Michael King

Michael King was co-editor of The Texas Observer.

Recent Articles

Divine Commerce

One Market Under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism and the End of Economic Democracy , Thomas Frank. Doubeday, 414 pages, $26.00 Some years ago, a newly minted corporate lawyer attempted to explain to me the mysterious workings of the free market. His handiest analogy for the market's just and equitable distribution of goods was the way cigarettes are bought and sold inside a prison: Unimpeded by "government" (that is, the warden), smokers purchased their addictive product and entrepreneurs accumulated their wealth. What could be more natural? The joke was not entirely on my friend the lawyer; he had found his ham-handed metaphor in some conventional economics text. While reading Thomas Frank's One Market Under God , I often recalled that lawyer and his uncomplicated faith in the omnipotent deities of the capitalist marketplace. Frank's subject is not the market per se but the mythology of the market and how that mythology has come to dominate much...