Intervention and freedom

Why is state intervention so bad? Isn’t it necessary at least to some degree?

The State, provides laws and enforces them, this is a necessary and vital part of today’s market system. People couldn’t be expected to engage in contracts of certain nature without the guarantee that the state will honor and protect them. Up to here it’s all good. The trouble comes when government intervention gets in the way of our free will, it oversteps its boundaries and takes away our freedom. The guardian state, becomes a paternal state.

Think about regulations such as the minimum wage. You might think it’s a good thing, that it will prevent people from being “exploited”, perhaps. Now there are two problems with this line of thinking.

The first being that wages are set by markets, to try and push them above the market rate will forcefully create unemployment, which granted, will benefit those who may remain employed, but will harm those left without a job.

Secondly, and this is where I’m trying to get, to do this, is to prevent freely acting individuals to act in a mutually beneficial way.

Say I’m willing to work for 500 euros a month, something quite likely giving the times today, and someone is willing to pay me that amount. We both benefit from this arrangement. However the state has its own agenda. It has to come in and “protect” me from my own stupidity by not letting this transaction happen, and we all lose out. Many business and job opportunities may be destroyed in this way

This kind of thinking can be transposed to a million other things. For example, why is it that the State can decide which substances I can consume, or that I should get fined if I don’t wear a helmet on my bicycle. After all, it’s my own health on the line.

It is beyond me, how little faith some people have in humanity. To think that the State knows better than yourself what’s best for you. That if it weren’t for the state making cocaine illegal we would all die of an overdose the next day, silly little children that we are.

The kind of thinking that I’m trying to expose here can be summed up in one word. FREEDOM. I, and many others, believe in the simple principle that freedom should be respected above all else. That men should be able to act freely without government coercion censuring their freedom. Why shouldn’t they?

Of course freedom has its limits, J.S. Mill would say that our freedom ends where that of others begin. Yes, and for that we do need laws. But when it comes to our right to choose what we want to do with our money, or how we want to live our lives, there is only one answer. You should be free to choose. I believe in economic and social freedom.

Perhaps this idea in itself doesn’t sound so revolutionary, but apply it to the following:

-Religion: Any ideal you follow is fine, as long as you don’t harm anyone.

-Abortion: This can be tricky. Any woman should be free to do what she wants with her body,unless you consider the unborn to be human so this would conflict with ITS right to live, you would be preventing it to choose.

-Drugs: Why should any drugs be illegal? The fact that they are doesn’t change much anyway, people still take them. I just don’t think anyone else should be able to make that choice for you. Do you?

-Wage laws: Again, you are imposing restrictions on mutually beneficial arrangements.

-Import tariffs. This is one of my favorite because it also shows the hypocrisy of the electorate. Often, people complain that we should buy locally, since this helps the local economy. So to stop people from buying imports they tax them heavily.

So for whatever reason, individuals are choosing imported goods over local goods. But as a group, we have decided that this isn’t actually good. Though we must not really know that it’s good because rather than just buy locally we instead charge very big taxes so that you pretty much have to buy locally.
My point being, that people vote for one thing and do another.

See where I’m getting at?


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