Freedom means true stimulus for all

For most of the world’s history, mankind lived under despots, feudalism, etc. Government ran everything, including people’s lives.  Little real progress was made under such systems, as people were forced to maintain the current systems.  The plow used thousands of years ago went essentially unaltered 500 years ago.

The Freedoms given in the Magna Carta opened the doors for mercantilism and a middle class. The brave who pushed back against a strong religious government were able to produce the ordinary man’s Bible.  This year, we celebrate the King James’ version’s 400th anniversary.  It came about because of the blood of good men, such as Tyndale.  Talking with a priest in his day, he prophesied that if he had his desire, the average plow boy would know the Bible more than that priest.  That prediction has come true millions of times, perhaps with its pinnacle in the life of the farm boy, Joseph Smith.

What an amazing thing it was for the 13 colonies to declare Independence against the world’s great Empire, upon which the sun never set. Yet freedom won over chains.  Other revolutions followed, and still follow today, as people still seek for freedom.  While many of those revolutions fail and collapse into anarchy or reemerge in another dictator, the desire for freedom still breathes in many hearts.

How is it, then, that we think large bureaucratic governments can ever be better than freedom to solve problems?  Government can assist freedom’s growth, or crush it.  It cannot easily do both at the same time.  Lincoln had a difficult choice, and chose the greater part of freedom, while temporarily having to suspend habeas corpus, etc.

But when the Feds declare a war on drugs, poverty, medical care, etc., we all lose freedom.  Glad I am for Republican and Democratic governors right now who are making the tough choices to rein in frivolous spending, and returning economic and other freedoms back to their constituents.

Friday, the White House sent out its 7th quarterly review and determined that it was able to save or create over 2 million jobs.  The downside?  We used $666 billion dollars to do it, or over $280,000 per job.  Had we just given each of them a check for $100,000, we would have saved over $400 billion.

Can we all agree that government is inefficient?  And that once the stimulus money is gone, much of the “stimulus” falls off the cliff, as we see a new slowdown occurring?

Obama’s Economists review stimulus

Here’s to true freedom, and that this Independence Day we relearn the concepts taught by the Founding Fathers, such as Jefferson and Madison.  Let us reject national socialism, and jingoism, and return to moving government back down to the people on the local level, where they can easily govern themselves.  Freedom involves risks, but better to have risks with freedom than to have no risks via government intervention and lose those freedoms. If you don’t believe this, then just remember this the next time the TSA wants to examine your grandmother’s diaper….

“To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.”  -  Thomas Jefferson

19 thoughts on “Freedom means true stimulus for all

  1. “Here’s to true freedom, and that this Independence Day we relearn the concepts taught by the Founding Fathers, such as Jefferson and Madison.  Let us reject national socialism, and jingoism, and return to moving government back down to the people on the local level, where they can easily govern themselves.”

    Nothing in the current government almost nothing is socialist, using the actual definition of socialism, and not the popular “anything I disagree with is socialism” definition. Likewise, Madison and Jefferson were frequently diametrically opposed. They could speak with civility, however, and I think not demonizing the opposition (though they did that as well) might be something to emulate.

  2. Zen you are a bit right and wrong of course… but if it makes you happy continue to say so in order to silence those you disagree with instead of engaging them. In fact while its pretty rare for government to take over 100% of the means of production in a sector of the economy we can see socialist principles pulling at the economy as much if not more lately than market based free enterprise. If we used the same measuring method you do we would also be forced to conclude we have nothing reseembling a free market. That being the case we can just shout back and forth about what we don’t have and each feel smug and saddened that the other guy is a useful idiot.

  3. I am offended the OP had anything good to say about Lincoln, who was a tyrant who suspended habeas corpus, censored newspapers, threw political opponents in jail, invented fiat currency, invented the draft (while letting the rich get out of fighting) and encouraged Sherman to rape and pillage his way through the South. There was a strong feeling until the 1850s that the union was a *voluntary* union — if the South had been allowed to secede they would have dealt with the slavery problem on their own without the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands. And they probably would have eventually reintegrated into the U.S.

