The free market operates like a perfect rolling referendum, with the prices representing the outcome of millions of individual decisions.
The Adam Smith Institute said something similar a few years back:
Independent providers are nearer to public demand than public authorities can ever be. Their perpetual search for profitability stimulates them to discover and produce what the consumer wants. In that sense the market sector is more genuinely democratic than the public sector. It involves the decisions of many more individuals at much more frequent intervals.