In fact, Democrats and liberal opinion leaders now routinely approach societal issues not with big-government, socialistic mandates, but by cleverly corralling the power of the marketplace. Rather than creating a single-payer health system, Democrats have created — first in Massachusetts, and now in DC — an exchange that creates pooled markets to connect insurers with customers. Rather than mandating factory retrofitting and other changes, Democrats are trying to pass a “cap-and-trade” approach to literally create a new marketplace, one that will compete to find ways to lower emissions.

Those uses are a testament to the fact that regulated, controlled, focused markets can make major contributions to the betterment of society. But in the face of so much disaster, it should now be impossible for anyone to defend totally free, unfettered markets. Those who do should be dropped into the oil slick those markets have created off our coast.

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