Skip directly to content

Arthur Thomas's blog

Arthur Thomas's picture

Not Your Debates

on Fri, 07/25/2014 - 14:28

When we walk into voting booths we are expressing our wills for what we want for government to represent. The very act of making a choice for ourselves and that no one else should have power over that choice is central to this process. But what is it when people make choices not fully knowing about all the options? How can a voter express themselves if they know about only some of the options they can choose from? As free individuals we like to be informed about all kinds of choices we make in our lives. We even get very upset when those choices or information about them is restricted. Why is voting a special case? Why are we not demanding better?

It has become an annual struggle for Libertarians to be involved in debates. We hear the typical excuses every year. Probably one of the most perpetual ironic ones is how Libertarians are not included in debates because they don't get rank high enough in polls. Ok, a valid point of argument until you find out that the polls never included Libertarians in them at all. Should a news organization, an entity dedicated to research and facts, be so blatantly ignorant in promoting an impossible standard? Or we could look at the Presidential Debate Commission. A commission supposedly created to organize debates for citizens to help them make an informed choice. This commission is run by the Democrat and Republican parties and has a history that clearly shows it does not serve the interest of debate or citizens. This just further proves that government entities and the special interests that work closely with them have completely failed citizens.

Thankfully there are still a few organizations, like the League of Women Voters and PBS, that are still interested in providing meaningful debates. Voters should question news outlets that claim they are dedicated to providing fair and informative broadcasts or articles about politics when they do not include all options. If we believe that the state has setup proper ballot access and that the very state we are voting on provides these options on the ballot then why would others want to hide some of those options? If the government we are voting on has choices avaiable but those choices are not presented by the media, which claims to inform us about our government, then whos interests are they serving? Media often runs stories on election reforms and limiting money and special interest. Is there no bigger special interest than media outlets that refuse to show voters all their options? Is it not hypocrisy when media has stories on dishonest politicians when it is dishonest at worst and incompetent at best at informing the public?

Media will not change on their own. They are just as an entrenched as part of the status quo as a government that refuses to change. People have to become the change they want to see in the world. That starts by raising your voice. Let people know that the status quo is not ok. That its not ok to have candidates shoved onto you or to try to silence and restrict what your options are on the ballot. Being informed is the other side of being a responsible voters. Voting is great but finding out what you are voting for is the most important. Hold media accountable to the claim that they inform citizens. There is a petition to get the Texas Tribune to include all candidates in the debates. Let them know its time to quit playing their own interests and to do their jobs. A news service that does not inform is not a new service. Its an advertising agency. Gary Johnson with Our American Initiative is also suing the Presidential Debate Commission to have fair, honest, and open presidential debates. You can go there and learn more to help in that cause.

We have a government that we vote on. Doesn't it make sense to be informed about the choices we are making?

