…already Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., says he will insist that any federal disaster aid be paid for with cuts elsewhere.
The alternative, of course, is “that any federal disaster aid be paid for through additional coercion by threatening individuals with violence (taxes or debt to be paid later with taxes).”
Which sounds more merciless and inhumane?
Ask any taxpayer, and I’m sure most would find disaster relief for Oklahoma to be a much higher order use of their
stolen wealth taxes than drones or bureaucrats or prohibition enforcement or bailouts or subsidies or any of the thousands of wasteful and unaccountable and ultimately unnecessary federal agencies and departments.
Why not diamonds?
“Will you take half this diamond for your laptop?”
“brb gotta try and cut this damn thing in half.”
Not to mention that even if the diamonds were easily divisible, they would not retain their value. A single diamond of 1 karat is worth more than four diamonds of a quarter karat each (of the same quality).
Unlike gold, diamonds lack the characteristics that make emergent money stable and suitable as currency. As I’ve noted, such ‘money’: “(1) must be relatively imperishable (retain its value over long periods of time without decay), (2) must be easily divisible without losing value, (3) must be malleable and ductile, able to be shaped into more convenient and portable forms, (4) must remain stable in a wide range of temperatures and climates, (5) has never been worth nothing (has intrinsic value, or rather value as something other than an intermediary of exchange), (6) must be fungible (an ounce from one source would be equal and identical to an ounce from another source), (7) supply is finite without being so rare as to be difficult to use (relative scarcity), (8) new supply is relatively uncommon and difficult to acquire, (9) has a long-standing history of being used as currency, and above all else (10) free people have used it as a medium of exchange or intermediary of trade.”
The law requires large employers offering health insurance to include part-time employees working 30 hours a week or more. But rather than provide healthcare to more workers, a growing number of employers are cutting back employee hours instead.
The result: Not only will these workers earn less money, but they’ll also miss out on health insurance at work.
As Don Boudreaux notes: “Wow. What a surprise. I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you. Just shocked. It’s simply astonishing that employers don’t just pay these higher mandated costs out of their ubiquitous pots’o’gold.”
Libertarians often speak about what Bastiat called “the seen and the unseen” or the danger of what Sowell refers to as “not thinking beyond Stage 1.” These are the inevitable unintended consequences we warned of: diminished access and quality coupled with increased prices and other negative economic effects.
Naturally, the same economically-illiterate statists who caused this mess will blame “the market” and present us with a solution that is more of the same.
Because an individual 18-by-20-inch ‘shield’ is better protection than revised gun safety laws.
Because American ‘solutions’ must always involve commerce.
Because our national persona is a superhero.
Because guns won’t disappear.
Because bad guys will always exist.
Because criminals who are willing to murder don’t care very much about gun laws (and consequently only the peaceful and responsible will be disarmed).
Because being a helpless clod leads to dead innocents, and as silly as this idea may seem (to be sure, it is quite silly since it will do nothing to stop gunmen and very little to protect victims), it is certainly better than the false security of wishful thinking.
Because “commerce” (as opposed to government coercion) caters to what individuals want much more efficiently than otherwise.
Hit a milestone last night, just a few weeks removed from this blog’s 3-year anniversary.
Thanks, again, for coming along for the ride. Hopefully, out of those thousands of posts, you’ve found one or two you’ve liked.
First, the billboard you are referring to speaks nothing of “culture.”
It reads: “CELEBRATING HISPANIC VALUES AND THE MARINES WHO ACT ON THEM.”
“Values” and “culture” are not synonyms. A culture can abide by a set of values but the terms are not interchangeable.
Still, hispanic “culture” is as meaningless as hispanic “values.” As the post I linked to noted: “[S]ince Mexicans, Dominicans, Canary Islanders, Argentinians, and Cubans have about as much in common culturally as New Yorkers, Alabamians, Jamaicans, Texans, and Australians - resist the urge to group people, when unnecessary, by something as trivial as their native tongue.” There is no “hispanic culture” any more than there is some unified “anglo culture.”
And as for “hispanic values,” some take that to mean “family values” or putting importance on family. Which is, as I called it, trite. After all, what culture doesn’t place the family as the most important societal unit? Few people outside of fascists and communists wish to dissolve and abolish the “family.”
