#Winning: Progressive Think Tank Demos Targets "Libertarian Right"

Was it only yesterday that I suggested that a country ravaged for the past dozen-plus years by Big Government on steroids (plus whatever else A-Rod's been shooting) was on the cusp of a glorious "Libertarian Era"?

As part of my case I pointed to recent fulminations across the political spectrum aimed at libertarians.

Long derided as inevitably male, pasty-faced, bitter-clingers to their Ayn Rands and their slide rules, libertarians for decades have been written off as a subset of all-powerful and oh-so-serious conservatives, as Republicans who smoke pot or have gay friends, and less. (Read "5 Myths About Libertarians," my recent piece in the Washington Post, for some perspective.)

But now, in the words of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, libertarians are not just irrelevant but downright "dangerous" - and infecting both major parties. You know, because libertarians actually seem to give a rat's ass about civil liberties, mindless military adventuring, and actually cutting government spending (which Christie has not done since taking office).

If Christie voices right-wing anxiety about libertarians' rising prestige and influence on politics and culture, the think-tank Demos articulates the left-wing version. The group has just announced its "Gordon Gamm Initiative," which is explicitly geared to roll back the tide of laissez-faire it feels has swamped a nation the 

...we find ourselves...facing the disastrous consequences of 30 years of economic policies far too heavily influenced by free market fundamentalism—a libertarian lens consisting of deregulation, laissez-faire corporate policy, tax cuts for the wealthy, and an attack on government as the enemy. This go-it-alone, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may approach to organizing society threatens our systems of social supports and regulatory safeguards, and contributes to our economic crises—record inequality, an eroded middle class, and stalled mobility for the next generation....

We envision a world in which democracy writes the rules for capitalism, not the other way around. Through the Gordon Gamm Initiative, we’re focusing on countering libertarian myths, and arguing for new, higher expectations for a more socially responsible role for business in society, and for strong government action to advance the common good....

In confronting its impact on regulation, taxation, financial oversight, income supports, and other policies, we will treat both the theoretical and practical implications of the troubling policies championed by the perspective. Contributors to the Initiative may not agree on all details. But we will display an energetic commitment to counter the myths and distortions that can only set our country back.  Welcome to the Gordon Gamm Initiative at Demos.

Read more about the Gamm Initiative (and the man it's named after), here.

I think there are two immediate takeaways here to consider.

First, the Gamm Initiative is indeed yet one more indication that libertarianism and its ideas about what Reason calls "free minds and free markets" are indeed and unmistakably on the rise. Those of us who toil in the vineyards of libertarian ideas and activism should take a half-second to pat ourselves on the back and to thank our predecessors upon whose shoulders we stand.

As detailed in my Reason colleague Brian Doherty's essential history of the modern libertarian movement, Radicals for Capitalism, our ideas not only have a long and inspiring genealogy, but they have also uquestionably picked up steam over the last 40 years or so. Traditional right-wing conservatism and conventional big-government liberalism (even when rebranded as "progressivism") are exhausted ideologies that have gotten more than enough shots at running the country's economic, cultural, and political institutions. Libertarianism - broadly defined as pushing for limited government while promoting social tolerance - is ascendant in large part because the two major ideologies of the post-war era have been tried and found wanting. That many of the best economic, cultural, and political developments of the same era (e.g., opening up trade, ending de jure discrimination and loosening up lifestyle choices, ending the draft) derive from libertarian impulses is also true and is precisely the message that we need to articulate, refine, and circulate (for more on this, see Matt Welch's and my The Declaration of Independents). There's a reason why, as I noted in my piece yesterday, majorities of Americans feel the government is trying to do too much stuff that should be left to individuals and businesses. The reason is that we've been living with failed intervention after failed intervention. Now more than ever, people are ready to try something new. And that new thing is strikingly like libertarianism.

Second, we should welcome the engagement from Demos and other progressives. It will help sharpen our own thinking, policy ideas, and attempts to change the world. We have reached the moment described in F.A. Hayek's "Why I Am Not a Conservative" where those on the left have finally realized that their actual opponents are not revanchist members of the Old Guard, those folks who want to stand astride history yelling Stop! (or at least, "slow down!"). It's those of us who spring from the classical liberal tradition that is wary of concentrated power and politically instituted privilege, and who want a world that is filled not with a single god or ruler we're all forced to worship, revere, and tithe to but a chance at live on our own terms. As I wrote 15 years ago, in what seems now like a very different country:

To use a computer-age metaphor, libertarianism is best understood as an operating system that allows an infinite number of applications to be launched. In a truly libertarian society, we could rightly expect all sorts of communities, of every possible creed and philosophy. Libertarianism doesn't demand that converts forsake their old religions, so to speak. Rather, it replaces conversion by the sword with conversion by the word, by example, and by moral suasion. In doing so, libertarianism provides the necessary backdrop to letting all sorts of individuals and groups pursue the lives they want to live while minimizing the conflicts that true diversity brings to any human society.

There are many unfairnesses in the world and there's no question in my mind that, in terms of politics and policy at the very least, the 21st century has so far been a clusterfuck of almost unimaginable proportions. I think that the folks at Demos, whose hopes for a better society I share to the utmost, are almost entirely wrong when they blame libertarianism for all the ills of the world. To state the obvious, it isn't libertarians who bailed out the banks and doubled defense spending and foisted ever-more-expensive, jail-like K-12 schools on kids and taxpayers alike. It isn't libertarians who are deporting immigrants in record numbers and filling the nation's prisons with drug users. Or defending presidential kill lists and drone attacks, the prosecution of whistle-blowers, the infinite extension of Mickey Mouse's copyright, banning gay marriage, and forcing young, relatively poor Americans to pay for the health of old, relatively rich ones.

No, it's libertarians that oppose that sort of stuff (and so much more) and have actual workable ideas and policies to address many of those precise problems. I suspect that I'm hardly alone when I say that I'm a libertarian because I want to live in a world that is just, fair, prosperous, peaceful, and endlessly innovative and inclusive, not in spite of those hopes. And we should all be looking forward not just to showing Demos and other progressives where they are simply wrong about libertarian ideas and the best way forward, but to showing conservatives the errors of their ways too.

Related (8/20): "Can We Start Talking About the 'Libertarian Era' Already?"

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  • ||

    This go-it-alone, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may approach to organizing society

    Note to slavers: some people have no interest in "organizing society."

  • robc||

    Otherwise, I was happy they at least got something right. That is a better statement than most attempts to define libertarians from the right.

    The go-it-alone part is BS, but the "let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may approach" is accurate.

  • ||

    Yes, it is, and more accurate than what you usually see. Unfortunately, with the rest of the sentence, I don't think they realize how truly accurate "let the chips fall where they may" is for us.

  • robc||

    Agreed, it was blind squirrel accuracy more than anything.

  • Slammer||

    How in the hell is go-it-alone organizing society? That doesn't even make sense.

  • JW||

    This go-it-alone, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may approach to organizing society

    What? Let people make voluntary choices and transactions? Let people decide their own fates? Let them depend on one another in the most ethical and moral ways possible?

    PREPOSTEROUS!

  • WraithKenny||

    The perception is that libertarianism forces the individual to protect his own rights on his own, and against all other self-interested folks (see "the war of all against all").

    Further, the impression is, once a handful of folks decide that it's in their best interest to form groups, with norms, mores, and laws (within their group), then they are behaving anti-individual.

    Lastly comes the realization that libertarianism imposes "the most ethical and moral ways" (see below) on folks who do not voluntarily agree to it or believe in it, violating it's own criteria.

  • ||

    Yes, what is the alternative to "let the chips fall where they may", really?

    Let the chips fall where the government decides they should fall?

    Seriously?

  • ||

    You know it's wierd for a bunch of people who claim to believe in fairness and justice to be championing the idea that the government should pick winners and losers.

    What is the fairness or justice in the state deciding who gets rich and who doesn't?

  • WTF||

    Because they believe nobody should be rich, because, equality!

  • some guy||

    They say "No one should be rich!"

    They mean "No one should be rich except me and my friends!"

  • anon||

    Oh come on that's too easy.

    It's fair when I get to use my power to pick winners. It's not when you get to do it.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    The fairness is guaranteed. Rest assured. TOP MEN are making those choices. Men like Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell. TOP WOMEN too. Geniuses such as Patty Murray and Barbara Boxer. They are smarter than you, more impartial than you, better than you. They should decide, not you.

  • Brandon||

    This is some serious mask-slippage.

  • JW||

    And Playtex hasn't done anything to address the scourge of Chronic Mask Slippage.

    MARKET FAILURE!

  • Doctor Whom||

    Let the chips fall to the advantage of the aristocracy of pull downtrodden masses.

  • Tony||

    Only the entire project of civilization humans have been working on for thousands of years. Figuring out how to make life better for as many people as possible. Since there's always going to be some form of government, be it modern representative democracy or warlords with death squads, it's necessarily a major component of that project.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Only the entire project of civilization humans have been working on for thousands of years. Figuring out how to make life better for as many people as possible.

    Yes, on a mission from Gawd

  • ||

    Capitalism is the way. Fuck, even Bono admits it.

  • Tony||

    I agree. Capitalism combined with strong public institutions.

  • Hopfiend||

    sufficiently vague as to be absolutely meaningless.

  • Juice||

    That's what we have now. Congratulations.

  • fish||

    I agree. Capitalism combined with strong public institutions.

    TRANSLATION: Let others create wealth so it can be harvested for do nothings like me!

    That's Derptastic even for you

  • Tony||

    I'm at least entrepreneurial enough to know that when you're going to suck old rich cock you should at least demand a good dinner from the deal.

  • Hopfiend||

    Well that ain't a Vienna Sausage in yer mouf Tone. You've been duped into sucking it all along and you didn't even know it. Sad really.

  • Dweebston||

    So Soros' house tonight, or Buffet's? Hell, are you above diving a little Hildebeast muff if you get a warm meal out of it?

  • Free Society||

    I agree. Capitalism combined with strong public institutions.

    No, what you agree to is strong political forces dictating the distribution of economic resources.

  • ||

    organizing society? Huh. And here I thought their message was something about class warfare.

  • WraithKenny||

    Hmm, seems like there's a third choice between those two. Sounds like that could be a strawman.

  • WraithKenny||

    No one can really define libertarianism, since you guys keep changing the definition. On one hand, you guys claim it's logically valid and/or consistent...which implies that it has premises, postulates, positions etc., that can be analyzed logically (falsifiability and all that). On the other hand, you guys claim that every libertarian holds a different individual view and what's true in one isn't in another. Please pick one, or don't be upset that no one accepts your (various and vague) definitions: they'll continue to defining you otherwise.

  • KPres||

    "Note to slavers: some people have no interest in "organizing society.""

    I have interest in a society organized by voluntary associations.

  • WraithKenny||

    Should association with the group, "people who follow libertarian ideology" be voluntary? Would libertarian theory work if only libertarians followed it (kind of like today)? Or in order to get the utopia, should everyone one "voluntarily" become libertarian? What does a libertarian do to those who refuse? Do you use retribution against them, in accordance with your belief, but against their belief? Wouldn't that be aggression against someone who has no part of your voluntary association agreement?

  • CE||

    ...and for strong government action to advance the common good...

    You know who else advocated strong government action to advance the common good?

  • robc||

    Anyone want to be they wont be making any deontological arguments?

    How do they expect to flip me to their side with pragmatic arguments? Moral arguments or I dont fucking care.

  • robc||

    s/be/bet/

  • rts||

    Captured what I was thinking exactly.

  • ||

    Yeah, you know, I don't think they understand that part at all.

  • robc||

    Of course, they arent really targeting us.

    They are trying to prevent other people from listening to us.

    Which means they are scared.

  • Almanian!||

    this

  • ||

    First they ignore you...

  • Dweebston||

    Then they mock you, then they fight you, then they court away your marginal supporters, then they return to ignoring you. Looks like we're sitting on step #4.

  • Brandon||

    What pragmatic arguments can they make? Government fails at everything it tries, it exacerbates every problem it purports to "solve," and it simply destroys random innocent victims along the way.

  • Hyperion||

    You are mocking their religion and their god, government.

    Therefore, you won't be picked as a winner. Clearly, you need to be sent to a special place for re-education, until you are a true believer also, in the foundation of their sacred doctrine. That is 'Results don't matter, only intentions. And the intentions are always good if we are deciding it'

  • robc||

    Im not saying there are any. But they will try based on anything in the world that isnt perfect.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    They don't care if you come to their side willingly or not.

  • Damned Fool||

    The sad thing is that their pragmatic arguments are also garbage. In terms of maintaining peace, prosperity, and happiness, freedom does better than absolutely anything else that has ever been tried. It just doesn't sound sexy enough for some people.

  • np||

    Anyone want to be they wont be making any deontological arguments?

    How do they expect to flip me to their side with pragmatic arguments? Moral arguments or I dont fucking care.

    http://www.demos.org/blog/8/21.....rtarianism
    They actually briefly touch upon that, but call it "procedural" instead. Either they are being mendacious, or are not familiar with term deontological as a result of having a very cursory view of the philosophy, or both.

  • robc||

    Without clicking on the link, there is a difference between procedure and morals.

    But maybe they are afraid of that word (as well as not knowing deontological).

  • robc||

    Okay, I clicked on the link, and now Im dumber. Apparently procedural libertarianism is all about property rights and nothing else.

    And then he sets up a false dilemma to prove his point.

