Here’s a letter to the New York Times Book Review:
Reviewer Latoya Peterson notes that one of the topics covered by the socialist-feminist author Laurie Penny is “the woes of the free market” (“A Vindication,” Oct. 12). Never mind that Ms. Penny’s latest book, Unspeakable Things, is retailed by for-profit private firms such as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble and delivered to paying customers by for-profit private firms such as FedEx and UPS. Ignore the fact that her book is published by a for-profit private company (Bloomsbury) with net assets of $186 million. Pay no heed to the additional royalties that Ms. Penny will receive by virtue of her book being reviewed in the pages of the for-profit private New York Times. And forget that no force on earth has done as much to liberate women from the domination of men and the tedium of housework than has free-market capitalism and the many time-saving consumer goods it makes available – goods such as indoor plumbing, automatic clothes washers and dryers, automatic dishwashers, wrinkle-free fabrics, electric vacuum cleaners, kitchen ranges, microwave ovens, and prepared foods.
Overlook all of these facts. Instead, ponder the irony that feminists such as Ms. Penny plead that women are inept, helpless, and oh-so-terribly vulnerable without the constant aid and protection of trusty Big Brother.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030