“There’s no justice in the distribution of income and wealth. I never would argue there is. Those who are wealthy don’t deserve to be wealthy anymore than those who are poor deserve to be poor. It’s pure accident. And we — but if you start to look at things that way, you’re going to go down the wrong line. Because you’re going to get back into this kind of a situation of destroying the good things, destroying what is possible, in the search of an impossible ideal. The only way in which you can redistribute effectively the wealth is by destroying the incentives to have wealth. And the question is: What is the way, what is a system which will offer those people who are so unlucky as to be born without good positions, what is a system which will offer them the greatest opportunity?”
~ Milton Friedman
If only someone would invent a system based on the idea that a transaction can occur at a given price when a buyer wants to buy and a seller wants to sell and that price was a signal to the market to manage supply and demand. If there was only some sort of system where there is free exchange and the individual can decide for themselves what they want to do. If someone would invent something like this, they might call it something like “capitalism” and the economic freedom it creates might just be directly tied to individual freedom.
What would this “capitalism” be?
At its most basic, capitalism is the free market philosophy that uses price as a signal to the market to change, to adjust. Capitalism isn’t a cause; it is an effect, a result. Capitalism rests upon a very simple concept, an economic transaction occurs at that point where a seller is willing to sell and a buyer is willing to buy. This one on one, individual philosophy allows the price of a good or service to be established by the individuals involved in the transaction based on the value of the transaction to each.
Capitalism, or any economic system for that matter, is merely a reflection of the actions of individuals in a society. In a free society, the quality of that society (and in this case, the quality of the economic system) depends on the quality of individual. Both Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman base their positions on the simple proposition that a society is comprised of individuals and those individuals, acting in their own best interests will yield the best result for society.
In my mind, there is no or more equitable or fair method of economic transfer than this, this thing called “capitalism”.
One thought on “Economic Freedom = Individual Freedom”
When I started building homes in NW Florida, I could build a nice home for $35/sf out of pocket. Back then, early 70’s, contractors that charged $40 to $45 per foot for an average home stayed busy. I knew some that felt they should get $50+ per foot, and they disappeared pretty quickly. They either moved to a different area or changed professions. Granted fancy upscale homes went for much more than the average home price, but the way to make a living as a contractor has always been to provide a good product for the going price.