"Free Market Makes a Lot of Sense"

Here’s an excerpt from my column in today’s Cedar Rapids Gazette:

“President Obama’s ‘manufacturing czar,’ Ron Bloom, raised a few eyebrows when he stated that ‘the free market is nonsense.’ If the waning months of the Bush administration are any indication, the leaders of both major parties now basically share this philosophy. That’s a pity.

“Our ‘nonsensical’ free (though increasingly regulated) market has given the U.S. one of the highest standards of living in the world. […]

“If we don’t have a free-market economy, then we have a command economy wherein government regulators control wages, prices and production rates. (Sure, it’s a sliding scale between the two, but an administration that views one end as ‘nonsense’ will obviously only let us slide one way.)

“When I was young, the Soviet Union was the ultimate embodiment of a command economy.

“I spent some time there in the summer of 1991 as a student ambassador. My three weeks there don’t make me an expert on all things Soviet, but it was eye-opening for a 16-year-old Iowa farm boy.

“I saw the blocks-long lines of people waiting for bread and other necessities. I toured the GUM department store in Moscow. We were told it was the largest department store in the world. Its shelves were bare.”

You can read the entire article here.

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