Home > America, capitalism, Constitution, principles, private property, socialism > 10 American Principles to Ponder

10 American Principles to Ponder


1. The duty of the government is to protect the rights of the people, not the other way around.

2. The people have the right but not the obligation to dispense of their property as they see fit.

3. Borrowing from the 10th Amendment of the Constitution: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

4. America was built on profit and loss, not profligacy and largess.

5. True laissez-faire capitalism is the surest way to prosperity; the middle path will always lead to socialism.

6. Entrepreneurs and competent business managers make our economy grow, not politicians.

7. For a man or a nation, the responsible fiscal path is to produce more than one consumes, and to spend less than one earns.

8. Every public dollar spent is a private dollar stolen. If a politician tells you that spending is “investment,” ask yourself if you would undertake that same investment with your own money.

9. Equality of condition is not the same as equality of opportunity; our laws are meant to preserve the latter.

10. The safety of American citizens is the single most important priority of the American government.

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  1. JamieB.
    March 3, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Yeah, no regulation of the markets. It worked out so well. Keep studying, man.

  2. J Cooper Wandling
    March 3, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    JamieB gets his analysis from Keynesian Economics classes. Please do NOT keep studying Jamie.

  3. Andrew Mellon
    March 3, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Jamie, read the whole link I cited on true laissez-faire capitalism and then tell me that this was a failure of the “free markets.” If you want the cliffnotes, read the following excerpt:”Laissez-faire capitalism is a politico-economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and in which the powers of the state are limited to the protection of the individual’s rights against the initiation of physical force. This protection applies to the initiation of physical force by other private individuals, by foreign governments, and, most importantly, by the individual’s own government. This last is accomplished by such means as a written constitution, a system of division of powers and checks and balances, an explicit bill of rights, and eternal vigilance on the part of a citizenry with the right to keep and bear arms. Under laissez-faire capitalism, the state consists essentially just of a police force, law courts, and a national defense establishment, which deter and combat those who initiate the use of physical force. And nothing more.”As for how our American brand of laissez-faire functions:1) Government spending in the United States currently equals more than forty percent of national income, i.e., the sum of all wages and salaries and profits and interest earned in the country. This is without counting any of the massive off-budget spending such as that on account of the government enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Nor does it count any of the recent spending on assorted “bailouts.”2) There are presently fifteen federal cabinet departments, nine of which exist for the very purpose of respectively interfering with housing, transportation, healthcare, education, energy, mining, agriculture, labor, and commerce, and virtually all of which nowadays routinely ride roughshod over one or more important aspects of the economic freedom of the individual.3) The economic interference of today’s cabinet departments is reinforced and amplified by more than one hundred federal agencies and commissions, the most well-known of which include, besides the IRS, the FRB and FDIC, the FBI and CIA, the EPA, FDA, SEC, CFTC, NLRB, FTC, FCC, FERC, FEMA, FAA, CAA, INS, OHSA, CPSC, NHTSA, EEOC, BATF, DEA, NIH, and NASA. 4) To complete this catalog of government interference and its trampling of any vestige of laissez faire, as of the end of 2007, the last full year for which data are available, the Federal Register contained fully seventy-three thousand pages of detailed government regulations. This is an increase of more than ten thousand pages since 1978, the very years during which our system, according to one of The New York Times articles quoted above, has been “tilted in favor of business deregulation and against new rules.”5) And, of course, to all of this must be added the further massive apparatus of laws, departments, agencies, and regulations at the state and local level. Under laissez-faire capitalism, these too for the most part would be completely abolished and what remained would reflect the same kind of radical reductions in the size and scope of government activity as those carried out on the federal level.

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