The Truth About Laissez-Faire
Right now in our crazy country, we have what is often referred to as a Pseudo-Free Market Economy - which basically means that our economy works through heavy Regulations, as well as political and public pressure, though mostly through regulations. There isn't a single thing you can do in this country without checking in with some figure-head or getting one form of permit. Why? Because if it isn't illegal, then it's economic, and if it's economic, the government(s) can regulate and they do. If it's something they don't yet regulate, you can bet that they will soon!
"Laisse Faire is true classical liberalism (now a days we call this "libertarianism") and is true capitalism. It bothers me that so many blame capitalism for our current economic problems, when truthfully, we don't have capitalism in America. What we have is regulated-capitalism, which is basically just government-run monopolies wrapped up in a pretty bow sitting next to a false flag."
“The Sage says: ‘I take no action, yet the people transform themselves, I favor quiescence and the people right themselves, I take no action and the people enrich themselves…’”
Recent economic trends...
Now, that being known, there are many in our country (myself included), who feel that all this regulation actually hurts our economy even more. Heck, there are only two reasons we have all these regulations in the first place:
- Because people are easily scared, and the government takes advantage of that by suggesting that an unregulated market would wreak havoc and leave us in some sort of barren waste land of corporate-ocracy and devastation, which people believe, and so the many of the votes are for regulating the market.
- It's easier to globalize a regulated market, which is why the government started spreading their propaganda and creating a psuedo-need for regulations - the end goal is and always has been globalization.
If you're one of the many who feel that we need to end our regulated-market, then you probably also feel that we could benefit from some form of Laissez Faire (french for "let it be") or what we think of as a "Free Market". Now, if you're on the same page with me, then you've either come to this conclusion through intense research, self-discovery and investigation - or you've been following recent trends that have shown more and more voters considering and supporting the idea of a totally free market. Ron Paul - follow Ayn Rands philosophies, has been a big part of ushering back this neo-traditional idea for the last 6 to 8 years, and it's starting to gain in popularity as we see our "free" country start to crumble around the edges. Even if you're here at this hub because you're not yet sure what kind of economy you would prefer to support more, it is my intention to help straighten some things out through this hub, so that those gaining this knowledge can make an informed decision about whether or not our country should re-consider a completely Free-Market.
“Laissez-faire et laissez-passer, le monde va de lui même!”
loosely translated, this means:
“Let it be and let goods pass; the world goes by itself.” ~Vincent de Gournay
A little history...
Now, for those of you whom are unfamiliar, Laissez Faire is actually a very old term and old form of economic philosophy. Basically, it's a completely Unregulated market (which is what they mean by "free") and there are no main governing bodies that control anything that comes in, goes out, stays in, fails or succeeds. The deciding factor of products, services, businesses, money and other economic tools - is based almost completely upon Consumer Interaction.
I can't say, through all of my time researching this subject (several years at least), that I have ever come across an economy in any country that has successfully even attempted to have a completely free market. The closest countries to attempt this have been China (between the Han & Ming Dynasties), where the oldest root forms of Laissez Faire have been traces, and France, where they originally coined the term "laissez nous fair", when the french minister of the 1680's pleaded with a random merchant for an answer to their economic troubles. He wanted to know how to improve industry, and the merchant advised him to, "Let it be" - interesting advice eh?
As time went on, Europe attempted to have it's own form of laissez faire, but failed because the kings law and certain stock laws could always take precedent over the rules and regulation of commodities. Later on, whence America was nearly established, our founding fathers fought for months - mostly over this very subject.
"To allow people to rule themselves is absurd!" many said. "To bind up the people under rules regulated by one small body of men, is the real atrocity!" yelled others. Back and forth it went until the constitution, bill of rights and federalist papers were all laid out on the table. In the end, an agreement was made that the government should have some control over the economy, law of the land and general welfare of the people, otherwise it would be all to easy for any small group of persons to sway the greater voters and create monopolies of their own, without being held accountable for any negative actions. From this, came our Republican-Democracy, where the influence of the majority has driven the will of the few (in our government), but the few were still in ultimate control of the many. This theme was supposed to help keep all things in balance, preventing the eventual suicide that all democracies have suffered, while avoiding the totalitarian rule that every republican body has become.
