Wednesday, April 01, 2009

"I Believe in Free Enterprise, Except..."

For almost two decades I have been sitting across the table from politicians, authors, business leaders, and economists as guests on one of my radio programs. There have been the occasional crazies who want to socialize everything, but the vast majority of them -- like the majority of your neighbors and co-workers -- claim to support free enterprise.

These conversations about the virtues of the market go the same way. "The free market is so amazing and powerful, it is able to create jobs and new industries. It is terrible that government seems to do everything in its power to undermine the economy's potential." However, you dig a little deeper and then you start finding exceptions. Most of the time those exceptions are based on what they do for a living. Attorneys who represent clients who have suffered property damage will say, "they support free enterprise, except when it comes to the regulations they place on insurance companies." The farmer will tell you, "I definitely support free enterprise, except when it comes to agriculture subsidies." Scientists definitely believe the economy is best left alone "except when it comes to research grants." You get the idea.

Our entire socialistic system has evolved over the decades to accommodate exceptions like these above. Now we have millions of Americans who support free enterprise, "except." That "except" is bankrupting us and destroying our freedoms.

One of the most inspiring things I ever witnessed was the "Damn Right" campaign for President of Pete dupont in 1988. In that year, I actually voted for the former Delaware Governor while managing a Congressional race in West Texas. I have the feeling I was the only one who casted that vote in that town. He lost big time in the ballot box, but his message is as potent today as it was then. Pete duPont had no problem telling farmers, seniors, scientists and anyone else that they were part of the problem and that everyone would have to sacrifice in order to restore our freedoms. It was "damn right" for people to carry their own weight and not seek government as a solution.

Those who founded this Republic were aware that it was the tendency of government to expand over time. That is why they believed in the dispersion of power and they wanted to make changes in policy hard to achieve. The states would not ratify the Constitution with its "necessary and proper clause" that could be used for all form of abuses, without a Tenth Amendment that makes it perfectly clear that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." They envisioned a nation of nations, with each state offering their own unique approaches to solving problems, all of them checked in their excesses because people could leave that state to another that provided more freedom. The decline in our liberties and the increase in socialism, are all linked to the undermining of the political institutions in government designed to protect us from an authoritarian federal government.

So, where does the long path towards the restoration of freedom begin? John F. Kennedy is famous for saying "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." We need to ask ourselves, what "exception to freedom can I give up for my country?"

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on CNN 650 (M-F at 11 am), AOL Radio, and CBS Radio. Eric Bolling of Fox News and Fox Business says that Price’s Blog “is very influential and moves the blogosphere.” Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com.

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Blogger Traci said...

Awesome article!! I love your examples and the way that you articulated the "exceptions".

We must be on the same wavelength this morning because I woke up and was compelled to write my first blog in a long time about "Freedom to Live".

I guess with the current summit and the words that are being tossed about it's a little alarming to freedom lovers.

Keep up the great work!!

8:16 AM  

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