This past February, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, Steve Forbes, posted a video on YouTube outlining the dangers that free speech suppression could have on the American economy. His key points?
- Freedom of Speech is Under Assault: Universities, employers, websites, and media itself are turning on free speech! The media now compares free speech to gun control to bolster their argument. They say, and believe, that “too much free speech is dangerous—a luxury we can no longer afford.”
- Real Consequences for Free Speech: Democrats continue pushing for greater restrictions on free speech. Freely expressing something one believes to be true now yields potential consequences: being fired from a job, public shaming, ostracism, and more. These consequences are poison to American democracy and its economic prosperity.
- Freedom of Expression and the Economy: Free speech and the right to free expression directly affect economic progress. A society that restricts freedom of speech will restrict freedom — squelching the creativity that leads to the invention and innovation necessary to bring about a higher standard of living.
- Freedom to Push Against Big Businesses: In a free society, individuals from any background can push back against the power of big business through entrepreneurial activity. The Industrial Revolution was driven by university professors, aristocrats, or politicians—it was made up of tinkerers, thinkers, and mechanics. For centuries, the average income was stuck at $3 a day, adjusted for inflation. Now, it is well over $150.
Mr. Forbes concludes that freedom of expression is essential to our well-being and the future of America. We are grateful for the philanthropists and organizations working to protect our First Amendment rights.