“I would rather roam and idle about in a muddy ditch, at my own amusement, than to be put under the restraints that the ruler would impose. I would never take any official service, and thereby I will [be free] to satisfy my own purposes.” Chuang Tzu (369-286 B.C.)
No Government Regulation of Our Economy Would Mean:
- The “Harmony of Interests" would take over as the metaphorical regulation of our economy. What this means, is that it would be the artists, entrepreneurs, property owners and philanthropists who would be the greatest influence over commodities, goods, monetary values and self-regulation of businesses. This may not be a perfect system, but it is certainly better than letting governmental thugs do it.
- More money/monetary funds in your pocket - whether you own a business, work for a business or purchase from a business. With the government taking next to nothing (for basic governmental functions), we would get to keep more of our money and prices of various commodities would be more stable because there would be less influence from stock offices and government run monopolies lead by lobbyist.
- Inspirational Improvisation - If you couldn't pay with cash, you could always pay with bananas, or apples or ipods - or anything else that held value with the person holding the commodity you seek. Basically, barter and open trading of goods would become very prevalent again, which would be very positive thing because it would cut out the middle men and create less invisible debt.
- Home of the free... We've always said it, but we've never really had it. Heck, even if we had a completely unregulated market, we'd still be subject to various criminal laws and regulations on our behavior, though the benefit of a lack of government interference in our economic lives, would mean more physical, emotional, spiritual, monetary and intellectual freedoms.
- No more economically driven wars. Clearly I cannot say there would never be anymore more wars. There's always the chance that foreign enterprise deciding they like our land better than their own, or other super nations that wouldn't like us detaching ourselves from their grips (cough**cough**Britain... did I say that?), but there would be no reason for us to take part in wars like the ones we are currently entrenched in and less 'extra' money for our government to use to go into those worse. Besides, why would we need Libya's gold or Iraq's oil when we could grow hemp, produce endless methods of sustainable energy and barter for our resources?
- It is highly like that the Department of Education would also be abolished due to it's heavy economic tones and corruption. This would mean that parents, local authorities, teachers and family members would be the ones responsible for overseeing the ways their children's schools develop.
- Individual Welfare - Currently, we are a power focused country. Who has economic power, who has legal power, who has medical power, who is rendered powerless. These are the things our government focuses on. By taking away government power to regulate the economy, we become a welfare based system (and no, I'm not talking about socialistic systems of food stamps and dshs funds. Not that those are bad, that's just not what I'm talking about). By becoming a truly welfare based society, we would determine our laws based on what is necessary for the good of the individual, which would domino out and become the good of the whole. The phrase "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" comes to mind. Currently, we run on a system where it is believe that if it's good for the gander, then the goose needs to suffer with it even if it's not good for the goose.
- Do-Over - In my humble opinion, lassie faire isn't the end-all solution, but it is a chance to start over, no matter how many times we need to do so. Getting back to the basics, and scratching on a fresh drawing board, is the only way we are going to be able to free ourselves of more than half of the current governmental and economic destruction that is currently infection our lives. Granted, I do feel that people can generally regulate themselves, we might eventually decide that some governmental regulations would hold more benefits then contras, such as having state governments facilitate the maintenance of roads into busy business areas.
Fundamental Flaws - The Problems That Still Need Solving...
- Fraud and other economic crimes would need to be regulated through the legal system without regulating the economy.
- The FDA would no longer have any true power over what comes into or leaves from our markets. Granted, this would not be a bad thing in the end, because of all the current government-sponsored corruption of the agency, but what it means is that we would need to create localized organizations with the common interest of seeking out and reviewing anything currently on the market. They still could not have any power over the economy, but they would have high influence, which was all the FDA was originally intended to do, give people the straight information about products, toxicity, benefits, etc... Not to decide who should be able to sell their wares and who shouldn't.
- Property Ownership - is an area of laissez faire that has never fully been defined. It's often a topic left to the various factions of statist and anarchists, who all have bold opinions and notions of what property ownership is or should be, but none of whom understand the value of compromise that preserves freedoms of others and enables healthy forms of growth. This is definitely a problem, and one that needs to be worked out before laissez faire really could have a chance.
- If at some point, any group in particular did happen to create a monopoly that couldn't be balanced out by competition or moderated by consumerism, we might want to consider having some form of agency that could be responsible for ensuring that they couldn't take it a step further and start to influence criminal laws and other essential functions that need to be overseen by unbiased authorities. The only problem is, how do we do this without taking away freedoms and without regulating the economy?
