I found this old article on my hard drive by Charlie Reese. It reminded
me of a very important fact: I can be a believer in freedom without
believing in an unrestricted capitalist system, and that too many people
equate them.  In reality, I look forward to Zion, where there will be
great freedom to govern oneself, but there will be restricted capitalism.
It isn't communism, though. We won't force anyone to do it, they will
just simply be asked to leave...
K'aya K'ama,
Gerald/gary  Smith    gszion1 @juno.com    http://www
"No one is as hopelessly enslaved as the person who thinks he's free."  -
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 By Charley Reese  of The Sentinel Staff
 Published in The Orlando Sentinel on July 22, 1999.

 The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has sent a delegation  to Cuba to discuss
free enterprise. Aside from the fact
 that the group won't find much, the trip offers a good occasion to point
out that a market economy and
 political freedom are not the same thing.

 Too many Americans seem to think that a country that allows a
free-market economy to operate is free. Not
 so. A free country is defined by the political rights of its citizens
not the form of its economy.

 Other Americans seem to think that a market economy will inevitably
produce political freedom. Not so again.
 Many dictatorships have operated with a market economy, the dictator
simply skimming some of the
 profits. There was free enterprise in Cuba under the dictator Fulgencio
Batista but not political freedom.
 Now, under Castro, there is neither.

 Keep in mind that one of the purest examples of free enterprise is
criminal gangs involved in such businesses
 as illicit drugs. They operate entirely without government supervision
and make enormous profits. Does that make
 them moral?

 Political rights include the right to free speech, to assemble and to
petition the government, to change the government, to publish freely, to
live under a system of laws enacted by elective representatives as
binding on the ruler as on the ruled. None of these is present in Cuba or
in China, even though both countries have allowed foreign investments and
very much want to increase their economic trade with other countries.

 Frankly, it should not matter to Americans what kind of an economy
another country has. We should be advocates of political freedom, not
capitalism. Virtually all of our European allies now have socialist
governments. Japan's form of capitalism is certainly not the same as
ours. What difference does it make to us if the foreign products we buy
are made in a capitalist plant, a co-op or a government plant?


 Nor does the form the economy takes have any effect on
government-to-government relationships. The Chinese government now allows
some free-market activity within its borders, but that doesn't mean that
the government likes us.

 When American-based corporations look for foreign-investment
opportunities, they are looking for either cheap labor to build something
they will export back to the United States or a way to get a wedge into a
foreign market. Unless you own a lot of stock in the corporation, there
is no benefit to the average American. The only effect on us is that we
may lose our jobs if it's our plant that's shut down and moved overseas.
Robert Reich, former secretary of Labor, pointed out long ago
 that about half of what the ignoratti refer to as trade is really
nothing more than intercorporate transfers.

 Pappy used to say, "Never mix business with friendship or pleasure."
What he was saying is good advice for
 citizens to keep in mind. The purpose of business is to make a profit
not to be patriotic, not to advance human
 rights, not to do what is right for the country.

 Because big money heavily influences both political parties and owns
most of the communications media, often what is good for business is
presented as good for the country. Don't believe it. Don't confuse
business with politics, benevolence, humanitarianism or, for that matter,
even common decency. One of the Founding Fathers remarked that the only
country a merchant knows is the spot he stands on in front of his money

 The founders of this country did not invent government to be the
handmaiden of business.

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