    (How’s that for being controversial?)

    Other than that, our current government is becoming an Orwellian leviathan where we are told economic slavery to the state (you MUST buy a product) is somehow freedom. Here’s hoping we can somehow return power to state and local governments before it is too late.

  4. “Zen you are a bit right and wrong of course… but if it makes you happy continue to say so in order to silence those you disagree with instead of engaging them.”

    Silence those I disagree with!?! Quite the but of melodrama there. The OP used a logical fallacy to shore up a bad argument (appeal to emotion, since everyone knows that socialism is “bad”) which you are echoing here (he’s trying to silence people!!!!). If only people would be silenced until they presented something factually.

    “In fact while its pretty rare for government to take over 100% of the means of production in a sector of the economy we can see socialist principles pulling at the economy as much if not more lately than market based free enterprise.”

    More melodrama. “Socialist principles”!?! What might those be, besides something to scare children with

    “If we used the same measuring method you do we would also be forced to conclude we have nothing reseembling a free market.”

    Outside of Somalia, there likely is no actual free market in the world. Singapore and Hong Kong come closest, however.

    “That being the case we can just shout back and forth about what we don’t have and each feel smug and saddened that the other guy is a useful idiot.”

    You’re right, because presenting false information is certainly not wrong on a explicitly LDS, oriented board. Any first year economic student could recognize the OP for the partisan exaggeration that it is, and this should be an embarrassment (not to mention the failure to recognize the historically significant disagreements between Jefferson and Madison).

    Why not present things as they are, rather than resort to appeals to emotion and fear tactics?

  5. “Other than that, our current government is becoming an Orwellian leviathan where we are told economic slavery to the state (you MUST buy a product) is somehow freedom. Here’s hoping we can somehow return power to state and local governments before it is too late.”

    I just bought a new car, and I had to insure it. Having to buy health insurance is hardly Orwellian. The sky is not falling.

  6. Zen, I am against obligatory car insurance too, and if you thought about it, you would be also. The reality is that it is only the people who would likely pay claims who actually buy insurance. Scofflaws can get in a car and drive and hit somebody, and if you sue them they very often don’t have any assets to take or wages to garnish. So requiring ALL people to get car insurance is a complete joke because the people who comply would in theory get insurance anyway, and the minimal insurance needed covers very little.

    I would think even statists could see the difference between a state law and a federal law. And you can always choose not to drive, but you can’t choose not to live (unless you are in favor of suicide as well as a public policy option?). Yes, our Orwellian world where forced behavior is freedom is alive and well on July 4.

  7. “Zen, I am against obligatory car insurance too, and if you thought about it, you would be also. The reality is that it is only the people who would likely pay claims who actually buy insurance. Scofflaws can get in a car and drive and hit somebody, and if you sue them they very often don’t have any assets to take or wages to garnish. So requiring ALL people to get car insurance is a complete joke because the people who comply would in theory get insurance anyway, and the minimal insurance needed covers very little.”

    Which is why you have insurance for uninsured drivers.

    You use terms like “statist” and “Orwellian” to support an argument that fails without such emotive words (not that the emotives work).

    Like it or not, you belong to a social contract, and that contract comes with obligations. National health care is actually an economic imperative, but so few Americans actually understand economics, that the facts are lost in a the fumes of partisanship. The USA was never founded as a libertarian utopia, which is something the OP missed in pairing Madison and Jefferson, it was a nation of varying political ideologies.

    This sense of returning to the vision of the “Founders” is an illusion used by people without familiarity with history.

  8. If you think Jefferson, Madison and/or Hamilton would favor the federal government forcing people to buy a product just because they are born, you are living in a dream world far out of touch with reality. You could argue that Obamacare is an extension of Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and on and on (it is an argument I disagree with but at least it is logical and somewhat fact-based), but you could never argue that the founders would have favored it and be taken seriously by anybody who knows anything about history.

