Now, we don’t have a free market. Don’t kid yourself. And the biggest enemies of the free market, the two biggest enemies of the free market are two separate groups — my academic colleagues and business people. Business people are enemies of free markets, not friends. The academic people are all in favor of freedom for themselves, except even now they’re not even in favor of that with this politically-correct nonsense that’s going on.
But historically, academic people have always been in favor of freedom for themselves. They want to say what they want, write what they want, do whatever research they want. But they’re all against freedom for everybody else. They think they know what’s better for the society, the poor people, than the poor people do. They think they can run the economy better than the businesses can.
The business people are just the opposite. They’re all in favor of freedom for everybody else, and at the drop of a hat you can get any leading businessman to give you an eloquent speech on the virtues of a free market. But when it comes to their own business, they want to go down to Washington and get a special tariff to protect their business. They want a special tax deduction. They want a tax subsidy. And Chrysler is on the verge of failing, which it should have done. It should have been allowed to fail. Chrysler goes down and exercises political influence and tries to get the government to lend it money to subsidize it.
So businessmen in general — not all, there have been some notable exceptions — and I don’t want to include everybody. But in the main, most businessmen are enemies of free markets.
The real beneficiaries of free markets are the invisible man, the small consumer, the ordinary worker. Those are the real people who benefit from free markets. But unfortunately, they don’t have the kind of political clout that a PAC — political action committee — from big business has.