Monday, September 5, 2011

Why businessmen require freedom of conscience

At his new blog, Individual Rights and Government Wrongs, Brian Phillips has posted yet another dazzling analysis of the wide-ranging impact of government intervention in the economy. This time his focus is on taxi services. While I urge you to read the entire piece, I do want to note that I was struck by a passage which illustrates Ayn Rand's famous assertion that state and economics should be separate "in the same way and for the same reasons" as the separation of church and state.

The issue is "freedom of conscience" - something often cited by those who claim to uphold church/state separation. Why is freedom of conscience required to run a business? Brian cites this example:
Claims of “market failure” are founded on an arbitrary assertion of how the market should operate. And when the market fails to meet this arbitrary standard, it has “failed.” This is no different than running massive computer models of the NFL season and declaring that, if the Cleveland Browns do not win the Super Bowl, we have an “NFL failure.” Individuals have free will, and we often make decisions that the so-called experts don’t believe we should. The experts said that Henry Ford should not pay his workers twice the industry average. The experts were wrong. His turnover plummeted, his efficiency rose, and his profits soared. And, he cut his prices by nearly sixty percent.

Because Ford was free to act on his own judgment, he could prove the practicality of his ideas. He was free to demonstrate the truth that he saw before others saw it. What would have happened to America’s automobile industry if Henry Ford had been prohibited from acting as he thought best? And how much better might the taxi industry be if entrepreneurs and businessmen could act on their judgment, rather than follow the dictates of politicians and bureaucrats?
Any regulation which restricts a businessman's freedom to act on his own judgement interferes with his freedom of conscience, and should be rejected on that basis.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to read your post :). It is very informative!
    SEO Expert

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