By Indri Schaelicke | United States
The first brave immigrants who came to the US arrived knowing that they were in the land of the free, as long as they did not hurt others. In the 242 years since this nation was founded, we have been manipulated, used and tricked into giving up our liberties in exchange for the completely illusory concept of safety. This 4th of July, consider how being truly free means we must remove the chains of government from around or wrists, and demand that we be placed in control of our own lives.
Perhaps the most cynical form of government control is the way that the state holds our liberties hostage. In many ways, they require citizens to hold a license to engage in standard activities. When the government mandates that we must obtain a license to lawfully participate in an activity, they take one of our natural, God given rights. Then, the land of the free sells it back to us.
Permits, too, follow a similar immorality. In many instances, public assembly permits restrict on the right to free and open assembly. Though the First Amendment guarantees this right, government restricts it nonetheless.
Requiring permits also violates private property laws. A great example of this is a building permit. Building permits allow the government to control what you can and cannot build on your own land. What one does with their own property that they have legally acquired is no business of an ever meddling government.
Permits and licenses also interfere with the market. An individual permit is not a large expense for a business. However, when government forces them to purchase several permits at once, it can be a great financial burden. The added costs of obtaining the license can make it difficult for the business to turn a profit and expand their enterprise. Maintaining compliance with the permit or license can also impose added costs in the long term, preventing the business from ever reaching its full potential. If an area loses many businesses due to bankruptcy, their local economy will tank and unemployment will rise. Damage to local economies can affect generations, especially in secluded, rural areas where people do not have much access to different employment opportunities.
Licensing can further lead to cronyism within our economy. Corporations can lobby the government to require certain license to join the marketplace. These licences make it more difficult for new businesses to enter the market, and protects the existing ones from competition. It is in this way that corporations can use the government as a weapon against potential competition and maintain their near-monopolistic control on the market.
It may be easy for us to gripe about our great loss of liberty in the alleged land of the free. Despite this, compared to many other industrialized nations, we still have considerably more freedom. The 4th of July holiday should serve as a reminder of how fortunate we are to still have the freedoms we possess. But, it also should also serve as a rallying cry to gain back those we have lost.
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