Fighting Grassroots Tyranny and Helping Entrepreneurship Flourish
By Chip Mellor
In the aftermath of a great forest fire, small green shoots appear as the forest begins to regenerate. Some of those shoots will eventually become towering trees. In the aftermath of a recession, entrepreneurs create new businesses that are the green shoots of economic recovery.
Today, despite the continuing economic challenges, there are many entrepreneurs valiantly trying to establish and grow new businesses. As if the economic challenges were not enough, today’s entrepreneurs—particularly those of modest means—face an increasing array of laws and regulations that foreclose entry into many fields or stifle growth. Many of these laws come in the form of licensing and permitting requirements. Indeed, today more than 30 percent of the American workforce needs a government license to work. All too often, the conditions imposed by such laws are arbitrary or protectionist.
Through IJ’s Campaign for Economic Liberty, made possible through contributions to meet a challenge grant from Robert W. Wilson, we will strike down these arbitrary laws and enable entrepreneurs to provide the counter-narrative to calls for increased government management of the economy. This issue of Liberty & Law features three exciting economic liberty cases we recently launched. In each you will find the story of hardworking people whose dreams of a better life are being unconstitutionally denied by government. (See stories on pages 2, 6 and 7.) Without IJ, these individuals have little chance of success. But an IJ victory for each will not only unleash their individual potential, it will also set precedent for many others afflicted by grassroots tyranny.
We will file more economic liberty cases in the coming months and, as we do, we will elevate the cause of economic liberty to national prominence, creating the constitutional climate in which the green shoots of entrepreneurship will flourish.
Chip Mellor is IJ’s president and general counsel.