So Much For A Fair Game

First Published: 2016-05-04

Today (April 27, 2016), when my grandmother would have been 112, I decided to write this article. The idea has been in my mind for some time, but I needed the motivation to write about it. The memory of my grandmother, the definition of a fair and just person did the trick.

Murray Rothbard said in "Economic Determinism":
"The ruling class, being small and largely specialized, is motivated to think about its economic interests twenty four hours a day. The steel manufacturers seeking a tariff, the bankers seeking taxes to repay their government bonds (I would add: or worse to pay for their mistakes), the rulers seeking a strong state from which to obtain subsidies, the bureaucrats wishing to expand their empire, are all professionals in statism. They are constantly at work trying to preserve and expand their privileges."

Assuming that statism and freedom are equally valuable objectives for society and believe me, this is a daring assumption, how fair is the competition between the supporters of each. I will take Rothbard’s view of the other team at 50% and will compare the numbers at the end of the article.

The freedom team members will be volunteers from the wider group of  common citizens who work in the private sector. All their resources are obtained through voluntary exchanges with other citizens. For them the first priority is to provide for them and their families. With a tax burden that is close to 50% in most advanced economies, this means that they will work half their day to sustain their intellectual rival team. They will also have the additional burden of regulation-induced productivity losses. This means that they will have to invest additional resources in human or physical capital to improve their productivity to compensate. If they want to enter the war of ideas, like helping a Think Tank or Institute for example, they will have to use resources, time and money, from those destined to provide for them and their families.

The table below assigns the hours of the day to the different activities for each team’s member.


 

This is the equivalent of a soccer game with 3 players for Team Freedom against 15 players for Team Statism. Certainly not a fair game, but Team Freedom will continue to play and, who knows, miracles happen in sports.

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