T Nation

Libertarian?

[quote]vroom wrote:
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.

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.

;)[/quote]

The failure wasn’t in the communities. It was because of the crash of the dollar. hey when the dollar is worthless it doesn’t matter how much you give to charity. The depression is what forced the governement to step in.

Now we have a governement that is voting in fringe benefits to stay in the good graces of the people voting them in.

[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:

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.

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.
[/quote]
This is just not true. There are way too many instances when the interests of industry conflict with the interests of other entities or individuals. As it is I am not able to sleep at night becasue coprporations are way too powerful. How is paying a lobbiest to get bills passed into law that only benefit the corporation in my interest?

Again, markets are not capable of regulating themselves. What you say about government is nothing better than cynicism. Bureaucracy may not be convenient but it is precisely this inconveience that keeps people/institutions in check.

This is why libertarianism will not work. Are we to just accept a naive sentiment of a long dead politician? This worked when the planet was bigger than it is now–it no longer holds true.

[quote]haney wrote:
The failure wasn’t in the communities. It was because of the crash of the dollar. hey when the dollar is worthless it doesn’t matter how much you give to charity. The depression is what forced the governement to step in. [/quote]

I might be nit-picking, but I thought the problem was unemployment and lack of income.

While there are tons of problems with current systems, I don’t think switching ideologies is the answer. I think there are many ways we could fix things within the current systems (and I don’t mean tweaking current policies or programs), but with the political environment of the day it is difficult to do anything, even if it would be better for the country.

I mean, you can’t actually let the “other” guy have a good idea in today’s political climate, can you?

[quote]vroom wrote:
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?
[/quote]
Precisely! This is a fundamental philosophical concept known as “quality versus quantity”. People do not realize that pursuing one comes at the cost of sacrificing the other. We cannot have both.

This core concept is at the root of biology, chemistry, physics, economics, and many other fields of philosophy.

[quote]vroom wrote:
I might be nit-picking, but I thought the problem was unemployment and lack of income.
[/quote]
you are. Those are some of the results.

hmm… what would you propose then?

[quote]
I mean, you can’t actually let the “other” guy have a good idea in today’s political climate, can you?[/quote]

the problem is none of our current officials are trying. So we are stuck with a group of people running our country whose sole interest is protecting their job for the next election…

[quote]haney wrote:
the problem is none of our current officials are trying. So we are stuck with a group of people running our country whose sole interest is protecting their job for the next election…[/quote]

I like nit-picking! :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, I’m going to turn this around and blame the populace.

The populace does not want to hear politicians proposing complicated plans and policy changes! The population doesn’t vote for the guy that is smarter and who has the ability to elucidate plans and ideas.

The population votes for the guy that says the least, because the alternative is to open oneself up to attack politics, which is aboslutely the most effective way to drive votes away from someone else.

At least a three party system wouldn’t ensure driving votes away from your opponent would be good for you!

So, don’t blame the politicians, because the only ones we elect are the stupid ones or the ones that act stupid and simply offer vapid promises about keeping America the best place in the world… and of course they are simply required to end every speech with a variant of God Bless America, because energizing voters is much more important than discussing issues and problems in order to propose solutions.

Society needs to value intelligence, which might be possible if intelligence did create overbearing blowhards who like to lord themselves up above everyone else. Who knows. Maybe a working educational system would help too? Of course, in a libertarian world, would there be any push for general public education at all?

Not that I ever think about any of these types of issues.

P.S. For the clueless, in no way am I criticing the US or saying anything anti-American, I think the same pattern of problem is pretty much present in all western civilizations these days.

[quote]vroom wrote:
haney wrote:
the problem is none of our current officials are trying. So we are stuck with a group of people running our country whose sole interest is protecting their job for the next election…

I like nit-picking! :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, I’m going to turn this around and blame the populace.

The populace does not want to hear politicians proposing complicated plans and policy changes! The population doesn’t vote for the guy that is smarter and who has the ability to elucidate plans and ideas.

