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Posts Tagged ‘Individual Freedom’

Attachment-1-929

Source: The Independent Institute

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Libertarian Economist Walter Williams once said something that I actually agree with. He was talking about property rights and extended them to one’s self and one’s body. That the individual has complete control of their own body and therefor gets to decide what’s done with their body. What they can eat, what they can drink, what they can smoke, even who they can have consensually have sex with. Even if the sex is homosexual sex, taking money to have sex with someone else in a consensual way.

How we can spend our own money short of using our money to have someone beat up or murdered, or spending our money in order to have something stolen from someone else. And that includes spending our money to gamble even at casinos or private card games, to use as examples. That private property rights just doesn’t cover one’s home, or car, or personal possessions, like a business that they may own. But ourselves as individuals and our own bodies. Short of hurting an innocent person with our body or other property like money.

This is really the main difference between a liberal democracy like America with guaranteed constitutional and individual rights that include property rights as I just mentioned and living in a Marxist-Communist state like North Korea (to use as an example) where individualism is essentially outlawed. Where the state (meaning the national government) owns everything in society. Including where the people live and work, even shop.

Even social democracies like Britain that are very socialist as far as how their national government and economy works, have a high degree of property rights in their country. They just aren’t guaranteed especially under a constitutional system which is what we have in America. Property rights are the rights for individuals to control and operate what they actually own including their own bodies.

Our property rights are guaranteed in America under both the Fourth and Fifth amendment’s in the Constitution. That can’t be interfered with by the state (meaning government) without probable cause. That the state views what someone is doing as a threat to bodily harm or financial harm to an innocent person. Not talking about an anarcho state (meaning anarchy) where everyone can essentially do whatever they want including hurting innocent people. And then it’s left up to the victim to decide what should happen to their predator and left up to the victim to inflict whatever consequences on their predator.

But talking about a federal republic in the form of a liberal democracy where property rights including to one’s self are guaranteed short of hurting innocent people with our property. As much as so-called Progressives in America today (Socialists in reality) complain about property rights, private property, and individualism in America and that too much in their view is left up to the individual to decide how they should live, they take advantage of our property rights and free speech everyday. And you can say the same thing about the Christian-Right in America but their complaints about our property rights tend to be more about our personal freedom and our freedom to make our own lifestyle choices, instead of our economic freedom.

But that’s just one thing that is great about America that one doesn’t even have to believe in property rights and either personal or economic freedoms, or either of them in order to take advantage of them and live with them. People who don’t believe in free speech (just one property right) can use their First Amendment rights to make the case why censorship is necessary to outlaw speech that they disagree with and that offends them.

Because the censors whether they are political correctness warriors or Christian-Conservatives who are offended by certain forms of entertainment, have the same free speech rights as people who believe in free speech. Who are free speech nuts like myself, to borrow a phrase from Kirsten Powers and Jeffrey Lord. (Two political analysts at CNN) Just as long as we’re not using our free speech rights to incite violence or irresponsibly libel innocent people. That property rights extend to everyone including people who don’t believe in them.

The Independent Institute: Kyle Swan- Private Property Rights

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Attachment-1-866

Source: Foreign Policy Magazine  

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I read this article called It’s Time To Found a New Republic from Daren Acemoglu and Simon Johnson over at Foreign Policy Magazine. And it wasn’t just the title of the article that caught my attention. It’s Time To Found a New Republic, if they spent more time on the title maybe they would’ve called It’s Time For a New Republic, Time To Create a New Republic, The New American Republic. When something is found you don’t need to fine it, because it’s already there.

But getting pass the wording of the title of their piece most of their article was about American history and the progressive movement. Starting with the Progressive Era of the early 1900s and going up to the New Deal of the 1930s and the creation of the our national infrastructure system of the 1950s. And then towards the end they were had some policy proposals.

Ranging from a national basic income, which I disagree with, to ending partisan, racial, and ethnic gerrymandering which I’m in favor of. When I saw the title of their piece I’m, thinking maybe they were talking about creating a new form of American government. That the problem with American society (as they might see it) is the structure of our government all together. Perhaps they don’t like our Federal system based on limited government and would propose replacing that with a unitarian style of government that you see a lot of in Europe. Where most of the governmental power in the country is based with the national government. Instead of spread out between the national, state, and local government’s.

Just to comment on Daren Acemoglu’s and Simon Johnson’s economic proposals. I don’t believe the problem of income inequality (if you want to call it that) has to do with our government structure and how power and responsibility is spread out. Not that they were arguing that either necessarily. But it has to do with the skills gap and opportunity gaps in the American economy.

If you live in rural America and grow there, or you’re raised in a rough part of an inner city your chances of doing well in America are far lesser than if you come from a middle class neighborhood in a city or from the suburbs. Also if you have parents or even one parent who are doing well in life, not necessarily rich but doing well enough for you to be raised right and have you what you need to do well growing up, your chances of doing well in America are much better if you come from a low-income family in a low-income neighborhood, where your parent or parents are just struggling to survive.

