In Praise of Free Enterprise
My life was turned upside-down on the morning of February 12, 2011. The previous evening my wife and I went through a city that is blessed with the presence of a Der Weinerschnitzel. I have worshipped many times at the altar of this wonderful hotdog emporium featuring my all-time favorite chili cheese dogs and Polish sandwiches. I partook of both of these gastronomical delights along with a root beer and fries. The combo is one of the food industry’s greatest inventions. Life was good.
The next morning, February 12th, a day which will live in infamy in my home, I got a telephone call from the nurse at Dr. Sneezenblow’s office. She told me that Dr. Sneezenblow needed to meet with me immediately to discuss the results of my recent blood tests. Ten minutes later I was in his office with visions of Prostate Cancer swimming through my head. I knew a whole battery of blood tests had been ordered as a part of my annual physical but the only one I could remember was the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test – the test that would indicate the presence of Prostate Cancer. I was terrified.
I wasn’t left in suspense for long. The good news was that I didn’t have Prostate Cancer. The bad news was that I had Type 2 Diabetes. My first thought, after recovering from the shock of Dr. Sneezenblow’s announcement, was that chili cheese dogs and Polish sandwiches were things of the past. I was in mourning. The nurse interrupted my sorrow by pricking my finger with a lancet and then testing the blood sugar level in my heretofore hotdog infused carcass. Just to give you some perspective – 70 to 130 is considered to be normal. Anything over 200 is considered to place a person in the diabetic range. I registered in at a cool 494. The blood testing meter maxed out at 500. I almost blew the lid off that little electronic wonder! At that point I knew root beer and fries were also gone from my gastronomical routine. Life was definitely not good!
Now you might think that this article is all about some guy (that would be me) moaning about being victimized by his defective pancreas gland. Nope! I refuse to play the role of the victim. Catch the Eagles’ song about victimhood right here. It is a wonderful expose of the entire liberal woe-is-me victimhood mindset. Instead, this article is a celebration of the wonders of American capitalism, the free-market, and Yankee innovation that is the wonder of the world.
The good doctor laid down the law concerning my diet from that point forward. I immediately resigned myself to an endless round of green beans and water chestnuts. Then I got on the Internet and, armed with my new dietary restrictions, began researching how to cope with eating in the world of Type 2 Diabetes. It didn’t take long to discover that private enterprise, long derided by Obama and his ilk, has developed some amazing foods, devices, and technologies to allow their customers to successfully deal with both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. The rest of this article is about some of these companies and the innovative ways they have addressed market needs within the free enterprise.
Dreamfields Foods is a manufacturer of pasta. Normally, diabetics would be expected to eliminate all forms of pasta from their diets. Traditional pastas score a 38 on the Glycemic Index. Traditional pastas also contain 41 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Any diabetic can tell you that watching and regulating carbohydrates is just as important, if not more so, than watching calories, sugar, or fats. But Dreamfields Foods, through a shining example of Yankee ingenuity, has created pasta that boasts an incredible score of only 13 on the Glycemic Index. And yes, their pasta still contains 41 grams of carbohydrates per serving, but only 5 grams of those carbohydrates get digested! The rest passes harmlessly through the body. Carbohydrates are just a form of sugar and when they are digested the blood glucose level spikes upward. Sugar spikes are what diabetics attempt to avoid. A good rule of thumb is that diabetics try to keep those sugar spikes below 180. With pasta that measures in at a very low 13 on the Glycemic Index and only 5 grams per serving of digestible carbohydrates, Dreamfields Foods has made it possible for diabetics to once again enjoy pasta. And that is a huge deal if you have diabetes. Dreamfields Foods saw a market need and filled that need through an innovative approach – exactly what the free enterprise system is designed to do. Imagine the possibility of a massive governmental bureaucracy inventing something as innovative as what Dreamfields Foods did. Right, it would never happen. In the world of the socialists some anonymous bureaucrats would devise a series of five year plans for the economy. And minus the economic stimulus of taking risks and potentially reaping rewards, there would be no incentive for industry to look for solutions in the pasta market.
Pasta without sauce is a non-starter and Walden Farms has solved that problem with another shining example of meeting a market need through innovation. What do the following foods all have in common?
