Pro-Business versus Pro-Market

I am not pro-business.  Huh?  That’s right.  I am not pro-business; I am pro-market.  Big difference.  Businesses are those entities that bring together resources and create value.  The values they create are then traded freely with others.  That is, if markets are free.

That is why I am pro-market.  Business is just one of many elements that make up the free market.  There are also consumers, advertisers, banks, delivery people, and a thousand other components.  I am not “pro” any of these to the exclusion of others, including business.

Being pro-business sounds at first like a good thing for those of us who celebrate the commercial as a central part of our human existence.  It is not.  “Pro-business” is an excuse to favor some businesses over others or to prop up businesses that should not exist in the first place.

This is one reason my friends from the Left get irked at Republicans–they are pro-business, not pro-market.  (Democrats are just as guilty–they just do a better job of selling the lie that it is for the good of the little people.)  I have to admit that my friends are right, but for the wrong reasons.

People who lament capitalism generally do not understand what capitalism is.  The system we have is a distant cousin through illegitimate relations.  Purebred capitalism has none of the characteristics that are so roundly criticized today–bailouts, subsidies, under-the-table deals with politicians, and a public sector that just won’t stop growing.

Criticizing capitalism per se for the crimes of a bastardized substitute is just plain disingenuous.  One may honestly believe that socialism is preferred to capitalism, but it is not honest to argue that our present state of affairs condemns capitalism per the economic royalty it has produced.  The elite of the elite, and I do not mean the honestly wealthy, are a cadre of con artists, artfully grifting their way to unimaginable wealth through political manipulation.

It is this “pro-business” elite that must be stopped.  We must squelch the ability of crooked players to rig the game.  Pro-market means pro-everyone.  Access to honest markets does more for the poor and the middle class than 10,000 scammers could in a lifetime.  Let markets, not men*, rule the economic field of play.


*Terry normally uses men/women in these instances, but the alliteration and cadence were so good he couldn’t bring himself to change it.

About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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1 Response to Pro-Business versus Pro-Market

  1. Deb S. says:

    Those of us who consider the term “man” in many instances to be a simple species identification, thank you. 🙂


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