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Benefits of the Free Market

There are few if any markets that are completely free, but some are significantly freer than others.  The benefits of this extend beyond the daily economic health of a country as can be seen in the reaction of Chile to the recent earthquake - one with a  magnitude of 8.8, the fifth strongest ever measured. It released some 500 times the energy released of the recent 7.0 earthquake in Haiti . Fortunately the death toll, while still rising, will be several orders of magnitude less than was the case in Haiti .
Chile is a much more advanced and wealthy economy. Indeed, it is on track shortly to become the first South American member of the OECD. Being one of the globe’s most quake-prone countries, Chile was much better prepared for such a disaster. It has enacted the needed building codes and has a very strong infrastructure. Most importantly it has a free market system that helps it rank fifth in the most recent measure of economic freedom available from
The Cato Institute.
The expectation is that in spite of a terrible human toll Chile will suffer less and recover faster from this natural disaster than most other countries of the world.  This is due in no small part to the benefits of a free market.


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