It is the goal of many people to be self sufficient; to grow their own food, catch rain water, filter their own water, raise their own livestock, knit/sew their own clothes, build their own homes etc. While these are admirable and noble goals to gain independence and expand one’s skill set, they are not necessary. Indeed they are actually counter productive to the growth of a thriving market economy. As the economy grows through free trade and technology becomes more intricate, new jobs are created to service and maintain that new technology in order to meet that swelling demand. In response to a growing demand for more specialized goods and services, enterprising entrepreneurs rise to meet that demand with gusto. This is the origin of the elusive new jobs that politicians enthusiastically lust after with the sophistry that spews from their mouths.
This principle is true on the individual level as it is true on the regional or geographical level. The region known as NY is ideal for growing apples. The region known as Georgia is ideal for growing peaches. The region known as Mexico is ideal for growing avocados. Due to the magnificence of free trade, people living in the NY region can enjoy avocados and peaches, people living in the Georgia region can enjoy avocados and apples, and people living in the Mexico region can enjoy apples and peaches. It may be possible for people living in the NY region to grow avocados and peaches but this would come at considerable cost and effort. This would an inefficient use of resources and would be quite unsustainable. It is far more efficient for farmers in NY to focus on growing that which comes easiest and then to trade for that which is more difficult to grow. This is the principle of specialization at the regional or geographical level.
This free trade increases standards of living and makes us all wealthier. As traveling technology has improved by leaps and bounds this has expanded the reach of markets to satisfy demands in distant lands. As the Internet has grown and developed this has obliterated borders and rendered nation States irrelevant and antiquated. The more we trade with our brothers and sisters all over the globe the less need we have for opportunistic political predators who seek only to divide and vex us with their inflammatory rhetoric. It is the bureaucratic parasite that is wholly dependent on the industrious host for its subsistence. We need only acknowledge our independence of the State and its existence will pass away into oblivion. Vacate the State!
When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.
Frederic Bastiat, 19th century French economist and author