To go along with some summery Friday Rule Five totty, we have an interestingly timed follow-up to Wednesday’s post regarding the Koch brothers comes today in the form of a Wall Street Journal article from Charles Koch himself. Excerpt:
Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government. That’s why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.
A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens. The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.
There are plenty of pols on both sides of the aisle who fit the mind-set bemoaned by Mr. Koch, namely, that the typical American is incapable of managing his or her own life. Example: I favor privatizing Social Security at least to the extent that taxpayers should be able to manage their own money – that we do away with the idea of a “trust fund” that may be raided by Congress at will for whatever boondoggle strikes their fancy at the moment, the taxpayer’s “contributions” (use of scare quotes intentional; “contribution” implies that the transaction is voluntary.) Instead, the taxpayer’s withholding would go into a fund, with their name on it, that they can manage and even pass on to their heirs.
“But Animal,” comes the inevitable question, “what if some people manage their funds badly and lose money?”
This is the kind of thing Mr. Koch is describing; the explosion of intrusive, overbearing government. He concludes:
Those in power fail to see that more government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American. Love of liberty is the American ideal.
If more businesses (and elected officials) were to embrace a vision of creating real value for people in a principled way, our nation would be far better off—not just today, but for generations to come. I’m dedicated to fighting for that vision. I’m convinced most Americans believe it’s worth fighting for, too.
I don’t know about most Americans – not any more – but I think it’s worth fighting for, too.