  • robc||

    Apparently the author is unfamiliar with my thoughts on property rights.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Deontological(duty based) are about the ONLY arguments they make. The enlightened Top Men have a duty to society to organize it, and everyone else has a duty to fit in to it.

    "Let the chips fall where they may" has more to do with cause and effect, which they either scorn or don't recognize.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    America is ruled by libertarians in about the same way that Saudi Arabia is ruled by Jews, lol

    thezionistconspiracyisbroaderthanyouthink.com

  • robc||

    Im stealing that.

  • bmp1701||

    You know what other minority group was both politically irrelevant and constantly hoarding all the money/power for themselves?

  • ||

    The Mongolians?

  • WTF||

    "Damn Mongorians!"

  • Almanian!||

    Norwegians?

  • John Tagliaferro||

    The Dutch?

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    The Judean People's Front?

    Wait, no, I think it was the People's Front of Judea....

  • Robert||

    Squirrels?

  • Doctor Whom||

    ...we find ourselves...facing the disastrous consequences of 30 years of economic policies far too heavily influenced by free market fundamentalism—a libertarian lens consisting of deregulation, laissez-faire corporate policy, tax cuts for the wealthy, and an attack on government as the enemy.

    Right you are. Just imagine how much better things would be if, instead of that, we had spent the last 30 years expanding both the cost of government and the scope of its involvement in our lives.

  • Aresen||

    If the government has not expanded in the last 30 years, I must have woken up on the wrong planet this morning.

  • section9||

    Well, before Tony gets here to tell us how Gordon Gekko libertarians are going make us poorer and keep us poorer, it's important to know that one of the fundamental strategies of Progressives is to convince us that "Satan does not exist". That is to say, they haven't been in the wheelhouse the past six years handing out favors to their cronies, and it's all the fault of those rascally Randist Republicans.

    One of the jobs of institutions like Demos and the Center for American Progress is to convince people that Detroit fell and went bankruptcy because of the Right. It's as if all those nasty Randist black people drove the city into bankruptcy after internalizing the fifty pages of John Galt's speech in Rand's book.

    Then they went out to see the Lions lose again.

    When your entire politics is not about finding real solutions within the human experience or dealing rationally with the world about you, but screaming racism and finding shiny ponies with which to distract people, it should surprise no one that both major parties have brought us to this pass.

    And I say this as someone who voted for Bush twice and lived to regret telling the tale.

  • WraithKenny||

    That's funny, Progressives don't try to convince people that "Satan does not exist," they try to explain that libertarianism is Satan's philosophy.

  • db||

    All one has to do is read this sentence. This sentence, which is the very introduction to and premise of their effort, is immediately absurd to any reader with open eyes.

  • hotsy totsy||

    And just what the hell is "free market fundamentalism"?

  • WTF||

    The alt-text would have been more accurate if the middle finger was deployed.
    Nick's been away too long.

  • ||

    First they ignore us, then they mock us, then they fight us, then we win.

  • Hyperion||

    We're definitely in the fight us phase. The mocking is over, they're peeing in their progressive panties.

  • section9||

    The danger to the libertarian movement (short term, because in the long term this movement wins) is being coopted by the GOP Establishment.

    The Libertarians will hollow out the Obamist movement because Obamaism was built on a sandcastle of lies and broken statist promises. You're seeing the beginning of this in the NSA scandal and the growing mistrust of the Bay Area Cyber-Oligarchy such as Google and Facebook, who worked with the NSA to violate privacy rights.

    As young people get older, and as younger people come up, being an Obama cultist won't be as cool as it once was. The cocky projections of a Permanent Democratic Majority will, I predict, become unhinged.

    As to the GOP Establishment, it is losing ground, but it still has money. You can't hold the Bushies in enough angry contempt and slight regard.

    What they are going to do to the Ronulans over the next two years to make sure that they are no threat to Jeb Bush is going to be a thing to behold. Nevertheless, nothing the bankrupt GOP Establishment can do can stop the Republican Party's transformation into the preferred vehicle for libertarian political action. The LP itself is too riven with factionalism and small-time clown show activism to be a major national party.

    The Pauls ARE on the right track, which is why they have the Bushies so concerned. History is on THEIR side, not on the side of the statists, as Judis and others would have you believe.

  • anon||

    History is on THEIR side, not on the side of the statists

    History disagrees with you on this.

  • tarran||

    No we're still in the 'mocking' phase.

    When it comes time to fight us, that's when it's going to get nasty.

  • Raston Bot||

    Nasty as in 1A infringement ugly. Internment camp ugly would require some balls and they aint got em.

  • seguin||

    Progressives work on the Skaven Principle. The more there are, the bigger the balls. They might have enough now.

  • anon||

    I'm skeptical about the winning part. I don't think that part is real.

  • ||

    Yeah, exactly. That phrase is nice and all, but I'm not really seeing how the "winning" part comes about.

  • Hyperion||

    Regardless of win, or not, or when, it's going to get very interesting.

    Why?

    Because the progressives are used to fighting against Republicans, who make a little noise, and then give them just enough to keep going, inching along.

    Libertarians won't do that. We'll not only fight to stop them, but to undo the damage they have done in the last 100 years.

    Libertarian Republicans are not your fathers GOP. If we elect more of them, and I think we will, and others will start seeing which way the wind is blowing, and join in. This will drive the proglodytes completely over the edge, they are going to go batshit crazy. They have no idea how to handle not getting their way. They'll come completely unhinged for all the world to see.

  • ||

    They've been completely unhinged for years and it hasn't changed anything. And they're getting more unhinged, mostly because doing so doesn't seem to hurt them in any meaningful way. So why would they stop? And how will it hurt them?

  • tarran||

    It doesn't hurt them.... until people finally have enough... and then it does.

  • anon||

    You'd think they'd want to replace some hinges at some point.

  • Hyperion||

    They've been completely unhinged for years

    We've seen nothing, yet.

  • ||

    Because our philosophy represents reality. We do not embrace falsehoods. Because they do, their system MUST collapse as it has no basis in the rational.

    If our movement fails, they will, quite literally, spend the nation into nonexistence and the rational will pick up the pieces and start over. Either way we win. Just a matter of when and how.

  • Irish||

    And how many people get fucked along the way. I'd prefer not to have America become Detroit or an open air police state as a prerequisite to my victory.

  • anon||

    . I'd prefer not to have America become ... an open air police state as a prerequisite to my victory.

    Well, we're almost there anyways, so...

  • ||

    How long did the Soviet Union survive, and how many people did it kill/enslave/impoverish along the way?

  • ||

    And it's not like they ended up with a super awesome system afterward, either.

  • ||

    This is why I wonder in amazement at the pie-in-the-sky predictions of libertarians "winning". What did they win in Russia? What have they won in the last 30 years?

    Something very libertarian-like won once. It was called the American Revolution. And then it started losing immediately afterward (Alien and Sedition Acts? Whiskey Rebellion?).

  • ||

    And can you imagine getting enough people to start a revolution in a froth these days over taxes of all things? You watch any news coverage of some new tax proposal, and most dumbfucks-on-the-street say "I'd be willing to pay more tax if it meant I could have X, Y or Z".

  • ||

    "'I'd be willing to pay more tax if it meant I could have X, Y or Z.'"

    I always just want to reach into the tv and tell those people, "Then pay for it yourself. What's the difference? Except obviously that your proposal involves theft, and mine doesn't."

  • Gorilla tactics||

    same thing with lightbulbs, if the new ones are so much better why don't people just buy that lightbulb?

  • ||

    And it's not like they ended up with a super awesome system afterward, either.

    It is better than it was. Maybe that's the best we can do. Just do it better next time.

  • ||

    Not sayin I wouldn't prefer the quick win (so I'd live long enough to enjoy it).

  • Dweebston||

    Because our philosophy represents reality. We do not embrace falsehoods.

    Disagree. Democrats recognize the realities of electoral politics, brinksmanship, disaster mongering, and blame attribution. We're a compulsively honest bunch. It's we who have trouble with reality; they're busy manufacturing it.

  • ||

    Troof. I was speaking with an old friend a while back. She has worked in Congress in various roles for her entire career. I realized that continuing debate with her was untenable, because she is a dyed-in-the-wool pragmatist and I am a dyed-in-the-wool idealist. She kept going on and on about how we have to work within the system we already have and that attempts by foolish idealists with principles (like me) was impractical. It was like a scene straight outta Atlas Shrugged.

  • Tony||

    Getting nothing done while feeling good about yourself is not a superior moral position than getting something done.

  • Dweebston||

    Unlike you, I wasn't being a smug, self-righteous prick about it. But hey, thanks for finally showing up to keep us honest.

  • acidovorax||

    Getting nothing done while feeling good about yourself is not a superior moral position than getting something done.

    Two issues: the first being that you don't believe in any objective morality, thus making your argument incoherent, and the second is that this statement is not inherently true. If "getting something done" causes harm to others, then "getting nothing done" may have been the appropriate choice. The blind idolatry of "getting something done" is nothing less than an involuntary reaction.

  • Tony||

    Obvs. I meant getting something positive done that you care about. Idealism vs. pragmatism. Idealism is for people who think self-satisfaction is a morally meaningful goal.

  • Free Society||

    Getting nothing done while feeling good about yourself is not a superior moral position than getting something done.

    It actually is when "getting something done" actually means "getting anything done at all" for it's own sake. The burden of proving legislative necessity is on the person who wants to legislate, not the one opposed.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    even though, often times "getting something done" actually causes more problems than they solve, but it still doesnt stop people from feeling good about themselves.

  • Free Society||

    which is the basis for the fallacy of their entire world view.

  • Robert||

    ...then we win; then we go double or nothing, and lose.

  • Andrew S.||

    I am heavily disappointed that the alt-text had nothing to do with an invisible giant sandwich.

  • WTF||

    LOL

    "And then I picked it up with both hands, and shoved that sucker in my mouth like THIS!"

  • sarcasmic||

    And this is the face I made when I shat it out.

  • ||

    the disastrous consequences of 30 years of economic policies far too heavily influenced by free market fundamentalism—a libertarian lens consisting of deregulation, laissez-faire corporate policy, tax cuts for the wealthy, and an attack on government as the enemy.

    I find it so amusing that all the stuff TEAM RED and TEAM BLUE blame on libertarians is based on pure denial. We have far more regulations and taxes now than we did 30 years ago. I realize it's just a ploy, but holy cow, they must think their fellow travelers are dumb as rocks.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Many of their fellow travelers either are as dumb as rocks or ignore any facts that contradict the dogma. I know people who reflexively argue that whatever they don't like, Libertarians must be for, no matter how screamingly unlibertarian it is.

  • Robert||

    I used to bait my father like that. If he said libertarians would have people working for coolie wages, I'd say, "Good! But not as good as having them as slaves."

  • ||

    It's not denial, it's a combination of projection and outright lying.

    Remember: projection is, at the core, a person lying to themselves about their own motivations and pushing them on to others, usually opponents. So the fundamental thing about a person who projects is that their entire worldview is essentially a lie. They live their life lying, to themselves and others. So everything you're going to get from them will be a lie of one kind or another. They are essentially pathological liars.

  • MJGreen||

    But Glass-Steagal was repealed. And as we all know, that legislation was the cause of America's golden age.

    Since it's gone, we now live in a laissez-faire hell hole.

  • KPres||

    That one's so easy to debunk. Gramm-Leach-Bliley went into effect in 2001, whereas looking at the Case-Shiller index clearly shows the housing bubble began in 1996, the obvious catalyst being Clinton's National Homeownership Strategy of 1995.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    It is easier to debunk than that.

    Glass-Steagall simply did not apply to the whole host of bad actors of the meltdown (Lehman, Bear, AIG, Countrywide, FNMA, FRE, IndyMac, and thousands of others who never wanted to merge with commercial banks).

  • Rabban||

    PB making an accurate observation, and not tacking on a bunch of tripe with it? Mark this date in Reason history people, we may never again see the like.

  • ||

    they must think their fellow travelers are dumb as rocks.

    There's an infuriating video in the a.m. links that shows They© are correct.

  • ||

    Well, I gotta admit, the lying-through-their-teeth tactic has been surprisingly successful.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    They think libertarians are pro-business or pro-corporate welfare instead of pro-free markets.

    If you really want to confuse a progressive attack big business as welfare queens and voice support for removing barriers to small business like farmers selling raw milk and produce. Their heads spin.

  • ||

    pro-business or pro-corporate welfare instead of pro-free markets

    Most don't understand the difference.

  • ||

    Evidence: Tony

  • Juice||

    Nope. They'll defend the arrest of the farmers every time.

  • acidovorax||

    Nope. They'll defend the arrest of the farmers every time.

    Well, we can't just have farmers selling anything they want. THINK OF THE CHIL'RUNS!!!!

  • anon||

    And we should all be looking forward not just to showing Demos and other progressives where they are simply wrong about libertarian ideas and the best way forward, but to showing conservatives the errors of their ways too.

    Nobody looks forward to showing morons why they're morons. It's an exercise in futility; nothing will ever change for the better. At least that's what it feels like.

    For every new genius there seems to be 10 retards (aka politicians) waiting to steal his effort.

  • Ramjet||

    ...we find ourselves...facing the disastrous consequences of 30 years of economic policies far too heavily influenced by free market fundamentalism—a libertarian lens consisting of deregulation, laissez-faire corporate policy, tax cuts for the wealthy, and an attack on government as the enemy.

    I just want to know what they are smoking because it must be reeeeaaaalllly good.

