“The People” Probably Don’t Want That New Government Tax or Regulation You Think is So Great

by Ryan McMaken

Anti-market pundits and politicians have long claimed that unregulated markets are damaging to communities, and therefore must be regulated, restrained, and made to fit our policy preferences.

“Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster,” conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson declared last January. The implication being that markets can be directed by government to do what Carlson wants them to do.

Pat Buchanan has expressed similar sentiments, asserting in 1998 that the “economy exists for the people. … it is the market that must be harnessed to work for man – and not the other way around.”

And in describing a new and much-applauded book by New York Times editor Binyamin Appelbaum, Vox columnist Jared Bernstein champions Appelbaum’s position that “Communities can decide what they want from markets.”

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