America has always lauded efficiency. Even before the existence of the United States of America, the colonists cultivated a reputation for being efficient marksmen. German gunsmiths immigrated to the colonies and their “rifled” gun barrels proved much more accurate than the smooth-bore muskets and blunderbusses, popular in that day. In fact, the pinpoint accuracy of the colonial “rifle-men” would prove to be a major advantage for the rebels against the professional soldiers of Britain, as it allowed them to conserve ammunition and cripple the morale of Lord Howe’s men.
Effectiveness and efficiency have always commanded a premium in the United States, but today these traits seem to be more elusive than an affordable insurance policy. Looking through the annals of history, no other nation has achieved a comparable amount of innovation in such a wide variety of disciplines as speedily as America has done. The scientific inventions of Franklin and Edison, the political genius of Madison and Jefferson, the militaristic dominance of Eisenhower and Patton, the novel entertainment of Walt Disney and Elvis, and the entrepreneurial spirit of Gates, Ford, and Jobs only scratch the surface on two and a half centuries of American ingenuity.
But the world-changing products of these American minds did not draw their first breath on a bed of incompetence. Yes, Edison’s inventions sometimes took hundreds of iterations to emerge and many of Disney’s sketches ended up on the ink-stained linoleum of his studio floor, but those were not their final incarnations. In each case, our free market system rewarded the most effective product with success while simultaneously encouraging future minds to find even more efficient ways of performing the same task. This is how the free market functions and why it works so brilliantly to provide value and prosperity for creator and consumer alike.
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