Phi Beta Cons

Who are the ideologues?

Inside Higher Ed today has a story on a skirmish within the ranks of academic economists over the supposed dominance of what some call “free market ideologues.”
The name calling is quite nonsensical. I know of no serious economist who maintains as a matter of dogma that market processes are good and government intervention is bad. It’s a question of comparing results. When one looks at the effects of coercive government intervention — something about which we have an awful lot of evidence — and compares it with the effects of leaving matters up to voluntary action, the latter course nearly always looks preferable.
Good economists don’t fall for what Professor James Buchanan calls “the romance of legislation.”

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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