The Cost of Freedom
"The cost of your freedom is mine, and vice-versa" refers to the idea that when one of us isn't free, neither are the rest of us.
What is the cost of freedom? Freedom has many costs, not the least of which is other people's freedom. What that means is that while you may not approve of others' pursuits of happiness, if their pursuits don't harm you in a real way, (as opposed to it bothering you) then they should be free to go about their business. If your life affords you the freedom to concern yourself with the comings and goings of others, you should be grateful for your good fortune, and look to giving some of that free time to charity, not meddling in the private affairs of your neighbors.
When we begin to curtail the freedoms of others, we start down the slipperiest of slopes, in which one-by-one we start chipping away at the foundation of freedom until we have a law governing everything we can possibly do, say, and think. It's like the proverbial snowball, a chip here, a chip there, the ball gets rolling and everything in its way is gathered into it and nothing is left behind.
Of course, the adage that one's freedom ends at the other's nose, refers to a punch in the nose, not an unpleasant, but harmless aroma. And, it's a legitimate concept. There are limits on freedom; for example, I'm not free to punch you in the nose. Neither am I free to con you out of your life savings in a Wall Street Ponzi scheme. Nor should I be free to take your money in absurdly inappropriate salaries and bonuses while the service I provide fails to deliver. That is a punch in the nose. Our government exists to provide for the common welfare, to keep us from harm, from without and within. Not to protect the interests of one group at the expense of another. It is to guard our right to the pursuit of happiness, not to impose the morality of one group upon an other. Government does belong in the boardroom, not peeking in the bedroom window. Nor the livingroom or den.
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