    As for economics, let’s return to the original purpose of this post. How’s that stimulus been working for America so far? Where is the economic growth? Take off your partisan blinders Zen, and move away from failed Keynesianism. See the world as it actually is and not as how the Dem talking points wish it would be.

  9. “If you think Jefferson, Madison and/or Hamilton would favor the federal government forcing people to buy a product just because they are born, you are living in a dream world far out of touch with reality. You could argue that Obamacare is an extension of Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and on and on (it is an argument I disagree with but at least it is logical and somewhat fact-based), but you could never argue that the founders would have favored it and be taken seriously by anybody who knows anything about history.”

    Being a historian by education, I can conclusively say that no one can say what ” Jefferson, Madison and/or Hamilton” would think about the current health care plan. What “Jefferson, Madison and/or Hamilton” think about anything outside of what they specifically wrote on is an exercise in subjectivity and pointlessness. The world is dramatically different. Times change. Societies change. The tendency to try to justify current policy based on the “Founders” is pure logical fallacy (again appeal to emotion), in addition to being woefully uninformed about the actual “Founders” as they violently disagreed on many, many things and are not some mystical monolithic block of hive minds.

    “As for economics, let’s return to the original purpose of this post. How’s that stimulus been working for America so far? Where is the economic growth? Take off your partisan blinders Zen, and move away from failed Keynesianism. See the world as it actually is and not as how the Dem talking points wish it would be.”

    Your resort to ad hominem does not bode well for your point, adding more logical fallacies to those you have already used does not an argument make. At least you are using the proper term, Keynesian economics, instead of the misapplied socialism above.

    But I would like to see something. Please explain, in detail, how the current stimulus is in fact Keynesian. Please use Keynes, as support, if you would. Also, please explain how the most Keynesian economies in the world are doing so well. I have a degree in Macroeconomics, and I have found that most people who reference Keynes have never actually read him and are usually referencing a wikipedia article or something similar.

    Incidentally I have found the same with Hayek. I referenced Hayek to one individual, anonymously, and was told that I was referencing a socialist. The same individual told me I needed to read Hayek to understand what real economics was all about. When I said I had Hayek open to the page I quoted and wanted to understand what was socialism, I never heard from the individual again.

    The fact is economics is a difficult subject, and no one answer is paramount. Much like sailing a ship through a storm, multiple tacks are necessary. Therefore partisan ramblings, of either bent, are inherently flawed and fraught with illogic.

  10. Considering that even self proclaimed socialists do not restrict themselves to the formal definition, I think it is entirely legitimate to classify all programs that intend to use government power to dictate similar ends as generally “socialist” in character.

    In America, there is no better example of state socialism in action than the public education system, which is of course government owned and operated. Creeping socialism, however, tends to be present more when an industry is heavily regulated to achieve the same ends as if the government operated it themselves.

    Health care is heavily regulated in the United States, and has been for about forty years. Even though the government pays for about half of all health care expenses, it is (for the next couple of years) at least still more or less under private control. Obamacare, however, is intentionally designed as a waystation to a single payer system, complete with a centralized unelected board with unchecked authority to set prices and payment levels, and delegation of immense authority to the HHS to do almost anything they see fit.

    It is ridiculous to claim that a system like that isn’t “socialist” in character. It is designed to achieve exactly the same ends, using exactly the same powers. Can property really be considered “private” if you have little or no control over it?

  11. Zen, I have got to say, you are showing absolutely no evidence that you know anything about economics or history or even basic logic. Let’s follow your logic here.

