One of my pet peeves is the conservative who lectures us on the “limits” of markets and looks with a self-satisfied and condescending shake of the head upon the stupid rubes he must endure who persist in supporting the market all the same. Why, haven’t these dopes read Wilhelm Roepke, whose views are to be considered definitive?
In this unfortunate post, we get the usual laments about what “capitalism” has done to the public. If only banking had stayed local we wouldn’t have had all these problems, etc.
Absent as always from these critiques is any discussion of the Federal Reserve, the elephant in the living room, which is a friend neither of localism nor the free market. Likewise absent is any acknowledgment that to call the banking system of today a “free market” is at best an expression of one’s sense of humor. As I’ve noted elsewhere, the current system is rather far from the Misesian ideal; it includes:
(1) a coercively imposed monopoly on the production of money;
(2) monopolistic legal tender laws, which artificially privilege the money issued by the government-established central bank;