And even supposing that “hispanic values” mean all the clichéd platitudes we’d expect (that can ultimately apply to any group of people, and is therefore meaningless): family, trust, honor, commitment, etc. - they are not at all what Marines “act on.”
Marines only “act on” whatever the whims of politicians, and often their corporate cronies, wish for them to act on. The only true military value is unflinching obedience.
It would matter nothing if a marine or soldier or sailor acted selflessly or protected innocents or showed commitment to protecting his “brothers” or anything else if he did not follow orders. Absolute acquiescence is the value that trumps all others. And, more often than not, it is the very act of abiding by that fundamental military value of following orders that goes against all other noble values. After all, their ultimate purpose is to kill. Indeed: all bad deeds done by states since the beginning of time - from pillaging to bombing to “spreading democracy” - have been done by troops following orders.
And thus it would be outrageous to ascribe obedience and killing as values held by a group of people whose unifying characteristic is speaking the same language.
Apparently it’s only ok to have caffeine in “traditional” items, like coffee and tea, and the FDA might even set caffeination limits for all foods and drinks.
hipsterlibertarian’s headline perfectly encapsulates the source of nearly every one of our societal problems: “Government agency X wants control over peaceful behavior Y.”
Some people simply want to control others. They use government and its monopoly on force to exert that control. Overwhelmingly, it’s for personal gain - financial, political, or psychic. Sometimes it is for (perhaps genuinely) altruistic or well-meaning reasons. They believe (incorrectly) that they know better and if they could just have more control, their machinations would yield a better and safer society. Even in the cases of the do-gooders, the result is the same: less liberty, autonomy, and prosperity for us and more power for them. And, ultimately, any purported gains in safety are always attainable - in much more efficient fashion - without an intervening government agency.
When there is a profit incentive - either by farming Rhinos or by maintaining a tourist or hunting reserve - an endangered species becomes more secure. This is the same profit motive that kept the bee population strong enough to keep food costs low despite millions upon millions of wild bees dying a few years ago. Counter to the common narrative, private property conserves resources precisely because it becomes in the owners’ best interests to do so.
A Sacramento couple is without their 5 month old baby after Child Protective Services sent in the police to forcibly remove the child from their care.
A hearing is scheduled for Monday, April 29, 2013 on the incident which was triggered when Anna Nikolayev and her husband Alex took baby Sammy out of Sutter Memorial Hospital and sought a second opinion at Kaiser Permanente, a rival hospital, for Sammy’s flu-like symptoms.
Anna and Alex were concerned about the quality of care baby Sammy was receiving at Sutter where he was admitted nearly two weeks ago. At one point, Anna questioned the antibiotics Sammy was being given and was alarmed that the nurse administering the treatment didn’t know why the child was receiving them. Anna claims that a doctor later said that Sammy should not have been receiving the medication.
When doctors began discussing the possibility of heart surgery, the parents decided to leave without a proper discharge in order to have the child examined elsewhere.
“If we got the one mistake after another, I don’t want to have my baby have surgery in the hospital where I don’t feel safe,” Anna said.
She added, ”We went from one hospital to another. We just wanted to be safe, that he is in good hands.”
While at Kaiser Permanente, the police showed up at the request of Sutter. The police told the parents that staff at Sutter had told them that the child was in such a bad state that, as Anna put it, “they thought that this baby is dying on our arms.”
After the police saw that baby Sammy was fine and examined medical records that clearly stated that Sammy was clinically safe to go home, they left.
The attending doctor at Kaiser said, “I do not have concern for the safety of the child at home with his parents.”
The next day, police came to Alex and Anna’s home.
Alex met them outside and was slammed against the wall and pushed to the ground.
His keys to the home were forcibly removed from him and the police entered the house to take the baby.
Anna’s home video of the incident shows police entering the home.
“I’m going to grab your baby, and don’t resist, and don’t fight me ok?” a Sacramento police officer is heard saying in the video. …
Sammy is currently in “protective custody” at Sutter Memorial Hospital. Hospital officials refused to comment saying the case was with CPS and law enforcement and they would have to deliver a statement.
Alex sums up the situation well.
“It seems like parents have no right whatsoever,” he said.
