Promoting accountability

Well-defined free-market procedures and property rights also promote accountability for one’s actions. The only exchanges people desire in such a system are positive-sum ones in which they benefit from the voluntary exchange. When both parties find that they are better off, they will make repeated exchanges because accountability for one’s product is the norm.

The absence of free markets and property rights, on the other hand, often encourages dishonesty, thievery, or use of the heavy hand of government to coercively extract wealth from its rightful owner. Government redistribution becomes legalized thievery, giving rightfully gained property to other people. When government hands out favors, more effort is expended on redistributing wealth than on producing it, and political solutions (force) drive out market ones (peaceful resolution). When people are held accountable by the voluntary personal interactions of the free market, they are typically more responsible.

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