Acton Institute Powerblog

Faded Memories Are Leading to a Rejection of Free Markets

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memoryAfter almost a hundred years of seeing the effects of socialism and other government interventions in the market, American attitudes began to change in the 1980s and 1990s. The benefits of deregulation and privatization began to seem obvious and more people began to embrace free enterprise.

But as Daniel Yergin notes, there is now a shift away from markets due partially to “fading memories of the old order—or no memories at all.”

Voters under 30 were either very small or not yet born when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down in 1989. They have no memory of communism—what it meant in terms of poverty, thwarted opportunity and political repression. Closer to home, few Americans recall the likes of the now-defunct Civil Aeronautics Board, which not only set the price of an airline ticket but regulated the size of the in-flight sandwiches. What millennials do know is what happened in 2008—and for many it serves as an indictment of the market system.

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Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).

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