Murder by the State; Peace by the Markets

At the risk of being labeled “anti-government” (a title which is not as much a badge of shame as some like to think), I must express one of my major reasons for supporting markets: unlike government, markets do not kill.

According to a 1997 report by Dr. Gerald Scully, governments are responsible for murdering as many as 360 million of its own people during the 20th Century (that number must be higher now).  Factor in the cost of wars, and that number rises to over 400 million.

Now, let me ask this: how many people have markets murdered?  Even if we are generous and award legitimacy to every single anti-market conspiracy theory out there, the number barely approaches 2 million a year.  Assuming a linear projection across a century (which is foolish, but again, trying to give the anti-market crowd the best edge possible), that accounts for 200 million deaths, half of what government has done!

Now, keep in mind that the above anti-market numbers are only valid if we accept some pretty insane theories including (but not limited to) GMOs cause problems, Monsanto is evil, chemtrails, and the like.  The reality is that the number of deaths that can be attributed to markets and freedom is considerably lower.  Why?  Markets rely on voluntary behavior!  No one will trade with a murderer.

Are there bad people in the world?  Yes.  Your Ted Bundys and Timothy McVeys and Jim Joness still exist and they always will.  Some level of police are needed to help protect us from them.  But a simple fact is this: the burden of proof lies always at the feet of those who favor government, not those who favor freedom.

3 thoughts on “Murder by the State; Peace by the Markets

  1. fta: ”

    According to a 1997 report by Dr. Gerald Scully, governments are responsible for murdering as many as 360 million of its own people during the 20th Century (that number must be higher now). Factor in the cost of wars, and that number rises to over 400 million.”

    I am unsure how the cost of wars increases the number of dead, without it being specified that part of that cost is in human life.

    Is that what you meant, Jon?

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  2. You have to talk fast and loose, plus ignore language and definitions to even remotely come near a claim that any market, any where, any time, has ever killed anyone, much less 2,000,000 people a year. I don’t care how leeway you grant fools.

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