Defenders of the free market are often accused of being apologists for big business and shills for the corporate elite. Is this a fair charge? No and yes. Emphatically noâ€”because corporate power and the free market are actually antithetical; genuine competition is big businessâ€™s worst nightmare. But also, in all too many cases, yes â€”because although liberty and plutocracy cannot coexist, simultaneous advocacy of both is all too possible. First, the no. Corporations tend to fear competition, because competition exerts downward pressure on prices and upward pressure on salaries; moreover, success on the market comes with no guarantee of permanency, depending as it does on outdoing other firms at correctly figuring out how best to satisfy forever-changing consumer preferences, and that kind of vulnerability to loss is no picnic. It is no surprise, then, that throughout U.S. history corporations have been overwhelmingly hostile to the free market. Indeed, most of the existing regulatory apparatusâ€”including those regulations widely misperceived as restraints on corporate powerâ€”were vigorously supported, lobbied for, and in some cases even drafted by the corporate elite.
This is what I’ve been trying to explain to my many liberal-by-default friends since I first started to notice it several years ago. Hopefully this guy gets the point across better than I do. Definitely, please, go read the whole thing. It’s not even very long.