Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Is Freedom of Speech in Danger in the USA?

Economics is very closely related to public policy.  Freedom, as protected by our Constitution, is an essential ingredient of our high standard of living in America, and it is a sine qua non of all scientific research.

These are some of the scientific findings of economist Edward C. Harwood [1900-1980].

While building up one of the first think tanks in the U.S. (the American Institute for Economic Research), Harwood spent his whole life fighting "peanut authority."  This is the misplaced zeal of those in positions of power who believe they can force you to live a better life than you would choose for yourself.

One of the freedoms he particularly enjoyed–and had to defend with the most energy–was freedom of speech.  He went to great lengths on numerous occasions to preserve his own, and therefore ours.

And there is no rest for the weary.  Nothing should be taken for granted.  Our freedoms are constantly under siege.  For example, I have just read this article in Business Insider.

Apparently, the NSA tried to censor the sale of a T-shirt mocking the NSA.  Their justification for it was the unauthorized use of their official seal.

If you want to buy this T-shirt, go here.  It was created by Dan McCall's group at Libertymaniacs.com.  Kudos to Dan McCall.  Even if you don't agree with his sentiments, you must defend his right to express himself.

This subject ties in with the recently divulged information that anyone who makes a point of defending liberty and the Founding Fathers could now possibly be included on a list of potential terrorists, according to FEMA training manuals and training videos found through the Freedom of Information Act and otherwise.  (Here's a sampling if you don't believe this.)

The study of economics is useless without freedom. Economists: keep this in mind as you go about your business.  Be very careful what someone might want to do with what you say and write.  Don't just assume that your work will be taken at face value.  And defend freedom at every opportunity, because (1) people forget how very fragile it is, (2) the quality of your own current and future product will depend upon having it, and (3) the future of this country will hang on what we all do, or don't do, in its defense.

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