On the Importance of Advancing Liberty and Free Markets

Economy, Philosophy — By on March 20, 2009 at 1:05 pm

My good friend Julia Kiewit recently submitted the following to a fellowship. I thought it was a concise, accurate view of the relationship between liberty and free markets. There is much more that could be said about liberty and free markets, especially with regards religions place in relation to these two. Nonetheless, this brief response gives the “gist” of it and is worth a read:
Societies structured around liberty and free markets are important because they recognize the truth about human nature.


Free markets supply individuals with the incentive to work and provide for themselves. The free market concept of the private ownership of goods and services is conducive to personal responsibility, philanthropy, and innovation. Economic liberty rewards those who save, earn, invent, and create, thereby bringing out the best aspects of human nature, creating a strong society and, in turn, a strong nation.
Societies that are deprived of freedom in the attempt to constrain economic liberty and foster reliance on the government fail to recognize the reality of human nature. Government-controlled markets dampen economic progress and weaken nations because they discourage the flourishing of the individual. Consequently, these societies feed the worst in human nature and discourage the best. History is rife with examples of how the loss of freedom brings about poverty and injustice.
The advancement of liberty is important because it alone allows for the recognition of free market values in all areas of society. In order to give meaning to responsibility, individuals must be free to grow, learn, and explore ideas, and recognize the effects of their decisions. ‘


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  • ucfengr

    I remember a few weeks ago, Whoopi Goldberg was complaining about the propose Obama tax increases on “the rich” (quotes around the rich because the tax increases don’t really hit the rich, it hits high income earners. The truly rich, i.e. Kennedy, Rockefeller, Gates, Buffet have the flexibility to structure income to minimize tax burden). Whoopi lives in NYC which has a combined state-city tax rate of 12%. Add that to the proposed federal tax rate of 39% and you are over 50%. That doesn’t a include a potential removal of the Social Security earnings caps which could conceivably push her marginal tax rate over 60%. At that rate, some of the higher earners are going to look at either moving to lower tax areas, or deferring work in favor of leisure. And that doesn’t even factor in the hate that is being ginned up against Wall Street workers. At some point Atlas will shrug.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    The advancement of liberty is important because it alone allows for the recognition of free market values in all areas of society.
    So like are you guys going to advance liberty by renouncing your previous post where you attacked free markets with Mexico?

  • ex-preacher

    So how would one apply this reasoning to the gay marriage issue?

  • ucfengr

    So how would one apply this reasoning to the gay marriage issue?
    Does everything have to be about “gay marriage” for you?

  • Sam Thomsen

    You wrote that free markets recognize the truth about human nature, but you did not mention any particular aspects of human nature.
    Are you saying that economic liberty reforms corrupt aspects of human nature?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Are you saying that economic liberty reforms corrupt aspects of human nature?
    I think a better way to address this is feedback loops. Economic liberty limits the amount of positive feedback to some corrupt aspects of human nature. Human nature itself may not be reformed but essentially bad habits (or to use a Catholic phrase, ‘occassions for sin’) are kept to a min.
    The opposite of economic liberty, on the other hand, offers more potential to reward corrupt aspects of human nature with rewards thereby enhancing them.

  • http://collectingmythoughts.blogspot.com Norma

    “So like are you guys. . .”

  • http://majaraja.com roger mahaney

    with tariffs, and a volatile “floating currency”, and the tax-structure in this country is far from free… it is a very fascist country in reality with 99% of the wealth in less than 1/2 0f 1% of the people’s hands you don’t have anything closely resembling a “free” market. Greed has completely eroded common sense and regulation is required but never offered. all this deprivation and greed all around you in the corporations, in the banking system, in wall street, in the church yes the church too, in the schools, in the government and you have the nerve to call this country a “free” market economy. read the passage where Jesus turns over the money men in His father’s temple in the book of John, read the sermon on the mount, and stop trying to justify taking more than one needs…
    the majaraja

  • miliukov

    What is this, some kind Turing Test?
    I really can’t tell if the original post was written by a person or with some sort of random essay generator. It’s just guide words and topics strung together in sentences according to grammatical rules, but which are otherwise unconnected.

  • Dustin Steeve

    Miliukov,
    I would like to congratulate you on making the most untrue comment yet written at the EO. It’s a coveted award, believe me, but you’ve earned it.

  • miliukov

    Dustin, thanks. Good luck out there. If you think that this post passes as serious thought about the political economy, you’re gonna need it.
    Keep us in the loop please whether or not the Random Essay Generator received the fellowship. I’m truly curious if someone will pay money to get a free flow of economic and historical illiteracy mixed with badly reconstituted Ayn Rand.

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  • http://www.theproject.org.au/ Cory

    Interesting post.
    I have problems with uncritical appraisals of the free-market model however. The problem with the idea of economic liberty is that rather than bringing about the best aspects of human nature, as mentioned, I would argue that it exploits the worst aspects of our nature – our vices of greed, selfishness, and pride.
    A free market system is based primarily upon the ordering principle of competition. On the other hand, the ordering principle of co-operation, where the sharing and re-distribution of wealth can occur, surely brings about what is virtuous about our nature – charity, humility etc.
    The private ownership of goods also lends itself to exploitation. Workers are paid a minimum amount while the capitalist earns significant profit. Many of our “strong” nations have been built on the backs of slaves, and continue to be built on the exploitation of labor and resources in the third world.
    I agree that a certain loss of freedom can bring about poverty and injustice, however, the advancement of free-market systems has seen the impoverishment of billions. The 30,000 children that die each day from starvation are victims of a system which exploits our desire for more and for every winner in the free-market system, there are 3 times as many losers.
    Just some thoughts…