T Nation

Libertarian?

I’m interested in how many of the frequent posters would agree with these tenets of Libertarianism (as set forth by economist Arnold Kling here: http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=101306A ) – and then in opinions as to which of the two major U.S. parties does the best job in terms of pursuing these tenets?:

My Libertarian Propositions

  1. Liberty is important for its own sake. People are entitled to make their own choices.

  2. There are other values in addition to liberty. However, many noble causes end up infringing on liberty without achieving their desired ends. Government policies should be evaluated on the basis of their consequences, not on the basis of how they make us feel. It may feel good to set a minimum wage, to impose rent control, or to declare a war on drugs, but the evidence is that such policies tend to work to the detriment of their intended beneficiaries.

  3. I value relieving the suffering of others. However, compared with liberals, I have considerable humility when it comes to advocating taking other people’s money in order to satisfy my urge to alleviate poverty.

  4. Corporate power is adequately checked by market forces. Competitors are the main force protecting consumers. Alternative job opportunities are the main force protecting workers. For corporate power to be a threat, it must be allied with government power.

  5. We would be better off with much less regulation. I will grant that some forms of deregulation, such as eliminating meat inspection, appear to have risks that outweigh the potential benefits. On the other hand, many forms of deregulation, such as eliminating licensing restrictions for medical practice, have potential benefits that outweigh the risks.

  6. Government is just one of many institutions for collective action. There also are trade associations, civic associations, religious groups, charities, and many other organizations that can provide collective goods.

  7. Government’s unique institutional characteristic is the legal use of coercive force. This creates enormous potential for abuse, and indeed, there are many countries where government abuses its powers constantly, to the severe detriment of the population. The abuses are less evil in the United States, but where liberals look at government expansion and see opportunity, libertarians see threat.

  8. Providing for the common defense is a legitimate function of government.

  9. There is no such thing as the “international community,” only a constantly-changing array of allies and adversaries. The United Nations serves mainly to prop up authoritarian regimes. The European Union is a bureaucratic nightmare. The United States should be proud of our ideal of liberty, especially economic liberty.

  10. In a world where small, covert operations (also known as terrorism) are a significant threat, government needs to use the tools of surveillance. However, surveillance power must be subject to checks and balances that are beyond those currently available.

I’d agree with most of that. However, I’d give pretty much unlimited power to those who hunt down terrorists. If we’re dead, we have no human rights.

The Republicans are a few degrees closer to the ideal than the Dems. Most Dems are simply flakes.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
I’d agree with most of that. However, I’d give pretty much unlimited power to those who hunt down terrorists. If we’re dead, we have no human rights.

The Republicans are a few degrees closer to the ideal than the Dems. Most Dems are simply flakes.[/quote]

Neither party even comes close unless your are a wingnut.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
I’m interested in how many of the frequent posters would agree with these tenets of Libertarianism (as set forth by economist Arnold Kling here: http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=101306A ) – and then in opinions as to which of the two major U.S. parties does the best job in terms of pursuing these tenets?:

My Libertarian Propositions

  1. Liberty is important for its own sake. People are entitled to make their own choices.
    [/quote]
    This is true for individual but does not/should not apply to corporations or other public institutions.

Also, I think there should be an agreed upon defintion of the word liberty. As it is it is too vague and only usually only used to incite political ideologues. We need to be able to answer the philisophical implications, too; for instance, where does my liberty end and yours begin?

I am not sure this is relevant to liberty.

I am not sure I agree with the deregulation that libertarians call for. I do not think corporations are capable of keeping themselves in check especially when it comes to worker/consumer safety–then there’s the other anti-trust type actions that require gov’t regulation.

Aren’t these associations also required to follow laws and are kept in check by such legislation as provided? Isn’t this considered a form of regulation?

I disagree. How would libertarians propose to interact with nations if not thru such organizations that other countries seem not to mind being a part of? Should we not have a stage where grievances and complaints can be heard? The US may be able to “take care of it’s own problems” but there are many nations that do not have such resources. It is important to maintain ties to our allies and enemies with these unions, etc. Our ideas and opinions will be more respected and we can thus be more confident of our actions in the “international community”.

