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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sheldon Richman's Economics 101

[Spontaneous market] order grows from market forces. But where do impersonal market forces come from? These are the result of the nature of human action. Individuals select ends and act to achieve them by adopting suitable means. Since means are scarce and ends are abundant, individuals economize in order to accomplish more rather than less. And they always seek to exchange lower values for higher values (as they see them) and never the other way around. In a world of scarcity tradeoffs are unavoidable, so one aims to trade up rather than down. The result of this and other features of human action and the world at large is what we call market forces. But really, it is just men and women acting rationally in the world. . . .

Most people value order. Chaos is inimical to human flourishing. Thus those who fail to grasp that . . . liberty is not the daughter but the mother of order will be tempted to favor state-imposed order. How ironic, since the state is the greatest creator of disorder of all.
-- from " Regulation Red Herring
/ Why There's No Such Thing as an Unregulated Market"
by Sheldon Richman.


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