Is Freedom a Privilege?

A few weeks ago, Tim Geithner offered his view that more fortunate Americans should pay more for the “privilege” of being American. Do tell. Geithner states baldly what the Obama Administration believes need not be stated at all–that government trumps the individual in matters of rights.

The Founders had a different view of government, but we need not invoke their authority, wise as it is. We only have to look to ourselves to answer the question of who exists to serve whom. Are you an independent being? Do you believe you are free to think, speak, and act (within social limitations that apply to all) as you see fit? Do you believe you need permission from the government to assert your own claim to dignity and freedom?

I didn’t think so.

Left or right, Democrat or Republican, no one honestly believes his/her rights descend from a government. It’s always the other guy/gal. Governments are the sanctioned force people use to impose their own peculiar ideas of propriety onto other people. And therein lies the problem. People like Geithner and his boss believe their view of the world is superior to that of we lay people and that it is thus right and proper to make sure that vision is realized. The result is an Administration that is openly hostile to true freedom in everything from markets to what forms of insurance firms have to offer employees.

As it was with King George, arrogance and narcissism characterize our current leaders. The King only listened when the colonists finally said “no” in a way he could understand. Here are some examples of current citizens saying no in their own peaceful but effective way.

  • The Sacketts in Idaho did so by taking their case to the Supreme Court when the EPA arbitrarily ruled the site on which they intended to build a home a wetland.
  • Rand Paul did said no when he objected to being groped after a false positive scanner alert at Nashville airport.
  • American citizens said “no” to SOPA and made the government blink.
  • Julie Crowe sued city government when they caved in to the demands of the competitors and refused her a taxi license.

Defiance in the face of tyranny is a virtue. We do not ask government if it is OK for us to place our liberty above their authority. We assert our freedom. We assert it when we speak out against arbitrary power grabs. We assert it when we fight to have Ron Paul’s voice heard. We assert it when we challenge city busybodies on their crony capitalist regulations or claim our Second Amendment rights. The day we stop asserting those rights is the day we give them up.

Could we be seeing the dawn of a New Age of Defiance? Could the Julie Crowes and the Sacketts and the Pauls of this country be the new Patriots? I hope so. Otherwise, the King has won already.


About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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1 Response to Is Freedom a Privilege?

  1. Dick Richards says:

    Another home run!! True wisdom.


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