The strength of a democracy depends on the economic and political freedom of its citizens. Compare the strength of economies and the welfare of citizens that are democracies to those that are directed by despotic regimes – it’s clear. But even in a democracy, there is a “tyrant” that can exercise despotic power if left unchecked – the government: federal, state and local. Government policies can restrict freedom of choice, confiscate resources and valuable time, compel actions that grossly fail to pass any cost-benefit test, show favoritism, and enforce servitude. And these powers can be used to entrench a political dynasty.
Political freedom and the right to express views openly as well as to vote free of coercion are critical, but economic freedom, the right to use the fruits of our labor every day without political influence, is essential for democracy to thrive.America’s small businesses employ half our private sector workers, produce nearly half of our private sector output, and are routinely praised by politicians for their importance. But these politicians frequently limit the economic freedom of small businesses.