The Wonder of Economic Freedom
By David Henderson
Yesterday my wife and I got on the road early to go to San Jose (we live 75 miles south in Pacific Grove) to help our daughter move her stuff from a storage locker to a shared apartment in San Francisco. After we rented and loaded a U-Haul truck, I drove it behind my wife and daughter, who were in my daughter’s car. Carrying a mattress and a box spring and umpteeen boxes up over 50 stairs took it out of me.
On the way home, Rena, my wife, who is an editor, not an economist, told me that she had said to our daughter, Karen, on the way up (I’m paraphrasing):
Isn’t it neat that we can call a truck rental place just two days beforehand and rent a truck to haul your things and that there’s someone willing to rent us a storage place at a fairly low price?
What my wife was appreciating was the wonder of economic freedom. Economic freedom in this country is not complete and it’s diminishing, but there’s still a lot left. And think about the first paragraph above. My wife and I drove her car, with 105K miles on it but still going strong, and then my daughter drove her car, with 80K miles on it and still performing well. In other words, each of them has a great car. And I have an even better car with only 27K miles on it. Think of the wealth that we have that our parents, and definitely our grandparents, would not have been able to fathom.
There are negatives. When I had helped move my daughter’s things into storage earlier in the month, the person there had insisted that she give her fingerprints. Shocked, I asked why, and if you think about it, I bet you can guess the answer. Hint: the word “Homeland” with a big H is in the answer.
Still, we have a fair amount of wealth left (“we” meaning our family but also most people in the United States) and almost all that wealth is due to economic freedom.