A while back, I noted an amusing tweet from Caitlin Johnstone, also highlighted by in his regular newsletter.
The trouble is, of course, that this is the completely wrongheaded way of thinking about this. Neither libertarians nor Christian libertarians describe capitalism in this way at all, and even the “invisible hand” of Adam Smith is neither magic nor “supernatural” by any means. We don’t need to appeal to such to make sense of the marketplace and the activities therein.
Naturally, Tom Woods’ newsletter had even more to add, and he noted this excellent response by a former student of our mutual friend Dr. Walter Block to take Johnstone’s statement down a few notches:
“Yeah I guess the price of shoes really doesn’t make any sense. It’s not like all the prices on the market are incorporating the sum of people’s desires with available resources.
It’s not as if markets provide incentives for each buyer and seller to have as much practical information necessary in order to make purchases to satisfy our desires.
And there’s absolutely nothing to the “wisdom of the crowds.” No empirical literature exists on it. It’s not like when the Challenger exploded, all of the stocks of firms that provided the parts to build it tumbled, and then recovered that same day except for one company. And it’s not like only months later after a federal investigation, it was determined that this one company was to blame. That never happened.
And it’s not as if, as Ludwig von Mises described, that the market is a system of mass production for the masses. There is no reasoning to support this statement.
Anyone who disagrees is religious. You worship the market. Now lets put my favorite politician in charge of the whole country, who I KNOW is going to create the best society ever. And we need to give endless praise to this great leader, and anyone who disagrees should be shunned.”
Terrific! Let us take this as yet another great example of answering economic ignorance.
And don’t forget to check out Tom’s latest project: AOC is Wrong.