Freeman

ARTICLE

A Page on Freedom: Number 24

OCTOBER 01, 1985 by BRIAN SUMMERS

Something Better

“Do you want to go downtown tonight to see a movie?”

“No thanks. There’s a better movie I want to watch on TV.”

My friend made a choice. After weighing the pluses and minuses, he chose movie A over movie B. He went to see the movie he preferred.

This is the essence of the market economy. In a free market, entrepreneurs offer goods, services and jobs. We, in turn, choose what we consider to be the best offer. In the eyes of others, of course, we may be wrong. But it is our decision, and we bear the consequences.

When given a choice, people always select what they prefer. This is a truism. They go with the best anyone has to offer. That is, until something better comes along.

Something better came along for many immigrants when they entered the United States. Here were jobs, land, goods and services. Here was freedom. In America, workers were free to compete for jobs, and employers were free to compete for workers’ services. Merchants were free to offer their wares, and consumers were free to take their pick. People were free to seek some thing better.

Entrepreneurs the world over continue to offer consumers more and better products. Consumers, when they are free to choose, select those products which best suit their needs. Workers continue to move to freer economies, in search of better jobs and a better life. In the last two years alone, the U. S. economy has created 7 million new jobs, while absorbing a steady stream of immigrants.

This, then, is the choice we face. Do we continue to let entrepreneurs here and abroad offer us goods and services, so that we may freely decide which products best suit our needs? Do we continue to serve as a haven for people seeking a better life? Or do we close our society, shackle our economy, and use the force of government to prevent people around the world from seeking something better?

Brian Summers

THE FOUNDATION FOR ECONOMIC EDUCATION, INC.
IRVINGTON-ON-HUDSON, NEW YORK 10533

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

October 1985

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December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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