Written by: Jason Lu
My inspiration to write this article comes from the recent announcement of bankruptcy in the city of Detroit. This is the first bankruptcy of a city of this scale. While many citizens may be eager for the government to do something, I am not.
Ask anyone for their solution, and it would be something like “give Detroit a couple billion dollars” because it will solve their bankruptcy problem. Unfortunately, this is similar to stuffing a napkin in an overflowing sink. It will solve the overflowing problem in the moment, but very soon, if you don’t fix the pipes, the sink will burst and even more water will be flowing out. Detroit will soon burst it’s sink if we don’t solve the root of the problem: unnecessary spending.
Detroit went from an industrialized and booming nation to a ghost town. This is not because of some social or economic phenomenon, it is because of the local and federal government’s idiocy. The auto-industry moved to other countries because of the regulations and taxes that this country burdens on them. Without this trade that Detroit was founded upon, a lot less money flowed in.
This is the first part in a series I am doing over the course of the next few weeks about why the free market is preferable to government. I want to make each entry brief and concise, which might be difficult considering I am drawing from various classically liberal, libertarian and anarchist intellectual giants, such as Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard and others, but I will try my best.
The first thing to do is outline your goal(s). What is humanity trying to achieve? What is the purpose of private property? What is the reason for a single currency? Well the reason these kinds of things naturally come about in a free society is because people are greedy, self-interested beings who want to have as much stuff as possible. Now this isn’t a bad thing; in fact self-interest is largely a good thing, which serves a vital role in a free market. It seems the ultimate goal is really just productivity. How can we put our scarce resources to use in the most efficient and productive way? This is the major task of economics.