Free-market economy is an economic system with proven effectiveness in coordinating the efficient use of a society’s resources and promoting productive innovation but, like any human institution, it faces challenges that can hinder its proper operation and warp its results. An array of improper, and even illegal, behaviors divert the legitimate business goal of making profits toward a pursuit of profit that is disconnected from productive activity and focused on the exploitation of advantages and privileges. These practices include rent-seeking, clientelism, nepotism, cronyism, and—in extreme cases—corruption.
The free-market system allows the individual to interact freely for the satisfaction of his conception of the good life within the rule of law. The individual as an agent is the main actor within the market; however, private, or public businesses and the State itself also figure as actors in the free market. In this article, we present the three ways in which the State acts in the free market.
Why is the right to private property important? What is the relationship between private property and economic liberty and free market economy? Why is private property related to economic efficiency and innovation? How do you protect the private property in Puerto Rico and the United States? What are the limits of private property?
Liberalism is the political doctrine that built and dominates our modern world; yet the liberalism of desire that fostered the construction of this world has been transformed into a liberalism of necessity—a liberalism that constructs politics as a dichotomy between oppressors and victims. This kind of politics requires the power of the State to save individuals from victimhood; however, only the individual acting freely can mitigate their suffering.
The word freedom is used constantly, but little understood; to understand it, it is important to see the State as a civil association of individuals, where different ways of living and purposes coexist. This coexistence depends on a rule of law, which allows individuals to pursue their conception of the good life consistent with the rules of the association. The freedom requires a rule of law, which allows free action and cooperation of individuals in the market and thus benefits the economy.
How did Puerto Rico come to its current situation? What does the future hold for the Island’s economy? Why is it important to talk about the free market, free enterprise, individual liberties and responsibilities, private property rights and law and order in Puerto Rico? These and other questions are some of the issues we address in this section about Puerto Rico’s past, present and potential future.
Economic liberty—the right to earn an honest living—is one of the most important rights of free people. Over time, this right has been restricted by unnecessary laws and regulations. Legislators should govern from a presumption of liberty. Applied practically, this means legislators should presume individuals have the right to practice their chosen occupations free from government regulation unless and until systematic evidence shows this right must be curtailed to protect the public.
What is free enterprise? What role does it play in the economy and how does it relate to economic liberty? Why do different ways of interfering with free enterprise persist? What problems can interference with free enterprise cause? Under what circumstances is limiting the space for free enterprise justified?