Welcome to our weekly book study of “The Five Thousand Year Leap.” (Skousen, W. Cleon. The Five Thousand Year Leap: 28 Ideas That Changed the World. National Center for Constitutional Studies, 1981).
This week, we’re looking at Skousen’s 15th Principle, which is: “The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free-market economy and a minimum of government regulations.”
Let’s look at how Skousen presents this economic principle. He refers to “The Four Laws of Economic Freedom.” This chapter tells us that Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” was the impetus behind the Four Laws of Economic Freedom. You’ll find a graphic illustration as this chapter opens:
“Freedom to BUY.”
“Freedom to TRY.”
“Freedom to SELL.”
“Freedom to FAIL.”
My first thought is how our country is at odds with these common-sense laws and is being taught and told that somehow, socialism is better. Remember the satirical, oft-cited “Two Cows” illustration? It goes something like this:
- Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
- Communism: You have two cows. You give them to the government, and the government then gives you some milk. (I would add “maybe”)
- Fascism: You have two cows. You give them to the government, and the government then sells you some milk.
- Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
- Nazism: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.
That is the short version. There are variations on this theme aplenty, but you get the idea. Today, an abundance of Americans believe that we need socialism or communism in its various forms because we need a type of savior to assist us. Rewrite the Four Laws of Economic Freedom to reflect the pull going on in America today, and this is what you might see happening.
- We need help. We CAN’T TRY. (translation: We want the “government” (your tax dollars) to make us prosper.
- We will still be able to BUY freely under socialism. Everyone will be equal. There will be no more poverty. (So, in a bipolar sort of economics, people love capitalism, BUT they want socialism because they believe poverty, jealousy, and greed will be eliminated by it).
- We believe there will be a market to SELL a variety of things and just the right amount of choices. (Such thinking denies the bread lines, price controls, and the poverty of the 20th century under communism and its various forms).
- We believe this system can’t possibly FAIL because our new government will be “too big to fail.”
Skousen emphasizes that we live in an economy of debt rather than wealth. This is a road, in my opinion, toward socialism. Skousen says that “the United States has an opportunity to add one more burst of momentum to the upward thrust of the 5,000 year leap. It will be a monumental monetary reform based on the principles which the Founders understood but were never able [to completely] implement.”
What do you think about this 15th Principle? I would like to see the USA take that leap forward by studying and voting with the Four Laws of Economic Freedom in mind. This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.??