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PJ Media » The Tyranny of Having Too Many Choices

Anyway, the principle we’ve learned is that man can’t survive if he has to make choices for himself. Think about it: From what to eat to what to wear to what to do, you basically do nothing but make choices about your life all day long. It’s annoying and tiresome, and none of us has read all the scientific studies to know what’s healthy to eat and how much exercise we need. We need smart people to limit this insane number of choices so we can know what to do. Thus we have politicians who hover above us (or, in Bloomberg’s case, below us) watching us lovingly and telling us what to do for our own benefit.

Or at least those are the forward-thinking ideas Bloomberg subscribes to. He’s a shrewd and cunning man — a regular Tyrion Lannister — and with his bans on trans-fats, salt, and large sodas, he’s taking away many confusing and wrong choices in order to make life easier and better for us all. Now, some people may say he should focus on job growth instead of individuals’ health, but Obama has been trying to add jobs for some time and hasn’t been able to, and if Obama can’t figure that out, obviously no one can. So Bloomberg is going to give up on complicated things that are out of his hands, like the economy, and instead focus on what he can control: you.

Tags health government intervention freedom liberty choices

Obama Stands Strong on Limitless Federal Power - By Mario Loyola - The Corner - National Review Online

But notice what happened. The federal government tried to adopt a rule that can be justified only as part of an unlimited power to regulate economic activity, a power the federal government was never supposed to have. What stopped it? Not the Constitution, alas, but rather a public outcry.

Well, if the occasional public outcry is the only way to keep the federal government from regulating every single aspect of our lives, we’ve got a problem.

Tags Federal government wickard v. filburn constitutional limits rules and regulations liberty supreme court

the older faith … that the exercise of unlimited power by men with limited minds and self-regarding prejudices is soon oppressive, reactionary, and corrupt,…that the very condition of progress was the limitation of power to the capacity and the virtue of rulers” to the newer faith “that there are no limits to man’s capacity to govern others and that, therefore, no limitations ought to be imposed upon government.

Milton Friedman - Free To Choose: A Personal Statement Amazon Kindle: Your Highlights

Tags quote economics political philosophy liberty

 Source kindle.amazon.com

So Who Is Our Keeper, Mr. President? - By Samuel Gregg - The Corner - National Review Online

Like all good Rawlsians, President Obama finds it hard to conceptualize the possibility that private communities and associations might often be better at helping our neighbor in need than governments. Instead, his instinct is to search immediately for a political state-focused solution. If the president invested some time in exploring the concept of social justice, he would discover that its earliest articulators — mostly mid-19th-century Italian Catholic theologians – thought it should be primarily realized through associations and institutions of civil society with the government playing a supportive, but normally background role.

One of the limits of our president’s moral imagination is that he can’t seem to recognize that his opponents aren’t a bunch of narcissistic Randoids. The vast majority of them do in fact believe that we are our brother’s keeper. They also recognize that there are some — even many — problems that markets can’t solve.

But they also don’t think Americans should somehow delegate en masse most of their personal concrete obligations to those in need to elected officials and civil servants. Rather, they understand, as Tocqueville wrote, that “the morals and intelligence of a democratic people would be in as much danger as its commerce and industry if ever a government wholly usurped the place of free associations.”

Tags political philosophy morality liberty

"Fairness," like "needs," is in the eye of the beholder. If all are to have "fair shares," someone or some group of people must decide what shares are fair—and they must be able to impose their decisions on others, taking from those who have more than their "fair" share and giving to those who have less. Are those who make and impose such decisions equal to those for whom they decide? Are we not in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, where "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others"?

Amazon Kindle: Your Highlights

Tags Milton Friedman equality liberty fair share

 Source kindle.amazon.com

How to Reconcile Liberty, Morality, Conservatism, and Libertarianism with Carney’s Fusionist Theorem « International Liberty

"Maybe they can’t comprehend the mind-set of many of today’s conservatives, who revere both individual liberty and traditional morality as the necessary conditions for human happiness and thus say that certain behaviors are immoral but shouldn’t be illegal. Not only are traditional morality and limited government totally compatible, today they are intimately linked, as the Left uses big government to subsidize abortion providers and force all employers to pay for their employees’ contraceptives. …the moral law should guide our personal actions, and individual liberty should guide our political decisions. …When liberals cry that conservatives are trying to legislate morality, that’s typically projection and misdirection from liberal attempts to legislate morality"

Tags Politics morality legislation liberty liberalism conservatism