A Hippocratic Oath for Legislators?

The Colorado Freedom Report:  A libertarian journal of politics and culture.

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A Hippocratic Oath for Legislators?

by Sandra Davies Johnson


"I SWEAR I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous..."
-- Hippocrates's Oath for Doctors


Socialism is the antithesis of freedom and prosperity. The more socialism spreads, the more taxes we pay, the more government invades our rights and liberties, the less freedom and wealth we have.

Socialism has proven itself a disastrous failure during the past century. Under socialism people have suffered great harm, in many cases dying for lack of basic goods. Millions have been murdered by their socialist governments. We know socialism doesn't work.

Our politicians talk about fixing poor quality socialized schools, and expanding inferior socialized medicine, and saving a socialized retirement debacle. Why do they pursue these goals, when we know socialism doesn't work?

Have you ever heard of "bad" private schools or "bad" private doctors or "bad" private retirement plans? They have existed, but only very briefly, because they go out of business when they don't please their customers! So, only the better ones are left.

Under socialism, the government makes all the decisions about prices, wages, interest rates, and production and distribution of goods, resulting in economic disaster. In a so-called "mixed economy" there is some intervention by government, resulting in a hampered economy. The more intervention, the less prosperity. This could be called "socialism lite". In a free market economy the customers determine the decisions a business makes, resulting in maximum prosperity.

Imagine a world in which each legislator took an oath to "do no harm." Before voting for any bill, legislators would search deep in their souls, and deep into the evidence, for answers to these questions:

  • Who will this bill hurt?
  • Will it cost people more?
  • Will it reduce freedom?
  • Will a one-size-fits-all government law work better than a multitude of different voluntary solutions custom tailored by many individuals?
  • Is there any reason to think that the government will spend peoples' money better than they can spend it themselves? Generally in the market, programs people want thrive, and programs people do not want disappear for lack of funding.

Is it ever right for me to steal from my neighbor -- even for what I think is a "good cause?"

Is it ever right for me to join a group to steal from my neighbor -- even for what we think is a "good cause?"

Is it ever right for my group to hire someone to steal from my neighbor -- even for what we think is a "good cause?"

Government operates by forcibly taking money from some and giving it to a supposedly "good cause."

But is it ever right?


Sandra Johnson was the 1998 Libertarian Party candidate for governor of Colorado.

The Colorado Freedom Report--www.FreeColorado.com