Our Nation's freedoms grow from our unique historical and cultural roots, both which support free markets and our economic prosperity. Freedom is a rare and delicate plant. Free men do not ask what the government can do for them, rather they ask what can be done to protect their freedoms. Political parties use the power of the state to pursue policies dictated by the special interest groups they represent. Why? President Reagan said it simply, "When you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on Paul's vote."
There are two broad principles embodied in our Constitution. First the scope of government must be limited. Its major functions must be to protect our freedoms from enemies both outside and inside our gates, to preserve law and order, to enforce private contracts, and to foster competitive markets. By relying on voluntary cooperation and private enterprise we ensure the private sector is a check on the powers of government. The second broad principle is government power must be dispersed. The concentration of power to do good also has the risk of the power to do harm. What one man regards as good, another may regard as harm. Free men and women recognize they are individually responsible for their actions. Government is a means and not a grantor of favors or gifts. Achievements are the product of individual genius, strongly held views, and a social climate permitting variety and diversity. Government often replaces this creative progress with directives, substituting the uniform for the variety essential for experimentation which acts to create tomorrow's prosperity.
The organization of the bulk of economic activity through private enterprise is a necessary condition for maintaining our political freedoms. Consider Milton Friedman's interview with television talk-show host Phil Donahue in 1979:
When you see around the globe, the mal-distribution of wealth, a desperate plight of millions of people in underdeveloped countries. When you see so few “haves” and so many “have-nots.” When you see the greed and the concentration of power. Did you ever have a moment of doubt about capitalism and whether greed is a good idea to run on?
Well first of all tell me is there some society you know that doesn’t run on Greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who is greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests.
The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about – the only cases in recorded history – are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.
But it seems to reward not virtue as much as ability to manipulate the system.
And what does reward virtue? You think the Communist commissar rewarded virtue? You think a Hitler rewarded virtue? You think – excuse me – if you’ll pardon me – do you think American Presidents reward virtue ? Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of their political clout ?
Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest
You know, I think you’re taking a lot of things for granted. Just tell me where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us? Well, I don’t even trust you to do that.
About Our Law Firm
We provide peace of mind by creating and managing structures that allow you to grow and protect your business, legacy, and personal wealth. "Where you'll be tomorrow, depends on what you do today."
Lechner Law Office, P.C.
Law and Professional Center
Orland Hills, Illinois 60487-4623
Paul Lechner Esq., CPA
The Lechner Group, Ltd.
Business Advisory Services
The Lechner Group, Ltd. is a public accounting and business consulting firm focused on business counsel, transactional diligence, and tax advisory services. We add value to your business strategies by providing a combination of financial, audit, and tax expertise. Combined with legal services (which are provided separately by the Lechner Law Office, P.C.) we offer privately held business owners an attractive package of comprehensive services.
Find out more by calling Paul Lechner at 708.460.6686.