Thursday, September 24, 2009

Separating state and economics

Ayn Rand advocated separating state and economy "in the same manner and for the same reasons" as the separation of state and church.

Alex Epstein elaborates on that at Voices for Reason:

Separation of state and economics: a new ideal for America

“Do you have a better idea?”

Some form of that question is directed at anyone who criticizes the Obama administration’s runaway spending and its plans to drastically increase government control over health care, energy, and the financial industry. Unfortunately, many of Obama’s critics have not offered a better idea, instead offering vague denunciations of “Big Government” and vague affirmations of “smaller government”–but without spelling out what this would mean in practice, and how it would address today’s economic problems.

At the Ayn Rand Center, we do have a better idea of what the government should do about the economy: establish the principle of separation of state and economics. This is the subject of a recent position paper I authored, “A Call for the Separation of State and Economics.” The paper explains what this principle means, why it’s proper, and lays out numerous examples of what this principle would mean in practice.


  1. Except when markets are constituted by law. eg...the state. The ergodic principle (of a self reinforcing, natural market) is crumbling even within economics. If Randites can begin contributing to discussions of POSITIVE freedom and negative freedom, they'll be doing something much more constructive.

  2. What do you mean by positive freedom and negative freedom?