  • Corporate Serf||

    libertarianism : political plilosophies = IP (internet protocol) : networking protocols.

    IP succeeded by specifying the bare minimum for different existing networks to talk to each other/co-exist. Libertarian thought does the same for political philosophy. Lets see if that succeeds. I suspect a 0-1 law here.

  • Sevo||

    ..."roll back the tide of laissez-faire it feels has swamped a nation"...

    Yeah, I just got back from laissez-faireing all over the city this morning.
    Why, I built some houses where only stores were zoned, told people they had better get free or I was gonna talk to 'em. Just all sorts of stuff!

  • Almanian!||

    Wow! I must have been asleep the last thirty years! I TOTALLY missed our laissez-faire, hippy-like whirl with Libertopia!

    I can only imagine what it would have been like if all we'd done was increase regulation, restrict freedom increasingly, and expand the reach of government into more and more of our lives!

  • Bill Dalasio||

    ..we find ourselves...facing the disastrous consequences of 30 years of economic policies far too heavily influenced by free market fundamentalism—a libertarian lens consisting of deregulation, laissez-faire corporate policy, tax cuts for the wealthy, and an attack on government as the enemy

    Let's see...minimum wage hikes, the Community Reinvestment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Sarbannes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, Medicare Prescription Drug, Obamacare, bank bailouts, auto bailouts, cash for clunkers, increased tax progressivity...

    Yeah, sure, the problem's been too much libertarianism and laissez-faire.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, progressives are sadly wrong on recent Big Regulation.

    They wrongly blame the repeal of Glass-Steagall for the financial crisis but that argument can be snuffed out in moments.

    But conservatives are just as stupid - blaming black people for buying houses.

  • Irish||

    But conservatives are just as stupid - blaming black people for buying houses.

    I believe the claim is 'people who didn't have the necessary credit to buy houses bought houses and subsequently defaulted' not 'GODDAMN BLACKS BOUGHT HOUSES!'

    Of course, progs like you are racists so it is unsurprising that you hear 'people with bad credit' and just assume we're talking about only black people.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    'people who didn't have the necessary credit to buy houses bought houses and subsequently defaulted'

    That statement is true - and also indicates a market failure.

    A bubble is nothing new and can occur without government intervention.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    "That statement is true - and also indicates a market failure."

    Shriek, only a proglodyte could define a situation where the government held rates artificially low, despite billions of dollars of foreign inflows, while government sponsored entities bought roughly 10-12% of the deal flow as a one- way market participant, a "market" failure.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    And while the CRA was pretty much dormant under carter, it was the clintonites and janet reno threatening legal action against the banks for the "dispirate impact" of their loan policies. I swear to go, trying to iron out "dispirate impacts" and the legal shitshow that came out of that is how we regulate EVERYTHING!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    And you know damn good and well a conservative myth invented was that "banks were forced to lend money to unworthy minorities" - thus a $10 trillion subprime bubble.

    It is a lie that has been debunked over and over again.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    Burn strawman burn.

  • Sevo||

    "It is a lie that has been debunked over and over again."

    It's a fact that you've lied about over and over again.

  • Hyperion||

    strong government action to advance the common good....

    Yes, to advance the common good of the political elite class.

    I'm more in favor of advancing the common good of people, by allowing them to be free of government coercion, so fuck off, slavers!

  • Irish||

    This is a terrible tactical mistake on the part of libertarians. Claiming that this is a 'libertarian moment' when statism is actually ascendant allows statists to blame anything that goes wrong on libertarians and to point to articles by Gillespie as proof of how much power libertarians secretly wield.

    The current problems are all the fault of progressive economics. By any measure we are the most heavily regulated that we have ever been. By any measure we are spending more than at any time with the possible exception of WWII. It has been a disaster. Yet when libertarians claim that this is a 'libertarian moment' progressives get to ignore all of that, point to the supposed libertarian moment, and blame all of their failures on us.

    We shouldn't claim that we are winning at this point. Whoever is believed to have been winning in 2013 is going to get crushed by the electorate because of how bad everything was.

    The progressives are winning, let them lay claim to this economy. That's the only way to beat them.

  • anon||

    That's the only way to beat them.

    You assume it can be beaten. Power hungry cockmonglers will always exist.

  • sarcasmic||

    They can't be beaten because "doing nothing" is never an acceptable answer.

    Not that doing nothing means actually doing nothing. It means no centrally planned solutions backed with threats of violence.

    We need to figure out how to convince the low information voters that allowing people to engage in economic activity without asking permission and taking orders is the best way to stimulate the economy.

  • anon||

    We need to figure out how to convince the low information voters that allowing people to engage in economic activity without asking permission and taking orders is the best way to stimulate the economy.

    Good luck trying to educate idiots on basic economics.

  • sarcasmic||

    When I was in my 20s I would have gotten along just fine with Tony. I felt just as he does. Then I learned how to think.

  • anon||

    The difference is you wanted to learn.

    Most people do not.

  • Hyperion||

    And you see, therein lies the root of all of societies problems. That you are allowed to talk to people about society and politics.

    In a just and fair world, only elite political masters, who are well educated in the proper state approved talking points, should be allowed to talk to the masses. Else the masses will get bad ideas.

    You need to go to that special re-education camp that the progressives will soon be openly advocating for.

  • anon||

    In a just and fair world, only elite political masters, who are well educated in the proper state approved talking points, should be allowed to talk to the masses. Else the masses will get bad ideas.

    You joke, but they're working on that already.

  • Hyperion||

    I wasn't joking.

  • Tony||

    No evidence yet presented. I was a Republican before I was a libertarian before I was a liberal. Did I get dumber while you got smarter, or the other way around? Open question I guess.

  • Free Society||

    Tony is all about evidence now?

  • ||

    Problem is most people just don't give two fucks unless it directly happens to them. Empathy and extrapolation and critical analysis are beyond their brains' meager capabilities. The most effective way to create more libertarians to to have more bad shit happen to more people, unfortunately.

  • sarcasmic||

    If I hadn't spent five months homeless I'm not sure I would have become a libertarian. That experience cured me of the belief that government is there to help people.

  • anon||

    Problem is most people just don't give two fucks unless it directly happens to them.

    Oh, the irony. I want the government to leave me alone; for the most part, everyone else does too. Too bad they're too busy being left alone to get the government to leave them alone.

  • Hyperion||

    The most effective way to create more libertarians to to have more bad shit happen to more people, unfortunately.

    Well, the government is working full time on this, KK. If you want them to work harder, then they need more revenue!

  • Gorilla tactics||

    "experience is mankind's only teacher, for he shall learn no other way"

    Burke

  • ||

    You know, I didn't think about it like that.

    Now I'm depressed cause you know that the retards that watch The Daily Show will totally buy it when they're told that we are to blame for all the problems in the world.

    Thanks a lot Irish.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Your post has a lot of merit Irish but you must know proglodytes will blame us anyway.

    That being said no we are not in a libertarian moment. But we are seeing a libertarian movement, judging from our enemy's fear. Now I know what I have to post....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLtC2EaA8iU#t=0m43s

  • ||

    They need to be reminded (over and over and over, apparently) that the TOP MEN they put in charge invariably game the rules everyone else must play by to make it easier for the cheaters to cheat and harder for otherwise good people to do the right thing.

  • KPres||

    "This is a terrible tactical mistake on the part of libertarians. Claiming that this is a 'libertarian moment' when statism is actually ascendant allows statists to blame anything that goes wrong on libertarians and to point to articles by Gillespie as proof of how much power libertarians secretly wield."

    It also implies that libertarianism has peaked, otherwise the "moment" would still be in the future...something still on it's way.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Hold on there!

    There is one important difference between now and "any time with the possible exception of WWII".

    Prior to around 1865, chattel ownership of slaves was a legally enforceable right, and that is just about the most unlibertarian institution of all. Changing that was a BFD.

  • Irish||

    Sorry. I didn't realize you expected me to go back 150 years to find my examples of the country moving in the right direction.

    Jim Crow also ended in the 1960's. That's two examples! Yay!

  • CatoTheElder||

    That's how far you have to go. All in all I'd say things have generally trended anti-libertarian since the Cleveland Administration.

  • Robert||

    I think your estimation is off, even if you consider only the USA, unless you have to look at century-long trends only. (If you consider the entire world, you're way, way off.) If we take things in the USA alone by decade, 0-year to 0-year, the 1960s to 2000 trended libertarian on net. Major improvements:
    end of draft
    big cut in marginal fed'l inc. tax rates
    legal porn
    legal gold holdings
    dereg of communication & transport
    pot decrim
    state shall-issue laws
    military active forces cut
    end of Fairness Doctrine
    legal homo sex
    legal contraception
    (by me) legal abortions
    several drugs switched Rx to OTC
    new drugs licensed
    ended sales taxes on foods & drugs
    charter schools

  • Robert||

    Come to think of it, a few of those things were actually improved since the Cleveland admin.: porn, homo sex, contraception, abortions, and charter schools.

  • anon||

    To be fair, the Revolution was a pretty big fucking deal.

    Too bad we're a nation full of pussies now.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Gillespie is projecting into the future. Future tense, not past tense.

    It's a libertarian moment in the sense that we can begin to shape the debate and gain attention and traction in a way that hasn't been possible before.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    You couldn't be more right. Wish I could have said it like that.

  • sarcasmic||

    Well, if your purpose in life is to increase the size and scale of government so you can increase your own personal power over others, then you would indeed see libertarianism as a threat. Though you sure as heck wouldn't be honest as to why.

  • anon||

    Not sure about that; this administration is pretty blatant about swinging its big power dick around and there's still no threat of open revolt.

  • sarcasmic||

    In America poor people are fat, and people with full bellies rarely revolt.

  • anon||

    So, Michelle Obama is actually on our side?

  • Hyperion||

    Isn't it interesting that we're being attacked by both the GOP and the Dem establishments, and they're saying that we are the extremists? You can't even make up stuff this stupid. Maybe we just sit back and watch them destroy each other.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Libertarians ARE extremists. They favor an extremely small role for government.

    The GOP and Dem establishments favor an expanding role for government; they only differ on which parts of government should grow more quickly and at whose expense.

  • ||

    a libertarian lens consisting of deregulation, laissez-faire corporate policy, tax cuts for the wealthy, and an attack on government as the enemy.

    1. Bush added more regulations to the federal register than any president before him and Obama has heaped on still more (hello medicare part D and Obamacare to name a few). 2. The majority of the tax cuts went to the poor and middle class (to the tune of something like $700B over ten years). 3. The government IS the enemy (hello NSA).

  • Anomalous||

    Yeah, that statement contains toxic levels of derp.

  • ||

    One word for Mr Gamm:

    Detroit.

  • anon||

    wrong top men, totality of circs, etc.

  • sarcasmic||

    That was a failure of the free market.

  • Hyperion||

    +2 tampon earrings.

  • Hopfiend||

    coulda drowned ith in a bathstub

  • Gorilla tactics||

    +1 lisp

  • Hyperion||

    That's only because of Detroit having a government so small that it went down someones bathtub.

  • chmercier||

    Exactly! I mean, one simple solution for Detroit would have been to employ more farriers! People love horses!

  • Slammer||

    Dad asks son to hold beer, kicked out of Arizona Cardinals game.

    Yeah, it's a laissez-faire society for sure

  • William of Purple||

    USA Autoplays their videos?
    They are beyond evil.

  • Slammer||

    Yeah, sorry about that. But that story is awful.

  • JW||

    "He was lucky to walk away from this."

    They just keep getting scummier and scummier.

  • Hyperion||

    Poor child, he was probably damaged forever by holding that evil beverage in his hand. Now he'll surely become a drunken gun toting mass murderer.

    Both the son and father should be sentenced to mandatory alcohol counseling, immediately, for life, courtesy of the tax payer. For the children.

  • chmercier||

    And the son's kids too. Multigenerational trauma is an unspeakable horror. Not mention that the sexist father obviously preferred his son, depriving his other kids of this teachable moment of evil.

    I think we need a new agency to take care of this....

  • anon||

    Oh man, this Demos page is almost as good as Jezebel or Marcotte.

    "The emergence of Rand Paul as a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination marks an important turning point: Extreme libertarianism has entered the mainstream of American politics."

    Rand Paul, extreme libertarian? AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH oh wow.

  • Cytotoxic||

    All libertarianism is extreme. Flipping Paul Ryan is extreme to these people.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Flipping Paul Ryan is extreme to these people.

    JOHN BOEHNER is radical to these people!

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    More like, "NOT ON MY TEAM" is extreme to them.

  • Hopfiend||

    However, SWAT teams serving expired registration warrants = totally rational. These people are a friggin' menace.

  • ||

    The hallmark of what we have arrived at in TEAM politics is to claim that whatever is happening right now that you don't like, and whichever people you want to slander, are the greatest threat and most dangerous thing ever in history. I want to call it TEAM HYPERBOLE. Rand Paul? He wants to re-institute slavery, or something. We're so de-regulated that people will be dying in the streets! If we have a sequester, everyone will lose their first-born child! And so on.

    And the fucked thing is that it works. It pairs perfectly with TEAM OUTRAGE, as it gives them fuel for their outrage orgies. Basically, like professional sports, our politicians have gotten better and refined their game to be more effective using modern techniques.

  • ||

    Your new "outrage orgies" phrase is really giving a bad name to orgies.

  • ||

    Can you really give a bad name to orgies? I don't think you can.

