No. We are not smart enough to run an economy that is composed of billions of minute and widespread transactions between millions of people every day. No human being or groups of human beings are capable of even categorizing all those transactions and decisions, much less attempting to direct them with greater efficiency than they have by virtue of the principles of self-interest.
“Is this for the common good?”
Suggesting that question “always” be asked reveals the ignorance of the sound-bite socialists like Michael Moore. Will that question even apply to the vast majority of economic purchases and activity? What does the decision of whether or not to buy a coffee before work have to do with the common good? Or whether to eat lunch at McDonalds or Burger King? Or whether I drive three more miles to get gas $0.10 cheaper or save time and pay a little more? The vast majority of economic decisions people make every day have nothing to do with the common good.
Even in the decisions that do concern the “common good” there is so much information that most times one can only haphazardly guess at the answer. Is it good for Wal-Mart to come into town? It’s good for some people. Lower prices are good. Cheaper food is good. Convenience of a superstore is good. But undercutting Mom and Pop is bad, or at least negative. Lower wages and corporate monopolies can be bad, or at least negative. Was there a net benefit to the “common good” or not? And that’s just one instance in God only knows how many.
As for whether a guiding morality can be applied to the marketplace… Sure, but only from the ground up. Top down morality doesn’t work. If every day average Joe is greedy and materialistic then it doesn’t matter whether a well-intentioned bureaucrat is in charge of policy or not because the real power lies in the hands of the faceless masses who make the vast majority of the decisions. If average Joe is charitable and God fearing than it doesn’t matter if the restrictions and regulations are lax or non-existent because the vast majority of decisions will be self-governed according to a Christian, egalitarian morality.