Posted tagged ‘Free Markets’

Central Planning vs. Voluntary Cooperation

March 16, 2022

I haven’t posted an article for over a year.

Why? Because I started to value other activities more than I valued writing.

Why? Because all the economic and social problems we have in the U.S. can only be made better by 1) Allowing individuals to make decisions concerning their day to day lives. And 2) Stopping politicians and bureaucrats who wield government power from making decisions for these individuals.

I also found it difficult to come up with new ways to say the same thing over and over again.

But I know that the only way to learn anything is repetition. Monotonous monotonous repetition.

So I’m going to jump back in to the game and see how it goes.

WHO SHOULD MAKE ECONOMIC DECISIONS.

On my site I have a one sentence quote from F. A. Hayek. Volumes have been written on the subject of this quote.

This quote sums up the decision that civilizations have to make on how their societies are going to coordinate their activities.. Here is the quote.

“THE COORDINATION OF MEN’S ACTIVITIES THROUGH CENTRAL PLANNING OR THROUGH VOLUNTARY COOPERATION ARE ROADS GOING IN VERY DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS, THE FIRST TO SERFDOM AND POVERTY THE SECOND TO FREEDOM AND PLENTY.”

We have never had a society where there were no government enforced rules. Just as we have never had a society where all decisions are made and enforced by individuals wielding government power.

Even though The Soviet Union was centrally planned, they still had black markets and at least the government allowed some industries to have a little freedom to make decisions.

The Unites States constitution set up a free market economy, with some governmental rules.

So neither was totally centrally planned nor totally free.

The quote states that every society is moving in one direction or another. We never arrive at a utopian paradise, because time passes and change happens. But no matter what the changes, we have to understand that the more government decision making we allow, the poorer and less free we become. But if we allow individuals to decide how to order their lives, we become more free and prosperous.

The history of the world is all about this battle of who should make decisions. The consequences on who wins this battle does not just decide what our standard of living will be. But also who lives or dies.

Free market capitalism has lifted multiple millions of people out of poverty. It has also allowed more people to be born. If it wasn’t for the industrial revolution, you and I may never have been born.

China is an example of what we are talking about. Mao killed 10’s of millions of people to bring about his centrally planned communist society. People in China lived in poverty, if they lived at all. But over the last thirty years or so, China has allowed some free market reforms which has lifted the standard of living in China above mere substance living. Even though these people are still not free.

The opposite has happened in Venezuela. Venezuelans standard of living and freedom started being destroyed after Chavez started nationalizing industries. AKA government central planning.

Cuba’s standard of living and individual freedom was destroyed when Castro took control of their economy.

So what direction do you think the U.S. is heading? With The amount of decision making taken over by government central planners in the last thirty years, there is no doubt what road we are traveling.

The question is, do we have enough people in the country who understand that decision making by individuals in a free market is the only way out of our problems?

We have to fight against all government central planning, championed by both Democrats and Republicans

Because if we allow politicians and bureaucrats to take over more and more economic decisions, our standard of living will go down and our individual freedom will go away. And the fact is, this is already happening.

Related Article Milton Friedman, Moving toward Serfdom.

Bernie Identifies Problems: Doesn’t Understand Their Cause.

March 10, 2016

Bernie Sanders has identified problems like increased costs of healthcare, rising student loan debt, and the financial crisis of 08. Unfortunately Bernie thinks the cure for these problems can only come from the very entity that caused the problems in the first place, and that is government and the Federal Reserve. He is like a doctor who finds his patient has lung cancer, and thinks the cure is to smoke more cigarettes. He doesn’t understand that cigarettes caused the cancer in the first place. Government intervention has caused the rising costs of healthcare and college education, and the Feds easy money policies caused the financial crisis. More Government intervention can’t fix these problems it can only make them worse. Individuals making decisions in free markets will improve these problems. I didn’t say free markets would lead to a perfect “solution”, because there can be no perfect solution when human beings are involved. Free markets allow individuals to make trade offs between competing values. In other words markets don’t proscribe one size fits all solutions, that’s what government does. The difference is when government “solutions” don’t work, government gets credit for trying to solve the problem and is given perpetual do overs, while markets are demonized for doing exactly what they are supposed to do (allow individuals to make decisions).

In this article, Bernie, It’s Government That “Rigs” The Economy, at mises.org, Tho Bishop explains that most  problems are blamed on the market economy when in fact it’s government intervening in the free market that causes these problems. Here are some excerpts from the article.

Touching back on Sanders’s indictment of Wall Street regarding the financial crises, perhaps no entity is more responsible for “rigging” the economy than the Federal Reserve — which not only enabled much of Wall Street’s reckless borrowing in the lead up to the crisis, but actively sought to inflate the stock market (at the expense of risk-averse savers) following it. While, to his credit, Sanders has supported the full audit of the Federal Reserve long advocated for Ron Paul, he has fully advocated for the Fed to double down on these very same policies.”

“In fact, almost every example the left points to regarding a “rigged economy” can be directly linked to the State. Be it Pharma Bro and the broken pharmaceutical industry, or the cost of healthcare in America, or the burden of student loans being felt by Millennials across the country, the market is blamed for the sins of government. Capitalism is demonized for the evils of interventionism.”

