The marketplace is commonly described as brutish, greed-based, cutthroat, or unrelentingly exploitative. The Market Loves You; Why You Love It Back – Jeffrey Tucker’s latest collection of evocative observations of everyday products, services, and life in the market – rejects this characterization. He argues that benevolence characterizes trading relationships, entrepreneurship, work contracts, and the effects of decisions by market players. These are a civilizing, evenly lovely, institutions that embed complex human relationships that extend all over the world, involving potentially billions of people.
Every unforced decision to trade represents a spark of insight, a hope for a better future, and the instantiation of a human relationship that affirms the dignity of everyone involved, he writes. Sometimes that relationship is personal; it is even more awesome to consider the enormously complex impersonal relationships that make up the vast global networks of exchange that make our lives wonderful.
We take the results for granted because they are so much part of our daily experience. If they suddenly went missing, any aspect of what we depend on to live a better life, we would experience demoralization and even devastation. The lights go out. The gas stations close. The shelves are empty. The doctors run out of medicine. There is no one to fix the plumbing, no one to repair the heater, no one to do the surgery on my heart. This is a world that is less lovely than the world of plenty we’ve come to expect.
The institutional setting in which human relationships become real in our lives is the market. This does not entail reducing human life to dollars and cents. It is about the recognition that our value as human beings is bound up with our associations with others, our trading relationships, and the opportunities we have to value and be valued by others. Looked at this way, the moral aesthetic of the market is lovely. It fosters love. It needs love.
“Economics, love, and life – these are all the same topic in the creative intelligence of Jeffrey Tucker. His writing sweeps you into a world of beautiful stories about the material world, infused with his gift for seeing the underlying human element in every exchange (as well as the brutality of the political means of social control). His new hymn to market forces brings what economics too often lacks, a vivid celebration of life and love as real human beings experience it. To see the world as Tucker does is a gift that few writers in economics have ever possessed.” ~ Helio Beltrão, President, Mises Institute Brazil
“If you want to understand the plain sense of real economics, as against the fairy tales of fake economics, Tucker is your main man. In scores of charming little essays, free of pomp or pretense, he brings you to understand how a free people can live without coercion. He’s a liberal 2.0, a sweet egalitarian, a generous, open-hearted spirit, yet realistic and tough-minded, too.” ~ Deirdre McCloskey, University of Illinois at Chicago
“Jeffrey Tucker is always a delight to read because he understands and appreciates the market’s invisible heart as well as its invisible hand.” ~ Art Carden, Samford University
“Jeffrey Tucker writes with a rare mix of economic understanding, historical awareness, philosophical depth, and unaffected humanity. And oh, also on display in these pages is a fearlessness in going to wherever the logic of his reasoning brings him. I learned something important from each of the 91 essays collected here.” ~ Donald Boudreaux, George Mason University