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Why Culture Matters Most$
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David C. Rose

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199330720

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199330720.001.0001

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The Free Market Democracy Dilemma

The Free Market Democracy Dilemma

(p.97) 6 The Free Market Democracy Dilemma
Why Culture Matters Most

David C. Rose

Oxford University Press

In this chapter the tension between having a free market system and a democratic government is explored. Human flourishing requires ample general prosperity that comes from a free market system and it requires freedom that depends upon democratic institutions. But this produces a dilemma. The democratic system facilitates redistributive and regulatory favoritism that undermines trust in the system generally. This, in turn, weakens many trust-dependent institutions upon which the free market system and democracy depend. This is a dilemma because democracy is needed for freedom, but it can set in motion changes that ultimately reduce freedom. This tension has implications for social, political, and economic development because it suggests that societies can use trust in the system to substitute for low levels of generalized trust.

Keywords:   property rights, trust in the system, political economy, sound money, voting, the media, redistributive favoritism, regulatory favoritism, rule of law

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