Big Business intervention in the free market of ideas

Centrally planned economies create too much inefficiency to make good wealth-creating engines.

The corporate elite and their media bootlicks have taken that principle and stretched it into a dogma. It's become an absolutist position: government should have no role in the economy save for enforcing a minimal set of laws and correcting the occasional "market distortion" -- the Enrons and what have you. And when the government does make such an intervention, it musn't go too far.

But what about the reverse? What about the private sector's endless interventions in the free market of ideas that we call a democracy? Doesn't it cut both ways?

Milton Friedman, the Godfather of the libertarian right, explained why governments shouldn't butt into the private sector:

The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit. The big difference between government coercion and private markets is that government can use coercion to make an exchange in which A benefits and B loses. But in the market, if A and B come to a voluntary agreement, it's because both of them are better off.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.