Arthur Thomas's picture

The Hangman

on Wed, 10/30/2013 - 11:36
          By Maurice Ogden
               Into our town the hangman came,
               smelling of gold and blood and flame.
               He paced our bricks with a different air,
               and built his frame on the courthouse square.
               The scaffold stood by the courthouse side,
               only as wide as the door was wide
               with a frame as tall, or a little more,
               than the capping sill of the courthouse door.
               And we wondered whenever we had the time,
               Who the criminal? What the crime?
               The hangman judged with the yellow twist
               of knotted hemp in his busy fist.
               And innocent though we were with dread,
               we passed those eyes of buckshot lead.
               Till one cried, "Hangman, who is he,
               for whom you raised the gallows-tree?"
               Then a twinkle grew in his buckshot eye
               and he gave a riddle instead of reply.
               "He who serves me best," said he
               "Shall earn the rope on the gallows-tree."
               And he stepped down and laid his hand
               on a man who came from another land.
               And we breathed again, for anothers grief
               at the hangmans hand, was our relief.
               And the gallows frame on the courthouse lawn
               by tomorrow's sun would be struck and gone.
               So we gave him way and no one spoke
               out of respect for his hangmans cloak.
               The next day's sun looked mildly down
               on roof and street in our quiet town;
               and stark and black in the morning air
               the gallows-tree on the courthouse square.
               And the hangman stood at his usual stand
               with the yellow hemp in his busy hand.
               With his buckshot eye and his jaw like a pike,
               and his air so knowing and business-like.
               And we cried, "Hangman, have you not done,
               yesterday with the alien one?"
               Then we fell silent and stood amazed.
               "Oh, not for him was the gallows raised."
               He laughed a laugh as he looked at us,
               "Do you think I've gone to all this fuss,
               To hang one man? That's the thing I do.
               To stretch the rope when the rope is new."
               Above our silence a voice cried "Shame!"
               and into our midst the hangman came;
               to that mans place, "Do you hold," said he,
               "With him that was meat for the gallows-tree?"
               He laid his hand on that one's arm
               and we shrank back in quick alarm.
               We gave him way, and no one spoke,
               out of fear of the hangmans cloak.
               That night we saw with dread surprise
               the hangmans scaffold had grown in size.
               Fed by the blood beneath the chute,
               the gallows-tree had taken root.
               Now as wide, or a little more
               than the steps that led to the courthouse door.
               As tall as the writing, or nearly as tall,
               half way up on the courthouse wall.
               The third he took, we had all heard tell,
               was a usurer..., an infidel.
               And "What" said the hangman, "Have you to do
               with the gallows-bound..., and he a Jew?"
               And we cried out, "Is this one he
               who has served you well and faithfully?"
               The hangman smiled, "It's a clever scheme
               to try the strength of the gallows beam."
               The fourth man's dark accusing song
               had scratched our comfort hard and long.
               "And what concern," he gave us back,
               "Have you ... for  the doomed and black?"
               The fifth, the sixth, and we cried again,
               "Hangman, hangman, is this the man?"
               "It's a trick", said he, "that we hangman know
               for easing the trap when the trap springs slow."
               And so we ceased and asked now more
               as the hangman tallied his bloody score.
               And sun by sun, and night by night
               the gallows grew to monstrous height.
               The wings of the scaffold opened wide
               until they covered the square from side to side.
               And the monster cross beam looking down,
               cast its shadow across the town.
               Then through the town the hangman came
               and called through the empy name.
               I looked at the gallows soaring tall
               and thought ... there's no one left at all
               for hanging ...  and so he called to me
               to help take down the gallows-tree.
Arthur Thomas's picture

Damaging Winds of Government

on Wed, 06/05/2013 - 04:20
The Texas Windstorm Insurance Agency isn't exactly a hot political topic, but it is a great example of government failure.
TWIA is an agency to subsidize insurance for areas along the Texas coast, that would have higher insurance premiums because of weather damage. The idea is to 'protect consumers' and make areas more affordable and accessible to more people without a high cost of living driving them away. 
To any free market person out there the problems are obvious. Markets put pressure  on prices in areas for a reason. Insurance premiums are high because the cost of damages are high. This is a market indicator that living in the area is more dangerous and more costly. Subsidization in this case removes market pressures and the indicators people have to make wise market choices. TWIA, as any reasonable person would figure, is now unable to pay off future claims without more money being dumped into it. This means taxpayers across the state get to pay for people making bad market decisions based on government subsidies. 

The government has actually given consumers incentive to make a poor choice that cost us all. Further this encourages development in an area that should not be developed without acknowledging market risks. These further developments mean even more people move into an area and take advantage of these subsidies which compounds the problem. Not only is the government setting up an initial failure in policy but a growing failure that will cost more and more as it encourages people to keep making bad decisions.
As a libertarians, though, what is most annoying isn't the market problem but the massive moral issue here. The government is putting peoples lives at risk by removing the pressures that would encourage them make other choices about where to build and live. This has absolutely nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with responsible decision making based on environmental factors. Government struck at the heart of this by taking away risk. It doesn't remove the physical threat, the weather, but it removed the downstream effects the weather causes. This increased risk is important in the decision making process but the government hides it through immoral action. It makes all Texas taxpayers hide risk so that consumers will find it easier to make a poor choice. 

This is very dangerous. How is it moral to make me fund someone else's danger? Not only have I been robbed  but I am now tangentially related to someone else's potential death? Me funding this somehow fits under a better and more just world? It is the height of arrogant immorality to me. People should be fully aware of the risks involved and take the full burden of the responsibility when facing those risks. This places the financial and moral burden fully upon anyone that wants to invest or live in a more risky area. 
I am saddened that I am forced to pay for potential future death under the guise of 'consumer protection'. How about protecting my choices in what I fund *(and protection through market risk in decision making for consumers? ) this is confusing to me. Make it a separate sentence and  and re write  for clarity??
This is what is meant when they say that the pathway to hell was paved with good intentions. Unfortunately in this case the cost isn't only money but potentially blood. Shame on the false morality and the most evil results of good intentions for anyone that supports such a system.
Arthur Thomas's picture

Politicians Choose Voters (and you thought it was the other way)

on Sat, 03/02/2013 - 23:36

The LP isn't just about getting ideas out. It is about stopping entrenched parties that will do anything to keep their power. This includes stopping them from destroying the republic and the freedom to choose representatives which is fundamental to how our government works.

