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If I Must Sell, You Must Buy

March 15, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates


Jim Fedako writes in today’s Mises Daily:

According to the current view, once the farmer opens his stall, he is required to sell to whoever approaches and offers the market price. To even suggest this may be wrong is to invite the wrath and invectives from feigned intellectuals and their sycophants.

Regardless, let’s take a look.

Suppose a farmer from Pittsburgh despises folks from Cleveland — he is, in the vernacular of the day, a Cleveland hater. Yet, he must serve folks seemingly resplendent in their Browns attire, no exceptions. However, should the farmer billboard the Steelers logo on his chest, any Browns fan spiteful of his team’s losing record could opt for the next stall — he is not forced to buy from him who is forced to sell.

Seeing a little imbalance here?

In a bilateral exchange, even those where money sits on one side of the deal, there is no ethical difference between the two participants. To make a claim that the farmer must sell since, if he does not sell, the customer goes wanting for goods is no different from making the opposite claim: the customer must buy since, if he does not buy, the farmer goes wanting for cash, as well as all that cash provides (the ability to pay utility bills, the doctor, the dentist, etc.).

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