Government and Free Market
Government and Free Market An excerpt from Mark Levin’s book, “Liberty and Tyranny”
In the free market, a man born into wealth or who has otherwise acquired great riches can lose his fortune depending on how he chooses to behave. Conversely, a man born into poverty or who has lost wealth once obtained can acquire a fortune, depending, again, on how he chooses to behave. When the individual or even a large business makes a wrong decision, its impact is limited and more easily absorbed by the free market. However, when the Statist makes a wrong decision, its impact is far-reaching, for he uses the power of government to impose his decision on as many individuals and businesses as possible, which distorts the free market itself.
The free market can never be completely suppressed even in the most repressive regimes. But in a soft tyranny, where government intervention is pervasive but not absolute, the individual and society still pay a heavy price from the government’s diversion of resources, which otherwise might have been used to develop new technologies, products, medicines, jobs, etc., that better serve both individual and society. Economists call this lost opportunity cost. It is difficult if not impossible to quantify that which might have been had the government not intervened, because it is impossible to identify the untold number of individuals who would have been party to an untold number of interactions and transactions had they been free to choose their own course. Moreover, lost opportunity costs are often concealed from the individual, since the government’s intrusion in the free market is usually incremental and often indirect.
Futhermore, when the Statist exercises authority arbitrarily, substituting his own ideological preferences for the rational decisions of tens of millions of individuals operating in the free market, he not only creates short-term misery, such as shortages and price spikes, but also long-term misery, because he discourages longer-term investment as well. The individual cannot reasonably know or predict how best to apply his labor and plan for his future. The government ceases to a reliable force for stability. The oil company cannot be sure how to best direct its resources in developing alternative energy sources. The farmer cannot be sure how best to use his land. The automobile company cannot be sure how best to meet consumer demand. The family cannot be sure how best to invest and save for its own financial security. Chaotic tyranny overtakes ordered liberty.
The Conservative understands that if America is to remain a vigorous, civil society in which the individual can continue to improve and progress, the forces arrayed against the free market must be interrupted and their course ultimately reversed.
(Mark R. Levin, “Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto,” Threshold Editions, 2009, pages 92-94)
Levin concludes his common sense approach on the free market by quoting President Abraham Lincoln who well-encapsulated the argument: Click Founder Foresight, to the read Lincoln’s quote on “Free Markets & Equal Opportunity”or more importantly, purchase Levin’s book.