This weekend has re-enforced my deep belief in the wisdom, creativity and benefits of a free society.
I have been reading books by David Boaz (http://www.davidboaz.com/) of the Cato Institute (http://www.cato.org/) and realizing two important facts: 1) freedom of choice, local control and free markets are the best ways for more people to get what they want and for a society to remain healthy, and 2) our American economy is rapidly being taken over and encumbered by the “iron triangle” of bureaucrats, lobbyists and politicians.
The government’s share of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown from 7% in the early 1900’s to over 35% in 2008 – and it is projected to be over 45% in 2010. Amazing and troubling – too much money in the hands of too few people who didn’t actually earn it. Then comes the “new age” version of the Gold Rule: he who has the gold makes the rules. Centralized power leads to oppressive regulation, inept planning, reduced local initiatives and the loss of personal freedoms.
If we are truly “free enterprise warriors,” we need to be advocates for the vision and principles of our great American experiment. We need to reaffirm the priorities of the unalienable rights of individuals to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We need to get the government out of our pocketbooks and out of our personal lives. We have all the creativity, initiative and responsibility we need to solve our own problems and achieve our personal goals.
How did we come to believe that the government could solve problems better than its citizens acting locally and collaboratively? How did we decide that taxes should be increased so that money could be redistributed to serve special interest groups and fund entitlement programs? When did we agree that politicians and government employees know better what we need than we do?
What can we as entrepreneurs do to reverse these trends in our beloved country? It is not our nature to get involved in political issues; we’d rather go do something productive and worthwhile. The problem is that we now have those who do want to play and persist in the political arena telling us what to do and how to live. They have, over time and incrementally, gained control.
It is time to stand up for what we believe and for the truths on which this free enterprise democracy was built. It is time we once again became warriors for freedom. We aren’t fighting tyranny or invasion or even terrorism, this time. We are fighting the “iron triangle.” And, it is a clever, well-disguised, insidious force. It has caught us by surprise.
We need to get engaged. And, we can. The Internet is a powerful force for transparency, collaboration and truth. It gives everyone open access to information and an open forum for communication. Let’s put it to work. One place we can begin is right here on FreeEnterpriseWarriors.com. We can share our best entrepreneurial, problem solving skills. Our mission is simple: to keep our society (and the world) free and open for ourselves and for our future generations. Let the games begin!