--James Webb (D), ex-Virginia Senator
Inequality. It comes with a free economy. To fix it, you need the power to redistribute wealth. In the name of adjusting economic distribution, you surrender some freedom. And in the end, you’ll be left with Animal Farm’s “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” The price of “equality” is the downside of “positive liberty.”
Those in power who presume to act in your behalf are in truth following the model of Plato’s Republic and the Catholic Church. It’s the path that at 19th century elite universities brought meritocracy to the fore, the path of Lenin’s “vanguard of the proletariat,” of Progressives, social democrats, and big government + big business corporate welfare. It’s the top-down, “government knows best,” “blue model” power structure favored by today’s Democrats.
--Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas)
Economic growth. It needs a free economy. You allow entrepreneurs to succeed or fail in a free market, with the winners creating jobs and prosperity. Some will do better--that’s the downside of “negative liberty”--but all deserve an equal opportunity to pursue happiness. Government should help ensure equal opportunity through education and the rule of law, which is not the same as presuming to deliver equality.
We need freedom from church or royal rule, freedom to be educated yet succeed without being credentialed, the capitalism of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations that led to the rise of the middle class and business-led prosperity aided by limited government. It’s what’s working in much of Asia today, the classic, bottom up “liberalism” ironically now advocated at home by today’s “conservative” Republicans.