“A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”
Milton Friedman (1912-2006)
Equality cannot be demanded.
Equality cannot be mandated.
Equality cannot be legislated.
Equality cannot be forced.
Freedom cannot be forced.
Freedom cannot be imposed.
Freedom cannot be faked.
Freedom cannot be secondary.
Freedom has to be the first objective of a free society. It is the core of free enterprise. Primary.
But what's it have to do with equality? Equality cannot create freedom, but freedom engenders equality?
What does Dr. Friedman mean by that?
When the founding documents of the great United States are based in the "self-evident" idea that "all men are created equal," it has to do with endowed rights more than it has to do with the imposition of anything. And, further, that our given rights are an endowment, meaning bequeathed, inherited and within our capabilities.
Equality cannot be imposed, or legislated, or forced any more than freedom can. There can be no guarantee of equality.
So how are all of us created equal?
> It is in the self-evidence of certain, inseparable rights.
> It is found in what we can pursue - our lives, our liberty and our happiness.
> It is in our acquisition of private property (physical and intellectual) and that to obtain happiness and safety.
> It is in the enjoyment and defense of our lives and our liberties.
So, does free enterprise make the scene? Yes!
Almost everyone is good at something. Some of us are naturally very good at some things, others of us have to work toward the realization of what we are good at and then develop it. But almost everyone is good at something.
What if it's loyalty, and constancy, and honesty, and integrity when we work for others? The world will always desire people with those traits.
In free enterprise, when practiced as a whole, everyone fits in somewhere. And the cream is free to rise to the top. But everyone is free to pursue, and make happiness happen.
And in that pursuit we are equal. And, as Milton Friedman says, to a high degree.
Free enterprise allows us to pursue a high degree of equality.