    1)OP says the country was founded on principles opposed to socialism. Uses the stimulus as an example but also decries “big government” in general.
    2)Your answer is that the government is not socialistic because it is not entirely socialistic (which no government is because private enterprise exists even in North Korea and Cuba, so by your definition they are not socialist either). Then you point out that Madison and Jefferson often were diametrically opposed, which again has nothing to do with the OP’s point.
    3)Your answers accuse all others of using melodrama and appeal to emotion, but you make no actual points, except to accuse everybody else of being emotional and melodramtic (except you).
    4)You accuse all others of having no knowledge of history but have no actual historical facts to back up any of your statements.
    5)You ask for an explanation of Keynesianism (which is, by the way, used by socialist governments worldwide) and then made a weird reference to Hayek and socialism. If you had actually read Hayek (even a few pages of any of his books), you would understand that Hayek constantly talked about nearly all government programs as steps toward socialism and had a friendly rivalry with Keynes in which he pointed out the socialistic nature of Keynes’ philosophy. And of course if you knew anything at all about economics you would realize that Hayek’s mentor was none other than von Mises, who wrote *the critique* of socialism called, interestingly “Socialism.” But they can’t be talking about socialism!!!!????

    Zen, I am going to have to assume you are a troll because nobody can be this dense in real life. Please show some common sense, stop accusing everybody else of melodrama, or you are going to have to say hello to our moderation queue.

  12. “Considering that even self proclaimed socialists do not restrict themselves to the formal definition, I think it is entirely legitimate to classify all programs that intend to use government power to dictate similar ends as generally “socialist” in character.”

    It is somewhat absurd to ignore the past 100 years of economic thought on socialism, because a group founded in 1992 wants to orient their views in a novel way. Socialism has a definition, which you do not have to like, but you do not get to invent a definition that fits your wants.

    “In America, there is no better example of state socialism in action than the public education system, which is of course government owned and operated. Creeping socialism, however, tends to be present more when an industry is heavily regulated to achieve the same ends as if the government operated it themselves.”

    Except the public education system is not socialist. Not even close. You cannot apply a definition to meet your needs, otherwise the term has no meaning whatsoever. The problem is that so much thought is based around using the term “socialism” as an invective, that people do not want to actually engage the term. They just want their swear word to use. Regulation is not socialism, not at all. It is regulation.

    “Health care is heavily regulated in the United States, and has been for about forty years. Even though the government pays for about half of all health care expenses, it is (for the next couple of years) at least still more or less under private control. Obamacare, however, is intentionally designed as a waystation to a single payer system, complete with a centralized unelected board with unchecked authority to set prices and payment levels, and delegation of immense authority to the HHS to do almost anything they see fit.”

    Even under the new law, health care is not socialized.

    “It is ridiculous to claim that a system like that isn’t “socialist” in character. It is designed to achieve exactly the same ends, using exactly the same powers. Can property really be considered “private” if you have little or no control over it?”

    It is still not socialism. The only thing that is socialist in the USA is the military. The government owns, outright, the means and administration of waging warfare. This is socialism, and only this (and even this is questionable given Blackwater and other private contractors, though they still operate under government contract).

    The problem is that you want to use the word, because it has emotive power, even though it does not mean what you want it to mean. You cannot manipulate definitions because you want to.

  13. “Zen, I have got to say, you are showing absolutely no evidence that you know anything about economics or history or even basic logic. Let’s follow your logic here.

    1)OP says the country was founded on principles opposed to socialism. Uses the stimulus as an example but also decries “big government” in general.”

    Actually what I said was that the OP is using the term socialism incorrectly. Additionally, the OP pairs two individuals with opposite views on government, Jefferson being an anti-Federalist, and Madison being a Federalist. This is like pairing Hayek and Keynes. This is what I said.

    “2)Your answer is that the government is not socialistic because it is not entirely socialistic (which no government is because private enterprise exists even in North Korea and Cuba, so by your definition they are not socialist either). Then you point out that Madison and Jefferson often were diametrically opposed, which again has nothing to do with the OP’s point.”

    Again you are wrong. Socialism is not an all or nothing system. Socialism is government control of the means of production. All national militaries are socialist. It would be bad form to have free enterprise in application of military force. Currency is socialist, as the government controls all things currency related.

    Health care, education, even the auto bailouts, are not socialist. The problem with the OP and the arguments in favor of the OP, is that they fail to understand the nuances of economic theory because economic theory does not matter. What matters, as mentioned above, is that a bad word is used, and socialism has been chosen as that swear word. This is simply wrong, however.

