From the thinking Reed this. I was really impressed with this post on freedom.
the way conservatives and libertarians define freedom, it means largely non-interference from the government. But for many people, the biggest problem in their lives isn’t government interference, but other actors and forces that prevent them from pursuing happiness. A more common-sense definition of freedom is simply being able to do what you want to do, or what some theorists have called “effective freedom.” Government–through its powers to tax and regulate, among other things–can facilitate the effective freedom of its citizens. In fact, you could argue that government action is indispensible to the effective exercise of freedom and that the distinction between “negative” and “positive” liberty is largely an illusion. After all, protecting any freedom requires the exercise of government power and the expenditure of public resources.