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08/25/2003 Entry: "Free market"

Joshua Claybourn writes:I am, if it isn't already clear, an outspoken advocate of the free market. But economists make the following assumption.

The effectiveness of the market as a resource allocator assumes that each person is a rational maximizer of his/her self-interest who will respond to incentives by altering his/her behavior when the market creates an opportunity to improve his/her circumstances.
This assumption may be one of the market's few failings. As we all know, far too many players simply aren't rational, either because of their own ignorance, or a lack of full and honest information.

I think Josh has put his finger on the problem with free market economics, but it doesn't lie where he thinks it does. The problem isn't that consumers are irrational or ignorant. The problem is that the whole edifice is built on a foundation of selfishness. That may be OK from a secular point of view, but can anyone find anything in the teaching of Jesus that suggests I should be a "maximiser of self-interest"?

Replies:

Here's a ping (my name is the link) from my site as well, Richard.

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann @ 08/27/2003 03:28 AM CST

I have weighed in with my views on this one over at my blog- click on my name for the permanent link to it.

Posted by Dr Adrian WArnock @ 08/26/2003 09:16 PM CST

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