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Some flaws in the doctrine of classical liberalism: Reviewing Charles Murray’sWhat it means to be a libertarian: A personal interpretation


  • Robert Prasch


In the course of a review of Charles Murray’sWhat It Means to Be a Libertarian, the following paper presents a critique of some of the assumptions underlying the political economy and laissez-faire policy recommendations of modern libertarian thought. After considering the role and importance of asymmetric information, relative immobility of labor, and unemployment in the formation of labor and consumption goods markets, this paper concludes that there is a positive role for the state in the construction of just and efficient markets. The paper argues that a regime of laissez-faire would be most unlikely to result in enhanced economic growth and prosperity, to say nothing of the more extravagant claims that Murray makes, such as a diminution of racism, crime, and welfare dependence, with an enhanced sense of community and family values.
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  • Robert Prasch, 2000. "Some flaws in the doctrine of classical liberalism: Reviewing Charles Murray’sWhat it means to be a libertarian: A personal interpretation," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 17-29, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:fosoec:v:30:y:2000:i:1:p:17-29
    DOI: 10.1007/BF02802942

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Prasch, Robert E., 1997. "The Overburdened Consumer: The Economics of Technological Change in the Service Sector," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 39, Vassar College Department of Economics.
    2. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-1381, September.
    3. Piet-Hein van Eeghen, 1997. "The Capitalist Case Against the Corporation," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(1), pages 85-113.
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