More featuring Justin Jefferson»

by Justin Jefferson, senior columnist

Imagine if, instead of having a fast food market, we had a fast food democracy.

Every three years, you get to vote on what fast food you want. All the major “parties” — KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, run big glossy campaigns about how their version of fast food is the best. A few independents — your local Chinese restaurant — also run.

The law against fraud and deceptive conduct doesn’t apply any more. If, once they get in, they don’t supply what they promised, tough luck; you can’t do anything about it, can’t sue them or have them prosecuted.

So then everyone votes (under compulsion), we count up the votes, and the one who gets the most votes — that’s what we all get for the next three years! Even if you didn’t want it, tough luck; the money to pay for other people to eat it gets taken from you whether you want or not. If you don’t like it, you can always choose to go to jail instead.

Great system eh?

But it gets worse. Now you have to listen to these people tell you how the decision to impose a one-size-fits-all policy on a minority “represents” “society”. Being forced to pay for what you don’t want “represents” you. Great eh?

With free markets, there is no need for uniformity and compulsion. Just because I want KFC doesn’t mean you have to eat it too.

It’s the same with most decisions and values in life. There is simply no need to impose a one-size-fits-all solution on the whole population.

That is why, as much as possible, decisions on social co-operation should be made on the basis of individual freedom, personal responsibility, and competitive markets, not the compulsion, fraud, paternalism and monopoly that is chronic in politics.