So you want to reduce income inequality (again, if you want to call it that) you have to reduce the inequality that’s part of our education system and have an education system where more Americans can simply get a good education. Regardless of where they live and where they grow up and who their parents are. And of course regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender. Which should go without saying anyway.

As well as having an adult educational system in this country where low-income adults whether they’re currently working or not, can advance in the American economy by finishing and furthering their education and getting themselves a good job that leads them to economic independence.

As well as having that system available for workers who already have a solid education. High school diploma plus some vocational training and perhaps a college degree, but now find themselves working in a field where those jobs are disappearing or where they’re no longer able to make the money that allows for them to live comfortably. And allow for them to further their education perhaps even in a new field for them.

The problem with the American economy has nothing to do with our form of government. Or our Federal Government is too small, our state and local government’s, have too much responsibility, or middle class Americans are undertaxed and have to much personal and economic freedom and have to make too many decisions on their own.

The problem with the American economy and why we have income inequality (if you want to call it that) has to do with education and skills. We need to move pass the idea that schools should be funded based on the property values of the people who live in those communities . Which has to do with property taxes. And sending kids to school based on where they live, instead of what’s the best school for them.

And get pass the idea that if you start at a low-wage low-skilled job because you’re low-skilled, that you’re stuck working jobs like that indefinitely. Because you can’t afford to go back to school or simply don’t have the time for it, because you’re working multiple low-wage jobs just to try to survive.

You close the skills and education gaps in America, you reduce poverty, because you’ll not just have more Americans working as long as you have pro-growth economic policies in place that promote economic development and growth, but you’ll also have more Americans working good jobs. Which will also improve your long-term economic and financial outlook of the country. Because you’ll have fewer Americans on public assistance.

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Source: RCO 64

RCO 64: The American Form of Government

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Source: The Independent Institute 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

According to Wikipedia the definition of social justice is, “justice in terms of distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within society.”

People let’s say on the farther left (Social Democrats/Democratic Socialists) take the definition to mean that there should be distribution of wealth in society. That wealth should be distributed based on what people need to live well. Not based on what people earn. And of course the central government usually a unitarian government in most social democracies (one large government for the entire country) will collect most of the wealth in the country and dish it back out in the form of welfare state payments to the people based on what the government believes people need to live well in society.

So the people not just living above poverty, but living somewhat comfortably, but short of being wealthy and perhaps even upper middle class. Socialists (democratic and otherwise) don’t believe in rich or poor. They want equality of outcomes where no one is wealthy or poor, but able to live well. This type of economic system is how Scandinavia operates and the states there and to a certain extent even in Britain. (Even when the Conservatives are in charge)

The libertarian notion of social justice is to put it in plain terms is that what’s mine is mine and what’s yours, is yours. To paraphrase Libertarian Economist Walter Williams. Meaning what the people make for themselves is exactly that. And shouldn’t be subjected to taxation especially to help pay for the people who don’t have much to live on and are in living in poverty as a result.

To go back to the Wikipedia definition of social justice. Liberals (in the real and classical sense) concentrate on the opportunities portion of social justice. Liberals believe in an opportunity society. Where everyone has the ability to make a good life for themselves. Where everyone has access to a quality education even if they live in poverty. And if they live in poverty that their parents or parent, has the ability to finish and further their education so they can get themselves a good job and make a good living.

Get off of public assistance, buy a nice home and live in a nice community where they don’t have to worry about being physically harmed when they go to the grocery store, or are coming back or going to school. Where they have a basic fundamental sense and reality when it comes to their own economic and physical security. And then what the people make for themselves financially, they’re able to keep most of that and pay back in taxes what it takes for the government to function effectively and to do only what we need for government to do well for us, that is also consistent with strong economic and job growth so people are encouraged to be productive and make a good living for themselves and their families.

And yes you need an effective government to invest in what makes economies strong so as many people can benefit from capitalism and private enterprise as possible. Not to run the economy or to run business’s, or tax and regulate private business so much that the government essentially owns and runs those companies.

But to see that everyone can get a good education. Where kids aren’t sent to school simply because of where they live, but what’s the best school for them even if that might mean a charter school or private school all together.

Where economic development is encouraged so you don’t have ghost towns essentially where the only people who live there are people who can’t afford to live anywhere else. Where gangs and organize criminals run the communities.

Where you have an modern infrastructure system so companies can get their products to market (to use an old phrase) and also to encourage more private economic development.

A responsible regulatory state to protect consumers from predators and worker from abusive employers.

And a limited effective safety net (not welfare state) that serves an economic insurance system for people who are out-of-work, or lack basic skills to get themselves a good job. But also empowers low-skilled individuals to get themselves on their feet by finishing and furthering their education and learning a trade so they can get themselves a good job.

Where Liberals separate from Socialists has to do with government’s involvement in the economy. Socialists want government to take most of the national income and dish it back out based on what they believe people need to do well. Where Liberals differ with Libertarians is that Liberals believe that the people should be able to to keep most of what they earn. But that Liberals believe there is a real role for government even in a free society and that being part of a free society is like being part of a club. Where you end up paying for the services that you consume and even some of the services that don’t personally benefit you.

