Free markets require the protection of individual rights to life, liberty, and property. While it’s more important to talk about what free markets are, there are some obvious cases that show what they aren’t. Following are a few, in no particular order. If you answer “yes” to the any of the following questions, you don’t support the free market.
1. You endorse protective tariffs.
2. You support antitrust laws.
3. You support censorship — i.e., government restrictions on speech — of any kind.
4. You think something (such as a retirement fund) is “privatized” if politicians require its purchase and set the terms by which it’s purchased.
5. You think the goal of raising net tax revenues justifies cutting tax rates.
6. You advocate forcing people to purchase health insurance.
7. You believe there are cases in which we must “abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system.”
8. You advocate corporate welfare.
9. You advocate welfare — i.e., the forced redistribution of wealth — for the poor.
10. You think an “ownership society” justifies political intervention in the economy.
Obviously, these ten points are directed mostly at conservatives who pretend to support free markets while working to further socialize the economy. The left is so openly hostile to free markets that a ten-point list is rather beside the point.