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Sad, sad legacies ...

January 5, 2009 - Lee Smith
I noticed one of those "On this date ..." items today. On Jan. 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt outined a goal of "Four Freedoms." They were: Freedom of speech and expression; the freedom of people to worship God in their own way; freedom from want; freedom from fear.

I find this confusing and galling.

The first two freedoms are outlined in the Constitution. Perhaps the president should have read it. Also, he might have considered the Declaration of Independence, which spoke of tyrannical government; something Roosevelt helped usher in.

Freedom from want? Freedom from fear? You've got to be kidding me. Unfortunately, FDR wasn't kidding. He helped institute Social Security and other government social-welfare programs. His acolyte, Lyndon Johnson, did even more harm with Medicare and the "Great Society" war on poverty. Their legacy is the United States' debt and the unfunded liabilities that total tens of trillions of dollars in the next 50 years.

The sheer arrogance (or stupidity) of government leaders who believe they can alter realities like want and fear is a fundamentally unsound basis for any policy they might propose. Fear is a realm for psychologists. Tackling want requires freeing the private sector so that it can create wealth.


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