As I look around the world, there are a lot of really amazing things happening. We live in a time where nearly anyone can afford these mini-computers we call a smartphone, information is readily available to everyone, innovative entrepreneurs are improving and decreasing costs in medicine, transportation, energy, and education.
Yet, there’s another phenomenon going on. It’s election time. Politicians are running around talking about the bad things happening and pointing fingers at their favorite bad people. One guy points his finger at businesses. Another guy wags his finger at other countries or certain people.
What does this do? It creates fear – which causes people to assume that the right politician with power will fix everything.
Enter the savior-planner who wants to use the gears of government to right the world – they propose things like seizing money from that certain group they’ve told you to despise, creating new government programs to spend that money, mandating prices, stopping trade with other nations, or going to war.
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda
Bernie Sanders rails against the market but wants to centralize power in the state, and Donald Trump beats on other countries but wants to dictate like an authoritarian.
They think more power, more force will fix things.
Let me suggest that we don’t let fear cause us to hand over the one thing that can improve our lives – liberty and the free market.
Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, et. al rightly see the things that people are frustrated about; government corruption, health care prices, student debt, but their solutions are always for the federal government to assume more power.
Government force with the right politician cannot solve high healthcare prices, student loans, or instability in another part of the world.
Why? Because coercive force (i.e., a new law, a new program) will always wrong someone.
Instead, we should listen to those who understand that power corrupts. We should listen to those who realize that government planning messes up the ability of people to freely exchange.
“Even the striving for equality by means of a directed economy can result only in an officially enforced inequality – an authoritarian determination of the status of each individual” – F.A. Hayek
There is one answer to the dilemmas that these politicians rightly see but wrongly diagnose: Free up the market – the amazing entrepreneurs all around us who can actually create value and make life better.
Look around you, how do you make life better on a daily basis – is it through voluntarily and freely exchanging with other people or by forcing others and being forced to do stuff?
Unlike government, the market is built on voluntary exchange and mutual benefit – it opens the doors to everyone succeeding.
Even if you really dislike a person, if they can provide value for you, that’s ultimately a benefit for you – and for them. The ability to freely trade makes friends out of enemies.
Government planners with all their programs, laws, and rules, can only favor some and cost others – force can’t create value or opportunities.
Only people like you and I, in a free market, can do that.
When politicians like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders want the state to use force to seize a certain “class'” money, or use force to dictate prices and who can trade with who – it will always create anger, animosity, suffering, and a lower standard of living.
High prices, high debt, and lack of access are actually created when government uses it’s only tool, force, to meddle in the beautiful thing called voluntary exchange.
The market is beautiful and not always perfect – and that’s because people aren’t perfect.
This is also exactly why we should oppose giving power to imperfect politicians who want to use the force of government to get their way.
A freer market empowers everyone – in a good way.
Note: Maybe you’re unsure about this independent, libertarian, free market approach. I understand.
I encourage you to google John Stossel, Learn Liberty, or check out two short books that helped me understand the world. 1. Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt and 2. The Law by Frederic Bastiat.
(Can you believe it, we live in a time where we can get FREE books. FEE (Foundation for Economic Education) has both of these books for free. I mean, WUT!?!)