The Corner

Economy & Business

‘Markets Exist To Serve People’

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in N.Y., December 20, 2018. (Brendan McDermid/REUTERS )

I agree with what Charlie has written below, but would add and emphasize: The sentence “Markets exist to serve people” does not really mean anything. It has no meaningful content. Markets are made up of people interacting with other people. They don’t exist to serve turnips or interstellar dust or sublimity. Just people. The same goes for empty-headed slogans such as “People over profits.” Who the hell do profits accrue to, if not people? Honeybees? Badgers? Monkeys? Profits go to people. Otherwise, they aren’t really profits.

“But I don’t like those people!” is the unspoken addition. Why not just say so? “We think that the people who invest and save shouldn’t make the level of returns they currently make on their investments and savings, and that knocking them down a peg would help the Benighted Common Man because . . . well, hell, we haven’t actually figured that part out yet, but we sure as hell have a few things to say about the calculation of GDP and how that goes over in Steubenville. Real America!”

It’s easy enough to say. Harder to defend. I don’t think this mush is going to end up being very helpful to anybody.

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