Gordon C. Boronow on You Didn’t Build That!

“You didn’t build that.” President Obama made this (in)famous statement to justify increasing taxes on successful people to even higher levels. It is questionable, to say the least, whether even higher taxes on successful people is good policy or not. But President Obama was absolutely correct that when people in society work together, they achieve vastly more than is possible working alone. One of the distinguishing features of the modern free market economy is the extent of collaboration observable in every nook and cranny of the country.

It wasn’t that long ago that a handy person could build their own home, repair their own car, grow and hunt their own food, and live life as a “rugged individualist”. No longer. Today we depend on each other; we rely on the collaboration of strangers for our daily living. This is not a bad thing. Our lives are more comfortable and filled with amazing stuff that our grandparents could hardly imagine. This widespread collaboration is the natural outcome of free people living in free markets; an engine for advancing civilization.

My contention is that a free-market economy is fertile ground for collaboration and a socialist economy is not. The intense collaboration we observe in free economies could not happen in a socialist economy. Let me explain why I believe this is true.

Often, critics of socialism, myself included, will stress the essential efficiency of a free-market economy compared to a socialist economy. Competition, the argument goes, drives entrepreneurs to seek out the most profitable way to supply society with the goods and services that people want and are willing to pay for. Firms are motivated to produce these goods at the lowest possible cost, achieving an affordable abundance for society. Socialism, on the other hand, is notoriously inefficient. There is no self-regulating competition to guide the economy to use resources carefully to produce the right goods. The state determines what resources are to be used to produce goods and services for the people, whether they want them or not.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Gordon C. Boronow