Five principles of prosperity
Speaking of letting the rule of law be whittled away...
The five basic principles of economic growth (inimical or invisible to collectivists):
1. The rule of law
2. Property rights
3. Low taxes
4. Minimal bureaucracy
5. Free trade
This list comes from Steve Forbes' thought-provoking and informative talk at Hillsdale College, "The Great (and Continuing) Economic Debate of the 20th Century," which begins:
The great economic debate of the twentieth century was between collectivists and free-marketers. In one sense, the free-marketers won: When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, it was widely acknowledged that Soviet socialism had been a catastrophic, not to say murderous, failure. But in another sense, the debate continues. Democratic capitalism still has not vanquished the idea of collectivism. Far from it.
At the beginning of the last century, free markets seemed to be on the ascendancy everywhere. But two events gave collectivism its lease on life. The first was World War I. In addition to the slaughter—and to breeding the ideologies of communism, state fascism, Nazism, and even the Islamic fascism we are battling today—World War I served as an intoxicating drug to those in the West who believed that a handful of people in government could manage affairs better than the messy way in which free peoples tend to do so. Massive increases in government powers, coupled with massive increases in taxation, gave many the idea that you can achieve massive increases in production by commandeering the financial resources of society....
Please read all of this short speech; it says a lot of important things that should be said, often and in many ways and places.
Our nation's capitalist system of free trade is just as much a national treasure as our Constitution and our historic shrines, though it is much less well understood by the general populace, and much more taken for granted and abused. This punching bag in the ongoing "debate" between collectivists and free-marketers has been responsible for creating and disseminating more wealth and better conditions to people in the U.S. and around the world than any other in the history of earth. It is no wonder so many foreigners want to become Americans.
But our capitalist economy is still constantly under attack, misconstrued, and slandered. We tamper with our free-market system, mismanage it, burden it, bilk it, or ignore its workings and its blessings at our great peril. It is not a given that it will always perform for us if we do not recognize it for what it is and value it and protect it.
Collectivists here and elsewhere who seek to tear down capitalism in various ways know full well what they are doing. Unfortunately so do our politicians whose main priority is to dither and demogogue for votes in the short run, ignoring what damage their self-serving behavior does to our country's future.
Do the rest of us understand the nature of our heritage and what's at stake? It would not be "compassionate" to allow the wealth, prosperity, and freedom of the American people to slip away.