Saturday, April 28, 2012

There is No Freedom without Government, in a Free Market System.

I thought this argument for public schools said so much more, especially about the role of government and the past cruelty of the free market system, so I had to pass it along to you:
By John Krull, director of Franklin College's Pulliam School of Journalism: The premise is that things will get easier for individuals if they are allowed to fend in the marketplace for themselves without government intervention. That would have been a fascinating notion for the people who lived a century ago.

Those folks, our ancestors, knew what an unchecked market could do to individuals – pretty much what the slaughterhouse did to cattle. The market, for example, not only allowed for but demanded that children work 14-hour days in factories. The market thought nothing of firing people without pay for being injured on the job – destroying families in the process. And the market didn't blink at the notion of shooting strikers for demanding better wages.

That is why people turned to government to shelter them from the worst excesses of market forces, because a free market – by definition – won't restrain itself. Government was the only thing big enough to stand up to emerging corporations.

(Some) folks see government and unions as the source of all problems. But it wasn't government or any union that pulled heavy industry out of many northern cities and turned them into ghost towns without vibrant and supportive neighborhoods. It wasn't government or a union that closed down factories and took away the tax base for many small towns across the country. And it isn't slow, stagnant government that routinely upends the economy in its search for more efficient ways to deliver goods and services.

No, market forces did all those things.

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