According to Mitt Romney’s website, yesterday he delivered an economic policy speech that stated:
The Founding Fathers wrote that we are endowed by our Creator with the freedom to pursue happiness. In America, we would have economic freedom, just as we would have political and religious freedom. Here, we would not be limited by the circumstance of birth nor directed by the supposedly informed hand of government. We would be free to pursue happiness as we wish.This picture of the beliefs of America’s founding generation’s beliefs is wrong—in some ways so wrong as to be offensive.
The Founders were convinced that millions of people, all freely choosing their individual occupations and enterprises, all pursuing their individual dreams, would produce great prosperity.
In the American economic and social structure of the early republic, millions of Americans were “limited by the circumstances of birth” because by law they were slaves. Millions more were limited by being women under the property laws of the time. The “hand of government” constrained the economic freedom of most American adults. And the elite men at the Continental Congress, Constitutional Convention, and U.S. Congress supported that system because they benefited from the inequality.
Read the rest at Boston 1775.