When ‘Letting the Market Work’ Doesn’t Work

September 27, 2008 at 10:31 am

In the midst of what has been called the “worst economic crisis in our nation since the Great Depression,” it’s time to take a deep breath and step back from all the party blame. Both sides are so busy blaming the other that the real underlying cause is being ignored. […]

Let Wall Street Fail

September 22, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Why don’t we simply make the $700 billion available to banks that didn’t make risky bets on subprime loans? Wouldn’t rewarding those banks that made good investments make more sense to help out our economy than bailing out those who made bad financial decisions? The financial system would not collapse […]

The Case for a More Progressive Economic Philosophy

September 21, 2008 at 9:57 am

The power has been out in much of Southwestern Ohio this week and that may have been a blessing for many people as they didn’t have to watch the collapse and subsequent bailout of Wall Street. Lehman Brothers goes under and the government has to step in to rescue insurance […]

Oil Demand Falls, Prices Go Up

June 12, 2008 at 11:02 pm

It’s getting harder and harder to find actual news amidst the advertisements, but every now and then a few facts slip by. This piece was one of the most interesting I’ve seen in a long time. It has to do with the price of gas. From Bloomberg: “Refiners are managing […]

Quality Health Care

May 11, 2008 at 8:24 am

I happened across an interview with Victoria Wulsin in CityBeat this week and was struck by her concise framing of the health care issue. “What we all want is quality,” Wulsin said. Wulsin believes what has gotten lost in the health care debate is the patient. The current administration has […]

The Bernanke Rules for Mortgage Lending

March 28, 2008 at 10:37 am

Ben Bernanke outlined several basic consumer protection rules in a recent speech at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s annual meeting. I have to give Bernanke credit for trying to strike a balance and use regulation effectively to benefit both groups: lenders and borrowers. Here is how Bernanke framed the proposed […]

The Federal Reserve’s Contribution to Inflation

March 27, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Though I’m not in favor of a gold standard, it’s interesting to hear Ron Paul talk about how printing more money makes prices higher for the average American. Think about it this way, if you look at the price of oil in terms of gold, it has remained almost unchanged […]

A Crisis of Confidence: Part II

March 25, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Newsweek just published an article about how a lack of confidence doomed Bear Stearns. Here are a couple of interesting points from the article: “A company is only as solvent as the perception of its solvency,” Oppenheimer analyst Meredith Whitney Bernanke declared the subprime crisis contained last year even as […]

A Crisis of Confidence

March 23, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Not long ago, President Bush visited Saudi Arabia to ask the Saudis to turn up the spigots. The Saudis, however, didn’t bite and stated that the price of oil may be the least of our concerns. ”The concern for the U.S. economy is valid, but what affects the U.S. economy […]

What makes a working economy?

January 21, 2008 at 9:25 pm

The “free market” is one of the most powerful frames conservatives use to advance their agenda. How many times have you heard the phrase “leave it to the market” or “let the market do its work”? This argument has been applied to everything from the breakup of AT&T to social security to just about every argument conservatives have about fighting “big government”.

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The reason this argument is so effective is that most people can clearly see how the “free market” has brought many good things into their lives. The idea of a “win, win” situation is understood from daily transactions. When markets function properly, people often benefit.

The issue is that certain conditions are necessary to maintain this functioning “free market”. The Rockridge Institute has one of the best summations I’ve seen of the underlying assumptions of a “free market”.