You can now preorder the softcover edition of Yaron’s and my national bestseller Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government, which will be released on September 10. This edition includes a new preface as well as a long list of discussion questions.
If you haven’t read it—or if you haven’t bought copies for all your friends, family members, and co-workers, now’s your chance.
Yaron and I will be at the Ayn Rand Institute’s annual summer conference for the next week or so, which means blogging may be light. If you’re in the Chicago area, be sure to stop by. You can find more information at http://objectivistconferences.com/ocon2013/. You can also livestream many of the events.
America, which would become the world’s freest economy, had been founded on the principle that each individual has an inalienable right to his life, liberty, and the pursuit of his own happiness. To be an American was to be an entrepreneur in the deepest sense: “to be the master of your own fate and the captain of your own soul.” It was to take responsibility for exercising your own thought, your own creative effort, and to carve out for yourself a life of happiness and worldly success. As a result, the economic system of America became more and more geared to the life of a rational and industrious trader—an Edison, a Carnegie, an Allison, a Ford. Such men exemplified what would become known as the American or capitalist way of life, and it was the desire to protect that way of life that led men to create capitalism.
Men flocked to America not for the easy life but for freedom. Capitalist America did not guarantee you success, but it offered you an unobstructed road: In this country, you could make your own way. Today the supporters of Big Government are fond of telling us that “a hungry man is not free.” Those who immigrated to America during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries knew otherwise. They arrived poor—even famished—but ambitious. . . .
Not every American shared this attitude toward life, of course. No nation is filled only with the rational and industrious, who seek nothing more than the right to live an independent existence. There were thieves, crooks, moochers, and bums—but the system was not designed for them. It was designed for the best among men and the best in each man—not only the productive genius but anyone willing to think and produce.
-Free Market Revolution
Some good news, some bad news, and some more good news:
The good news: I’m about to become a father.
The bad news: I’m going to be taking some time off of work, which means that for the next 4-6 weeks I won’t be posting anything to the blog.
More good news: My colleagues here at the Ayn Rand Institute have kindly agreed to pitch in and keep things going in my absence. So stay tuned: LaissezFaire will continue to bring you the best in free-market thought. See you in the not-too-distant future.
I have a new column up at Forbes.com, this one on the minimum wage:
A few years ago, I was in need of some extra cash so I decided to sell my laptop on eBay. A few days later, I got an offer. It wasn’t great, but then neither was my laptop. But before the payment went through, I got a call from the government.
“We have decided that the offer you got was too low. We’re not going to let you sell your laptop for anything less than three hundred dollars.”
“But no one is willing to pay me three hundred dollars,” I said. “I’d rather have two hundred bucks than nothing.”
“Oh, no, you can’t do that,” I was told. “That would be unfair to you.”
Far fetched? Maybe—it didn’t actually happen to me. But the fact is it happens to defenseless victims every single day, albeit in a somewhat different form: through enforcement of the minimum wage.
You can read the whole thing and leave a comment here.