Monday, May 17, 2004


As if to confirm a point I made in my previous post, Timothy Sandefur of Freespace has just posted this:

The greatest increase in freedom comes through technological advancement. Sunday morning I woke up in Las Vegas, Nevada, a miserable, godforsaken desert, with practically no natural resources that are not rocks. I nevertheless awoke in calm air-conditioned comfort, ate a large buffet breakfast which included salmon, chicken, shrimp, and various other things not native to Nevada. I then got on an airplane and flew home, got in a car, came home, and blogged about my trip. On the way I listened to the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan, on a compact disk —- music created on an electric guitar. Almost nothing that I did -— almost nothing that I dealt with, from my cheap, faux leather shoes to the instantaneous news I got on the radio at the top of the hour, was available to people in 1904. My freedom is therefore infinitely greater.

But of course, today I’m subject to zoning laws, income taxes, licensing restrictions, minimum wages, medicine regulation, and a limitless number of curtailments to my freedom which did not exist in 1904.
Sandefur, like most people, mistakes the fruits of prosperity for freedom. If it weren't for the "limitless number of curtailments to...freedom" that Sandefur acknowledges, more people would enjoy more of the fruits of prosperity. Because so many people mistake prosperity for freedom they fail to notice -- or to care about -- the state's encroachments on freedom.