Let the people decide what they want, not the Government
As long as humans have lived in an organized civilization, we have attempted to make lives the best that they could possibly be for everyone involved that is willing to do the same to one another. The thing is, we as a species have become much too advanced to partake in communal behavior any longer. In fact, this has been the case for several centuries. At a point, population has gotten above what it had needed to be, in order for our species to survive. We came to this, because of our very nature, and what makes us human. This where we began to fail. Human nature has always been about self interest, no matter what form that comes in. We do things to make our lives as good as they can be, whether that is stealing from others to get what you want, or being nice to others in order to get what you want. The way many nations have set up their system, is a way that allows a select few; a small group of people to rule over the vast majority of the population. This elite group in these nations don’t have to be nice to get what they want. They have acquired “political” power, which allows them to do whatever they want to the rest of the population, unless a very specific, and secure system is put in place. In this essay, we will talk about government, and how it can become detrimental to the general population, even when governments start out with the best of intentions. It will be about how intervention can easily turn into devastation. But it will not all be bad. There will also be a conversation about the solution to the problem, and how we can avoid the things government has done to humans in the past, and make sure they never happen again in the future.
Free Market Economy, and how it operates: Let us first talk about what the financial world would look like if government played a minimal role in the way markets operated (The reason I say minimal, and not none, is because there does need to be a bit of regulation, and laws in place to make sure the market continues to run smoothly. An example would be making sure certain products are safe for consumption, and using proper labeling for products). What would happen is market equilibrium. This is when the suppliers of a product are making the exact quantity of product demanded by the consumers, and the price of the product is dictated by how much the consumers demand said product.
Producers would never make more of something than is demanded, because they would lose money. They would either have a bunch of product left over that didn’t sell, or they would have to drop their price on the product low enough that people will buy them. On the other hand, consumers would never buy something that they couldn’t afford, or buy a product that didn’t work the way it should because they would also lose money. This relationship between consumers and producers is very beneficial. Consumers are always going to demand the best thing, and producers will compete with each other to put out a product that will sell.
This, over time, makes more and more advanced products more and more affordable to everyone. Think about the evolution of the car. It started out as a machine built by hand by one person. They started out as very prestigious machines, only available to the rich. But over time, producers saw a way to make cars on a large scale, for less and less money. This made the car available to almost everyone. On top of that, the factories where cars are made gave jobs to millions of people over the world, who helped in making this product available to everyone. Now we even have cars that can drive themselves. This revolution of transportation all started from one idea, and the competition amongst people with great ideas, and the determination to make them work.
Now imagine if this system were disrupted. There were restrictions put on different parts of the system. Things would be fixed, and the system would not function properly. Who would disrupt the system you ask? Well, the answer is the political power. The people involved in the governmental establishments. Why would they do this? Because (this is what they say), they want to help everyone. To improve the lives of the less fortunate. Although this may sound like a great thing, and it is a great thing to help others out, when governments interfere with the free market, it becomes a really bad thing pretty fast. Let’s talk about a few things government does that leads to bad things.
Government Intervention in Financial Operations: The first topic will be about price ceilings and price floors. The government imposes something on a product, saying that it can’t go above or below a certain dollar amount. The problem is, this dollar amount could be above or below market value. When a product is above market value, there are very few consumers that are willing to buy that product at that price (this situation could also be said that there is a low consumer surplus). At the same time, these producers are suffering, if they are producing that product. No one is buying it, and the firm suffers. The sum of these two things happening is what is called market inefficiency, which leads to slow, zero, or even negative growth for the economy as a whole. That is, if enough products/services have them. The same thing happens when a product is below market value, because there are so many people willing to buy it (high consumer surplus), but the producers cannot afford to make it, because they are not turning out a large enough profit for it to be worth it.
Market inefficiency is the reason economies do poorly. If producers don’t get a chance to compete, or there are certain restrictions that hinder their ability to grow, there is no hope. But this is where the government steps in. After putting laws in place to make the market perform poorly, they attempt to get more power to improve the situation that they created, and most of the time, it has ended up being very negative for the population all together.
Governments claim to collect taxes so they can improve the wellbeing of the population. The thing is there is a cycle when it comes to collecting them. Market inefficiency is brought on by government intervention, so the government decides to step in even more than before, resulting in more market inefficiency, and more government intervention, and so on and so forth. Allowing taxes to be imposed on businesses is slowing them down, thus, slowing down the economy. The worst thing is, the government imposes these taxes on people to help out the ones at the bottom (so they say), but it actually ends up fixing the system. Putting something in place to keep the people where they are.
