Book update: The free market case for the poor

Since announcing the birth of my libertarian book project back in September 2012, the project has waxed and waned as I have tried to decide on a focus. At long last, that process has been concluded and I now have a direction and a purpose to my writing having decided to address the controversial subject of capitalism and the poor.

The central theme of the book is that only radical, free market capitalism offers real solutions to the problems of poverty and that government attempts to help the poor through socialism or other forms of state intervention not only fail to achieve their intended outcomes but actively hinder the people the intervention is designed to help. Whilst I won’t expect many gasps of horror from the readers of Libertarian Home, I am expecting such gasps from members of the political mainstream as along the way I slaughter some of our most sacred cows e.g. minimum wage laws whilst offering alternative perspectives on common interpretations of historical events such as the industrial revolution.

Thank you for your ongoing support and expect to see an extract from the first chapter on Libertarian Home soon!

  9 comments for “Book update: The free market case for the poor

  1. Paul Marks
    Aug 4, 2014 at 6:48 am

    It is perfectly true that free market policies based on the private ownership (and the freedom of the owners to use) of large scale production, distribution and exchange, is good for the poor.

    That (even if there are no factories) that “capitalist” landed estates are GOOD (not bad) for the poor.

    But what if this was not so – or that it was hard to prove in a particular case? Should large scale private property owners have to show (prove) that their property owning serves “the good of the people” (as the French, NOT the American or British, Declaration of the Rights of Man suggests)?

    This is a fundamental moral question – and my position is NO.

    • Tim Carpenter
      Aug 4, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Indeed, Paul. The idea that somehow, one has to prove such things is to fight on the their ground. Arguing the toss, when axioms go unchallenged.

      The problem is, some prefer the seen vs the unseen, clear enemies in “the other” and would prefer not to examine their own thinking and motivations. Those stones left unturned, in fear of what lies beneath.

      • Paul Marks
        Aug 5, 2014 at 8:25 am

        Indeed once one has to “justify” property ownership to the envy ridden – then it is all over.

  2. Sam Swann
    Aug 4, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Thanks Paul.

    I too much prefer moral arguments over utilitarian ones but have chosen to write from the latter perspective on the basis the arguments will be more appealing to the public mind. Is this putting the cart before the horse? Perhaps. But the liberal / socialist / conservative statist sorts I am speaking to are much more likely to accept the premise of libertarian positions on issues such as the minimum wage, sweatshops etc if they perceive there to be some tangible benefit as opposed to arguments premised on natural rights philosophy.

    • Aug 4, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Include both, if you really think the moral argument is less appealing to your market then give it second fiddle, but do include it.

      The public discourse is not able to correctly perform simple moral calculus – usually omitting large parts of the context (often empathy for those conducting self-interested actions, particularly honest ones).

      The argument needs to be made whenever possible that peoples lives are not public property.

    • Paul Marks
      Aug 5, 2014 at 8:29 am

      Understood Sam. And at least you are a libertarian – unlike the fashionable leftists with their “I am a libertarian – everyone should have a guaranteed income from the state” insanity.

  3. Julie near Chicago
    Aug 5, 2014 at 6:50 am

    There’s nothing for me to add except that I agree on all points, with everyone. Simon, “lives are not public property”? Are you sure? — That sounds very radical to me. Tell it to the Sith. /sarc

    Yes, that point has to be made over and over and over.

    Mr. Swann, I wish you and your book the very best. It sounds as if it will be very interesting.

  4. Aug 5, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Sounds like something I would read, good luck. Although I agree the moral case for liberty is more important, there is a place for the utilitarian argument. Many are not going to be convinced by the former so for the purpose of reducing the amount of statists in the world there may be some use for the latter. We didn’t get rid of slavery purely with reasoned ethical argument. Some people understand things ‘backwards’, in that once they can see how a thing can be beneficial, they are more open to more fundamental questions. For example, a thief may be convinced to stop thieving because he can have much more stability if he did the hard work to get a job, and only after that does he see that thievery is actually immoral. Sure, this isn’t really the correct way to go about it, but isn’t the important thing that he has stopped thieving?

    Albeit, it does open a can of worms because if the aim *is* to reduce poverty, instead of instituting a just property rights system, there is no reason why we ethically could not institute another government program to achieve it. So the utility argument should be used with care. There probably is room for a chapter on morality, Mr Swann! But this book should be awesome regardless, I’m looking forward to it.

  5. Sam Swann
    Aug 7, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Thanks very much to everyone in the libertarian community for their input – it is much appreciated.

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