Libertarian History/Philosophy

Who Doesn't Hate Libertarians?

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Regarding Matt Welch's perspicacious take on Salon's soft fatwa on libertarians, lest you wonder who they meant when they refer to those who are "tip-toeing around this belief system like its adherents are the noble last remnants of a dying breed, still clinging to their ancient, proud ways," I imagine this piece critiquing the Tea Party movement from the June Atlantic by Michael Kinsley is an example of what Gabriel Winant meant.

While calling most Tea Partyers selfish and silly, grand old man of kinda-contrarian liberalism Kinsley says:

If the Tea Party Patriots ever developed a coherent platform or agenda, they would lose half their supporters.

Principled libertarianism is an interesting and even tempting idea. If we wanted to, we could radically reduce the scope of government—defend the country, give poor people enough money to live decently, and leave it at that. But this isn't the TPP vision. The TPP vision is that you can keep your Medicare benefits and balance the budget by ending congressional earmarks, and perhaps the National Endowment for the Arts.

Keep on being tempted, Mr. Kinsley. And remember, nothing is so satisfying to give in to as temptation.

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  1. “If we wanted to, we could radically reduce the scope of government?defend the country, give poor people enough money to live decently, and leave it at that”

    But why would anyone ever want to do that? Seriously. Kinsley is a smart guy. He is smart enough to figure that out. Why isn’t he smart enough to embrace that vision? I guess it is a cultural thing. The man is stuck in a field full of dogmatic mental midgets. So he goes along and gets along.

    1. Certainly not libertarians. They would not give a penny of somebody else’s money to the poor.

      1. I’d much prefer to give my own, directly to those who need it, and not pay for the over-bloated salaries.

        Waste not, want not.

      2. Hey, you got one right! Congratulations!

        1. I am a recovering libertarian. I know your simplistic freshman logic very well.

          Too bad it utterly fails in reality, because it is kinda nifty as a purely logical and rhetorical device. It’s a great way to make people think you are a bat-shit insane, heartless miser.

          1. Aww, and you were doing so well 🙁

          2. Chad, Chad. So, when I directly give my money to people who are in trouble — like I have recently with friends laid off from work, to keep them fed, clothed and such, since your beloved state wouldn’t help them — I’m a bat-shit insane, heartless miser?

            Man. Your world is really ugly, dude.

            1. Do you also morally condemn your unemployed friends for being insufficiently productive?

              Because if you do not carry this Randian condescension, how then do you justify leaving behind all those other poor people who don’t have such generous benefactors?

          3. I’m a full-blodded Libertarian and I give thousands and thousands to the poor in my city via private organizations. It’s just the right thing to do. But giving my money to Washington just so some bureaucrat can send it back to my city to help the poor (after taking a 6-figure cut) is stupid and wasteful.

            1. This. I prefer to give directly. When I can’t, I give to private charity. I believe in helping people — individuals — first. Somehow, I manage to do this more than any liberal I know, on top of paying an absurd number of taxes for continually failing programs.

              1. Agreed. Being a Libertarian is like being sending your kid to private school. You pay for tuition and are taxed to support public schools. This whole idea that Libertarians hate the poor is what’s bat shit insane.

                1. You’re right, it is better described as “loving yourself.”

              2. I’ve found that if you do some research and meet (or actually work) with a few local charities, you can find a tax-deductible organization that has a worthy mission, negligible overhead, and a very strong ethic on getting your money’s worth. But it’s taken about 20 years of living in the same town to find the right charitable organizations.

                Before that, I gave to the types of charities that United Way supported. For a while, I gave directly to United Way, but that was a long, long time ago before all of its scams were discovered. However, the national and international charities tend to have have bureaucrat bloat and questionable performance on getting value for money.

                Governments suck at efficiently doing anything worthwhile, thogh they, too, sometimes succeed at their mission. But if one considers the opportunity cost of government, its performance is appalling. Of course, governments also suck at even doing things that are not worthwhile.

            2. That’s nice, but you are the exception. Studies have shown that libertarian’s are actually (who would have guessed) pretty miserly. It is religious people (on both left and right) who are generous.

