Saturday, June 17, 2006

Freeing commerce

Jacob Hornberger has a wonderful article called "The Separation of Economy and State" that is superb. By separating economy from the government, every wonderful thing will happen. Hornberger's main point is government is a roadblock which restricts human action.

One is occupational-licensure laws. Now, government will tell you it will produce quality individuals in certain professions. But, the real reason for licenses and permits are to protect the licensees from competition. Hornberger talks about a profession which he knows best--lawyers--on account of he practiced law for over 10 years. Now, I am not a lawyer, but I use attorneys in my life, and except for one, I can do better than an attorneys I hire, who are license by the bar. In fact, in a child-custody suit, I argued myself for more visitation than my lawyer. Geeze!

One of a few professions which doesn't allow licenses is journalism. The reason why is found in the 3rd freedom in the 1st Amendment. And with blogs, every Joe-on-the-street (including my daughter) will have a forum to write. And the professionals, like Hornberger, Lew Rockwell, Sheldon Richman, Robert Higgs, Jim Bovard, etc.; will find employment. None of those listed will say, "There is too much competition! There ought to be a law!"

Another is the minimum wage. Government will tell you it will protect the workers from receiving a "just" or "fair" wage. Hornberger asks, "But what is 'fair' or 'just'?" I say, and Hornberger agrees, that "just" or "fair" is whatever amount the employer and employee can agree on, whether it is $1,000 per hour, or $1 per hour. Raising the minimum wage locks out the workers whose work is valued below the minimum (e.g., teenagers and persons who are new in the workforce).

And it stifles innovation. Look at Moller International's M400 Skycar. This "skycar" will be ready in around 2010. But, the FAA certification and all government meddling, I don't know. There website said, "The timing of the models available to the public will depend on the speed of the government in certifying the vehicle as airworthy. Moller has little or no control in this process." Make that 2020(!) If we lived in a free society where the free-market doesn't have government control, the Skycar will already be in every garage (he began construction of the vertical takeoff and landing aircraft [VTOL] in 1962).

Now, I have two problems with Hornberger's article. First, it's just philosophy. In his 3rd paragraph, he said, "[Let's] adopt the following amendment to the U.S. Constitution". I stay away on "adding" anything to the Constitution. Instead, I say we erase Art. V (amendments). The amendments destroy the original meaning of the Constitution. If the Framers proposed the Constitution without Art. V, but with the Bill of Rights, especially concluding with Amendment 9 and 10 (some states wouldn't ratify the Constitution without [and rightfully so] the Bill of Rights), the Constitution will last for a long, long time, and America would again be free.

The other is this: "[I]magine combining those two features [to freely enter into occupations and to freely enter economic transactions with others] with repeal of the federal income-tax amendment". I am implying that the "federal income-tax amendment" is the 16th Amendment. The Supreme Court already said, in 8 decisions, that the 16th Amendment conferred no new power to tax. In other words, if government could not tax before the 16th Amendment was ratified, government still could not tax after the 16th Amendment was ratified. Read my post to be sure. But, except those exceptions, Hornberger did a wonderful job.

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