- Alfredo Sauce
- Tomato & Basil Sauce
- Garlic & Herb Sauce
- Strawberry Spread
- Raspberry Spread
- Blueberry Spread
- Apricot Fruit Spread
- Apple Butter
- Grape Spread
- Orange Spread
- Blue Cheese Dip
- Ranch Dip
- French Onion Dip
- Bacon Dip
- Chocolate Syrup
- Blueberry Syrup
- Caramel Syrup
- Strawberry Syrup
- Pancake Syrup
- BBQ Sauce (Original, Honey, Thick ‘N Spicy, and Hickory Smoked)
- Seafood Sauce
- Chocolate Dip
- Caramel Dip
- Marshmallow Dip
- Whipped Peanut Spread
- Chipotle Ranch Dressing
- Sesame Ginger Dressing
- Thousand Island Dressing
- Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- Raspberry Vinaigrette
- Blue Cheese Dressing
- Caesar Dressing
- Honey Dijon
- French Dressing
- Creamy Bacon Dressing
- Balsamic Viniagrette
- Bacon Ranch Dressing
- Italian Dressing
- Asian Dressing
- Italian Sun Dried Tomato Dressing
- Zesty Italian Dressing
- Russian Dressing
- Creamy Italian Dressing
- Jersey Sweet Onion Dressing
- Coleslaw Dressing
Quite the list isn’t it? Okay, here’s the answer to the question. You can purchase any of those items from Walden Farms and each of those foods has zero sugar, zero gluten, zero carbs, zero fat, and zero calories. That’s right – totally guilt free! Imagine what Walden Farms has done for the diabetics of America! All of those foods had been taboo for diabetics until Walden Farms came along. Once again private enterprise recognized a market need and delivered magnificently within the free market system. You can rest assured that the Department of Agriculture, within a Big Government/Centrally Planned economy never would have developed this solution. Once again, free enterprise comes to the rescue. Thank you, Walden Farms!
Now what good is Whipped Peanut Spread if you don’t have bread to spread it on? Regular white bread is taboo for diabetics. Eating white flour is like injecting sugar straight into your veins. White flour bread has a Glycemic Index Value of 71. Anything above 70 is considered to be a High GI food. A score of 100 is the high end of the scale. Even whole wheat and multi-grain breads have to be treated with caution by diabetics. It is not just the flour. Manufacturers put sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, honey, and assorted other bad ingredients for diabetics in their breads. So what kind of bread can a diabetic eat? Julian Bakery recognized this market need and came to the rescue. Julian Bakery offers a wide variety of breads for customers requiring special diets: gluten-free, high fiber, high protein, low calorie, low carbohydrate, wheat-free, and sprouted breads. Their products are carried nationwide by various retailers or you can buy their products online. Yet again the free market solved a problem! Julian Bakery saw a market need and came up with innovative products to fill that need.
When was the last time you saw Obama fix a problem? – Didn’t think so. Obama’s approach is to create a problem and then offer socialism as the fix to the problem that he created! To Obama and other socialists/communists the ONLY solution is government. Cradle to grave is their mantra. What the vast unwashed masses of liberals with their hands out begging for their share of Obama’s Stash haven’t figured out is that by depending upon the government for their physical security that they have relinquished their freedom and liberty.
Obama and his socialist administration do not possess an understanding of the proper role of government. They seek to control people instead of liberating them. As John Locke said many years ago:
The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings, capable of laws, where there is no law there is no freedom. For liberty is to be free from restraint and violence from others, which cannot be where there is no law; and is not, as we are told, ‘a liberty for every man to do what he lists.’ For who could be free, when every other man’s humour might domineer over him? But a liberty to dispose and order freely as he lists his person, actions, possessions, and his whole property within the allowance of those laws under which he is, and therein not to be subject to the arbitrary will of another, but freely follow his own. (Two Treatises of Civil Government, II, 57: P.P.N.S., p.101)
In 1959 President Dwight D. Eisenhower asked his Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson, to have a conversation with Nikita Khrushchev on the subject of agriculture. The conversation, later recounted by Benson, took a sharp turn away from agriculture and veered right into the essence of liberty versus totalitarianism:
“Your children will live under communism.” Khrushchev said.
“On the contrary,” Secretary Benson replied, “My grandchildren will live in freedom as I hope that all people will.”
Khrushchev then retorted: “You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept Communism outright; but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of Socialism until you will finally wake up and find that you already have Communism. We won’t have to fight you; we’ll so weaken your economy, until you fall like overripe fruit into our hands.”
That is what Obama is doing. He is feeding us doses of socialism, knowing that one day we will wake up and find that we live in a communistic society. Note that Khrushchev pointed out how socialism will weaken our economy. That is the great danger to free enterprises like Dreamfields Foods, Julian Bakery, and Walden Farms. Socialism’s goal is to rid society of free enterprise. Socialism is merely a stepping stone to communism. And communism means no private enterprise. Communism’s goal is to exert total control over every aspect of our lives. Benson had an exact opposite view to Khrushchev’s concerning free enterprise:
Under our system there has been released great creative capacity, because we have been free, unrestricted. What have we achieved? A standard of living unequalled anywhere in the world. Not because we are smarter, not because we are more brilliant, not because we have greater capacity than people of other nations, but because we have had a system which is superior—a system which was wisely provided by the Founding Fathers. We must protect and safeguard that system. Sometimes we find people who almost apologize for it—the free enterprise system. Of course it is not perfect; it is operated by human beings, but it is the best system in operation in this world today. If we are wise, we will preserve it, we will strengthen it and we will safeguard it for our children and our children’s children.