I agree to everything except 9.

The US and the EU do have long lasting common interests, remaining at least relitively free an wealthy are two of them.

The EU as a bureaucratic nightmare:

Get it in your heads that the EU has less bureaucrats than the city of Vienna and is mostly aministrating agricultural subsidies.

If Brussels is a Bureaucratic leviathan I shudder to think what Washington might be …

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
I’m interested in how many of the frequent posters would agree with these tenets of Libertarianism (as set forth by economist Arnold Kling here: http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=101306A ) – and then in opinions as to which of the two major U.S. parties does the best job in terms of pursuing these tenets?:

My Libertarian Propositions

  1. Liberty is important for its own sake. People are entitled to make their own choices.

  2. There are other values in addition to liberty. However, many noble causes end up infringing on liberty without achieving their desired ends. Government policies should be evaluated on the basis of their consequences, not on the basis of how they make us feel. It may feel good to set a minimum wage, to impose rent control, or to declare a war on drugs, but the evidence is that such policies tend to work to the detriment of their intended beneficiaries.

  3. I value relieving the suffering of others. However, compared with liberals, I have considerable humility when it comes to advocating taking other people’s money in order to satisfy my urge to alleviate poverty.

  4. Corporate power is adequately checked by market forces. Competitors are the main force protecting consumers. Alternative job opportunities are the main force protecting workers. For corporate power to be a threat, it must be allied with government power.

  5. We would be better off with much less regulation. I will grant that some forms of deregulation, such as eliminating meat inspection, appear to have risks that outweigh the potential benefits. On the other hand, many forms of deregulation, such as eliminating licensing restrictions for medical practice, have potential benefits that outweigh the risks.

  6. Government is just one of many institutions for collective action. There also are trade associations, civic associations, religious groups, charities, and many other organizations that can provide collective goods.

  7. Government’s unique institutional characteristic is the legal use of coercive force. This creates enormous potential for abuse, and indeed, there are many countries where government abuses its powers constantly, to the severe detriment of the population. The abuses are less evil in the United States, but where liberals look at government expansion and see opportunity, libertarians see threat.

  8. Providing for the common defense is a legitimate function of government.

  9. There is no such thing as the “international community,” only a constantly-changing array of allies and adversaries. The United Nations serves mainly to prop up authoritarian regimes. The European Union is a bureaucratic nightmare. The United States should be proud of our ideal of liberty, especially economic liberty.

  10. In a world where small, covert operations (also known as terrorism) are a significant threat, government needs to use the tools of surveillance. However, surveillance power must be subject to checks and balances that are beyond those currently available. [/quote]

I agree with on all points. I am also strongly in favor of point 6.

I have long thought it is the job of small organizations to provide relief for the community. The less involvment the governement has in this area the better I think our society will be.

[quote]haney wrote:
I agree with on all points. I am also strongly in favor of point 6.

I have long thought it is the job of small organizations to provide relief for the community. The less involvment the governement has in this area the better I think our society will be.[/quote]

Umm, just a thought.

What’s stopping you, us, them, or whoever is supposed to be doing #6?

I mean, just because the government is wasting money in this area doesn’t mean that other providers couldn’t step up and remove the need for government aid.

Hmm. Good luck!

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
I’m interested in how many of the frequent posters would agree with these tenets of Libertarianism (as set forth by economist Arnold Kling here: http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=101306A ) – and then in opinions as to which of the two major U.S. parties does the best job in terms of pursuing these tenets?:

My Libertarian Propositions

  1. Liberty is important for its own sake. People are entitled to make their own choices.[/quote]

I concur. Generally speaking, this is a good thing. But completely inseparable of this is taking individual responsibility for the choices made with the liberty once granted.

But I should say this: I more into the libertarian bent at the larger levels of government. As in, I don’t believe in the abolition of all ‘public morality’ laws at state and local levels.

Generally, yes - this is application of the law of unintended consequences to me. And I have little tolerance for therapeutic laws.

Agreed in part. I have lots of humility in terms of people’s money, but I do think that there needs to be a public regime in place to help the needy. As in, the humility does not go far enough to dismantle the concept entirely. I do think, however, that it is best handled at the state and local levels.

