Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What is a "Free Market?"

Paul Craig Roberts served as Assistant Secretary of Treasury in the Reagan White House — his claim to fame was being a co-founder of Reaganomics.” Roberts is former editor for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Scripps Howard News Service. Roberts has been a critic of both Democratic and Republican administrations.  Click here to read his article

Another Reagan veteran with very clear writing on the free market concept.      My favorite quote:

"But markets don’t do anything. The market is not an actor; it is a social institution. People act, and it is the behavior of people that is regulated. When free market economists describe the ideal as the absence of any regulation of economic behavior, they are asserting that there are no dysfunctional consequences of unregulated economic behavior.

If this were in fact the case, why should this result be confined to economic behavior? Why shouldn’t all human behavior be unregulated? Why is it that economists recognize that robbery, rape, and murder are socially dysfunctional, but not unlimited debt leverage and misrepresentation of financial instruments? The claim, as expressed by Alan Greenspan along with others, that “markets are self-regulating” is an assertion that unrestrained individuals are self-regulating. How did anyone ever believe that?"

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Two thoughtful posts on tax policy

I am always looking for good clear writing on tax policy.   Two posts by Laura Tyson are worth reading.  I must admit, the second post on corporate tax policy may sway me to consider changing my point of view.