Hazlitt Coalition policies not only reduce the scope of government but solve critical social ills and increase human well-being. Our policies and programs advance three core ideals: peace, civil liberties, and free markets.
Free societies are peaceful societies characterized by harmony and strong social bonds. Governments unnecessarily divide communities and sow tension. In domestic affairs Hazlitt Coalition members advocate for civility and respect in political engagement. In foreign affairs our stance is summarized as, “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all, entangling alliances with none.”
Human liberty is the foundation of our legal system. The purpose of law is to enable human freedom by protecting human rights from being violated by others. To the degree that government goes beyond this purpose, it violates the very rights it was established to protect. Hazlitt Coalition members fight to ensure that every individual is equal before the law.
Markets drive progress that cures diseases, raises people out of poverty, and improves the quality of life for everyone regardless of socio-economic status. When markets are burdened with government regulation this progress is slowed and sometimes prevented. Hazlitt Coalition members fight to keep economic power decentralized and markets free and open.
Below are our fifteen policy priorities that support the Hazlitt Coalition’s core ideals:
Through civil asset forfeiture law enforcement can take your property without ever convicting you of a crime. Every year millions of dollars in property are taken by the government from innocent people. Much of this property is valued at less than the cost of the lawyer needed to get it back. As such many cases are never challenged and innocent people automatically lose their property despite never having been convicted or even charged with a crime.
Hazlitt Coalition members seek to replace civil asset forfeiture with criminal asset forfeiture which empowers law enforcement to keep our streets safe while also protecting the property rights of our citizens.
Economies should be free and fair. Both direct and tax subsidies unfairly benefit the few at the expense of the many. These practices disenfranchise the lower and middle classes and give impetus to the call for government to intervene even further into the economy.
Truly free markets are decentralized and characterized by rising wages and economic opportunity. Legislators should reject corporatist subsidies and actively work to eliminate legal and tax structures that unfairly skew the economy.
The perfect punishment can only be executed by those with perfect judgment. Since 1976, over 160 death row inmates have been exonerated by DNA evidence proving that they did not commit the crime in which they were accused. How many others have been wrongfully put to death because DNA evidence was not available in their case?
State legislatures should repeal this morally and fiscally expensive practice and replace it with life without parole.
Healthcare is too expensive. Costs continue to increase while millions go without the care they need. Legislative efforts should decentralize the healthcare industry to allow competition to drive costs down while quality and access improve. Policy should be aimed at removing roadblocks for doctors, researchers, and entrepreneurs to act quickly in curing diseases and discover new treatment methods.
Restrictive government licensure reduces jobs, stalls lives, and benefits big firms and incumbents at the expense of consumers. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of burdensome licensing are the first generation entrepreneurs prevented from starting a business and rising out of poverty. Social mobility is a defining characteristic of free and forward-thinking societies. It should be protected.
Every amendment in the Bill of Rights matters. The Fourth Amendment is a limit placed on government by the Founding Fathers to protect the citizenry from an overly aggressive and prosecutorial government. With privacy rights eroding in the US our model legislation has been hailed as the leading example in protecting civil liberties.
We believe in a system that holds every special interest accountable; this includes corporations, unions and governments alike. Compulsory membership in any organization only serves to decrease transparency and informed decision-making as the organization is not accountable to its membership base. Organizational membership should be voluntary and not mandated by law.
The right for one to defend themselves from harm should be celebrated and fiercely defended, not demonized and forfeited. Those who advocate otherwise do little to protect human life by disarming those who most need a means to defend themselves. Excessive gun control measures are well intentioned but strongly misguided. They do not make society safer and should be opposed.
Mandatory minimums should be abolished. They tie judges hands from properly administering justice and making sure that the punishment fits the crime. The legislature’s job is to legislate, not judge individual cases from thousands of miles away.
The unique circumstances in criminal cases should be determined by the judge who oversees those cases. Mandatory minimums help create the bloated, inefficient criminal justice system we see in America today.
The right to property is the foundation of a free society, second only to the right to life. Taxation is the abridgment of that right. We urge state governments to use taxation cautiously and eliminate taxes in as many sectors as possible. Economic regulation should be limited to protecting the rights of consumers and not be used to centrally direct economies.
Technology increases true wealth. It is from technological advancements that average people are enabled to live modern lifestyles. We should embrace progress and reject the fears and misguided notions of technocrats and reactionaries.
Regulators should pursue a light-touch approach to regulatory standards, ensuring stability in tech policy and predictability for innovators and entrepreneurs.
To challenge others right to speech is to challenge your own. This right is the cornerstone of an open, vibrant, and dynamic society that continually evolves and progresses. Furthermore, defending free speech for every person, regardless of viewpoint, does not equate to an endorsement of every viewpoint that is spoken.
Hazlitt Coalition members use our voice to defend the right to free speech, but also to criticize, debate, and debunk many of the abhorrent views expressed by others who also exercise this right. Though we may disagree with what some may say, we will always defend their right to say it.
The social safety net should act as a trampoline that bounces people back up to independence, not as a spiderweb that entangles them in dependency.
Hazlitt Coalition members strive to strengthen the social safety net to truly serve society’s most needy citizens. We seek a system so effective that it shrinks itself by getting people off the welfare roles and back to work, breaking the cycle of dependency and inter-generational poverty.
Each child is unique. Our education system should reflect the diversity of the children it seeks to educate. We seek policies that diversify educational choice and create a field of options for parents and students to choose from.
Like many failed government programs, the war on drugs is well-intentioned, but greatly misguided.
As the prohibition of alcohol only served to empower cartels and increase violent crime so too does modern prohibition. Legislatures should support alternative approaches to the regulation of illicit substances. Law enforcement should be empowered to prioritize violent crime over non-violent offenses.
The costs of wide-spread prohibition including increased crime rates and recidivism, a drain on law enforcement’s scarce resources, and the separation of families greatly exceeds the cost of alternative approaches to drug use.