Parents are increasingly becoming irrelevant when it comes to decisions regarding their children’s medical care. Jodi and Scott Ferris experienced a similar traumatic event when they questioned the Hep B vaccination for their baby at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Their baby was also taken by CPS.
This is what libertarians mean when we talk about the state’s monopoly on force. Any other individual(s) who would assault a dutiful father, break into a family’s house, and rip a baby out of his loving mother’s arms would rightfully be met with justified defensive force. Except if a parent would respond to agents of the state the same way, that parent would be dead and the corpse would be falsely charged with resisting arrest and all manner of nonsense (further destroying the child’s future). And even if the agents of the state are eventually shown to be wrong, they are time and time again free from punishment - often met with little more than paid time off.
In this situation, who would suffer ramifications for tearing this child away from his peaceful, loving parents? In a just world, the hospital administrators, nurses, and doctors responsible for the false report, the government bureaucrats in Child Protective Services who failed to acknowledge the truth of the situation, and the police officers who actually followed through on their “orders” to introduce force and aggression where there was none would all be fired and criminally charged. Every single one of them.
In reality, none will likely face any repercussions.
Whenever you might feel the impulse to advocate for more state dominion over our lives in the name of safety and protecting the weak, remember this story. This story is not an aberration. This story simply illustrates the soullessness of government bureaucracy and the danger of the monopolization of power. It is not necessarily a story about evil or stupid people, it is a story about the natural consequences of the state.
Looks like someone was not showing the appropriate level of servility and genuflection during the NFL Draft event when veterans were being “honored” on stage before the start of festivities, as yells of “Stand up for your country!” and “Stand up asshole!” could be clearly heard coming from the audience.
People seem to think of their government rulers as their “team,” which is why there tends to be so much state worship during sporting events.
Reminds me of that baseball game I went to a couple of summers ago. As I noted then:
Dear statists: not following state customs is not an affront to society or an insult to you or any other individual, even a “hero” who may have “paid the greatest sacrifice for my freedoms.”The state and its symbols are not synonymous with society. Nor are they representative of you or any other individual in particular. When your identity is intermixed with your government and your patriotism becomes sacerdotal reverence, you become a mindless minion of the state to be manipulated into agreeing to whatever loss of liberty best suits your
Be a good neighbor to your fellow man, not a doting subject to the state.
I simply advocate peaceful, consensual interactions in all things.
This is based on the premise of self-ownership: We own our lives, we own the product of our lives (that which we traded our time and talents for, or property), and we own the ability to decide what we do with our lives (that which we voluntarily choose to do without aggressing others, or liberty).
As such, we must disregard unjust laws, as consent is paramount: people should be able to peacefully associate with others in any way all parties voluntarily agree to.
An emergent, natural order of non-aggression thus nurtures rational decision-making and fosters efficiency and prosperity for all. Resources are scarce, mankind is imperfect, and the future is uncertain - but free exchange best adapts to these shortcomings in order to cater to our myriad, subjective demands.
(Post in question: The Illegitimacy of Democracy.)
The city of Watertown, Mass., has been effectively shut down as a manhunt is underway for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing. …
“Residents of Watertown asked to stay indoors,” the Boston Police Department tweeted. “Do not answer door unless instructed by a police officer.”
Public transportation has been suspended and authorities told people at closed stops and stations to go home. No vehicle traffic is allowed in Watertown. A no-fly zone is in place over the city.
“We are asking you to stay home, stay indoors,” police said at a news conference this morning. “We are asking businesses not to open. We are asking people not to congregate outside. We’re asking people not to go to mass transit.”
We saw the same police state tactics during the Christopher Dorner manhunt a few months ago. Any excuse to expand government power is always taken… if the public allows it.
Here, many in the Boston area - the birthplace of a revolution against a leviathan state that levied taxes and whose military entered homes at will - seem to welcome the police state tactics that leave them cowering in their homes. Others around the country who foolishly view government as our servant protectors also come to the same erroneous conclusion.
