Think it’s impossible to escape Obamacare? Think again. Laissez Faire Today reader David F. shares how he did it and how you can do it too. Don’t see another doctor, take another pill, or shop around for better medical insurance until you read his story. Read on…
“While I heartily subscribe to your premise of pursuing one’s dream,” one reader, Donald J., wrote, “there are alternate perspectives worth considering.”[We’re listening… go on.]“Some wiseguy once said that life is what happens to you while you’re waiting for something better to come along. Milton put it a little more poetically in one of his […]
“Where were you when it happened?” How many times have we been asked -- and asked -- this question since 2001? Today, Chris Campbell asks us to pose a different question: What can I do today to making Sept. 11 another turning point in my life? And then, of course, taking that first step. Read on…
Want to get rich? Don’t listen to financial “gurus,” says Chris Campbell. In today’s Laissez Faire Today, Chris shares a Zen proverb and shows how understanding it is the only real way to get rich (and live a rich life). Read on…
Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In today’s Laissez Faire Today, you’ll learn about one FREE website that has the potential to not only keep your family safe – but also open your eyes to what’s happening in your own neighborhood. Chris Campbell has all the details. Read on…
Hundreds of pictures of nude celebrities were leaked onto the Internet last week. The mainstream is blaming twenty-something hackers, but according to Chris Campbell, everyone must’ve already forgotten what we learned about the NSA only a year ago. Read on…
The fireflies along the tidal rivers of Malaysia show "feats of synchrony that occur spontaneously, almost as if nature has an eerie yearning for order." Chris Campbell tells you where else this might occur in the world. Also, new technology may revolutionize the agriculture industry and what we think of as a farm.
Jeff Davis is running for Governor in Hawaii and has an interesting campaign strategy. Also, what motivates hackers is revealed and the findings might surprise you. Finally, Ferguson is discussed in a new light. Chris Campbell has more...
The so-called recovery is only built on debt and printed cash declares our own Byron King. In the long term, the only option for the government to continue financing it's operations is to print too many dollars. Money printing has it's limits, however. It's Byron's opinion that at some point, perhaps very soon, the government will have to turn to more desperate measures. Namely, capital controls. In the following featured essay, Byron outlines 4 probably ways the government will take your cash and one play you can buy through your broker to prepare today. Read on...
Americans expatriate because they want to get out of the country. Corporations expatriate for similar reasons. Clem Chambers explains...
Say goodbye to your boring morning commute. New technologies are changing the way people drive their cars. It’s making them safer, more fuel efficient, and could reshape the way America builds its roads and cities. The only thing that could stand in the way...
In a 2009 article, the Huffington Post went into considerable detail about the number of people with PhD degrees in economics employed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. This is the government’s branch of the Federal Reserve. It is not one of the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks, all of which […]
The U.S. dollar is the dominant global reserve currency. All markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities, and foreign exchange are affected by the value of the dollar.The value of the dollar, in effect, its “price” is determined by interest rates. When the Federal Reserve manipulates interest rates, it is manipulating, and therefore distorting, every market in […]
When the NSA surveillance news broke last year it sent shockwaves through CERN, the particle physics laboratory in Switzerland. Andy Yen, a PhD student, took to the Young at CERN Facebook group with a simple message: “I am very concerned about the privacy issue, and I was wondering what I could do about it.”There was […]
The game of speculation is the most uniformly fascinating game in the world. But it is not a game for the stupid, the mentally lazy, the person of inferior emotional balance or the get-rich-quick adventurer. They will die poor.– Jesse Livermore, How to Trade in StocksThe trouble with capitalism’s guardians is that they have no […]
Let’s head back in time…In 2004, a mere decade ago, the US national debt rang the register at $7.4 trillion. That represents “debt per citizen” of over $25,000. You, me, your neighbor, your 4-yr old grandson, you name it and they’re portion of the U.S. debt is $25k.But flash forward to today and you’ll see […]
John Foust, a Democrat running for the 10th congressional seat in Northern Virginia, is — like Gov. Terry McAuliffe and other state Democrats — gung-ho to expand Medicaid. His wife’s position is, shall we say, a bit more nuanced.Foust has slammed his opponent, Republican Del. Barbara Comstock, for her opposition to expansion. He has spoken […]
The midterm election season is upon us, and it’s a tossup whether the Republicans will win the Senate, or if President Obama, seemingly oblivious as conflict flares up around the world, will, through his continuous campaigning, keep Harry Reid in his majority leader seat.The only thing we know for sure is that sociopaths will be […]
Alexander Hamilton was America’s first Secretary of Treasury under President George Washington. When he first entered office in 1789, America was an agricultural nation of just 4 million still broke from its financially costly victory over the British Empire in the Revolutionary War.The states had accumulated relatively massive debts to finance that war, which mostly […]
I was talking with one of my colleagues the other day, and he raised a very interesting question, one that deserves consideration by anyone worried about their digital privacy. He read an article that championed the idea that the more steps one took to protect their privacy by using anonymous Web-browsing tools like Tor, the […]
In the minds of many people around the world, including in the United States, the term “capitalism” carries the idea of unfairness, exploitation, undeserved privilege and power, and immoral profit making. What is often difficult to get people to understand is that this misplaced conception of “capitalism” has nothing to do with real free markets […]
When you type a website address into a browser, you might have noticed that the letters “http” appear at the front. “HTTP” stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. In typing a Web address, you are actually sending an HTTP command to transmit that website to you. Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the means by which information is […]
Some people are saying it is just what the doctor ordered. Others are saying that the cure is worse than the disease.The Affordable Care Act? Reengagement in Iraq? Tea Party bullying in the GOP?Not this time. Just as protracted in the corridors of Congress and the White House is the debate over the proposed reform […]
In 2012, money mandarins running the European Union chose stagnation over restructuring. Here’s a consequence of that choice: expectations for a self-sustaining economic recovery keep getting crushed.Two years ago, European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi promised to do “whatever it takes” to hold the eurozone together. He bluffed nervous investors into believing in a […]
Picture the scene. It’s 2020. You’re at the checkout in a convenience store with a carton of milk. But you’ve got no cash and you’ve left your cards at home. No problem. You scan your right index finger; the green light flashes. Purchase approved and you leave. Easy.Is this a realistic vision of the future, […]
“In the beginning, all the world was America.” — John Locke“The Garden of Eden was a perfect place,” my friend Manuel explained. “Man had free will. He could live in harmony with nature and God — and everything would be fine. But if he defied God, the stain of original sin would be on his […]
After a week of reckoning about the American oil and gas boom… I’ve got to get something off my chest.I can’t stand it when a coworker takes credit for something I did.Whether it’s a special report I wrote or just a little investing trick I found on my own — if someone takes it and […]
It is at times useful to imagine how a truly laissez-faire society, one entirely emancipated from the shackles of state coercion, might exist and operate. Morris and Linda Tannehill examine this very idea in The Market for Liberty: Is Government Really Necessary?
