Unpopular opinion: Ancaps are so in favor of separatist communities (space habitats, seasteading) because the reductio ad absurdum they desire is only coherent if you assume an ahistorical theory of how government came into being in the first place. Such communities would embody the libertarian founding myth of society, so they’d be working within a framework in which at least one of their basic postulates would actually be true.
This week, The Washington Post ran an editorial titled: “Sobering news for $15 minimum-wage boosters.” It turns out that the sobering news is that the minimum wage ends up hurting the very people it’s supposedly intended to help. Ron Paul explains why on today’s Myth-Busters!
Libertarian Myth 1: Libertarian's Are All About Big Business
There seems to be some Libertarian myths that I feel need clearing up. Starting with this first one:
Libertarian’s are pro-big business.
Libertarian’s are not opposed or supportive of big business. It’s really up to the individual whether or not they like big businesses. For instance, one might like going to a local store that may be more expensive but has a better atmosphere, while another may actually like Wal-Mart because they care more about lower prices. Now, the critic is sitting here saying, “wow, what a red herring argument!” But the problem is, it’s really the critic that introduced the red herring argument.
Libertarian’s have no interest in big business whatsoever. Libertarian’s are saying that government is actually HELPING businesses with anti-trust laws, grants, subsidies, etc. What they don’t understand is that a lot of regulations actually end up HELPING businesses rather than regulating them. Libertarian’s don’t want government favoring anyone. Take for instance the Sherman Antitrust Act. This made it illegal for monopolies to form under the pretexts of different names. The most popular example of this is Standard Oil. In short, Standard Oil gained a monopoly (which is arbitrarily set by the Department of Justice). However, Standard Oil gained much of the market share by buying out other companies, yes, but what people don’t realize is that it undersold its competitors. Should we really complain about cheaper prices? I bet right now people would absolutely LOVE lower oil prices. So, who wins? Other businesses. Businesses have been the majority of the ones that get the Department of Justice to sue their competitors.
Many people believe that monopolies will cause higher prices. This has never been shown (nor has a 100% monopoly ever existed) to be true. Secondly, businesses get people to buy their products with lower prices. The next question that typically arrives is: “well, once they have a monopoly, won’t they just raise prices then?” The answer is no. There is no reason to believe that to be true. Unless they are idiot businessmen. If somebody raises prices, this allows for somebody else to come in and offer prices lower, stealing away market share. Also, in the case of ALCOA, the aluminum company, who was said to have a monopoly, they lowered prices, yet even then, they had to compete, not only with other businesses, but of other metals.
So, what causes monopolies? Government. Only a government can cause a COERCIVE monopoly. Through things like patents, antitrust laws, and many other regulations. Only government can grant a legal monopoly that the consumers have no choice to pay high prices, etc.
Libertarian’s are NOT pro-business/government collusion. Murray Rothbard, a Libertarian economist said this:
“Big Businessman-as-Hero to concede that it is precisely Big Business that is largely responsible for the twentieth-century march into aggressive statism”
Libertarian’s do not support business and government collusion. It is pro-capitalism. Not pro-cronyism or pro-government/business collusion.