My good friend Larry Reed over at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) has an old speech that is a “must read” for anyone who cares about a free economy. Below, I list his seven principles, but I urge you to follow the link at the end and read the piece in its entirety. These are good common-sense gems, but Larry elucidates them wonderfully.
1. Free people are not equal and equal people are not free
2. What belongs to you, you tend to take care of; what belongs to no one or everyone tends to fall into disrepair
3. Sound policy requires that we consider long-run effects and all people, not simply short-run effects and a few people.
4. If you encourage something you get more of it; if you discourage something, you get less of it.
5. Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own.
6. Government has nothing to give anybody except what it first takes from somebody, and a government that’s big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you’ve got.
7. Liberty makes all the difference in the world