Here is a principle to use in all aspects of economics and policy. When you find a good or service that is in huge demand but the supply is so limited to the point that the price goes up and up, look for the regulation that is causing it. This applies regardless of the sector, whether transportation, gas, education, food, beer, or daycare. There is something in the way that is preventing the market from working as it should. If you look carefully enough, you will find the hand of the state making the mess in question.
The market economy is delivering miracles by the minute and yet we hardly notice or care; worse, we denounce the realization of this dream of all of history, this coming of heaven on earth and call it decadent and dangerous.
No one wants their stuff stolen. No one wants their physical person harmed. If you understand the implications of those two truths, you can come to see the egregious moral and practical problems of a state-managed society.
When the state itself is held to the same moral standards as everyone else, it dies. And that’s a wonderful thing.
Government is a gang, but not merely as meritorious as a private gang because it claims legal legitimacy. It pillages and uses violence but under the cover of law, and seeks legitimacy not through competition but through the myth of the social contract.
Even the richest person, provided the riches comes from mutually beneficial exchange, does not need to give anything “back” to the community, because this person took nothing out of the community. Indeed, the reverse is true: Enterprises give to the community. Their owners take huge risks, and front the money for investment, precisely with the goal of serving others. Their riches are signs that they have achieved their aims.
There is only a certain amount of wealth in the world, this thinking goes. Economics is a matter of acquiring and allocating, not creating. This was the view of the world’s smartest people, all top philosophers and not stupid people, for many thousands of years before the age of the enlightenment. It still is.