How America Fell in Love with the Power of the Free Market

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The Big Myth is the remarkable, and largely untold, story of how America fell in love with market fundamentalism.

To appreciate the power of this ethos, look back no further than the recent pandemic.

Such was the degree of distrust of government during the COVID-19 pandemic that patients near death in South Dakota hospitals told nurses they were lying about their diagnosis.

This cynicism came at a horrific cost. In nations such as South Korea, Germany, and New Zealand, where the government response to the pandemic was far more vigorous and obtrusive than in the U.S, but where trust in government was higher, death rates were 40% lower than in the U.S.; a recent study comparing the American and Australian responses suggested that as many as 90% of deaths in the U.S. were unnecessary. Nor is this all; work by David Cutler, perhaps the nation’s foremost healthcare economist, estimated the pandemic losses to the U.S. economy at $16 trillion, to say nothing of the human cost of a million missing grandparents, parents, and children.