The sage Don Boudreaux share the following quote this morning on his website, Cafe Hayek:
“[S]ince profits and losses reflect the success or failure of the entrepreneur in adjusting production to consumer demand, the profits of a competitive (in the Austrian sense) industry can never be “too high” or “too low.”
Followed by his spot on commentary:
Right. To disparage profits earned in competitive markets is to disparage success at arranging for resources to serve consumers well; and to disparage unusually high profits is to disparage success at arranging for resources to serve consumers unusually well.
Put differently, to disparage unusually high profits is to imply that society is harmed whenever entrepreneurs and businesses rescue it from uses of resources that are especially wasteful compared to new, highly profitable uses.
Sadly, though, because such disparagement scores political points with many who are economically unaware – or who embrace envy as a sound justification for public policy – there’s always an abundance of politicians willing to issue such disparagements.
Not much more needs to be said. Boudreaux succinctly captures the essence of free-market enterprise and the benefits of profit to society, the individual, and businesses. To punish success, as our government seeks to do, does irreparable harm to the economy and stifles creativity, investment, growth.