Economics and Human Rights

Economics and Human Rights

From the book by Andrey Sokolov, "Economics and Human Rights"

Authorized translation

"Economics and Human Rights" is a book about how the observance of human rights affects the economy.

Book sections:

Part one. Weapons.

Part two. Prostitution.

Part three. Drugs.

Part four. Immigrants.

Part five. Taxes.

Part six. License.

Part seven. Private property.

Part eight. Safety. Empathy.

Part nine. Quantocracy.


“We proceed from the self-evident truth
that all people are created equal and endowed by their Creator
with certain inalienable rights,
which include life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.”
Thomas Jefferson
US Declaration of Independence 1776

On December 10, 1948, the UN adopted the Declaration of Human Rights. It sets out the principles that all countries should follow. This document contains only 30 articles that describe basic and immutable human rights. For example, the right to life, health, work, rest, and so on.

More than 60 years have passed since then. What do you think, how many countries in the world fully comply with the provisions of this Declaration? In which country of the world are the human rights proclaimed by the United Nations fully respected? Not in one!

In no country in the world are human rights fully respected.

In this book you will find evidence of this.

Perhaps it is beneficial for the state’s economy not to respect human rights? No. And it is easy to prove.

Perhaps from inferior observance of human rights the police, the army, officials, teachers, doctors, patients, students live better? Can infringement of rights contribute to the construction of good roads, improve the quality of education, medical care? No. And this is also quite simple to prove.

The purpose of this book is to prove that everyone benefits from respecting human rights: the state and citizens, hospitals and schools, business and tax services, doctors and patients, teachers and students, students, police and even officials.

The only ones who benefit from the violation of human rights are bandits, criminals and their associated statesmen and pseudo-businessmen.

In this book you will find evidence that respect for human rights leads to an increase in citizens' incomes, to freedom of citizens, to the safety of residents, to increased budget revenues, and therefore to better living conditions of all law-abiding citizens.

The book discusses the basic concepts of human rights and their relationship with the economy and state revenues. It examines with concrete examples whether states respect human rights and what benefits the state budget can get if it fully respects human rights.

We will consider the issue of observing human rights mainly on the example of developed democracies of the “first world”. We will not analyze such obvious violations of rights as torture in the non-democratic states, for example.

Another reason for selection democracies of the “first world” is high-quality and reliable statistics.

And, of course, the main reason why the book speaks of developed democracies is that it is necessary to understand where such democracies move on. After all, any stop is a step back.

Violations of human rights in the non-democratic states of the “second” and “third” worlds are obvious and do not require books, but concrete actions.

In this book, we will examine less obvious violations that inhibit the growth of the economies of countries.

The author does not claim to "know the answer what to do." A book is an invitation to discussion, a philosophical question.

In 1946, Ludwig von Mises wrote: “Economic science should not be left to the training classes and classrooms of statisticians and should not remain in esoteric circles. It is a philosophy of human life and activity and concerns everyone and everyone, the energy of civilization and human existence. ”

The arguments used in this book are mainly two approaches. The first is the logical reasoning adopted both in philosophical literature and in the works of famous economists, for example, Milton Friedman or Friedrich von Hayek, Nobel Prize winners in economics. Their works Capitalism and Freedom, Freedom to Choose, and The Road to Slavery are not only cited in this book, but are partly the reason for its occurrence.

The second is ex iuvantibus "diagnosis." This method is common in medicine. Its essence is that when a certain disease is supposed that cannot be laboratory confirmed, the treatment is prescribed “blindly” and if it helps, then the diagnosis is considered confirmed. To do this, this book gives examples of countries that have conducted certain experiments that allowed or prohibited drugs, weapons, immigration, prostitution, etc. And the results of these actions.

In addition to medicine, this method of evidence is also used in physics, when a theory is confirmed by a series of experiments.

This book is not a dissertation. Its task is for the reader to reflect on these issues.

All countries and all people are different. But if from case to case, from country to country, from state to state, some identical action leads to the same result, then the initial assumption is true. And since from country to country the result of an identical action causes identical consequences, this suggests that similar actions in another country will lead to similar results. In other words, if in several countries 2 + 2 = 4, then most likely in all other countries 2 + 2 will also be equal to four.

This is not a “mathematical” method of evidence, but an “experimental” one. As already mentioned, such a method is used both in physics and in medicine.

This method of evidence works well in the chapters on weapons, drugs, prostitution.

In the chapters on taxes or immigration, unfortunately, there is much less experimental data.

In the head of an ordinary person there are quite a few economic, mental, behavioral myths that the purpose of this book is to deal with.

We will look at all issues from the point of view of the economic benefits of the budget and the provision by the state of human rights recorded in the World Declaration. After all, these are your rights, dear reader. This is your freedom, your security, your education, health, pension, social benefits, your right to work and a good job, your right to rest, your right to self-defense. This is your life. And her quality.

The impossible must be done. Others will do the rest.

Our memory and psyche mislead us, and it seems to us that what we have today is how it has always been.

We do not give ourselves the report that quite recently, we ourselves did not have laptops, the Internet, mobile phones, social networks, e-mail. More recently, we either lived in a communist empire that controlled most of the world, or were afraid of this empire, living outside it.

Most recently, there was no Islamic terrorism.

Snowboards, paragliders, space telescopes. All this appeared at the time when we lived. But to realize this fact, we need an effort of will.

The world is constantly changing. Democratizing and falling into tyranny. Inventing and destroying. Introducing or canceling taxes.

But the world does not do this by itself. This is what people do with the world. And it is in their power to make the world a better, fairer, richer and safer place.

As you will see from the examples in this book, even partial realization of basic human rights pays good dividends for countries. The examples of the legalization of weapons in the United States or prostitution in Germany can be used to trace the economic efficiency of observing human rights to life and work.

The situation is still worse with drugs, which have not yet been fully legalized anywhere. However, there is progress.

The biggest problems with the observance of human rights are still in the area of ​​immigration policies of states. Sacralization of state borders and fetishization of national mentality, manipulation of voters' opinions with the help of all kinds of "horror stories" prevents countries and legislators from fully recognizing the rights of immigrants to life, work and freedom of movement.

"The obstacles lie in the resistance of deeply rooted interests and prejudices, not in the feasibility of these proposals."

Nevertheless, the orientation of laws towards the full observance of all human rights is a prerequisite for the economic prosperity of countries in general and of every citizen in particular. This makes it inevitable in the future a full and widespread abolition of the currently existing prohibitions and restrictions that violate human rights. Likewise, a change in the system of government and taxation principles is inevitable.

Countries with archaic laws will gradually lag behind countries that respect human rights and freedoms in economic development. Thus, the world will change, forcing countries to change their legislation "in favor" of the person.

All prejudices, myths and customs that have developed over time cannot be overcome with a jerk. It is impossible to put a three-year-old child behind the wheel of a bus and expect a successful trip. It took hundreds of millions of years, many steps and transitional forms to evolve from Volvox to Man. It took centuries to transform feudalism into democracy.

It is clear that tomorrow societies and states will not change overnight. However, in order to arrive at a goal, you first need to formulate that goal. See her.

Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, in 1776 formulated a goal for the United States, which is given as an epigraph to the first chapter, and of this entire book as a whole. It took the United States over 200 years to get close to this goal. It has been a long journey that continues now. But before you take a step, you need to know where. Those. you need to formulate a goal.

The purpose of this book is not only to provide arguments and reasoning about the impact of human rights on the economy of countries. The task is to formulate the goal of the 21st century.

Andrey Sokolov (