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Why Things Seem to Go on in One Direction

Matt WingardQuickPoint!

Democracy is not an excuse for tyranny. It must be more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

As a voter, consider whether it’s ethical to take property away from other people simply because you can out-vote them.

There are only two kinds of politicians: those who promise to use the power of government to give you something, and those who promise to prevent government from using its power to take something away from you. In reality, there are far more of the former than the latter. Why? Because it’s like owning a gun you don’t shoot, a car you don’t drive, or candy you don’t eat.

Government is power. It’s the power to control other people and to tell them what to do. And it’s quite an addictive machine to control. There are far fewer people interested in going down to Salem just to keep an eye on the machine and not to turn it on. By its very nature, the machine attracts people who have grand plans for other people’s lives and other people’s money.

Voters in a free society must practice restraint. If they give in to their desire for ever-more government—if a growing number of Oregonians choose to see elections as a way to get something from someone else—eventually there are no sheep left. Only starving wolves.

This video explains how your liberty works and why the machine is so dangerous.

Matt Wingard is Director of the School Choice Project at Cascade Policy Institute, a Portland, Oregon-based think tank.

© 2007, Cascade Policy Institute. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided the author and Cascade Policy Institute are cited. Contact Cascade at (503) 242-0900 to arrange print or broadcast interviews on this topic. For more topics visit the QuickPoint! archive.

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