This basic, “virtuous” behavior was also entailed in Elton’s appearance at the Rush Limbaugh wedding reception. Elton had what Rush wanted – his music and talent – and Rush had what Elton wanted – a million dollars in compensation. Each party freely chose to do business with the other (in legal terms we would say they chose to “contract” with each other), and so far as the rest of us know, each party made good on their commitments.
Elton’s music didn’t survive another day because President Obama provided government funding for it. And Rush wasn’t forced by the I.R.S. to pay for something he didn’t want. No, two guys with some very different views about some public policy matters each had what the other wanted. So Elton did a “day’s work,” and Rush returned with a “day’s pay.”
This exercising of human free will, and choosing to behave virtuously in the process, happens in free market economic environments every day. I choose to live this way daily, and you probably do too.
In fact, if most of us didn’t make these kinds of choices every day, our civil society would not be as stable and self-sustaining as it is. And most of us are incentivized by free-market mechanisms to continue behaving this way, simply because in the free-market system I won’t get paid if I don’t do a good job, nor will I get the product or service I desire if I don’t pay the agreed-upon price.
And consider the social, “human” consequences of this type of enterprise. I’ve heard from several of my fellow talk radio colleagues who, being more privileged than I, were invited to attend Rush’s wedding. Every one of them have raved to me about how “cool” it was that, despite their ideological differences, Rush and Elton “reached out” to each other.
Yet this is precisely one of the most powerful and virtuous aspects of free-market enterprise – it brings together individuals, groups, and even entire nations of people who might otherwise be ambivalent or even hostile to each other, and unites them for a common purpose.
Last week Rush spoke on his program of Elton’s choice to play Arizona, and also noted receiving a thoughtful card that Elton had mailed from Los Angeles. “Sometimes I think Elton knows me better than people who have known me for ten years” Rush quipped.
Thank you Rush, and thank you Elton, for these very public lessons on economics, and life.
May the “invasion” of common sense continue.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.