The population votes for the guy that says the least, because the alternative is to open oneself up to attack politics, which is aboslutely the most effective way to drive votes away from someone else.

At least a three party system wouldn’t ensure driving votes away from your opponent would be good for you!

So, don’t blame the politicians, because the only ones we elect are the stupid ones or the ones that act stupid and simply offer vapid promises about keeping America the best place in the world… and of course they are simply required to end every speech with a variant of God Bless America, because energizing voters is much more important than discussing issues and problems in order to propose solutions.

Society needs to value intelligence, which might be possible if intelligence did create overbearing blowhards who like to lord themselves up above everyone else. Who knows. Maybe a working educational system would help too? Of course, in a libertarian world, would there be any push for general public education at all?

Not that I ever think about any of these types of issues.

P.S. For the clueless, in no way am I criticing the US or saying anything anti-American, I think the same pattern of problem is pretty much present in all western civilizations these days.[/quote]

hmm. while I don’t disagree the solution is with the public. I do want to throw out that the very politicians that we have are nothing more than a product of the people who have elected them.

We have created politicians that only care about doing enough to save their job. They all cater to some sort of special interest that in my opinion they don’t really care about. They are just looking for a base of support.

I think most problems could be solved by policy if there were things like term limits, and a certain requirement for performance. This would eliminate my next problem with elected officials.

which is this.

My dad was a state rep for texas back in the 80’s(not that it matters much). He told me that he had lunch with one of his high school friends who had been voted in a few years before him. He told my dad the problems is you go into office with ideas, eventually you have friends that are elected, and then you are no longer voting for your ideas, you are voting with your friends.

[rant begin]
That being said I have been raised on conservative values, and GOP alignment. This fall will be the first time I don’t vote for a republican for the Texas Gov. Not to spite the GOP, but because Perry has done a so/so job in my mind, and I believe werner is closer to my pov. I am also not happy with the tax on LLP’s that he put in place because of his poor skill’s in stretching the tax payer’s dollar.[rant end]

I agree with the original post.

[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]

Mainly it is the same thing that is stopping people from sending their kids to private school. The government has already taken the money to do it and are spending over $7000 per kid. To do it on your own would take an additional expense out of your own pocket. Some people still step up, but it’s hard to, financially and otherwise. It seems like you are throwing away the money set to be spent on your kid.

[quote]vroom wrote:

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.

[/quote]

Are you saying that anything that happens happened because it needed to happen?

The government has failed. Has it won the war on poverty? How many billions upon billions have we put into the effort? Only to finance a vicous multi-generational cycle of poverty?

And, what if people don’t meet the “charitable” standard some of you pontificate on? So you use the power and force of government to insure my participation in your failed charity? Why don’t you give more? How much time have you invested in a charity?

Nevermind, that’s not relevant. After all, it’s none of my business how charitable you are. And, it’s none of your business how charitable I am. Would you like me to legislate some moral principles right back at you? K, no more sex without marriage, or face punishment. Fatherless children are more prone to grow up in poverty. Get the idea?

How about Medicaid and Social Security? I believe it went from a 20 worker to 1 recipient ratio, to a 2 to 1 ratio. And, it’s going to get worse as our population ages faster than it’s birth rates. To a child born today I’d say, good luck collecting your benefits in the future.

If a portion of one’s wealth is confiscated for the sake of the “needy,” then a substantial amount of one’s natural born freedoms have been stripped away.

“Entitlements” are nothing more than voter bribery. Want to talk about corruption? “Vote for me, I’ll siphon off someone else’s paycheck and give it to you!” That is the most blatant, and tolerated, form of govermental corruption. The direct buying of votes from portions of our population…The founding fathers would shit a brick at what we’ve become.

Of course government officials, lobbyists, and politicians are so corrupt. We the people gave them all the powers and tools to be so. We’ve given away so much of our own wealth and independence just for the promise that they’ll take care us.

