THE ASSAULT ON INDIVIDUALISM, PROSPERITY, AND FREE MARKETS
October 25, 2009
Collectivism is in opposition to individual prosperity and profits. It gradually snuffs out free markets and gradually depletes the private sector. A collectivist society, with an authoritarian collectivist government engaged in so called "central planning", leaves the individual reliant on the State for subsistence. In a collectivist society, the State is dependent on and slowly bleeds dry industry, small and large business, and private capital. And when that happens, the private sector is gradually diminished, and the expanding government establishment gradually increases power over the individual as unemployment increases.
Private-sector jobs in the U.S. fell 298,000 in August. Nearly 15 million Americans are jobless. The ADP loss is worse than the 213,000 drop projected by economists in a Dow Jones survey and the unemployment rate jumped to its highest level since June 1983. The Wall Street Journal reports that employers cut 216,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate, calculated using a survey of households as opposed to companies, grew to 9.8% and trending toward 10 percent or higher. Unemployment is the greatest it has been in 26 years and government spending is at its greatest, the stimulus package not withstanding.
The national debt with run away deficit spending is beginning to spin out of control. The 2009 federal deficit has surged to $1.42 trillion! That is more than the total national debt for the first 200 years of the Republic. The Administration in Washington is left with the taxing, borrowing , and printing money to off set the staggering national deficit. And that is where we are now…we are ten months into the current Administration. State revenues in the second quarter plunged 17% from a year earlier as rising unemployment and reduced income-tax collections, according to the Census Bureau. The Administration’s frightening financial nightmare has taken stage front and center while the value of the dollar is sinking.
Recently, new projections for the deficit was released. According to a report by ABC World News, the numbers are: "huge...virtually impossible to grasp. The White House said today the deficit this year is going to balloon to a record 1.6 trillion... and it's not going to get much bigger. Congress expects the deficit to explode to a total $7 trillion over the next decade. The White House number is even higher. They expect $9 trillion over ten years." The Administration wants to add another trillion or two on top of it to finance other government run programs. And the individual is lost in the milieu of a collectivist society with the government’s assault on free markets.
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, scope, and regulative intrusiveness of government.
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.
"Perfect competition is the most equitable distributor of resources, not government" is a statement by columnist (M. Andrew Burr) in a recent publication. 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.
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.