Arthur C. Brooks, The Road to Freedom 1. How do we leave what Hayek called the road to serfdom? What he meant was the low-grade, virtual servitude to ever-expanding, unaccountable government that, searching for tax revenues, has appropriated funds that entrepreneurs could have used to grow the economy. A government that has created a protected class of government workers and crony corporations that play by a different set of rules than the rest of us, and has left the nation in hock for generations to come. 2. Then there is Free Enterprise. Its a system of values and laws hat respects private property and limits government, encourages competition and industry, celebrates achievement based on merit, and creates individual opportunity. Under such a system, people can pursue their own ends, and they reap the rewards and consequences, both the positive and the negative, of their own actions. This requires trust in markets to produce the most desirable outcomes for society. a. No society can advance nor improve without trade, and the excess of disposable income. And this excess is amassed through the production of goods and services necessary or attractive to the masses. A financial system that allows this leads to inequality one that does not, leads to mass starvation. b. Money is merely the most efficient way of keeping track of the production of individuals, of their work, and the capacity of that work to benefit their fellows. Government, which doesnt produce this product, can do little with it but waste it: it cannot allocate it with greater justice than the Free Market. It should provide only those services that the Free Market was incapable of providing, such as the roads, the judiciary, streetlights, Legislature, and the common defense. 3. The alternate view is called statism, by which we mean a belief that government is generally the best, fairest, and most trustworthy entity to distribute resources and coordinate our economic lives. a. To believe this, one must accept that there exists some equation by which the state can fairly and honestly control human exchange. Here we go: increasing taxes to increase programs to increase happiness to allow equality all of which ends up in dictatorship. 4. David Mamet claims that is the free market that is simply better than state control. It is the one that has to respond quickly and effectively to dissatisfaction and to demand. In the free market, if a product or service does not please, it is discontinued. Compare that to government persistence and expansion of programs that proven to have failed decades ago: farm subsidies, aid to Africa, busing, etc. In the free market, every man, woman and child is scheming to find a better way to make a product or service that will make a fortune! All of these minds performing in a manner that, ultimately, benefits society. 5. But what about the abuses of the free market? a. Some will be corrected by the law, and if there is no current law, the citizenry will demand such. Some abuse run afoul of custom .these will be corrected by censure, withdrawal of custom, or may be criminalized. Alas, some must be endured, as they would be under any system of government, business or administration. 6. In the light of Brooks' thesis....what would propel anyone to vote for an administration that endorses the confiscation of economy-growing capital, by government, in order to "spread the wealth"?