Michael van der Galien

Financial Times Editor Displays Ignorance of All Things Financial On "Morning Joe"

Posted on November 10 2009 12:13 pm
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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What's the world coming to when a Financial Times editor displays a gross ignorance of this guy's ideas?

On MSNBC‘s “Morning Joe”  yesterday, hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, and guests Steve Forbes (owner of Forbes magazine) and Financial Times editor Chrystia Freeland, debated the question of whether the health care system as it is needs more or less capitalism.  Scarborough and Forbes argued the affirmative, Freeland and Brzezinski disagreed.

What struck me about the exchange was Freeland’s apparent lack of understanding of capitalism and the basic ideas behind the free market. You would expect an editor of the Financial Times to understand these things, but I’m afraid she does not.

That much became clear when she said that although she believes that “capitalism is the best way to do very many things,” she thinks  it could only be “the best way” to run the health care system, “if everybody was rich” and we were living in “some kind of capitalist utopia.”

It was a remark you would expect from Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, not from an editor of one of the most respected financial dailies in the world. Freeland, you would think, should be capable of understanding that free market-thinkers believe that the costs of health care will go down at the moment the government pulls out of the system. More competition should not merely increase the quality of health care, but also its quantity.

Let us hope Freeland will buy herself a copy of Milton Friedman’s classic Capitalism and Freedom or of economist and bestselling author John Lott’s Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-baked Theories Don’t.

If not, perhaps she might resign from her post at the Financial Times and join Huffington’s rag instead.

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