Every American should read the works of Milton Friedman. Not only to understand the framework and values that comprise a successful and productive society, but also to recognize the vicious cycle in which our country continues to move, sometimes closer and then other times further from its founding principles. Upon understanding these works and their affect on modern American society, it is evident that this cycle is not going to change.
Two books written by Friedman and his wife specifically underscore this fact. The first is Capitalism and Freedom, published in 1962, and the second is Free to Choose published in 1980. What is evident when reading these works is that without a serious change to the structure of American governance, the propensity for American society to move away from the values and principles that made our country great will be a never ending challenge for every generation. This, coupled with the timeless wisdom of Thomas Jefferson in which he accurately states that “the natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground,” leaves little hope that after generations and generations of abuse, American principles will eventually be lost.
For those who support the Tea Party Movement, this is of particular significance. Our fight for our self evident and natural rights will be fought on a number of fronts, and it would be wise to not repeat the sometimes failed and most often short lived battles of the past.
Upon completing and understanding the works of Friedman, it is apparent that certain battles have been fought. Despite the overwhelming evidence Milton and so many others provided proving that collectivist societies are unproductive and corrupt, we are further away today from the principles of individual freedom and self determination expressed by our Founding Fathers.
How is it possible when this evidence is there for all to see? Case law is the most prominent justification for government’s intrusion into our lives and would likely be the response to this question. Yet it has become apparent that with the ever widening scope and power of the government, the judiciary branch has moved from its proper function of interpreting law to imposing its will upon the law.
Take for example the right to keep and bear arms, which is specifically and expressly enumerated in the Bill of Rights, and the District of Columbia v. Heller decision. Despite the doubtless interpretation of the phrase, “shall not be infringed . . .”, each level of the court system in DC, prior to the final consideration by the Supreme Court, upheld a law restricting citizens from keeping and bearing arms. To add insult to injury, the Supreme Court decision was upheld by a slim 5/4 vote. This example and so many others are proof that structurally, our society is designed to migrate exactly as Thomas Jefferson described so long ago; away from liberty.
With consideration of Friedman’s words which obviously feel upon the deaf ears of a country, and the definite propensity for our society to become less and less free, what is the solution?
The solution is to change the system. Only by limiting the terms of politicians, breaking the Republican and Democrat monopoly on governance, and taking power from the government and putting it back into the hands of the people by mandate of the Constitution, will success be achieved. Talking, writing, and electing officials that are sympathetic with the values of the Tea Party, and in turn the values of America by itself, is not enough.