Not entirely, in my view. Just as I don’t trust the unfettered ‘herd instinct’ at the political level - and neither the Founding Fathers - I don’t trust the unfettered ‘herd instinct’ at the economic level. While I think we are currently overregulated, I doubt that would go as far as a bona fide libertarian in this area.

As for corporate power being a threat by being allied with government power, I’d agree - while we hear all the time about the growing concern of a right-wing creation of ‘the corporate state’, far often overlooked is that many big corporations are huge fans of regulations that crowd out ambitious upstarts. No matter which wing you’re on, there is too much coziness between government and business. The government should be pro-market with enough regulation to help keep market information transparent and ordered.

Agreed with libertarians here.

Agreed again. Far too much emphasis on the government trying to solve problems it has no business worrying with.

Maybe, but society has become ridiculously complicated in the past 200 years. Romanticizing about abstractions that don’t have much real-world applicability is a problem for libertarians, in my opinion. So a little government growth was going to happen.

Does it go too far? I think so. Is it subject to abuse? I again think so.

Yes.

Agreed. The US should work and treat with like-minded countries, but the idea of an international community is a fiction.

Maybe. This requires a long response, but the short answer is that I think the President’s powers in this area are political questions, not legal ones. That said, there is a problem - how can we, as an electorate, decide on it as a political question if it is a secret policy and doesn’t get ‘priced’ into our political decision in a presidential election?

[quote]vroom wrote:

Umm, just a thought.

What’s stopping you, us, them, or whoever is supposed to be doing #6?
[/quote]
Nothing that I know of. The problem tends to be convincing local organizations that it is up to them and no one else. I.E. no one does the job as good as you mentality.

[quote]
I mean, just because the government is wasting money in this area doesn’t mean that other providers couldn’t step up and remove the need for government aid.

Hmm. Good luck![/quote]

Thanks! The best that I can do though is support local organizations that promote charitable work.

For instance I won’t go to a church that doesn’t have a strong out reach in the community. Personally I think this is one of the greatest wrongs with the evangelicals in the U.S.

I can only make the following example using the church so allow me this one sided view point.

It isn’t “liberal rhetoric” when the church does something it was commissioned to do such as take care of the ones in need. It is in my opinion a major flaw in Christianity today to have allowed the government to do what I consider our job. It is a sad state of affairs when non-christians act better than we do.

Warning! Long post ahead! :slight_smile:

[quote]
My Libertarian Propositions

  1. Liberty is important for its own sake. People are entitled to make their own choices.[/quote]
    Off to a good start, but this is essentially an empty sentiment. The very bedrock of American ideals, no matter what political party, are founded upon personal liberty. But let’s continue…

Once again, an empty sentiment. All government policies are geared towards achieving an end. The thing here is that those ends tend to be ones that appeal to a target demographic, i.e., the guys that will continue to vote me into office. Thus we have republican policies which appeal to red state voters, democratic policies which appeal to blue state voters, etc., and always there is give and take as the tensions between these differing ends result in dealmaking, concessions, and compromises.

[quote]3. I value relieving the suffering of others. However, compared with liberals, I have considerable humility when it comes to advocating taking other people’s money in order to satisfy my urge to alleviate poverty.[/quote] I think he could have phrased this a lot better, to be honest. Instead of appearing miserly or scrooge-like, he could have gone with something along the lines of “I support responsible social programs,” or perhaps “providing opportunity, and not a handout,” but then he would have just sounded like a republican. And that’s not so bad, I suppose.

So he wants to maintain a separation of corporate power from government power, but it’s already held in check by market forces? I can’t figure out if he’s going for the “keep the corporations away from government handouts” or if he’s trying to play a “corporations need to stop making our laws” angle here. Still, a nice thought… but unrealistic. Money makes the world go around. Large corporations have a lot of money and make a lot of money. You can’t take money out of politics, no matter how awesome your rhetoric is.