Independent Institute: Kyle Swan- Social Justice in The Classical Liberal Tradition

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Attachment-1-630

Source: Robin Smith- CBS News Correspondent Mike Wallace

Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Times 

I laugh every time I hear people call Hugh Hefner a radical or an extremist or immoral doing the work for the Devil. Whatever it might be because Hugh Hefner represents what an overwhelming majority of Americans say they are in favor of. And what the Far-Right and Far-Left in America are against which is individual freedom. The right of Americans to be able to live their own lives and not be dictated to by government or collectivists. Who believe they know better than Americans how Americans should live their own lives.

What makes Hef different from most Americans who believe in individual-freedom is that Hef is honest and public about his feelings as they relate to sex and how men feel about women and vice-versa and the role of both in society and so-forth. Where many other Americans who believe in the same things as Hef economic freedom balanced with personal freedom including sexual freedom, tolerance and against statism. And the political correctness police, but are not as public with their beliefs.

Hugh Hefer is not some type of Socialist radical looking to bring down corporate America and make the whole country dependent on the state for their well-being. But he’s also not some type of theocrat looking to ban all social activities that he doesn’t approve of. He represents where the mainstream of America is instead. And is very successful in corporate America himself fighting for. And promoting what he’s always been both which is individualfreedom.

As well economic freedom balanced with personal freedom. Which is how he’s united the Far-Left and Far-Right against him and in some cases for the same reasons with how his magazine talks about and promotes sex in America. Sharing his thoughts as well as his writers thoughts. But also how many other Americans feel, but who tend not to be as public about those feelings. Hugh Hefner is not saying you must live like him and this is the American way of life. What he’s saying is this is how he lives and is the life for him. And that every other American has the right to make these decisions for themselves.

Robin Smith: Hugh Hefner- Playboy, Activist & Rebel

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Cold War Liberal

Cold War Liberal

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

The reason why in the past the word Liberal has almost been seen as bad as a cuss word or someone would call someone a Liberal like they would call someone a jerk or a bastard or an insult worst than that, is because of how successful the partisan right-wing going back to Richard Nixon and perhaps even to Barry Goldwater to make Liberals look like something they aren’t. And liberalism something that it isn’t. Which is some big government statist ideology that is all about government running people’s lives for them. And against everything that has made America work mostly having to do with freedom.

Another reason why the word Liberal has been seen as something as bad as a horrible insult, is that people who aren’t Liberals, but have more of a big government statist Far-Left ideology, get called Liberals by people in the media who don’t understand liberalism. And people who again share that big government statist philosophy calling themselves Liberals. Even though they don’t even understand liberalism themselves. Or prefer to be called Liberal instead of something else that is even less popular in America. Like a Socialist, Communist or Statist.

But if you go up to 2008 the charge against Barack Obama when he was running for president the charge from the right-wing was no longer labeling him a Liberal. But a Socialist and for good reason, because Americans now no longer see Liberal as a bad thing especially younger Americans. More Americans are learning more about liberalism and understanding it. And also more Americans now see their own politics as Liberal as well which is a big reason why young Americans overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama for president in 2008. And reelected President Obama in 2012.

Liberal is not a dirty word, but a clean beautiful word that is about liberty, liberation, empowerment. Notice the words Liberal and Libertarian sound similar because even though they are certainly different. But they believe in similar things like individual rights and liberty and privacy. And are skeptical about what large organizations can do for them that they can’t do for themselves. Whether they are public or private institutions and more Americans now believe in these things as well.
Wendell Willkie: 1940 Presidential Election

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Larry SchweikartSource: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I love the United States Constitution. The whole document and not parts of it like the Far-Right and Far-Left like to pick off. And say this what is great about the Constitution as they try to destroy other parts of it. I like the whole document and every amendment to it including the First Amendment that includes Freedom of Religion and I’m in favor of that even as an Agnostic whose in a small minority when it comes to religion. But our constitutional rights do not come from God whether it its a Christian God or anyone else. Our constitutional rights come from the U.S. Constitution itself. Our constitutional rights come from our Founding Fathers who founded our Federal Republic and liberal democracy. Who wrote our U.S. Constitution. Not from God, Christian or otherwise.

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March For Freedom

March For Freedom

Source: PBS: NewsHour- March on Washington Had More Radical Roots Than Remembered

The 1963 March on Washington was about individual freedom and equal rights for African-Americans. That is how the civil rights movement started out in the 1950s and 60s. But as the movement moved along and by the time the late 1960s came around. Especially after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 1965 Voting Rights Act and 1968 Fair Housing Law all passed Congress and. Were signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. The movement then shifted towards economic issues and policy and what Progressives or Social-Democrats call economic justice and. Social justice which were about addressing poverty in America and creating an economic system that. Expanded economic opportunity to more Americans especially low-income Americans and wasn’t exclusively for African-Americans. But Americans in general who lived in poverty and had no hope for a bright future. And had real Social-Democratic feels to it and moving American past the New Deal and Great Society and building off of those agendas. Which is what Progressives or Social-Democrats especially on the lets say further Left in the Democratic Party and. Green Party talk about doing today.

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