English: Louis Brandeis portrait, 1915

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When I was young and naive, I believed in a lot of things like free markets, less regulation, and work hard and you’ll succeed. I worked hard and I succeeded…for a while. Then I decided to follow a different path. That allowed me to view the world from a different perspective.

Freedom does not result from free markets and free market capitalism. Freedom is the product of freedom of speech and democracy, and democracy is  the result neither of free markets nor of capitalism.

Miners used to use a canary in a cage to test for dangerous concentrations of gas. Like a caged canary, the health of the middle class is a test for the health of a democracy. The American middle class is disappearing, and American democracy is in danger.

Fifteen years ago, I began an intense study of American history. At one time, I believed that if you worked hard, you would be rewarded with some success. Those people who failed were to blame for their own failures. Over time, my views changed. Louis Brandeis was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from 1916 to 1939 and a great man. I came to embrace his dictum, you can have great concentrations of wealth or you can have democracy, but not both at the same time.

Therefore, anything that concentrates wealth in the 1% and harms the middle class is bad. Anything that decreases the concentration of wealth and helps the middle class is good for freedom and democracy.

Please see Supreme Court | Saving America | 3 scenarios for 2012