Peter Schiff: We Should Change the Name of the Holiday to ‘Dependence Day’
In his latest podcast, Peter Schiff reflected on Independence Day. He said he loves the holiday because it’s uniquely American and it celebrates the sacrifices the founding generation made to bring forth a country conceived in liberty. But he said the Fourth of July also makes him a little sad because it reminds him of what we’ve lost.
I’m sad that we no longer have the nation our founders created for us, that we have lost all that it means to be an American.”
Peter urged listeners to read the Declaration of Independence and emphasized the following passage because it captures the essence of what America is supposed to be and the proper role of government in the American system.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Government flows from the people – not from the top down like a European king. And it is instituted to secure the rights that we already have.
It’s very important to understand that and the distinction between securing our liberties and our rights and giving us stuff. Government is not here to give you stuff. Government is not here to provide you with things. Government is not here to educate you. It’s not here to take care of your health, to feed you, to clothe you, to house you. Government is not here to provide you with happiness. Government is here to allow you to pursue happiness on your own.”
Peter pointed out the government can’t give you stuff because it doesn’t have anything of its own to give. In order to give something to one person, it has to take it away from somebody else.
That’s not why governments are instituted. They are not instituted to use force to take things from other people and give them to you. They’re there to use force to protect what you have and make sure other people don’t steal it from you.”
American independence is more than just being free from England. It’s about being personally independent. It’s about rugged self-reliance. But America has lost that sense of identity.
We might as well rename our holiday dependence day because everybody in America wants to depend on the government. They want to look to the government for everything. They want the government to provide them with the things that they think they need to be happy.”
In a podcast last week, Peter warned about the potential drift toward socialism in the US. In this latest episode, he noted that this growing dependence on government is at the root of this socialist impulse.
It’s about the government giving you stuff that you don’t have because you think you have a right to be happy. You don’t! You have a right to pursue happiness. You don’t have a right to achieve happiness. That’s up to you. But the beauty of the American system is if government sticks to its limited powers that it has, more people are happy.”
The cry of the American Revolution was, “No taxation without representation!” But as Peter noted, the actual level of taxation levied by the British on the American colonies was quite small – especially compared to today.
Obviously, we’re taxing ourselves in ways that are far more oppressive than anything that King George would have even contemplated in his wildest dreams. Yet somehow, our government is able to get away with it.”
Peter said he would trade low taxation without representation for confiscatory taxation with representation.
The bottom line is America has fallen a long way from its revolutionary ideals.
Today, Americans – self-governing Americans – living under the tyranny of Washington D.C., Americans today have it far worse as far as their liberties and freedoms than colonists did prior to the Revolutionary War. So, even though we fought a Revolutionary War to gain freedom, and to gain liberty, and to become more independent, we actually accomplished the reverse.”
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