By: Liberty Laura
Today’s young people tend to have an affinity for what they call “Scandinavian socialism.” You know… free college, subsidized public transportation, “economic equality,” no IKEA, but all the other feely-good stuff that means no one has to work hard for what they want because why worry about your next paycheck when there’s a bureaucrat for that? Unfortunately, however, that makes a lot of millennials the new generations of luddites– criticizing the exact economic system that allows for their (rich) way of life.
Here are 5 reasons why today’s young people should support free markets rather than government monopolies:
1) Uber and Airbnb
Former Democratic presidential primary candidate Bernie Sanders has slammed ride-sharing companies like Uber for being an “unregulated” company with “serious problems,” but financial disclosures reveal that whenever his campaign needed a ride, they literally always turned to Uber. Most studies suggest that Uber is, on average, 20 percent cheaper than that of a city taxi ride. And now, with uberPool, where consumers have the option to share a ride, the rates are 35 percent cheaper than a cab– that’s a ton of college loan debt money potentially saved over time! Some may argue that these companies are not friendly for the employee because of lower incomes compared to taxis, but Uber drivers aren’t enslaved to work for Uber. Many of them love the flexibility of their hours and entrepreneurial spirit of the job. And Airbnb participants alike aren’t forced to pay a union member fee to participate in their consensual exchange either. So, it sounds like ride-sharing and space-sharing apps could be the future of voluntary exchanges! Free markets FTW.
2) Cheap college
Let’s get something out of the way quick: nothing is free. But! Online and virtual classrooms are slowly becoming a competing force to skyrocketing university tuition rates, and could very well be the future of higher education. For example, Georgia Institute of Technology recently announced it would be offering an online master’s degree in computer science for $6,600, nearly $35,000 less than its program on campus. When you don’t have to pay for all the new fountains and frivolous purchases voted on by SGA, costs are driven down. Plus, online school allows you to attend class without pants on! And who doesn’t like that?
Steve Jobs is the poster child for the American entrepreneur. He was a young adult entrenched in science, technology and grungy counterculture. He turned down job opportunities because potential employers weren’t okay with his use of LSD for creative inspiration. But on his own, Jobs helped to create a company of unprecedented technological ventures that gives opportunity to lower and middle class consumers to achieve information that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible without an iPhone, MacBook or general competing software technology.
When a free market exists, not laden with cronyism, opportunity for success is ripe for those without much advantage. Small businesses are allowed to thrive with a market that is organic, free from red tape. The more regulations a small company must pay to meet or bureaucracy they’re forced to cut through, prohibits the growth of innovation by the little man, and in turn, decreases the amount of competition on the market, making prices more expensive and options more limited for the consumer. IKEA moved from it’s home country of Sweden to escape a national, nearly 60 percent corporate tax and eventually landed in the United States (where we now, unfortunately, have the highest corporate tax in the world). Many young, broke, newlywed couples, college students and parents use IKEA for the consumer-friendly prices and modern style. A win-win for both IKEA and the American economy.
5) Diversified markets
The problem with government-run programs is that they monopolize a market. And when something is monopolized, consumers’ ever-changing needs aren’t being met, prices skyrocket, and the availability of product is not diverse. Consumer choice lends itself to the diversification of a market. For example, food! Consumers like Chinese food, Thai food, Mexican food, Greek food, space food, homemade food, Indian food, hot-dog-that-tastes-so-good-from-weird-greasy-vendor food! And when diverse business owners are free to participate in the food market, consumers’ needs and wants are met, and potentially exceeded by a range of available options. Monopolized government programs, however, such as healthcare, give way to inadequate websites, long wait times and one-size-fits-all programs for individuals. If regulations were lifted and people were allowed to purchase care across state lines, healthcare would be as elastic and affordable as life insurance. #TheMoreYouKnow