Friday, October 2, 2009

Pro-Market, Anti-Business?

Arnold Kling makes an excellent point. He argues that you can't confuse pro-business with pro-market, or anti-business with anti-market. He offers this matrix to explain (I've filled in the cells):

The Obama Administration is clearly anti-market/pro-business. As Kling notes,
The [Obama] wonks do not trust markets at all, and they think they can do a better job of regulating them. But they are more than willing to keep big business interests happy.
We've already seen this in regard to health care.

Further, being pro-business usually means using the government to give special privileges to some businesses. Thus many businesses are also anti-market/pro-business (since the market creates the incessant gale of competition, to paraphrase Schumpeter.)

Republicans tend to fall into the pro-market/pro-business category -- they seemingly trust markets, but still favor handouts for some businesses.

The anti/anti category describes Michael Moore and his ilk.

Which leaves pro-market/anti-business, which is where I would fall. Remember, here anti-business means being against "special privileges" for businesses, what is usually called "corporate welfare."