Liberty for Security

Something that Harry Browne used to ask people: Would you be willing totrade your favorite government program for greater freedom and prosperity? What he was really asking people was to trade the illusion of security for liberty.

Do you really care about education? Do you also care about the freedom to speak your mind? Then consider getting the federal government out of both. If you could secure your right to speak and hear the truth on any subject, would you be willing to shut down the federal Department of Education? What if it meant you would also have an extrathousand dollars each yearto invest in your own child’s education?

Do you really care about the plight of small-scale farmers in the face of unfair competition from giant corporations? Do you also care about theright to defend your family from human predators?Wouldn’t it be satisfying to knowyou could get more money into the hands of those farmers at the same time you ensured your right to protect your own home? Eliminate federal subsidies to farms, which probablydo more to support politicians and lobbyists than to help farmers,and you would have more money in your pocket to spend directlyon locally grown produce.

The problem with using government to solve social problems is that there is always a trade off. If you give the government the power to regulate or fund something, it will always use that power to take a little more. The only way you will ever have more freedom is by taking power away from government. Arguments about monopolies, anarchy, and all of those typical panic buttons are just so much hot air in the face of reality. Monopolies are almost always created by government. Anarchy growseven while the federal, state, and local police have more power at their disposal than ever before.

Government programs are like security blankets. They’re helpful now and then, but they’re mostly only good for making you feel better. They can’t protect you from the real bogeymen, and the government refuses to even try. In truth, most people don’t have a lot of room to complain about foreclosures, school shootings, or terrorist attacks. As Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

If you’re plan to vote in the presidential election next year, I urge you to support Ron Paulnow. Some of his ideas might scare you, but, like walking on your own for the first time,that’s the price of growing up. Don’t be a child forever. Take some responsibility for your own successes and failures, for your own liberty and security.

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