But as Ricardo notes, who should engender more fear: a lone, disorganized “kid suspected of being armed with a homemade pipe bomb, or thousands upon thousands of thugs armed with military weapons and tanks, patrolling the streets, rounding people up, breaking into homes, and ready to shoot anything that moves”? After all, that latter entity is responsible for far more deaths, bombings, and injustice than the deranged individuals who killed innocents at the Boston Marathon.
The area is shut down to hunt for one man. Homes are searched and people are harassed for one man. Rights are “suspended” for one man.
But worse of all, other government thugs around the country will learn that people will accept martial law and militarized totalitarian tactics under the right pretense. As such, depending on how the public ultimately reacts to the state’s predictable over-reaction, Watertown will not be the last place we see American streets populated with armored vehicles and men in black wielding those scary rifles (fully automatic and with high-capacity magazines, no less) that statists usually find so abhorrent.
People do not agree on what laws are desirable and what laws are undesirable. An anarchic society would either result in new states taking power or endless combat (most probably both). Furthermore, decentralization is weakness. Good luck defending your small town against a much larger political entity. No, anarchism is simply not realistic.
It’s true that there is a difference of opinion on which laws governments pass are legitimate or warranted or desirable - but there is a minimum that essentially all people agree to be just. As I explained in my post on unjust laws, “the only just law is that which initiates aggression against none. In other words, one that echoes natural law; that is, one that protects and respects the life, liberty, and property of all equally. Any violation of a person’s self-ownership is illegitimate. So laws against theft, assault, battery, murder, slavery, rape, fraud, trespass, destruction of property, and the threats thereof are all legitimate because they would exist irrespective of a state. They are axiomatic consequences of human self-ownership.”
Furthermore, only states fight wars. It’s not the anarchy that would cause combat it would be the states, or rather foolish people believing it is legitimate to force other people to live and behave a certain way, defer authority to the majority’s (or the mighty’s) chosen rulers, and submit to their un-peaceful decrees all in the name of preventing some foreign entity from doing the exact same thing.
In truth, it is your position that is unrealistic: believing humanity is incapable of living peacefully and voluntarily yet granting some of those same ignoble members of humanity great power over others.
Perhaps a power vacuum would quickly be filled, and the toppling of one tyrannical state could leave an opening for another. The weak who believe in the supremacy of a state will blindly fight to maintain the status quo. And again, the problem here is states. But that is why the fight for voluntarism is first and foremost an intellectual one. The desire to be free from force and conflict and servitude (the hallmarks of all states) must first foment in the minds of individuals, before it can manifest itself into anything that lasts.
“Poor, wretched, and stupid peoples, nations determined on your own misfortune and blind to your own good! You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of your revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, your family heirlooms taken away. You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as your own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, and your very lives. All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death. He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves? You sow your crops in order that he may ravage them, you install and furnish your homes to give him goods to pillage; you rear your daughters that he may gratify his lust; you bring up your children in order that he may confer upon them the greatest privilege he knows — to be led into his battles, to be delivered to butchery, to be made the servants of his greed and the instruments of his vengeance; you yield your bodies unto hard labor in order that he may indulge in his delights and wallow in his filthy pleasures; you weaken yourselves in order to make him the stronger and the mightier to hold you in check. From all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.”
The Lankershim on-ramp onto the 101 Highway has one of those lights that alternate between red and green every few seconds in order to regulate traffic entering the highway.
At the very front of the line, about 7 cars ahead of me, was a large U-Haul truck. The light was red for this truck for a long time, well past the customary 2-3 seconds.
10 seconds… 20 seconds….
It was clear very quickly that the truck was not properly situated on the sensors. But this guy wouldn’t move - the light was red! Like most people, he has become accustomed to not think and instead simply obey the traffic lights. The government, in its perfect wisdom, had designed this light for a reason. If the light wouldn’t change to green, there was of course a good reason! And, being a doting and trusting subject of the state, he would dutifully obey.
I was reminded of that Gary Johnson quote: “That’s the first sign you know you’re a libertarian. You see the red light. You stop. You realize that there’s not a car in sight. And you put your foot on the gas.”
30 seconds…. 40 seconds…
Nearly every car behind him at this point was leaning on their horns. People were hanging their heads out of their windows and expressing their disgust. And this guy wouldn’t move. The light was red, dammit! And his truck was fine - once the horns started blasting, he creeped forward a few inches but ultimately held firm. He would obey!
