Jacob G. Hornberger – December 23, 2018
As the end of 2018 and the beginning of the new year approach, we libertarians should remind ourselves of what we are aiming for.
First of all, though, is what we are not aiming for: We are not aiming for a warmed-over, reformed version of the welfare-warfare state way of life. That’s because we are aiming for a genuinely free society, and a welfare-warfare state is not freedom, not even in a warmed-over, reformed version.
Here’s what we are aiming for:
- No more mandatory charity, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, education grants, foreign aid, or any other welfare-state program. That’s because mandatory charity isn’t charity at all. It doesn’t reflect the goodness or compassion of people. It’s nothing more than government using its force to coerce people into doing what public officials feel should be done with their money.
- No more income tax and IRS. People have the natural, God-given right to keep everything they want in life and decide for themselves what to do with it — invest, save, spend, or donate it. That’s what genuine freedom is all about. We need to recapture the sense of self-esteem, belief in freedom, faith in one’s self and others, and faith in God that characterized our American ancestors, who lived without income taxation and a welfare state for more than a century.
- No more drug war, which has brought nothing but failure, death, destruction, racial bigotry, and corruption to our country and others. People have the natural, God-given right to ingest, possess, or distribute whatever they want without being punished by the state for it. Leave drug addiction and drug usage to the private sector, including private rehabilitation programs.
- Lift all the sanctions and embargoes on everyone, and open the borders to trade and immigration. People have the fundamental, God-given right to travel wherever they want and buy and sell whatever they want from whomever they want. All that sanctions, embargoes, and border controls have brought is chaos, crisis, death, destruction of liberty, fear and impoverishment. The only thing that works is freedom and free markets, which bring peace, prosperity, and harmony among the people of the world.
- Repeal minimum wage laws and all other economic regulations. The minimum wage is an attack on the poor. It locks out of the labor market those people whose labor is valued at less than the artificial minimum. That’s why there has been a chronic unemployment rate of 30-40 percent among black teenagers. Repeal the minimum wage and give everyone a chance to put their foot on the bottom rung of the economic ladder. Do the same with all other economic regulations. They do nothing but impede people’s pursuit of economic happiness.
- End all foreign intervention, abandon all foreign military bases, and bring all the troops home from everywhere. America’s nightmarish experiment with empire and intervention has been a disaster. It has brought nothing but death, destruction, rage, and hatred, not to mention the destruction of our liberty and privacy here at home.
- Dismantle the national-security state and restore a limited-government republic to our land. A national-security [state] is inherent to totalitarian regimes. It has no place in a society that prides itself on being free. The national-security establishment wields the powers to assassinate us, put us into military dungeons, torture us, and spy on us. There is no way to reconcile those powers with the principles of a free society. A key to peace, prosperity, harmony, and liberty lies in dismantling the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA and restoring a limited-government republic to our land.
- Prevent gun control and gun confiscation. People have a natural, God-given right to own private property. Guns are private property. People also have the right to defend themselves from murderers, rapists, robbers, and the like. And they have a right to resist the tyranny of their own government. The right to keep and bear arms is a necessary prerequisite to a free society. If Americans ever surrender their guns to the government, it will be the only time they ever make that grave mistake because the government will never let them own guns again.
- Separate school and state. Government has no more business in education than it does in religion. Abolish compulsory school attendance laws, abolish school taxes, and get the state out of education. Families have the natural, God-given right to control and direct the education of their children. The free market produces the best of everything. It would do so in education.
These were among the founding principles of the United States. Restoring these founding principles will put us on the road to peace, prosperity, harmony, and liberty.
This article was originally published at FFF.org. Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch.