'Tis So Sweet to Trust in the Market

The interesting thing about the Angry Joe Walsh video Gabriela posted is that it underscores the degree to which Walsh—and his fellow-travelers in the Republican Party—have a view of the market that’s more theological than anything else. Listen to how he describes calls for new regulation on the financial sector: “It’s not the private marketplace that created this mess. … All the marketplace does is respond to what the government does. The government sets the rules. Don’t blame the banks, and don’t blame the marketplace for the mess we’re in right now, I’m tired of hearing that crap.”

Implicit in this tirade is the notion that the market can’t do anything wrong—if the economy is a mess, then it has to be the sole product of government failures, because there’s no way that the market could produce an outcome this bad. It’s capitalism as religion, where the market is holy, government is sin, and the latter can only serve to corrupt the purity of the former.