The Market for Liberty imagines a totally free society: one with no government intrusion whatsoever, one in which the free market is left to respond to the demands of individuals, without recourse to institutionalized coercion — implied or actual. Is such a stateless existence even possible, much less preferable? Or, as so many contend, is it merely an academically contrived utopia?
Morris and Linda Tannehill address all the usual fears and protestations that a truly nongovernmental — i.e., anarchist society — conjures up.
Whenever there arises in conversation the mere suggestion of a totally free, laissez-faire market, the possibility that human beings might even be able to survive (much less thrive) without the safety net of state control, apologists for “benevolent government” invariably step atop their soapboxes and ask, Yes, but who will provide education for the masses, if not the public schools? or Who will care for the sick and weak, if not the public hospitals?
Indeed, these are questions that deserve thoughtful, honest answers. But these questions assume realities that are not in evidence.
They suppose that “the public” (i.e., the state) actually has money to “provide” these services, rather than, as is actually the case, first having to expropriate (steal) it from private, productive individuals. Furthermore, the fallacy of benign governmental control relies on the idea that governments can provide essential services more reliably and cost-effectively than the private sector.
In other words, the government’s obligation to provide essential services is more reliable and effective than the private sector’s opportunity to provide essential services. Admittedly, this debate does not lend itself to easy black-and-white conclusions. But as the Tannehill’s argue persuasively, the free market provides solutions that governments would never dream of.
“The big advantage of any action of the free market,” contend the Tannehills,
is that errors and injustices are self-correcting. Because competition creates a need for excellence on the part of each business, a free-market institution must correct its errors in order to survive. Government, on the other hand, survives not by excellence, but by coercion; so an error or flaw in a governmental institution can (and usually will) perpetuate itself almost indefinitely, with its errors being “corrected” by further errors. Private enterprise must, therefore, always be superior to government in any field.
(It is worth mentioning here that corporations acting in collusion with the state are not private enterprises as the Tannehill’s define them. They are simply entities that have co-opted the government’s “gun for hire” to do their dirty work for them. Think Wall Street “bailout” recipients and their army of D.C. lobbyists. Indeed, think any institution at all that seeks unfair protection or promotion from the state.)
The lines on the battlefield between the comfort of state control and the liberty of anarchy are familiar to all. The state is a protector, one side argues. The state is a prison guard, the other side argues.
- How, the statist is heard to question, might common disputes find resolution without the currently preferred monopoly of the state’s courts?
- What about private monopolies that would ruthlessly jack up prices and bleed us working-class proletarians to death?
- By what means might a laissez-faire society offer protection from foreign aggressors?
- How might the personal liberties underpinning the whole system be protected if it were not for the tireless work of the state’s police and its myriad other law-enforcement agencies?
- Indeed, the statist continues, how would “the law” itself even come into being, and in what shape would it find application, in the absence of the all-knowing, all-powerful state?
The Tannehills address these anxieties thoroughly and logically. “Freedom is not only as moral as governmental slavery is immoral,” they write, “it is as practical as government is impractical.”
Discussions criticizing the state’s myriad shortcomings and follies are many. The Tannehills’ Market for Liberty takes the extra step in providing viable, concrete solutions to state-sponsored dilemmas. The free market, they argue, can correct the state’s tendency toward costly excesses, and can do so peacefully and voluntarily, simply by following price signals from the market itself.
The Market for Liberty is, for all intents and purposes, a very real, practical solution set to those most commonly presented excuses for acquiescing to governmental authority. The government is not merely a “necessary evil,” the Tannehills argue. “It is necessarily evil.”
Of course, The Market for Liberty does not project a utopia in which acts of violence simply disappear and where every individual immediately sets off on a long road to perfection. Rather, the authors illustrate how individuals acting in their own self-interest, coming together to engage in mutually beneficial exchanges, are thus incentivized to act with honesty and integrity.
“The history of governments always has been, and always will be, written in blood, fire and tears,” the Tannehills assert. In The Market for Liberty, they show how freedom is not only an alternative to the state, but a far superior one worth, at the very least, our immediate and undivided attention.