Friday, July 5, 2013

Freedom Manifesto by Steve Forbes and Elizabeth Ames

Freedom Manifesto by Steve Forbes and Elizabeth Ames provides a clear and compelling MORAL case for the Conservative agenda. Any Conservative wishing to combat the liberal ideology with a moral argument needs to read this book, especially since Americans are starting to wake up to the knowledge that Big Government is not the way to a compassionate and moral society. Conservatism is.

The book is broken up into six chapters, each contrasting the free market with its Big Government counterpart. In each case, the moral supremacy of the free market becomes clear. 

Chapter 1 illuminates the distinction between FedEx or the Post Office.  As the chapter makes clear, private enterprise exists to serve the needs of the customer, the government exists to serve its own needs. 

Chapter 2 contrasts Freedom or Big Brother. Who poses more of a threat to our liberty? Big Business or Big Government? It is the government that drowns us in laws and regulations and sends enforcement officers to our door. It is the government that manipulates the value of money and eats up our savings through inflation. It is the government that tramples rights, suppresses creativity, and imposes control and rigidity. Freedom to succeed or fail produces innovation and abundance.

Chapter 3 focuses on the dichotomy between Silicon Valley or Detroit. One was stifled by government interference and stagnated. The other remained free to innovate and changed the world. 

Chapter 4 hits home with the question, “Food Stamps or Paychecks?” Are we free people or wards of the state? Is is truly compassion to create dependency and produce quantifiably unhappier citizens? Or should people be allowed to adapt and make their own future using their own creativity?

Chapter 5 compares the likes of Apple or Solyndra. One is the result of the free market rewarding success and punishing failure. The other embodies the spirit of cronyism or what they call “few-dalism” as the few, the friends, the well-connected get access to millions of taxpayer dollars. 

Finally, Chapter 6 deals with our future. Reagan or Obama? “Democratic capitalism’s free markets are based on moral optimism, the historical conviction that humankind’s ingenuity will solve today’s problems and create new products and services that lead to a better future.” This requires a basic optimistic and positive set of expectations on the part of the American people - Ronald Reagan style optimism. Or we can indulge in a more pessimistic view in which people are helpless without their government leading the way, the economy is static and must be maintained as per the status quo, the future is a disaster waiting to happen unless government works to avert it. Obama’s view.

This book explores the question of how we see ourselves and our future as Americans. Will we be individuals with the freedom of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” or will we become wards of a bloated and inefficient government in which everything is “free” but us?

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