• 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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