No Free Market?

This article is written in response to an ad for the book "How to Save Capitalism" by Robert B. Reich. The ad presents a cartoon description of the "Free Market" system. The ad is attractive and the use of the cartoons is effective presenting a view of the subject. The cartoons are presented in a way that accurately presents existing conditions.


Firstly, the presentation describes only a small portion of the Free Market system, only the relationship of government vs private elements. Where the presentation is true and accurately portrays the issues that exist today, it is not the whole story. Free Markets include such mundane activities as deciding to shop at Walmart or Publix for groceries, and which groceries to buy where; which automobile has the features best suited for the use of a business, professional, and/or family; which doctor to use. Should we use Verizon Wireless phones, or AT&T? Should we shop at a store so we can examine the quality of a product first-hand or order it on-line from (Some of us are even guilty of examining the product in a store then ordering it on-line). That is the major part of the Free Market system.

Secondly, he doesn't cover the way wealth is created in a free market. That is the role of the three elements of Idea, Investment, and Labor. Those three are required to produce a product that is desired to improve the lives of enough people that they will trade their wealth to procure the product and return a profit to the investors. Hopefully, the book which I have not read, will. (Having read several articles by Robert B Reich, I confess I may not live long enough to read his book. I much prefer articles from

Thirdly, his assertion the the free market is created and enforced by government is false. If he really appreciated history or even knew it, he would know the the free market ideas were discovered 400 years ago by philosophers and religious men charged with the task of discovering "natural laws". See this article for this history. In fact references are made to certain principles in the Holy Bible. Two references are made in the new testament in the parables of Jesus. One concerning profit (Luke 19:12-26) and the other concerning employer-employee relationships and property ownership(Matthew 20:1-16).

Fourthly, Reich is true to his belief that progressives and the government should be in charge of the individual and their lives. Using the populist theme that businesses and their cronies in government are responsible for the mess we are in, ignores the fact that voters, often ignorant of how the free market works, put the cronies in office expecting to get freebies that are promised to them. Ignoring Margaret Thatchers gem "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money."

YES! There IS a free market! I still have options available to me when I choose to buy a product. I can still buy gasoline that does not have corn alcohol in it. I can still choose another doctor if the closest one will not see me in two months. One might argue the Communist nations don't have a free market. Cuba probably comes to mind. Russia and China are two that many may mention. If there is not a free market there, why do each of them have a stock market.

While it is true that the US government was almost successful in destroying the railroad industry by regulating it almost out of business, and it is on the verge of regulating the coal industry out of business, those two examples should demonstrate the ineptness of the government to understand the free market and how it works. But then government doesn't depend on the quality of its products. It just raises taxes to pay for its failures.