Let’s think about the concept of indirect tax, and how it affects large businesses and small businesses differently. With an indirect tax, the government requires that a certain dollar amount be charged per unit of product that may be sold at a store. Large businesses typically sell a wide variety of items, and people are already more inclined to go to their store because they know about their company. They also have much more capital than a smaller business. A large store can afford to do what’s called “eating” some of the tax, meaning they pay for some of the tax, and only make the customer pay for some of it. But a small business cannot do this. They cannot afford to eat any of the tax for a wide variety of reasons. For one they don’t carry a very wide variety of products, because typically small stores cannot afford the square footage to store and display them. They are small stores, and can only carry a select number of things. Another reason, is they don’t have a well know name like bigger businesses do. This means that there are not as many people going to their store, therefore there is not as much revenue being made by their store, versus the franchise stores. The final reason, is they don’t usually have multiple locations. They rely on one store doing well, while the corporations can charge different amounts for their products, because they can count of one store doing well, even when some other stores are not.
But if there was not a tax on product, there would be real competition between the small business and the large business. People would go out of their way to go to the small store if they knew it was charging less for the same product that was being sold at the larger store. Like I said earlier, all this competition results in every product being cheaper over time, as well as a higher quality product, because businesses offer what people want to buy.
The Humanitarian Side of Government Intervention: Now that we have covered some basic financial consequences that come with the role governments play in our everyday lives, it’s time to talk about the human consequences.
Plain and simple, government intervention, if not kept under control, will evolve into horrible machines of misery for the entire group of people that particular government has jurisdiction over. Don’t believe it? Read a history textbook. Every great mass human tragedy had direct, or atleast ties to government intervention. Every genocide, mass murder, and war crime was done because a government took over what the population was allowed to do.
The Soviet Union started off with an intention to give everyone the same amount of wealth, and same quality of life. In order for this to be possible, no one owned any private property, meaning everything was owned by the USSR. It came to be, because of a revolution that ended essentially a feudal system in this part of the world. The transition from this system to the USSR caused a famine This famine killed 5 million people in the region.
From there, a man named Joseph Stalin came to power in the USSR. He attempted to industrialize the country, and tried to make the union the world super power. This forced development resulted in the first man made famine in history. If you did not follow his directions, you would either be killed, or forced to work in labor camps called gulags. It is estimated that Joseph Stalin had a total of 40 million people killed. 20 million in World War II alone. Let’s now look at the work of another Socialist party, turned mass murder.
The Nazi Party, also known as the National Socialist German Workers Party, was broken into a series of different levels of power in order for its leader, Adolf Hitler, to remain at the top. Hitler divided the country into 36 districts, imposing a very successful bureaucracy. He began his rule in 1932, wanting a Nation State, made up of only Aryan peoples (blonde hair, and blue eyes/Northern European ancestry).He attempted to go through with this by doing a number of different things to the country’s people.
Perhaps his most dark achievement was the creation of concentration camps. He rounded up everyone that defied his idea of a great nation, and had them killed in these camps. These groups of people were made up of homosexuals, the mentally ill and physically handicapped, as well as Jewish individuals. Hitler blamed the financial hardship the country was facing on the Jewish people. By the end of World War II, Hitler was responsible for 7 to 9 million people becoming refugees, as well as the murder of about 10 million. Fortunately he was defeated, and his plans of exterminating the Jewish population failed.
The reason I told you about these two governments is so you could get an idea of what could happen if governments get too much power to themselves. This is the alternative to Capitalism. Of course not every government will result in mass murder, but it is true that they always have the potential to do so.
Just think of today’s oppressive governments. Maybe just focus on one in particular for the sake of this essay’s length.
Bashar al-Assad’s Syria has been ruled by al-Assad for 16 years now. He began his rule by promising his people a free and democratic state, giving everyone a chance to succeed. But, this has not been the case. Over the years, this government has been responsible for state controlled media, censoring things that may paint a bad picture of its rule.
Caesar (a cover up name) has reported that there are thousands of people dead, holding the Syrian government responsible. Al Asad has had thousands of people tortured, starved, beaten, and shot to death. Al Assad has also killed thousands of innocent civilians, claiming he is fighting off terrorist groups.
If this has not been enough information, here is a link for all the dictators of the 20th century. From there you can research on all of them, and all of their crimes against their people…:http://www.cbv.ns.ca/dictator/default.html. You will find that all of them used their governments to carry out their horrible agendas.
As you can see, the free market economy is really the best choice. It allows people to compete for the chance to be successful. It also creates a higher quality of life over generations. From there, we looked at the alternative to Capitalism. We saw that government intervention often results in tragedy. This includes mass murder, genocide, displaced people, famine, and many other things. It also brings the development of new technologies to a halt, because production is controlled by the state, and not what the people demand. So in the end of all this, I will leave you with a question: Would you rather have the free market pick what is best for its people, or put a few people in charge of a country, and hope for the best?
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“Bashar Al-Assad’s Crimes against Humanity, Caught on Camera.” The Economist. The Economist Newspaper, 16 Dec. 2015. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.
By the End of 1920, the Nazi Party Had about. “Holocaust Timeline: The Rise of the Nazi Party.” Holocaust Timeline: The Rise of the Nazi Party. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.
Ghosh, Palash. “How Many People Did Joseph Stalin Kill?” International Business Times. 18 Mar. 2013. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.
History.com Staff. “Joseph Stalin.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.
Rand, Ayn. Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal. New York: New American Library, 1966. Print.