Should the government facilitate an economy in which the businesses and other enterprise entities are coerced to a social or moral calling?  If we believe in the democratic ideal won’t people vote with their wallets and their feet? If we don’t like a business practice why do we voluntary give them our labor and/or capital?  A business which performs bad labor practices wouldn’t be operating very long if the workers quit working as is their right to do so.

All of this conversation about this “greater good” and “social responsibility” among friends and co-workers has really reminded me of the sick nature of the general population of the alternate America that Ayn Rand wrote about in her book.
We must ask ourselves: What are morals? What is money? What is society? Is there a role for the government to uphold society? And who is this angel whom will govern us so justly if it is the government whom is given the task to preserve humanity?

In developing a planned economy, what style of economy supports the ideals of the people? The one that praises profit? A mixed system like the have? or one that abhors profit? This is a very simple way to categorize the only possible ways to organize an economy.

My proposal? A literal free-market with no taxes on business and as little regulation as possible. Ask yourself where does this obligation to support the laborer or society come from? A system based on voluntary exchange would be my vision and is the key to economic success.  I think most people would agree forcing anyone to do anything is wrong. However in practice this opinion begins to falter. If the welfare of the public were the interest of the business how much of their interest would be left to the production of a good or service which individuals will voluntarily purchase?

On Banking and the recent economic crisis:

Do businesses have an obligation to help those who can’t afford their homes? Was that written into the legal contract in mortgages which both parties signed? Is there a legal system in which individuals can petition the government for compensation against fraud or harm from both the public and private sector? Is this legal system just and equitable?

Whats wrong with profits? Consumers weren’t forced to get home loans over the last few decades, but banks were certainly forced to loan to consumers they otherwise wouldn’t have loaned to. People tend to forget the Dodd/Frank bill where banks were forced to loan to low income families and minorities regardless of income or ability to pay.  Peoples memories are often short and selective.There wasn’t much voluntary about the banks/lenders loaning to people. They were forced to by the government. Again, what’s wrong with profits? Did corporations steal that money? If people didn’t like the idea of profits, or at least one particular company making too much profit they could just quit buying that good or service.

Banks help people restructure their loans all the time in order to keep people in their homes.  Selling a home is very expensive, for you, for banks, or anyone. It’s not cheap and banks know closing costs and attorney fees make selling homes expensive. It’s a lot cheaper to lower your payment/interest than kick you out. There is a good reason why there is a rule of thumb that you have to live in a house for 5 years in order to make money or break even. Buying and maintaining a home is expensive.Did anyone force anyone to get a loan they couldn’t pay back? If an individual agreed to pay X dollars per month to an institution for payment to another individual for a property, how does that institution forgive the individual for not paying the statement? How long do you think a financial institution of any sort would last under a system where the borrowing of money isn’t considered a serious action.  If you loaned your friend $500 and agreed they would pay it back in 6 weeks, how do you feel when they don’t pay you back? Are they your friend anymore? In what regard do you hold them thereafter?

My vision, and the vision of many free market economists is an economy constructed on voluntary exchange. I work for you because we agree to a wage, and you pay me because if you don’t I take you to a court of law.Just because businesses would have no taxes in my view doesn’t mean we wouldn’t have taxes. And what regulations do we need? I certainly agree we need to protect the environment. I simply believe the government has a few basic principles and that’s it. 1) Protect us from foreign enemies. and 2) Provide a court system in which we can settle disputes and fraud.

Some would argue that the government, businesses, and society at large has a responsibility for the general population.  Why? The general population is physically able, aren’t they? By providing the defense of property rights and a legal system in which anyone can seek reparations from fraud either privately or publicly the “wage earners” are provided for, in my opinion.

But some would propose that businesses need regulation and laws under which they should have to adhere in order to promote the socioeconomic welfare. Why?  If a company treats its workers unfairly the public has plenty of venues in which to learn of this and ultimately would quit buying their goods. It’s hard to do business when consumers quit buying your product or service. Vote with your wallet. We vote each and every day on which corporations and businesses we deem vital and essential by buying their products and services. No one forces us to buy a coffee for the sake of the public good. We buy a coffee from the multi-billion dollar industry because we value it. Is coffee necessary? Why doesn’t the public at large subsist on rice, beans, and water until every mouth on the planet has food? We could certainly do that and eventually the surplus capital could feed many more people.

And of course I believe in some regulation. And when did I mention anarchy? My idea is so far outside of the mainstream they totally miss that I, of course, deem a government necessary for defense and securing individual liberty.  Individuals are the smallest group of minorities on earth, you cannot believe in minority rights unless you first and foremost believe in individual rights.  I never said we don’t need a government. I merely said government has a few key functions: 1) Defense and a 2) Legal system in which laws are executed justly and consumers/factions can litigate against fraud and abuse from both the public and private sectors.

