Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The problem with Libertarians...

I am certainly sympathetic to the movement, having self-defined as "Libertarian" in the past. However, the major difficulty I have with free-market Libertarian purists is that they assume no cumulative effects and no concentration of power over time for repeated transactions...that relationships do not matter, and that free sovereign individuals will simply contract with one another ad infinitum without any nefarious concentration of wealth and/or power that would seek to propagate and protect itself, to the detriment of competitors and free markets.

There have never been free markets, and there never will. Prescribing as "ideal" something that is impossible given human nature is neither wise nor helpful.

One need only look to this. Its the Unites States International Trade Commissions Harmonized Tariff Schedule. 99 Chapters of entry barriers, protected industries, competitive advantage, and monopoly protection.

However, all this being said, a piecemeal approach, with plenty of "sunlight" and free examination will yield the best results. This is the primary reason why I have been warning against China for years. It will take decades for historians to understand the scale of corruption that must have germinated during its export boom.

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