[quote]5. …On the other hand, many forms of deregulation, such as eliminating licensing restrictions for medical practice, have potential benefits that outweigh the risks…[/quote]HOLY SHIT NO THEY DON’T! That’s the last fucking place you want to deregulate, man! OMFG I would invite this gentlemen to sit in on our Florida Board of Clinical Lab Professionals and see just what kind of fuck-ups we have already working in my field. I’ve sat in on a number of meetings, and keep in mind that Florida has some of the most restrictive licensing standards in the country, and what I’ve seen at these meetings has blown my mind. Here we have people being disciplined professionally for doing shit that kills patients, violates all kinds of professional standards and practices, damn I could go on all day here. Crazy stuff. And this guy wants to make it easier for more fucktards to come in and practice? Not while I still draw breath, man. No WAY.

Okay. Ummm… so? What does this have to do with the libertarian ideal? I would think that this statement is going for a “get government out of charity work” angle, and that’s not so bad I guess, but he already did that in #3 above.

Funny. GWB is more guilty of this and he’s not a liberal at all. I get what he’s going for here, though, and it’s not a bad thought. The thing here is that he’s kinda strawmanning us, as we liberals aren’t out to grow a tremendous government to take control and abuse, we are trying to get a government that looks out for EVERYBODY, not just people who don’t really need the help to begin with. What we want is for everybody regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc., to have an equal opportunity to achieve their potential. And yes, we acknowledge that some folks have more potential than others, and that’s natural and okay. Just give them a real fighting chance is all.

[quote]8. Providing for the common defense is a legitimate function of government.[/quote] Yeah, the Constitution is cool.

Off to a bad start here at #9. This whole passage seems insular and isolationist, which is pretty much exactly what sucks about people as individuals. Yeah, I know you can’t be friends with everybody, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be friends with somebody. If your pals like the EU are having a hard time, that doesn’t mean we should cut and run at the first sign of things turning south. Same for the UN. They are having problems, but that doesn’t mean that they are worthless. Kofi Annan has some serious conduct issues, but we can’t let his behavior undermine what is essentially a decent idea. The UN is supposed to be about creating dialogue between nations and providing a forum for resolving disputes. This isn’t such a bad thing, is it? What is his alternative to this? Just falling back and letting the world go to shit? I would have liked to see some alternative ideas shared here rather than some nondescript bitching about the EU and the UN. If you can do better, then let’s hear it!

Again, unrealistic. So we’re supposed to be using surveillance to catch the bad guys, but we need to make sure that we are actually not spying on non-terrorists. In other words, we have to use psychic powers to find the bad guys and then only watch them and not the good guys like you and me. WTF? In all honesty, I’m not exactly a smart guy, so I would have loved to hear what his ideas are on these “checks and balances” which are supposedly sorely lacking. I don’t have psychic powers.

Summing up: I give this whole essay a D-, maybe an F+. It seems like he just threw out a bunch of muddied and ill-thought out sound bites and didn’t really back it up with any substance. If we’re trying to define ideals here… damn, it’s just gotta be way better than this. What those undecided voters need is something solid that makes sense, not a bunch of appeals to stuff that may or may not piss them off about current policies.

What I mean here is, I don’t know, say I ask this guy: “What do you stand for in regards to foreign policy in dealing with troublesome nations?” and the best he comes up with “The UN sucks.” Well, it’s just not selling, you know?

So in closing, where’s the libertarian foundation? All I see here in this list is a bunch of walls. And many of them aren’t built very well.

[quote]haney wrote:
Nothing that I know of. The problem tends to be convincing local organizations that it is up to them and no one else. I.E. no one does the job as good as you mentality.
[/quote]

Well, I can’t imagine in a libertarian environment that anyone would really be organized in any type of way to make such an effort. Heck, they certainly aren’t now!

Obviously, whatever you are doing is just great, but I’m hinting that you can’t spontaneously expect these things to arise out of thin air in a libertarian model when they aren’t in the current model.

The required freedom is already there, but because of the lack, systems were put in place by government to address these issues “better”. Now, depending if you are left and right you can argue all day about big government vs middle class stability and all that hocus pocus… which seems to be the purpose of the thread anyway.

Things very rarely spontaneously develop because they could.

[quote]Thanks! The best that I can do though is support local organizations that promote charitable work.