    “3)Your answers accuse all others of using melodrama and appeal to emotion, but you make no actual points, except to accuse everybody else of being emotional and melodramtic (except you).”

    Terms like “statist” and “Orwellian” are emotive and melodramatic. The fact that you used them does not make the melodrama go away.

    “4)You accuse all others of having no knowledge of history but have no actual historical facts to back up any of your statements.”

    Really? What do you doubt the historicity of?

    “5)You ask for an explanation of Keynesianism (which is, by the way, used by socialist governments worldwide)”

    Can you actually reference Keynes? Have you read him? Also Keynes is NOT socialist. Theoretically Keynes could be used by either a capitalist (and frequently is, please reference the developmental state model of economic development) or socialist systems.

    “and then made a weird reference to Hayek and socialism. If you had actually read Hayek (even a few pages of any of his books), you would understand that Hayek constantly talked about nearly all government programs as steps toward socialism”

    Hayek, along with Milton Friedman, advocated systems to ensure basic income. If you make less than the income, the government gives you money. Let me repeat myself, the government gives you $ if you are too poor.

    The government spreading the wealth is Conservative economic thought.

    Milton included it in, I want to say chapter 12 of “Capitalism as Freedom” in the Negative income tax. Please look it up and tell me if I am wrong or not. If you need, I can find my copy of Friedman. it is around here somewhere (just moved, still in a box, but I saw it while unpacking).

    So can you actually cite Keynes?

    [quote]and had a friendly rivalry with Keynes in which he pointed out the socialistic nature of Keynes’ philosophy. And of course if you knew anything at all about economics you would realize that Hayek’s mentor was none other than von Mises, who wrote *the critique* of socialism called, interestingly “Socialism.” But they can’t be talking about socialism!!!!????”

    And Hayek and Keynes manned AA guns on top of Oxford during WWII. I have a Masters in Macroeconomics, I assure you I am well read on these subjects.

    “Zen, I am going to have to assume you are a troll because nobody can be this dense in real life. Please show some common sense, stop accusing everybody else of melodrama, or you are going to have to say hello to our moderation queue.”

    I have a Masters in Economics and Political Science. I am neither dense, nor have I said anything that is untrue or factually incorrect. You are the one who has resorted to ad hominem, not I.

    You have called me dense, accused me of having blinders and using talking points, and any number of additional logical fallacies. Is this what moderation considers acceptable. All I have done is said that some of the comments here are wrong.

  14. No, Zen, you did not say the comments here are wrong. You said the following:

    “More melodrama. “Socialist principles”!?! What might those be, besides something to scare children with.”

    “Any first year economic student could recognize the OP for the partisan exaggeration that it is, and this should be an embarrassment (not to mention the failure to recognize the historically significant disagreements between Jefferson and Madison).”

    You accuse the OP of “fear tactics.” You accuse others of claiming the sky is falling. You say: “Therefore partisan ramblings, of either bent, are inherently flawed and fraught with illogic.”

    People who disagree with you don’t understand history or economics or use emotional words and cannot make arguments.

    And then you claim “All I have done is said (sic) that some of the comments here are wrong” and accuse others of ad hominems.

    Basic politeness decrees that when you are a new commenter on a board you tone down your rhetoric. If you’re going to disagree, do so politely and stop dominating the board. Let others leave opinions. These are the rules of this board. If you don’t like it, please go to another board.

    Your tactics are those of a troll. If that term is new to you, please read this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_%28Internet%29

    You’ve had your say. If you would like to continue to comment on this board, and you disagree, leave short, polite comments. You have been warned twice.

  15. Why don’t we start here. I have my copies of Hayek, Keynes, Friedman, etc… sitting here. I have the seminal works on developmental state theory by Bruce Cummings and Meredith Woo-Cummings (relies on Keynes, and represents the most free economies in the world) sitting around here somewhere. I am well versed in political economy, and also in leadership. Prove your points instead of relying on invective. The theory is clear, though the application may not always be so.

