Throughout history, the culture, rights, knowledge, and reward systems of free societies have worked better than
Part of the reason for this is they ensure that people gain by satisfying what others value. This tends to create a harmony of interests. Whether one’s motives are altruistic, self-interested or a mixture of both, free societies encourage positive sum (win-win) behavior. They minimize opportunities for individuals to gain at the expense of others through political means (e.g., rent-seeking behaviors) as opposed to contributing to society through economic means.
Incentives IN PRACTICE
To explore how incentives and the other concepts in the five dimensions of the Framework for a Free Society lead to greater prosperity and well-being for the most people, check out Charles Koch’s new book, Good Profit: How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World’s Most Successful Companies.
The Framework for a Free Society is not a source of new concepts; rather, it is the recognition of the work of thinkers throughout history. The development of the Framework is grounded in a rich literature of both those texts that have advanced these ideas and those that have provided a contrasting world view. The following are some of the works that influenced the development of the Framework for a Free Society:
Bastiat, Frédéric. The Candlemakers’ Petition. 1845. [Accessed from the Mises Institute.]
Buchanan, James M., and Gordon Tullock. The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy. (The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan, Vol. 3). Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999.
Harper, Floyd A. Why Wages Rise. Menlo Park: Institute for Humane Studies, 1978. [Accessed from the Foundation for Economic Education.]
Krueger, Anne. “The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society.” American Economic Review 64 (1974): 291–303.
Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. 1776. [Accessed from the Library of Economics and Liberty.]