"I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts."
Ronald Reagan
(1911-2004) 40th US President
Farewell Address, 11 January 1989
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Reader comments about this quote:
Replacing government with big business only makes the rich "free", while reducing the freedoms of the commoners. Society is best served when the government exercises a strong control factor over the baser of humanity's behaviors which put down people for personal gain and power.
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US     
    Reagan was absolutely right about this. None of us have ever seen real free market competition as big business has been tied to government and central bank (slush fund) pretty much since Hamilton brought in the first national US bank. Lets not forget, the fifth plank of the communist manifesto is control of the currency and banking...and for good reason.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Reston, government is "the baser of humanities behavior". It's up to the people to control government, not the other way around.
     -- jim k, Austin     
    BS: If this is true why does not places like Afghanistan, Somalia and drug lord countries like Mexico and Colombia revel in the lack of government and government ineffectiveness. While, as in everything, there is a optimal balance an overly limited government may give rise to an overly aggresive thug and despotic class. As far as balance Reagan never had any.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Jim K you are partly correct, people control government because we are the government.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    If only we could dontrol our "Supreme Court" which is not elected by "we the people!"
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
     -- luis, key biscayne      
    Indeed, look at the increased militarism of our country, increased defense budgets, increased involvement in non-declared wars on sovereign countries, 20,000 troops in Haiti another (but not new) occupation that is unwarranted, spending my tax money on imperialism throughout the world, and increased spending on nuclear weapons, and loss of privacy through government surveillance and increased weapons to disperse civil non-violent protests of these conditions tell me that we are not free but living on the edge of tyranny. People in this government have very little control anymore. Our liberty is dependent on our being silently compliant.
     -- Judith, Corrales     
    Amen Judith, you see this one through very clear eyes.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    These three quotes remind me of the Obama rhetoric (change you can believe in) in the run up to the presidential election none of which came to fruition - they both say one thing and do another.
     -- RBESRQ     
    This is true -- the BIG question is how to rein in Congress and the White House if they won't even follow the Law of the Land, the Constitution?!!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    RBESRQ - a Prez is not a dictator. Obama is trying. For those who don't think "we" control our government then what is all the bruhaha about Massachusetts?
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Let's admit Reagan was an idiot.
     -- D, Fort Worth     
    Only if you'll admit Obama is one too.
     -- Anonymous     
    Plain and simple.
     -- Elisabeth, Astoria, NY     
     -- Crystal P, Vidor, Texas      
    When liberty gets taken away slowly, it's hard to fathom the reality that this quote speaks of.
     -- Mike, Chicago, IL     
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