This is an edited transcript.
11 January 2022 this is Elijah’s Expressions. Today I want to talk about a topic called “Has the free market run its course?”
About last year I was having a conversation with a couple. They were involved in economics. I think they were lecturers in economics at one of the universities and we were talking about, you know, what do you do, what do i do and so on, how was your day, normal conversation, and it turned quickly to one, to discussing what they were doing and so we talked about economics, you know, policies, kinds of economics and it was very obvious that they were pretty Keynesian in their outlook where economics was concerned, and this means big government interventions, big spending and so on and so forth. Not everyone is a total Keynesian today, but many people still believe in financial stimulus, stimulating what with what I don’t know, but they believe in big spending, they believe in the government interventions, and there’s an ant on my neck, excuse me. I am more the Adam Smith-Milton Friedman-Thomas Sowell, Chicago School kind of thinker. I am not an economist, I’ve never studied economics in my life. I decided to start with “Basic Economics” by Thomas Sowell. I’m very caught up with what he said. I haven’t read Keynes yet, I did not have the time. I will when i when I do have time, just to get an idea, to see for myself what is it that he is trying to advocate, Now one thing i need to dispel right from the start. The free market does not advocate no government. Some government is necessary right, bear that in mind because government has to maintain the framework, the structure, law and order. Government exists to make sure that you and I don’t kill each other over economics, over commercial transactions, right, that involve goods and services. The couple asked, towards the end of our interaction, and I didn’t have time to answer them because we had to part company and they said “Has the free market run its course?” and what they meant was we agree in principle with what you’ve said, what the Chicago School says but in this day and age it has become irrelevant. I didn’t think so but I didn’t have time to finish the conversation with them. They had to go their way, I had to go mine. I just want to state this. Even Milton Friedman himself said that the free market did not exist. In other words in his time in the US and in much of the world, were approaching a free market where you let the market correct itself where if there is a recession you do nothing. You allow the market to correct itself. George Friedman of Geopolitical Futures said this, that recessions are actually necessary in order to weed out inefficiencies in the system. I agree with him, painful as it might be. Also Thomas Sowell always said that people actually know what they want, they know how much they are willing topay for it and therefore there should not be such a thing as too high pricing, too low pricing, minimum wage, rent control, things like that. Levying all kinds of taxes, payments, levies and so on. I think those things should be minimized, if not done away with all together because people do know what people want and people are willing to pay for what people want. Now for this first part you can refer to the post on my site. It is called “What do brexits and free markets mean?” The link to that will be in the description to this video so that’s the first thing that i want to talk about. You know what’s a free market and does it really exist. Now on to the second part of this video.
Well, what you see here is a little bit of what we call a mangrove swamp except that it’s low tide, otherwise most of what you see is going to be covered under some shallow water. Anyway, moving on, this morning a Straits Times article caught my eye. The article was “Divorce by mutual agreement will not lead to quick and easy divorces by Sun Xueling. Now, this is a manifestation of an aspect of the free market. I’ve said before – some government is necessary, and in general, in a society, the higher the level of civic virtue, the number of divorces will tend to go down because people will tend to be more committed, people will tend to be more supportive of one another. Now, Thomas Sowell has said that most divorces disadvantage the woman in particular, why, especially economically because what has happened is that the woman has actually given up income and given up job experience, given up good looking resumes and so on, given up promotions and gone into jobs that are more stable and maybe pay a bit less and this is because they have to bring up children. Now, even for those who bring up children and then foster them out, what do you call it, so to speak, “outsource”. I dislike that term but anyway that’s the term that people use. For a few years maybe six seven years before the kids are in school, well, even they lose out because they have to take time out to look after the children and so on and also in many divorce cases even if the head of the house or the man is required to pay alimony, unfortunately a lot of men decide to opt out of it to get out of paying alimonies in one way or another way. Okay now and therefore I think my nation Singapore has made the right choice. You should not make divorce easy because there’s no way you’re actually going to make up for the loss to the woman, and to the man, by the way. It is not true that men are unscarred, the scars are very deep and the thing is we should not make it easy. People should not enter into a relationship like marriage frivolously but should take the time to consider well and be committed to it and you don’t have to force it but you have to structure such that your laws, your legislation, recognize that it is an important institution. I mean, the continuation of the human race depends on it and if you haven’t fallen prey to that humanist or rather the green philosophy, that people are bad for the planet and so on, well, and should go extinct, it’s good for the planet. The only trouble is they never seem to lead by example so those of us who are married should stay married and show that human life is precious and that we should actually remain and we should raise children and continue with the human race because it is precious. Next segment!
Well, finally I’d like to say that the free market has not run its course. It is something to aspire to and even Milton Friedman said so. You know something, in Chinggis Khan’s time, all the way down to Khublai, the Mongols actually achieved it, and if they could achieve it, so can we. See my final quote from Jack Weatherford’s excellent book “Genghis Khan and the making of the modern world”. It’s in blue. It’s the final paragraph in the post that is entitled “What do BREXITs and free markets mean”, the same one that I was referring to earlier. Read through all the way down. You will find it there. Now, we as people, we need to insist on the facts and exercise discernment and not expect government to do everything. For example, with the current COVID omicron or even before this or whether there’s a new pandemic or whatever situation arises, crisis situation, right, it can be pandemics it can be other things. This is a dangerous world, this is a fallen world. The nature of man, I subscribe to the constrained vision. Man is what man is. Man is not what we wish him to be. You are not what you wish to be and neither am I, and therefore we must demand to see all the facts, meaning we go to the source documents, we read them carefully, we watch the videos carefully, we exercise what is called discernment. Now I have also got a podcast on discernment which I did sometime in 2020 with Patrick Wee, so please go have a look at that. I’m gonna put the link in the description as well, but my stand is this: You take the vaccines for the COVID 19, but you don’t force people to do it, and by forcing people I mean directly or indirectly. Don’t force people. End any lockdowns. Social distance in a focused way, and end the mask mandates, they don’t really help very much regardless of whether they’re N95 or whatever it is because if you lock up people in their homes that is not the best thing to do. The best thing to do is get out in the sunshine, exercise, drink lots of water, be happy, laugh frequently. Don’t gather in large groups but gather outdoors. If you want to go to the karaoke bars and carouse and all that do so, but in those places you restrict the numbers because the virus spreads indoors more than outdoors. As I said in one of my earlier videos if you take a magnifying glass and look on the ground around you, what you might see some virus fragments if at all.
All right, so this about wraps up and I of course mean wraps up this today’s video for Elijah’s Expressions. Thank you for watching. If you want to discuss topics that are of interest to you come on my membership site. Send me an email and iIwill tell you how to proceed. The features that I offer are all on that page, which I’ll put the description in the link. We will have a weekly, at least, group discussions on whatever topic you choose. You may want to watch a video, you may want to read a passage or an article that you found somewhere and say what do I think of this what do you guys think of this, let’s discuss it. By the way, this kind of thing is very good if you are a student doing General Paper for “A” levels, so come on board and get practice, not in what to think but in how to think. Thank you for watching. I’ll see you next time!