Jan 19 2014

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The Rise and Fall of Freedom

2013 Federal RegisterVoltaire said, “Man is free the moment he wishes to be.” Maybe the inverse would be, Man is enslaved when his masters convince him freedom is not worth the effort.

The desire for freedom ebbs and flows. Can we agree that America’s relative freedom compared to the rest of the world is ebbing?  The 20th anniversary edition of the Index of Economic Freedom reveals that the United States has dropped out of the top 10 freest economies in the world.  During President Obama’s tenure the United States has dropped from 6th to 12th in economic freedom. And this index doesn’t measure the other aspects of personal liberty and it’s partner — privacy –we have lost to government collection of records and personal communications, both domestic and global.

Freedom is viewed quite differently in the two Americas — One America has been convinced that a wise and omnipotent government can guide mankind to utopia where freedom is subordinate to the managed life, the controlled community.  The other America values individual freedom and the opportunity for great success and inversely, epic failure.  The country’s framers believed man’s freedom, or free will is a gift from God, allowing each individual to choose the course of our lives.

Legislative action should be filtered through the lens of “Does this law expand or protect an individual’s or business’ freedom?”  Obviously, the political elite in both parties rarely, if ever, consider this key component of lawmaking. For the most part, they have turned it over to faceless, unaccountable bureaucrats.  Thank you to Senator Mike Lee for the photo above and for alerting America to this fact, “It (the Federal Register) contains over 80,000 pages of new rules (2013), regulations, and notices all written and passed by unelected bureaucrats. The small stack of papers on top of the display are the laws passed by elected members of Congress and signed into law by the president.”  Regulation contracts the ability for businesses and taxpayers to make decisions in the best interest of their customers and families.

If freedom is not expanding, it is shrinking. Freedom is never static. We must be vigilant and actively working to maintain our economic freedom by promoting only those officials who understand that government is force and that taxation entices and empowers the most ambitious and malevolent among us.

About the author

Ed Bell

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