    "I trust the orgy pit has been scraped and buttered."

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    What if it is Warty's pit?

    "I trust the orgy pit has been salted and fish hooks strewn about"

  • Hyperion||

    Rand Paul will put colored folk and vaginas back into chains. We have to stop him!

  • chmercier||

    Not to mention he'll cut down all the forests to make the super-prisons - after drilling oil wells simply to watch the oil shoot up into the sky to fall back down and murder cute baby animals while chewing on his exploitation gold!

  • Hyperion||

    Extreme libertarianism has entered the mainstream of American politics."

    Whoohoooo! I'll drink to that... if it were actually true.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Excellent essay. And yes, libertarianism should be the ascendent political philosophy. But picking the entry point is the difficult part.

    I say it should be the War on Drugs - but whatever it is it cannot be something another party can claim as their own original idea.

  • ||

    Long derided as inevitably male, pasty-faced, bitter-clingers to their Ayn Rands and their slide rules

    It makes me extremely anxious that you left 'aspy' off that description.

  • AlmightyJB||

    We should really stop abusing all of this political power we have. It's so mean.

  • JW||

    all of this political power we have

    That's it! I've had enough of these shenanigans and name calling from these people.

    I'm pressing the button.

  • Hyperion||

    Does the button immediately make all proglotards disappear?

    If so, me, I want to push it! Please, please, can I push it?!!!

  • Hyperion||

    Well, mean is what we libertarians are, after all. We exist just for meanness. How can any political movement whose main philosophy is that women and children should die in the streets so we can buy more expensive diamond encrusted monocles, not be mean?

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    I prefer "callously indifferent" to "mean".

  • chmercier||

    I myself like "heartless" but since we're all evil, I think we can all enjoy our differing aspects of ideology.

    Oh, did I mention, fellow robber barons, that I burned some of my immense wealth in front of some large-eyed, hungry street urchins today? I put out the flames with some bread and potatoes.

  • CatoTheElder||

    "We have reached the moment described in F.A. Hayek's "Why I Am Not a Conservative" where those on the left have finally realized that their actual opponents are not revanchist members of the Old Guard..."

    Good.

    No somebody needs to write "Why I Am Not a Populist" to spell that out for similarly confused conservatives.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    That essay should be required reading for the Team Red proponents here.

  • Hyperion||

    There are no team red proponents here, but there are a few progressives posing as libertarians. At least one...

  • Brett L||

    In his defense, there are some Hitandrunpublicans, although many have been R-U-N-D-O-F-F over the last 2 years.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    "Red Tony" stuck on John for a good reason.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    And the Blue Shriek on you for another...

  • Killazontherun||

    The common streak in both of these anti-libertarian messages is they are adolescent power fantasies come to life. Libertarians say the nation's assertion of power around the world has had dire consequences for too many people including a domestic impact and we get written off as dangerous for it. We point out that the regulatory state suppresses close to a quarter of a million dollars in personal median income of wealth for the American family, and we get accused of wanting a robber baron world where the masses are forced to work at 'slave wages.' We have seen in history what happens when these power fantasies come to life. In fact, we are in the middle of witnessing it. Our detractors are only angry at us to the extent they are the problem. The more shit they stir in the world, the more poverty they create at home, the more they are going to insists on suppressing our message.

  • JW||

    Which is why I have the following, most eloquent, statement:

    Fuck 'em.

  • CatoTheElder||

    That sort of sophistry has been used to attack libertarianism for a very long time.

    “Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”
    ― Frédéric Bastiat, The Law 1850

  • Sevo||

    ..."tax cuts for the wealthy,"...

    Wealthy = not living entirely on the dole?

  • NoVAHockey||

    i think "wealthy" means "has more than the group to which I'm pandering"

  • anon||

    The financial crisis and a prolonged economic downturn have spotlighted the dangers of deregulation and a hands-off approach to an economy that so clearly is not working for ordinary Americans.

    Obviously it was a failure of the free market, and not a failure of a centrally planned economy. I mean, obviously.

  • ||

    a hands-off approach to an economy

    What. The. Fuck? Did this moron not pay attention to the stimulus, QE infinity, Cash for Clunkers, Dodd-Frank, etc.? Jesus Christ this administration has been anything BUT hands-off.

  • ||

    Yeah, but they want full-on socialism. Anything less is "hands off" as far as they're concerned.

  • Hyperion||

    Actually, I think they want something more like China has. Sort of a one party fascist state with a good mix of crony capitalism for the politically connected. Most people will be 3rd world level dirt poor in this scenario, and they are fully aware of that.

  • ||

    That makes a lot of sense and is utterly sickening.

  • anon||

    Facts don't matter to these people, Epi. It's all about TEAM work.

  • Hopfiend||

    Americans wouldn't know a free market if it gave 'em a lapdance.

  • JW||

    he group has just announced its "Gordon Gamm Initiative," which is explicitly geared to roll back the tide of laissez-faire it feels has swamped a nation the

    "Holy underwear! Sheriff murdered! Innocent women and children blown to bits! We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately! Harrumph! Harrumph! Harrumph!"

  • Mainer2||

    I don't think you got a Harumph out of that guy in the back.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Libertarianism - broadly defined as pushing for limited government while promoting social tolerance

    And this is why you shouldn't consider yourself a Libertarian, Nick. "Social tolerance" is an individual choice which Libertarians should neither espouse or denounce. Liberty means the Freedom to be intolerant.

  • sarcasmic||

    Right. There's nothing un-libertarian about being socially intolerant so long as you don't try to legislate it.

  • Irish||

    "Social tolerance" is an individual choice which Libertarians should neither espouse or denounce.

    No. Social tolerance is an individual choice that libertarians should neither espouse or denounce through the law. I don't see what is unlibertarian about saying 'people should be tolerant of others.'

  • Hyperion||

    Libertarians are generally, the most tolerant people in the political spectrum, by far.

    The fact that you don't need to force that onto people, infuriates the left.

  • PH2050||

    But you guys want to take over and leave us alone!

    I'm still a noob working my way through the Cato Reader list so I won't call myself a libertarian but the ideas do appeal to me.

  • ||

    I think the point is that "promoting social tolerance" doesn't fall under the definition of libertarianism.

  • TANSTaaFL||

    "Social tolerance is an individual choice which Libertarians should neither espouse or denounce."

    Jesus Christ! must we always split fucking hairs and nitpick about every fucking syllable that might not be perfectly attuned to the "Pure and Perfect message of Liberty"?!?

    Social Tolerance is an acceptable word with that produces a pretty reasonable interpretation by non-libertarians. Why must we always make sure to let everyone know that nativists, homophobes, and disgusting racists are always welcome? You don't need to endlessly remind a potential customer of every flaw or less appealing trade-off in your "product". Fucking Hell.

  • chmercier||

    I think a lot of hair-splitting happens because the Progbots jump at any chance they can get to denounce or smear libertarianism. And it happens all the time.

    Just look at the John Mackey mentioning fascism thing - they jumped up and down, went "nuh uh! you're teh faszist becuz u own teh bizness make money evil libertard! Go to Somalia!"

    Not that I don't see/share some of that frustration, but the statists/progbots tend to play semantics with emotions. Sigh, nay?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Not true. Gay marriage is a form of social tolerance. The opponents want the state to deny the freedom us heteros have to gays.

    And Nick is high on the LP Purity Test score - but my hatred of the purity test is that it prohibits participation in a movement that needs millions more adherents.

  • sarcasmic||

    "When I have to puke at night
    I can be so indiscreet
    I don't run down to the john
    I just throw up on my sheets
    I puke on the pillow and I puke on my floor
    It smells so bad it makes me puke some more
    I'm lying in puke six inches deep
    So I just smile and go back to sleep"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbUYjvZ-scw

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I am into The Pogues.

  • Hyperion||

    And this from a guy who scored higher than anyone on the purity test, in all of history.

    You get more full of shit every day, I will hand that one to you.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I only scored 94 - never claimed otherwise.

  • ||

    Yes, only Dear Leader is able to score more than 95% on the Pluggertarian Purity Test.

  • Hopfiend||

    You should be more tolerant of a guy who spends most of his time in a dark place, covered in shit.

  • Killazontherun||

    You are not truly free unless you are free to be wrong, I get that, but not wanting to impose your life style on others no matter what your personal feelings are for a given group of people is pretty much definitional social tolerance, so I don't see where Nick is in error here.

  • John||

    No. Not wanting to impose your lifestyle on others via the force of law no matter what your personal feelings is Libertarianism. You are always free to tell people they are wrong and try to persuade them to change.

  • Killazontherun||

    In which direction do we make a distinction here that greater benefits the ideas we espouse? I would define you as being socially tolerant because you do not believe in imposing your lifestyle on others even though you would never in a social situation be caught dead dining out with a hippie or a hipster (for example). If we define social tolerance as meaning the opposite, where there is no group of people beneath your willingness to associate in your estimation, then there exists no one would be able to pass the test of social tolerance who is not clinically brain dead, insane, or Christ like. The problem here is we have allowed hypocrites who dominate the likes of MSNBC to define the term to mean something where only their partisans can pass muster, and we are the ones who adjusts the definition accordingly instead of insisting it doesn't just mean how much you are willing or unwilling to associate with gays, blacks and Mexicans, but groups coming from all stripes.

    We make a distinction between social tolerance and political tolerance, but here is the kicker, though we should advocate social tolerance, there is much in the political sphere that we should not tolerate from out right authoritarianism, cronyism, Affirmative Action, non excise forms of taxation, etc.

  • Killazontherun||

    then there exists no one who would be able to pass the test of social tolerance who is not clinically brain dead,

  • John||

    Exactly. And I would have dinner with hippies. Hipsters in contrast...

  • anon||

    When I talk about "Social tolerance," I'm generally speaking about the government, not individuals.

    I personally don't care if you hate whites/gays/asians/blacks/mexicans/whatever. When you get the state mandating "NO NIGGERS" signs at water fountains, that's where I have a problem.

  • Hyperion||

    It seems to me like this is sort of in line with the NAP.

    After all, you CANNOT impose your own lifestyle onto everyone else, without violating the NAP on a mass scale.

  • np||

    You have to be tolerant enough to decline to use force.

  • sarcasmic||

    The phrase "tax cuts for the wealthy" is such an ignorant statement that it should be met with ridicule. Seriously. It should be pointed out that someone can have millions in wealth, yet have no income and no money. Or someone can have a high income, but no wealth.

    The phrase feeds off the economically ignorant belief that wealth, money and income are all the same thing.

    How can you win against an opponent who uses popular ignorance and emotion against you? It's almost as if the public schools purposefully teach kids to emote while ignoring all things relating to economics.

  • ||

    Almost?

  • NoVAHockey||

    "Or someone can have a high income, but no wealth."

    i know, let's tax the shit out of such people so we can it as hard as possible for them to amass assets.

  • anon||

    How can you win against an opponent who uses popular ignorance and emotion against you?

    You can't.

  • Tony||

    What school teaches you that completely pointless semantic factoids liberate you from having to defend the policies you support, which obviously and by design funnel wealth to the already wealthy and take it away from everyone else?

  • anon||

    Hey nice description of the democrat party.

  • sarcasmic||

    Because not giving is taking and not taking is giving. Gotcha.

  • Hopfiend||

    He apparently doesn't get the connection between the ginormous central state, wealthy people, devalued currency, and the sorry state of affairs. Hmmmm.

  • Hyperion||

    When I pointed out to a few liberal acquaintances that the people who got the biggest break from the Bush tax cuts, were in the lowest income brackets, they flat out told me that was not true.

    When I showed it to them online, they went silent about it and refused to talk more about it. But still argued that the evil Bush tax cuts should expire.

    I told them that when they see their pay checks after it happens, they will be the first to scream and whine about it.

  • ||

    ALright, who's the jackass who photoshopped the burger out of that Christie photo?

  • PapayaSF||

    As usual, the left blames rising income inequality on free markets, but they have a fragment of a point. I think a great deal of that problem comes from single parenthood and massive immigration from the Third World, both of which are associated with increased poverty, and both of which libertarians tend to be OK with. Of course, libertarians oppose the welfare state that makes these problems worse, but still, it's a fair point against libertarians (assuming you believe rising income inequality is a bad thing, and not to say that these things happened because of libertarians).

  • Killazontherun||

    Dig up the article from Monday on the costs of the regulatory state, and the links in the article provided. It may seem a bit unreal until you are reminded of the median income levels of states like Denmark who now far surpass us and the common thread of those states having a small regulatory apparatus. In comparison, and that is the operative phrase here, both of these factors you list are negligible. It is amazing how much harm what Bastiat called the 'unseen consequences' of opportunity costs can do to a society without even sparking dissent or revolt. Now think of the surplus from that wasted opportunity due to the regulatory state and what it would undoubtedly have been used for given the generous levels of charity in this nation to alleviate the destructive aspects of the lives of single parent families and immigrants, and you have an America that progressive policy didn't just fuck over but double so.

  • Killazontherun||

    doubley

    My native instincts want to pronounce that 'e' as a 'y'.

  • PapayaSF||

    The regulatory state is a factor of course, but single parenthood is a huge factor in driving poverty and crime, and importing millions of poor people is a factor as well.

  • OldMexican||

    ...we find ourselves...facing the disastrous consequences of 30 years of economic policies far too heavily influenced by free market fundamentalism


    Somehow I'm getting a feeling that these guys are being disingenuous and dishonest with me...

