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Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Free markets" means free from coercion

There is one thing to remember that is very, very important when speaking of free markets: they are entities that are free of coercion. We often fail to remember that free markets are called such precisely because they involve voluntary and consensual behavior on behalf of the individuals involved in those exchanges. This does not mean that people are acting solely on a whim or without urgency, but is rather a reminder that free-market exchanges exist in an atmosphere of freedom – freedom from coercion.

Much of modern medicine and health care does not operate without coercion, and if the advocates of universal health care have their way, there will be even more coercion.
-- from "Socialism and Medicine" by William Anderson.

This is from a great article on health care, which I highly recommend. I might be posting additional excerpts from it in the future.

I wonder if people would respond differently to the phrase, "coercion-free market" than to the phrase, "free market"? The latter phrase has acquired some unsavory connotations, but who could object to a market that is free from coercion?

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