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Clint Bolick And Economic Freedom

June 01, 1997

Nina J. Easton's article on Clint Bolick and the Institute for Justice ("A New Civil Rights Story," April 20) was a much-needed counterweight to Leftist/liberal critiques of the economic plight of minorities.

Bolick correctly cites the lack of economic liberty as the primary reason for the struggle many minorities wage to better their lot. Insightfully, he observes that the melange of paternalistic bureaucracies installed to protect us from ourselves works collusively with established business and trade groups to prevent the entry into the market of fledgling entrepreneurs such as JoAnne Cornwell and Ali Rasheed, who thus "bootstrap" themselves out of poverty and privation. Bolick terms this "grass-roots tyranny."

Yet it is rather cynical and obtuse of Cornwell to accept Bolick's sincerely offered advocacy and then attack his commitment to economic freedom by fuming that "extreme capitalism requires an underclass, and that underclass is going to look a lot like me." It puzzles me that Cornwell, with that orientation, works with Bolick and the institute rather than the ACLU and the NAACP. Perhaps she realizes that the institute is quite serious about providing tangible, material economic help rather than mere wounded-liberal posturing.

Elliot Mincberg of People for the American Way decries Bolick's libertarianism, contending that economic liberty should not be defined as a civil right. On the contrary, economic liberty is indeed the preeminent liberty. As F. A. von Hayek, the Nobel prize-winning economist, pointed out: Without economic freedom, no other freedoms are possible.

Nicholas E. Spinner

nickspin@linkeasy.net

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