William Thien

Archive for December 2011

If one were looking for a way to measure whether or not America is becoming a freer country, one might look for something to set a tape measure to or a calipers perhaps to see if something were in fact growing in size, as if freedom were something that in fact lengthens. Of course we know this is not the case. Freedom is often indescribable or intangible in the sense that it is really only something we can perceive or feel.

Though, one way we can measure whether America is becoming a freer or more restrictive society is by examining certain types of laws and how restrictive they are. One of the problems with using such a method is that we are governed by two lawmaking bodies, The Congress and The Senate as well as the Judicial Branch (legislation from the bench is becoming more common), and idealistic leadership as well. As time passes, more laws are created and we are by definition more restricted in what we can do simply by the guidance, nay, the encroachment upon freedom, what some might perceive as freedom, that new laws are designed to govern and control. In other words, when more laws are created, fewer options are available with regard to human and corporate behavior because the new laws encroach upon what before was legal behavior, whether it was acceptable or not. In a sense, when you have a body of elected officials and another of bureaucrats making laws in perpetuity, in a matter of time, depending upon the rate at which they make and accumulate laws, it is only a matter of time before you can’t do anything at all! It is historical fact that as time progresses governments grow becoming more encompassing, more taxing, more restrictive, and generally encroaching more upon freedom. A remedy for the phenomenon is clearly required.

In the last two decades or so though there has been a new type of law which has arisen, what I have called “The Right to Self-Administrate” Laws, or, Laws of Self-Administration, laws that let you as an individual citizen do what any sensible person would do in any number of crucial, personal circumstances if our government were not so generally intrusive and ineffective, expensive.

One of two prominent examples of laws of “Self-Administration” are laws that allow a person to self-administer medicines that have been declared illegal by the federal government. Such laws have been passed at the state level allowing patients to self-administer illegal substances in order to improve their health. Arcane and repressive federal law has become out of touch and time with regard to scientific evidence proving such substances can be very effective at the treatment of certain medical conditions. With the Federal Government being unwilling to budge on the matter, the states have side stepped the obstinate federal government and passed laws or have had voter referendums which allow patients to self-administrate with the guidance of a doctor. This of course is a primary example of a measurable increase in freedom. If you could see a line of some type from the prior law governing such behavior in those states to the current state of the law allowing self-medication, you could clearly measure the fact that said line has lengthened, that the citizens who reside in those states have a greater latitude with regard to their behavior. Their freedom has in a sense grown. They are measurably freer.

Another example of a law allowing people to “self-administrate” is the law allowing concealed carry of a firearm or a weapon. We have great police protection in our communities but it is impossible for police to be everywhere at all times (and such a municipal requirement is often breaking the bank for taxpayers, particularly in urban areas where crime is traditionally higher). Allowing the citizenry to provide for its own protection is another example of such a “Right to Self-Administrate.”

These two examples, the “right to self-medicate” and the “right to self-protection” are examples of what might be called “indicators” of freedom, something that might be measurable with a “tape measurer of freedom.” Laws of Self-Administration are of course laws which any large, intrusive government anywhere would fear as the laws substantially undermine by definition such a government’s position in relation to the society it governs primarily by decreasing the need for a variety of substantial government services. Furthermore, such laws of self-administration negate the need for substantial taxation, even more frightening to big government as taxation it is believed is used as a method of social control.

Laws of Self-Administration are clearly a way for Americans to once again see an increase in freedoms on a so-called “Freedom Chart” or a graph of freedom to see if in fact Americans are becoming more free or less so as citizens of supposedly the “freest country on earth,” what politicians like to tell us every time they approach the country during campaign speeches or political debates.

It stands to reason that “The Right to Self Administrate” is clearly the most significant type of law leading to a freer existence for Americans to have arisen in the last 100 years. And if there is any way to measure such a thing, perhaps the more laws we have allowing the “Right to Self-Administrate” will be an indication of more freedom.

Copyright © William Thien 2011-2012

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