Blind Faith in the Free Market

Enjoy Capitalism - photo by Isaías Campbell

Most, if not all, Democrats and liberals believe one of the biggest problems we face in this country is that government no longer represents the people. Government instead represents a narrow and elite collection of corporate interests; those with the monetary means to shape legislation. In conversations I’ve heard and as well as conversations I’ve been a part of, it would seem many conservatives share this belief as well. 

So it seems a near universal belief is that government is negatively influenced by money, which means big corporations and the people who own them. What I don’t understand is why conservatives think the free market is the solution to all our problems. Sure, government is corrupt and broken, but that corruption is largely due to big business influence, the same big business that is the free market. I have yet to hear an adequate explanation for how this will work. If you take government programs and privatize them, allowing the free market to own and operation those programs, how does that address the problem of big business influence on government? Doesn’t it make the problem worse? Doesn’t it increase the power of those businesses over government?

If big business influence has a corrupting effect on government, resulting in a focus on a narrow group of elites, how do you think that same big business is going to administer a program for the people? Will the priority be fairness and equal access? Or will the priority be what works best for the business and what makes the most profit?

Do these conservatives understand that government is the only entity that exists for ALL people? Businesses do not exist for the benefit of society. They exist to make money for a small group of people. If one of the causes of government corruption is big business influence, we the people need to find a way to take our government back, not dismantle it. Saying “government is the problem” may work in a sound bite, but have free market advocates really thought hard about the alternative?

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GovernmentThe 'Free' Market

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