                1. Come on, is anyone not familiar with Arthur Brook’s books around here?

              1. And Gobbler: since you claim that you give “thousands and thousands”, am I safe in presuming you are fairly wealthy?

                Now, we can assume the first $10,000 or so in taxes you pay actual is not charity at all, as it is buying YOUR share of government services. But the taxes you pay beyond that point are, indeed, a form of charity. Now, does your private charity match your taxes paid in excess of 10k? Probably not.

                Private charity is far too small to solve the problems we have.

                1. “I safe in presuming you are fairly wealthy?”

                  Yes. Inherited 19th century railroad derived wealth from 19th century grandfather.

                  “Private charity is far too small to solve the problems we have.”

                  [citation needed]

                  1. So you ARE giving away someone else’s money. Must be rough.

                    As I noted below, charitable donations are some $300 billion a year in the US. This wouldn’t even put a dint the budgets for things like Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, public education, unemployment and welfare, HUD, etc.

                2. Now, we can assume the first $10,000 or so in taxes you pay actual is not charity at all, as it is buying YOUR share of government services.

                  Break this down for me. If nothing was withheld, it would take me four and a half months to even make $10,000 to even be capable of paying (and yet I still oppose the level of taxation put on people who make far more, but that’s another matter).

                  At my level, I pay virtually nothing because I make virtually nothing. If your figure is correct and applies across the board (i.e. $10,000 in taxes is what any person pays for government services, not just someone with as much as The Gobbler), that would mean I’m somehow stealing the equivalent of four months of time every year from other taxpayers, so I’d sure like to know how since that’s a horrifying prospect.

              2. After all, libertarians can’t possibly be religious!

                Wait, what was that about simplistic freshman logic? Nice to see you’re holding on to it as a memento.

                1. A small percentage are religous, but generally, the mindsets are rather contradictory.

              3. Cite your sources. My anecdotal evidence might hold little weight, though I would happily give you my name, address and let you come and see it in action, but your simple claim is (so far) just a statement.

                1. Wanna bone?

              4. “That’s nice, but you are the exception”

                [citation needed]

                1. Btw, guys, total charitiable donations in the US run about $300 billion a year, or $1000 per person. This is FAR short of the need.

                  It is true that if the government lowered taxes, this would go up somewhat…but not manyfold, which is what is required to replace the gap such a policy would create.

                  1. uh it might have something to do with the fact that the state takes quite a bit in the form of taxes. examine your bullshit before you spew it please.

                  2. I’m glad you’re omniscient enough to save us all the trouble of trying to be good to people, instead of paying the salaries of bureaucrats, Chad.

                  3. It is true that if the government lowered taxes, this would go up somewhat.

                    If the government lowered taxes, the poor would pay less in taxes, especially the indirect taxes, and would therefore need less charity.

                    1. Not to mention that lowering taxes is only one aspect of making the economy more productive. Lowering the barriers to entry for new businesses, reducing onerous licensing fees (I’ve worked on several videos with the Institute for Justice on these issues recently), lowering tariffs and generally doing a number of things that actually encourage real economic growth would contribute significantly to an increase in general employment and a lowering of the cost of living… Thus making that $300 Billion Chad pretends is basically useless (and by the way $300 Billion is almost 40% of the Medicare budget… A bit more than a “dint”, isn’t it?) far more meaningful.

                    2. Citation, please, Sean.

                      As I noted, the correlation between states and economic performance is actually the REVERSE of what you believe it should be, and on the international level, is pretty much a shot-gun blast.

                      Your only “evidence” is to whine about extremes like the USSR, while failing to note that the opposite extreme (anarchy) fails as well.

                    3. Are you kidding me Chad? There is evidence all over the goddamn world for what I said above.

                      Why do we even do this anymore? Are the rampant examples of heavy handed, high tax states like the one I live in vs. lower tax, more free market states not enough? Are the examples of nations that are more economically liberal kicking the ever-loving shit out of the ones that aren’t not obvious enough for you?

                      Is your head EVER not up your ass?

                  4. It is true that if the government lowered taxes, this would go up somewhat…but not manyfold, which is what is required to replace the gap such a policy would create.

                    The rest of the money returned to its owners would, of course, just sit moldering in a pile somewhere.

