Listen Libertarians!: A Review of John Tomasi's Free Market Fairness [Book Review]

Journal of Economic Issues (forthcoming)
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Abstract

John Tomasi's new book, Free Market Fairness, has been well-received as "one of the very best philosophical treatments of libertarian thought, ever" and as a "long and friendly conversation between Friedrich Hayek and John Rawls—a conversation which, astonishingly, reaches agreement". The book does present an authoritative state-of-the-debate across the spectrum from right-libertarianism on the one side to high liberalism on the other side. My point is not to question where Tomasi comes down with his own version of "market democracy" as a remix of Hayek and Rawls. My point is to use his sympathetic restatements of views across the liberal spectrum to show the basic misframings and common misunderstandings that cut across the liberal-libertarian viewpoints surveyed in the book. As usual, the heart of the debate is not in the answers to carefully framed questions, but in the framing itself.

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David Ellerman
University of Ljubljana

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