Free Markets Saved the Miners
Innovative, for-profit companies came through
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2010 8:38 AM CDT
Matt Staffel, top left, operates the T-130 drill during the final push to reach the 33 trapped miners at the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile Saturday Oct. 9, 2010.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The Chilean mine rescue was “a smashing victory for free-market capitalism,” writes Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal. “It may seem churlish to make such a claim. It is churlish. These are churlish times, and the stakes are high.” The fact is, this miracle rescue was possible because many companies, operating purely for profit-motive, had produced the necessary innovations.

The revolutionary Center Rock drill bit was from a Pennsylvania company with 74 employees. The rig’s high-strength cable was from Germany. Samsung provided a cellphone with a projector. “In an open economy, you will never know what is out there on the leading developmental edge of this or that industry,” and all the innovations came about because someone wanted to make money. And with the president routinely mocking “blind faith in the market,” Henninger concludes, that’s an important thing to remember.