St. James Bazaar and the Free Market

The annual St. James Bazaar is a testament to prosperity when there is absence of government regulation.

st james bazaar 2011

It's a good feeling to see entrepreneurs have a venue to voluntarily exchange with consumers without the unnecessary taxes or red tapes of government. Usually, to start a business, you'd need a DTI permit, mayor's permit, BIR permit, BFAD and health permit (for food vendors), and many other licenses and clearances that are disguised under the motive of "protecting consumers".

In reality though, all this does is increase costs and taxes (without transparency, who's to say that most of these won't go straight to the pockets of bureaucrats), lower wages and job opportunities, increase prices, create more bureaucracy and government spending (in spite of trillions already in debt), and inevitably kills small businesses.

The philosophy of liberty states that two people who exchange property voluntarily are both better off or else they wouldn't do it. While I was there a while ago, there wasn't really anyone pointing a gun at me and forcing me to buy anything (only the government does that; ie. SSS, pag-ibig, and other mandates and taxes). This is what libertarians usually refer to when we differentiate voluntary from coercive.

In this scenario, the profit incentive and competition will force suppliers to provide better quality services and lower prices. Those that are innovative and provide good service will have the patronage of consumers and will be rewarded by the market. Those who are fraudulent or provide low quality service will lose their customers, be outsold by competition, and inevitably be forced to shutdown (unless, as I have said, they provide better services and/or lower prices).

We don't need big brother to tell us what to buy or not buy. Forcing this issue will only lead to further deterioration of our economy.

Look at Hong Kong or Singapore, allowing themselves to be the bazaar of the world with their low taxes and minimal red tapes and bureaucracies, very attractive to investors and businesses. Look at how prosperous they are.

If you liked this post then you might also like:
1. The Singapore Argument
2. The Muntinlupa Government's Spirit of Christmas
3. Why is the Internet Slow in the Philippines?

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