46. Economic Progress vs. Economic Stagnation

This is my discussion regarding Economic Progress through Capitalism and Freedom versus Economic Stagnation through Statism and Force. My discussion regarding Economic Progress comes first, followed by my discussion regarding Economic Stagnation.

ECONOMIC PROGRESS and CAPITALISM

ECONOMIC PROGRESS leading to Economic Expansion and Stability is the result of Laissez-faire Capitalism and Freedom.

Capitalism and Freedom make possible continual economic progress that raises the standard of living for everyone and continually increases business opportunity and entrepreneurship, because individuals and businesses are free to associate with each other voluntarily and peacefully, in both personal and economic relationships and activities – unrestricted and unregulated by the government – while each individual and business is also free to focus on their own self-interests without violating the rights and freedoms of all other individuals and businesses. Further, unrestricted and unregulated economic progress then leads to both economic expansion and economic stability because of the continual interaction and trade of personal and economic values by both individuals and businesses – a constant activity that always moves towards an agreeable meeting ground of economic equilibrium and harmony between all parties.

All this – economic progress, entrepreneurship, expansion, and stability through Capitalism and Freedom – allows both individuals and businesses to continually pursue either a better standard of living and/or a better economic position in business, all without infringing upon or violating the rights and property of other individuals or businesses. Unrestricted and unregulated economic progress also encourages, and even promotes, intellectual curiosity and the desire to pursue life and knowledge through the application of reason and critical thinking in all areas of one’s life, including economic activity and entrepreneurship.

Comment: Only Capitalism and Freedom can establish the well-know “win-win” interchange of values between all individuals and businesses (including entrepreneurs), in both personal and economic exchanges, activities, and pursuits. This is also known as the “double thank you” exchange that exists between buyer and producer/seller in a capitalist society, where both producer/seller and buyer of a product or service say “thank you” to each other – meaning that the producer/seller “thanks” the buyer for doing business with him or her, and the buyer “thanks” the producer/seller for providing the product or service. Everyone wins and no one loses.

Remember, buyers and producers/sellers, and all the products and services that are produced and provided for all individuals and businesses in a society, do not come into existence out of thin air, or out of a puff of smoke. There first has to exist the proper social-political-economic system in which both individual freedom and economic freedom can exist and flourish unrestricted and unregulated, where laissez-faire economic activity can exist unrestricted and unregulated by any government force. And the only social-political-economic system that can achieve any of this is Laissez-faire Capitalism.

Capitalism and Freedom lead to economic progress, expansion, and stability.

VERSUS –

ECONOMIC STAGNATION and STATISM

ECONOMIC STAGNATION leading to Economic Contraction and Chaos is the result of Statism and Force (Societal and Economic Enslavement).

Statism and Force (Societal and Economic Enslavement) establishes continual economic stagnation that decreases, and eventually, destroys the standard of living for everyone and continually decreases business opportunity and entrepreneurship, because individuals and businesses are forced to associate with each other involuntarily and coercively, in both personal and economic relationships and activities – restricted, regulated, and controlled by the government – creating an economic situation where individuals and businesses become less inclined and motivated to pursue their own self-interests, as in doing so only increases their exposure to government scrutiny, interference, manipulation, restrictions, regulations, mandates, dictates, taxation, fines, force, and control – along with a continual violation of individual rights, property rights, and derivative freedoms. Economic stagnation (due to government interference, restriction, regulation, and control) then leads to both economic contraction and economic chaos because the normal, beneficial, and rational interaction and trade of personal and economic values by both individuals and businesses is disrupted by the constant interference, restriction, regulation, and control by the government creating economic imbalance and disarray between all parties. If not stopped, Statism and the economic chaos that it creates, will lead to the destitution of all, even for the wealthy, and eventually, even for those controlling and using government control and power, including all those who work for the government.

All this – economic stagnation, decay, and chaos through Statism and Force – diminishes, and eventually destroys, the ability of both individuals and businesses (including entrepreneurs) to either pursue a better standard of living and/or a better economic position in business. Economic stagnation (through government restriction, regulation, and control) diminishes and discourages intellectual curiosity, while encouraging, and even promoting, lazy thinking, the irrational, and the arbitrary in dealing with one’s life and economic activity.

Comment: Only Statism (in any and all of its forms) and Force can destroy the “win-win” exchange of values between all individuals and businesses (including entrepreneurs), in both personal and economic exchanges, activities, and pursuits. It is only through Statism and Force that the concept of “zero-sum game” (if one gains, another loses) can be used to rationalize politically implementing statist-oriented policies, legislation, mandates, force, and controls to restrict, manipulate, and control economic activity, particularly entrepreneurship, trade, pricing, and profit – and do so by using coercive government force. It is only the social-political system of Statism, in any and all of its forms, that destroys both individual freedom and economic freedom, and destroys economic prosperity for all.

Statism and Force lead to economic stagnation, decay, and chaos.

As quoted by Dr. George Reisman:

”The effect of prohibiting economic progress must be to make eager intelligence give way to passive stupidity throughout the economic system, and thus radically to undermine the economic system, not merely prevent its improvement.”

Dr. George Reisman, from his book Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics, Part One, “The Foundations of Economics,” Chapter 3, “Natural Resources and the Environment,” Part A, “Natural Resources,” Section 2, “Law of Diminishing Returns,” p. 71 (Jameson Books, 1998). Reprinted with permission.

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