50 seconds… one minute…
I, of course, had tried to work my way to the shoulder but I was too far behind and the bend wouldn’t allow it. Much to my joy, however, the people immediately behind him decided to properly ignore the stupid light and the solid yellow lines and simply go around him. Once a couple of cars did this, the guy finally moved.
As I passed him on the highway, I was able to get a good look at the unthinking chucklehead. In what would surprise no one, he was wearing an Obama ‘08 t-shirt.
don’t reveal preferences, they reveal expectations.
No they reveal preferences ex ante. Whether said preferences actually end up meeting those expectations is an ex post consideration.
But how do you determine if the preferences were based on the actual result or a different expected result? People don’t prefer making one decision to making another decision, they prefer the expected payoff of a particular decision.
For example, back before the FDA or any kind of medical regulation, there were “doctors” who went from town selling snake oil - a remedy that they alleged cured all sorts of ailments. People bought it with the expectation that it would cure those ailments. More often than not, the snake oil did absolutely nothing. If you’re seriously suggesting that people’s purchase of snake oil demonstrated that they preferred snake oil itself to whatever else that money could have gone to buying (food, for instance) - rather than the expected benefit they believed that they could derive from the snake oil - you’re just ignoring truth in order to make reality fit your preconceived theory.
herp derp but when Austrian economists speak of action they are referring to action and preference at a specific moment in time. So when people were buying snake oil they were indeed revealing a preference over food at that given moment in time.
But it wasn’t for snake oil. That’s the point. It was for the expected value they believed the snake oil was going to give them. The problem with the Austrian view is that it leaves no room for disappointment.
Again, as has been repeatedly noted: there is a distinction between ex ante and ex post. Every action reveals preferences ex ante, meaning at that moment of action based on expected results. The future is inherently uncertain. This is a fundamental principle of economics, which - since you claim to be an economics instructor yourself - is something I imagine you understand.
As Ludwig von Mises notes in his opus, Human Action:
The uncertainty of the future is already implied in the very notion of action. That man acts and that the future is uncertain are by no means two independent matters. They are only two different modes of establishing one thing. … [T]o acting man the future is hidden. If man knew the future, he would not have to choose and would not act. He would be like an automaton, reacting to stimuli without any will of his own.
So, man acts because the future is uncertain and wishes to lessen some perceived unease or to attain a greater level of happiness or contentment. As such, every action reveals a chosen means to a specific end but the action cannot guarantee that end: ‘If I buy this water, my thirst will be quenched’, ‘If I wink at this girl, she’ll come home with me,’ ‘If I vote to outlaw guns, there will be no crime,’ ‘If I buy this alarm system, my home will be safer,’ ‘If I invest in this company, I will become rich,’ ‘If I go to the gym, I will lose weight,’ ‘If use this lotion, I will grow 6 inches,” etc.
Mises, ibid. (emphasis added):
Human action is purposeful behavior. Or we may say: Action is will put into operation and transformed into an agency, is aiming at ends and goals, is the ego’s meaningful response to stimuli and to the conditions of its environment, is a person’s conscious adjustment to the state of the universe that determines his life. …
Action is an attempt to substitute a more satisfactory state of affairs for a less satisfactory one. We call such a willfully induced alteration an exchange. A less desirable condition is bartered for a more desirable. What gratifies less is abandoned in order to attain something that pleases more. …
Action is purposive conduct. It is not simply behavior, but behavior begot by judgments of value, aiming at a definite end and guided by ideas concerning the suitability or unsuitability of definite means. …
Action is always directed toward the future; it is essentially and necessarily always a planning and acting for a better future. Its aim is always to render future conditions more satisfactory than they would be without the interference of action. The uneasiness that impels a man to act is caused by a dissatisfaction with expected future conditions as they would probably develop if nothing were done to alter them.
So action is hopefully clear, but Austrians do not take for granted the results. To the contrary, that distinction is discussed thoroughly. The nature of humanity itself, beyond an uncertain future, is imperfect human actors and the ubiquity of imperfect knowledge and imperfect calculation (see my post on The Calculation Problem and Price Theory). Austrians discuss this imperfection ad nauseam, and indeed it is why they note that a decentralization of decision-making would yield optimal results.