For instance I won’t go to a church that doesn’t have a strong out reach in the community. Personally I think this is one of the greatest wrongs with the evangelicals in the U.S.

I can only make the following example using the church so allow me this one sided view point.

It isn’t “liberal rhetoric” when the church does something it was commissioned to do such as take care of the ones in need. It is in my opinion a major flaw in Christianity today to have allowed the government to do what I consider our job. It is a sad state of affairs when non-christians act better than we do. [/quote]

Hey, as much as I’m waxing political above, I’m completely in agreement that looking after your fellow man is really one of the basic tenets of Christianity.

Good work! If enough people actually made the effort to push in this type of direction, then the government may never have felt the need to step in with huge beauracratic systems…

Fiscal liberty - the government does not tax and redistribute wealth. The government does not maintain involuntary charity programs. Nor, does it attempt to tax me and provide me with retirement and health care. I’m a free individual, therefore, I accept the liberty and consequences of my economic freedoms. I do not want your “security nets.” Please don’t force me, a free person, to participate.

Social liberty - the government minds it’s own business unless someone’s rights are being infringed upon. And in most cases this can be dealt with on a state level. Victimless crimes are moronic.

In short, to the federal government, stay out my life, shut up, and provide for national defense. And that’s it. We the people will interact with our local and state governments.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Fiscal liberty - the government does not tax and redistribute wealth. The government does not maintain involuntary charity programs. Nor, does it attempt to tax me and provide me with retirement and health care. I’m a free individual, therefore, I accept the liberty and consequences of my economic freedoms. I do not want your “security nets.” Please don’t force me, a free person, to participate.

Social liberty - the government minds it’s own business unless someone’s rights are being infringed upon. And in most cases this can be dealt with on a state level. Victimless crimes are moronic.

In short, to the federal government, stay out my life, shut up, and provide for national defense. And that’s it. We the people will interact with our local and state governments.

[/quote]

Not much chance you will get these things as Democrats tell us how to spend our money and Republicans tell how to live our live (and recently…how to spend our money).

I agree with everything you wrote.

Too bad DC does not care.

[quote]vroom wrote:
haney wrote:
I agree with on all points. I am also strongly in favor of point 6.

I have long thought it is the job of small organizations to provide relief for the community. The less involvment the governement has in this area the better I think our society will be.

Umm, just a thought.

What’s stopping you, us, them, or whoever is supposed to be doing #6?

I mean, just because the government is wasting money in this area doesn’t mean that other providers couldn’t step up and remove the need for government aid.

Hmm. Good luck![/quote]

Nothing is stopping us. I do it. I bet you do too. Don’t you donate to the needy? The local firestation?

Ever done any volunteer work?

I have confidence that the money I donate has a greater impact on feeding the poor than the tax dollars I pay.

I agree with all points made in the article except the first and last.

On the first point, I have no opinion. The ethics of government do not concern me. I subscribe to Libertarian schools of thought because I view them as the correct interpretations of existing conditions found in nature. It is a science, if not an entirely precise one – not a moral code. To me, Libertarianism is, first and foremost, a fundamental basis in market economics. A dictator could be a Libertarian, as far as I’m concerned - so long as he agreed with the underlying economic principles which make up the ideology (he wouldn’t necessarily have to implement them in his own state).

I completely disagree with the last point because it is precisely the imperialist agendas pursued by the 20th century, welfare/warfare states that are responsible for breeding unconventional warfare tactics (terrorism). Cut out the root, and you have eliminated the problem.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
which of the two major U.S. parties does the best job in terms of pursuing these tenets?:[/quote]

Neither. Anyone who tries to convince themselves otherwise is being taken for a ride.

[i]* Conservatives & Liberals: Conservatives say the government can’t end poverty by force, but they believe it can use force to make people moral. Liberals say government can’t make people be moral, but they believe it can end poverty. Neither group attempts to explain why government is so clumsy and destructive in one area but a paragon of efficiency and benevolence in the other.

