In a Truly Free Market, Guns Are Bought and Sold… Not Used
It truly gives me a chuckle to hear people and politicians speak of the free market. They constantly act as if it actually exists. The right wing talks about the greatness of the free market and how it can bring prosperity to all. The left wing talks about how the free market is responsible for all social and economic problems… because it wasn’t properly regulated. By definition, a free market would not be regulated at all… because then it would not be free. Both sides are wrong. Keep in mind that when it comes to government interventions, there is no left or right wing. There is only the vulture that scavenges for an easy meal. There is only a statist wing.
“How can we blame the free market when we haven’t even tried it?” FDR
I hate to quote FDR as he was one of the presidents to do the most destruction to the idea of a free market and to the market itself. His constant interventions were supposed to be an attempt to stabilize the markets and ensure prosperity and plenty for all, while doing the exact opposite. His actions through the New Deal and other programs provided only higher prices and scarcity. He proved Ludwig von Mises statement that, “Each new intervention is an attempt to correct the unintended consequences of the previous interventions.”
In order to determine if we have a free market at all, we should first define the free market. Dictionary.com defines a free market as: an economic system that allows supply and demand to
regulate prices, wages, etc…, rather than government policy. Does this sound like our current economic system?
This sounds easy enough to understand, but let’s break it down into terms that are caveman-simple. In a free market, parties may engage in voluntary transactions with each other without interference of a meddling third party. Under the concept of voluntary transaction, people can choose to buy and sell without coercion. They can even choose to not engage in the transaction. The meddling third party is any party that is not directly involved in the transaction but chooses to impose itself into the transaction. This meddling third party is usually, but not always limited to, government. Does this sound like our current economic system?
The purpose of voluntary trade is to make ourselves better off. In fact, both parties are better off for the transaction. Since both parties win, it is considered mutually beneficial. If I purchase a carton of red raspberries for $3, it can be considered that I value the raspberries more than I value the $3. The seller values the $3 more than the raspberries. This is a situation where nobody has been taken advantage of or exploited. No guns were drawn and no shots were fired.
In a truly free market, I could buy my red raspberries (or any other product that I want) from anybody that is willing to sell them to me. I can negotiate a deal. I can take it or leave it. I can find a new seller if I find a better deal or if I become dissatisfied with the current seller. Our current market economy only resembles this description. We are getting further and further away from it each day and with every new law and regulation.
The best way to describe the current system is with a food reference. We are given a choice of a GM (Government Manipulated) product or an organic product. The GM product may contain unnatural combinations created by social engineers (mad scientists) and loaded with poisons. The organically produced items have no such contaminants and are much safer and healthier for the consumer. Why is it that so many reject one artificial product when it comes to food, only to reject a natural product in an economic system?
We can only look to a famous quote from George Washington to get a better idea of how things work: “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Most people are familiar with the fire part but rarely quote the first half. Keep in mind that as Mao and so many others have stated: “Political power comes from the barrel of a gun.” That is how government enforces all of its decrees… the operative word being force.