    We envision a world in which democracy writes the rules for capitalism, not the other way around.


    Your crony pals are way ahead of you on that, my friend.

  • John||

    We envision a world in which democracy writes the rules for capitalism, not the other way around.

    We envision a world where Democracy writes the rules of gravity not the other way around.

    There, I fixed it for you. Capitalism is nothing but a description of human behavior based on human nature. You can no more write the rules for it than you can write the rules of gravity or fluid dynamics. It is what it is.

  • sarcasmic||

    My father is a great example of a progressive who is terminally ignorant of economics.
    I remember when I was a kid he described capitalism as a system where if you have money then it works for you and makes more money, and if you don't have money then you work for someone who does.
    To this day he still cannot comprehend the distinction between money and wealth, and he's still convinced that it's a zero-sum game.
    His ignorance is incurable, so when we talk we talk about woodworking. Anything but politics or economics.

  • John||

    He is one of millions.

  • ||

    So your dad is kinda like Tony but with less derp? I think we all have at least one family member who's like that.

  • John||

    http://www.slate.com/articles/.....using.html

    Sad beard discovers that zoning is bad. But it is not bad because it infringes on property rights. It is bad because it forces him to have a yard. Yeah, that is really his argument. Apparently no one explained to him that there are town homes and condos available for people who don't like yards.

  • Irish||

    I'm also confused as to why he was forced to buy a nice house if he didn't want a yard. There are plenty of people just like Sad Beard living in apartments in New York city.

  • JW||

    Don't expect rational or practical thoughts from Sadbeard. He's still working through the rage over not being able to wear his underwear on the outside of his pants.

  • John||

    He is just a half wit. And a really dangerous one. He would be perfectly happy forcing everyone to give up their yards because he likes it that way.

  • ||

    Of course, people like sadbeard bitching about yards and trees is doubly rich since they also bitch about climate change.

  • ||

    Since we moved into our house in 2007, we lost two tree (thanks Ike) and planted six new ones (thanks sprawl).

  • NoVAHockey||

    well, at least he's got the whole point of this country down: we are free to eat outside.

  • SugarFree||

    I think if you read it closely, his real objection is having to go outside. "No! Not natural sunlight! My doughy flesh! It burns!"

    No wonder a pasty, agoraphobic twerp wants us all to live in an urban hive, where privacy to think unmutual thoughts is anathema.

  • ||

    SadBeard is a vampire? If so, he doesn't drink blood, he drinks Stupid-flavored Kool-Ade.

  • SugarFree||

    "I vant to drinck vour Cherry Kool-Ad! Ah-ha-ha!"

    Not a vampire. He's just another basement-dwelling goon who thinks that whole world secretly thinks like him. If he wants to live in a wasp's nest made out of the chewed up debris of urban trash, more power to him. I like a yard with high fences and dream of auto-turrets stationed on the roof.

  • John||

    It amazes me how many leftists really are social rejects. If you look at the rightwing blog sphere, agree or disagree with them, they all have careers and spouses and sometimes children and fairly normal lives. The leftwing are nearly always people like Yglesias or Marcottee who live sad, unhappy lives on the I 95 corridor and haven't seem to have fit in since grade school.

  • ||

    One of the great appeals of TEAM BLUE is to social rejects and morons, because TEAM BLUE's message is "if you are on TEAM BLUE, it means you are smart and insightful and caring, and we will tell you so at every opportunity SO LONG AS YOU DO NOT STRAY OFF THE RESERVATION". Of course it appeals to idiots and dorks; if they join, they aren't idiots and dorks any more!

    (They're really, really stupid.)

  • ||

    I haven't ever fit in, even in grade school. It's one of the many reasons why I'm a libertarian (or could it be vice-versa?)

  • ||

    But you're also not a moron, Kristen, and that makes all the difference. You can think and reason and don't need some group to constantly tell you that you can even if you can't.

    Not fitting in is one thing. Desperately wanting to and not caring if it's a false kind of fitting in that is purely political is another.

  • John||

    The difference is Kristen, you never fit in and were okay with it. People like Yglesias never fit in and have never gotten over it. Their desire to fit in and be over others is the defining characteristic of their lives.

  • ||

    Well, this is true. I have always reveled in my not-fitting-inness.

  • tarran||

    In my case it was coming from Turkey to America.

    A year living in New Hampshire at my Yankee granparents' place, with a back yard that was fenced off from Mt Monadnock by a huge forest that I could explore to my heart's content, no uniforms, nobody trying to report you to the authorities of subversive beliefs, nobody trying to coerce you into supporting their subversive organizations, etc.

    Live in a non-free country going through strife of people fighting for control of the state, and then move to a free country. You can actually taste the difference in the air.

    The progressives think they are constructing a redoubt that will protect them from danger and suffering. They are instead building their prison.

  • ||

    The thing is, tarran, they think they are building a prison for those they fear or disagree with, but instead are building a prison for all of us, them included. They're just too stupid to realize that.

  • ||

    The state of Turkey's politics always depresses me, because the individual people are so awesome and welcoming and the land itself is beautiful and diverse. If they could just take that full step into an open society, they would really be something special.

  • tarran||

    The Turkish elites want to Turkey to be like France.

    It's infuriating. They vacation in Paris. They used to send their kids to college in France to study public administration etc.

    And they've even got the endemic French corruption! One wing of my family has split from my wing, because my dad got a cushy assignment in the Turkish Navy without asking his cousin (a brigadier general) to help him get it. They assumed my dad must have found another patron and were mortally offended. The idea that my dad was a weirdo who didn't want to play the nepotism game was so unbelievable that they assumed he must be lying when he told them he had no patron.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    Dang, tarran....that made me mist up a bit.

  • John||

    Can you imagine him trying to mow a lawn or cut a hedge? If you worked at Home Depot, would you sell that guy power tools? If I were your lawyer, I would advise against it.

  • SugarFree||

    You know he'd try to mow with one of those manual mowers, his flabby noodle arms and mushy legs struggling against the tenderest of blades, sticky, yellow sweat stinging his eyes, a little nugget of shit plopping out with every straining grunt. He'd get maybe two rows done before he ran inside to have a good cry and then write an angry column about how the GOP invented lawns solely as a place to burn crosses.

  • John||

    Yeah. He would never buy a gas powered lawn mower. Too much of the dreaded carbonz.

  • ||

    No, instead he'd hire a gardener to show up with one.

  • SugarFree||

    A union gardener making a living wage, of course. Who just happens to take his unlimited sick days off on the days SadBeard is scheduled to have his yard mowed, but Matty pays him anyway, with a big fucking smile on his face.

  • Damned Fool||

    I'm applying for that job. No dependents, so I can live easy.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    +1. This is pee my pants funny.

  • SugarFree||

    Certain unsavory elements of this board just became very excited. My apologies.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Oh, those elements were already in a state of arousal from your erotic description of sadbeard. I'm sure the "little nugget of shit plopping out" part was the beginning of a chain reaction.

  • anon||

    I highly recommend expanding upon this story, SF.

  • ||

    Seconded (thirded?)

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    Aye!

  • Killazontherun||

    Speaking of yard work, my sister stumbled upon a concord grape vine (a very close cousin anyway) yesterday. She called me over yesterday evening to help her pick it. My haul came to just at 18lbs. That vine was huge and growing wild at that!

    I only have ale yeast (harvested from a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale -- pour out 20oz, keep 2oz, add sugar, you'll have more brewer's yeast than you can deal with), and the grapes are delicious but as unsubtle as Welches, so I'm going to eventually distill it into brandy.

    I boiled a five gallon pot last night with a bag of nutmeg, and still have more than half of the grapes left in the fridge. It's going to be a very Yankeesque concoction when I'm finished.

  • Killazontherun||

    I might have known that Tony would derail this thread when things were getting all nice and chummy. Now, there wont be any talk about brewing. Now, I'll just have to make an excuse to bring it up in the PM links.

  • Killazontherun||

    I have to admit, I avoid sunlight as well. From 10am to 3:30pm, you will not catch me in it for more than a few minutes, and then I am like Lestat crossing the desert.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    We envision a world in which democracy writes the rules for capitalism, not the other way around.

    So 51% of the population is allowed to rob the other 49% with impunity?

  • Tony||

    Because 1% doing it is much better.

  • anon||

    Seriously, you have got to be trying to be this stupid. There's nobody that can be that dumb.

  • ||

    Dude, it's a sockpuppet. It's someone who has created a character which epitomizes the most obnoxious characteristics of the modern left/progressive and does them all to the hilt, in order to rile people up, get responses, and derail threads. Responding to it is an absolute waste of your time, and in fact pleases it. Just ignore it.

  • Paul.||

    It's not stupidity, it's evil masquerading as progress.

  • Damned Fool||

    I still think it's a training simulator.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Tell your boys in .gov to stop robbing people and it would be less of a problem.

  • ||

    You mean that one percent that congregate in DC like your pals Obama, Pelosi, and Reid? That 1%?

    Idiot.

  • Tony||

    That's an awfully partisan list.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    Throw in Crying Orange Johnny B too.

  • ||

    It's fucking partisan because you're only against the 1% you don't like and continually give passes to the ones you do. That and you're a partisan sock. If you were a republican hack I'd have mentioned McCain, Bohener, & Romniac.

  • Tony||

    I care not one bit who constitutes the wealthy elite, and I don't blame them one bit for doing everything they legally can to take advantage of the economic environment.

    The only thing that matters is whether you support policies designed to funnel more money to them or those designed to rebuild a middle class. It's no secret what libertarians favor; its their sole reason for existing, in fact.

    Your philosophy is pretty much entirely subsidized by two of the richest men in the world for pretty much the sole purpose of easing their tax burden and getting them out of pollution regulations.

  • ||

    You're the asshole who was advocating for the repeal of the Obama tax cuts, the bulk of which went to the poor and middle class. You're the asshole who continually advocates for rules and regulations that benefit the other assholes who live in DC and New York while fucking over people like me who would love to start their own business but can't thanks to regulations and red tape. You're the asshole who thinks not giving is taking and that we should force people to provide goods and services.

    Fuck off slaver.

    $

  • Tony||

    Read another book for the love of Christ.

  • Free Society||

    I care not one bit who constitutes the wealthy elite, and I don't blame them one bit for doing everything they legally can to take advantage of the economic environment.

    Nonetheless, you take every opportunity to blame the rich for making poor people poorer and everytime you hear a tale of corporatism you seek to further empower the leviathan that caused the problem to begin with.

    Now you claim you don't blame them one bit in the same post where you claim all free market ideologies are a conspiracy of evil rich people. This is why discussing anything with you is a waste of time, you have no intellectual consistency because having it would require relying on reasonable arguments to make your case.

  • Hopfiend||

    And the fact that you don't connect the enormous and empowered state that you crave to this outcome, IS. HILARIOUS.

  • PH2050||

    If by 1% you mean the Federal Reserve, then yeah.

  • JW||

    e find ourselves...facing the disastrous consequences of 30 years of economic policies far too heavily influenced by free market fundamentalism—a libertarian lens consisting of deregulation, laissez-faire corporate policy, tax cuts for the wealthy, and an attack on government as the enemy. This go-it-alone, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may approach to organizing society threatens our systems of social supports and regulatory safeguards, and contributes to our economic crises—record inequality, an eroded middle class, and stalled mobility for the next generation....

    See? The want us back! They still love us!

    The next time one of you GOP toasters tells me how we should work within the GOP to make positive change, I'll point you to this.

  • John||

    That was a lefty who said that. Or were you being sarcastic?

  • JW||

    Aw fuck, you're right. I skipped right over the preceding sentence.

    Still, fuck the GOP.

  • ||

    Don't worry, Tulpa only posts when people who make fun of his idiocy aren't around. He's brave like that.

  • SugarFree||

    No, no. He comes around on the weekends because those are the only people who deserve his vast stores of wisdom. If he was a coward he'd do something truly pathetic, like block our posts because he's too afraid to read them.

  • Tony||

    Libertarians never convincingly explain how they get rid of conflict. They just poof it away. But any amount of thinking suggests that a society of many very different types of communities would lead to more conflict, not less. Especially since risk and resources will necessarily be far more unevenly distributed.

    Libertarians should not get credit for the correct positions they take on criminal justice and war. Given the relative success they've had on domestic economic policy, it's easily presumed that those stances are merely necessitated by your stated ethics--but they aren't anyone's real concern, since liberals have that stuff covered anyway. What makes libertarians what they are is their single-minded focus on making the economy benefit the rich and harm everyone else. That is precisely the outcome we've had and that's being discussed. Was it libertopia that led to these outcomes? No--just incremental steps toward laissez-faire in some sectors of the economy along with hard-to-ignore massive tax cuts that benefited pretty much only the wealthy.

    You don't exist for any other purpose but to promote aristocracy (what you call a free market). The other stuff is window dressing. If you actually cared about the well-being of humans in addition to civil liberties, you'd be liberals. You exist as philosophical gears in a political machine whose sole purpose is to funnel wealth upward. All the "poof, thus freedom" bullshit is less than window dressing. It's a child's daydream.

  • John||

    No Tony. They never claim to get rid of conflict. They claim to reduce the size and power of government so that the stakes of conflicts are much lower.

    When the government runs all of society, every political dispute becomes a life and death matter. This is the world progressives want to create. A world where all value and everyone's life and well being is determined by the results in the jungle of political warfare.

  • Tony||

    so that the stakes of conflicts are much lower.

    Which makes absolutely no sense.