Benson is not alone in his view of the vital nature of the free enterprise system. Here are some thoughts on this subject by other notable people:
Free enterprise has done more to reduce poverty than all the government programs dreamed up by Democrats – Ronald Wilson Reagan
And from another former president:
The government can supply no substitute for enterprise. – Calvin Coolidge
Yet another quote from Coolidge:
The wise and correct course to follow in taxation and all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success but to create conditions under which every one will have a better chance to be successful.
Abraham Lincoln also spoke about free enterprise:
The strongest bond of human sympathy outside the family relation should be one uniting all working people of all nations and tongues and kindreds. Nor should this lead us to a war on property, or the owners of property. Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. – Abraham Lincoln
Walter E. Williams pointed out the despotic thinking process of tyrants:
People who denounce the free market and voluntary exchange, and are for control and coercion, believe they have more intelligence and superior wisdom to the masses. What’s more, they believe they’ve been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. Of course, they have what they consider good reasons for doing so, but every tyrant that has ever existed has had what he believed were good reasons for restricting the liberty of others. – Walter E. Williams
The prominent economist Milton Friedman also chimed in on the subject of free enterprise:
The argument for collectivism, for government doing something, is simple. Anybody can understand it. ‘If there’s something wrong, pass a law. If somebody is in trouble, get Mr. X to help them out.’ The argument for voluntary cooperation, for a free market, is not nearly so simple. It says, ‘You know, if you allow people to cooperate voluntarily and don’t interfere with them, indirectly, through the operation of the market, they will improve matters more than you can improve it directly by appointing somebody.’ That’s a subtle argument, and it’s hard for people to understand. Moreover, people think that when you argue that way you’re arguing for selfishness, for greed. That’s utter nonsense.
Lew Rockwell made this inspired statement:
The larger the government, the more our livings standards are reduced. We are fortunate as a civilization that the progress of free enterprise generally outpaces the regress of government growth, for, if that were not the case, we would be poorer each year — not just in relative terms, but absolutely poorer too. The market is smart and the government is dumb, and to these attributes do we owe the whole of our economic well-being.
Ayn Rand tells us what happens when the socialists/communists win:
When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.
P.J. O’Rourke said it even more succinctly than Rand:
When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.
On the subject of government bailouts Henry Hazlitt said this:
It is just as essential for the health of a dynamic economy that dying industries should be allowed to die as that growing industries should be allowed to grow. For the dying industries absorb labor and capital that should be released for the growing industries. It is only the much vilified price system that solves the enormously complicated problem of deciding precisely how much of tens of thousands of different commodities and services should be produced in relation to each other. These otherwise bewildering equations are solved quasi-automatically by the system of prices, profits and costs. They are solved by this system incomparably better than any group of bureaucrats could solve them. For they are solved by a system under which each consumer makes his own demand and casts a fresh vote, or a dozen fresh votes, every day; whereas bureaucrats would try to solve it by having made for the consumers, not what the consumers themselves wanted, but what the bureaucrats decided was good for them.
And finally, Walter Lippman ends our lesson thusly:
In a free society the state does not administer the affairs of men. It administers justice among men who conduct their own affairs.
The free enterprise system is closely tied to the principle of individual liberty. That is why we must do everything in our power to preserve it. That is why Obama must lose the 2012 election. That is why conservatives must take the Senate from the Democrats. That is why there must be a massive conservative uprising the likes of which has never before been seen. We are in a literal war for our freedoms and the freedom of our children and grandchildren.
I have a dream that one day the perverse philosophy of communism will be rooted out of our national consciousness.
I have a dream that one day government will shrink to the minimum size necessary to fulfill its constitutional mandates.
I have a dream that our children and their children will be freed from the mountain of debt thrust upon their shoulders by Obama and his like-minded minions.
I have a dream that the patriots of this nation will rise up and save free enterprise from the very brink of destruction and that the principle of working for what we get will reign supreme in our economy.
I have a dream that government handouts will cease for the lazy and that people, through their own good works, will voluntarily provide for the needs of the truly destitute among us – lifting both themselves and the needy with their generosity.
I have a dream that the philosophy of equal outcomes will be replaced with the philosophy of equal opportunity. May people choose for themselves what they will make of their lives and reap the rewards of their own hard labor.
I have a dream that we will elect a righteous president who will preside over us in full devotion to the Constitution of the United States.
I have a dream that the communists will be eradicated from the United States Congress through the power of an enlightened electorate exercising their rights at the ballot box without fear of intimidation.
I have a dream that the United States of America will fulfill its destiny as the world’s beacon of liberty and through its shining example lift all nations, all peoples, and all societies.
I close with the words of a hymn familiar to all citizens of these United States. It is a poetic prayer of supplication for the preservation of our precious liberties.
Our fathers’ God, to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light.
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King!