Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Free Market Expanded

I think the term "free market" is misunderstood. It is closely aligned with capitalism, which assumes the production and consumption of goods is controlled by individual forces, not a governing body. It is easy to see the words "free market" and think that this is only referring to money, and how it flows through the economic market.

The free market as a whole goes well beyond economics and finance, although they often intertwine with each other.

There's a happiness market, an entertainment market, a farmers market, an environmental market...everything exists within some kind of "market", regardless of whether or not you agree with me. Each market has some kind of supply and some kind of demand.


Let me take demonstrate some free markets, and how they work with each other:

When I mow my lawn, I am satisfying market demands. My grass grows and it demands that I mow it. These demands may come in different stages. 1) The grass may demand that I mow it when I am annoyed because it is too high, 2) the grass may demand that I mow it when I am unable to walk through it anymore, 3) the grass may demand that I mow it when my neighbors complain.

There are always demands, and currently I am free to satisfy these demands by my own means. Depending on the demands of the grass, I might handle things in different ways. If I am annoyed, I might simply mow the grass. If I can't walk through it anymore, I might spray round-up on the entire lawn and kill all the grass. If my neighbors complain, I might build a fence, so they can't see the grass. There are multiple ways to solve multiple demands.

Now let's look at the happiness market at the Schechter house. Each person in the house demands that they be happy (although this demand may be sub-conscious) in some way. Each person will eventually do something that makes them happy. Now I noticed the other day that Abigail is extremely happy when she gets to ride on my lap while mowing. When she is riding along and looks up at me and smiles for no apparent reason, it makes me extremely happy.

Obviously, one option available to me to satisfy the happiness demands within the household are to mow the lawn, with Abigail riding on my lap. We can see some interesting market forces at work here. I now have the ability to satisfy two demands, in two different markets by the same action....mowing the grass. If I dis-regard all the other forces that might influence my options of taking care of the yard, I would probably choose mowing with Abigail over killing the grass or building a fence.

Another interesting observation is that in this case, all the demands were satisfied, and all parties involved got the outcome that they desired. The grass got cut, the neighbors are happy, I am happy, Abigail is happy. All this through the ability to satisfy a demand through a FREE choice. You can imagine how complex things would get if certain options weren't available to me or of additional markets forced me to solve problems in other ways.


Through a "free market" I was able to solve the problems efficiently and with the best results possible. I am sad to say that when governing bodies get involved, our choices become limited, our freedoms are taken away.

When government is involved the best options aren't even options.

All the markets in this world impact each other in some way or another. The impact may be subtle or seemingly unimportant, but the results influence the supply and demand of every market.

How will our health care market change if the government is controlling things? Will decisions be influenced by money or power? Will decisions be made that don't benefit the patient? How will our environment be affected by legislation through cap and trade? Will the air become cleaner? Should the same government who can't clean up their own problems, be responsible for cleaning up everyone's problems?

The natural state of man is to be free. Market forces exist regardless of the system they live within, and the further we stray from a free market mentality, the worse everything will get. Socialism, Communism, Marxism...all these attempt to fight and control forces that cannot be controlled.

If man really is causing global warming, we will fix that when the problem affects us. Many environmentalists are assuming they know the problems of the future, and creating problems today to fix them. The free market will correct any problem in the most efficient way possible, that benefits the majority of people.

The idea of Social Justice is a con. Society cannot obtain freedom and prosperity by taking handouts and giving up control. Just as we cannot solve problems created by debt, by spending money we do not have. I pray that someday, people will realize this once again.

Capitalism works because it lets men be men and choose for themselves what path they will take. We must examine the philosophies that guide our lives. If one free market is taken away, it is inevitable that will all be taken away. As supply and demand is distributed by a central authority, no free choices can exist in solving the demands or consuming the supply created.

Does this mean that we abandon all government? I think not. This has been shown not to work. Is it a coincidence that when a document like the constitution was created, and a country was guided by individual liberties and personal freedom, that man took the greatest strides forward in all of history through technology, science and industry?

Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. I pray that we can see the mistakes of the past and avoid making them again. It seems like someone looking for "progress" would agree on this point, yet they continue to push for socialized policies and the growth of central government that has failed repeatedly for thousands of years. These so called progressives need to examine what they believe. We all need to examine our roles in society and work towards the betterment of all men.


  1. I just have to say that you forgot to mention that it makes me happy when you and Abigail mow the grass. 1) I don't have to do it, 2) Abigail is happy, and 3) Abigail is out of the house for just a bit so I can do things that make me happy, like clean out the dishwasher in peace, or mop the floor without tiny hands "helping".