That’s it. What else does the government need to do? Why does the government need to facilitate trade between private individuals? Do governments operate the boats between the U.S. and France?  No, corporations do.  People agree to voluntary exchange of capital for goods and services at their own volition. If we suddenly didn’t have government people wouldn’t quit working as if the sky turned dark and fire fell from the heaven.

Why do we tax greedy businesses? And what is greed?    Businesses are generally still allowed to set prices according to what is marketable. If you tax 3 similar industries with the same tax they are all going to pass that cost on to the consumer because each will still want to make a profit and each will compete for the lowest price.  Taxes on businesses ultimately suppress the wage of the earner, increase the cost of goods by increasing the cost of profit, and decrease the businesses ability to compete in the market.  Sure, some of the cost will be born by the business, but not much. Where do businesses get this money with which they pay taxes?

That’s it. What else does the government need to do? Why does the government need to facilitate trade between private individuals? Do governments operate the boats between the U.S. and France? No, corporations do. People agree to voluntary exchange of capital for goods and services at their own volition.

How do you stop businesses from passing on the tax burden? And what obligation does anyone have to create a job for anyone? There is no moral obligation to help anyone else, especially at your own expense. Morality is ultimately subjective. Profits, money, and “greed” are good things, contrary to popular opinion. What is greed anyway? Was Mao not greedy? Was Hitler not greedy? Bill Gates? Was he greedy? If you don’t like greed don’t buy anything from anyone. We’re all ultimately self interested as we are in human nature. We aren’t naturally interested in the welfare of others.

Self-interest is a positive thing. We are all self-interested as a core element of our very being.

And why is greed bad? The funny thing about greed is that only the other fellow is the greedy one. We’re never greedy.  So who are these angels whom you propose can eliminate greed from the world? James Madison, in the Federalist Papers one wrote: “ If men were angles they would need no governing. If men were governed by angels, then certain degrees of both external and internal controls on government would not be necessary.”

Business do have an obligation to provide for their employees. Again, two parties agree to a voluntary exchange of labor and capital = employment.

However, again, businesses are incapable of paying taxes. Period. It’s a quantifiable economic fact. It is merely politically popular to convince your constituents that you stuck it to those greedy businesses even though prices will rise and wage growth will fall.

But where are the angels to govern men without failure? Mao, Hitler, Stalin, Gorbachev, Lenin,  are all examples of well meaning individuals who had bad results. Humans are inherently flawed and therefore are flawed at dictating the lives of others. An action which I consider to be immoral.

Bill Gates has given away 1/3 of his wealth, and has promised to give away it all before he dies. What he forced by the government to give it away? Would that money be better used by investing in domestic and foreign businesses in poor countries? I think so. I’m sure Gates’ money was thoughtfully given away but I think it would have been much better for him to grow his business and provide capital and opportunity for more people.

Many on the left allege that selfishness is wrong and exploitative. How is selfishness exploitative? If I never see you in my entire life, how did I harm you? My point here is that altruism by nature isn’t something that can be coerced by a government. The sacrificial nature is removed by coercion. If the public good is so popular, why must we coerce anyone?

And what other opportunity is there to obtain capital other than work? The only answer is to coerce wealth from someone else in order to redistribute it.

What economics environment requires coercion of capital? A free-market where individuals are allowed to voluntarily exchange labor for capital IS a healthy business environment. The only capital necessary to support that is the capital required to support a legal system which secures basic property rights and individual rights. That’s it. What role does the government have in facilitating a healthy business environment other than that?

Whenever unemployment is high, the wealthy get blamed for shipping jobs over seas or downsizing to make their businesses more profitable in a time of economic retraction.  So a perfect economy always has full employment? Wages grow by X% per year? How do you define perfection or define this ideal economy? In reality the market is going to do what it was intended eventually. Intervening in the economy, like we’ve been doing for over a hundred years, ultimately the market catches up and makes us pay for inefficiency. Directing capital where it would not have otherwise gone is not efficient nor moral. Do you proclaim it to be? I purport that businesses have no obligations to society, period. And if they did, how do we enforce these obligations? If businesses at large felt as if there were an obligation why is coercion necessary?  Aren’t businesses merely representative of a collection of individuals working together for economic action?
Humans are fundamentally self interested, and businesses/corporations are merely an organized collection of individuals doing business for their own self-interest. This is a good thing and this is how the world works and always has worked.

All I’m saying is that these “public welfare” clauses that are trumpeted are excellent and good for humanity but should not be actions which are coerced by the government. If people want to feed the hungry they will. (And do)

Proponents of a planned economy often fail to define these social and economic “supports” when I’ve been saying all along that individuals will support themselves and in the event they can’t their families, friends, churches, and non-profits will exist to fill that vacuum. In my view, again, the government should only secure property and liberty, and that’s it.  Provide for the defense and equal protection under the law to all individuals.

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