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NeoNote — Free market produces fewer losers

It's not that capitalism produces no losers, it's that the free market produces fewer losers by a couple of orders of magnitude.

Notice that I am distinguishing between capitalism and the free market.

Again, I'm talking about a "bottom-up" self-organizing exchange versus a "top-down" system imposed by force. In a free market, the way to get ahead is providing what others want. In any other system, it's about controlling the system.

ANY artificial controls will be exploited by the most powerful at the expense of the weaker. Resources are diverted into controlling the rules rather than producing value.

"Moral obligations" will be used to shut competition out of the marketplace in the name of compassion, and it will be backed by government force, diverting still more resources away from the market and into government and control.

The free market has only one real justification, it has produced more wealth and more freedom for more people than anything else we have tried. The key is individual choice, not controlling the system.

In a free market, competition keeps us honest and choice is the only control that works.

The two most important phrases in human history:

“Let me help.”

“I can do better than

It's not the tools, it's the results.

The free market is an example of people choosing for themselves. Government is controlling people by force.

And yes, the world is changing. It's embracing choice. That doesn't mean that the politicos and technocrats will give up power willingly. But they can't control everything that happens. Who could have foreseen the world wide web, Snicker's bars, or topless maid services? What government agency would have tolerated those things? What Congress critter would have sponsored legislation creating flash mobs, radar detectors, or fantasy football?

I want more freedom for more people today. I want more of the same tomorrow. Choice is the best way to get freedom. That's it, plain and simple. That's my objective.

See, you're still talking politics. "Arrange." "Cap." That's about controlling others, implying that government force will be involved sooner or later.

Why should their choice control my action? Why should my choice control your action? Why should your choice control their action?

It's not about creating the framework or tweaking the system. They've got something I want, so I have to find something they want. Voluntary exchanges between consenting adults, and no third party taking a cut or dictating rules.

Freedom and wealth. The Apaches could not produce steel knives, antiseptics, or a horseshoe. In one sense they were free, but they didn't have wealth. What freedom and wealth they had was taken at the expense of others.

Freedom taken at the expense of someone else is privilege and is generally recognized as a Bad Thing. Perhaps the keystone to Western Civilization is the Ethic of Reciprocity. This is what makes freedom more than a privilege grab. It also can't be imposed by another.

I'm proposing that the free market makes freedom and wealth possible while making things mostly better today than they were yesterday. So we have steel tools, paracord, duck tape, battery drills, and lights at the flick of a switch. These and seven million and thirteen other things weren't even a possibility with a hunter/gatherer culture.

Freedom is only one part of the payoff.

Nice things result in greater freedom.

I grow stuff in my garden, but that is not my source of food. I can go to the grocery store and find a wider variety of fruits and vegetables than I could ever hope to grow myself. My choices are increased by the store, and it couldn't happen without the free market.

A few years back I was looking at an aquaponics set-up. Beyond the design and construction, it would have taken about twenty hours a week and between two and three hundred dollars more per month. And that is if everything went right and I never left town.

Is it necessary that I use the supermarket? No, but it's a better use of my time and resources than if I tried to do it on my own. It lets me use the labor and skills of others at a minimal cost to myself.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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