Far too many Americans have an obsession with using government force to get the things that they want. Thankfully, they won’t use force on their own. In other words, they won’t kick in their neighbor’s door while yelling “Pay for my healthcare!” Such behavior is still understood to be wrong and is avoided by the vast majority of people.
However, when a third party like government offers to pillage your neighbor on your behalf, it becomes a very seductive proposal. You don’t have to get your nails dirty, and you might end up getting something for “free.” Far too many have been swindled into believing that aggressive force by government is legitimate and necessary.
The only result is the one that we see with our very own eyes: division, distrust, anger, resentment, a desire for revenge….
In other words, all of the worst characteristics that people are capable of expressing are indeed expressed when government violence is up for grabs in getting the things you want.
Meanwhile, the solution to this de-civilization stares us right in the face. We participate in it everyday. We have to if we desire to live.
If it weren’t for the marketplace, this interaction between writer and reader would not be taking place right now. We’d all be goners.
The market provides us with the sane, moral, and just way to get the things that we desire.
For example, this writer is a fan of Starbucks coffee. Let’s use a simple trip to Starbucks as an example of how the market provides us with the historic amounts of wealth that we’re surrounded by today.
First of all, I voluntarily choose to go to Starbucks. No one forces me. Starbucks may advertise or scream at the top of their lungs for me to go in, but the decision resides with me.
I can enter their property, or not. I can choose to never go into their place as long as I live, and Starbucks could do nothing about it.
I, as a free individual, am sovereign.
Before going into Starbucks to get a cup of coffee, I have to make sure I have something to exchange for it. I don’t have a “right” to the coffee simply because I “want” it. Nor does Starbucks have a right to any of my property.
Since money is the medium of exchange, I bring enough money in with me. I have the money because I’ve done productive work, and earned it. I didn’t steal the money, and no one else stole it on my behalf. I produced.
Meanwhile, Starbucks produced the coffee. So I’m going in to trade my production for theirs. It can’t get any more fair than that.
I go up to the counter, and a barista is there to serve me. Since my business is never guaranteed, and I always have a choice on where to get coffee, the barista has every incentive to be nice to me.
Have you ever gone to the DMV or a government office? Did you ever deal with the TSA? Have you ever dealt with a crony corporation that has been granted a monopoly by the government? It’s a whole different experience. The incentive to take care of you is completely absent.
The Starbucks barista may be a different race, or practice a different religion, or may be of a different sexuality than myself….But I don’t care.
Just give me the coffee. I need to get back to work.
The barista may worship the Kardashians, or believe that the Earth is flat, or might smoke weed on Friday nights. Again, I don’t care …. Just give me the coffee.
I also don’t care what Starbucks does with the money that they get out of the exchange with me. It’s not my business to chase down where dollars go after they leave my hands. They’re not my dollars anymore!
I end up with a cup of coffee that I could not, from start to finish, produce on my own. And not one single ounce of force was used in procuring it. Everybody wins in the exchange. People of different backgrounds, educations, beliefs and interests interacting peacefully. It’s a miracle!
This can be done with every single interaction between people. There are only a couple of principles involved. Anyone can understand them. They’re a complete respect for private property, voluntary exchange, and no make-believe “rights” to anything that we don’t happen have.
We don’t have to act like barbarians, using government as a mugger on our behalf. Government does not have some special moral authority to do things that we can’t do ourselves. If we can’t steal, then neither can it.
The market shows us the way to civilization. If only more individuals would pay attention.