Originally Posted by john galt
Fair enough. To me, the "free market" includes access to judicial remedies for dispute resolution, including those arising from bankruptcy - access denied to millions of Americans who were summarily raped "for our own good".
Such institutions and remedies are a proper function of government. I do not advocate anarchy.
I had addressed his comment on this earlier but you make a very important point here that I think is worth highlighting.
I think it is a mistake to assume free market = anarchy.
While I personally do consider anarchy something worthy of discussion and debate and I'm also a strong advocate of the free market, it would be a gross error to assume these two things are one and the same.
I think you can reasonably say you have a free market and
have a handful of government functions that are limited to their proper role (protecting the basic rights of life, liberty of property of its citizens).
I think it's also important to note that "free market" isn't a binary, black and white thing. The US as a whole is, economically speaking, a mixed system of socialism (both corporate and non-corporate), fascism (a.k.a. corporatism, state capitalism) and free market. Some parts of the economy are more or less of each one of these. For example:
- Education (at least primary education) is mostly socialist, economically speaking, as are the roads, police, fire protection, space exploration, etc.
- Banking and monetary system are mostly fascist/corporatist. The banking system in general and the The Fed in particular is a government protected cartel. The insurance industries fall into this category too.
- Things like food, clothing, consumer electronics, automobiles, etc. are mostly free-market. But even some of these have a socialist or fascist taint to them, economically and the first two examples have some aspects of free market in them too but are largely dominated by these other economic models.
Finally, the healthcare system is pretty much all fucked up. I'd argue it is mostly socialist with some aspects being free market. Mostly it is a completely muddled mess in which all the bad things are blamed on free-marketism and the government's involvement is typically completely ignored or assumed to be entirely beneficial.