The Economy Will Always Be Partial

In The Next American Economy, Samuel Gregg argues that the free market is the answer to what ails our economy. But much of what’s understood as the blessings of free markets and free trade is no less the result of politics and partiality. There are always competing interests involved; a policy that works for families or for workers might not work for entrepreneurs, and vice versa.
American “family values” before the baby boomers and Roe v. Wade and second-wave feminism were shaped more by modern notions of industrial progress than by eternal truths about the human person. The sexual revolution emerged from axioms that had already permeated the mainstream for decades. Even among social conservatives, those axioms still shape our discourse about the family today.
In the twentieth century, Americans proliferated institutions to suit and sort themselves more and more until eventually they sorted themselves out of those institutions altogether. If we want unity in America, we at least need the most basic areas of life not to be subject to such individual preference, market-style competition, or social sorting.