As Ludwig von Mises wrote in Human Action:

“[Advocates of government intervention] blame the market economy for the consequences of the very anticapitalistic policies which they themselves advocate as necessary and beneficial reforms. They fix on the market economy the responsibility for the inevitable failure and frustration of interventionism.”

“Unfortunately this anti-capitalist mentality continues to dominate politics today. Until that changes, politicians like Sanders will continue to find success demonizing a rigged economy they bear personal responsibility for creating.

Related ArticleFree Market Fracking Trumps Government Solutions When It Comes To Producing Energy, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleSolutions To California’s Drought: Government Fines Or Market Prices, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleEconomic Forces Eventually Win: Let’s Look At Oil, at austrianaddict.com.

Walter E. Williams: Is Capitalism Moral? via Prager University

September 15, 2015

It is amazing how Walter E. Williams can put so much information about free market capitalism into this five minute video. The amount of insight per word is off the charts. You are going to want to watch this more than once. Thanks to Prager University for this.

Some excerpts from the video:

“The free market calls for voluntary actions between individuals. There’s no coercion.”

“A free market system can only work if there is limited government. Limited government means you and I decide which businesses survive.”

“In a free market the ambition and voluntary effort of citizens not the government drives the economy. That is, people to the best of their ability shaping their own destiny.”

Related ArticleWalter E. Williams: Voluntary vs Involuntary Exchange, or Seduction vs. Rape, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleWalter E. Williams: The Free Market Is Not Allowed To Work, at austrianaddict.com.

 

The Real Thanksgiving Story

November 27, 2014

hand drawn illustration of Pilgrims celebrating first thanksgiving dinner - stock photo

An article titled, “The Great Thanksgiving Hoax“, by Richard J. Maybury, at mises.org, tells the true story of Thanksgiving. Here are some excerpts from the article.

“In his History of Plymouth Plantation, the governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry for years because they refused to work in the field. They preferred instead to steal food. He says the colony was riddled with “corruption,” and with “confusion and discontent.” The crops were small because “much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable.”

“In the harvest feasts of 1621 and 1622, “all had their hungry bellies filled,” but only briefly. The prevailing condition during those years was not the abundance the official story claims, it was famine and death. The first “Thanksgiving” was not so much a celebration as it was the last meal of condemned men.”

“But in subsequent years something changes. The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, “instead of famine now God gave them plenty,” Bradford wrote, “and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God.” Thereafter, he wrote, “any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.” In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.”

What happened? After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, “they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop.” They began to question their form of economic organization.

“This had required that “all profits & benefits that are got by trade, traffic, trucking, working, fishing, or any other means” were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, “all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock.” A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take only what he needed.”

This “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that “young men that were most able and fit for labor and service” complained about being forced to “spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children.” Also, “the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak.” So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.”

“To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of the famines.”

“Thus, the real meaning of Thanksgiving, deleted from the official story, is: Socialism does not work; the one and only source of abundance is free markets, and we thank God we live in a country where we can have them.

If these sparsely populated settlements couldn’t make socialism work, how could our present day leaders think that trying to implement socialist policies (like Obamacare), incrementally to a population of 330 million possibly work? Oh that’s right, they think it hasn’t worked because it hasn’t been tried by people with superior wisdom like themselves. We will never learn the lessons of history, let alone economics.

Related ArticleWhy Socialism Won’t Work? Human Nature, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleWe Can’t Recreate The Garden Of Eden, at austrianaddict.com.

What Is Tyranny? The President Should Know The Definition.

May 10, 2013

Constitution Pg1of4 AC icon cut

Constitution Pg1of4 AC icon cut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PRESIDENT’S COMMENCEMENT SPEECH

President Obama gave the commencement address at Ohio State Universities graduation ceremony last weekend. Here are a few quotes from the speech followed by some of my comments.

Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”

CONSTITUTION VS. TYRANNY

This is what you would expect to hear from someone who doesn’t want his power to be challenged. Lets look at what our founders thought about  Government and compare it to our President. (more…)

Milton Friedman vs. Phil Donahue, Greed Is In The Eye Of The Beholder.

April 16, 2013

Hayek’s quote, …The battle for freedom must be won over and over again, the socialists of all parties must be persuaded or defeated if they and we are to remain free men, is never more true today. This battle Hayek talks about has been  going on constantly since the beginning of recorded history, and will continue to go on till the end of time. Watch this video of Milton Friedman, in either 79 or 80, when he was on the Donahue show, it is an example of the two different visions of how the world works.

 

Since we know humans by their nature are self-interested (greedy), ask yourself which economic system deals with self-interested individuals better, the free market or central planning? Read this previous post, Why Socialism Won’t Work? Human Nature.

Related post, We Can’t Recreate The Garden Of Eden, by austrianaddict.com

Thomas Sowell, “The Point Of No Return?”

February 22, 2013

Is it possible to roll back big Government and reclaim our liberty, or are we at the point of no return?

THE TASK AT HAND

It is possible but it is going to take a lot of work and time. Brainwashing the public into believing that an all-knowing and benevolent Government is where all the answers lie, has happened over multiple decades. It can’t be rolled back in a few election cycles. The public has to be educated about the superiority of individual liberty and free market capitalism over Government omnipotence and crony capitalism. The education system, the media, and pop culture have slowly eroded (more…)