This book explains how the 2008 financial meltdown came about and how to revitalize global and domestic economies. It shows how capitalist economies developed and why the state matters in their functioning. Free market purists claim that the state is an inefficient institution that does little for society beyond providing stability and protection. The activities related to distributing resources and economic growth, they say, are better left to the 'invisible hand' of the marketplace. These notions now seem tragically misguided in the wake of the 2008 market collapse and bailout. Mark Martinez describes how the flawed myth of the 'invisible hand' distorted our understanding of how modern capitalist markets developed and actually work. Martinez draws from history to illustrate that political processes and the state are not only instrumental in making capitalist markets work but that there would be no capitalist markets or wealth creation without state intervention. He brings his story up to the present day to show how the seeds of an unprecedented government intervention in the financial markets were sown in past actions. ""The Myth of the Free Market"" is a fascinating and accessible introduction to comparative economic systems as well as an incisive refutation of the standard mantras of neoclassical free market economic theory.
Mark A. Martinez is Department Chair and Professor of Political Science at California State University, Bakersfield. He earned his B.A. in Political Science from California State University, Chico and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Martinez has taught and lived in Mexico, is a current Research Associate at the Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro, and has published articles and book chapters on political and economic development. Dr. Martinez hosts and produces his own radio program in Bakersfield, The Mark Martinez Show: Talk Radio for Liberals and Real Conservatives.
Introduction: Understanding Markets... and States; PART I) Things to (Re)Consider; 1) Milton Friedman Got It Wrong... Politics is at the Heart of Capitalism; 2) Free Markets and Wealth (Re)Considered; PART II) The Role of the State in Creating Market Capitalism; 3) The Very Political Roots of Market Capitalism: Embracing Individual Achievement & Vanity; 4) Manias and the Philosopher's Stone: The Road to Wealth & Regulated Money; PART III) Making Markets Work in Practice: The State in Action; 5) War Made the State... and the State Made War; 6) How Medieval Organizing Violence Led to Mercantilism, Middle Class Bargains, and Market Capitalism; 7) Toward "Freer" International Trade; 8) America's Post-WWII Grand Liberal Strategy; PART IV) States & Modern Markets: From Political Money to Wall Street Socialism; 9) From Keynes to Deregulation, and Exploding Capital Flows; 10) An Empire Of Debt... Violating the Laws of Nature?; 11) The Deregulation Game; 12) From Deregulation to the Mother of All Bailouts.