Walter E. Williams

Last week's column, "Let's Do Some Detective Work," provided unassailable evidence that the protections of liberty envisioned by the Constitution's Framers mean little today. I was pleasantly surprised by the responses from fellow Americans expressing disgust and fear over what our nation is becoming. Several asked how we can regain our liberties. My short answer is: I'm not sure they can ever be recovered. Let's look at it.

We all have a moral obligation to pay our share for constitutionally mandated functions of the federal government, but we have no such obligation to have Congress take the earnings of one American and give them to another American. Forcing one American to serve the purposes of another is one way slavery can be defined.

I'm an emancipated adult fully capable of taking care of my own retirement. Why should I or anyone else be forced to pay into the government's Social Security? Do you see any signs on the horizon that such practices are coming to an end? The list of encroachments on personal liberty like these is virtually endless.

Self-determination is a human right we all should respect. If some people want socialism, that's their right -- but it is not their right to use brute government power to force others, who want liberty, to be a part of it. Liberty-minded Americans might organize to acquire government power to impose their will on socialist-minded Americans, but that's not right either. A far more peaceful method is simply to part company.

That's an idea already being explored by Free State Project. Their plan, as stated on their website ( is: "20,000 or more liberty-oriented people will move to New Hampshire, where they may work within the political system to reduce the size and scope of government. The success of the Free State Project would likely entail reductions in burdensome taxation and regulation, reforms in state and local law, an end to federal mandates and a restoration of constitutional federalism."

Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
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