This time of the year, whether in good economic times or bad, is when Americans gather with their families and friends and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal together. It marks a remembrance of those early Pilgrim Fathers who crossed the uncharted ocean from Europe to make a new start in Plymouth, Massachusetts. What is less appreciated is that Thanksgiving also is a celebration of the birth of free enterprise in America.
The English Puritans, who left Great Britain and sailed across the Atlantic on the Mayflower in 1620, were not only escaping from religious persecution in their homeland. They also wanted to turn their back on what they viewed as the materialistic and greedy corruption of the Old World.
Plymouth Colony Planned as Collectivist Utopia
In the New World, they wanted to erect a New Jerusalem that would not only be religiously devout, but be built on a new foundation of communal sharing and social altruism.…
“Pioneering inventors, risk-taking wealth creators, and visionary organizers of people and tools are among society’s greatest heroes. Those whose business is the forcible redistribution of those heroes’ achievements are engaged in immoral, envious, demagogic, or otherwise anti-social behavior.”
Lawrence W. “Larry” Reed, president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), penned an article that is even more relevant today than when it was penned in 2009. It is a remembrance, if not a call to action, about what makes social coordination and prosperity possible in a complex world.
This Thursday, may the nation give thanks to economic freedom as key to political freedom and the prosperity and blessings that we all enjoy.
Reed’s essay, “Believers in Freedom Must Not Take Liberty for Granted,” follows.
FEE’s vision—the ideal we are striving to achieve—is a world where people flourish in a free and civil society.
“A representative group of stakeholders developing a joint proposal does not relieve DOE of its obligation to consult with other ‘interested’ stakeholders, nor does it allow DOE to ignore substantive adverse comments.”
Should U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) rulemaking procedures be transparent and even-handed?
Of course they should. It is in the public interest for any regulatory agency to consider all viewpoints, even if those viewpoints may not coincide with the government’s particular philosophy at the time. The regulatory process, which places great power in the hands of regulators (like it or not), only succeeds if all voices are heard, arguments weighed, and a clear explanation of both the how and why particular claims prevailed and conclusions reached.
And, when the regulatory process relies upon data, it is also essential for an agency to make available to the public the data gathered and analyzed by the agency prior to any significant action (i.e.,…