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"How can we keep the government we create from becoming a Frankenstein that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect?" asks Milton Friedman in his masterpiece Capitalism and Freedom. Alas, a new generation of Americans is asking, "How do we use the government to take what belongs to others to provide for a carefree life for ourselves?"

Ignorance accuses free-market thinkers of promoting ideas in the interest of the rich. The truth is that political power tends to ally itself with the rich. Big government, big business, big labor unions-these are all special interest groups. An alliance between the three is a recipe for economic disaster. They hurt the taxpayer, the consumer, and the worker. Just look at the auto industry.

Everyone I know claims to be in favor of freedom. Many forget that "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch!" Adulthood is a package deal. You embrace the freedom to succeed-then have the guts to bear the consequences of your poor choices.

Yes, paying the cost of freedom is painful. It is that pain, however, that makes us stronger and wiser. We need strong and wise citizens to be in charge of their own lives, or we will go down the road of previous empires.

America is at crossroads. Let us use this golden opportunity to do away with bureaucratic tyranny and restore the rule of law. The first step is to acknowledge that we have a problem, to recognize the danger of a good government going too far in the wrong direction.

The eyes of the world are closely watching what goes on at the home of the brave. America may be facing the biggest challenge in its relatively short history. Will this generation persevere in the hard times to preserve their liberty? Or will they cry out for Uncle Sam to change their diapers?

Life is full of challenges. Character, however, is built through perseverance in tribulation and suffering. And without character-there is no hope.

Alex Tokarev Alex is a former WORLD contributor.


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