Download PDF by Mark D. White: Accepting the Invisible Hand: Market-Based Approaches to

By Mark D. White

This choice of essays by means of well-liked economists and philosophers showcases the real contributions that markets could make to big subject matters inside social economics, together with functional concerns resembling poverty and catastrophe aid, in addition to extra common matters concerning ethics and well-being.

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Additional info for Accepting the Invisible Hand: Market-Based Approaches to Social-Economic Problems

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In the last decade, throughout the developed world, local and national governments have passed legislation banning smoking in enclosed public places. S. states and Canadian provinces, most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Japan have all prohibited smoking in enclosed public places. This political response, then, is an exclusive, all-or-nothing solution that reflects the preferences of those nonsmokers unwilling to countenance the presence of smokers in the bars and restaurants they frequent, as well as, perhaps, elite political actors who derive M A R K E T S , D I S C O V E R Y, A N D S O C I A L P R O B L E M S 31 utility from a ban, perhaps from a belief that they are altruistically helping others.

In reality, it is because private enterprises that do not use their resources efficiently will face bankruptcy that the market as a whole achieves a level of efficiency not attained in other institutional contexts. Hence, if loss-making enterprises are always given more money, as is so often the case in the public sector, then efficiency gains should not be expected to result from the simple presence of profit and loss accounting. At the heart of the market economy are the twin ideas of rivalrous competition and feedback.

51); this is also the context in which David Gauthier refers to the market as a “morally free zone”: “in understanding the perfect market as a morally free zone we shall be led back to its underlying, antecedent morality” (Morals by Agreement, 84–5). 17. See Metaphysics of Morals, 229–36, for Kant’s defense of limited state coercion. 18. Besides their book, their primary academic treatment is Sunstein and Thaler, “Libertarian Paternalism Is Not an Oxymoron” (which naturally generated a response titled “Libertarian Paternalism Is an Oxymoron,” courtesy of Gregory Mitchell).

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