I read an interesting interview in from the July 1975 edition of Reason Magazine. The article is available here. One answer from Reagan that stood out is below. The interviewer asked Reagan if the Federal government should stop funding colleges and here is Reagan's response:
REAGAN: Well, if I answer that question then I’m answering
that we should do away with our state universities and frankly I haven’t given
enough thought to what could be a counter-system.
At first, there was a great
opposition to most of the Federal revenues that are going to education on the
part of many educators. Once the money was there, however, it was like the
farmer who went into the woods and came back with the wagon loads of wild pigs.
When they asked him how he had done it–they’d been wild for a hundred years–he
said, "I built a fence and I put corn down and fed them, and they got used to
eating the corn there, so l extended the fences’s sides and finally I had an
enclosure and I corralled them." He said, "If I can get them to take food from
me, I’ll own them." And this is what really happened with Federal aid to
education. You know, the Federal Government could have done it differently if
the Federal Government did not at the same time want control.
When considering everything we depend on the government to do for us today, it seems this analogy is fitting for most areas of our lives. Consider the fact that the government evaluates basically everything we consume to tell us if it's safe or not. We have lost the ability to do our own research to determine if newly invented foods, drugs, or whatever are safe or have been properly tested. The easy road consists of sitting back, paying taxes, and not asking too many questions. Is that freedom? It is...in America today.