In Praise of the Free Market

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The Kennedy’s didn’t get powerful without first getting rich, so you’d expect Robert F. to be a capitalist:

“I want to say this: There is no stronger advocate for free-market capitalism than myself. I believe that the free market is the most efficient and democratic way to distribute the goods of the land, and that the best thing that could happen to the environment is if we had true free-market capitalism in this country, because the free market promotes efficiency, and efficiency means the elimination of waste, and pollution of course is waste. The free market also would encourage us to properly value our natural resources, and it’s the undervaluation of those resources that causes us to use them wastefully. But in a true free-market economy, you can’t make yourself rich without making your neighbors rich and without enriching your community.

“But what polluters do is they make themselves rich by making everybody else poor. They raise standards of living for themselves by lowering the quality of life for everybody else, and they do that by evading the discipline of the free market. You show me a polluter; I’ll show you a subsidy. I’ll show you a fat cat using political clout to escape the discipline of the free market and to force the public to pay his production costs. That’s what all pollution is. It’s always a subsidy. It’s always a guy trying to cheat the free market.”

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