Did you know that America prospered for 140 years without a Federal Reserve or a National Income Tax, both of which are barely 100 years old, though now they’re so thoroughly entrenched, as is social security, medicare and medicaid, all of which are even younger, that the overwhelming majority of American people can’t imagine life without any of those things?
Did you know that John D. Rockefeller and Henry Flagler, who founded Standard Oil, once held over 90 percent of all oil sales in the United States? This is called a non-coercive monopoly.
Did you know that there’s never been a proven case of so-called Predatory Pricing — or “cutting-to-kill” — which is another anti-laissez-faire myth, another urban legend, totally false and provably so?
Standard Oil (like Walmart today) kept its prices at rock-bottom precisely because Rockefeller understood that if he jacked up his prices, competitors would come in and he’d lose his share of the market.
Only coercive monopolies — i.e. government monopolies — can fix prices.
The real point, though, is that nobody — not John D. Rockefeller, not Henry Flagler, not anybody — could have foreseen that because of laissez-faire and the innovation it fosters, the competitor who would put the biggest hit on his oil-market was not in the oil business at all.
Do you know who it was?
Thomas Edison and his lightbulb, which abolished kerosene and other oil-burning light. (Petroleum, by the way, abolished whale oil.)
It’s called creative destruction.
In a laissez-faire system, consumers, who pay their hard-earned money for the things they want, always determine the success or failure of a given idea or product or service.
If you want to rid the world of Walmart — or whatever — you must simply do away with the consumers who choose to shop there, including, of course, all the poor people who save so much money in shopping there.
There’s a reason that America, vilified as she is by so much of the world, still gives by FAR the most foreign aid to the entire world.
There’s a reason that only America can afford such multi-trillion-dollar-per-year extravagance, decade after decade, and that reason, paradoxically, is the same reason so many people who receive America’s aid absolutely love to hate America:
She creates by far the most.
America is the most productive.
Pollution, waste disposal, externalities, these, no matter what you’re told by government-lovers of every stripe, these require technological solutions — not bureaucratic solutions — and laissez faire, with the vast technological superiority it creates, is not only the best system for such a thing: it’s the only system equipped to deal with technological problems.
Which is why you see, for instance, the utter and nonsensical waste of government-sponsored catastrophes like Yucca Mountain.
It’s why government “solutions” often lead to UNDER-environmental protection and more cronyism.
It’s why from 1950 through 1970, the amount of volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide in the air fell by more than 20 percent, even though total vehicle miles traveled increased by 120 percent — this, before the 1970 Clean Air Act and government involvement.
It was all brought about by means of better, more efficient technology. It was therefore adopted naturally, without coercion.
This is also why the level of sulfur dioxide in the air began falling as early as 1920.
And it’s why the total amount of airborne particulate matter has been reduced by 79 percent since 1940.
Technology, which comes about through wealth-creation, is why water pollution has decreased as world-wide wealth has increased.
And that’s only the beginning …