Have you ever heard someone say, "we need to protect social freedom before we worry about economic freedom," as though they are two entirely different freedoms that one can separate? Often, those same people mistakenly believe that economic freedom is what we give up to have more social freedom, and believe that economic freedom is only important to the very rich. This blog will illustrate, example by example, why economic freedom -- the right to property -- extends to also grant the right to life and liberty, that without one, the others are meaningless. Without economic freedom, 'social freedom' could not exist.
No better recent example exists than in the case of Kelo v. New London which incensed both conservatives and liberals alike. And rightly so -- the city of New London, Connecticut used its power of eminent domain to compel residents to move out of their homes so that New London Development Corporation could bulldoze their houses and build research facilities for Pfizer. The reason? Pfizer and others who will own the land that Susette Kelo and others called home will bring more tax dollars to the town of New London. The government, backed by the Supreme Court of the United States, decided that it was legal and constitutional to steal the property of one person and give it to someone else who will bring more tax revenue.
In an example of the implications of such a decision, refer to the movement to take Justice Souter's property by eminent domain to build Lost Liberty Hotel.
Economic freedom is driven by principle. It is fueled by the right to life, liberty and property and any lawful extension thereof. To reject economic freedom is to reject the rights to life, liberty and property and all social freedom stemming from those fundamental rights.
Now, I wonder, am I generating enough tax dollars for Uncle Sam so he will let me keep my own house?