The Fourth of July is the only day of the year singled out by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in which employees are actually encouraged to celebrate. According to the Center’s employee handbook:

All staff are encouraged to celebrate Independence Day with passion and verve, remembering it as the signatory day of a document embodying the most sublime of political ideals, an apogee in mankind's quest for liberty of thought and action, the restoration of which is the vision of our organization.

We take human liberty very seriously. It is more than marketing. Sometimes our love for liberty manifests itself in more philosophical work, but mostly it involves deeply practical tracks.

On the philosophical side we have published monographs — short, detailed essays — ranging from comparisons between the Fall of Rome and the United States to presidential leadership and the positive difference individuals can make on the course of history for individuals and nations.

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Practically, our educating the public about wasteful spending, or fighting the ability of unions to coerce innocent people into their fold is every bit as vital and more so to our pamphleteering.

Every penny unnecessarily taken from taxpayers diminishes their liberty; it lessens peoples’ ability to maximize their own freedom as they see it. Likewise, being forced to be part of labor organizations — and be dunned for dues — is equally disturbing.

That's why we fight for freedom and we hope you do, too. As government gets bigger it by necessity means people get smaller. That is not why our founders struggled and fought as they did to create our glorious Republic.

Founding Father John Adams worried deeply about what future generations would do with our liberty. Writing to his wife Abigail he said:

Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.

So, dear reader, spend July 4 with passion and verve and — in Adams' words — with "pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations," but then return with us to the fight.

Parting Firecracker: Happy birthday to the author’s son, James, who shares one with America (and President Calvin Coolidge, too).



Michael D. LaFaive is director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a research and educational institute headquartered in Midland, Mich. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author and the Center are properly cited.