Same with Tesla, isn’t it? The company is worth seven times more than GM and Ford combined, not because it built a good business but because Elon Musk is good at getting people’s attention. Customers. Investors. Twitter followers – he’s told them all a good story, and the best story wins. This drives you crazy if you assume the world is swayed by facts and objectivity – if you assume best idea wins.
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Value is a judgment economizing men make about the importance of the goods at their disposal for the maintenance of their lives and well-being. Hence value does not exist outside the consciousness of men.
The equivalent perspective in Austrian economics comes from methodological individualism – the study of economic energy at its smallest possible scale: the individual, individual choices, and individual transactions. These interactions and transactions roll up into the complex, swirling, ever-changing systems we call firms, markets and, ultimately, economies.
As a unit of account, money is why the price mechanism is essential to efficient markets. As a medium of exchange, its how the most people are able to experience and voluntarily share their pursuit of happiness. As a store of value, John Bogle saw a marvelous opportunity for value creation – exploit the price mechanism of efficient capital markets for the benefit of small investors.
Economic growth comes from successful entrepreneurship that is also productive. And not all entrepreneurs who earn profits contribute to economic growth if they have unproductive — or, worse, destructive — effects on the economy.
When personal property becomes capital, a source of income, then the obvious implication is a decentralization of capital ownership.
Every individual plays two economic roles, as consumer and producer. In these roles, every individual is involved in transactions or exchanges. What individual economics has discovered is that, for an exchange to take place, each party to it must feel that they are benefitting. An exchange is mutually beneficial. Economics is never about exploitation, and always about shared betterment.
Murray’s 1973 book, The Libertarian Manifesto, “More than any other of his works, this book explains why Rothbard seems to grow in stature every year. His influence has vastly risen since his death, and why Rothbardianism has so many enemies on the left, right, and center.”
What Deutscher and Roark have done is expose the smallness of their detractors. By refusing to accept the arbitrary premise that human life is repugnant, they refuse to accept as guilt, their own existence. They refuse to accept that their freedom to create masterpieces is predicated on subservience to the public good. Their integrity is non-negotiable.
Working class families readily put these values into practice and improved their lives and their communities. The evidence is overwhelming – quality of life rose, fertility rates and population increased, illegitimacy and crime rates fell, and sanitation and health care systems improved. Coincidental to this was the emergence of an impressive network of privately organized social safety nets for people who were unable help themselves.
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