                  5. The fundamental flaw here is the assumption that private charity would need the exact same level of public charity to work effectively. The hallmark of government programs is administrative costs which exceed programmatic funding.

              5. That part there where you made it seem like the religious occupy equal proportions of the left and the right was pretty sneaky. Especially when Brooks’ research shows a huge disparity between charitable contributions between the left and the right because of religious affiliation.

                1. If you interpreted it that way, I am sorry. Religous people are more generous than secular people, and of course, the right contains most religious people. However, religous liberals are much more generous than secular conservatives, which includes most libertarians. Of course, these are very loose statistics with more exceptions than one could count.

                  In any case, the ~$300 billion in private charity is far short of what it would take. We spend more than that on Medicare alone.

                  1. But that’s not a fair comparison. Charitable giving decreases as taxation increases.

                    1. Yes, but not very much. Imagine our total tax rate dropped from ~30% to 5% (just enough to fund a weak military, cops, courts, and a minimal legislature and diplomatic core). That would mean take-home incomes would rise by 36%. Ignoring the bizarre fact that donations actually *drop* as a portion of income as incomes rise

                      http://www.mcclatchydc.com/200…..erous.html

                      this would imply donations would increase from $300B to a bit over $400B. Right about enough to cover Medicare….and that is it.

              6. Come ON you friggin’ troll enablers! Get a life!

                1. I’m starting to wonder if trolling isn’t what you’re doing. Shut up, already.

              7. It is religious people (on both left and right) who are generous.

                Well it certainly isn’t lefty liberals, because they are never generous or liberal except with someone else’s money.

                1. Plenty of lefty liberals donate lots of money…you should know better than to generalize from weak correlations.

          4. “I am a recovering libertarian.” and a liar. There are no “recovering libertarians.” There are people claim they were once libertarian and changed when they grew up. People may grow up from being a leftist or a rightest into becoming libertarian, but no one ever goes the other way. If they claim they did, then they were never really libertarians, whatever they may say.

            1. I don’t know if I can agree with a ‘never’, because there are always cases where there are exceptions to any rule, and this is more opinion.

              But I do know that I have been on the left and on the right, and neither ever felt proper. I didn’t even know there was something called a libertarian, but that’s what I was. I think I believed too much in the power of an individual to be on the left or the right.

            2. Do you want me to get some personal references from my old friends that will indeed testify that I was a Randian lunatic back in my freshman days?

              Then I grew up. I can only pray you see the light someday, too. You might start by leaving the echo chamber.

              1. Those would be nice. Now tell me, Chad… sincerely, tell me, what made you change your mind? What did you see, that made you think liberalism and big-government was the answer?

                I came from a cesspit. I lived in the city of Youngstown, which is a liberal playground. Pro-government, pro-socialist, pro-taxation, anti-business. And I got to see exactly what decay, heartbreak and sorrow that lead to.

                1. That’ll do it.

                2. What made me change my mind? The real world. Specifically:

                  1: The observation that free markets never can, never have, and never will exist. All that exists are variants of cronyism.

                  2: Coming to the understanding of the many flaws in real markets that would make them fail even if they were “free”. Externalized costs (and benefits), agency, game theory, etc.

                  3: The realization of how loosely one’s success in life is related to things you control. At best, life is half luck, probably more.

                  4: Coming to understand the mountain of data that shows that what whatever kernals of economic truth underlie libertarianism are in fact meaningless in the real world. For example, the states with the *highest* tax rates have the *highest* incomes, despite your theory predicting 100% totally the reverse. There are countless variations on this theme, where libertarianism predicts one thing, and either the data is the complete opposite, or the plot looks like a shot-gun blast with no obvious relation either way.

                  5: The realization that people make not only stupid choices, but repeated, predictable ones which can be mitigated.

                  6: The realization that in fact, governments do things darned well some times. Our health care system, for example, is living proof that crony capitalism does not always defeat governments (and remember, there is NO OTHER FORM of capitalism, except in your wet dreams).

                  7: The realization that libertarianism has no realistic solution for many problems, such as environmental issues. Seriously, the only response you guys give is lawsuits, as if everyone on earth suing everyone else on earth is either desirable or possible.

                  Oh, I could go on all day, but I got to hit the gym.

