Monday, January 30, 2012

Expanding Ownership: an op-ed by Ronald Reagan, October 1980

Expanding Ownership

This is an interesting piece...and I recommend reading it in full.  As you'll see, there are "pull quotes" that even President Obama might seek to pluck and use.  For example:

Our Founding Fathers well understood that concentrated power is the enemy of Liberty and the rights of man. They knew that the American experiment in individual liberty, free enterprise, and republican self-government could succeed only if power were widely distributed. And since in any society social and political power flow from economic power, they saw that wealth and property would have to be widely distributed among the people of this country...Could there be anything resembling a free enterprise economy, if wealth and property were concentrated in the hands of a few, while the great majority owned little more than the shirts on their backs?
Before any socialists try to play this as a trump card, however, I'd point them to what else Reagan says:

It should be clear to everyone that the nation's steadfast policy should afford every American of working age a realistic opportunity to acquire the ownership and control of some meaningful form of property in a growing national economy[.]

This is not to say that the government should confiscate from the "haves" and bestow upon the "have-nots", beyond the requirements of a compassionate welfare programs to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves. Far from it. But it is to say that our duty is to foster a strong, vibrant, wealth-producing economy...

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