“Markets corrode moral character and capitalism is to blame.”
This was the message in well over 10% of the final essays I assigned for my intro Econ class. This is only noteworthy because my assignment simply asked students to peruse the news over the last six months for something that is interesting to them and hotly debated. Their task simply was to go to the peer reviewed economics literature to tell us what the current state of economic knowledge was out there.
In other words, the above observation is a non-sequitur. I’m not planning on addressing the charge today beyond this simple point … I am pretty convinced that almost nobody is qualified to make such a claim.
To see why, without having to play the easy relativist game that non-market interactions are worse, just rewrite the above observation literally:
“Formal and informal interactions between potential buyers and sellers of things of value corrode moral character and allowing such interactions to happen under private property institutional arrangements in accordance with the Rule of Law is to blame.”
In other words most people couldn’t even begin to explain what they are talking about. But it sounds pretty bouncing off of the walls of their echo chamber. I may of course be in my own even as I do my best to avoid it.