Tuesday, 2 February 2021

invisible hand

We very much appreciated the thorough and disabusing essay on the misapplication of the term “free market”—as in free market capitalism, which is assuredly not invoked in the way classical economists like Henry George and Adam Smith intended the phrase to be used in the late nineteenth century. 
Rather than business unencumbered by government regulation, this school of thought championed markets free from rentiers (the characterisation parasitic is unduly insulting to actual parasites that are not some degenerate life form but instead highly evolved organisms that might otherwise be capriciously labelled ‘in a symbiotic relationship’), monopolies and other privileges conferred and rabidly protected that reduce fair and open competition. To counter-balance the advantages of inheritance for the landed gentry, Smith, Henry and others were strong proponents of high property taxes to supplant a tariff on income and encourage productive labour.