Free Market versus Status Quo

OPEC headquarters building

We have a rare insight into how capitalists actually value the free market. Despite decades of words proclaiming the greatness of the free market, now that the free market has come into conflict with the status quo—under which the business mavens flourished, they no longer mention the positives of the free market.

Case on point. In the past year as OPEC lost control of cartel pricing, under competitive bidding the price of oil fell from $100 to $50/barrel.

Are we hearing the financial talking heads on MSNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, and other media outlets praising the return of free market action? No, they are bemoaning the decline in energy stocks and the change it forces upon the stock market.

Media respond to their owners and their sponsors—emphasizing losses that bother those fair weather capitalists, while minimizing the positive effects of lower oil prices, saddling them with deflationary overtones. In actuality, the lowered oil prices actually represent a end of artificially inflated energy prices prevailing since the start of OPEC and its anti-free market pricing.

The promotion of status quo higher prices over market pricing is a definitive sign that media and financial elites don’t want free market forces to upset the win they’ve arranged for themselves under the status quo.

Economic Policy Thinking in Daily Life