Magazine | May 20, 2019, Issue

In Defense of Markets: An Introduction

(Luba Myts)

Socialism is back. T. S. Eliot said that “there is no such thing as a Lost Cause, because there is no such thing as a Gained Cause.” We thought our Gained Cause was having vanquished domestic socialism forevermore after the collapse of Soviet Communism in 1989. In the 1990s, Bill Clinton operated within the broad economic consensus established by Ronald Reagan, and when Republicans called Barack Obama a socialist, some on the left considered it a racially charged smear. But here we are: A self-avowed socialist nearly won the Democratic nomination in 2016 and is a serious contender this time. Another socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is the hottest thing in progressive politics today. The Green New Deal and Medicare for All are proposals for sweeping aggrandizements of government power on a scale not seen in this country since the New Deal, if ever. Meanwhile, some on the right are raising questions about free markets, or even rejecting them. If for nothing else, NR exists to stand up for important truths, even when they are embattled or out of favor. It is in that spirit that we publish our next two numbers, a twin special issue making the case for markets (the issue you are reading now) and against socialism (our next issue). If our cause wasn’t nearly as gained as we thought two decades ago, it is incumbent on us to make the argument for it more vigorously than ever. Thanks for reading.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

In This Issue

In Defense of Markets

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

The Week

The Week

Until Biden’s poll numbers come down, we advise the women of Iowa and New Hampshire to keep their distance.

Most Popular

Religion

Chick-fil-A’s Shameful Capitulation

After what one Chick-fil-A executive called “years of taking it on the chin,” referring presumably to the decades of hectoring leveled at the company by LGBT activists, the press, and scolds at American colleges and universities, the fast-food chain announced its decision to withdraw support from three ... Read More
Religion

Chick-fil-A’s Shameful Capitulation

After what one Chick-fil-A executive called “years of taking it on the chin,” referring presumably to the decades of hectoring leveled at the company by LGBT activists, the press, and scolds at American colleges and universities, the fast-food chain announced its decision to withdraw support from three ... Read More
Film & TV

Frozen II Is a Fjord Fiasco

Since Frozen was a nearly perfect Disney feature, Frozen II brings with it the expectation of magic. Magic is really hard to pull off, though, and this time the sparkle is gone. In Frozen II, the story is strange, the jokes are terrible, the romance is nonexistent, and the songs are clunkers. Fairy tales that end ... Read More
Film & TV

Frozen II Is a Fjord Fiasco

Since Frozen was a nearly perfect Disney feature, Frozen II brings with it the expectation of magic. Magic is really hard to pull off, though, and this time the sparkle is gone. In Frozen II, the story is strange, the jokes are terrible, the romance is nonexistent, and the songs are clunkers. Fairy tales that end ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Clock

Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry is incoherent. Given the impossibility of a senatorial conviction, the only strategy is to taint the president with the brand of impeachment and weaken him in the 2020 election. Yet Schiff seems to have no sense that the worm has already turned. Far from tormenting Trump and ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Clock

Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry is incoherent. Given the impossibility of a senatorial conviction, the only strategy is to taint the president with the brand of impeachment and weaken him in the 2020 election. Yet Schiff seems to have no sense that the worm has already turned. Far from tormenting Trump and ... Read More
Elections

Warren’s Wealth Tax Is Unethical

Senator Warren would impose a 2 percent annual tax on wealth above $50 million, and a 6 percent annual tax on wealth above $1 billion. These numbers may seem small, but remember that they would be applied every year. With wealth taxes, small numbers have large effects. Applied to an asset yielding a steady ... Read More
Elections

Warren’s Wealth Tax Is Unethical

Senator Warren would impose a 2 percent annual tax on wealth above $50 million, and a 6 percent annual tax on wealth above $1 billion. These numbers may seem small, but remember that they would be applied every year. With wealth taxes, small numbers have large effects. Applied to an asset yielding a steady ... Read More