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☆ Our permission society

Everything not forbidden is compulsory.
     — T. H. White, The Once and Future King

Once upon a time, the old saying applied. “Everything which is not forbidden is allowed” illustrated the freedom of the English citizen while “Everything which is not allowed is forbidden” applied to English authorities.

Today I want to recognize two societies, the liberty society and the permission society.

The liberty society assumes that people take responsibility for their choices. Unless it harms someone or their property, you are free to do what you choose, when you choose, and how you choose. You choose.

But you are responsible for the consequences.

The permission society forbids people from acting without permission. Or license. Or approval.

Sadly, America has moved well into being a permission society. And our politicos want to move us further.

Your income must be reported under penalty of law. Spend too much, and it is reported. Save too much and it is reported. Take it out in cash and cross state lines and it is confiscated.

You're free to take what drugs you need as long as you have a doctor's permission. Except some drugs can't be legally sold. And some you must sign for because government assumes you might be making other not so legal drugs.

You can buy alcoholic beverages usually. But some states require that you buy from the government. And some wines and beers can't be sold across state lines.

You can buy insurance if your state government has approved the policy in advance. Don't like what's offered in your state? Sorry, you don't have permission to buy anything else.

You can carry a gun or not as your state decides. You might or might not need a license. You might or might not be able to carry a concealed weapon. Oh, and just because you can do it in your state doesn't mean you can do it in another.

You can start your own business. If you get the proper permits and occupational licensing. And sometimes, if your would be competition doesn't object.

You can rent out your house. If the local hotels and motels don't raise a fuss.

You can use your car to drive people. As long as you don't charge them if you don't have a taxi medallion.

How is this freedom?

Where is the harm?

Why do you stand for this?

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