Confucius said that.
When I first read that quote, years ago, somehow it made me wonder what exactly the free market is.
Here's an example: hundreds of years ago, right at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the vast majority of people in England owned small plots of land on which they grew some food. Most people didn't work all the hard and spent most of their time loafing, drinking, partying, telling stories.
The the State/Big Business decided they wanted workers in the factories, so they sent the police/military to force people off of their land, so they'd have to work in what William Blake called "Dark Satanic Mills." This clearing of the land is very famous and called the Clearances.
The same thing happened in Scotland - where people were burned out of their houses - and is called the Scottish Clearances.
None of it is the free market.
I sometimes wonder what life would be like had we had the free market for the past few hundred years.
There were actually Clearances of a sort in the U.S. We were at first an agricultural nation, then when we became industrialized the government essentially decided to force many farmers off of their land.
Speaking of industrialized, the political scientist Kevin Phillips pointed out countries go through three phrases: agricultural, industrial, then financial (which is when they become empires), then they collapse.
Sound familiar? Sure does. And none of it is free market. All of these Bad Things are caused by the State interfering in people's live, to benefit the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.
I suspect if we truly had the free market, most people would own fairly large plots of land, and none of this being squished in cities in small houses and even smaller apartments.
I know a woman who lived in Alaska. Every year she got about a $2000 check because of all the oil in Alaska. She got a share of the profits. Which reminds me: by what right do companies drill for oil, not share the profits with the people in the state, then sell them products of the oil, when they owned the oil in the first place? Isn't that stealing? If we had a true free market wouldn't they get a share of the profits from their land?
And doesn't the same apply to mines and anything else that's based on anything that comes from the land?
The first book I read by Laura Ingalls Wilder was Farmer Boy, the biography of her husband, Almanzo. It was an eye-opener. His parents owned their own farm and Almanzo's father once told him, in so many words, that if he worked for someone else he'd essentially be a wage-slave.
Almanzo worked hard as a little boy on the farm but he loved it. He had meaning, purpose and community in his life, and since he loved what he was doing he didn't consider it work. Just as Confucius noticed thousands of years ago. Perhaps he considered it play. Hard, trying play, but play nonetheless.
It'd been estimated that if wages had continued to rise as they had during the '50s the average salary would inbetween $90,000 and $100,000. I've seen other estimates that if they had continued as they had during the '40s it be close to $300,000 a year. And it's not because of interference by the government.
If we had a true free market, I think everyone would own at least two plots of land (which used to happen not so long ago when people had fishing cabins in the mountains along with their homes), we'd be making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and everything would be peachy-keen.
Instead, we've got morons arguing about the effects of the minimum-wage and telling people with IQs of less than 100 they're supposed to "improve their skills" to get higher-paying jobs - while missing the Big Picture.
People are starting to wise up as to what the State is about. I've seen people pull out of those catastrophes known as the public schools, build $4000 houses in rural areas and move their families there. Why?
Because they are looking to find a life that they love, so what they do will not be work. They don't want to be working for the Man.