Data analyzed from the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom Index makes a solid case for the benefits of more individual economic freedom and less central planning.
Across time and comparing all levels of society, be it communities, States or between countries, those with more economic freedom as measured by the Economic Freedom Index enjoy…
- Less unemployment
- Higher incomes
- Less poverty
- Less income inequality
- Less gender inequality
- Less child labor abuses
All six of these factors should tend to maximize cooperation between groups and foster more peace and less conflict. By extension, then, it appears a case can be made that the ideal role of government is to prevent us from harming each other, ensure a fair regulatory playing field, enforce laws fairly, honor contracts and otherwise grant maximal economic freedom to individuals to do as the wish so long as they don’t harm others financially or physically.
Professor Otteson discusses the fatal flaws of redistributive planned economies, not the least of which is a decline in cooperative innovation.
Pursuing life, liberty & happiness must be accomplished by individuals, and can’t be granted to us by bureaucrats or gov’t programs.
Milton Friedman understood this and trumpeted this message throughout his life.
“Americans should not be subsidizing the richest family in America and Walmart workers should not be living in poverty,” Sanders tweeted last month, castigating the big box retailer for not paying all workers $15 per hour. “Walmart’s greed has got to end,” he added.
“More importantly, if you care about improving the quality of life and living standards over time, the essential question is always about creating broad-based, sustainable economic growth. What are the conditions that are most likely to help the economy get bigger, stronger, and more resilient? At the top of the list is a government which promulgates simple, predictable, and widely enforced rules; spends within its limits and doesn’t pursue arbitrary trade wars and military interventions; and doesn’t bog down the future with an ever-increasing mountain of debt that tamps down growth and freezes out investment. Near the bottom of the list is something that is part of Sanders’ policy repertoire: Announcing bold new plans (Medicare for All! Free College for All!) without even pretending to know how to pay for them.“
By Robert Nelson, MD
Honest price-transparent markets allow value propositions to surface and to be discovered.
Contrary to the outcries of many academics, intellectuals and utopian collectivist, free markets don’t create wide-spread abuses or anarchy in peaceful law-abiding Societies. The anti-market narrative attempts to impune the term “free” in free-markets by equating it with lawlessness and all manner of fraudulent activity; rather than acknowledging that “free” means maximal freedom from unnecessary economic distortions. One only has to look at the litany of government scandals (VA comes to mind) to conclude that vice is not intrinsic to, or a consequence of, the exercise of free commerce, but rather a malevolent side of human behavior.
Markets not only provide a functional platform for innovation and creative destruction, but can help suppress waste, fraud and abuse by aligning incentives such that mutually beneficial outcomes are the rule, not the exception. Markets that are willing to operate in the light of transparency are in stark contrast to systems where avarice and other human foibles seek cover behind complex non-transparent systems or within unaccountable bureaucratic hierarchies.
In healthcare, the behemoth we call the 3rd party payment apparatus (and regulatory morass that supports it) often creates an environment which, unlike a more transparent market-oriented approach, allows bad behavior to go unchecked longer.
To the extent that we view market transparency, and all the downstream benefits that result from full disclosure, as the best chance of uncovering AND discouraging human vice, then many of the bad actors and bad behavior will be found out more readily. This approach benefits all stakeholders in healthcare.
Also, transparent pricing & markets naturally lends to transparency in quality measures, and thus better value propositions.
We should embrace changes which incorporate as many intrinsic disincentives to bad behavior as possible, as well as maximize the correct incentives – which helps healthy & sustainable endeavors to thrive.