Browsing the archives for the free market tag.

Will I Still Help People If Government Doesn’t Force Me To?

government
social workers

It costs $1,000,000 / year to keep each social worker, like the ones pictured above, helping people in Iraq.

One objection to anarchy is that many people will not choose to help others unless the government forces them to through taxes and wealth redistribution.  My main objections to this point are that government does not help people and the free market turns selfish people into public servants.

Why doesn’t government help people?  Well, the presumption is that government steals a dollar from rich Peter and gives it to poor Paul, and this helps Paul more than it hurts Peter.  The first mistake is that the government does not give Paul a dollar.  First, twenty five cents is used to murder brown people, mostly foreign ones.  Then another 25 percent is paid to government employees and retirees.  After all the corporate welfare, bank bailouts, boondoggles and bridges to nowhere, after every friend of every politician gets a cut, 12 cents are left over for welfare.

So the question should be: if there were no government, would I still spend twice as much money trying to destroy other countries as I did trying to help the poor?  If the difference was to spend only 20 cents on blockades to starve “insolent” people into submission, that could be considered a net positive for anarchy.

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Equal Opportunity

finance, government, intervention

The poor need not apply.

I was discussing hedge funds with my uncle a few weeks ago and he was impressed that many had very high annual returns.  Of course, with higher returns comes higher risk, as demonstrated by the massive losses hedge funds suffered during the 2008 stock market correction.

However, he was interested enough that he asked me how he could invest in a hedge fund.  I explained that he would have to buy into one with a large sum of money, typically $1-$5 million dollars.

He was disappointed, not so much that the investment was out of his reach, but that the system seemed rigged against poor people.  He didn’t like the idea that there were opportunities only available to the rich.  Rich get richer, and all that.

Well, I didn’t know exactly what to say about that.  Sure, having more capital will always open up more opportunities.  Not many individuals have the savings to start a competitor to FedEx.

I considered trying to justify the minimum buy in by arguing that it lowered administrative costs of dealing with lots of clients.  However, there are other investment vehicles, like close-end mutual funds that are exclusive, too.

Then today, I was reading a little bit about hedge fund history.  Apparently, Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933 requires that hedge funds be offered solely to “accredited investors.”  What is an accredited investor? 

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Specter of Monopoly

government

the free market lets you choose any pepper you want, or not to buy a pepper at all

Whenever anyone says anything bad about the free market, it is generally a misplaced critique of government.  Whenever someone says something good about the government, it is usually a misdirected praise of the free market.

For example, democracy is often praised as a way for people to get what they want.  Yet, by definition, those who are not in the majority do not get what they want.  Even those in the majority often do not get everything they want, but merely their preference between two unsavory options.

In contrast, the market gives everyone exactly what they want.  You don’t have to choose between a pickle flavored yogurt and sauerkraut bubble gum.  You can choose not to buy either.

A common objection to freedom is that if everyone were allowed to buy and sell whatever they wanted, one person could buy all of the water, and then everyone would be at that person’s mercy.  It is truly a horrifying thought, that someone might have that much power over you.

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Democracy

economics

“The direction of all economic affairs is in the market society a task of the entrepreneurs. Theirs is the control of production. They are at the helm and steer the ship. A superficial observer would believe that they are supreme. But they are not. They are bound to obey unconditionally the captain’s orders. The captain is the consumer.

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Obamagician

economics

The State pretends that it has the power to create wealth, peace and happiness. It writes a few magic words on a piece of legislation, waves the non-partisan wand and, presto, our every desire is realized. Sadly, many people accept this facade of the State as a magic lamp. They see politicians wishing for boondoggles and wars and think, “if I were in charge, I would only wish for good things.”

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Political Corruption

economics

When a peace officer takes a bribe to ignore an illegal act he is engaging in political corruption. This is merely a technical term to describe the selling of political favors. If the crime was malum in se, such as theft, he is behaving immorally. However, if the illegal act in question was merely malum prohibitum, such as smoking marijuana, then the officer is performing a positive market function. This sort of good corruption allows markets to get around oppressive state regulations that would otherwise prevent people from exercising their right to life, liberty and property.

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