I will freely admit that economics has flaws. It’s main flaw is that the world, in reality, is not perfect. People do not always understand dense economic concepts (I mean, I’ve studied it for five years and I’m still, relatively speaking, an amateur!). However, we should always pursue economic perfection. If there is something people want, free-market economics will determine the most efficient, accessible way to establish it. Perfect competition will create a marketplace in which competitiveness between firms drives down corporate profits to the point where the profits are just good enough to stay in business. It may be difficult for you to wrap your head around this concept, but I believe if everyone had a decent understanding of the true principles of economics, people would all be way better off. Minimum wages would be much higher and the extreme profits seen by Wall Street executives would be lower. The reason is that competition makes us all better as human beings. It raises the foundation of our society. The funny thing is that basic, societal living standards become far better when all of us are operating with our own personal interests in mind. Our own drive for personal wealth means we have to provide society with something beneficial, something valuable.
Let me create an example that I have always envisioned. Imagine, for a moment, that our road and highway systems were privatized. I believe we would see a vastly different system than the one we see now. We would see a road system that morphs over the years to accommodate changing trends in the city. Think of the technology that would be developed to undertake this massive task. Machines would be built to create temporary diversions while other sections are being built. The return on investment would be astounding. People would be able to get to work on time without the thought of traffic, all for the same price you pay each month for internet services. You don’t pay more simply because you have more money, but rather the same price as everyone else, perhaps a “premium” option available in there for members who use the roads very often. If you don’t use the highway, you don’t have to pay. We save money and we save carbon emissions from better routing and less time wasted in traffic.
The main point I am trying to make here is that free-market economics responds to what people want. The reality is that we won’t end up with a McDonald’s on the base camp of Everest like the critics think… just for that very reason. Many many people place a very high price on the pristine beauty of nature. If they value it, the free market will almost guarantee that their desires will be met, as long as someone has the idea to start a business out of it. The reason is that people will PAY for what they desire. This allows for the creation of good jobs. Think about the fact that many of the beautiful sites in nature are accessible due to man-made creations: helicopters, scuba gear, boats, surfboards, ski resorts, and safaris are all products of human ingenuity.
You may find my answers brash and outrageous. However, that is how I want people to perceive them at first. To suggest that services such as highways and parks should be privatized is almost sacrilegious. We are so used to the government taking care of these things that we can’t imagine what life would be like any other way. However, I know and trust that they are correct. Economics is a science, just like physics, biology and chemistry. It is based on laws of nature that determine how humans carry out our lives. It is mathematics. Trust it’s “Invisible Hand” and let it take it’s course, because YOU determine it’s course…
That’s all for now.