Libertarianism 101: What's the libertarian position on Economics?

Garry Reed's picture

In 300 words or less...

Libertarians believe in capitalism.

Specifically, they believe in laissez-faire capitalism, which is an unnecessary redundancy.

Capitalism simply means freedom of trade. The "laissez-faire" part is a French phrase that means "leave alone," which in this context means government leaving people alone to trade with one another, thus duplicating the word "freedom" in the phrase "freedom of trade."

America, of course, does not and has not had a capitalist-like economy in over a century and has never had the laissez-faire kind at all.

No social system that permits coercive government intervention into the economy can be called capitalism, including faux-capitalist brain burps like mercantilism or mixed economy or corporatism.

The true robber barons of the Robber Baron era were conniving politicians and their co-conspirators in the corporations (legally contrived "fictional persons"). Only real persons like James J. Hill who built the Great Northern Railroad with virtually no taxpayer pelf have the moral right to the title Capitalist.

The true robber barons of today are still conniving politicians and their corporatist crooks. It's an incestuous money laundering relationship in which capitol-occupying crooks transfer money from the public treasury into the hands of corporate cronies who flush it through their business operations and return big chunks of it as "donations" to campaign coffers.

Few folks grasp it today. Most have been trained from infancy to blame the private half of the public/private economy for anything they don't like. They've been conditioned to believe that free people freely trading amongst themselves constitute an evil plot while coercion-wielding government is the cavalry coming to their rescue.

So here's the bottom line: any business that begs intervention of any kind from government isn't a capitalist business; any economic system that allows government intervention into the business realm isn't capitalism.

The non-capitalist shoe fits both feet.

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