How big government kills the American dream
By Jaime Herrera Beutler
Last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio published their prescription for reviving the American dream. They are right to focus on the dream. They are wrong in their understanding of American history and the role government can play in restoring and fostering the dream.
In an 872-word argument titled “How to revive the American dream,” the words “free” or “freedom” never appear. That’s a clue.
They open with a chilling refrain: Opportunity for success for most Americans is hopeless. All but the rich are falling behind because the “game is rigged.” Their diagnosis: You can’t improve your situation by your own talents or effort. Their prescription: Don’t leave freedom in the hands of citizens. Only a massively larger central government, run by people like them, can help you.
Respectfully, this has been the claim of every person in history who has ever sought to gain enormous power through government control over the daily lives of their fellow citizens.
They say the American dream is nearly dead because the game is rigged. If so, your talent, hard work and dedication can’t help you, and your freedom to choose your own path in life isn’t worth much, is it?
And if the situation is hopeless, the change has to be dramatic. “Bold” is their word. They aren’t trying to sell common-sense reforms. They are selling an entirely new American system that fundamentally changes the relationship between central government leaders and you. Thomas Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the government is to secure freedom. Warren and de Blasio’s government would take your freedom in order to protect you from freedom’s harmful effects.
Their misreading of American history is frightening. The American system of free people and free markets created more opportunity and prosperity for more citizens than any economic system in human history. Most countries have tried to copy our economic model.