Letter: Modern desires

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Sir: Sam Arnold-Forster (letter, 10 December) cites Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - "everyone has the right to work" - in criticising the free market and increasing unemployment.

This is to confuse two completely different concepts: the right to work and the right to a job. The former is conferred by the UDHR, the latter is an excuse for disastrous centrally-controlled economies.

In any event, it is patently not true that "what most people want is a humble job and the ability to buy their own food". At least, most people want a great deal more than that. If most people genuinely had such humble desires then the free market could and would provide it.

People actually want the fastest car, the newest trainers and the most fashionable clothes.

The free market is a tool, not an end in itself. If it results in a society which is unfair, harsh, greedy and selfish then it is merely reflecting the attitudes of the members of that society.


London NW3