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A Future of Freedom and Prosperity
Civilisation flourishes when citizens take a long-term view of life – when they focus on future satisfaction rather than instant gratification. Economists refer to this as having a low time preference.
If most citizens have low time preferences, that enables us to create pleasant, free and affluent societies.
Economically, when we forego consumption and save for the future, we accumulate capital that we can loan to entrepreneurs to fund projects that make work more productive.
Socially, being a good citizen becomes important. We look after relationships and value our reputation. We care for our children, pass on our values to them, and ensure they have a good education.
The dominant political ideology of the past century – the social democratic welfare state - has put a brake on progress. When taxes and debt are high; when more than half the citizens are net beneficiaries of government largesse; when the growth of the public sector workforce outpaces the private sector; when laws and regulations are flexible and unpredictable; then there is less incentive to to work hard and take risks. Consequently, there is less productive activity and less self-reliance; and more consumption, dependency, recklessness, hedonism and crime.
Moreover, governments are forever creating new schemes to rectify the deficiencies created by their prior interventions.
But despite such wrong-headedness, human ingenuity prevails. We work within the constraints imposed by politicians – red tape, regulations and taxes – to provide quality goods and services economically for our fellow citizens. We get on with our lives, ignoring their foolish schemes as best we can. Overall, mankind is more prosperous and more civilised than ever.
My books and my blogs are based on the tenets of Libertarian Philosophy and Austrian Economics.
The Fragility of Freedom provides a basic understanding of the cultural heritage of Western Civilisation and proposes a moral society based on the principle of subsidiarity.
The Fortunate explores the ideas which have created the free and affluent societies that we enjoy.
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