middle-class Americans of the right, left, and center have now come to expect a level of personal financial security thatdespite the stereotypesmost people would never demand from their governments. In a review he wrote earlier this month, Brink Lindsey, the vice president of the libertarian Cato Institutea man who knows what he is up againstpulled up some extraordinary statistics. Most Americans, it turns out, are suspicious of the free market. And most American also approve of high government spending. The majority of Americans are wary of global trade, don’t trust free markets, and also think “the benefits from … Social Security or Medicare are worth the costs of those programs.” And when the sample is restricted to people who support the Tea Party movement? The number is still 62 percent.
One would think that when faced with suspicion of free market by the public at large, libertarians would be willing put up with more regulation, even more government regulation if it were to restore faith in markets.