Sample Economic Essay on The Market for Ideas

The Market for Ideas

It is quite easier for a government to regulate the market that deals with goods than to regulate the market for ideas. The government usually interferes with good markets to safeguard the customers, who lack the capacity to make the right choices. According to Coase, if the government makes an attempt to regulate the market for ideas, it would make the market inefficient (384).  Even if the government succeeds in regulating this market, the results will never be acceptable to all. This study will elaborate on why US citizens find it undesirable to regulate speech while intellectuals are at the forefront in advocating for the regulation of other markets.

The market of ideas holds different values that are absent in the goods’ market. A free market is always desirable in managing the intellectual life in the community. The commitment to democracy in the US has helped in sustaining the market for ideas. A free market is essential in the sustenance of democracy. The strongest defender of this market is the press, which has always been on the front line in fighting for its freedom. The press believes that it should not be compelled to disclose the sources of what it publishes or broadcasts, as this would interfere with the clarity of information. This seems to be a valid excuse, as people may fear to give information if their identity is revealed.

Intellectuals value the freedom of expression above other values. The First Amendment sections created the foundation of an open society. It is through intellectuals’ ideas that America became a democracy. Milton claimed that the supremacy of the market of ideas is to give individuals the liberty to know, to comment, and to talk freely according to their conscience (388). This is because the common man will always choose to stick with truth rather than falsehood. American citizens, regardless of their social status, should be left to express their opinion without being censored.

However, some intellectuals have been utilizing the market for ideas to destroy the goods’ market while pretending to execute democracy. It is quite hard to understand why commercial advertising falls under the protection of the First Amendment, yet it is a part of the expression of opinion. The paradox of this notion is that intellectuals want to safeguard their interests while minimizing the freedom of their juniors. The government has taken a considerable step in regulating some parts of the market of ideas. Take, for instance, education, where the government regulates what is supposed to be printed. The government has also regulated education through compulsory education to enhance intellectuality. Intellectuals should not complain only when their opinions are disregarded. They should fight for the entire community. They should not dismiss the government’s contribution to regulating the freedom of speech.

For a long time, the government has been regulating the market, and its contribution has attracted mixed reactions among sections of the population. I believe the government is competent in regulating the goods’ market, thus, it can also regulate the market that deals with ideas for national security. The government should control access to the internet in an endeavor to protect citizens from pornography and obscene materials. Internet is quite vulnerable to hate speech and cyberbullying. Intellectuals should not be left to run this market entirely, as they do not have the capacity to prosecute and enforce the law. If the government is capable of regulating commercial speech, then it can manage the market of all ideas. Regulation should be effected in all markets.

Work Cited

Coase, Ronald Harry. “The market for goods and the market for ideas.” The American Economic Review (1974): 384-391.