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On this episode of the AIER Authors Corner Ethan Yang interviews Timothy Sandefur, who is the Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute, a public interest law firm specializing in advancing civil and economic freedoms. Sandefur is also an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and received his JD from Chapman University School of Law. He has authored a number of books on constitutional freedoms including the one discussed on this episode, The Right to Earn a Living, which explores the history as well as the degradation of economic freedom and private property in the United States. In particular, it highlights the once staunch and deep commitment the legal system as well as the political system had to the notion of economic rights, alongside its fall from grace during the Progressive Era. A written summary can be found here.
Article and video from Ethan Yang at AIER.
Last year, the intrusive business closures that were forced upon the population should have shown every citizen in this country that their economic rights mean almost nothing today. The government, if it could find a compelling reason, could ruin your day at a whim and take away one of the most important aspects of a person’s dignity, their right to earn a living. This is in stark contrast to our civil rights, such as free speech and due process, which are far more protected and respected. This is of course ignoring the fact that these rights also apply to economic matters, whether that be advertising or private property. Regardless, it is an established fact that economic rights, whether that be relating to freedom of assembly in the business sense, to not being subjected to intrusive regulations without due process, are all second class privileges. It wasn’t always like this.
Sandefur explains that prior to the Progressive Era beginning in the late 19th century, American respect for economic freedom was actually quite strong. He explains that judges and politicians would speak about economic rights as if they were philosophically important, not just practically important. Rather than defending private property and free exchange from a purely economic perspective, such as citing authors like Adam Smith, American leaders actually felt these rights were morally important. This actually dates back to English common law, which saw the denial of the right to earn a living, i.e. economic restrictions, as an assault on individual dignity and just as important as your ability to speak freely.
This all changed when the American Progressive movement kicked off, which was certainly friendly to civil rights but viewed economic rights with disdain. Supreme Court justices like Louis Brandeis summarized the philosophical outlook for the era. That is, a deep skepticism of private enterprise and a high degree of confidence in the power of the state to regulate society. From here, presidents like Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt unleashed an expansion of the state into the economic space never before seen, creating precedent for what we have today. In particular this is where we get Nebbia v New York, a Supreme Court case that dropped the standard for state intervention down to a rational basis, which could basically mean everything. Nebbia itself pertained to price controls on milk, which at the time were rightly seen as controversial because it was thought that the government had no business telling a private entity how it ought to conduct a completely voluntary exchange. The Court, which had essentially been shifted far to the Progessive spectrum, ruled this to be constitutional, establishing much of the precedent for the world we live in today.
Today we live in an age where we ask not if the government can regulate something, but why shouldn’t something be regulated? The Federal Register has an unending list of edicts and guidances touching on virtually every aspect of private life. Laws such as occupational licensing, which explicitly bar individuals from working without preapproval from the state, violate the very conscience of the right to work and have only increased in scope. It all goes without saying that these regulations oftentimes do not benefit consumers or the little guy, but typically serve the interest of established actors. Businesses large and small are subject to the mercy of regulators with little constitutional protection. The great tragedy of it all is that it wasn’t always like this and it doesn’t have to be this way.
American Patriots Uniting to Fight Tyranny from, Well, Everywhere
We’re building a new conservative news network. Based on responses from fellow patriots, we’re heading in the right direction.
It may be hard to believe based on what we’re seeing around the nation today, but there are many reasons to be hopeful. First and foremost, the false narrative that most of America hates traditional values or the foundations of our nation are finally being proven false. Despite the best efforts of globalists and Neo-Marxists, patriotic Americans are starting to unify in droves. Meanwhile, Joe Biden can barely muster a half-filled auditorium to deliver his message to the scant few watching CNN and the paid shills in the “crowd.”
The “silent majority” that drove Donald Trump to victory in 2016 and 2020 (yes, he won by a landslide but was robbed along with the American people) is finally starting to realize we cannot stay silent any longer. We used to win with our votes, but those are being stolen. We used to win with truth, but the radical left and their agents in mainstream media, Big Tech, and academia are building a post-truth society to drown out reality. Today, we are waking up to the realization that only through direct action and fearlessly spreading the truth can we overcome the nefarious forces working against us.
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We are proud to be working our way up to the tip of the conservative media spear. Our network is growing. We’re establishing strong partnerships with like-minded news outlets and courageous journalists. Even as Big Tech suppresses us, the honest messages they’re trying to quash are finding their way to the eyes and ears of patriots across the nation. With the help of new content partners like The Epoch Times and The Liberty Daily, we’re starting to see a real impact.
Our network is currently comprised of nine sites:
- NOQ Report
- Conservative Playlist
- Truth. Based. Media.
- Freedom First Network
- Based Underground
- Uncanceled News
- American Conservative Movement
- Conservative Playbook
- Our Gold Guy
Some of our content is spread across all of these sites. Other pieces of content are unique. We write most of what we post but we also draw from those willing to allow us to share their quality articles, videos, and podcasts. We collect the best content from fellow conservative sites that give us permission to republish them. We’re not ego-driven; I’d much rather post a properly attributed story written by experts like Dr. Joseph Mercola or Natural News than rewrite it like so many outlets like to do. We’re not here to take credit. We’re here to spread the truth.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $2200-$7800 per month. May, 2021, for example, was amazing and we almost broke even. June, revenue was sluggish at best and we had to make up a big difference out of our pockets. But we’re not just trying to get out of the red. If and when we start getting enough contributions to expand, we will do just that. Very few get into journalism to try to get rich and we’re definitely not among those who do. Our success is driven by spreading the truth, profitable or not.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring proper news and opinions to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal or Bitcoin as well. Bitcoin: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
Time is short. As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going. Our promise is this: We will never sell out America. If that means we’re going to struggle for a while or even indefinitely, so be it. Integrity first. Truth first. America first.
Thank you and God Bless,
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Yes, We Need Your Help
I hate being “that guy” who asks people to donate because I think our conservative news network is so crucial, but here I am…
When I left my cushy corporate job in 2017, I did so knowing that my family would have to make sacrifices. But I couldn’t continue to watch the nation slip into oblivion and was inspired by President Trump’s willingness to fight the good fight even at his own personal expense. What I didn’t realize then is that conservative media would be so heavily attacked, canceled, and defunded that the sacrifices would be extreme.
Many in this nation are struggling right now even though we weren’t struggling just a few years ago. I’m not alone. But I wake up every morning and operate the sites we’ve been able to build because there’s really no other choice. I refuse to be beholden to Big Tech like so many other conservative news outlets, which is why you won’t see Google ads here. With that said, it’s often challenging to pay the bills and it’s even harder to expand so we can get the America First message out to a wider audience.
The economic downturn has forced me to make a plea for help. Between cancel culture, lockdowns, and diminishing ad revenue, we need financial assistance in order to continue to spread the truth. We ask all who have the means, please donate through our new GiveSendGo. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to expand our reach so the truth can get to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
We currently operate:
- NOQ Report
- Conservative Playlist
- Uncanceled News
- Based Underground
- Truth Based Media
- Five other conservative news sites
I would even be willing to entertain investments and partnerships at this stage. I’ve turned them down in the past because editorial purity is extremely important. I’ll turn them down again if anyone wants us to start supporting RINOs or avoid “taboo” topics like voter fraud, vaccines, or transgender supremacy. But I’d talk to fellow America First patriots who want to help any (or all) of our 10 news sites. Hit me up at jdrucker (at) substack (dot) com if you’re interested.
For those who have the means and just want to help keep the mission of spreading a conservative, Christian message to the nation, please consider a generous donation.