Opinion page can be #039;marketplace of ideas#039; for all

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 15, 2003

The famous 18th century free-market economist Adam Smith is often associated with the term "marketplace of ideas," although he was probably just espousing on an earlier working term.

His hypothesis was that the media, like other companies, would respond to the same supply-and-demand theories in providing news and commentary as would other manufacturers in other markets.

While we are not entirely sure this concept is accurate, we are sure that the marketplace of ideas is a vital part of our community.

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That marketplace exists in the churches, in the coffee shops and on the street corners – wherever people congregate and discuss the happenings of our community. That marketplace exists, too, on the opinion pages of this newspaper.

Our views are presented here, as are the viewpoints of various other columnists and others who contribute through letters to the editor or by way of the Top of the Morning guest column.

Our purpose here is to make sure there's a place where individuals can express their viewpoints regardless of their positions.

When those opinions are expressed, they spur others to thought, some to action, and the end result is a more well-rounded community.