I talk a fair amount about liberty on this site, that is the idea that we can govern and take care of ourselves. That means that we have to do things ourselves and not rely on others to do it for us (especially the government). I have written a few times about why I believe this, but today I’m not going to rant about that, but instead talk about the idea in action.
I live in a small “in-town” neighborhood a few miles from the city. We have a very active home owners association. Most of my friends hate their HOA, but I love ours. Our HOA doesn’t enforce any laws except those that protect personal property rights (you can do anything you want as long as it doesn’t affect anyone else), they lead by example, and charge no HOA fees (equivalent to government not charging taxes). I wish our government ran the same way our HOA does…
Anyways, today was our periodic neighborhood clean-up day. Volunteers bring themselves and tools to work on the public spaces. There are two foreclosed homes in the neighborhood and we even take the time to clean and maintain those homes. Why? For the greater good of the neighborhood! By working together we do not need to charge fees AND we keep everyone’s home values high without infringing on anyone’s rights. Why can’t the whole country run like this?
That is why I say that Liberty means Rolling up your Sleeves. You have to get out there and put in work to keep your country, parks, schools, etc. maintained. Of course there will always be freeloaders, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing what you can. I really think that people have become too reliant on the government and social programs in some ways, but if we could all get out of that habit – we would see that something so much more rewarding and effective exists! We could get rid of all the beuracracy, over taxation, and government spending and spend our time and resources how we see fit!
Could or should we get rid of government and taxes completely? No – and I don’t think we should. What I AM saying is that we could minimize the government’s role and increase our own responsibilities and say so at the local level. We would all be much happier and more wealthy if we did.
Anyways – I am proud of my neighborhood for taking matters into their own hands and getting the job done. Also, here are a few photos of some of the bags of debris and leaves we cleaned this morning.