Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Advancing individual freedom

(Note: this is my article for People's Brigada News last weekend)

Individual freedom means the individual is free from various types of coercion in his life imposed by forced collectivism. The individual can say what he wants to express, do what he likes to do, so long as no other people are harmed. Thus, an individual can work and work and become rich someday. Someone who got rich by stealing from other people is restricting the others’ freedom.

There are very few groups and individuals in this country that advance individual freedom and the free market. One of which is our think tank, Minimal Government Thinkers, Inc. A non-believer of big and more government intervention, of more taxes, of more foreign aid, of more environmental regulations and energy taxation, and so on.

We do not solicit any form of government money -- local, national or foreign aid. While many groups, NGOs and academic think tanks are swimming with oodles of WB, ADB, UN, WHO, USAID, JICA and other foreign aid money, we cannot accept such funding. We believe that those foreign aid groups are somehow partners in crime by many national governments in justifying endless intervention and taxation of businesses and persons, in removing from any public discourse "personal responsibility" and supplanting it with "government responsibility" in all sectors of society.

By keeping 100 percent independence from any government money, we believe it also gives us 100 percent political, moral and economic independence from them and so we can criticize them anytime that we see fit. I have criticized ADB's and WB's climate loans racket. It is criminal to further bloat RP's already huge foreign debt by coming up with endless reasons, from fighting poverty like those MDGs to fighting "man-made warming."

We turn only to 3 groups for our funding -- donations from individuals, private corporations and fellow free market think tanks abroad. The past 2 years, we have been getting some funding from our partner think tank in Europe. But they too recently, suffered some cutbacks in funding from their donors. Could be related to the recent global financial squeeze. And thus we suffered very little donation this year.

We have to approach potential local donors, individuals especially, who share our vision of advancing individual freedom. Our output though -- ideas for a free society and free individuals -- are non-material, unlike if one is operating a school or a restaurant, or providing shelter and education to street children, where the output is very clear and material.

Potential donors will not be totally holding an "empty bag" and abstract vision. I can give free briefing on certain topics that MG Thinkers is dipping its fingers -- topics on free trade, climate alarmism, drug price control, health insurance centralization, taxation, IPR and health, public debt, privatization, the free market movement around the world, and so on. We can also conduct small group discussions on related topics like Pagcor privatization.

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