Walter Williams,

Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination? 


Colonial Markets Helped To Undermine Slavery


During colonial days, slaves learned skills and found that they could earn a measure of independence by servicing ships as rope makers, coopers, and shipwrights. Some entered more skilled trades, such as silversmithing, gold beating, and cabinetmaking.…

Many slaves exhibited great entrepreneurial spirit … After putting in a day’s work, some slaves were allowed to raise their own crops and livestock. These efforts allowed them to gain a presence in much of the marketing network on the streets and docks of port cities. . . . Market activity by slaves was so great that North Carolina whites mounted a campaign to stop slave “dealing and Trafficking” altogether.

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When America Was Truly The Land Of Opportunity

For [early immigrants] America was truly the land of opportunity. For the first time in their lives, many were truly free to pursue their own objectives. That freedom released the human energies which created the United States. There were few government programs to turn to and nobody expected them. But also there were few rules and regulations. There were no licenses, no permits, no red tape to restrict them. They found, in fact, a free market, and most of them thrived on it. 

-- Milton Friedman,

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