House Bill 1842

Strama (D), a Texas House representative filed a bill that would cast a devastating blow to 3rd parties. No doubt seeing the increasing gains of the LP and the number of candidates on the ballot, giving a 3rd choice instead of a false binary choice, has filed a House bill attacking freedom of representation. Instead of working towards a rational voting system, he chooses to defend the archaic and least meaningful plurality voting system. And further to protect this system wants to wipe 3rd parties off the ballot.

This unity primary system would ensure only 2 parties every make it to a general ballot. This only furthers the annoying stereotype that voters are to weak minded to handle anything more than a binary choice. I remind you that the Texas LP works hard and earns its current ballot status by running candidates that get enough votes to maintain it. We are already following the burden of R & D election law to get candidate on the ballot. The cost of getting ballot access is very high and is a massive sink against reach voters with a message.

This bill would also burden candidate with direct fees which further encourages a political class in our country instead of citizen representatives. The burden of giving up part of your life as a regular middle income worker is already high when wanting to put yourself on the ballot. Why does there need to be what amounts to a fine for wanting to represent people on the ballot? This is a massive imposition meant to do nothing more than kill off 3rd parties.

Even if you try to look at this in the best light of a representative worrying about a ballot being flooded with to many choices, that is not a problem we have. We still have races with no choice. Politicians are being put in office because no one is running against them. Libertarians are in 2 way races many times because political district have been gerrymandered such that the two main parties just give areas to one another. There are some 3 way races which voters should have no problem handling. There are few 4 way races and very few with more than that. There is no reason to believe there will be a sudden explosion of 'to many' choices and 12 candidates in each race. We are a nation and state of variety. We get upset when its not available to us. When we shop at a store we are presented with a mass of choices because that is what freedom looks like. Its about choice and not going with what the state gives to you. Why would we want variety in every aspect of our lives except government? Why accept what is handed to you by those with a self interest to remain in power.

There is no more sure sign of success of the LP than those who would attack it with legislation that strips people of freedom of choice. These are ideas of people that have no interest in freedom. They have no interest in you being able to choose from anything other than what they hand to you.

They must be stopped because the LP is your only choice in having a choice.

LP Texas needs support. Its the only party fighting to give you a

Link to another blog on the topic: A Solider's Perspective by CJ Grisham

Arthur Thomas's picture

Government Jenga

on Tue, 08/28/2012 - 17:35

“You didn’t build that” - Obama

Many have argued that individual business owners work on their own to build successful businesses. This is correct. I don’t think Obama was making the straightforward statement as many have argued though. It isn’t merely a statement of an individual not building up their business by their own hard work. I think he made a much more dangerous statement that people are ignoring. When he says someone didn’t build a business on their own he wasn’t just implying that others helped or that though government services (roads, loans, utilities) owners are assisted in building their businesses. The much more subversive implication of the comment is that a business cannot exist without government. Not only that it cannot be built without help but that only through government can these things even exist. Essentially he is saying that businesses are the product of government facilities. What a frightening idea.

The reality is that government doesn’t exist without private business. When asked the question: “Can you name products produced by private business?”, plenty of products easily flood one’s head. When asked “Can you name products produced by the federal government?” what comes to mind? How hard is it to populate that list? Certainly there is a grey ‘ideas’ area of products coming from government research. It becomes more clear who is actually behind the development and fulfillment of those products when you think about who brings those as consumable polished items to the consumer. When you also remove the implication that these things couldn’t have been created without government it becomes a starkly black and white idea. How much of the government depends on private companies? Look at the military and its complete reliance on private companies. When was the last time the government built a plane or tank? When the government wastes taxpayers money on extravagant meeting locations or even sensible and necessary office supplies who is it paying? Is it purchasing from itself? It is buying the goods that private companies produce? Imagine if the government had to supply everything it needed to function. It would come to a grinding halt for lack of ability to function.

