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.

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.

A government is a compulsory territorial monopolist of ultimate decision-making (jurisdiction) and, implied in this, a compulsory territorial monopolist of taxation. That is, a government is the ultimate arbiter, for the inhabitants of a given territory, regarding what is just and what is not, and it can determine unilaterally, i.e., without requiring the consent of those seeking justice or arbitration, the price that justice-seekers must pay to the government for providing this service.

There is not the slightest analogy between playing games and the conduct of business within a market society. The card player wins money by outsmarting his antagonist. The businessman makes money by supplying customers with goods they want to acquire.

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