The Pfundstein Report
Celebrating our freedom from tyranny is one of the most enjoyable weekends of the summer. It nicely blends national pride with civic obligation. In the past I have written concerning my fondness for the small town parades held across the nation on July 4th. It is our political independence that we celebrate each Fourth of July. The Declaration, thereof, was adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. John Adams penned in a letter to his wife Abigail that the day “ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one end of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” (James R. Heintze, American University’s librarian, maintains an excellent Web site on Fourth of July celebrations and related history. If you enjoy Americana, check it out at gurukul.american.edu/ heintze/fourth.htm.) Celebrating our freedom is an absolute necessity. We can never take it for granted. Thankfully, the Fourth is also a wonderful time of the year. But it is not just our political freedom that we celebrate. It is our economic freedom. This economic independence in many respects enables us to enjoy our political freedom. Our strength is not solely related to the world’s finest military personnel and their laser guided weapons. The strength of our country lies in the hard and creative work of a free people. A capitalistic democracy cannot provide the opportunities and rewards to assure a surviving meritocracy without its fundamental underpinning. The bedrock foundation of our capitalistic democracy and ultimately the freedom which we celebrate on July 4th is a vibrant economy. Consider the likelihood that the Greatest Generation would have defeated Nazi and Japanese terror by 1945 in the absence of our vast natural resources and manufacturing capacity. In short, our economic might enabled the bravest among us to defeat the twin demons. This is not to suggest that the personal price, responsibility and achievement of those exceptionally brave and patriotic men and women is anything less than extraordinary. Whether it is a softball or baseball game, pool party, barbecue (any pulled pork sandwiches?), small town parade or metropolitan pyrotechnic display, celebrate and cherish our freedom. But remember it’s not simply political freedom, it’s economic as well. Donald J. Pfundstein is managing director of the Concord law firm of Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.