An open letter

Professor Horwitz writes an open letter to the left.

No free market economist thinks “greed is always good.” What we think is good are institutions that play to the self-interest of private actors by rewarding them for serving the public, not just themselves. We believe that’s what genuinely free markets do. Market exchanges are mutually beneficial. When the law messes up by either poorly defining the rules of the game or trying to override them through regulation, self-interested behavior is no longer economically mutually beneficial. The private sector then profits by serving narrow political ends rather than serving the public. In such cases, greed leads to bad consequences. But it’s bad not because it’s greed/self-interest rather because the institutional context within which it operates channels self-interest in socially unproductive ways.

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4 responses to “An open letter

  1. I was reading this article on Friday. The part about regulations being the problem reminded me of the Age of the Ambassador.

    Are you going to re-post the “greed is good” video clip?

  2. Its been a while since I was last scratched by sarcasm. Nice to know the art isn’t dying.

  3. It was an attempt at ‘irony’ actually, an unpleasant one nevertheless.

  4. Ah, irony. Oh well! Welcome to the blog.

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