Capitalism is good for you

Sabine Hossenfelder in Back Reaction:

The emergence of market economies in human society is almost a universal. Because markets are non-centralized, they can, and will, spontaneously arise. As of today, capitalism is the best mechanism we know to optimize the distribution of resources. We use it for one simple reason: It works.

A physicist cannot not see how similar the problem of distributing resources is to optimization problems in many-body systems, to equilibrium processes, to self-organized criticality. I know a lot of people loathe the idea that humans are just nodes in a network, tasked to exchange bits of information. But to first approximation that’s what we are.

I am not a free market enthusiast. Free markets work properly only if both consumers and producers rationally evaluate all available information, for example about the societal and environmental impacts of purchasing a product. This is a cognitive task we simply cannot, in practice, perform.

More here.