How to make the world a better place

Mike Furno

After pouring over Milton Friedman’s “Capitalism and Freedom” last night I had a complete change of heart in my views concerning socialism and capitalism. Moved by his unfaltering argument I began envisioning an economic utopia of the free market complete with unabashed trade and consumerism. Convinced that the lure of profits and the general compassion of humanity will lead society into a more ethical age without the help of government protection and regulation, I whipped up a short description of what the future may hold for us.

Once we have achieved a truly free market, all sorts of things will be fantastic in society. We will have rid ourselves of those pesky and unprofitable public school systems, the torturous Department of Motor Vehicles and even that painfully cumbersome Food and Drug Administration. The government’s only duty will be to make sure the market is free and that nothing and no one restricts the individual’s economic freedom. What does this mean for you and me, the average Joe consumer? Well, a whole new world of buying choices.

Since no person in their right mind would ever try to market dangerous or deadly products, our free market world doesn’t need laws prohibiting the sale of such items. As long as an individual or their company is looking out for their economic interests they will behave ethically in order to please their customers. Thus the drug dealers, arms traffickers, and cigarette companies of the past will all wise up to this basic truth and refrain from marketing such unattractive products. Of course, this also means that the individual’s right to buy or sell such products will not be inhibited by any force but their own conscience, so you too would be able own your very own supply of heroin, available at your local Genuardi’s in both snack pack and economy size.

Since complete economic freedom means the chance to deal drugs, you might as well be allowed to take up any career you see fit. No one is stopping you from opening up your very own plastic surgery center in your basement, since that’s your own economic choice. The government shouldn’t restrict you, its your economic decision whether or not to get the proper training, and its up to the consumer to decide whether or not the service you provide is worth the price.

Let’s not forget the poor and oppressed, we have a solution to their problem as well. Making minimum wage in or less in the United States at a third world sweatshop? Move somewhere else and open up your own business. Forget that you lack the income to make an investment, you won’t even need an education to be a doctor if that’s your dream. Without government regulation saying you can’t do it, there is nothing stopping you from opening an abortion clinic in a basement apartment within the newly privatized public housing district.

Our economic rights would further transfer to the newly privatized government programs like the military. Lucky for all you peaceniks out there, the vast military complex would be dismantled in the free market. The duty of the national defense would ideally be guided by supply and demand: paying soldiers, or mercenaries as they are often called, the right wage for the risk involved. As a commodity, their services would be protected under trade laws and could be sold to the highest bidder. Under the free market we would not have our pesky American Taliban problem, as the government could never prosecute John Walker Lindh for selling his mercenary services to Afghanistan. Free and open trade would be a must between individuals all over the world, and Lindh’s choice of employment would be his economic right. Perhaps the jihad’s promise of salvation and a harem in the sky were just fringe benefits with which the U.S. Army could not compete.

You might be thinking that I am nuts, that there is no way mercenaries would reliably defend our country and that we are doomed to be invaded by Canada, that wintry socialist nation to the north. Fear not, however, for the free market has an answer! The freedom to bear and trade arms. Not just handguns mind you, but any type of military technology your credit limit can buy. When the hired mercenaries fail us, you will still have the ability to fend off the invaders with your very own surface to air missile launchers. Forget commercials about the newest in SUV technology, how would you like to own a stylish new MiG! And don’t forget to keep up with the Jones’; counter their tactical nuclear device with a brand new Strategic Defense Initiative anti-missle system.

See friends, utopia is within our grasps. If we could just open up the market, put up border controls in our front lawns and begin stockpiling nuclear arms for the neighborhood barbecue, we will be well on the way to a better world.