A Free Market Side Effect

Free markets allow for so many incredible things to be made available to the average person. The free market truly allows us to live life on our own terms. Eat the way you want, live where you want, work how you want, decorate the way you want, entertain yourself the way you want - sheesh, choices, choices, choices. What a beautiful thing!

I want to mention another incredible side effect to the free market system. Simply put - it makes each of us more effective at what we do.

Every time a person brings their ability to the market and another person purchases that ability, it makes the purchaser more effective in whatever it is that they do. Let's say one man has an ability to make a shovel. Another man, who has been digging holes with his hands, decides to buy that shovel. Now, instead of digging with his hands he is able to dig probably 10 times faster with the shovel.

One person's ability made the other more effective. Think of the consequences of that. Now the second person, the digger, can dig faster and make a better income digging than he was able to before the purchase of the shovel. Each of our abilities brought to the marketplace help the rest of society solve the common problems we face more and more effectively. Progress!

The implications of this one side effect are astounding. Lets trace through the human ability for just a minute that go into making me more effective. Like I've said before, I fly business jets. My abilities help business executives get to distant locations quickly and easily so that they can advance their business concerns more effectively. But without the business jet, how effective would I be? My ability to fly airplanes is effectively useless without the skills of those who build the planes I fly. And their ability to build airplanes rests on countless other technologies that other entrepreneurs brought to the market. How effective would Gulfstream be without Honeywell (making the avionics) and Rolls-Royce (making the jet engines)? How effective would they respectively be without the computers, the communications, the financial tools (banks, loans, credit cards) that provided what they needed to produce those avionics and engines.

The analysis of this cycle could continue nearly forever. We are ALL taking advantage of the abilities of others who were made more effective in their efforts by the abilities of others before them. It is an amazing gift that the free market gives to the world. The tools we have at our fingertips that increase our effectiveness are staggering to contemplate: the automobile, the computer, the telephone, the television, modern transportation, electricity, the internet. All of these make it possible to bring our product or service to those who we serve in our business.

This is why free markets are typically viewed by economists and libertarians (and some republicans) as such a good thing. We want to allow the abilities of as many people as possible to enter the market. Each additional person that brings their skill to the market makes the rest of us more effective. Sure, another person's ability might threaten your job security - but it will certainly motivate you to provide a better product and service to your customers. An upward spiral of excellence and effectiveness.

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