Huffington Post reports:
There’s freedom, and then there’s “total freedom,” Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told a right-wing news service, CNSNews.com, on Friday, engaging the outlet in a debate about personal responsibility.
For Frank, the free exercise of individual choice is legitimate, and should be made legal, as long as those decisions don’t harm the broader population. “I would let people gamble on the Internet,” Frank said. “I would let adults smoke marijuana. I would let adults do a lot of things, if they choose.”
That freedom ends when individual liberty imperils the global economic structure, he said. “But allowing them total freedom to take on economic obligations that spill over into the broader society? The individual is not the only one impacted here, when bad decisions get made in the economic sphere, it causes problems.”
Frank’s formulation echos the libertarian credo that one person’s freedom to swing a fist ends where another’s nose begins. (source)
I have always liked Barney Frank. I do wish he would take a lot more responsibility for his part in the economic meltdown, but I still like the guy. Maybe he is on to something here.
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