Sheldon Richman on Why the Free Market Is a Beautiful Thing


Credit: Library of Congress

Market advocates tend to respect the intellect of their fellow human beings. You can tell by their reliance on philosophical, moral, economic, and historical arguments when trying to persuade others. But what if most people's aversion to the market isn't founded in philosophy, morality, economics, or history? What if their objection is aesthetic? As Sheldon Richman explains, many decent people dislike markets because they find them unattractive. And they associate markets with other things they find unattractive besides money and competition: (rugged, atomistic) individualism, selfishness, and profit. In other words, Richman writes, advocates of free markets must demonstrate that markets are things of beauty. Fortunately, that is not hard to do.