BusinessWeek writer Peter Coy writes about Marx’s relevance and notes:
His followers included some of the 20th century’s worst mass murderers: Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot. Yet the gloomy, combative philosopher seems to find adherents in each new generation of tyrants and dreamers.
But elsewhere Coy wears blinders. There is no “unbridled capitalism”. Everywhere you look you see constraints and economic interventions. Whether you like the policies or not they are government intervention, not unbridled capitalism. Coy says, for example, banks “are putting the screws on borrowers” to fix their balance sheets. Uh, banks are quasi-government entities because they are extensions of country’s central banks. They are conduits for the money supply. Banks are pressured to make loans to borrowers they otherwise would not make loans to.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government institutions in the US housing market.
Central banks such as the US Federal Reserve controls monetary policy by manipulating the money supply and interest rates. That’s government intervention, not unbridled capitalism.
Agricultural subsidies, trader barriers, tax preferences, and other regulations direct farmers to grow corn for ethanol instead of what farmers and firms think it should be used for, such as food. That’s government intervention, not unbridled capitalism.
Being able to deduct interest for home mortgages and other debt distort financial calculations to make taking on debt more attractive. That’s government intervention, not unbridled capitalism.
Tax codes that are not single rate with no exemptions are government intervention, not unbridled capitalism.
Minimum wage laws distort labor markets and prevent employers and employees decide how much wages should be.
“Buy America” or whatever your country are distortions that try to use nationalism to get people to buy stuff made in the native country.
Subsidies to energy firms such as Solyndra are government interventions in the energy market. Again, not unbridled capitalism.
In short, laissez-faire and “unbridled capitalism” are straw men because they do not exist.