Archive for the ‘Free Trade’ Category

I am currently reading The Age of Abundance by Brink Lindsey, a fellow of the Cato Institute.  The book is about how capitalism has made Americans more libertarian.

Reading the book made me think differently about the beginning of the civil rights movement as he describes in chapter 3.  It made me think of the movement in a more economic way.  Dr. King and the other leaders of the Montgomery bus boycott used the powers of the Invisible Hand to achieve social change.  If a person is displeased with a service, that person has the right not consume it and look elsewhere for a substitute.

African-Americans in Montgomery did just that.  They simply stopped riding the bus; they walked, organized carpools, founded underground cab companies, among other things.

And it was the White Segregationists that opposed free markets.  They wanted to deny the African Americans the right to choose what service to use.  According to Lindsey’s book, law enforcement would abuse their power to try to hinder people advocating the boycott by imposing bogus fines and making wrongful arrests.

In the end, Dr. King, the boycotters, and the free market won.


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