Radical Libertarian Economics in Search of a Title
What’s a good book title for a hard-line Caplanian defense of laissez-faire, centering around the following theses?
1. Textbook complaints about free markets – externalities, monopoly, imperfect information – are overblown in theory, and even more overblown in practice.
2. Real-world markets deliver most of the textbook benefits of perfect competition, PLUS additional big benefits that aren’t in standard models.
3. Real-world government policies are only marginally connected to the textbook complaints. No government is remotely Pigovian.
4. On balance, real-world government policies make market performance much worse. E.g. immigration restrictions, housing regulation, public education, in-kind transfers, and universal programs.
5. The best case for government regulation is actually consumer and worker irrationality, but voter irrationality is far worse.
6. Free markets are awesome because they give business incentives to do good stuff that sounds bad. Governments are awful because they give politicians incentives to do bad stuff that sounds good. Since the correlation between what IS good and what SOUNDS good is quite low, this is a huge deal.
7. This awesomeness and awfulness are the main reasons most people resent markets and smile upon government. Economists rationalize government as a response to market INefficiency, but the primary motive is actually to force markets to focus on how things sound instead of what works.
8. Everything I’ve said applies for real-world redistribution, not just real-world regulation. Universal programs are absurd, and keeping out immigrants to protect the welfare state is absurd and perverse. The liberaltarian compromise is a terrible mistake.
9. The slippery slope from the most intellectually defensible government intervention to the actual crummy intervention is very real. So even seemingly trivial exceptions to free-market principles are playing with fire.
10. Free market policies deserve to win all over the world, even though they hardly ever do, and that’s sadly unlikely to change.
To repeat, for the time being I’m just looking for a good title for this book. Ideas?