No capitalist gets our money unless we voluntarily choose to exchange it for whatever he’s selling. As Mitchell puts it, “Capitalism is the only system that gives people the liberty to make their own choices.”
Free markets increase total wealth. Competition encourages entrepreneurs to find new ways to release more value from both people and resources. Because capitalism is voluntary and consumers have choices, the only way capitalists can get rich is to offer us something that we believe is better than we had before. That creates new wealth.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, teen labor force participation plummeted from a high of 57.9 percent in 1979 to just 34.1 percent in 2011. Part of this decline is related to more emphasis on academics, extracurricular activities, and other structured programming for adolescents. But public policy may also be to blame.
Elon Musk is a man of many skills. He didn’t just make electric cars sexy, he sent one to space. Perhaps chief among his talents is the ability to roil markets by running his mouth. Lately, he’s aimed that talent at cryptocurrency.
Just when we are reminded that unnecessary conflict between the police and the people, especially in poorer black communities, is a poison to be eliminated forthwith, the Biden administration has moved in the wrong direction. Late last month the administration signaled that it wants to ban menthol cigarettes, which are especially popular with black smokers.
When right-wing leader Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) recently declared that “liberty and monopoly do not go together,” I fantasized that he had become a free-market anarchist. When I hear monopoly, I think government because what’s the most literal of monopolies (or source of monopoly power) than the state?
Louis XIV had hundreds of servants who prepared him dinner. Today, my supermarket offers me a buffet Louis XIV couldn’t imagine. Thanks to trade and property rights and markets, each of us lives as if we had more servants than kings. We also live longer.
People who seek to rule over and control others learned long ago that controlling money and trade is the best way to do it. On a global level, there are open conspiracies among controlling interests that go about doing just that.
A few weeks ago YouTube suggested that I watch a 1988 episode of William F. Buckley’s PBS TV show, “Firing Line,” featuring Ron Paul, who at the time was the Libertarian Party candidate for president. I had to chuckle right at the top when Buckley introduced Rep. Paul by striking an ironic pose: while “libertarians specialize in non-organization…,” Buckley said, “to run for president of the United States, which Dr. Paul is doing on the Libertarian ticket, does require organization, to be sure uncoerced.” (Emphasis added.) Buckley flashed his trademark impish smile while his guest remained silent looking bemused.
Now that we correctly understand Hsieh-Moretti’s results, let’s put them in context.