The Free Market Monument Foundation

"All people, however fanatical they may be in their zeal to disparage and to fight capitalism, implicitly pay homage to it by passionately clamoring for the products it turns out."

-- Ludwig von Mises (1881 - 1973) Austrian School economist

Why build a monument to free market principles?
The United States of America has stood as a monument to the Principles of the Free Market, but those principles are rapidly being abandoned. The Principles of the Free Market should not be abandoned, or worse, redefined, by politicians for the sake of political expediency. The Principles of the Free Market need to be explicitly enumerated and then carved in stone so that they can never be redefined or forgotten. This Free Market Monument will serve as a reminder to our generation and as a source of guidance for future generations on the principles that make it possible for civilization to thrive and prosper.

Where will this monument be placed?
It might be appealing to place the Free Market Monument on the Washington D.C. Mall or at ground zero in New York or in front of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The monument in one of those locations would not force our politicians to abide by free market principles, and because of the value of such real estate, they might always be tempted to remove the monument by force to make room for something else. We don't really know what the future will look like a few years from now, let alone hundreds or thousands of years in the future, but we expect the Free Market Monument to survive. Current thinking would place the Free Market Monument on a hilltop in the Appalachian Mountains, with room for a surrounding park and an adjoining visitor center. This location is in middle America, somewhat centrally located. There the monument can be grounded in bedrock where it will sit with stability indefinitely surrounded by naturally lush greenery. 

When will the monument be completed?
The monument will be completed as soon as financially possible. Preference will be given to building the monument itself, even if that is all we can accomplish. The surrounding park, visitor center and educational programs to teach about the principles of the free market will be secondary to building the monument itself.

Who is behind this project?
Arthur Kerschen, a biochemist and small businessman. Mr. Kerschen has served as a member of the Accuracy Certification Board for Pima County, Arizona and City of Tucson elections and as a precinct committeeman. 

Peter Schmerl, an estate planning administration attorney and small businessman. Mr. Schmerl has served on the Continental School District Governing Board in Green Valley, Arizona and as Chairman of the Pima County Libertarian Party.

A board of directors, including business and political leaders and prominent advocates for free market principles from around the world, will be appointed to oversee and approve the activities of the Free Market Monument Foundation.

What are the Principles of the Free Market?

That is a good question. Currently there are 7 principles in our draft version of the Principles of the Free Market. The order may be different and there may be additional or merged principles in the final version. To arrive at these principles, we searched the philosophical and economic literature for ideas considered necessary and sufficient for the operation of a free market. Among the hundreds of economic principles we found seven recurring themes: Individual Rights, Limited Government, Equal Justice under Law, Spontaneous Order, Private Ownership, Subsidiarity and the Golden Rule. We used these themes as the basis for the construction of seven principles incorporating as many of these economic ideals as clearly and unambiguously as possible. Here is the result as it now stands:

1) Individual Rights: "We are each created with equal individual rights to control and to defend our life, liberty and property and to voluntary contractual exchange."
2) Limited Government: "Governments are instituted only to secure individual rights, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
3) Equal Justice Under Law: "Government must treat everyone equally; neither rewarding failure nor punishing success."
4) Subsidiarity: "Government authority must reside at the lowest feasible level."
5) Spontaneous Order: "When individual rights are respected, unregulated competition will maximize economic benefit for society by providing the most goods and services possible at the lowest cost."
6) Property Rights: "Private ownership is the most efficient way to sustainably utilize resources."
7) The Golden Rule: "Deal with others honestly and require honesty in return."