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Dueling Economic Visions In the U.S.: On Your Own vs. On the Dole
Forbes ^ | 04/05/2012 | Bill Flax

Posted on 04/05/2012 6:44:07 PM PDT by billflax

Dueling visions fight for America’s future. It isn’t so much conflicting economic theories seeking similar ends, but fundamental disagreements over the scope of government. The competing sides champion very different ideals.

The debate pits forces seeking safety through government against those striving to live free of government interference; between those thinking it one’s responsibility to provide for his own and those who essentially suggest the state exists so we don’t have to.

President Obama repeatedly pillories Republicans for espousing “On your own” economics while seemingly esteeming “On the dole” economics himself. He rails that the rich should fork over their “fair share”, thus subsisting everyone else. Obama’s fairness doesn’t entail that transactions are entered freely and measured fairly, but state sinecures should level incomes regardless of ability, effort or output.

In reality, many Republican politicians pursue similar statist paths, betraying their principles and constituents. The Left clearly has momentum even though most Americans fear this shift towards socialism. Washington shuttles funds from the deep to shallow end in what Arthur Okun deemed “leaky buckets,” purposefully ensnaring anyone possible to Leviathan’s tentacles.

As public programs expand, individual responsibility diminishes, undermining communities. Government dependency soars. Social spending today dwarfs defense, comprising the bulk of federal outlays. Washington’s primary purpose is paying people not to produce.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: budget; constitution; democrats; economy; moralabsolutes; obama; teaparty; welfare
Americans need to get back to pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.
1 posted on 04/05/2012 6:44:27 PM PDT by billflax
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To: billflax

” the state exists so we don’t have to. “

There’s a tagline for somebody... ;)

2 posted on 04/05/2012 6:47:50 PM PDT by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
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To: billflax


3 posted on 04/05/2012 6:48:50 PM PDT by goodnesswins (2012..."We mutually pledge our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor")
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To: billflax; All
Thanks for posting!

The President rails against what the Founders called "individual enterprise." That railing reveals a lack of trust in each Creator-endowed individual, of whatever ethnic or religious background, to make better choices for himself/herself than some imperfect persons in government will make for them. But, it reveals something more--an unprecedented attempt to grab power away from the people and accumulate it among political power-sharers in government.

America's Founders knew better. Their passion was for liberty for themselves and millions yet unborn.

The Founders' principle of freedom for individual enterprise brought America from the crude tools of ancient Europe to the most free and prosperous destination for oppressed peoples. See the following essay excerpted from "Our Ageless Constitution," a 292-page history of the ideas of liberty in America, again available after 20 years of being out of print.

Freedom Of Individual Enterprise

The Economic Dimension Of Liberty Protected By The Constitution

"Agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are the most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise." - Thomas Jefferson

"The enviable condition of the people of the United States is often too much ascribed to the physical advantages of their soil & climate .... But a just estimate of the happiness of our country will never overlook what belongs to the fertile activity of a free people and the benign influence of a responsible government." - James Madison

America's Constitution did not mention freedom of enterprise per se, but it did set up a system of laws to secure individual liberty and freedom of choice in keeping with Creator-endowed natural rights. Out of these, free enterprise flourished naturally. Even though the words "free enterprise' are not in the Constitution, the concept was uppermost in the minds of the Founders, typified by the remarks of Jefferson and Madison as quoted above. Already, in 1787, Americans were enjoying the rewards of individual enterprise and free markets. Their dedication was to securing that freedom for posterity.

The learned men drafting America's Constitution understood history - mankind's struggle against poverty and government oppression. And they had studied the ideas of the great thinkers and philosophers. They were familiar with the near starvation of the early Jamestown settlers under a communal production and distribution system and Governor Bradford's diary account of how all benefited after agreement that each family could do as it wished with the fruits of its own labors. Later, in 1776, Adam Smith's INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE AND CAUSES OF THE WEALTH OF NATIONS and Say's POLITICAL ECONOMY had come at just the right time and were perfectly compatible with the Founders' own passion for individual liberty. Jefferson said these were the best books to be had for forming governments based on principles of freedom. They saw a free market economy as the natural result of their ideal of liberty. They feared concentrations of power and the coercion that planners can use in planning other peoples lives; and they valued freedom of choice and acceptance of responsibility of the consequences of such choice as being the very essence of liberty. They envisioned a large and prosperous republic of free people, unhampered by government interference.

The Founders believed the American people, possessors of deeply rooted character and values, could prosper if left free to:

  • acquire and own property
  • have access to free markets
  • produce what they wanted
  • work for whom and at what they wanted
  • travel and live where they would choose
  • acquire goods and services which they desired

Such a free market economy was, to them, the natural result of liberty, carried out in the economic dimension of life. Their philosophy tend­ed to enlarge individual freedom - not to restrict or diminish the individual's right to make choices and to succeed or fail based on those choices. The economic role of their Constitutional government was simply to secure rights and encourage commerce. Through the Constitution, they granted their government some very limited powers to:

Adam Smith called it "the system of natural liberty." James Madison referred to it as "the benign influence of a responsible government." Others have called it the free enterprise system. By whatever name it is called, the economic system envisioned by the Founders and encouraged by the Constitution allowed individual enterprise to flourish and triggered the greatest explosion of economic progress in all of history. Americans became the first people truly to realize the economic dimension of liberty.

Footnote: Our Ageless Constitution, W. David Stedman & La Vaughn G. Lewis, Editors (Asheboro, NC, W. David Stedman Associates, 1987) Part III:  ISBN 0-937047-01-5

4 posted on 04/05/2012 6:57:53 PM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: billflax

Great article!!!

FU. Obama and every communist thug voting for you and their progeny!!!

5 posted on 04/05/2012 6:59:25 PM PDT by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: billflax
In reality, many Republican politicians pursue similar statist paths, betraying their principles and constituents.

Why, whoever could they mean.

6 posted on 04/05/2012 7:07:01 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: billflax

Basically We the People versus the DC RinoCracy...”

7 posted on 04/05/2012 7:24:05 PM PDT by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: billflax

Read the tagline.

8 posted on 04/05/2012 7:30:42 PM PDT by upchuck (Need is not an acceptable lifestyle choice; dependent is not a career. ~ Dr. Tim Nerenz)
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To: billflax

Check out my blog for more Obama outrages: The Obama Clarifier

9 posted on 04/05/2012 8:22:49 PM PDT by garjog
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To: billflax

Freedom or free shit.

Choose one.

10 posted on 04/05/2012 9:49:39 PM PDT by TruthHound ("He who does not punish evil commands it to be done." --Leonardo da Vinci)
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