  • Libertarians: I don’t agree with the idea that a libertarian is someone who is fiscally conservative and socially liberal. It is a mistake to define libertarians in terms of conservatives or liberals. Conservative politicians are as fiscally imprudent as liberals, and liberal politicians are as contemptuous of individual rights as conservatives. Libertarians stand for individual liberty and personal responsibility on all issues at all times. Conservatives and liberals each sometimes take positions similar to libertarians, but – unlike libertarians – there is no consistent principle running through all their political positions. [/i]

-from the “Wit and Wisdom of Harry Browne”

[quote]vroom wrote:
haney wrote:
I agree with on all points. I am also strongly in favor of point 6.

I have long thought it is the job of small organizations to provide relief for the community. The less involvment the governement has in this area the better I think our society will be.

Umm, just a thought.

What’s stopping you, us, them, or whoever is supposed to be doing #6?

I mean, just because the government is wasting money in this area doesn’t mean that other providers couldn’t step up and remove the need for government aid.

Hmm. Good luck![/quote]

#1 Nothing is “stopping them”. Charity organizations are already widespread around the country and the world.

HOWEVER:

#2 There are economic factors that come into play relating to government and free enterprise.

A nation’s economy is it’s pool of wealth, into which both the private sector and government dip their trunks. The difference being (at least as far as Libertarian theories of economics are concerned), that the former contributes to the pool, whereas the latter robs from it. So, downsize the welfare-state (which actually increases poverty - once again - according to Libertarian schools of thought), and you automatically inject a massive amount of wealth back into the productive economic sectors.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
I am not sure I agree with the deregulation that libertarians call for. I do not think corporations are capable of keeping themselves in check especially when it comes to worker/consumer safety–then there’s the other anti-trust type actions that require gov’t regulation.[/quote]

The whole point of free market economics is that corporations don’t need to “keep themselves in check”, or “look out for the common man”, because natural forces present in the free market will compel them to do so out of their own self-interest.

Self interest ultimately leads to the common interest. THIS is what Libertarianism is about, in a nutshell.

To you and anyone else, I highly recommend reading through the following, simple-to-understand article about the mechanics of the free market:

http://www.harrybrowne.org/articles/InvisibleHand.htm

Even if you end up disagreeing, you will come out with a firm understanding of the Libertarian ideology.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Aren’t these associations also required to follow laws and are kept in check by such legislation as provided? Isn’t this considered a form of regulation?[/quote]

The point being made is that those organizations operate in the private sector, and are thus self-regulated by market forces. Not so with government programs.

Businessmen don’t use guns and the threat of violence to make deals. When they do, they cease to be businessmen and instead become gangsters. Governments are nothing more than mafia groups which assume control over a territorial area and claim legitimacy through sheer length of stay. What are laws without the underlying threat of violence to back them up? Answer: nothing.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
I disagree. How would libertarians propose to interact with nations if not thru such organizations that other countries seem not to mind being a part of? Should we not have a stage where grievances and complaints can be heard? The US may be able to “take care of it’s own problems” but there are many nations that do not have such resources. It is important to maintain ties to our allies and enemies with these unions, etc. Our ideas and opinions will be more respected and we can thus be more confident of our actions in the “international community”.[/quote]

What grievances? What allies and enemies? All of these concepts are antithetical to Libertarian doctrines.

“Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.” - Thomas Jefferson

[quote]orion wrote:
I agree to everything except 9.

The US and the EU do have long lasting common interests, remaining at least relitively free an wealthy are two of them.

The EU as a bureaucratic nightmare:

Get it in your heads that the EU has less bureaucrats than the city of Vienna and is mostly aministrating agricultural subsidies.

If Brussels is a Bureaucratic leviathan I shudder to think what Washington might be …[/quote]

God, I wish we were a leviathan. my little office of 8 people has counterparts in the EU Member States totaling several thousand employes. Now, if we can simplify the rules and make some of their work superfluous, I would be quite content. I am afraid I haven’t the time to rule the world as well. Sorry. TQB

[quote]vroom wrote:
haney wrote:

Well, I can’t imagine in a libertarian environment that anyone would really be organized in any type of way to make such an effort. Heck, they certainly aren’t now!
[/quote]

The idea is that people have to stop expecting the government to be the safety net. which I admit is probably impossible at this point. I am of the opinion that need is what creates solution. So if the government stopped fulfilling charitable needs, then the solution would eventually arise.

of course not. The only way something like this could arise would be for a total change in our thought process on what the governement is meant for. Which sadly I don’t see happening anytime soon.

agreed this is probably a small hi-jack, but an interesting possibility. I would assume most people would prefer to have more control over their charitable contributions rather than letting someone else decide for them. So this idea while it is far off from being reality, is more than likely closer to the will of most. They just don’t know it yet.

