Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanking the Market

As I was shopping on “Black Friday” (see my next post on why it is improperly named), I noted that at a few stores the salespeople and cashiers were considerably bigger and presumably stronger than I am. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I was quite thankful that a market system has emerged in which we generally do not use violence as a means of rationing food, clothing, and shelter. If it were a system where the bigger and stronger prevail, I would no longer have a competitive advantage.

Because we have a system of exchange in which both parties voluntarily participate, in which each party offers something of value to the other party, it doesn’t matter how big or strong a person is. What matters is how much value he offers to obtain the goods he wants. In this system, we equip ourselves by seeking education, by working diligently, and by finding ways in which we can better serve our fellow man. In this system, we are rewarded for making life easier for others, by providing for the wants of others, by delivering a valuable good or service. In this system, strangers cooperate, violence is lessened, and all benefit.

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