We celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the third Monday of January -- this year, Jan. 17.

On Aug. 28, 1963, King delivered one of the great speeches in American history, popularly known as the "I Have a Dream" speech. It is a speech that must be dusted off and studied anew today, because it contains the very message that our nation sorely needs to hear and digest now. A message that has been tragically lost and buried and replaced with great and destructive distortions.

Two things jump out when reading through that speech.

It started in Chicago, where an incredible 91% of union teachers voted to go on strike and refused to do what they get paid to do, which is teach. Then the union walkouts spread to Maryland, New Jersey and California.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a liberal Democrat, has attacked the Chicago teachers unions for "holding kids hostage." She is right.

Why doesn't she call a state of emergency and disband the union to save the children from the union terrorists? Or tear up the contract because the unions have violated it? If she did, she would be a hero.

President Joe Biden keeps talking about how much he and his fellow Democrats in Washington care about "the children." Uh-huh. He has correctly stated that there is no health reason for closing schools. But in this latest episode of union child abuse waged against our school-age children, he does nothing. Maybe that is because more than 90% of the tens of millions of campaign dollars donated by the teacher unions go to Democrats.

The new year often feels like an opportunity to correct past mistakes -- for example, improving one's diet or quitting smoking. This explains why 25% of Americans, and 40% of those under 30, make New Year's resolutions. Based on the latest poll from The Economist and YouGov, the Biden administration should adopt a New Year's resolution too. In particular, it should reconsider its domestic policy agenda. Americans aren't buying it.

YouGov is an influential international research data and analytics group headquartered in London. Pollsters asked 1,500 American adults about the state of the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and more. Their findings show that people aren't particularly happy right now.

As we await findings and conclusions of the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 attack, let's take a moment and do our own soul-searching about what is going on.

The House Select Committee is engaged in Washington's favorite pastime -- looking for whom to blame. The sidelight of this pastime is the pretense that things that are very complicated can be made clear and simple.

And the other side of the coin of the search for whom to blame is the refusal to step up and take personal responsibility.

The latter, unfortunately, is increasingly becoming a hallmark of today's culture and is exactly the opposite of the personal characteristic that built America.

Why don't the union bosses in America represent their union members anymore? Could it be because the union leadership has become more beholden to the Democratic politicians in Washington than the rank-and-file workers who pay the dues?

We saw an example of this betrayal of the workers not long ago when the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters brass endorsed Joe Biden for president -- even though Biden openly opposed all fossil fuels and wanted to end the building of pipelines.

Talk about selling the rope to the hangman. The union bosses acted surprised that Biden's first act as president was to kill several thousand union jobs by killing the Keystone XL pipeline. And in recent months, the Biden officials have been on a crusade to shutdown Midwest pipelines that carry natural gas to the midwestern states.

At the eve of a new year, it's traditional to make a resolution or two. I have no such list for myself or others, but I do have a wish. For 2022 and beyond, I wish that all of us who still cherish liberal values will band together to oppose the worrisome rise of authoritarianism around the world.

For decades, those inclined toward free markets have focused on authoritarianism coming from the political left. We have spared no energy denouncing and opposing it. We've rightfully been concerned about the push to centralize more power in the hands of federal governments and to increase the scope and size of all government. We have warned that these policies, pursued consistently, pave what the great F.A. Hayek called "the road to serfdom."

One great mystery is the persistent refusal of those on the left to abandon what is clearly not true.

That is, that the means for reducing the burden of poverty is more government spending.

It all really started in the 1960s under President Lyndon B. Johnson. He declared in his State of the Union address in January 1964 an "unconditional war on poverty in America." Despite tens of trillions of spending since then, poverty remains, and so does the conviction of progressives that it can be wiped out with government spending.

Worth recalling is that the avalanche of government spending launched in the 1960s was followed in the 1970s by runaway inflation.