G. Edward Griffin on Free Markets
By Cassandra Anderson
Based on an interview for Alt-Market.com
According to G. Edward Griffin, alternative markets ARE free markets. Alternative markets are an alternative to what? Controlled markets that prevent prosperity.
Free markets are ruled by consumer demand and producer supply. Major markets today are NOT free markets. They are ruled by small groups that have been given the power to intervene in the free exchange of supply and demand. Those who weild this power usually claim that they are acting on behalf of the greater good of society but, the reality is that, often, they serve hidden agendas that benefit themselves or those or those they covertly serve.
Monopolies exist because of governmental regulations and are characterized by a lack of competition in the marketplace. Monopolies can be broken by removing these regulations. Only then will upstart competitors be able to break the monopolies. This is simple, but not easy because most people still suffer under the illusion that government regulation is in the interest of the public.
Mr. Griffin said that he doesn’t like to use the word ‘government’ because that means to govern; the proper role of the state is to protect the lives, liberty and property of its citizens, as opposed to governing. Therefore, for the state to truly be just, it must be a Protectorate, not a government. It is not the business of the state to favor some groups over others through laws and regulations. The only laws that should exist are those that protect lives, liberty and property. Nothing more. And the laws should apply to all people equally.
Today, corporate monopolies and cartels own all of the major markets, including the American money supply controlled by the Federal Reserve. Federal Reserve Notes (dollars) have value only because the government requires by law (called the Legal Tender Law) that they be accepted in payment of debts. But those dollars are losing purchasing power daily.
The most direct way to break the fiat money monopoly would be to repeal the Legal Tender law. If competition were allowed in the marketplace, people could trade in units of anything they wish that has real value. Gold is an example of a tangible unit of trade, meaning that the value is contained within the item itself, but anything could be used so long as people are free to accept it or reject it, even chocolate bars or tickets to Disneyland. Mr. Griffin is a supporter of gold and gold-backed money, which are really the same thing. Gold-backed currency is not the same thing as a gold standard; a gold standard is when the government sets the value of gold instead of the free market.
Abolishing the Legal Tender law is the first step, there are other regulations that allocate wealth to monopolies, cartels, individuals and other entities. For instance, price fixing (like the gold standard), wage fixing and market fixing must also be abolished to open free markets. Additionally, choices should not be limited by the state; an example of this would be if a collectivist decided that only one type of car color was best, and implemented regulations, then choice would be void in that market.
Free markets do exist outside of controlled monopolies. They exist in small and micro economies and black markets. A black market is a pure free market. It usually can deliver anything you want…at a price. The price may may be high for items in short supply and high demand, but, under those circumstances, the price is fair. If governments would remove all controls over production and prices, a free market would kick into high gear and encourage more production to meet the demand, and the prices would come down.
Mr. Griffin agreed that individuals trading between each other in small economies that can expand builds self reliance. The education process in learning self reliance is essential to regaining freedom…