America the Unfree

freedom       2004-01-30 
The Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journalís tenth annual Index of Economic Freedom pulls the wool over our eyes. The deception is unintentional and arises from a fatal flaw in the index.

The index delivers the comforting conclusion that the US is the 10th most free country, far ahead of 155th ranked North Korea. However, the index ignores the simple truth that people who do not own the product of their labor are not free. People subject to an income tax do not own the product of their labor.

Our Founding Fathers understood this. Indeed, historically the very definition of freedom has been self-ownership. Serfs and slaves are not free, because they do not own their labor.

Any American who thinks he owns his labor can test the proposition by refusing to pay his income tax. He will quickly discover that he is not a free person.