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Milton Friedman Quote

Economists may not know much. But we know one thing very well: how to produce surpluses and shortages. Do you want a surplus? Have the government legislate a minimum price that is above the price that would otherwise prevail. That is what we have done at one time or another to produce surpluses of wheat, of sugar, of butter, of many other commodities. Do you want a shortage? Have the government legislate a maximum price that is below the price that would otherwise prevail. That is what New York City and, more recently, other cities have done for rental dwellings, and that is why they all suffer or will soon suffer from housing shortages. That is why there were so many shortages during World War II. That is why there is an energy crisis and a gasoline shortage (the energy crisis of the 1970s).

ideas > Musings from afar

Musings from afar
Have we really come to the point in America where we are actually going to elect a man that has very little practical experience? Have the people really been deceived into believing that the solution to this whole mess that we are in is more government? Is America really that stupid? I just read one of my favorite quotes of all time by Ludwig von Mises. He said, "A man is free as far as he can live and get on without being at the mercy of arbitrary decisions on the part of other people."

Most of you know that I am in Chile now, living a dream of mine to learn Spanish. While in Chile, I've had the chance to speak with many people and they all seem to have this idea or belief that America is this land of freedom. I tell them that yes we are free, but that that is rapidly changing. Judging by Ludwig Von Mises's quote, America is not that free at all. Think about all the arbitrary decisions that the government places on you. They force you to invest in social security, medicare, and medicaid, all programs that are fast approaching insolvency. They promise you security, but it doesn't seem too secure in America these days both economically and physically. Can a nation really be free when the government takes 50 percent or more of your income in taxes? I answer that question with a resounding no. We are all living on a dream, believing that we are really free, when in reality we exist to serve the government. The government was created by the people to do the will of the people. Last time I checked, the president has an approval rating of 25% or so. Congress is about half of that. The majority of people believe they pay too many taxes. The majority of people did not want the financial system to be bailed out. It sounds to me like the government no longer listens to the people. The government is no longer following the will of the people. It seems to be following the will of special interests and both the Democrats and the Republicans have many special interests they are serving. They always cloud their laws and designs as helping the people, averting some crisis or other, but in reality it is all a smoke-screen. It always has been and always will be.

And now America is ready to vote for a man, Barack Obama, who has told you and I that he will raise taxes, increase government spending, put more people on government payrolls, etc. In other words, he is willing to introduce more arbitrary control over your lives. He is willing to take away more freedom from you and I because he thinks that he and his buddies no better than you or I how to run our lives. Judging by the past, I'd say the federal government has no clue how to run much of anything and he wants to increase the size and scope of it.

Well, my fellow Americans, if you want to believe in the impossible and believe in a pipe dream that isn't true, then you go ahead and wish and hope that somehow more government will solve this problem, and you vote for Barack Obama. As for me, I won't vote for him in a million years. I'm sure he is a nice man. I'm sure he loves his family. But as I tell everyone I know, I'm not afraid of a socialist with no power, but I'm terrified of a socialist who is the President of the United States. He will bring people with him to Washington who are not as nice as he is. They will be implementing policies that are detrimental to freedom.

I love the Declaration of Independence because it states unequivically, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

It seems very obvious to me that the current system of government that we have is destructive of these ends. It is destroying the economy. It is destroying our society. People are using it to enrich themselves at the expense of the taxpayers. People are using it to change the very values upon which this nation became great. I'd say it is about time the People altered it. The government is no longer serving the people. It appears that the people exist to serve the government. Freedom is America is a pipe dream when the government takes half of your income and then regulates the other half. I still have hope that America can turn it around, but it won't be because she elects a socialist to office. It will because America learns once and for all that the founding fathers dreaded what we have created and what we have allowed to happen. They knew that an out of control federal government would lead to the destruction of the United States. We have to get control of it again. We have to urge our representatives to start doing the will of the people. If you sit idly by doing nothing, then the bad guys will win.
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