Of course, instead, they use that wealth and our dependency to buy votes, and influence behavior. How in the hell is anyone suprised about the rampant corruption in a nanny state government?

[quote]Sloth wrote:
If a portion of one’s wealth is confiscated for the sake of the “needy,” then a substantial amount of one’s natural born freedoms have been stripped away.[/quote]

I think there are multiple issues getting wrapped up into some of these statements. Some visible and some hidden.

For example, like it or not, creating a large “underclass” causes problems in society. These problems are big enough that either a powerful group (in our model the government) tries to do something about them or the “underclass” does something about the current state of organization.

Thinking that declaring “every man for himself” will fix the issue of having a large “underclass” is a pipe dream. This doesn’t mean I support what we have now, but it does mean that I understand why what we currently have was put in place.

It was created during a more naive time, when people weren’t as likely to take advantage of such systems. People have changed, as is natural, but the systems haven’t changed enough to be truly effective.

All I can say is be wary of only examining one side of the equation. Ignoring all those that aren’t you, and decrying them for not achieving enough, isn’t going to eliminate the social problems, and costs, that are accrued by having a large “underclass”.

I don’t think anyone likes entitlements these days, but I don’t think it requires an ideology shift to move from entitlements towards better ideas.

Again, there are important benefits to society by getting a larger percentage of it to participate fully in the economic system. This needs to be recognized in discussions involving public good.

No matter what system of government, people always need to realize that there are always ways that people can become corrupt. If you are old enough, you’ll also realize that success goes to your head and that you start believe you are “good”. I’ve been down that road once and hopefully I’ve learned my lesson in that regard.

However, it happens to every generation. I wish that we’d consider such issues of “wisdom” when we educated our citizens or when we had people running for office.

It would be very easy to legislate corrections to eliminate most outside influences on elected officials, but it is really difficult to motivate them to do something like that. They need outside interests removed so that they can focus on what’s good for the people, that is their job, after all.

If you are really interested in solutions, instead of focusing on some huge freaking ideological shift, perhaps try to come up with solutions that are more attainable given the current state of affairs. There is a whole lot of inertia that needs to be respected.

I’m not interested in solutions to fixing entitlement programs. I’m interested in ending them. I’m interested in fiscal freedom from the nanny-state.

[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]

I used to be a republican. My old man used to explain that it was merely voting for the lesser of two evils. Then I had something of an original thought as I opened my eyes a little. A vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil.

And as time marches on I can admit that Republicans tend to be a little better than democrats, but Republicans are still F’in evil and more than willing to take your freedoms. Besides, the reason we’re screwed up right now is because Republicans have yet to step up and have some balls to stand for what they claim to.

Mike

[quote]Sloth wrote:
I’m not interested in solutions to fixing entitlement programs. I’m interested in ending them. I’m interested in fiscal freedom from the nanny-state. [/quote]

Solutions and ending them are not mutually exclusive.

If you think the US is going to suddenly become a tax free society with no social programs overnight, you are simply dreaming.

What you can potentially do, if you care to, is try to influence the country onto the path that allows it to divest itself of these programs over time.

Something I’ve proposed a few times now is eroding them very slowly by not linking them to inflation at 100%. If you keep it close, but not quite at 100%, you’ll find that programs very slowly become less and less significant, but not so quickly that it violates “entitlements” or ability to plan for any one generation.

While it seems long to you and I, freeing the country from selected programs over a period of ten generations would be an incredibly powerful thing to do. However, who’s going to actually try to do something that is so long term?

When you are dealing with an irrestible force, you can only nudge it a bit and slowly get it pointing in the right direction…

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

  1. 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.

I am not sure this is relevant to liberty.

[/quote]

It is entirely relevant. The taking of my money is the taking of my property. This is property I worked for. By proxy you have taken my time and made me work for your devices. That is slavery.[quote]

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] Simple solution–Don’t work/buy from them.

