See if you can spot anything wrong with the following claim, a version of which seems to appear in a book, magazine, or newspaper every few weeks for as long as I've been reading public commentary on economic matters:
The dominant idea guiding economic policy in the United States and much of the globe has been that the market is unfailingly wise…. But lately, a striking unease with market forces has entered the conversation. The world confronts problems of staggering complexity and consequence, from a shortage of credit following the mortgage meltdown, to the threat of global warming. Regulation … is suddenly being demanded from unexpected places.
Now, a paragraph like this one printed in the New York Times opinion section on December 30, 2007 — an article called "The Free Market: A False Idol After All?" — makes anyone versed in economic history crazy with frustration. Just about every word is misleading in several ways, and yet some version of this scenario appears as the basis of vast amounts of punditry.
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