Markets, Not Government, Improve Race Relations, by Richard Ebeling

How about that! Voluntary exchange in markets, not government coercion, improves race relations. Aside from war, SLL cannot name anything the systematic coercion known as government does better than free individuals acting voluntarily in their own perceived best interests. From Richard Ebeling at

Politically we seem to be living in some trying times. The political polarization, as captured in the mainstream news media, appears to be intensifying with even acts of destructive violence on the streets and campuses of American cities. At the same time, pictures out of Houston during and following Hurricane Harvey show empathetic assistance and cooperation between people and groups that supposedly are in heated contention with each other. How do we reconcile this?

To begin with, I am persuaded that the supposedly racial and social “class” tensions that some assert is on the rise in America is not true. In fact, I would argue that in everyday interaction and association race relations are far, far better than they were, say, twenty-five years ago, and most certainly compared to fifty or seventy-five years ago.

Race Prejudices of a Few Decades Ago

When I was a young boy the evening news carried the imagery of violence on the streets of some Southern cities as people marched against segregation laws and faced sometimes brutal force by law enforcement agencies directed to put down the “uppitiness” of blacks and white civil rights workers insisting upon equal rights and equal treatment for all before the law.

Some white people, back then, had little reluctance or embarrassment in publicly and rudely using a variety of pejorative words and phrases when referring to Americans of African ancestry.  And what people did not say in public, they certainly freely said in their home to family members and friends.

I had a classmate in high school whose parents had persuaded him that blacks were inferior to whites. He was really uncomfortable when I made him go with me to see the movies, In the Heat of the Night and Guess Whose Coming to Dinner?, both released in the theaters in 1967, and both staring Sidney Poitier.  Here was a black detective, in the first movie, who solves a murder in a small Southern town that the white chief of police (Rod Steiger) can’t solve on his own; and in the second movie here is a successful black medical doctor planning to marry a white upper class young woman, while her “enlightened” liberal parents (Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn) have a hard time coming to terms with it all, in spite of their “progressive” views.

To continue reading: Markets, Not Government, Improve Race Relations


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