Mike

[quote]vroom wrote:
Sloth wrote:
I’m not interested in solutions to fixing entitlement programs. I’m interested in ending them. I’m interested in fiscal freedom from the nanny-state.

Solutions and ending them are not mutually exclusive.

If you think the US is going to suddenly become a tax free society with no social programs overnight, you are simply dreaming.

What you can potentially do, if you care to, is try to influence the country onto the path that allows it to divest itself of these programs over time.

Something I’ve proposed a few times now is eroding them very slowly by not linking them to inflation at 100%. If you keep it close, but not quite at 100%, you’ll find that programs very slowly become less and less significant, but not so quickly that it violates “entitlements” or ability to plan for any one generation.

While it seems long to you and I, freeing the country from selected programs over a period of ten generations would be an incredibly powerful thing to do. However, who’s going to actually try to do something that is so long term?

When you are dealing with an irrestible force, you can only nudge it a bit and slowly get it pointing in the right direction…[/quote]

Ah, if you’re talking about phasing them out, sure. I was under the impression you were simply talking about refroming them. No, I agree-and should have made that clear-there would need to be a phasing out period.

[quote]Mikeyali wrote:
Simple solution–Don’t work/buy from them.

Mike
[/quote]

Ahahahaha. And without any regulation, who is going to be keeping us informed about what the companies are actually doing?

Some of you guys really are in la-la land if you think that things spontaneously organize themselves or that they operate transparently. They don’t.

Even fair markets require police intervention (regulation) so that people don’t find ways to commit acts that make things very inefficient.

Consider all the unethical people, CEO’s and such, going to jail these days. Are you proposing that we don’t need any rules and regulations to govern their behavior?

There are certainly elements of the libertarian ideal that I am all for. I’ve even argued that direct (income) taxation is percentage slavery. However, we do require some centralized authority for various purposes, and those centralized services need to be financed in some way.

It used to be that you could just leave society if you didn’t want to live under it’s rules, but alas, the world is too small, and you have to choose to live under some societal ideals.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Mikeyali wrote:
Simple solution–Don’t work/buy from them.

Mike

Ahahahaha. And without any regulation, who is going to be keeping us informed about what the companies are actually doing?

Some of you guys really are in la-la land if you think that things spontaneously organize themselves or that they operate transparently. They don’t.

Even fair markets require police intervention (regulation) so that people don’t find ways to commit acts that make things very inefficient.

Consider all the unethical people, CEO’s and such, going to jail these days. Are you proposing that we don’t need any rules and regulations to govern their behavior?

There are certainly elements of the libertarian ideal that I am all for. I’ve even argued that direct (income) taxation is percentage slavery. However, we do require some centralized authority for various purposes, and those centralized services need to be financed in some way.

It used to be that you could just leave society if you didn’t want to live under it’s rules, but alas, the world is too small, and you have to choose to live under some societal ideals.[/quote]

Hmm, I think you’ve got the wrong impression when libertarians talk about deregulation. Most aren’t anarchists. The Majority would be minarchists.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Mikeyali wrote:
Simple solution–Don’t work/buy from them.

Mike

Ahahahaha. And without any regulation, who is going to be keeping us informed about what the companies are actually doing?

Some of you guys really are in la-la land if you think that things spontaneously organize themselves or that they operate transparently. They don’t.

Even fair markets require police intervention (regulation) so that people don’t find ways to commit acts that make things very inefficient.

Consider all the unethical people, CEO’s and such, going to jail these days. Are you proposing that we don’t need any rules and regulations to govern their behavior?

There are certainly elements of the libertarian ideal that I am all for. I’ve even argued that direct (income) taxation is percentage slavery. However, we do require some centralized authority for various purposes, and those centralized services need to be financed in some way.

It used to be that you could just leave society if you didn’t want to live under it’s rules, but alas, the world is too small, and you have to choose to live under some societal ideals.[/quote]

Some is certainly the operative word. Government should be able to demand transparency in the dealings of business but not that they treat their employees a certain way or make their products within particular standards.

Mike