    You are attempting to use referential authority (effectively rank). (I also took several years of leadership as an undergrad. Yes, we did use the text from that abysmal institution on the Hudson, but they should have something to be proud of.)

    Why not instead prove your assertions.

  16. Zen,

    First off, I have a Master’s in History,so I guess we can both speak from experience?

    Second, if you prefer, I could have used the term “fascism” because technically that is what much of the government intervention is all about. However, we found out that in Europe in the 1930s/40s, socialism and fascism worked hand in hand, as in Germany and Italy in the Axis. So, I guess they still work well together. The key point here isn’t the term used, but that government is taking control and removing freedoms from us.

    You throw out ad hominem attacks and straw men when you start calling names and set up false points to knock down, but give no proof of your own statements.

    I gave proof that the ending of forced teacher’s union issues was harming the state of Wisconsin, and that the new rules are actually providing school districts more freedom to benefit the children, while saving over a million dollars. How is that bad?

    History shows that freedom is a very difficult thing to maintain. It seems that without great care, the energy that is in freedom is sucked away, and replaced by a few governing the masses (whether in a monarchy, dictatorship, or socialist/fascist state). After the American Revolution, the France and the American nations sought independence and liberty. Each of them eventually failed, as France returned to King Louis Philippe in 1830, and later had Napoleon III as Emperor. The independence sought by Bolivar and Martins in Central and South America failed, as banana republics returned to being dictatorships.

    Since then, many of them have attempted freedom time and again, swinging between some forms of freedom and tyranny. So it is with the former Soviet states. Russia tried freedom under Yeltsin, and now is again under a strong centralized arm. So are many of the other nations there.

    Very few remain truly free. And even with free states, there is always government creep. The more it creeps in, the fewer rights we have. Just ask the TSA what they think of your right to board a plane. Or the IRS that taxation is “voluntary” as it once was claimed to be by the government.

    As for Geoff’s statements on Lincoln. Yes, he made some very controversial choices. I view it like this: had he allowed the South to secede, England and France would have picked the pieces apart, until there was no USA or CSA left, but only parts of empires. So, we can all speculate on what may have happened had a different route been taken. Besides, Lincoln did not start the war. He had not taken any actions regarding slavery. Some states in the South supposed he would, and they acted upon their suppositions. It was South Carolina’s attack on Fort Sumter that forced Lincoln to make a decision. Once made, issues such as habeas corpus being suspended during wartime was only a logical step for him. You’ll note that when the war ended, Lincoln reinstated all such rights. Later presidents and Congresses have issued laws and decrees since then that have not been rescinded after conflict was over, leaving us with fewer rights.

    I still consider Lincoln a hero, although I do recognize his decisions as being controversial. However, as I stated, I see that there would have been no United States left had there not been the war, as other nations would have jumped in and taken up the pieces eventually.

  17. “First off, I have a Master’s in History,so I guess we can both speak from experience?

    Second, if you prefer, I could have used the term “fascism” because technically that is what much of the government intervention is all about. However, we found out that in Europe in the 1930s/40s, socialism and fascism worked hand in hand, as in Germany and Italy in the Axis. So, I guess they still work well together. The key point here isn’t the term used, but that government is taking control and removing freedoms from us.”

    It depends on what you are speaking on, I suppose. For example Fascism is an equally misused term in modern politics. Fascism was a combination of revolutionary syndicalism, futurism, and nationalism. Italy and Spain were Fascist, National Socialism was a different beast, altogether. Likewise the inclusion of the syndicals in the governmental structure had little to do with socialism in the definitional sense, and was rather an assimilatory method of consolidating power. Socialism and Fascism are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but related. Most people view the political spectrum as a line, this is incorrect. I am sure you are familiar with the horseshoe spectrum of political examination?

    Fascism applied anywhere outside of the historical context of pre-WWII, is completely incorrect. This is from the Oxford Fascism Reader…

    http://www.amazon.com/Fascism-Oxford-Readers-Roger-Griffin/dp/0192892495

    I studied Fascism and Communism specifically as an undergrad.

