Economic Freedom is a Civil Liberty.


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Justin
October 10, 2006, 01:53 PM
I found the following blog post over at Asymmetrical Information to be a very succinct and interesting read of just how liberty and economics interact.

Economic Freedom is a Civil Liberty (http://www.janegalt.net/archives/009501.html)

From the desk of Jane Galt:

Economic freedom is a civil liberty

In the comments, MarkM argues:

Threats to economic liberties are in general a greater threat to freedom than a government power to "make you disappear". If the government can arbitrarily take your property and bar you from working at your profession, they can make you and your family starve. It's a more subtle threat than waterboarding and concentration camps, but just as effective, and it is much less likely to lead to public outcry. It's much easier to first take away economic freedoms - and then the government can intimidate most of those likely to protest when they start arresting enemies of the state.

Though I'll have to chew on it for a while to decide exactly how much I agree with this, it is a good point. Working in technology in the 1990's, I had a fair number of friends and colleagues from the former Soviet Union. One of the things that surprised me was the way they described living under totalitarianism in the 1970's and 1980's. To them, the risk you took in joining the wrong group or saying the wrong thing was not, as it had been under Stalin, the risk of the KGB showing up one misty night to make you "disappear". It wasn't even going to the (horrible and often deadly) Soviet jails. The risk was that you would lose your job, or your apartment, or both. This was a very, very effective deterrant to any sort of dissidence.

I think this emphasizes something that I was saying in an earlier post: political culture matters. A lot. The government currently has the right to take your house if it wants to, and in local cases often does so to benefit politically connected insiders. But the government does not take your house because you said nasty things about the Governor, because our political and legal culture restrain this power.

This is either a reason for optimism, or a refusal to take threats to civil liberties seriously, depending on what you already think of me.

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xd9fan
October 10, 2006, 02:38 PM
whats that quote,

"Remember that a Government Big Enough to Give You Everything You Want is Also Big Enough to Take Away Everything You have"

The more we are depandent on the Federal Govt the more they can shape how we view the relationship btwn Govt and its people.

The risk was that you would lose your job, or your apartment, or both. This was a very, very effective deterrant to any sort of dissidence.

Both Por-Govt parties know this.

American Socialism

orangelo
October 10, 2006, 02:41 PM
If you have no economic independence you have no independence at all.

How free were you when you were 12 and your parents controlled all the finances?

It works the same way with governments.

Manedwolf
October 10, 2006, 02:47 PM
Also consider how many expensive and time and resource-consuming hurdles you have to go through, courtesy of the government, to even sell a product you craft yourself. And for NO reasons whatsoever to do with public safety. Health and safety of consumer laws are probably around 5% or less of what someone encounters when trying to sell a product or service. The rest is all red tape and taxes.

Thin Black Line
October 10, 2006, 03:48 PM
Good topic, Justin. It has its basis in Deu 24:6.

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