117. Is free market fundamentalism bad for your health?
Free market fundamentalism is a fast spreading philosophy (cult might be a more appropriate noun) built on a specific interpretation of Adam Smith and David Ricardo by Frederik Hayek and Milton Friedman. It prioritises individual freedom and decision making above all else, it believes against significant evidence on the market behaving perfectly to optimise outcomes in the absence of interference and, as a result, it aims to minimise, or even eliminate, the size and influence of the state apparatus. Fundamentalist practitioners put their ideology above all else, including practicality. The consequences of this at a time of difficulty such as the coronavirus pandemic have been devastating. The US, Brazil and UK are topping both the free market fundamentalism tables and the coronavirus catastrophe tables (as they also did with the 2008 financial implosion). Totally free markets may be good for good times, but they once and again prove to be completely inadequate in difficult times
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