Monday, February 23, 2015

Consumers' Sovereignty and Natural vs. Contrived Scarcities

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

I have a new article on the news and commentary website, "Epictimes," on "Consumers' Sovereignty and Natural vs. Contrived Scarcities."

In the free market, the guiding principle is voluntary exchange. Consumers make their free choices concerning goods and services to buy, and producers, to earn the income that enables them to be consumers in turn, must serve the ends and interests of their fellow market participants.

Hence, as consumer we are the "masters" of the market process, and as producer we are the "servants" of others. Consumers are the "sovereign" commanders of the market and its outcomes.

But this sovereignty may be undermined by government intervention. In place of the inescapable "natural scarcities" from the fact that means available are insufficient to fulfill all of our desired ends, government superimposes "contrived scarcities" by limiting competition, reducing supplies of desired goods, and making them more costly to buy.

Getting our fellow citizens understand that such "contrived scarcities" are not the result of the free market is essential to free "capitalism" from the charge of "injustice" and greater poverty in society.


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