    When the government runs all of society

    Straw man.

    They want to reduce the size (wealth) and power of government because they are toadies for the people who want that wealth and power for themselves. That's all.

    Conflict happens in the absence of organized society, which requires strong government. The entire point of government is to reduce conflict that naturally happens among human beings. Your claim is completely contrary to reality, and is yet another example of the "poof" argument.

    How on earth do the stakes get lower as you remove aspects of civilization? Does any libertarian claim that resources are more evenly distributed in a "free market" society?

  • sarcasmic||

    Does any libertarian claim that resources are more evenly distributed in a "free market" society?

    Nope. Libertarians understand that it is better to allow both the rich and the poor to become richer than to make everyone poorer in the name of equality.

  • Tony||

    But empirically that doesn't happen in a laissez-faire economy. Wealth concentrates. The only thing that has ever made *everyone* richer is combining economic growth with a distributive social system.

  • sarcasmic||

    Sure wealth concentrates. But wealth is not money. Concentrations of wealth don't make the poor poorer.

  • anon||

    I see you've tasked yourself with educating idiots despite my warnings!

  • Tony||

    Again with this shit?

    This country has seen overall economic growth over the last few decades. Over that time, almost all of those gains have gone to the very wealthiest people. That was not because they were that much more innovative and hard working than their rich predecessors, and not because there was an epidemic of laziness among everyone else. It was the direct consequence of economic policies, which libertarians all supported full-throatedly and even designed.

  • sarcasmic||

    It was the direct consequence of economic policies, which libertarians all supported full-throatedly and even designed.

    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
    - Einstein

    Your stupidity knows no bounds.

  • tarran||

    That has to be, hands down, the most hysterically funny falsehood he has thrown out there.

    I actually laughed out loud at it.

  • Cassius||

    "That was not because they were that much more innovative and hard working than their rich predecessors, and not because there was an epidemic of laziness among everyone else. It was the direct consequence of economic policies of TOP MEN that I continue to endorse while constantly projecting."

  • Tony||

    I explicitly endorse the opposite policies and the opposite outcomes.

    You lie or are delusional about supporting the outcomes while still endorsing each and every relevant policy of the top men.

  • Cassius||

    Lie or delusion? Once again, more projection. You explicitly frame statist policies as libertarian in nature and provide no actual evidence, simply stating empty emotional calls, progressive buzz-words and name-calling.

  • John||

    Which makes absolutely no sense.

    I am sure it doesn't tony. I am sure it doesn't. You like most progs can't grasp the idea that a powerful government is always going to be co-opted by the politically powerful and used to enforce their will on everyone else. So the idea that a hugely powerful government makes the stakes of every conflict much higher by making the losers effectively outlaws never occurs to you. How could it?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    They want to reduce the size (wealth) and power of government because they are toadies for the people who want that wealth and power for themselves. That's all.

    And here comes Tony w/o spaces with that hardcore DERP. In his diseased mind, wealth is a zero-sum game and no more wealth can be created anywhere ever, which is why we are still squabbling over the limited wealth of the Sumerian Empire. No amount of effort applied to any amount of resources can ever make something of value.

    As a matter of fact, I'm typing this from my straw hut on the banks of the Tiber River, where I eke out a meager existence as a subsistence farmer.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    They [libertarians] want to reduce the size (wealth) [sic/ and power of government because they are toadies for the people who want that wealth and power for themselves. That's all.


    Government has no wealth. Saying that the reason people are against government taking the wealth of others is because they are toadies is no better than saying that women that are against rape are toadies for virgins. It's not an argument, it is just dishonesty from your part.

    Conflict happens in the absence of organized society, which requires strong government.


    You're equivocating again, Tony. Organized society does not mean government. Besides, the notion is logically inconsistent: It would mean that a conflictive bunch of savages suddenly created a government than then created an organized society. If you say this is not what you're talking about, then you would have to explain what NEED an ALREADY organized society would have of government.

  • Tony||

    If government has no wealth, are you saying it didn't steal any of yours through taxes? I used that word because that's what you really mean by making government smaller. You want to take its tax revenues and put them in your pockets. Well, not your pockets, the Koch's pockets.

    If you're going to treat "government" as a destructive alien force rather than "the institution that governs a society," then it's just absurd for you to take issue with our modern version over all other versions (such as loosely organized tribes). First, arguably the latter were far more "socialist," and to your point, far more rife with violent conflict.

  • Juice||

    If you could exempt all people making less than $100,000/yr from all income taxes, would you do it? Of course you wouldn't.

  • Tony||

    Sounds good to me. We can make up the lost revenue by taxing those making more than $10,000,000 a little more.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    If government has no wealth, are you saying it didn't steal any of yours through taxes?


    If the government stole mine through taxes, then it still NOT the government's, it is still mine. Stealing is not a valid transfer of title.

    Ergo, the government has NO wealth. If you concede that it TAKES it, then it cannot by definition be its own.

    You want to take its tax revenues and put them in your pockets.


    Don't accuse me of being a thief unless you're ready to present proof, Tony. You are a charlatan and a mountebank.

    If you're going to treat "government" as a[...] destructive [...] force[...] it's just absurd for you to take issue with our modern version over all other versions


    The difference is that modern government is much more ubiquitous and authoritarian, arguably much more dangerous and murderous than tribal elders.

  • Tony||

    If you concede that it TAKES it, then it cannot by definition be its own.

    A thief has what he has stolen, while not being legally entitled to it. Government both has what it has taken and is legally entitled to it (hence didn't steal it).

    Don't accuse me of being a thief unless you're ready to present proof, Tony. You are a charlatan and a mountebank.

    I doubt you're a thief. You probably pay your taxes like a good comrade, er, citizen. But if you didn't and persisted in benefiting from the tangible and radiant government benefits they pay for, you would be a thief, though you'd be called a tax evader.

    The difference is that modern government is much more ubiquitous and authoritarian, arguably much more dangerous and murderous than tribal elders.

    State the exact opposite of this and you would then be telling the truth. You live in one of the freest societies ever to have existed and also one of the least risky (though other countries have done far better on that count). The world as a whole is far less riskier than it was 100 years ago, 1000, and all the way back. You're diving right in to Romanticism here.

  • Juice||

    Conflict happens in the absence of organized society, which requires strong government.

    Kinda begging the question here, eh?

  • acidovorax||

    Conflict happens in the absence of organized society, which requires strong government.

    Meaningless sentence. How are you defining "conflict" cause I can think of a whole lot of conflict that has and is occurring under "strong governments". Was government sanctioned slavery not conflict? What about government sanctioned genocides? What about government sanctioned theft? What about government sanctioned imprisonment of political opponents? Well, no matter, right? Cause your liberal philosophy will "poof" away all of these examples.

  • Tony||

    Governments can do bad things. Story at 11.

    Corporations can do bad things too! Story at... eh we'll get around to it after a word from our sponsors, "GOLD GOLD GOLD."

    Shall we minimize or eliminate the role of corporations in society?

    People do bad things sometimes. Individuals! Clearly we must minimize or eliminate all people.

  • ||

    $

  • sarcasmic||

    In a free market economy where the government reacts to force and fraud while protecting property rights, and does little else, the only way to become wealthy is to make others wealthy.

    That's right.
    How did Gates become rich? By making everyone else richer with Microsoft products.
    How did Jobs become rich? By making everyone else richer with Apple products.
    How did Carnegie become rich? By making everyone else richer by providing quality steel to the masses.
    How did Rockefeller become rich? By making everyone else richer by providing consistent petroleum products to the masses.

    Why do you want to make everyone poorer by not allowing the rich to make everyone richer?

  • Tony||

    "The amassing of wealth is one of the worse species of idolatry. No idol more debasing than the worship of money."

    --Andrew Carnegie

    The innovative aspects of capitalism and a social safety net are not mutually exclusive. Arguably, they enhance each other. If basic needs such as food, healthcare, and education are taken care of, doesn't that mean there are millions more potential innovators than there would otherwise have been?

    You're not arguing against anything anyone is advocating. You're whoring out the names of rich liberals in service of tax cuts for the Koch Brothers.

  • sarcasmic||

    Arguably, they enhance each other. If basic needs such as food, healthcare, and education are taken care of, doesn't that mean there are millions more potential innovators than there would otherwise have been?

    When those "basic needs" are taken care of by coercion and theft by the most inefficient means possible (government), then those resources are never employed in anything innovative.

    Opportunity cost

    Additionally when the dole pays better than work, smart people choose the dole over work. That means the resources to cover their basic needs are not employed in anything productive, and neither are the people on the dole because they don't work.

    It's a double-whammy opportunity cost.

  • Tony||

    coercion and theft

    Blahblahblahblah. You are explicitly for government doing certain things. If taxing and spending is coercion and theft, it doesn't stop being so just because it's for stuff you like.

    All the evidence in the real world suggests that institutions like public education, public healthcare, and a social safety net make for far better societies, by any meaningful measure you can think of, than their absence does. You can't seriously argue that a millionaire is motivated to get richer (and they are) but a person barely scraping will only want to get richer if he's motivated by starvation.

  • sarcasmic||

    Again you disingenuous dipshit, it's not about what I like. It's a matter of principle.

    Government is force. Everything it does is predicated on violence.

    So the question is not one of whether I like or not, but if it justifies violence.

    Does fending off foreign invaders justify government force? Yes.

    Does reacting to criminals using force and/or fraud justify government force? Yes.

    Does providing courts where people can resolve disputes without engaging in lawless violence justify government force? Yes.

    Does employing teachers, doctors and charities justify government force? No. Because once you embark down a path of using force for something other than reacting to or preventing force and fraud, then there are no limits. No limits at all. That is the path to tyranny.

    Why do you want tyranny?

  • Tony||

    If my preferences for what government "force" is used for lead to a slippery slope to tyranny, then so do yours. You are not articulating a principle or clear dividing line here, just a preference.

    And your preference is for government to only do those things that actually require shooting and imprisoning people. So you can't really say your system is predicated on a principle of nonagression.

    And you're avoiding the issue: how, logically, can it be unacceptable "coercion and theft" for certain things but not others? Taxes are taken in exactly the same way no matter what they pay for.

  • Juice||

    And your preference is for government to only do those things that actually require shooting and imprisoning people. So you can't really say your system is predicated on a principle of nonagression.

    Aggression is offensive force. Defensive force is not aggression.

    It's not just a preference. There is a clear, bright line between initiated violence and defensive violence.

    And you're avoiding the issue: how, logically, can it be unacceptable "coercion and theft" for certain things but not others? Taxes are taken in exactly the same way no matter what they pay for.

    My "ideal government" wouldn't use any coercion or force, even to attempt to defend against aggression. They would have to beg their masters, the people, for their revenue.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    If my preferences for what government "force" is used for lead to a slippery slope to tyranny, then so do yours.


    How quaint. A tu quoque, and not even one with any semblance of truth.

    And you're avoiding the issue: how, logically, can it be unacceptable "coercion and theft" for certain things but not others?


    I don't know about sarcasmic, but thievery backed by "good intentions" is still thievery.

  • Tony||

    I applaud you for your consistency. Pity it forces you to believe in stupid things.

  • sarcasmic||

    You are not articulating a principle or clear dividing line here, just a preference.

    Actually, I have.

    So you can't really say your system is predicated on a principle of nonagression.

    Do you even know what non-aggression means?
    Probably not, since you seem to be unable to grasp cause and effect.
    Non-aggression is not pacifism. It simply means you are not the one who initiates violence. It doesn't mean no violence. It means you don't initiate it. You do know what "initiate" means, right?

    So by saying saying government, which is violence, should be limited to reacting or preventing violence, a clear principle has been articulated.

    Should violence be used to school people or give them health care? Well, I don't see how lack of government schooling or lack of government health care consists of violence to be reacted to or prevented, so no.

    Then again, since you believe that not taking is giving and not giving is taking, I do not expect you to understand the difference between initiating violence and reacting to violence.

    You're just too fucking stupid to understand.

  • Tony||

    I understand perfectly, I just think it's both inconsistent and needlessly stupid. If government is useful to the end of protecting your property from trespassers, and it is useful to the end of providing a semi-decent society to live in by subsidizing education, what's wrong with the latter? It doesn't even involve shooting or imprisoning anyone.

    The only explanation for these priorities is that you want government to protect your interests (and more importantly the interests of billionaires), but not the interests of the ignorant, sick, or poor, because you say so. Someone once described this thinking as "almost perfect in its immorality."

    What utter doublethink. Government is bad because it initiates force. But shooting and imprisoning people, because of a semantic technicality, isn't initiating force. Peacefully collecting taxes to pay for education, for some reason, is (but not the taxes to pay for the former, for some reason).

  • sarcasmic||

    what's wrong with the latter? It doesn't even involve shooting or imprisoning anyone.

    Really? What happens to the person who refuses to pay property taxes for those schools? Well, some men with guns come to take him to court. What happens if he refuses? They initiate violence. What happens if he resists? The violence escalates, possibly resulting in his death.

    Are government subsidized schools worth killing citizens? I don't thinks so. You obviously do.

    Because everything government does, from schools to national defense to bans on cigarette smoking, ultimately are enforced with threat of death.

  • Tony||

    Not if you live under a halfway decent government. Oh but it's always death because you insert what you apparently think is a legitimate civil right to violently oppose civil arrest. Whatever dude. I say if you can shoot children for being on your lawn, the cops can shoot you for threatening their lives. Seems only fair.

