“Why is our free-enterprise system so strong? Not because it stands still, frozen in the past, but because it has always adapted to changing realities.”~ Lee Iacocca
To learn more about the importance of free enterprise to liberty and why it works best, check out Basic Economics
by Thomas Sowell.
(This book is GREAT. No charts or graphs, just 'how it works' in simple language - includes a lesson plan in the back!)
Future of Freedom, Hornberger
Your Mind, Your Body, Your Business
The essence of free enterprise is liberty and the rule of law. Our laws regarding markets should be limited to those which prevent individuals and corporations from manipulating markets in their favor. Economics cannot be divorced from liberty, because much of the freedom we exercise is through owning the fruits of our labor and having the freedom to participate honestly in an unfettered marketplace. Many believe that government regulations protect small businesses from big corporations but just the opposite is true - overregulation by government gives unfair advantage to those who can afford to circumvent or manipulate the law in their favor through lawyers and lobbyists. We create the world we want through meaningful work and by promoting our values through the businesses we use and how we spend our money. This system must be defended by simple laws - overregulation is the sign of a growing centralized state which crushes small business and liberty of market choices.
Defending the Free Market of Ideas
We say again, because it bears repeating, you cannot divorce economics from liberty. One way in which new ideas are tested for their viability is in the marketplace. When large corporations or governments are allowed a monopoly on industries, it prevents the introduction of new ideas and inventions which could improve lives for all citizens. For example, when government subsidizes industrial agriculture through the USDA, it makes it more difficult or even impossible for small, local farms to compete on a level field. For the individual, this means loss of liberty in two ways: first, my tax dollars may be used to support private corporations whose services I do not want and secondly, liberty of food choices are interfered with when I am unable to know the true cost of a method of production. (How cheap is that corn, really?) Interference in markets not only hides true costs and upsets natural systems of supply and demand, it directly interferes with my liberty to make consientious choices about how I spend my money and what ideas and technology I want to support and promote.
There Is No Liberty Without Law, and No Free Market under Anarchy
The main objection to free markets is a sense that without government regulation, tyranny over labor and small business will ensue. This is a false argument regarding limited government based in an idea that regulations are either all bad or all good. There can be no liberty without law, and the absence of law - anarchy - is just as bad as overregulation. Under a true free market system, strict laws are in place to prevent manipulation of markets either by business or government - laws to prevent force, coercion and fraud. Under our lawfully limited government, we are able to preserve true free enterprise by eliminating unfair advantages such as monopolies. When government is allowed to expand beyond its constitutional role and overregulate markets, we ensure just the opposite - that businesses are able to influence those regulations in their favor and stamp out competition. Anyone who bemoans the long line of lobbyists on capitol hill and the undue influence of special interests can thank unlimited interference in government by the marketplace. The best way to defend liberty in economies is to defend truly free markets through strictly limited, constitutional law.
Government Interference in Markets is THEFT
The most important protection of our economic liberties is through the use of lawful currencies. James Garfield said it perfectly: "He who controls the money supply controls the nation." We are all familiar with price inflation - if there isn't much of something and everybody wants it, the price goes up. That's an economic effect of supply and demand and serves as a natural control on surpluses and shortages. Many Americans, for the first time, are starting to feel the effects of monetary inflation, caused when economies are flooded with currency which is not backed by anything of real value. Each time a wave of this "free money" is put in circulation, the value of the money in your pocket is worth less. In this way, governments control markets and people. Here in the U.S., our currency is controlled by a private organization, the Federal Reserve Board, and the lost value of every dollar ends up as an interest payment to a private bank. In no way is the negative impact of unlawful market controls more evident than in the unlawful manipulation of our currency by private entities. This theft affects all Americans, but especially the poor and middle classes - the lifeblood of all healthy economies. Nowhere is our liberty more trampled than by the debasement of our currency and the value of our labor.
. . . The Alphaville Decoder . . .
It's All Related
Free enterprise serves as an excellent defense for the rule of law - for no liberty is more cherished than the right to life - to support oneself through enterprise. Many believe that a capitalist market is a zero-sum game, that in order for an individual to benefit, another must lose, but this has been proven as false by the last 200 some years of a free market which has increased the standard of living for all classes. By defending the right of the individual to free enterprise under the law, we enable that individual to improve the quality of life for an entire community and indeed the nation and the world at large. The free market of ideas has done more to further the capital and humanitarian progress of all classes than any other economic system.