Both sides make the mistake of separating economic and social concerns. The cornerstone of the social order is the family and social endeavors are somehow related to family affairs. A key aspect of that social order is tied to economics. Like the ancient Greeks, the early Americans did not see economics as something separate from family issues.
According to the entry under economy in the "Online Etymology Dictionary” The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek οἰκονομία (oikonomia, "management of a household, administration") from οἶκος (oikos, "house") + νόμος (nomos, "custom" or "law"), hence "rules of the house(hold)". In other words, the discipline of economics had its origin in the family unit.
Austrian Economist Ludwig Von Mises carried on this understanding in modern times. In an economic treatise entitled “Socialism”, which critiqued a command and control economic system, Von Mises dedicated a whole chapter to the family. Von Mises saw the family, like private property, as a natural part of the social order stemming from human nature. In his view, command and control approaches to economics were utopian attempts to socially engineer human nature. Such approaches sought to undermine both the family and the free market, as they were seen as an obstacle to the socially engineered society.
This was essentially the same conclusion that early Americans came to. Most people are aware that the writings of Adam Smith, who published the “An Enquiry into the Wealth of Nations” in 1776, had an impact on American economic thinking. Smith is best known for his economic conclusions, but he was a moral philosopher and his economic conclusion flowed from his moral concerns.
The central political concern that is expressed in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution is the proper role of government. This concern has both fiscal and social issue implications, but transcends both. It is also the animating behind the Tea Party movement.
Many of the movement’s leaders are new to political activism and were drawn to the movement by concern for the future of their children. Such concerns can hardly said to be materialistic. The problem is not with the Tea Party movement’s focus, it is with narrowly understanding it.