The new book from Reason magazine editor Matt Welch and Reason.tv editor Nick Gillespie is titled The Declaration of Independents. Welch and Gillespie point out, with well documented examples and sharp wit, that which we should all come to realize: Outside of government, we are free to shape our lives as we see fit. The internet and other technological advances have allowed Americans to tailor most aspects of life to our own interests. As society becomes more individualistic, government becomes more collectivistic.
The book itself is divided into three sections. The first section describes the current situation in American political life. The second gives numerous and varied examples of individuals operating outside the norm who then reshaped the norm. Topics from cheap airfare to baseball stats are shown to be relevant to life outside the political arena. The last section of the book identifies the areas were government lags behind the individualist tide in America the most: education, retirement, and healthcare. The duo then offer examples of emerging solutions to these problems like charter schools for education, private accounts for retirement, and some good ole free market in healthcare.
Why should you read this book?
In the same way Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative helped define the Republican party for many years, the Declaration gives us a tome of wisdom for the post-partisan and post-political America. Deregulation and capitalism have given us cheap airfare, affordable HD TV’s, cell phones, Whole Foods, and the list goes on and on. The variety we enjoy at the grocery store, and the cheapness of Amazon.com is attributable to the market, not government. The simple point is that the best things in your life, and the things you have the most control over, are the ones least associated with government. So for all those who are tired of the two-party system and the same government solutions to government created problems, invest in the book and declare your independence by becoming independent.