A Free Enterprise Economy

Over the Christmas break I read the 600 page autobiography of Sir Richard Branson. 

It’s an international best seller and a superb read. Actually it reads more like an ‘action thriller’ then a regular autobiography…….think hot air balloons. It’s compelling, revealing and certainly a rollercoaster ride into the highs and lows of a brilliant and hardworking man.

It is also a vivid reminder of the ‘privelege’ of living and working in a free enterprise economy like New Zealand as opposed to a controlled economy.

The greatest benefit of a free enterprise economy is that it gives people freedom to choose, and in a business context, freedom to pursue a business that they feel called and motivated to do.

This of course leads to competition in the marketplace. We all know that competition is good for the end user in that it keeps a downward pressure on prices. However that same competition can be tough if you are the one being taken on. Last year I had a number of interactions here in Raglan where I heard a few business owners speak about competitors with an underlying assumption that because they were first in town they had a ‘right’ to be the only one in town. In a free market economy that is a flawed argument. So long as you stick to the rules and play fair then new start up companies or branches of established companies (namely national chains) are welcome. The market will ultimately decide ‘what is hot and what is not’.

I predict some high drama in Raglan in the future.

Alan Vink