An outstanding feature of the open market is the businessman, whose success or failure depends entirely on his ability to “focus on consumer needs” and so combine existing and potential factors of production to serve consumers most efficiently. The only constructive role government can play under the free market method of overcoming poverty is to see that the participation of individuals is strictly voluntary–that none is permitted to steal from or cheat or enslave another. In the free and open society, the organized force of government is to be used only if necessary to protect the lives and property of peaceful individuals. In other words, the proper function of government is to protect against robbery rather than practice it.
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