Freedom = Social Cooperation = Prosperity

by | Nov 24, 2022

…Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, became one of the wealthiest men in the world by figuring out how to cut the price of just about everything to the benefit of everyone, but especially of lower-income consumers. That’s one of the other virtues of the free market: it rewards people who can figure out how to supply products and services that might have originally only been affordable to the wealthy so cheaply that just about anyone can afford and enjoy them. Henry Ford became wealthy by producing cheaper and cheaper (and better and better quality) automobiles; John D. Rockefeller became wealthy by selling refined kerosene and other oil industry products cheaper and cheaper for decades; Cornelius Vanderbilt got his start in business by managing a steamship business on the Hudson River in which the ride was free (!), making money by selling food and drinks on board; and on and on.


For their efforts such men have been denigrated by the enemies of economic freedom (including various politicians, government bureaucrats, socialist ideologues in academe, journalism, and elsewhere) as “robber barons.” Of course, they did not “rob” anyone.


Unlike government, they could not force anyone to buy their products; they had to persuade people to buy them by making them cheaper and better. Only government can rob you of your hard-earned money by threatening imprisonment for refusal to pay what it demands of you for services or products that you may have no need for whatsoever, and whose existence you may even deeply resent. It’s called tax evasion, a crime that is punished under federal and state law by fines, imprisonment, or both…


That is why the most menial local government tax-collecting bureaucrat can have more power over your life than the wealthiest businessperson in the world. Businesspeople must persuade people to purchase more of their products or services; unelected government bureaucrats can order you to shut down your business, take your kids out of school, or quit your job, and get the police to enforce the orders (as all Americans learned during the pandemic of 2020–2022).


– Dr. Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Economics

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