It is competition made possible by the dispersion of property that deprives the individual owners of particular things of all coercive powers.

—Friedrich Hayek. The Constitution of Liberty, 1960.

The unnatural growth of big business and the inhibition of small business seen in the West today is the inevitable result of over-regulation. Overregulation concentrates property in the hands of major corporations, which can afford the costs of regulatory compliance, while shutting out smaller businesses. This corporatist approach to government gives the individual no means to make a living other than by working for big business or big government. This leads to exploitation, lower wages, and inefficiency. Conversely, where you have economic freedom, millions upon millions of small businesses spring up, and all employers, large or small, compete for employees on an even playing field. The vast choice of employees removes all similarity to serfdom because the people are free to choose where they work.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove