Manny Montes: Free enterprise system, the only moral system
Economics Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman observed: “There is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.”
He should have added that because the free enterprise system eliminates coercive action from human relations, it is also the only moral and proper system for man.
Only a government based on political and economic freedom has moral legitimacy. It is clear our government is immoral on both these counts.
Our founding was based on negative rights. Simply stated this is a system in which the government is clearly instructed in what it cannot do to the citizens. Our Bill of Rights largely declared a citizen’s freedom from government.
The declarations in it were about what the government should not do to the citizen. Our government’s basic purpose is to protect our individual rights to live as we see fit in the pursuit of our happiness.
The Progressive view embraces positive rights, i.e., what the government can and should do for its citizens, a view which necessarily involves government coercive intrusion in our lives.
This view has given us an extraordinarily large and powerful central government, just as the Anti-Federalist prophesized and feared, and by its very nature, inverts the America of our founding. The Progressive world view brings into existence DC comics’ fantasy “Bizarro World,” a world where a situation or setting is weirdly inverted or opposite to expectations. It is these inverted outcomes that represent the immorality of Progressive policies.
Progressive’s cries of compassion for the poor, in truth, promote policies that entrap the poor. Policies that deny the self-esteem of earned success, and, in essence, infantilize the poor. Their programs undermine work and marriage, and encourage more babies for more money, all leading to a broadening pattern of intergenerational dependence. This dependence instigates values that make self-reliance a pipe dream.
A child wanting to take his/her education seriously is accused of trying to be white. Drug use, and dropping out of school is an endemic in the major cities throughout the U.S.
The Black Lives Matter movement decry white police shootings of blacks, an infinitesimally small number when compared the enormously high black-on-black murders that occur on a daily basis in these same inner cities.
Any unlawful police shooting should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but how can we have such deafening silence to the real problems our “compassionate” welfare state has wrought?
The movement’s banner should read, “dignity not bread.” Progressives tout the need for better education to elevate the poor, but keep them trapped in our failing public school system, denying school choice which would dramatically improve their educational outcomes. I ask you, is this morally right?
Income inequality is high on the Progressive’s playbill this election cycle. They want the rich to pay their fair share. Fair? The top 10 percent of income earners shoulder more than 70 percent of the federal tax burden, the bottom 50 percent pay 2.78 percent.
I ask you, who here is not paying their fair share? Additionally, progressives focus on the income statistical categories, and willfully ignore the fact the flesh and blood individuals move in and out of these categories all the time.
Steve Jobs (RIP), Bill Gates, and Carrie Underwood were among the 99 percent at one time. While they moved into the 1 percent, others dropped out. The production of their wealth is another element the progressives ignore.
How many account managers, engineers, secretaries, producers, musicians, stage managers followed these icons into the top 1 percent, or certainly into the top 10 percent? Conservatives advocate for tax cuts for all because they believe money in the private sector is much more productive than money in the public sector.
Crony capitalism, lobbyist, and special interest are in the progressive’s crosshairs, and yet they want to grow the size and power of the government that specifically breeds these groups. With so much power, expecting self-restraint on the part of politicians and bureaucrats is like expecting self-restraint on the part of the fox as it enters the hen house.
Increased power inextricably breeds more corruption. Where is the morality in this?
Progressive policies have put in place entitlement rights that require coercive confiscation of others resources, whether claimants to these rights have merit or not. Progressives need victims the way an addict needs drugs.
We must return to the only moral system mankind has ever known, the free enterprise system.
Manny Montes lives in Lake of the Pines.
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