Take the internet for example. It is used often to show how government created a common good we all use today. I can point out that the first ARPANET network created is nothing like the vast efficient internet we have today. In 1995 the ARPANET had to be decommissioned and deregulated so that commercial entities could actually start using the network. Ignoring the history though, does anyone believe the internet could not have been developed by others besides the government? Who knows how it would have happened, but development of ideas certainly are not limited to government entities. Again, I say look at the products you use and can think of that solve problems that meet needs of the private sector. When compared to government production of goods and services it becomes plainly obvious who actually solves problems. Because government was first to claim victory over something should not give it right to claim our futures and remove alternate possibilities for solutions. Ideas are not the domain of the government. Ideas and solutions are what the market provides and government can only get in the way of that function by claiming right to it.

Take something basic like roads. The government doesn’t actually build them. They take your money, funnel it through a bureaucratic system, and then pay private companies to build them. Why not take out the middleman and reduce cost? There is the underlying assumption in all of this that government is some altruistic guiding force that provides goods that we will never accomplish on our own. The logical problem with that is that we are supposed to be in control of government. If we cannot do these things for ourselves then why does the assumption exist that we can control a government that will do them better than us? Are not our choices better than a twice removed government bureaucracy? We have handed power over to a monopoly of force that takes credit for everything and continually claims it needs more power because we are incapable of doing things on our own. This is an extremely dangerous idea.

What we should be concerned with is lost opportunities. How many things does government prohibit and regulate which actually get in the way of solutions? When government does something it usually declares a monopoly over the area so that no one else can compete. Space exploration is a good example of this. If businesses were allowed to behave the same way, can you imagine the completely stifled market that would emerge? The market in the US would resemble Cuba of the old Soviet Union. Progress would halt. We should stop giving credit to a monopolizing and credit taking entity and start wondering why it won’t get out of the way.

When government does try to provide solutions it wipes

Arthur Thomas's picture


on Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:48

A recent article on the CNN website had this:

“This week President Obama did a swing through some college campuses talking about student loan debt. The immediate issue is the 3.4% interest rate on federal student loans. It's set to double July 1 unless Congress acts. Keeping the rate low in this still weak economy is, as the president said, a no-brainer. Even his opponent Mitt Romney has endorsed it.”

"no-brainer" is a thought terminating cliche. It is what people say so they don’t have to explain something and not because it is so obvious. Our government has been working off “no-brainer” policies for decades. It is time to put brains back into government.

This is more status quo ignorance from both sides. What happens when you pump easy access money into a market?  More people use the money obviously (this is what the central planners want and like), but also more institutions come to take the money and prices go up as institutions grow and demand grows. The problem with what the central planners want is that they are inflating one side of the market. They are inflating a system that may be pumping out people with degrees but there is no demand for it.  The other side effects, like increased costs through loan debt, are a huge burden on people who the market will not support.  This is why you see people with signs saying they want the government to ‘forgive’ their $80,000 in loan debt. They cannot get a job from the market that agrees with their decision to take the debt on. Is that your fault?

All this pumped in money floating around in the system is the reason for the cheap and low value degrees that the central planners also complain about. What did they expect to happen? Companies always find a way to suck up easy to access government money. Especially money guaranteed and backed up by a government promise with little risk. A free market regulates availability of resource, not to be discriminatory to anyone, but because of rational limits of those resources.

Was there an expectation that more students would come out with amazing degrees and find jobs immediately? Where do these jobs come from? Why do these planners not think of the cycle where private money comes from and how it is supported in a market. Companies spend money when they are successful and grow. New companies also start. This creates value and wealth. This value translates into money which is not value itself but a medium of value exchange. One way it moves around is through banks. As an economy is successful (good business environment) then it creates more money for loan availability that banks are willing to risk. It puts a reasonable cap on the availability of loan money and how much risk should be out at any particular time. This is also controlled by interest rates. The students then compete for the loan money. As risk of loan repayment goes up so do interest rates which slows down the loan market. This means that the best and brightest get the money because they will be the successful ones. In turn, for the degrees they earn, they will find jobs in a market that created the opportunity in the first place. When the market is ready to absorb more people the risk will go down with the interest rates. Students will be discouraged from degrees that the market will not support. This doesn't mean they cannot get them, but they will not be punished by a false hope. Central planners think they can take one aspect of this great cycle of resource control and dump money on it and make the whole better. They are ignorant of the systemic processes going on.  I have only given a simplistic view of interactions here but even this seems to be beyond the people created an education bubble that will punish people for generations.

