Every unforced decision to trade represents a spark of insight, a hope for a better future, and the instantiation of a human relationship that affirms the dignity of everyone involved. Sometimes that relationship is personal; it is even more awesome to consider the enormously complex impersonal relationships that make up the vast global networks of exchange that make our lives wonderful.
The problem is that we have discarded importance in favor of interesting.
If socialism can’t be made to work in such a small and simple case like this, why would one think that all these problems would go away once you expand the idea of common ownership to the whole of society and all existing goods?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is from New York, where garbage disposals are not very common in apartments because they were only legalized in the 1990s, as incredible as that seems. But now she lives in D.C., and she has discovered that there is one in her apartment.
Unlike progressives and conservatives, libertarians judge society and government policy by how well individuals are able to fulfill their goals; libertarians do not suppose that individuals who comprise the large collectives that we call “countries” do or should aim at fulfilling the non-existent higher goals of these large collectives.
Yes, the greatest political show on earth. It’s just too bad that so few of the performers that are listed on the campaign-program flyers to entertain us have any belief in and policy platforms for advancing individual liberty, free markets, the impartial rule of law, or constitutionally limited government. Still, sit back and watch the show, and experience also being taken for a ride on the collectivism carousel.
Social systems must be able to serve people in periods of stability, by creating predictable patterns of rules and expectations, and to serve people in times of disruption, by fostering innovation and entrepreneurship without breaking down.
Would it be a tragedy if Williamson were an anthropology virtuoso who, in dropping out of Duke and taking his talents to the NBA, eschewed a career of path-breaking, world-rocking anthropological scholarship? No.
Because free markets typically give to producers as well as to consumers strong incentives to use their unique bits of knowledge in ways that promote the general welfare, that both the knowledge problem and the incentive problem exist at all levels of government decision-making means that what is warranted is a strong and general presumption against government intervention – or, worded differently, what is warranted is an ideology of freedom.
The bitter truth about most public policies being sold by the political class is that they give them more power to control our lives. If you favor some of these policies, be honest with the rest of us about what you mean, so that we can make more clear-headed judgments about the kind of society we want to live in.
Diversity, inclusion, participatory democracy, pluralism, and peace dictated and determined by ideological tyrants and power-lusting interest groups using political means to achieve their ends through governmental force and collectivist intimidation undermines and then destroys the alternative and far-better world of peaceful persuasion or attractive offers in the voluntary arena of market exchange.
The creation of money doesn’t create wealth, unless money itself is wealth — as it was when it was gold and silver. The sooner we learn this lesson, the sooner we’ll be able to revive real, robust, and sustainable wealth creation.
We can admire the engineering prowess that enabled NASA to land men on the moon and return them safely to earth. But even if politicians (contrary to fact) were apolitical stewards of the public welfare, governing society is not an engineering task. It follows that NASA’s remarkable achievement emphatically does not imply that we should look to government to solve our problems.
China no longer wants your leftover pizza box. Nor your empty 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew. They are being burned in the US instead.