Various pundits and public figures have claimed that the recent financial crisis means ‘‘the end of libertarianism’’ or even more dramatically ‘‘the end of capitalism.’’ But the crisis can hardly be considered a failure of laissez-faire, deregulation, libertarianism, or capitalism, since it was caused by multiple misguided government interventions into the workings of the financial system. It was and is precisely a failure of interventionism.

Politicians like to ‘‘promise everybody everything’’—low interest rates, affordable mortgages, higher housing prices, lower gas prices, a chicken in every pot. That’s why it’s important to keep politics out of such matters.