Free Markets Make You Fat, Poor, and Miserable

Monday, October 26, 2015
Posted in category Economics

Robert Shiller, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, has co-published a scary piece - perfect for Halloween – in the Washington Post, with George A. Akerlof, blaming free markets for personal vice, lack of individual discipline, and non-coercive marketing that seizes upon human desire and weakness. They start out the piece:

It is now not uncommon for 11-year-olds to be diabetic. I see one reason for it every time I check out at my local Safeway in Washington. The candy is right there at the cash register, waiting to be eaten.

Really? It’s not the steady, overall diet of processed-industrial foods, fast foods, and convenience foods, along with a sedentary lifestyle, that wreaks metabolic damage? It’s as simple as the occasional candy at the check-out line? I did not know Shiller was a notable health & medical expert or researcher. Then they go off on tangents about Humpty Dumpty, tobacco, and lack of personal savings, yet somehow, there’s a very unclear and undefined connection to the free market being the source of all evil. To quote:

 As long as there is a profit to be made, they will also deceive us, manipulate us and prey on our weaknesses, tempting us into purchases that are bad for us.

Now if you change the last part of that sentence to “forcing us into purchases that are bad for us,” then I think that sentence perfectly describes government, and especially Obamacare. I do not know who “they” refers to, and how marketing tactics become the eternal damnation of the “free market,” especially since free-market advertising has no power of force behind it – only persuasion. Then finally, the half-Nobel Prize authors make the final flub:

Free markets may lead to prosperity, but they also deliver more than the unalloyed benefits ascribed to them. This unwillingness to acknowledge their dark side undergirds the basic fundamental thinking of economists and leads to bad government policies.

So governments make “bad policies” because they are misled by the fatalistic evilness of “free markets”? That is the reason why, the authors say, we have social engineering and government intervention – to have brilliant bureaucrats “filter out” the bad aspects of the free market and let the few approved benefits trickle on down to the masses. This is why I insist these people cannot be tagged with economic ignorance. Let’s properly divert the “ignorance” blitz toward what’s really at issue: continually and intentionally raping this country’s wealthy doers in order to redistribute to the mind-muddled, equalitarian masses via the very large and visible hand of government.

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2 Responses to Free Markets Make You Fat, Poor, and Miserable

  1. Marty says:

    October 26th, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    “Right there at the register…”
    So these obese 11 year-olds came one day to the store, filled their pockets with candy (without money), and were suddenly obese.
    Does this make ANY sense to anyone?

    How about blaming the under-educated irresponsible parents?? *rolleyes*

  2. Onlooker says:

    October 26th, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    The overwhelming majority of economists are nothing more than statist-enabling government toadies, and yet Shiller and Akerlof pretend that they’re all laissez faire free marketers. Puuuhleeeease!

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