Katie Kieffer

If Britney Spears performs her hit single “I'm a Slave 4 U” alongside exotic animals or dances inside a cage, you assume she craves easy attention but you don’t think that she literally wants to live like a zoo animal. Needless to say, humans do not belong in zoos. Cages do not enable men to grow and prosper.

But what if a man were born in a zoo? Like a baby tiger born in a zoo, he would not see the zoo as a trap. His needs for food, shelter and even procreation would be satisfied. (The zookeepers would figure it out.)

However, he would not learn how to build himself a shelter because he would have a temperature-regulated exhibit area. He would not learn to defend himself because there would be nothing threatening in his artificial environment. He would not learn to hunt and prepare his own meals because zookeepers would bring dishes of food to him. He would never learn to work. He would own nothing and be responsible for nothing. If he had children, the zoo would provide for them also.

He would learn to scratch at the walls and howl when he wanted his zookeepers. He would learn sloth.

When a government unjustly strips its people of their freedom by overstepping its Constitutional authority (think health care reform), by over-regulating business (think the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), by restraining online free speech (think net neutrality regulations and high-tech bullying) and by attacking free market competition within entire industries (think green technology and commercial real estate), the people begin to live like animals in a zoo.

Employers facing a 35 percent corporate income tax rate will quit posting job openings and move their businesses overseas. Hundreds of unemployed people will apply for the same open position—even if it’s just to flip burgers at McDonald’s. Some people will try to start their own business and give up when government taxes and regulations choke off their profits.

Katie Kieffer

Katie Kieffer is the author of a new book published by Random House, LET ME BE CLEAR: Barack Obama’s War on Millennials and One Woman’s Case for Hope.” She writes a weekly column for Townhall.com. She also runs KatieKieffer.com.