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The Wonders of a Free Economy

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01/02/2015

David Henderson has an important post, “The Wonder of Economic Freedom”. I truly appreciate his emphasis not just on markets, but on economic freedom; what I called elsewhere a free economy – which is much broader than just what is normally viewed as ‘market activity’.  Henderson highlights  “Jeffrey Tucker's writings on the "marvels of a free market economy" Don Boudreaux commentary CafeHayek (an example).

One point Professor Henderson makes, from his Ten Pillars of Economic Wisdom, that should be more broadly understood is “Pillar #10 is that competition is a hardy weed, not a delicate flower.”

Pete Boetkke makes a similar important point about markets and even minimal economic freedom and peoples’ drive to make their lives better under even the most trying of circumstances:

Markets are like weeds. They are impossible to stamp out. Markets emerge wherever and whenever there exist opportunities for individuals to gain through exchange. But not all markets are equal. Market exchanges in the absence of property t rules take place, but possess characteristics which are not desirable for long-term economic growth.

Markets do not need de jure sanction to exist, but for market activity to serve as the basis for of general economic prosperity in a given society, they must exist within a body of law.  … The rules of the game are probably the most significant determinant of economic performance. (Calculation and Coordination: Essays on socialism and transitional political economy, p. 198)

Another reason why regimes matter and Higgs’s regime uncertainty retards sustainable economic growth.

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Contact John P. Cochran

John P. Cochran (1949-2015) was emeritus dean of the Business School and emeritus professor of economics at Metropolitan State University of Denver and coauthor with Fred R. Glahe of The Hayek-Keynes Debate: Lessons for Current Business Cycle Research. He was also a senior fellow of the Mises Institute and served on the editorial board of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics.

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