    You try setting up a society without enforcement and see how far it gets. Of course you just told me the only thing you think government should do is enforcement of the most intrusive and violent sort, so you are, in fact, a raging hypocrite.

  • sarcasmic||

    All governments deal death to those who refuse to submit. From China to Chicago, that's what governments do. Government is violence. Period.

    So again the question is whether or not what the government does justifies violence.

    I say violence is justified in response to violence or to prevent violence.

    You apparently believe that violence is justified to pay school teachers and feed layabouts.

    There is a clear principle here that you are too fucking stupid to comprehend.

  • Tony||

    It doesn't actually require any violence to pay teachers or provide welfare. That's the beauty of a well-functioning modern government.

    Again, you're against government dealing metaphorical violence but for it doing real violence.

  • sarcasmic||

    Everything government does comes with a threat of violence. That's how taxes work. Don't pay them and you get locked in a cage by men who can beat and kill you without consequence.
    Government is not nice. It's not pretty. It's not warm and fuzzy. No, it is violence. At its core everything it does is predicated on violence.

    So again I am stating a clear principle: because government is violence, whatever it does should justify violence, or at least a threat of violence.

    Does reacting to force and fraud justify violence or a threat of violence? Yes.

    Does defending the citizenry from foreign invasion justify violence or a threat of violence? Yes.

    Does providing a means for people to resolve disputes without themselves resorting to violence justify violence or a threat of violence? Yes.

    Does paying teachers or funding charity justify violence or a threat of violence? No.

    And I never said I am against government dealing out violence. There is a time and a place for violence, or a threat of violence. Like in reacting to or preventing violence. Other than that, I don't see a justification for violence. That's what non-aggression means.

    I certainly do not believe that charity justifies violence or a threat thereof.

    I don't know how to make it any clearer.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

    George Washington

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    If basic needs such as food, healthcare, and education are taken care of, doesn't that mean there are millions more potential innovators than there would otherwise have been?


    Your contention seems to stem from the notion that all those things ("basic needs" as you call them) are held in abundance inside padlocked warehouses owned by greedy misers.

    All those things you talk about have to be produced first. If people are NOT FREE to produce them, then these goods will not be available to distribute as you want, let alone through a market.

    Your belief that the sole requirement is good intentions does not fit economic reality; even if you have those things in abundance at one point, taking them BY FORCE (which is exactly what you're advocating) presents ipso facto a disincentive to keep producing them, turning your rosy picture of satisfied people free of want to improve the arts and contemplate the universe into a nightmare of artificial scarcity, not unlike North Korea, or Cuba - or California.

  • Tony||

    Except for all the empirical evidence in the world, you might be right. Universal public education does exist. It didn't exist before it was subsidized. How on earth did every advanced country manage that which you say is impossible?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Except for all the empirical evidence in the world, you might be right.


    Oh, really? Like what, for instance?

    Universal public education does exist.


    Non sequitur.

    It didn't exist before it was subsidized


    You're talking about state-sponsored schooling, not education. Education is a personal choice and thus is always universal as long as there are people with a mind and curiosity. Schooling has always existed in one form or another, from mentoring to tutoring to apprenticeship to church-managed schooling, you name it. Every advanced country managed to advance because the people were free to pursue their preferences. The less free nations suffered and still suffer from stiffleness and decay, even with so-called "universal education" - again, North Korea, Cuba.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Tony, you are confusing a meritocracy with "aristocracy".

    People deserve to be compensated on merit and only the market can determine that value.

  • Tony||

    People have to be able to feed themselves before they can deploy their merits. Nobody's talking about doing away with meritocracy. But libertarians are implicitly advocating for just that--a libertarian economy inevitably rewards luck and parentage over merit.

  • sarcasmic||

    So people can't feed themselves unless the government takes from one to give to another.

    Amazing! How did our species ever survive if the only way to eat is by government redistribution! Surely there was a time before government! How did our ancestors eat?

  • tarran||

    Tony is bitten by the green monster and it owns his ass.

    You are actually missing Tony's main point: We libertarians aren't envious enough!

    Haven't you noticed all the digs about people starving so that a billionaire can drive a Bugatti Veyron?

    We say "keep your mits to yourself!" But when one does that someone might amass alot of wealth! To an envious person this is a big problem. To a libertarian, it's not a problem at all - so long as the wealth is amassed through production and/or voluntary trade.

    Now serious students of economic history recognize that in the presence of free markets, you get a large middle class, some rich people, and a shrinking pool of people in poverty. It wasn't the existence of unions, for example, that ensured that a poor woman had access to stockings that 100 years previously were only available to the very wealthy. It was the expansion of production prompted by the opportunity to get rich off of one's own labors.

    But to the envious, the very existence of the wealthy is the problem. To them it's as much a crime as a mugger taking someone's baby's milk-money is to us.
  • tarran||

    I think this is the cause of Tony's frustration. A very envious person thinks it's OK to take stuff that other people has because it's intolerable that they don't share their good fortune. Or, if they are opposed to taking, using force to prevent someone from getting more stuff.

    Consider Paris Hilton, for example. Now, I think we can all stipulate that Paris Hilton will consume far more than she produces. And her consumption is so frivolous as completely revolt my half Scotch-Yankee love of frugality.

    However, the wealth she consumes was amassed by people who loved her and gave it to her, and to a libertarian the fact that her dad and granddad wanted her to have that wealth they had worked so hard to produce is sufficient reason for her to have it.

    Someone filled with envy, though, looks at Paris Hilton and screams she doesn't deserve that wealth, decent people do! They view her as being the beneficiary of a natal lottery, and rather than seeing her wealth as a gift of love, view it as a theft from their pockets.

    This is why I don't think Tony will ever accept all the evidence thrown at him that he is wrong. Because to admit that forcible redistribution of wealth away from the halves would require him to confront the envy & greed that is the core of his being. Far more comfortable to repeatedly type out the same jingoistic slogans and to close his mind to reason.
  • Tony||

    Cheap lame distraction. You guys ever gonna argue for your policies on their real-world merits, or are you gonna keep evading the issue by accusing the people with evidence on their side of being envious?

    What a pathetic, servile outlook on the world. If I'm envious, what does that make you? Worshipful? How much does wealth have to be concentrated before you stop pulling out this ridiculous empty psychobabble in order to defend every single cent of that wealth?

  • tarran||

    How much does wealth have to be concentrated

    Tony, sweetie, in a free society, wealth doesn't get concentrated. It gets expanded.

    If the expansion accrues more to some other guy than to me, it doesn't bother me. Your question is as ridiculous as asking someone how many men will be allowed to partner with other men and thus give up fathering children before we will wake up to the danger posed to society by allowing gay cohabitation.

    The fact is that under a libertarian social order, there is a limit to how much wealth an entity can amass - the more resources a person controls, the larger the economic calculation problem that von Mises identified and Hayek expounded upon. An unusually productive person or group of people might temporarily - through serving consumers of their services/products especially well - acquire vast amounts of wealth, but in administering that wealth, above a certain limit, they will do more poorly than people who command a more manageable amount of resources. In a libertarian economic order, the only way that they can amass that wealth is by convincing their trading partners that the trades will make the partners better off, and to sustain such a business model, the partners have to be better off.

  • tarran||

    Thus in the libertarian economic order, a Bill Gates can only become mega rich by making his customers even richer! For every dollar he gets, he has to be providing something that makes his trading partners think they are more than a dollar richer! Granted, this may mean he gets a dollar richer while 115 men get a penny richer thanks to their dealings with him, leaving you appalled at the concentration of wealth, while I cheer the economic expansion.

    The notion that in a libertarian political and economic order that Bill Gates could become so wealthy as to hold all the wealth in the world, while the rest of us toil under his five-year plans for the rubles he deigns to throw our way is laughable. There’s a reason why planned economies falter: no entity can rationally allocate resources, be it a Bill Gates or a Commerce Secretary or a House Commerce Oversight Sub-Committee.

  • Free Society||

    People have to be able to feed themselves before they can deploy their merits

    You're saying people need positive liberty to be free. Basically, in order for someone like you to perceive freedom you must necessarily enslave everyone around you to provide for you.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    Dang, Shriek, I have to applaud that - succinctly put and correct.

  • Brandon||

    But any amount of thinking suggests that a society of many very different types of communities would lead to more conflict, not less.

    So Tony is just going straight up communist now. Every community, every individual, must be exactly the same to avoid conflict. Because Tony is an evil little fungus who would unhesitatingly murder anyone who had something that he wanted without government control, he projects his psychosis onto all of society. And he happily lets the government do his stealing from the "rich" (Read: Small entrepreneurs and middle class workers) to fund his unproductive-yet-self-righteous life. Is there any doubt anymore that tony is the stereotypical welfare queen?

  • Tony||

    Since none of you can argue without trotting out a lame straw man, does that mean I win?

  • Brandon||

    Tony, we have tried actually engaging your arguments, on the rare occasion you actually make one. It is not worth it, because you jump from fallacy to fallacy with no regard for logic, reason or coherence. Fuck off, you idiot whore.

  • Dweebston||

    This from the sockpuppet who reaches first for the "real world" canard, as if the substantiveness of "real world" politics isn't the very thing we're debating.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Libertarians never convincingly explain how they get rid of conflict.


    Libertarians have repeated ad nauseam that TRADE resolves all conflicts. The fact that YOU want to convince yourself otherwise is something only a psychiatrist can address, not a libertarian.

    Any amount of thinking suggests that a society of many very different types of communities would lead to more conflict, not less.


    History tells something different. What creates conflict between two peoples is politics, not freedom.

    Especially since risk and resources will necessarily be far more unevenly distributed.


    You're begging the question yet again, Tony. What's "unevenly"? Who decides that?

    Libertarians should not get credit for the correct positions they take on criminal justice and war.... liberals have that stuff covered anyway.


    I don't understand your logic. Why can't it be the other way around? You are a very lazy thinker, Tony.

  • KMA Too||

    Wow...
    A "Shrike responding to Tony" occurrence?
    Check.

    OM makes an appearance with his righteous whip of Logic?
    Check.

    Damn, this has turned into a good thread!

  • Tony||

    Do you really think OM knows anything about logic?

    Is there any sadder a spectacle than a room full of idiots who don't realize they're idiots?

  • ||

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    Holy Shit, you're serious?

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

  • FYTW||

    Is there any sadder a spectacle than a room full of idiots who don't realize they're idiots?

    Yup. A demonstrated imbecile calling everyone else idiots.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Do you really think OM knows anything about logic?


    I know enough to call you out on your mistakes, Tony.

  • Tony||

    You know just enough to be totally annoying.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    You know just enough to be totally annoying.


    Aw. How tender. Am I annoying you, Tony?

  • Tony||

    Yes. People consistently misusing Logic 101 vocabulary stopped being cute a long time ago.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Libertarians never convincingly explain how they get rid of conflict. They just poof it away.

    Getting rid of all conflict everywhere is an attainable goal? Well, I'm whipped. All hail Tony w/o spaces! The Prince of Peace!

    But any amount of thinking suggests that a society of many very different types of communities would lead to more conflict, not less.

    Conformity leads to peace, of course. Which makes me wonder why you persist in your anti-conformist and deviant lifestyle, Tony w/o spaces. You should know that peen doesn't go in that hole.

    Libertarians should not get credit for the correct positions they take on criminal justice and war.

    Tony w/o spaces: His handwaving reaches the speed and power of tornado.

    Given the relative success they've had on domestic economic policy

    ???

    but they aren't anyone's real concern, since liberals have that stuff covered anyway

    BWAHAHAHA!! The same progtards who are out in Cali flaunting the law and individual rights in their fevorish efforts to build choo-choos and stack-and-pack people in housing projects? The same one's who parrot Bloomie's stop and frisk and nod approvingly at Ray Kelly's desire to "instill fear" in minorities?

    You are a hoot, Tony w/o spaces. You may very well be the most amusing sockpuppet of all time, except when you're being the worst EVER.

  • Tony||

    Conformity leads to peace, of course.

    Actually I'm very much in favor of nonconformity. I'm merely suggesting that Gillespie's utopian thousand points of light daydream would result in more, rather than less, conflict, since we would lack large-scale means to distribute resources efficiently.

    I don't get why libertarians aren't satisfied with the nearly 200 different countries we already have. Seems like you're just pissed that none of them have managed your preferred model. Wonder why that could be.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I'm merely suggesting that Gillespie's utopian thousand points of light daydream would result in more, rather than less, conflict, since we would lack large-scale means to distribute resources efficiently.

    I don't recall Nick Gillespie ever identifying with George H.W. Bush (regarding the "1000 points of light" remark), but it's interesting that you wave off the inability of local actors to do good for others.

    I know how much you like bigness, you size queen.

    I don't get why libertarians aren't satisfied with the nearly 200 different countries we already have. Seems like you're just pissed that none of them have managed your preferred model. Wonder why that could be.

    Because like you, most people feel more comfortable in a state of easy servitude than in a state of difficult liberty, despite servitude being the greater existential threat. And the rare few who comprehend the idea of liberty and can envision it for themselves are unwilling to afford liberty to others (Bill Maher liberty).

  • Tony||

    most people feel more comfortable in a state of easy servitude than in a state of difficult liberty

    While your Very Special moral and constitutional superiority over almost all other humans is truly awe-inspiring, this would seem to be a fact of nature that you need to contend with in formulating a type of society that would work for people.

