7.7 The Free Market, America and Hong Kong

When a country has a free market economy everyone produces and sells and buys as they please.  They own what they are selling and no one tells them what to sell, how much of it to sell and how much to charge for it.  The short clip below is of the free market at MacConnachy Square in the wonderful musical Brigadoon.


 Some of the vendors at the market fair will sell more than others.  Some will make more money than others.  There are people who say that's not fair.  They say that all the property should be owned by everyone and all the money that people make should be shared equally among all the vendors or even among the people who aren't selling.  They believe that instead of a free market there should be socialism. If these socialists were in charge they might start by taxing the vendors. If the government of Brigadoon demanded the cow as tax from the woman who sold the milk she wouldn't be able to sell milk at all and if the government taxed everyone there would be less of everything.  People would not be free to produce as much and wouldn't have the money to buy as much and the government would have a lot more control over people because it could choose who to give the milk and the taxed money to.  Another thing that might happen is the government would tell people that they can't charge more than a certain amount for what they are selling.  If people can't get enough money to cover their costs they won't be able to sell either. 

You may have noticed while watching the video of MacConnachy Square that a child was taking candy that she hadn't paid for.  The vendor decided to be nice to her and let her have the candy for free.  Just because a society isn't socialist doesn't mean that people won't voluntarily give to those in need.  Socialism means the government forces you to give the money to the government. Socialist government leaders say they will give the money to the poor but usually they give a lot of money to themselves and everyone else becomes poor.

Milton Friedman talks about free markets in the video below.  He talks about the country of Hong Kong which when he visited it had no tariffs and duties and one of the freest markets in the world. 


Jimmy Lai came to Hong Kong with one dollar and became a billionaire and created good jobs for many people.  He says he got everything he had "because of this place".  That's because Hong Kong had a free market.  After China shot protesters in Tiananmen Square Jimmy Lai created a newspaper called Aplpe Daily that criticized the Chinese government for its human rights abuses.  China has cracked down on the freedom that made it possible for people to go from poverty to wealth in Hong Kong.  Many people in Hong Kong waved American flags asking for help.  President Trump stood up for the freedom of Hong Kong but he's been replaced and the people of Hong Kong are losing their freedom.  Many people wish for the freedom America has and turn to America when their freedom is threatened.  We should appreciate what we have here in America or we'll lose it.


The Chinese government has arrested many protesters including Jimmy Lai.  Here is his story.



Since I posted this video China has arrested more of Apple Daily's editors and the newspaper was forced to shut down.  On July 11,  47 leaders of the pro-Democracy movement were brought to court in Hong Kong on charges of subversion. 

One of the people charged with subversion is Winnie Yu, who, in February of 2020, when Hong Kong had 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19, organised a healthcare worker strike demanding the government close the border to China as the outbreak spread. 

Then there's Joshua Wong, who is a very prominent pro-democracy campaigner.  He's 24 years old. When he was 21, he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. 

Another person arrested Claudia Mo, was denied bail by a judge for making critical comments to foreign media journalists over WhatsApp. 

  The police shown in the video arrested people who want freedom and who were brave enough to protest against a government that will punish them severely for doing so.  Our police defend our freedom.  That's why revolutionaries who want to overthrow our government and to take over our country want to defund our police.  Many of our schools teach children that the police are bad but our police are the ones who have kept us safe and free.  Many schools teach that America is bad but America is still a lot freer than countries like China.

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American freedoms are under attack by those on the political left and the attack on free speech is going on in schools where students are afraid to challenge their teachers.  The American National anthem has a line in it that calls America "The Home of the Brave".   If Americans are not brave and don't speak out they could lose their freedom.  Here a teacher warns us that if we need to speak up.  That is followed by lessons in which we hear children and adults who did speak up and learn what happened when they did.

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