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The Road To Economic Security

The Indian Government is hatching one welfare scheme after another. What is being forgotten is that we can’t legislate economic security into existence. If it were possible to do so, we would have been in a Garden of Eden long time back. Government plans have never lacked ambition. Yet, the history of India is full of government policies which failed miserably.

Rashmee Roshan Lall writes in The Times of India: “Nearly half a century ago, Ayn Rand would rail about the promise of an impossible “right” to economic security for all. This Russian Jewess, who fiercely held to the individualist and laissez faire capitalist beliefs of her adopted American homeland, denounced the “right to economic security” as an infamous attempt to abrogate the concept of rights. She argued that it could mean only one thing: a promise to enslave the men who produce, for the benefit of those who don’t. In Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, she wrote, “If some men are entitled by right to the products of the work of others, it means that those others are deprived of rights and condemned to slave labour.”


What is being forgotten is that if economic security means anything, freedom is its foundation. It is ridiculous to think that security means granting the Government to initiate force against us. A man is free and secure when no one initiates force against him. All this might seem too simplistic to collectivized mentalities, but this insight involves a profound truth. When people are free from coercion by the Government they are free in the pursuit of economic security. It is not a sufficient condition, but it is a necessary condition to economic security.  Whether a man achieves it depends on his efforts and capabilities. Freedom provides him with a way to achieve his goals. It also guarantees that the people who deal with him are free to act on their own judgment. Economic security needs competition in the economic sphere, and it is possible only under capitalism. Statism hampers competition through anti trust laws, taxation and various other regulations.

Man doesn’t need “Food Security Bill”, “Health Care Bill”, “NREGA” or “Right to Education Act” for economic security. All such legislations would only prevent men from achieving security, as these involve initiation of physical force. This can’t be done without taxing innocent citizens. Taxation hampers capital accumulation. It is capital accumulation which leads to high invested capital and in turn higher wages and economic security. All this is counterintuitive, but these are the facts we should understand it we are to achieve anything close to economic security.

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