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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Personal Freedom and Economic Prosperity

In 1689, a writer named John Locke wrote that “every man has a property in his own person. This no one has a right to but himself.” Locke, like our founding fathers, also believed that as the owners of ourselves, we also the own of the fruits of our labor. In nature we find the raw materials that, in their natural state, have no real value to us. Value comes when we introduce creativity and labor to convert those raw materials into goods that we use to satisfy our needs or wants. For example, in the natural world we find apples that will satisfy our hunger or we might find stones to build a house and satisfy our need for shelter.

When it comes to natural resources, someone must own them and control them in order to put them to any use. That brings us to the question: But who owns these resources? Individual people may own them, or, the other option, is that they are owned by groups of people like congress, the IRS or the United Nations. Theoretically, these resources could equally belong to everybody in the world and everybody in the entire human race could be given an equal share of them. The question then becomes who decides whether or not you get the 1/7th billionth piece of land on the beachfront in Florida or the 1/7th billionth piece of land in the middle of the Arizona dessert? In order to make that decision for you, someone would basically have to make a claim of ownership over you in order to have the authority to tell you what you can and cannot have thus defeating the entire goal of equality. That is why communist and socialist ideas are bad for your freedom and your ability to move up economically; other people decide what you can have.

People need economic mobility in order to improve their lives and the only thing that gives them the clearest path is personal and economic freedom from others trying to make decisions for them.

Paul Curtman is a veteran of the U. S. Marine Corps, an author, conference speaker, and statesman. For nearly 20 years, Paul has helped lead and develop leaders in the United States military, public service sectors, and business. Paul is a strong advocate for personal and economic freedom as well as the strength and integrity of the free market system. He is a Fellow at Club for Growth in Washington D.C. and currently lives in Missouri with his wife, Ruth, and their four children.
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