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The Liberal Case for Economic Freedom

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Brandon Turner

on 14 July 2016

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Transcript of The Liberal Case for Economic Freedom

The Utilitarian Case for Economic Freedom
Claim 1: Economic freedom tends in the short- and long-run to produce substantially higher levels of wealth
The Rights-Based Argument for Economic Freedom
Kant's argument in the
Metaphysics of Morals
1. Freedom requires agency, the development of "moral powers"

2. Moral powers must be expressed through material means

3. Freedom requires property rights, and restrictions on economic freedom entail restrictions on agency
Questions?
What sorts of limits on economic freedom are permissible?
Economic Freedom?
Economics =
oikia
+
nomoi,
rules or practices of the house
The Liberal Case for Economic Freedom
Claim 2: Economic freedom and political freedom are correlated
Hayek's argument in
Road to Serfdom
: as governments pursue command-and-control policies, the need for curtailing political freedom will grow.
Friedman's argument in
Capitalism and Freedom
(drawing from work by Mises and others): political and economic freedom are inseparable; limiting economic freedom requires limiting political freedom, and vice versa.
Economic freedom should be conceptually separable from (at least) political and religious freedom, even if this can't be maintained in practice
Generally, economic freedom refers to individual property rights, freedom to buy and sell, freedom to work and hire
Locke's arguments in the
Second Treatise
1. Self-ownership
2. The command to industry
3. Property as the fruit of labor
Rank by Importance
1. Right to attend religious services
2. Right to vote in elections
3. Right to publish a book
4. Right to sell your phone
5. Right to access explicit content on the internet
6. Right to choose your major
7. Right to select your barber
8. Right to be a barber
9. Right to publicly protest economic policy
Full transcript