How Rich Could We All Be?

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How Rich Could We All BeI recently wrote an essay called, How Rich Could We All Be? for a site I started with a friend I met at Mises University and I thought you might like to read it. It was inspired by an excerpt from “Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature” published on mises.org.

For Murray Rothbard, the ultimate justification for libertarianism is natural rights: you own your self and you own your justly acquired property. To be certain, a libertarian society would also have many other benefits, not the least of which is the increased material prosperity due to the totally unhampered free market economy. But Rothbard says such a consideration is not only not good enough to be the basis of libertarianism, but it also would not be enough of a long-term motivation for people to support libertarianism. He seems to discount the degree to which a truly free market would increase human well-being. I take issue with this.

It is my contention that the masses would be overwhelmingly more wealthy in an unhampered free market economy. To show this, I invite the reader to engage in a though experiment that takes into account the costs of the leviathan US government and then asks, “What would happen if all the money spent on wars, useless projects, and redistribution to the wealthy, were instead spent on things that actually create wealth, like start-ups and capital goods?” It also takes account of the costs of extracting and spending the wealth of the American people, as well as the costs imposed by onerous regulation.

I’d love to know what you think. Do I overestimate how rich we could all be?

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