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The sad paradox of free markets

Summary:
In a really interesting post on on zoning and congestion pricing, John Cochrane nails it:The sad paradox of free markets is that free markets do not need people to understand them to work. But democracy does require voters to understand how things work. Most people indeed are very shrewd consumers and hefty producers, but they seldom derive, from their own ability as market actors, any general idea about the relationship between government and the private sector. More often than not people would advocate strong regulations to "protect" customers, even though they themselves feel they would not quite need any similar rule and act responsibly besides. We are as good at "using" the market as we are naturals

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In a really interesting post on on zoning and congestion pricing, John Cochrane nails it:

The sad paradox of free markets is that free markets do not need people to understand them to work. But democracy does require voters to understand how things work.
The sad paradox of free markets
Most people indeed are very shrewd consumers and hefty producers, but they seldom derive, from their own ability as market actors, any general idea about the relationship between government and the private sector. More often than not people would advocate strong regulations to "protect" customers, even though they themselves feel they would not quite need any similar rule and act responsibly besides. We are as good at "using" the market as we are naturals at calling to patronise our fellow men and women. At some point, this latter feature of human nature shall jeopardise the first. Cochrane put it elegantly and succinctly. A sentence to ponder.


Alberto Mingardi
Mingardi, one of the rising stars of European libertarianism, is the founder and Director General of the Italian free-market think tank, Instituto Bruno Leoni. His areas of interest include the history of economic thought and antitrust and healthcare systems. He is particularly well known for popularizing the work of past scholars under-appreciated by today’s libertarians. Currently an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, Mingardi has also worked with the Heritage Foundation, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, the Acton Institute, and the Centre for a New Europe.

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