I write in response to Seth Pietras’ article, “Government should respect individual liberty, choice” in last week’s Record.
Pietras suggests we ought to follow William F. Buckley’s advice that laissez-faire government allows for the greatest prosperity and freedom. I would hesitate before regarding Buckley as an authority of freedom. He spent much of the 80’s using The National Review as a platform from which he lambasted sanctions against South Africa while praising the apartheid regime’s “free” market governance.
Furthermore, Pietras credits Bill Clinton with taking Buckley’s wisdom to his Administration’s economic policy. Buckley’s economic ideas revolve around supply-side “trickle down” economics which show no regard for monetary policy. The Clinton Administration has captained this successful economy, in part, by way of the Fed’s careful watch over monetary policy.
I don’t deny the importance of individual freedom, but Pietras must realize the private sector, in which he puts extraordinary faith, is as capable as the government of trampling individual rights. It is only a regulatory government that can check corporate power when it comes to threaten our individual rights.
Morgan Barth ’02