… in nothing.