On the day after our nation’s birthday, it seems appropriate to discuss the word freedom. My inspiration came from the commencement address made by Senator Ted Cruz to the graduates of Hillsdale College. It is many of his thoughts I am sharing.
As Senator Cruz pointed out, freedom is the exception. Most people have been ruled by monarchs and dictators. They were raised to believe that power came from the top and fell downward and that their rights were something that could just disappear.
Our Constitution was created from two ideas:
- Our rights come from God – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
- Power comes from the bottom up – “We the People”. Our legislators are subject to elections by the people and some are restricted by term limits.
The United States of America is not perfect, but no other nation has ever made it possible for so many people to come with nothing and yet achieve incredible things. Freedom, and our free market system, works!
- Our per capita income is approximately 6 times higher than the world average. This is not an accident, but the result of our economic freedom that enables people to start small businesses and allow entrepreneurs to thrive.
- We have 4.5% of the world population, yet we produce 22% of the world’s output.
- The U.S. dollar is the international reserve currency.
- English is the world’s standard language.
- We have the mightiest military.
- A disproportionate number of the greatest inventions come from America.
- We were the first to walk on the moon.
The freedoms we enjoy enable the opportunity we desire! You can rise and fall on your own efforts. You can get ahead not on who your father was or what economic class you were born into. You can get ahead because you are talented, passionate, have perseverance and a strong character. If this were not true, why do people from other countries risk their lives to get to America – the land of opportunity?
Today, we are worried about the growing number of people dependent upon social service programs. We should be very concerned because it is only economic freedom that can truly reduce poverty. Dependence on government is debilitating and depressing. The unsaid message is that you are not capable or smart enough to take care of yourself and your family. What a degrading message!
There is no real poverty in America, when compared to the rest of the world. The average person living in poverty in America has more living space than a non-poor person living in Sweden, France or the UK. 80% of American households have air conditioning. 96% of poor parents state that their children were never hungry during any time in the preceding year. Research shows that “countries with higher levels of economic freedom have poverty levels as much as 75% lower than countries that are less free”. Compared to many places in the world, the poorest American lives like a king!
That doesn’t mean that there are not people in American who truly deserve and need a helping hand. There are those who are physically and mentally incapable of working and providing for themselves and their children. Those are the people we need to be helping. President Reagan said, “How can we love our country and not love our countrymen, and loving them, reach out a hand when they fall, heal them when they’re sick and provide opportunity to make them self-sufficient so they will be equal in fact and not just in theory?”
The Fourth of July should remind us of all of the blood that has been shed by our servicemen and women to preserve our freedoms. We should not be so willing to give them away. We need to fight for our freedoms and unfortunately, today, that means we have to “fight” our politicians. They may have good intentions, but government dependency is the path to ruin, not to prosperity.
Protect your freedoms by exercising your right to vote for those most likely to protect our liberty and insure our economic prosperity through individual innovation, hard work and determination. Our goal should be that every American has an equal opportunity of turning their dreams into reality by taking the personal actions necessary.