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Opinions

A Point of View: A virtual treasure within our free enterprise system

How fortunate we are. Our three Western New York counties of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Erie are the counties my wife Elaine and I refer to as home. They are a virtual treasure of productive, bountiful and a beautiful residential, recreational and travel wonderland of hills, lakes, valleys and plains.

In many ways, they lead to geographical treasures of a wonderland of nature. We are fortunate to have available, for residents and visitors alike, prosperous small businesses, productive farms and energetic individuals providing needed products and valuable services. In addition, we have quality schools, superb higher educational institutions and an available and talented workforce of skilled and energetic individuals. We are fortunate to have access to quality health care personnel and first class health care facilities. We have highly skilled conscientious first-responders and public service personnel in our communities and a creative infrastructure supporting a desirable quality of life. And the vitality of these creative features are energized by a vibrant and dynamic free market system.

Free enterprise and the individual go hand in hand. Economic freedom and free markets cannot exist without political freedom. It is difficult to have the one without the other.

History has shown that the free market creates more wealth and opportunity for more people than any other economic model. It is the most transformational of economic systems devised by individuals. The free market fosters inventiveness and creativity and produces more opportunities, industries, products, services and developments than any other system in the world.

Desirable competition is the most equitable distributor of resources, not government. When there is unnecessary intervention of government into the process, the free market is deprived of the pricing mechanism indispensable to its success. It is the ultimate irony for those responsible for any dilemma, that they justify further intervention by claiming that the free market does not work, when in reality, it is unnecessary government intervention which creates and intensifies the problem.

Many economists have concluded that the free market promotes self-worth, self-sufficiency, shared values and honest dealings, which enhance the individual, the family and the community. The free market is an intricate system of voluntary economic, social and cultural interactions that are motivated by the desires and needs of the individual and the community. There is symmetry between the free market and the well being of the society and one simply cannot exist without the other.

We believe that the individual knows best how to make and spend that which has earned from one's own labor and to provide for one's own family than do large bureaucracies populated by strangers who see classes of people rather than the individual. It was James Wilson who observed, "By exclusive property, the productions of the earth and means of subsistence are secured and preserved, as well as multiplied. What belongs to no one is wasted by everyone but what belongs to one individual in particular is the object of his economy and care."

Ah yes, in our society it is the individual who is the smallest of minority and the free market – made up of individuals – truly serves as the backbone of our economy. And within our three Western New York county area, our local communities lead to virtual treasure trails of reality and possibility. For they are the underpinning essence of comprehensiveness and wholesomeness in a quality of life for the people who live, work and travel these spectacular hills, beautiful valleys, flourishing communities, palatial fertile plains and magnificent farm lands. And that is how I see it from this perspective.

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