It happens again and again that an action does not attain the end sought. Sometimes the result, although inferior to the end aimed at, is still an improvement when compared with the previous state of affairs; then there is still a profit, although a smaller one than that expected. But it can happen that the action produces a state of affairs less desirable than the previous state it was intended to alter. Then the difference between the valuation of the result and the costs incurred is called loss.
The Austrian approach does not make the perfect-knowledge assumption the foundation for [the market-clearing price] proposition; quite the contrary, Austrians base the proposition squarely on the insight that its validity proceeds from market processes set in motion by the inevitable imperfections in knowledge, which characterize human interaction in society.
Murray Rothbard not only fleshes out this distinction between ex ante and ex post, but he compares the market in this sense to democracy/government (and dedicated a fair chunk of Power & Market to this discussion):
Error can always occur in the path from ante to post, but the free market is so constructed that this error is reduced to a minimum. In the first place, there is a fast-working, easily understandable test that tells the entrepreneur, as well as the income-receiver, whether he is succeeding or failing at the task of satisfying the desires of the consumer. For the entrepreneur, who carries the main burden of adjustment to uncertain consumer desires, the test is swift and sure—profits or losses. Large profits are a signal that he has been on the right track; losses, that he has been on a wrong one. Profits and losses thus spur rapid adjustments to consumer demands; at the same time, they perform the function of getting money out of the hands of the bad entrepreneurs and into the hands of the good ones. The fact that good entrepreneurs prosper and add to their capital, and poor ones are driven out, insures an ever smoother market adjustment to changes in conditions.
Consumers are not omniscient, but they do have direct tests by which to acquire their knowledge. They buy a certain brand of breakfast food and they don’t like it; so they don’t buy it again. They buy a certain type of automobile and they do like its performance; so they buy another one. In both cases, they tell their friends of this newly won knowledge. Other consumers patronize consumers’ research organizations, which can warn or advise them in advance. But, in all cases, the consumers have the direct test of results to guide them. And the firm that satisfies the consumers expands and prospers, while the firm that fails to satisfy them goes out of business.
On the other hand, voting for politicians and public policies is a completely different matter. Here there are no direct tests of success or failure whatever, neither profits and losses nor enjoyable or unsatisfying consumption. In order to grasp consequences, especially the indirect consequences of governmental decisions, it is necessary to comprehend a complex chain of praxeological reasoning… Very few voters have the ability or the interest to follow such reasoning, particularly, as Schumpeter points out, in political situations. For in political situations, the minute influence that any one person has on the results, as well as the seeming remoteness of the actions, induces people to lose interest in political problems or argumentation. Lacking the direct test of success or failure, the voter tends to turn, not to those politicians whose measures have the best chance of success, but to those with the ability to “sell” their propaganda. Without grasping logical chains of deduction, the average voter will never be able to discover the error that the ruler makes. Thus, suppose that the government inflates the money supply, thereby causing an inevitable rise in prices. The government can blame the price rise on wicked speculators or alien black marketeers, and, unless the public knows economics, it will not be able to see the fallacies in the ruler’s arguments. …
Another critical divergence between market action and democratic voting is this: the voter has, for example, only a 1/50 millionth power to choose among his would-be rulers, who in turn will make vital decisions affecting him, unchecked and unhampered until the next election. In the market, on the other hand, the individual has the absolute sovereign power to make the decisions concerning his person and property, not merely a distant, 1/50 millionth power. On the market the individual is continually demonstrating his choice of buying or not buying, selling or not selling, in the course of making absolute decisions regarding his property. The voter, by voting for some particular candidate, is demonstrating only a relative preference over one or two other potential rulers; he must do this within the framework of the coercive rule that, whether or not he votes at all, one of these men will rule over him for the next several years. …
While success is the engine that accelerates us toward our goals, it is failure that steers us toward the most valuable goals possible. Once failure is recognized as being just as important as success in the market process, it should be clear that the goal of a society should be to create an environment that not only allows people to succeed freely but to fail freely as well.
To suggest that “the Austrian view… leaves no room for disappointment” reveals a gross misunderstanding (or, more likely, straw-manning) of the “Austrian view.”