Don’t believe the dishonest GOP rhetoric that Democrats are opposed to free markets

Macroeconomist Mark Thoma SAYS HERE that “contrary to the charge from Republicans that Democrats are anti-market, there’s a strong argument to be made that it’s the policies of Democrats rather than Republicans that do the best job of allowing markets to reach their full potential.”



  1. AmazingScott

    An oligopoly is not a free market, no matter how many times they try to say that it is.

  2. Pat’s views are simple…….Democrats are right, republicans are wrong..

    and wouldn’t it be nice if the world were that simple?
    the truth is far simpler than either party wants you to believe. the truth is they are both corrupt…the truth is that both parties use the illusion of a two party system to obfuscate the corporate oligarchy that actually runs this country…..

    Stop the endless illegal wars…stop the endless illegal bailouts…stop the endless debt…….Vote for Ron Paul

  3. We could argue all day about whether Democrats or Republicans “do the best job of allowing markets to reach their full potential.” But to claim in your headline that Democrats aren’t opposed to “free markets” is just bunk. The article itself says that Democrats believe markets “work best when government takes an active role to prevent market failures” and that the Democrats’ view “embraces active oversight of markets.” By definition, those aren’t “free markets.” You’ll also notice the article never says Democrats believe in “free markets.” Rather, it says “Democrats support markets.” There’s a significant difference between the two.

  4. I would rather see the American people reach their full potential and the market.

  5. Jaybo: Republicans, too, favor certain government actions that influence markets to the advantage of certain industries. I guess that means, by your yardstick, that Republicans are opposed to free markets.

    Grow up, man. There is no such thing as truly free markets. Never has been, and never will be. The hand of government is always on the marketplace. The argument between liberals and conservatives is over the manner in which government influences markets — not whether it should influence markets at all.

  6. Suppose you had the choice of two economic systems:

    (a) Low inflation, low unemployment, per capita income $100,000 a year, very few people living in poverty. However, the gap between the wealthiest and poorest citizens is huge, with several hundred trillionaires and a lot of billionaires.

    (b) High inflation, high unemployment, per capita income $30,000 a year, a lot of people in poverty. However, the gap between the wealthiest and poorest citizens is very small, and there only a few dozen millionaires in the entire county.

    In my experience, conservatives pick (a) with some reluctance. They may dislike the wealth gap, but they see the greater good for more people. Liberals tend to pick (b) almost like a robot with no reflection or contemplation at all. (A few smart liberals see the contradiction of their beliefs, get angry, and dismiss my question as something that could never happen.)

    As Margaret Thatcher said, they would rather see the poor poorer than the poor richer with a big income gap.

    This is why this debate continues. Jaybo: you are right on. Pat: GAC. (I find myself saying “get a clue” so often here that I am just going to start using this abbreviation.)

  7. “Grow up, man”? Really? Are you simply incapable of being civil towards people with opinions different from yours? Do you think if I were just to “grow up” that then and only then would I be able to understand free markets like you do?

    I am well aware there is no true free market. But I’m not the one who claimed that Democrats support “free markets”, you are. So either your reference to “free markets” was meaningless (and negates the purpose of your post) or you were referring to a low level of government influence. If it was the latter, that is clearly not what Democrats support (no matter how you try to spin it), so your headline remains a lie. You are correct that Republicans favor some government actions advantageous to certain industries. But Democrats favor far more government control over markets than Republicans. If you believe that Democrats support free markets for Health Care, Energy, Financial Services (banks, mortgages, Wall Street), Broadcasting or the Auto Industry, you are simply fooling yourself.

    When I first read your blog, I really thought this would be a great place for debating opposing points-of-view or at least for having some fun exposing your frequent liberal misinformation. Instead, I found that you prefer to attack the person rather than debate the argument. I expected so much more from a fellow former Bulldog. 😉 Farewell, sir.

    Dan – I’m sure you can expect another condescending “Poor Dan” response from Pat shortly.

  8. Jaybo: Your point about the incivility of my response to you is well-taken. I sometimes wax snarky without sufficient cause.

    It’s an occupational hazard of a blogger who regularly deals with snarky commenters. That’s not a valid excuse, but it’s the only one I can muster.

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