The Conflicts of Visions That Shaped America, by Jacob G. Hornberger

Do Americans want to be free or slaves and wards of the government? From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

There have been two conflicting visions in American history that have shaped our nation. As conditions in the United States continue to worsen, it is important that Americans engage in serious soul-searching to determine which vision should be embraced going forward.

The original vision

The first vision was that which characterized the American people from the founding of the United States to the early part of the 20th century. There are various labels that we can put on this particular vision: a free-market system, a capitalist system, a free-enterprise system, and a limited-government republic. Regardless of which label is used, there is no disputing that this was the most unusual political-economic system in history.

Just think: There once existed a society in which there was:

No income tax and no IRS. Americans were free to keep everything they earned and do whatever they wanted with their own money: save, spend, hoard, donate, or invest it.

No government-mandated charity, including Social Security, farm subsidies, welfare, education grants, or any other type of government-provided philanthropy. Charity was considered an entirely voluntary action.

No education grants, foreign aid, corporate bailouts, SBA loans, government grants, or other types of welfare.

No Medicare or Medicaid. No Centers for Disease Control. No FDA. No medical licensure laws. Hospitals were privately owned. Essentially, no government involvement in healthcare.

No immigration controls. People from around the world were free to come to the United States, with almost no questions asked. There were no limits on numbers. There were no required credentials or educational background. There were no literacy tests. Even knowing English was not a prerequisite for entry. As long as one didn’t have tuberculosis or some other infectious illness and wasn’t an “imbecile,” entry was automatic.

Few economic regulations. No minimum-wage laws and price controls.

No gun-control laws. Americans understood that the right to keep and bear arms was a key to a free society. They would never have permitted government officials to enact gun-control laws.

No public-schooling systems. No compulsory school-attendance laws. Education was private and based on free-market principles.

No Pentagon or military-industrial complex. Americans opposed “standing armies.” That’s why there was only a basic, relatively small army throughout the 1800s.

No empire of domestic and foreign military bases.

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