[quote]
Things very rarely spontaneously develop because they could.

Hey, as much as I’m waxing political above, I’m completely in agreement that looking after your fellow man is really one of the basic tenets of Christianity.

Good work! If enough people actually made the effort to push in this type of direction, then the government may never have felt the need to step in with huge beauracratic systems…[/quote]

(sigh) yes it is a sad state of affairs what we are stuck with. It is like every choosing to ride coach when first class is wide open and double the size…

[quote]TQB wrote:
God, I wish we were a leviathan. my little office of 8 people has counterparts in the EU Member States totaling several thousand employes. Now, if we can simplify the rules and make some of their work superfluous, I would be quite content. I am afraid I haven’t the time to rule the world as well. Sorry. TQB
[/quote]

You know, there is a fundamental question under here which everybody simply assumes is correct.

Is increased efficiency and productivity as important and positive as we think it is?

I do understand the macroeconomic viewpoint, and I’m sure someone will try to school me in it, but is it really better to employ 10 people instead of 20 and redistribute the wealth through ownership instead?

If 100% of a population is working and happy, there is no emergency that says the human race must double it’s output or fire half it’s employees. Really, what is the goal? Is it to install blinkered ideologies, one overtop of another, because none is perfect, whenever people get tired of the current systems flaws?

At what point, if anywhere in a libertarian ideology, do we consider the simple quality of life of the majority of the population? Sure, we have the natural order of survival of the fittest and the luckiest, but do we really believe that this the absolute best we can do?

Anyway, before I get roasted, I’m not arguing FOR anything. I want to know what the end goal really is. Is it survival of the species? Most freedom? Quality of life? Fair and equitable conditions planetwide? Circle-jerk with no goal at all? What?

To make the supposition above a little more concrete:

What if all the unemployed people living off the teat of the government were employed and productive members of society. Yes, I know, there will always be some that are not, but in general, eliminate vast areas of unemployed poor people and you eliminate a lot of troublesome issues within society.

People that are working and somewhat content are more educated. They are committing less violent crimes. They are less costly to police and incarcerate, because they don’t want to risk losing what they have.

Without getting into ideologies and value judgments, you could argue that firing 50% of the workers to get more profits distributes the dollars from those prior employees to the owners. Again, I’m well versed in economics and I realize public ownership can theoretically address this issue, but historically it has not done a good job of it.

Basically, our new instruments make it harder and harder to connect negative aspects of enriching ourselves at others expense to any direct action on our own part or any direct consequence on those affected.

No matter how strongly you believe in any particular ideology, when enough people get squeezed to hard, they eventually fight for survival. There’s a lot of value in keeping the general population happy and fat.

A corollary, if you could work a few hours a day and be sure of providing for all your needs and that of your family, though without really accumulating any wealth, would you be able to do that? Do you have a value judgment in place which makes this an inappropriate lifestyle?

Thoughts?

[quote]haney wrote:
The idea is that people have to stop expecting the government to be the safety net. which I admit is probably impossible at this point. I am of the opinion that need is what creates solution. So if the government stopped fulfilling charitable needs, then the solution would eventually arise.[/quote]

But need already brought about a solution. There was a time that the government was’t involved… but obviously that solution failed or we wouldn’t be where we are now.

That’s an important thing to realize. We aren’t where we are because of random policies put into place, but because a problem existed and had to be solved.

The problem was born of a time where communities and local people were helping each other out. So, based on the past, the idea being proposed has already proven itself to be a failure at least once.

Thinking it would be a panacea because it reflects some ideology is something I find a little worrisome. If it didn’t work before, why is going to work now all of a sudden. If you tell me that people are simply more compassionate and caring I will laugh at you.

:wink: