Judge Andrew Napolitano

In America, the federal government seems to control everything. Light bulbs, shoe leather, refrigerators, even the water strength in your shower. Your banker, your doctor, your lawyer, your computer all are regulated beyond belief. What is it in America that the feds can't control? The answer is simple: human nature. We need to eat, and we need to move about; and that means we will use the free market in order to do so, with or without the government.

Every capable human engages in market exchanges, even in those countries where it's illegal. Through all of history, humans have advanced civilization by building up the avenues of trade so as to increase their standards of living. When you buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of gas, you are freely choosing to engage in what remains of the free market. I emphasize "what remains" because when you buy bread, you are paying the local or state government a tax for a product that was baked under conditions set forth by the feds and one of the 50 states, and when you buy fuel for your car, up to one quarter of the cost of the fuel consists of state and federal sales taxes.

Sales taxes constitute a grand theft concocted by politicians and bureaucrats so as to provide them with a never-ending supply of cash they can use to bribe people for their votes. Sales taxes also make items we need more expensive. And they intrude upon our privacy. Think about it. If I want a loaf of bread and you are a grocer willing to sell me one, what business is that of the government? None. What involvement has the government had? None. What has the government done to add value to that transaction? Nothing.

The protesters on Wall Street seem not to understand that free trade is a natural right -- like speech, travel, religion, self-defense, privacy -- and is mutually beneficial to the buyer and the seller. That's why at the end of a transaction, each party says "thank you." We have both benefited. It's a win-win. I have food and fuel, and the seller has revenue. So how is it today that this natural and daily activity has become much maligned and exploited and hated by government elites?


Judge Andrew Napolitano

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano is the youngest life-tenured Superior Court judge in the history of the State of New Jersey. He sat on the bench from 1987 to 1995, during which time he presided over 150 jury trials and thousands of motions, sentencings and hearings. He taught constitutional law at Seton Hall Law School for 11 years, and he returned to private practice in 1995. Judge Napolitano began television work in the same year.