I would also like to point out any detractors that this free market system would be a detriment to knowledge itself. Knowledge and the appreciation of learning should be celebrated by all and not limited to those with degrees. We have vast resources for learning and gaining knowledge without it being tied to a degree. A degree is a level of certification that is more applicable to a market than a general scope of learning for the sake of gaining wisdom and understanding. Loans and their availability never restrict what someone can learn on their own. Only corrupt government can attempt to restrict knowledge.

Good intentions are great, but not realizing the effects of them leads to a pathway to hell. That is exactly where these students are with all this debt. Many end up working jobs they would have without degrees anyway. Allowing these loans to default or 'forgiving' them would be equivalent to giving away our which would be an even greater irony. It would be robbing the market of money it could use to grow and employee people. That money would go to a bank that took no risk and will continue to do so as long as the government allows. Basically in that scenario we would just be feeding back our money.

Instead of

Arthur Thomas's picture

The Road Not Taken

on Thu, 04/19/2012 - 16:34

Just because something did not happen does not mean it could not have happened, and just because someone cannot imagine something does not mean it is impossible.

As a Libertarian I am used to getting extreme arguments all the time. No other party has to deal with edge cases of political philosophy as much as the Libertarian Party. This is understandable given that a lot of the arguments for freedom are from positions this country has steered away from long ago. It is easy to be labeled as extreme when you are saying the status quo is not acceptable. We have gotten so used to creating rules and giving up freedoms that the idea of restoring freedom has become foreign. I wish to take up one of the common arguments we encounter and give insight into the possibilities of freedom. I want to show the path we have chosen and accepted as ‘inevitable’ and how that may lead to missed opportunities.

The argument: We need to tax people to build a public road system. Without a public transportation system people would not be able to travel and businesses would not be able to transport their goods. Only the government could provide our road system. It has been implied that “without government we would not have roads”.

Let us do the extreme first. Imagine that all the current roads disappeared. No highways, no neighborhood roads, and no city streets. Now of course, since this is the common reaction, everyone would yell out for government to solve the problem. It is a knee jerk reaction because we have been taught that government is an organizing force in our lives. Let us propose for a moment though that the government is not an option available to us. So we have our grassy areas with no roads in our example. This is not too convenient for those cars we have. Businesses still need to carry goods. People still need to get to work. Life must go on. What would you do? Just give up and stay home? Let your life dwindle away in hopelessness because your car is stuck in a garage? Certainly you may be upset at the disappearance at roads all of a sudden but would you let it stop you?  Would it stop your life?

At first it would be hard. You may walk more or people rely on friends with 4 wheel drive vehicles or use all terrain buses that can travel on rough ground.  As time passed though the interests that care about roads would get together. They would start planning to solve the problem. Large corporations that pushed goods would get together to solve their common problem. Construction companies would quickly adapt to seek out a private road market for these companies. Local neighborhoods would band together to look into paving options for their mutual benefit. People would start solving their problems. Maybe paving to each driveway is too expensive so a neighborhood creates a communal garage and everyone creates more green space in the neighborhood. Some communities may create more bike and scooter paths and take more buses. Certainly there would be roads that become toll roads to pay for their ongoing operations as well. The needs of the area come in to solve problem. The solutions would reflect the culture of the area as well. No longer would a single solution path be there to tell everyone how to ‘pave their way’ but people come together to fix their transportation problems. Over time the roads would be built. Goods would still get to where they need to go and people would be able to travel. Even taking away all the current roads would not stop life. So just posing the question that implies roads would not exist without government is a straw man argument. Just because some may lack the imagination to see another path does not mean another path does not exist.

Now that was a wild what if, but let us go back and imagine that government was not the sole provider of roads. Let us look into a possible avenue of what would happen if the state was not expected to build public roads. What if roads were left more to those who use them instead of forcing them upon all?

One argument is that the poorest people would not have roads and be able to travel while the richest have nice roads. This is of course how the economy usually sorts things out. Rich people will always have the nicest things, but does that mean poor people are ‘trapped’? I would argue that they are trapped now. What are their choices? They have to rely on a subsidized system that runs whenever others determine it will run. The other choice is to sink lots of money into a car, fuel, and all the fees associated with it. They have very limited choices that are extremes in cost and freedom. How is that free or better for the poorest of us? An unmolested economy solves problems like these. It balances out necessity of travel for work with cost and freedom. It means light transport can develop with low cost long distance transport and serve everyone alike.

Another of the hidden costs that I want to show is probably a surprising one.

