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10 Jul, 2009 14:40

Democracy's stronghold lacking freedom

What does freedom look like? For many Americans it is Las Vegas – Sin City, where anything goes and government sits on the sidelines.

That’s why, every year, “FreedomFest” comes to town. It is described as the world’s largest gathering of free minds.

The three day event causes one to wonder: why are some of the brightest thinkers and leaders in America so worried?

”The government no longer represents the values or the freedoms that our founders fought for. The first American Revolution was incomplete. It wasn’t ‘We’re gonna have this revolution and you all can sit back and enjoy your freedoms and go back to sleep.’ They thought we would have a revolution with every generation,” says Adam Kokesh from Iraq Veterans Against the War.

The revolution many want now is economic, and it is hard to ignore their cries when people like Steve Forbes – one of the most successful entrepreneurs worldwide – start weighing in on the argument.

“We believe the government is encroaching on our freedoms by raising taxes, by hurting the dollar, by putting in more regulations, taking over companies, taking over industries. We know socialism doesn’t work,” says the Forbes magazine Editor-in-Chief.

Some believe the current plan to get out of the economic crisis is straying from America’s roots:

“Our current leaders have very little in common with the people who founded this country. Their philosophy is rooted in one of socialism or Marxism. They think prosperity comes from government, from central planning. They don’t believe in the free markets, they think free markets create problems. They think governments are there to provide solutions. They’ve got it all wrong,” says Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, Inc.

Considering his popularity for earlier predictions, Peter Schiff might have it right. This year has the highest number of participants in the seven–year history of the event. There might have been even more attending, were it not for the hefty registration fee of almost 500 dollars. Ironically, as the saying goes, freedom isn’t free.