I live in the Netherlands which, as a country, has a long and storied history with markets. The first company listed on a stock exchange was the Dutch East India company, for example. By the 18th century, much of the capital stock market was held by Dutch interests. As a result, living here as a foreigner, it definitely appears as though the Dutch have a deeply ingrained belief in the market as a mechanism to resolve almost any issue. A Dutch girl actually said to me that it was the ''dutch way'' to try to make a buck off anything. Here's an example. Housing is in high demand in this country. This is the only country in which I have ever lived where apartment volume is important. This is because many former attics are being rented as stand alone apartments, and the slanted roofs will render much of your apartment's area unusable. As a result, the rental industry is booming. Specifically, rental agencies which manage the process of finding tenants for vacant properties are sprouting like weeds. For a while, these rental agencies would charge both the land lord for the listing of the property and the showing to prospective tenants, but also the tenants themselves once they signed. These so called contract fees were at one time absurd, usurious, and affront to common decency. It was not unheard of for contract fees, and I have heard it directly from people who have paid this amount, to be in excess of 3 months rent. The service which you get for this fee is nothing that hasn't already been paid for by the landlord. All rental agencies charged these exorbitant fees, and the jobs in the netherlands generally paid well enough in expat cities like Amsterdam, the Hague, and Rotterdam to support them. Moreover, with the insane demand for housing in this country being what it is, you'll pay whatever someone asks if you're offered an apartment you like, if only to avoid ending up in an attic. Now, this was challenged this in dutch court successfully: the Dutch supreme court handed down the decision that because the rental agencies were representing the landlord, they could not also charge the tenants without creating a conflict of interest. Well, surely, we are living in the Libertarian paradise. Some market perversion was addressed by the courts, and we will now all live happily ever after, free of all usurious contract fees, right? Wrong. Instead of actually enforcing this decision by law, and shutting down rental agencies still found to be charging these fees, the Dutch government decided to let the courts handle it. It took some time for contract fees to drop, as the rental agencies first have to lose money before they'll consider lowering their fees. In Dutch courts, you are not entitled to a translator, or to represent yourself via a translator, or a competent Dutch speaker, meaning you have to get a Dutch lawyer to file suit against the companies on your behalf: which costs money. A barnacle industry of law offices which only handle these cookie cutter cases has emerged. They'll file suit on your behalf for 200 euros. Meaning that you're still out 200 euros. This appears to be the end of the story. There's now an entire industry operating explicitly outside of the law, which you cannot avoid, and another industry whose only purpose is to sue the first industry, and unless you happen to speak fluent Dutch, there's no way to be made whole again (is it worth an additional 200 euros to you to learn Dutch well enough to function in a civil proceeding? Let's be real). Now, I understand that language is a bit of a confounding variable here, but let's say everyone were capable of filing suit on their own: there's still a non-zero point where it's just not worth your time and energy to go through with it. Probably somewhere around 100 euros and most people would say ''fuck it.'' Can you imagine if not only everything were like this, but instead of a single court, you had multiple private courts? It would be a fucking nightmare, with industries temporarily sprouting up to gouge customers in cornered markets, before settling down to some minimum, annoying level of cost and time, without ever really going away. TL/DR: Markets do behave in a way that can be described as rational, and they do reach equilibria, but sometimes the equilibrium point they reach is retarded, and we'd all be better off with some good ol' fashioned government intervention in the form of laws on the books, jack booted thugs on the ground, and seizure of some businesses.