Arthur Thomas's picture

Government Students

on Wed, 11/09/2011 - 16:21

In a recent CATO article they point out how Michelle Obama right about the idea of personal responsibility but wrong about the reality of it. The Obamas do not seem to see that while people should be responsible and are the ones held accountable for their own life, people are only hindered when others are making decisions on their behalf.

Until we have real school choice in Texas then parents will never be fully responsible for children's educations and what goes into their minds. Parents need to stand up for a choice in being responsible for their kids development or decide if they are just having kids for the government.

It time for Texas to take it schools back and for parents to take back responsibility for their children's education.

Arthur Thomas's picture

Power of Words

on Fri, 10/07/2011 - 15:47

While not in Texas, I believe this blog article shows the kind of thinking that can seep into government. This is what happens when the idea that government is here to build society takes over. This is the result of when the idea of creating a society overtakes the idea of protecting it. This is emotional folly and the worst of good intentions over principle. 

When you have a foundation of principles based on ideas of liberty then questions like these are obvious. You never destroy freedom. Even in the heart tugging case of 'for the children' you realize that a sacrifice of rights hurts them more in the long run. This is a very clear example of just what it means to have absolute rights and the responsibilities that come with them. What is the right of free speech? Is it just some high minded goal of letting people say stuff about politics now and then? Is it more fundamental than that? Does it mean we can potentially 'harm' another with our words? Even through Libertarian principles of non aggression we cannot physically harm someone, but what of hurting them deeply with words or ideas? All humans run into the sting and agony of emotional pain from these things that have no weight but hold great meaning. Most of us know that an emotional attack on the heart can hurt more than a cut to the arm. If these things are so powerful then why should we retain all rights over them? 

The power that they hold mandates that we must maintain absolute right to express ourselves. We must never yield power each of us contains through our words. As with all great powers there is a balance each of us must find. We can lift, empower, educate, and bring hope with our words, but we can also, demoralize, lie, and bring despair with them as well. This is the essence of liberty and personal responsibility that comes with it. If you want to power to lift someone up then the ability to lower someone must exist. If you threaten one ability then you threaten both. When the right to create words that convey how you feel and think about the world are stripped from your mouth then the power is no longer yours. That power then belongs to others. When all you are allowed to say are words that are supposedly positive then what meaning does that hold when it is the only option. How are the words yours any more? 

Pain exist in the world and it is foolish to think that words cannot cause great pain. This is also the great blessing of liberty to use them to heal. We should not try to silence words that hurt because we take away the meaning of the words that heal. When other are allowed to put words into our mouths then we no longer own our thoughts or expression which are fundamental to freely expressing ourselves and tailoring our society. Keep your words. Keep your power. Keep your right to fix the damage other would cause through their ignorance and desire to rob you of your power.

A word or thought may seem like a simple thing. Intangible and fleeting. They form ideas though that are more powerful than any weapon. Ideas change society. They change the flow of our very future. Never, for any reason, allow someone to take away your ability to tailor your future.

Arthur Thomas's picture

Business as a Privledge

on Mon, 09/19/2011 - 17:31

I recently read a statement that said businesses are privileges granted by the government. I found this idea a bit absurd as if someone was telling me trading milk and sugar with my neighbor should be seen as a privilege granted by a government authority. 

I am very much against the idea that conducting business is a privilege and is only something that can be granted by those who happen to be in power at the time. This statement implies that all interaction with fellow people are blessed by a special group of people who are no morally better than anyone else but have government guns and badges. If I am only given privileged to trade a cup of sugar to my neighbor for a bowl of milk by the pleasure of those in power then how am I free? This strikes at the very heart of personal liberty and property rights. Must every action be blessed by government? All things are rights until we lose them. Also take note that laws are not always enforced and are up to the whims of those who hold the power at any given time. Slavery was mentioned as a government intervention that protects us and of course is something which must be protected against to allow freedom. No man should be allowed to impose his will or take freedom from another. So what does it mean when my life and the products of my life (property) are governed by another? I become a slave. If freedom is nothing more than the mere fact that I can stand in one spot and breathe then what kind of freedom is that? What I spend my energy on, the land I buy, and the things I create are what give me life and they are my liberty. If I cannot choose what to do with them then I am a slave to those who can on my behalf. My life and my efforts are meaningless unless I am free to choose what to do with them. Even if you are a collectivist and believe the whole is more important than the one, it must be obvious that a mass of people just 'living' without meaning is nothing to aspire to. We define our lives by what we do with them. Whether knowledge or the products of our knowledge we must be free to express them.

Doing business is not a privilege of government but an essential right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.