John Hasnas on the Failure of the Market Failure Argument


On Wednesday, May 22, in Los Angeles, Georgetown University's John Hasnas spoke live from ReasonTV's Headquarters about the failures of "market-failure" arguments so often used by bureaucrats to justify government regulation. He explained why he believes that the internal regulatory mechanisms of free markets prove to be far more powerful than anything that politicians can attempt.

About 25 minutes.

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  1. John Hasnas is awesome.

    That’s all I got.

  2. How is this argument different from saying that everything the free market produces is the best possible outcome? Isn’t that just a tautology?

    1. Thank God for ‘Tony’ – that statist cock ain’t gonna suck itself.

    2. Depends on what you mean by “best.”

    3. Keeping in mind that I haven’t watched the video in question, proving a given statement is not the same thing as a tautology (e.g., reiterating that statement in different words).

      Weren’t you an English major or something to that effect?

      1. Dammit, I used e.g. wrong.

        May Poseidon forgive me.

    4. Best is subjective. But certainly we can argue that it produces the most moral and just outcome.

    5. The argument is that market safeguards are stronger than political solutions. It can be concluded, then, that market outcomes are likely to be better than politically manipulated outcomes.

      This could converge with “best possible outcome” if you want to define possible as more like ‘plausible.’ It’s possible a legislator or bureaucrat will get something just right, so that there’s a real pareto-improvement. But it’s not likely to happen, at least not as likely as within the market, and we shouldn’t trust it to happen.

      All that said, what’s the tautology?

      1. This exactly.

  3. Its pretty much the same. Doesn’t mean its not right though.

  4. Okay, shouldn’t it have started? Gotta admit, that’s some soothing music though.

  5. Actually, you are going out.

  6. And now…more soothing music.

  7. HOW DARE YOU COSMOTARDIANS cover this market failure stuff instead of the fact that a government parasite invoked the 5th Amendment today!


    1. The fact that you post this proves you are a cosmo … dun dun dun!

  8. ” internal regulatory mechanisms of free markets ”

    For some reason this made me think of the U.S. radium corporation and the radium girls.

    The company told them to lick the brushes to get a finer point, and that the paint was harmless, even though the chemists and owners avoided it or wore protective gear when handling it.

  9. video no worky.

  10. Can’t view it–according to youtube “this video is private”

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