THE INDIVIDUAL AND FREE MARKETS
KEY TO OUR ECONOMY
April 12, 2009
Free markets and the individual go hand in hand. Economic freedom and free markets cannot exist without political freedom. It is difficult to have the one without the other. The proof of this is current and is seen in the ever growing size and scope of government.
The individual is the smallest minority in our society. And sadly, as we see events going today, the minority status of the individual is being stifled and subsumed into larger collections of a collectivized society. Never in our life- time until now, have we seen Free Market economics so openly attacked by top officials in our land. And when a society becomes collectivized, the free market economy is on death's door step. The current government's determination to fight free-market forces guarantees higher unemployment, more business failures and continued economic contraction. Look at those states... those with freer markets have greater prosperity.
Never before have we seen such a fast and reckless attack on the principles that made America the greatest economic powerhouse the world has EVER seen.
Remember that famous quote from A Tale of Two Cities? "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." In our minds, this describes the times in which we live. Certainly, for a variety of reasons, it is the worst of times. President Barack Obama is moving toward a socialist style state with more taxes and more government. After only three months in office, he has supported and amassed more national debt than the first 200 years of our Republic! The market will turn around on its own momentum, but the budget deficits will not and cannot.
History has shown that the free market creates more wealth and opportunity for more people than any other economic model. It is the most transformative of economic systems devised by individuals. The free market fosters inventiveness and creativity and produces more opportunities, industries, products, services, and developments than any other system in the world.
Our country's economy was originally based upon a free market system, which prospered in direct proportion to the extent of adherence to the principles involved. From the beginning, there were those who realized the distinct advantages to the people. The principle of market exchange and pricing is that it tends to bring supply and demand toward a balance, and maximize total welfare. This is a powerful economic principle.
"Perfect competition is the most equitable distributor of resources, not government" was stated by one of our columnists (M. Andrew Burr) in a recent presentation. When there is unnecessary intervention of government into the process, the free market is deprived of the pricing mechanism indispensable to its success. It is the ultimate irony for those responsible for any dilemma... that they justify further intervention by claiming that the free market does not work, when in reality it is unnecessary government intervention which created and intensifies the problem. Inflation illustrates clearly how government creates problems. Inflation is purely the expansion of the money supply. By printing virtually valued-down paper dollars to pay for deficit spending, previously circulating money is diluted and devalued. Rising prices, rising wages, and the rising cost of living are NOT the cause of inflation; they are its results. And appeals to "fight inflation" by voluntary or even mandatory restraints constitute a camouflage of the primary cause.
Often we have seen, in order to obtain public favor during an election campaign, public officials will bring innumerable programs in place, thus causing an involuntary transfer of capital, clearly impacting free markets. It is an effective political practice to appeal to the electorate with the message of "soak the rich" as an approach. Almost every additional government regulation created in the past recent years can be shown to offer an advantage to some individuals or group, at the expense of competitors and the public. Subsidies, bailouts, so called stimulus packages, wage and price controls, minimum wages, "free" services, and "out of control" entitlements further disrupt and even destroy what is left of our free markets. Precisely, that is our current state of affairs.
As we see it, the free market promotes self-worth, self-sufficiency, shared values, and honest dealings, which enhance the individual, the family, and the community. It discriminates against no race, religion, or gender. The free market is an intricate system of voluntary economic, social, and cultural interactions that are motivated by the desires and needs of the individual and the community. There is symmetry between the free market and the well being of the society and one simply cannot exist without the other. And the key to a healthy free market system is private property. To be sure, private property is the material manifestation of the individual's labor and this private property may take the form of income, real property, or intellectual property. Just as life is finite, so, too, is the extent of one's labor. Therefore, unjustified taxation of private property, or the regulation of such property, so as to reduce its value, can become in effect a serious infraction of the principles of the free market and the unalienable rights of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution. And clearly, the federal government should raise revenue only to fund those activities that the Constitution authorized and no others. Former Senator Phil Gram used to say the best "housing, educating, nutrition, and work program" is the entrepreneur who creates jobs and adds value.
We believe that the individual knows best how to make and spend that which one has earned from one's own labor and to provide for one's own family than do large bureaucracies populated by strangers who see classes of people rather than the individual. It was James Wilson, who observed, "By exclusive property, the productions of the earth and means of subsistence are secured and preserved, as well as multiplied. What belongs to NO one is wasted by EVERYONE but what belongs to one individual in particular is the object of his economy and care." Ah yes, in our society, it is the individual who is the smallest of minority and the free market... made up of individuals... truly serves as the backbone of our economy. And that is how we see it FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE.