Individual Rights. The most basic and widely understood principle of capitalism
is that of individual rights to life, liberty, property and voluntary contractual
exchange. Individual rights encompass not only the right to control ones own life,
liberty and property, but also to defend those rights.
Limited Government. The limited
role of government solely to the defense of the rights of individuals is also an
important and almost universally understood principle of capitalism.
Under Law. The principle of equal justice is critically important to the function
of capitalism. Government must treat all individuals and organizations equally, refraining
from giving any legal support to popular discriminatory practices. Government must
also never succumb to the temptation to reward unsuccessful businesses and individuals
with special benefits or heap additional burdens on successful business.
Order. The tendency for capitalist markets to order themselves naturally through
the laws of supply and demand is one of the most familiar principles of capitalism.
When individual rights are respected, unregulated competition will naturally tend
to reduce costs and increase the abundance of products that are in demand. This principle
is also referred to as the invisible hand of the marketplace.
The principle of private ownership is the capitalist belief that property that is
owned by the state, or is communally owned, is not respected or preserved as effectively
as that property which is owned by private individuals or corporations. This principle
is also commonly referred to as the tragedy of the commons.
Subsidiarity. Many free
market organizations, such as the Acton Institute, believe the principle of subsidiarity
is essential to keeping capitalist markets competitive and dynamic. Subsidiarity
is the principle that authority should always be vested at the lowest, most local
possible level, where local knowledge and concerns can best guide decisions. The
natural tendency is often to pass the buck, expecting higher authority to take responsibility
for too much.
The Golden Rule. The principle of fair treatment of others is considered
a core principle of the capitalism by organizations such as the Heritage Foundation.
Capitalism requires some level of mutual honesty to function best. We achieve this
not only by dealing honestly with others, but by requiring honesty in return and
holding those accountable who use misrepresentation or negotiate in bad faith.
Some say the the principals of capitalism are in reality “money talks, and all
others walk”. In today's world this may be true to some extent , but this is only
because the elitists in the government continually burden the economy with laws,
regulations and rules which stifle true capitalism. As an example suppose you wanted
to make and sell homemade bread from your kitchen: you must traverse the health department
rules and regulations, many of which do not really apply to home kitchen type facilities,
include in that labor laws and restrictions, zoning laws and restrictions, licence's
and fees for compliance to these local, state and federal laws, rules and restrictions,
and in reality the costs outweigh the benefits to start such a business. This only
stifles competition and restricts the ability to fulfill a possible demand. In other
words the government under the influence of larger, more influential persons or organizations
are limiting free enterprise, and influencing the market place in a detrimental way.
In fact in many states it is unlawful to have such a business. This is nothow free
market principals were envisioned by the countries founding fathers.
At present our economy is being manipulated more as a communal economy than as
a free market economy. There are more and more dictates from the government as to
what the market place should have as products, who can produce these products and
what the cost of these products should be (subsidize those you want and restrict
and regulate those you do not want, as well as implement wage controls such as the
Are there unscrupulous and dishonest persons out in the market place? Sure there
are and those persons should have consequences for their actions, but adding layer
upon layer of new laws, rules and restrictions does not make dishonest and unscrupulous
people more honest, but tends to restrict and punish those who are scrupulous and
honest, while disrupting the natural order and balance in the economy. As an example
someone convinces hundreds of investors to participate in a business venture and
never intends to build the business or misused the funds by pocketing most of the
money him/herself. There should be a consequence for such a person, such as having
to repay the funds, going to prison or a combination of both. But instead the government
adds a restriction such that no one else can have more than say 75 persons invest
into a fledgling venture and than limits those potential investors by limiting these
investors to having to have some arbitrary net worth in order to invest. This limits
free enterprise by punishing the honest in hopes of discouraging the dishonest.
Can the present economic situation be rectified? Most definitely. All we as a
free people need to do is realize that the free market works best, provides the most
liberty, and produces the most prosperity. Than only allow those persons who have
these same economic beliefs in the free market system represent us in government.