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What is Market Fundamentalism?

Market Fundamentalism is a quasi-religious faith that unregulated markets will somehow always produce the best possible results. Despite mounting evidence of its faults, this doctrine has continued to play a major part both in the rollback of social services and the excesses of corporate America over the last several decades.

Market Fundamentalism was first embraced by the right in the 1970s to help paper over divisions between its different constituencies, and to legitimize self-serving behavior. Businesses employ it to oppose taxes, regulations, and other government measures that constrain their activities, while they simultaneously lobby for governmental hand-outs. Social and religious conservatives are reassured by its absolutism and emphasis on individual autonomy.

In the following pages we document the shortcomings of several myths propagated by Market Fundamentalists, and examine notable failures among MF-supported institutions.

Market Myth 1: The Market is the only source of innovation

Market Myth 2: Government always spends money less effectively than the private sector

Market Myth 3: Regulation of business is wasteful and unnecessary

Market Myth 4: Markets thrive when regulation is kept to a minimum

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