We Cannot Predict the Many Ways Freedom Will Improve Our Lives - Mises.orgSubmitted by Chris Madcowski on Wed, 12/18/2013 - 13:46
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 by Gary Galles
" Defenders of liberty are often challenged to supply exhaustive descriptions of what would happen if some aspect of our increasingly government-dictated lives were returned to people’s free choices. What would happen if government didn’t educate our children? What would happen if Social Security didn’t force people to “save” for retirement or Medicare and Medicaid didn’t provide health care? What would happen if the Fed didn’t control the money supply and the FDIC didn’t insure bank deposits? What would happen if the FDA didn’t ensure that food was safe and the EPA didn’t protect us from pollution? What would happen if the SEC didn’t rein in Wall Street and the FTC and antitrust laws didn’t protect us from monopolies and collusion? These questions, and many more like them, make up an almost unending list.
In the face of such questions, it is nonetheless important to recognize that such questions are rhetorical traps designed to put an unachievable burden of proof on voluntary arrangements, short-circuiting the need to deal with the many valid criticisms of coercive policies.
The trap works because answers to such questions are beyond our competence. But that does not mean statism wins by default. It only means that detailed prediction of what would happen in a future where some government-imposed constraints on freedom are eased is beyond anyone’s knowledge."...
Gary M. Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. He is the author of The Apostle of Peace: The Radical Mind of Leonard Read.