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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Real Free Market Entrepreneurs Are Criminals

NPR recently reported on an elusive criminal operating in New York's black market:
    For years, if you wanted illegal drugs in New York City, you'd get the number of an anonymous dealer who would show up at your location with the goods. Now an entrepreneur who goes by the name of "Ronnie" is trying this technique with...grilled cheese sandwiches. Hungry customers get Ronnie's number from a friend, or a friend-of-a-friend, and they text their order, and in 15 minutes or less they get a hot, grilled cheese anywhere in the Lower East Side.

Read the full story here.

While NPR didn't go into any detail on this particular aspect, it's clear from the story that "Ronnie," a real free market entrepreneur, is a criminal. He's one of those awful, evil villains who don't first obtain permission from the government or pay the required extortion fees in order to make their businesses "legitimate."

Imagine wanting to open a sandwich shop in your neighborhood. A local mob boss pays you a visit and informs you that in order to operate a business in his territory you must pay him "protection" money. If you don't...well, something unpleasant might happen. That's exactly what goes on in every neighborhood in America, only the local mob bosses are actually government officials, the "protection" fees are called licenses, and the thugs hired to enforce this arrangement wear badges and have a lot more high-tech weaponry at their disposal.

All "Ronnie" is doing is making and selling grilled cheese sandwiches. He offers a perfectly safe product, and people are willing to pay him for it. Someone please tell me how this hurts anyone. There is no threat to life, liberty, or property -- and isn't the protection of life, liberty, and property the only reason we have laws in the first place?

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