    “I gave proof that the ending of forced teacher’s union issues was harming the state of Wisconsin, and that the new rules are actually providing school districts more freedom to benefit the children, while saving over a million dollars. How is that bad?”

    Because you omitted the fact that the same deal was offered to the schools by the unions a few months previous but this deal was rejected. The article you posted implied that it was the law that resulted in the savings. No mention was made of the similar deal that would have had the same savings prior to the anti-union law’s passage.

    If you knew that the deal existed within the confines of the law, you were omitting important information. If you did not know, you presented a poorly researched point. Opinions are the right of the citizenry, but also a responsibility. To present an opinion without the requisite facts is simply wrong.

    The facts are that the deal reached post union-law, was effectively the same as existed pre-union-law, so the question needs to be raised why it was not accepted with the union, but rather after the union was rendered powerless. What was important, saving money, or demolishing the union?

    Did you know the full story before you posted the article you posted?

    “History shows that freedom is a very difficult thing to maintain. It seems that without great care, the energy that is in freedom is sucked away, and replaced by a few governing the masses (whether in a monarchy, dictatorship, or socialist/fascist state). After the American Revolution, the France and the American nations sought independence and liberty. Each of them eventually failed, as France returned to King Louis Philippe in 1830, and later had Napoleon III as Emperor. The independence sought by Bolivar and Martins in Central and South America failed, as banana republics returned to being dictatorships.”

    Your understanding of freedom is unnecessarily constrained. The most economically free nations in the world are some of the least politically free. Likewise the most politically free, are less economically free. Social contract theory, and I assume you are familiar with John Locke, implies that there are necessary trade-offs that naturally occur.

    “Since then, many of them have attempted freedom time and again, swinging between some forms of freedom and tyranny. So it is with the former Soviet states. Russia tried freedom under Yeltsin, and now is again under a strong centralized arm. So are many of the other nations there.

    Very few remain truly free. And even with free states, there is always government creep. The more it creeps in, the fewer rights we have. Just ask the TSA what they think of your right to board a plane. Or the IRS that taxation is “voluntary” as it once was claimed to be by the government.”

    Do you believe that taxes are somehow against the founding principles of the government?

  18. I do not view political ideas as a line. I view it more on a quadrant, where economic and social freedoms are considered. For example, a political group/party may be economically free, but socially tyrannical. China approaches this today with economic freedoms and free-ish markets, but no real freedom of speech or religion. Today’s Republicans tend to push economic freedom but less social freedoms. Democrats tend to push specific social freedoms, less economic.

    The type of national socialism of Hitler and fascism of Mussolini were just slightly different forms of dictatorship. Both economic and social freedoms were greatly reduced in both nations. While there were technical differences, the outcomes were essentially the same.

    As a libertarian (not an anarchist), I see that government must be able to protect citizens from others and occasionally from themselves, but mostly from government itself. History shows that when people are left with freedom, they tend to rise above being chattel and create great things. Just look at what the Chinese have done with the little economic freedom offered to them over the past decade.

    India shows the same thing. For decades, its socialistic central government insisted in regulating everything. To open a business, one had to have approval from government, which usually took months or years. Getting a permit for electricity for your factory took years. I know of an Indian who wanted to employ 600 people in a factory in the early 1990s. He finally gave up and moved his business to Hong Kong.

    Now, however, India has backed away from centralized planning and pushes economic freedom. Their economy has exploded and millions are now lifted out of poverty.

    Meanwhile, decades of ever increasing regulation and centralized control and manipulation of markets has led the USA, Greece, Ireland, Spain, France, etc., into our current economic crises. We regulated banks into taking huge risks, while maintaining our promise to bail them out. We’ve created the last several bubbles by spending federal money in those areas. We created monsters out of Freddie and Fannie.

    Then the Keynesian attempts at re-stimulating the economy failed. Even Obama’s own economists have recently concluded as the link above shows that while the efforts saved or gained about 2 million jobs, it cost over $275,000 to save each of those jobs. We could have cut a check to each of them for $100,000 and saved over $400 billion.

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