All Commentary
Tuesday, October 1, 1985

A Page on Freedom: Number 24

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