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The Darwin Economy by Robert H. H. Frank

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TWELVE

The Libertarian’s Objections Reconsidered

DIFFERENT PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT VISIONS of the good life. Although almost everyone values personal autonomy, for example, libertarians value it far more than most. Even the staunchest libertarian, however, chooses to sacrifice many valuable options every day in pursuit of others. If you’re a salaried employee, you must adhere to someone else’s schedule and do many things you may not feel like doing. Even if you’re in business for yourself, your time is never completely your own. But you accept that fact, because the resulting income enables you to pursue a host of other valuable options.

In short, complete autonomy is an unattainable limiting case. The challenge for libertarians, as for others, ...

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