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Foundation of prosperity
FreeCons defend core freedoms against threats from Left or Right
In our Statement of Principles, Freedom Conservatives called the free enterprise system the “foundation of prosperity” and committed ourselves to defending “competitive markets, greater individual choice, and free trade with free people, while upholding the rule of law, freedom of contract, and freedom of association.”
Here are some examples of FreeCons applying these principles to current issues.
A former newspaper editor and broadcast journalist, Jeff Rhodes now serves as vice president for news and information at the Freedom Foundation. Its CEO, Aaron Withe, is a signatory to the FreeCon statement.
In a recent Townhall column, Rhodes praised the statement’s commitment to such principles as freedom of contract and freedom of association. Worthy goals — but labor unions, especially in the public sector, stand in the way.
Abusing the powers extended to them by friendly politicians, unions have “metastasized into a shadow government,” Rhodes argued, “spending billions of their members’ dues dollars every election cycle to advance a radical leftist agenda that has little or nothing to do with pay, benefits and working conditions.”
Conservatives must call these unions out and resolve to defeat them, he concluded. “This the Freedom Conservatism document unequivocally does.”
Let parents decide
A former Capitol Hill staffer and Cato Institute policy analyst, Carrie L. Lukas now serves as president of Independent Women’s Forum and vice president of Independent Women’s Voice.
Lukas, a FreeCon signatory, writes frequently for such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and USA Today. Her books include The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism, Checking Progressive Privilege, and Liberty Is No War on Women.
“With more of the cost of child care shouldered by taxpayers,” she wrote, “more families that currently rely on family-based care such as grandparents may seek out spots in formal daycare centers, exacerbating existing shortages.”
“Most disturbingly, with the government providing childcare centers with a growing share of their income, daycare providers will become more interested in providing services that appeal to the values and priorities of those bureaucracies — not to parents.”
Don’t breach the barrier
Dalibor Roháč is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute with concurrent appointments at the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies in Brussels and Anglo-American University in Prague.
A FreeCon signatory, he is the author of two books and numerous articles for such publications as Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
“The separation between private business and politics is central to America’s pluralism,” he wrote.
“Breaching the barrier in search of short-term political gain might look attractive when ‘our’ people are in charge but it is short-sighted, as it sets precedent for the other side to follow suit when it gains access to the levers of power.”
The result might well be a policy mix that undermines America’s prosperity and “makes it much harder to effectively compete against its geopolitical foes.”
Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity president Avik Roy, one of the organizers of the Freedom Conservatism project, spoke during a recent episode of The Hub podcast about the differences between FreeCons and NatCons. Many of the latter argue “that you need an authoritarianism of the Right to fight the authoritarianism of the Left,” Roy said. “I think that’s profoundly wrong.”
Justin Stapley, executive director of the Freemen Foundation, devoted a recent column to the same subject. “Freedom Conservatism is not simply an inverse image of National Conservatism. FreeCons are not merely civic libertarians committed to liberty at the expense of virtue. We are not individualists unmoored from traditionalism. The project of Freedom Conservatism is a fusionist one.”
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