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What is economic liberty and do we have it?
Economic liberty is a topic which should not be taken lightly by us as individuals especially when it is threatened by government action. Understanding the need for this aspect of society and how this characteristic is slowly becoming a thing of the past is important for us today and into the future. Before beginning we must know the definition of economic liberty/freedom as defined in an appropriate business website dictionary businessdictionary.com. The definition is below:
“The freedom to prosper within a country without intervention from a government or economic authority. Individuals are free to secure and protect his/her human resources, labor and private property. Economic freedom is common in capitalist economies and must incorporate other civil liberties to be deemed as truly free.”
Part of having economic freedom/liberty is for us to have the ability to control our destinies as free and responsible members of society. Free is the key. Our country was built on a freedom philosophy and was and is a critical characteristic which needs to see a regrowth in the economic world of today and into the future. It is important to note that impacts to these freedoms exist at state and federal levels. The level of true economic freedom is different dependent upon the state in which you are a resident. The actions of the federal government affects all states but actions at the state level can minimize federal action through their own legislative actions.
Freedom to control our own destinies is becoming more difficult. The current culture in Congress through legislative actions and decisions are taking away our right to control our own destiny. Economic freedom involves our right to produce, sell and use our resources while respecting the rights of others. Economic freedom in addition to personal freedom and its level in the various states impact our lives daily.
With regards to economic freedom through government action this characteristic has seen a decline. The current tax system hampers economic freedom along with government spending and fiscal decentralization. In addition the regulatory environment surrounding this characteristic involves such things as health insurance freedom, occupational freedom and eminent domain (property rights)
Economic freedom also involves personal freedom. Our personal freedom is under attack in many instances through actions by government and individuals/organizations. The rights we have engrained in the Constitution such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to bear arms are just some examples. These rights in addition to others identified in the Constitution have seen battles in the courts to limit these rights. There are organizations such as the Institute of Justice and Judicial Watch are fighting these battles which are taking place on almost a daily basis.
The examples shown in the last two paragraphs and the battles to impact them are well known to those of us who hold them dear. Today we have limits on choosing the health insurance policy with the benefits we want and nothing more. Occupational freedom is hampered by the increase in licensing requirements throughout the country and our property rights are being eroded through actions of government entities imposing eminent domain actions.
In addition to these rights are our rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to bear arms are constantly under attack by those who want to impact these rights. Our freedom of religion and religious practices are under attack and the right to bear arms has seen measures being proposed to initiate restrictions of law abiding individuals to own guns. Lastly our right to freedom of speech is a critical aspect of the Constitution but the attacks on this right is more subtle than other rights we have.
Economic liberty and freedom involves all the rights granted to us under the Constitution and without all of them our economic liberty and freedom would not exist as intended when the Constitution was written. It is important that we have the use of all the resources and freedoms we deserve and have a right to utilize. We should not be restricted by government laws and regulations at any level which impedes the economic growth of our country. Laws and regulations have grown to such an extent over the years that there is no incentive for businesses to expand or hire. Businesses need consistency to know what their expenses will be from one year to the next and this simply does not exist in the present economic environment coming from Washington. Some of the laws amount to a philosophy of protectionism and it is great for those businesses which receive such protection but bad for those which do not receive such action.