While rhetoric regarding “free markets” or “free enterprise” is quite common in conservative circles, as well as in other ideologies, few individuals are willing to support the policies (or the elimination of existing laws) which are required to in fact secure that freedom. A market that is somewhat free, or even mostly free, is not truly free. Moral government must divorce itself from licensure, regulation, competition, subsidization, and other interventions in the market for which it has no legitimate authority.
This separation between market and state does not mean that the market will be chaotic and cruel. Rejecting a centrally planned economy does not mean that the economy will not be planned. As the economist Ludwig von Mises noted, the choice is not between planning and no planning, but rather whose plans rightly ought to prevail. Or, as the rap summing up F.A. Hayek’s belief states, “The question I ponder is who plans for whom? Do I plan for myself or leave it to you? I want plans by the many, not by the few.”
A free enterprise system is one in which property owners are able to freely engage in commerce with one another, and government merely imposes justice when necessary to punish fraud, theft, and other clear violations of an individual’s rights. We must eliminate any law or program which exceeds this limited role of government.
Areas of focus for the Center for Free Enterprise:
- Support the repeal of all business licensure laws.
- Oppose the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and similar offices and programs which use taxpayer dollars to alter economic behavior and pick winners and losers in the marketplace.
- Advocate for a return to a sound money system and legalize competing currencies.
- Dismantle the welfare state and advocate personal responsibility and private charity.
- Promote entrepreneurialism and business development by ensuring fair competition, such as opposing government-owned businesses such as the Utah Transit Authority, recreation centers, convention enters, etc., which unfairly compete with private alternatives.