Sheldon Richman on Government Interference vs. the Free Market


Most people believe that government must regulate the marketplace. The only alternative to a regulated market, the thinking goes, is an unregulated market. On first glance that makes sense. It's the law of excluded middle. A market is either regulated or it's not. But what's overlooked, writes Sheldon Richman, is the fact that the alternative to a government-regulated economy is not an unregulated one. As a matter of fact, "unregulated economy," like square circle, is a contradiction in terms. If it's truly unregulated it's not an economy, and if it's an economy, it's not unregulated. The term "free market" does not mean free of regulation. It means free of government interference, that is, legal plunder and other official aggressive force.