"The USA Foundation's motto was 'Promoting a free market of ideas on the nation's campuses,' and here we encounter yet another of the Washington right's signature lines. Like so many conservative ideas---anticommunism for example---it sounds fine at first. A 'free market of ideas' sounds like 'free inquiry' or a 'free exchange of ideas,' an environment in which hypotheses are tested and bad ones are wedded out while good ones go on to earn the respect of the community of scholars. But this is not what the phrase means at all. Markets do not determine the objective merit of things, only their price, which is to say, their merit in the eyes of large corporations and the very wealthy."
- Thomas Frank, The Wrecking Crew: How a gang of right-wing con men destroyed Washington and made a Killing, Harper's August 2008