September 21, 2017 – the Lithuanian Free Market Institute publishes a handbook on public policy analysis Government Against Scarcity: How it Changes Who We Are, focusing on four areas – labor relations, money, consumption habits, and social support – where the government is increasingly restricting individual freedom, choice and initiative.
In public discussions economic arguments are often accused of disregarding justice, ignoring morality, or reflecting simple insensitivity. The distribution of goods through market processes is considered unfair, and the principle of profit maximization is seen to be at odds with moral values. Economic behavior is considered to be one of the main causes of moral and cultural crises, putting the blame on freedom and calling for the advocates of freedom to take a fresh look at how freedom, economy and morality relate to each other.
Therefore, the handbook Government Against Scarcity: How it Changes Who We Are is intended to enrich free-market arguments with moral and cultural insights in areas where government interventions are increasingly crowding out voluntary decisions: labor relations, money, consumption habits, and social support. It offers a new approach to understanding these interrelations by unfolding the concept of scarcity and the role it plays in the order of being and human life. An accurate understanding of scarcity points to a simple fact that the only alternative to peaceful cooperation is coercion in its various forms, such as theft, plunder, and war. Through the concept of scarcity, the handbook offers a new perspective on – and assessment of how human relations and values change when the government assumes responsibility for dealing with scarcity.
The handbook is intended for intellectual entrepreneurs, politicians, and public opinion leaders who want to better understand the regularities that determine voluntary human action and human action under government intervention. It shows how government regulation distorts the natural relation between humans and the order of being: how it changes behavior, personal and social relationships, erodes morality, and diminishes culture.
The handbook Government Against Scarcity: How it Changes Who We Are is a continuation of a recent interdisciplinary peer-reviewed study on scarcity, The Phenomenon of Scarcity: Being, Man and Community (2016).
This publication was published under the project Scarcity, Morality and Public Policy and made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.