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Book Review: Unfinished Business

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Unfinished Business: A Civil Rights Strategy for America's Third Century by Clint Bolick (San Francisco: Pacific Research Institute, 1990) 159 PP; $19.95. At a time in world history when the demand for human rights has become almost universal, little or no attention has been paid to the importance of economic liberty. If a man is to have a right to life, he must have a right to freely contract and exchange with his fellow men for the maintenance of that life. If a man is to have a right to liberty, he must have a right to acquire and possess property which has been honestly come by. If a man is to have a right to the pursuit of happiness, he must have a right to use his life and property in any peaceful manner he chooses. Yet, a full appreciation of economic liberty is precisely what has been lacking in practically all public policy discussions concerning human rights. This ...

The Preservation of the Bureaucracy

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Two hundred years ago, our American ancestors instituted the most unusual political system in history. The Constitution called into existence a government whose powers, for the first time ever, were extremely limited. Thus, unlike other people throughout history, Americans lived without such things as income taxation, welfare, licensure, immigration control, business regulation, drug laws, conscription, and passports. Generally, and with exceptions (slavery and tariffs being the most notable), laws were limited to protecting people from the violence and fraud of others. What caused these Americans to institute this strange and novel way of life? The answer lies in the way our American ancestors perceived the relationship between the individual in society and his government. Americans of that time believed that the preservation of the individual — and the freedom to live his life and dispose ...

The Sanctity of Private Property, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 The last thing which Americans of today wish to face is that they have abandoned the principles of private property on which the United States was founded. In last August's Freedom Daily, I pointed to two examples of where the American people have permitted their public officials to assume absolute and total control over private property: income taxation and licensing of occupations. Let us examine two additional examples to assist us in destroying the myth of the sanctity of private property in 20th-century America: international trade and the oil business. One of the favorite pastimes of Americans is to look down their noses at the socialist systems which are now crumbling all over the world. Americans honestly believe that the American system of "free enterprise" has prevailed in the battle of "capitalism" vs. socialism; and they believe that the world should now simply copy the "private property" system of the American people. But what is ...