- Many feel that a Free Market economy can only function correctly if all persons involved make their decisions from an emotionally-detached, logical and rational position. Clearly, this isn't going to happen 100% of the time. In fact, most people make their decisions from an emotional position of one sort or another, which means that 90% of or decision making processes are not going to be 'rational' to everyone, even if they might be logical decisions for us individually. So where do we find the balance?
My grandmother always told me, "There are two things you can never avoid - that's change and change." ~Lyfe Jennings
What Would Not Happen
- Corporate Take Overs - This is probably the biggest rebuttal I've seen thrown out against laissez faire systems. It is believed (mostly from the democratic side of the table) that if we no longer had federally regulated markets, that corporations and greedy ceo's would take over the country. Now, while companies who managed to come out on top, would probably hold a lot of public interest, there would really be no way for them to control much of anything other then their own operations. Sometimes there might be some companies that appear to build monopolies, but the mystique of free markets is that they focus on changeability, something that is inevitable, but which regulated markets try to avoid. The free market embraces change and if at any point consumers felt that a corporation had taken over or monopolized the system, the negative reviews passed there way would create the downfall of those corps. Not to mention, the only reason corporations have the current power they do, is because our market is regulated to allow them to have that power. Take away the regulations and they are just as susceptable to competition and human whims as any other business.
- Criminals running wild through the streets. This would happen no more often than it does already. Just because the economic market would be deregulated, does not mean our criminal system would disappear. Sure, we would have less people in jail and our police forces wouldn't be able to work towards financial "quota's" anymore, nor would we have as many new fancy prison systems (which are economic enterprises), but we would still have a judicial system that works to keep people honest (or as honest as possible). Plenty of changes would need to be made, many of which would be changes from nationalized laws to localized laws, but we certainly would not fall into a hellish anarchy like many "experts" would have you believe.
- People and business would pillage and pollute everything. Although pollution and protection of resources (like forests) are currently protected under economic laws, there is absolutely no reason they cannot be locally regulated, cared for by public organizations or protected under the judicial system in ways other than through economic value.
- People would get ripped off left and right. First, people already get ripped off all the time, more so through many of the current regulations we have now. And yes, people would be somewhat freer to take advantage of others, but the economy would also be more dependent on consumers than ever before, which means that any hint of bad reviews or rip offs, would cinch off any swindlers attempts at continuing their scamming.
- The Wages laws would fall apart. Yes, the truth is, our current wage laws would not work in a laissez faire. Though businesses would also be much more able to afford to pay their employees well when they have less taxes to pay and more room to expand or try new things. Yes, there would be some scum out there hell-bent of getting people to work for as cheap as possible so they can make the most profits, but can you see them lasting all that long in an economy run by consumers? (each worker is a consumer, and their influence counts too!)
- Child labor would start up again. First, did you know that the working child is actually a normal thing in every country except America? Not that I am suggesting we should put all of our kids to work, but what I am suggesting, is that it's not necessarily a bad thing for older children to be able to work - especially for families or local community businesses. And on the issue of child labor starting up, you have to keep in mind that 1. the economy would be consumer driven, and our ethics of avoiding child suffering at all costs - would not disappear just because government regulation of our economy did, and 2. we would still have a judicial system that already forbids child abuse through labor, not through economic law, but through criminal law. So, while some kids would definitely be recruited into the work force, abuse of their labor would still not be permitted, and so long as the majority of consumers remain to be parents and family members, there would be no reason that school, playtime and other necessities wouldn't continue to take precedent in our kids lives.
- Drug addicts would be everywhere. News Flash! Drug addicts ARE everywhere. That won't go away regardless of our economic foundations. Drugs are addicting/fun/relaxing/dangerous/available, whatever verb you want to use, they are here and they aren't going anywhere. Now, granted, the drug laws would be abolished if we had a free market, because they are almost completely an economic issue as far as our current laws regulate them. Truthfully, we wouldn't even need to create new laws either, because we only need laws against the victimizing other people in various forms (physically hurting, maiming or killing a person, stealing, etc...), which would be an umbrella act for any crimes that may occur from a person regardless of their level of sobriety. Not to mention, in countries where former drug laws have been abolished, the drug use rates went up momentarily and then fell dramatically where they have stayed.