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Do We Want Free Enterprise?

  • Do We Want Free Enterprise? by Watts

Tags Free Markets

03/05/1944Vervon Orval Watts

The very idea of "educating the masses" is inconsistent with the ideals of freedom and individualism to which we give lip service. Who are "the masses"? Can the term be more appropriately applied to others than to ourselves? We are all individuals differing in qualities and abilities. We all share a basic human nature capable of self-development. If this be not true then the ideal of freedom is a fanciful myth.

But this ideal is not fanciful, nor is its economic phase, free competitive enterprise. These are attainable. They are attainable if we quit regarding those we would convert as masses or classes. They are attainable if we recognize the individual as the fountainhead of good, of energy, of all that is creative. They are attainable if we acknowledge where attainment must begin: with ourselves.


Vervon Orval Watts

Vernon Orval Watts was one of the leading free-market economists of the World War II and postwar eras. Watts was hired by Leonard Read in 1939 to be the economist for the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, of which Leonard was executive director. Watts thereby became the first full-time economist to be employed by a chamber of commerce in the United States. Read later made Watts the leading economist at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). See Murray Rothbard's memorial in Making Economic Sense.


Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, 1944

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