    I would prefer to frame it in a less misanthropic way: most people, libertarians being the exception, appreciate that liberty means much more than freedom from government, and that government and other large-scale institutions are in fact the most important contributors to actual liberty. A state of nature may be most "free" according to your definition but it is not meaningfully free. People are actually quite constrained by circumstance.

    The flaw in this thinking is its utter obsession with human agency. Only human agents can cause harm worth paying attention to. Flood and famine? Since humans aren't the ones causing the destruction, we can and should ignore it. Nonsense of the highest order. Agency fetishism. Total philosophic bankruptcy.

  • Paul.||

    This go-it-alone, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may approach to organizing society

    "organizing society" is all I need to hear from someone before I start hiding my children.

  • Paul.||

    Oh, and tip to Gamm:

    It sounds better in the original German.

  • John||

    Bingo. That is the heart of the matter. These people are terrified of freedom and of uncontrolled change. Everything they do and believe stems from that one overriding fear.

  • ||

    I don't think they're even capable of understanding freedom sometimes. They're certainly incapable of imagining a society in which no one is "in control."

  • John||

    It terrifies them. They couch it in big sounding language like "the questions of how to organize a society". But their unstated assumptions give away their true goals and fears. The fact that they even think that we can all get together and make a collective decision on how society should be organized gives away the game. They think of society as some sort of social club or class that is organized from the top down. They can't comprehend that societies grow and change organically and that no one person or group is in control. It just happens. And that possibility terrifies them beyond belief.

  • sarcasmic||

    When Tony uses phrases like "impose liberty" it only shows that he has no concept of what liberty means.

  • SugarFree||

    Much like when MNG argued owning property was an initiation of violence against all the other people in the world that didn't own it.

  • sarcasmic||

    Not giving is taking.

  • ||

  • rts||

    Liberty means responsibility. That's why most men dread it.

    - G. B. Shaw

  • Tony||

    Libertarianism means the poor are responsible, and the rich can pollute the planet with impunity.

  • Tony||

    The fact that they even think that we can all get together and make a collective decision on how society should be organized gives away the game.

    When did you stop being a Republican and start being an anarchist, John? Presumably even intelligent anarchists can recognize that people can and do collectively make decisions about how to organize their societies, even if they think that's a bad thing.

    It just happens.

    Yeah, it just happens, and it happens in large part by people with brains making collective decisions via institutions set up for that purpose. You used to understand this John.

  • Libertymike||

    John, permit me to go off topic and compliment you.

    In yesterday's PM links thread, you penned a great line which I intend to borrow from time to time:

    "But that won't stop retard from going where other retards fear to thread."

    You were describing Mr. Yglesias.

  • John||

    I saw that and thank you. Yglesias really brings out the nastiness in me. God I hate that little weirdo.

  • Libertymike||

    He grates on me, too.

  • Brandon||

    They can't even win the argument on their own website. This is their first attempt at the "Gordon Gamm initiative" and they get destroyed in the comments.

    http://www.demos.org/blog/8/20.....tive-demos

  • OldMexican||

    Second, we should welcome the engagement from Demos and other progressives. It will help sharpen our own thinking, policy ideas, and attempts to change the world.


    I don't know if you're being nice or naive, Nick. By watching the two weirdos from Demos whenever they're invited to Cavuto, I gather unequivocally that they're not interested at all in honest discourse but in bloviation, disinformation and propaganda. They will never concede what even BONO has conceded: That free market capitalism raises the standard of living of people; that economic freedom helps liberate people from the shackles of want.

    All it takes is look at statements like this: "a libertarian lens consisting of deregulation, laissez-faire corporate policy, tax cuts for the wealthy, and an attack on government as the enemy"; as if they were describing invaders from space, it should tell you in no uncertain terms that these guys are nothing more than shysters, cheats and mountebanks. There is no opportunity here to sharpen your wits, only to mire yourself in unproductive yelling. There's no real value in taking one scintilla of what they say seriously.

  • John||

    Nick is never really mean to progs. Nick can't get over culture. Progs are closer to him culturally. So he just can't admit that they could ever be bad people. They are forever just wayward sheep that he knows he can bring back to the fold.

  • BakedPenguin||

    One good thing to say to a low-info prog who talks about deregulation causing problems is : "name a regulation that has been repealed in the past 10 years. Name one."

    I've done this a few times, never got an answer other than mumble mumble.

  • ||

    Ha, that's a good one. Not only is it accurate, it deliciously points out to a low-info moron just how low-info they are, as they have to confront (well, should confront, but won't) their own ignorance: why don't they know of a single regulation that's been repealed?

  • John||

    They will scream Glass Segal and Boosh, who apparently stopped enforcing every regulation on the books out of his fanatical libertarianism.

    It is fucking hopeless. They are beyond reason and facts.

  • Juice||

    Glass Stegal was repealed 16 years ago.

  • Whahappan?||

    Yes, I think John means they blame the REPEAL of Glass-Steagall and Boosh.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The Net Capital Rule.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_capital_rule

    But the system was going to blow up anyway.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Palin's Buttwipe,

    That wasn't repealed. Your OWN link says that the rule was CHANGED but not REPEALED.

    I shouldn't be so hard on you. After all, reading comprehension is a subject lacking in the modern Amerikan Pulbic Skool Seistem for many years now.

  • BakedPenguin||

    "On April 28, 2004, the SEC voted unanimously to permit the largest broker-dealers (i.e., those with "tentative net capital" of more than $5 billion) to apply for exemptions from this established "haircut" method.[5] Upon receiving SEC approval, those firms were permitted to use mathematical models to compute the haircuts on their securities based on international standards used by commercial banks.[6]"

    So, not deregulation, but rather a special sop to the most politically connected / favored institutions.

    Try harder, sock.

  • John||

    http://www.mecum.com/auctions/.....913-165417

    Have a 1967 427 Corvette death machine. It will make you feel better. If Vietnam didn't kill you, that car would. God what a thing of beauty.

  • ||

    My friend's dad had one of those (a '69) in electric blue, but the thing had a cracked frame and was therefore ruined. We still got it running and drove it down the road. The 427 was...insane. Oh if only we could have pushed that thing.

    Luckily my friend had his own Porsche 928, so we still did some serious driving.

  • John||

    That was back before Ralph Nader and the EPA destroyed the American car industry. They lied about the horsepower. The 430 HP rating was if it was out of tune and running bad gas. The real number was closer to five hundred.

  • anon||

    People go apeshit over those corvettes when the gt40 is a far superior machine.

  • John||

    I would love to have a GT40. But they made what, ten of them? The Gt40 was a race car built for Le Mans. Not really fair to compare it to a production sports car.

  • Brett L||

    That thing is just asking to be rolled and squash your head like a bug.

  • John||

    The big block 67s were known as widow makers. The myth was guys saved their money in Vietnam and came home safely only to wrap one of those around a telephone pole.

  • Brett L||

    I can see that. Especially pilots. And naval aviators.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    SPEED IS LIFE!!!! *Screeech....BOOM*

  • Mainer2||

    I was just at the Mecum auction in Monterey. The fun thing today is the shear variety. Vettes, muscle cars, sports cars sure...but also fully restored Dodge Power Wagons from the 40's, hot rod pickup trucks, post war bubble cars...you name it. A few years ago a restored VW Minibus sold at auction for stupid money...like $80 grand. Must have been a dozen of them at Mecum, everyone trying to cash in. Wandering around the staging area was car guy heaven.

  • John||

    I don't know where all of that money comes from. How many people are there who can afford $60K for a corvette? I saw the 1940 Plymouth Woody on TV. That thing was spectacular.

  • Mainer2||

    My guess is the upper echelon of business execs and entreprenuers who've made their bones. At an RM auction a few years ago I was sitting next to a blue collar looking guy in a leather jacket; thought he was just there to watch until he spent almost $200,000 on a couple of vintage motorcycles. Can't judge a book by it's cover.

  • John||

    No. And it is a lot of the same people buying and selling. People who are into that tend not to keep a car that long. They buy one to have it and then get bored with it and resell it and buy another. A lot of what is going on is the same people buying and selling. But it still amazes me how much money changes hand.

    If I ever won the megamillions, you would see me at RM drunk and buying a lot of cars.

  • Mainer2||

    Yup, my "if I win the powerball" fantasy is lots of vintage cars in the $40k range. 10 interesting cars, not $400k on one Bentley.

    Lord why can't you let me win the lottery once in a while.

    Murray, why can't you buy a ticket once in a while.

  • Loki||

    ...we find ourselves...facing the disastrous consequences of 30 years of economic policies far too heavily influenced by free market fundamentalism

    What universe have these assclowns been living in?

  • anon||

    Dude, you can still choose which brand of toilet paper to buy.

    Market's way too free.

  • John||

    Having choices is really stressful. The market producing so much variety, that no one really needs anyway, creates a lot of stress and hurts people.

    They actually believe this anon. It is terrifying.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Having choices is really stressful.

    Well this isn't false but their "solution" is completely terrible obviously.

  • Hyperion||

    I smells troll stink upstream...

  • Tony||

    A troll is someone who makes mean posts on some dead kid's website. I merely disagree with libertarians on political issues. You'd think people who support maximum individual liberty would know the difference.

    I really don't think you guys are cut out for the type of society you claim to want.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I merely disagree with libertarians on political issues.


    Don't diminish your stature, Tony. MNG had political disagreements. You, in the other hand, are morally bankrupt. You have a disturbing faith in government while at the same time showing a bewildering distrust of individual humans. That talks of moral bankruptcy, of looking for a father figure to make things better, of having no character.

    You're here looking for catharsis. You're thus a troll.

  • Tony||

    I'm here because I don't get any stimulation from talking to people I agree with, and all the other rightwing sites are 100% populated by white supremacists who can't spell.

    I'm an exceedingly moral person, not that you have any way of knowing one way or the other. If believing in a mixed economy is equivalent to moral bankruptcy then almost everyone is going to hell. A bit ironic for a liberty maximalist to go around pointing the moral finger with all the fervor of a member of an apocalyptic cult.

  • Free Society||

    You've never met government authority you didn't look at as a necessity. The things in this world you find so unjust seem perfectly moral to you as long as a 'democratic' government is doing it. You are morally bankrupt, but also unaware of that fact.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    That's exactly how I remember it.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    attack on government as the enemy

    And we wonder why there is no watchdog press...

    Also were they saying this 2001-2009 or 1981-1993?

  • NSFW||

    I am very disapointed with the general lack of fat jokes in this comment section....

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Libertarianism means the poor are responsible, and the rich can pollute the planet with impunity.


    You will not be taken seriously if you keep prevaricating in this way, Tony. People here have explained it to you; if you are unwilling to accept the implications of what we're arguing, there's nothing further to discuss, because your problem is not one that can be solved through reasoned discourse.

    Libertarianism means having as the greatest political goal the most liberty possible for the individual. This implies that each individual would be responsible for his or her own life. If you find this idea frightening, I suggest you take that with your therapist.

  • Tony||

    Except when they're billionaires who want to pollute the planet. They get to do that for free. And I do find that not only frightening but morally repugnant.

    Being ignorant or in denial about the harm is no excuse.

  • Free Society||

    Corporate privilege is a gift from the government. The market doesn't give these billionaires impunity, people with an outlook like you, do.

  • Robert||

    How does this moment differ from ~15 yrs. ago, when Jay Diamond, newly switched from WABC to WEVD (and repositioned himself from assumed "right" to "left"), starting complaining about how the country/world was being run by "extreme libertarians"?

  • Goldwin Smith||

    The left has been complaining about the alleged libertarian strain of the right since I don't know Taft's time?

  • harleyrider1778||

    I guess it does suck when the people themselves are sick of the leftist and RINO BS of the last 20 years! Abolish the smoking bans is a first major step in winning liberty back to the people!

  • bonesteelwarren||

    The only problem with the article is that the author thinks that Governor Christie is a right winger.

    You may want to ask right wingers what they think about Governor Christie's policies and public statements.

  • Free Society||

    I don't think "right-wingers" are generally much of an authority on what constitutes "right-wing" politics. Most of them are progressives and don't know it.

  • MoreFreedom||

    First they ignored the libertarians, then libertarians like Ron Paul started getting in the news and winning straw polls. Then libertarians started showing up on TV pundit shows. Now that real libertarian type conservatives are getting elected in Congress, while big government RINOs are losing, both parties are attacking them!

    That is true progress. And it shows the real enemy are the big government types in both parties.

  • WraithKenny||

    This article misses the point of why some folks, like the ones at Demos, are against libertarianism. I certainly haven't been convinced of the libertarian theory and it's policy proscriptions, but I'm very much on board with it's civil liberties positions. Liberals tend to hate libertarians because of it's economic views. Conservatives tend to hate libertarians on their social views. Even so, libertarian politicians are seen to have an alliance more with the conservatives because those politicians concentrate on the economic platform in a way that undermines the civil liberties platform.

    It's also a logical error to claim that non-libertarians must believe the diametric opposite of libertarians on all issues. For example, folks who care about civil liberties mostly believe in a broader classification of rights (legal rights, human rights, civil rights, property rights), which puts them at odds with libertarians unfortunately, but both groups really do care about liberty. Libertarians don't "own" the pro-liberty concept.

    The idea of liberty isn't why people dislike libertarianism, and the idea of smaller government isn't why people dislike libertarianism. And a huge portion of the country does dislike it, however. Those folks have largely ignore it, since it's been a fringe and non-threatening movement for so long. That's changed, and so has the response to it.

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