Glowing endorsements of the so-called free markets are often heard in political tributes to capitalism. But underlying facts raise serious doubts about the legitimacy, stability and consequences of these markets for taxpayers.

Notably, free-market virtues are still being touted at a time when tariffs imposed by the president are so acutely disrupting U.S. business activities. Such disruptions have cost American taxpayers over $20 billion in farming-sector bailouts alone, and some $46 billion in total economy-wide burdens.

Clearly, the existence of “free markets” is a delusion and extolling them willfully defies the evidence. Besides tariffs, a longstanding U.S. market disruption are the hundreds-of-billions in annual subsides lavished on corporations — producing unfair subversion of business competitiveness while distorting the price and profitability of goods and services.

The fossil-fuel industry is a major beneficiary of corporate subsidies, receiving at least $20 billion annually. As clean-energy technology grows increasingly cost-competitive — creating millions of decent-paying jobs — costly dirty-energy subsidies are therefore doubly wasteful. They corrupt markets while thwarting America’s energy-policy reforms that are crucial to curbing the destructive impacts of climate change.

Furthermore, according to economist Robert Reich, “Americans spend an estimated $153 billion in taxes and on programs to subsidize McDonald’s and Walmart’s low-wage workers.” It’s deeply troubling that praise for low unemployment continues when half the laborforce can’t afford living expenses, as executive salaries skyrocket.

Informed analysis blatantly demonstrates that Georgia’s non-free, market-manipulated economy, like that of the nation, is serving corporate interests far better than those of the vast majority of taxpayers.

David Kyler

Center for a Sustainable Coast

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