I wonder whether this term, consumer sovereignty, has played any pernicious role in the recent “discrimination” scandals. It has a technical economic meaning, namely that producers who want to make money must serve the consumers better than their rivals, and that everyone is a consumer and indirectly guides production in this capacity. But Rothbard was right in insisting that even economists abandon this phrase for the more universal “individual sovereignty” that would apply to both consumers and producers.

In more colloquial speech, this term is silly: consumers have no coercive power that a king has. There is no such thing as “public accommodation,” in which a business is “subservient” and therefore must be open to absolutely every consumer.

This gives producers the right to refuse to do business with someone, even if they are penalized by loss of revenues.


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