The point of this essay is not, however, to make the case for nonmarket allocation mechanisms. There are lots of things to like about letting the market-clearing price allocate goods and services. Market allocations arise from a decentralized process that feels “natural” (even though in a deep sense it is not), which renders the allocations less likely to be contested by welfare-destructive political conflict or even violence. It is not market-clearing I wish to savage here, but the inequality that renders the mechanism welfare-destructive and therefore unsustainable.
So there are important differences among liberals and libertarians but I view
these are differences along a spectrum. Some are principled (“Never, ever,
initiate the use of force”) and some are empirical (“Many public goods can be
provided privately”) and some are hard to classify (“The NSA should not collect
masses of meta data”).