Saturday, November 22, 2008

Liberty and Security

I have often heard this little quote from Benjamin Franklin:
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Many who opposed President Bush's actions in the War on Terror loved that quote. They cite problems with the Patriot Act, wiretapping, and a host of other issues. The thing is, there is another way to consider that quote.

What kinds of liberty will we be giving up if there is nationalized healthcare? What about the massive government bailouts for a host of industries? Are there other problems coming which will cause people to turn to the government for solutions? My observation is that any time the government tries to solve a problem, it causes more.

If there is no incentive to work, there will be no prosperity. Individuals may worry about the cost of healthcare, job security, or anything else, but giving up liberty to get safety is a dangerous path. The intrusion of government into every aspect of life is accelerating at a breakneck pace. If this recession gets too deep, there will be a wave of sentiment to have government bail out more industries, individuals, and then everyone will be on the government dole.

Then we will have neither prosperity nor safety, and Ben Franklin will be proven correct: They who give up liberty to obtain safety, will lose both liberty and safety.

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