Saturday, May 22, 2010

Stossel's Blind Faith in the Free Markets

STOSSEL: But those -- Jim Crow -- those were government rules. Government was saying we have white and black drinking fountains. That's very different from saying private people can't discriminate.

KELLY: How do you know? How do you know that these private business owners, who owned restaurants and so on, would have said, "You know what? Yes. We will take blacks. STOSSEL: Some wouldn't.

KELLY: We'll take gays. We'll take lesbians," if they hadn't been forced to do it.

STOSSEL: Because eventually they would have lost business. The free market competition would have cleaned the clocks of the people who didn't serve most customers.

KELLY: How do you know that, John?

STOSSEL: I don't. You can't know for sure.

BINGO!!!! John Stossel doesn’t know whether free market forces would have been sufficient to integrate southern businesses in the absence of Jim Crow laws. Moreover, does he really think that it was government action in the form of segregation laws that caused white people to discriminate rather than the white people’s desire to maintain a particular social order that caused the state governments to pass the Jim Crow laws? It seems to me that libertarian belief in the "magic of the market" is grounded just as much in blind faith as any religion's belief in its magic book.

1 comment:

  1. So, the idea that the free market would encourage businesses to serve gays might make sense (not that it's convincing that that pressure would suffice), but it's crazy to think it would have helped blacks, because at the time of Jim Crow, blacks were economically inconsequential!