Freedom Works Real-world libertarian approaches to big problems

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Our company’s
founder, and the descendants who continue to lead Freedom Communications
Inc., come at the world with an idea: to advance human liberty.
For libertarian R.C. Hoiles, who bought the Santa Ana Register
in 1935, that meant limited government, respect for the individual,
free markets, free trade and progress through voluntary relationships.

How would R.C.,
whose birthday we mark later this month, grapple with today’s seemingly
intractable problems? In the short essays below, we make proposals
with little or no consideration for political feasibility. We suggest
policy goals consistent with concern for personal liberty as the
ultimate political good. We believe that "freedom works"
because it is the natural state of human beings. Social arrangements
that corrupt this state, that force individuals to behave against
their own best instincts, cannot work in the long run.

We acknowledge
that Utopia is not an option in an imperfect world filled with imperfect
people, a world of trade-offs, where every policy has costs as well
as benefits. Nonetheless, to think boldly about freedom in human
affairs is not just a talking point or discussion-starter to us
(although it serves that purpose as well). In the end, even small
steps toward freedom are worth working toward, because human beings
are meant to be free and because … freedom works.

Fighting
poverty
– Most people through most of history have lived
in poverty.

Providing
health care
– Personal responsibility may be undermined
more in health care than in any other aspect of life.

Reducing
crime
– In the developed world, America is known for high
rates of both crime and incarceration.

Improving
education
– R.C. Hoiles was famous – or infamous –
for his objection to the very premise of schools run by the government.

Confronting
global warming
– The conventional wisdom says global warming
is a definite devastating problem, definitely caused by manmade
CO2 emissions.

Fighting
terrorism
– The most effective way to neutralize terrorism
against the United States is to pull the military back from all
its overseas outposts …

Relieving
traffic congestion
– Everyone who lives in Southern California
will agree that traffic congestion is indeed a serious problem.

Illegal
immigration
– For almost 150 years the United States had
no laws restricting immigration …

Dealing
with urban sprawl
– Environmentalists have been aghast
at what they view as "urban sprawl" – the spreading
of "soulless" suburban development across the once-pristine
landscape.

Relief
from natural disasters
– Even before the Southern California
fires were contained, the usual suspects began decrying the supposed
lack of resources that taxpayers have provided to the government.

November
7, 2007

Alan
Bock [send him mail] is Senior Essayist at the Orange County
Register. He is the author of Ambush
at Ruby Ridge
and Waiting
to Inhale: The Politics of Medical Marijuana
.

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