                  1. At the risk of making a too long post:

                    1: The observation that free markets never can, never have, and never will exist. All that exists are variants of cronyism.

                    Agreed. The problem is that government tends to exacerbate cronyism.

                    2: Coming to the understanding of the many flaws in real markets that would make them fail even if they were “free”. Externalized costs (and benefits), agency, game theory, etc.

                    While I don’t fully understand your point, I think I understand some of it. What I fail to see is where government over the long-term has done anything to reverse the stated problems – most of the research points to government merely creating new flavors of the same problems at best or institutionalizing the same problems at worst. No libertarian thinks government is all bad, but a success rate of 25% isn’t enough to place complete faith in the institution.

                    3: The realization of how loosely one’s success in life is related to things you control. At best, life is half luck, probably more.

                    I tend to agree, it is the exact reason why I don’t think government is a very effective approach to controlling in order to create desired outcomes. It is contradictory to think life is more happenstance than not and yet think government can actual control things to create desired outcomes.

                    4: Coming to understand the mountain of data that shows that what whatever kernals of economic truth underlie libertarianism are in fact meaningless in the real world. For example, the states with the *highest* tax rates have the *highest* incomes, despite your theory predicting 100% totally the reverse. There are countless variations on this theme, where libertarianism predicts one thing, and either the data is the complete opposite, or the plot looks like a shot-gun blast with no obvious relation either way.

                    This is incoherent without concrete examples. Regardless, libertarians generally don’t promise riches, they promise freedom. I’d agree that libertarian theories that claim otherwise are suspect. Again, I am sure there are libertarians in sheep’s clothing, but that does not mean the only practical choice is external control.

                    5: The realization that people make not only stupid choices, but repeated, predictable ones which can be mitigated.

                    It is self-contradictory to hold such a belief on one hand and to believe in democracy and the value of voting on the other. Mitigation of an individual’s repeated stupid choice can be handles with charity; mitigation of a business’s repeated stupid choices is handled by going out of business. Is one to believe that governments do not make repeated stupid mistakes? Voting and “the market” are essentially the same thing, except that in the market, an individual can usually mitigate his mistake much sooner than he can mitigate his mistaken vote.

                    6: The realization that in fact, governments do things darned well some times. Our health care system, for example, is living proof that crony capitalism does not always defeat governments (and remember, there is NO OTHER FORM of capitalism, except in your wet dreams).

                    I agree government sometimes do things well. The US has a good real property title system and good drinking water. Libertarianism is not anarchism. The rest of your point is incoherent.

                    7: The realization that libertarianism has no realistic solution for many problems, such as environmental issues. Seriously, the only response you guys give is lawsuits, as if everyone on earth suing everyone else on earth is either desirable or possible.

                    On concrete environmental issues you are correct, indeed it is probably the only reason governments came into existence in the first place. Clean drinking water and communicable disease are the types of things where nature compels people to cooperate to a degree. It does not follow that abstract environmental concepts like endangered species and climate change have any real effectiveness when handed over to centralized governments – the goals are simply too vague and unmeasurable – in fact it is just such abstract goals that breeds the cronyism you so detest.

                    1. This is incoherent without concrete examples. Regardless, libertarians generally don’t promise riches, they promise freedom

                      You promise negative freedom. In contrast, you disbelieve entirely in positive freedoms, and sell them for nothing. Unfortunately, this is a critical mistake, because they really do matter.

                      To a libertarian, a lone man starving on a desert island is more free than a Wall Street tycoon. And since maximizing freedom is your “promise”, your utopia would wind up a lot more like the former than the latter.

                    2. Just a thought…

                      “You who prattle that morality is social and that man would need no morality on a desert island?it is on a desert island that he would need it most. Let him try to claim, when there are no victims to pay for it, that a rock is a house, that sand is clothing, that food will drop into his mouth without cause or effort, that he will collect a harvest tomorrow by devouring his stock seed today?and reality will wipe him out, as he deserves; reality will show him that life is a value to be bought and that thinking is the only coin noble enough to buy it.”

                      -Rand

                    3. There is no such thing as positive freedom, Chad. It can’t be done.

                  2. 4: Coming to understand the mountain of data that shows that what whatever kernals of economic truth underlie libertarianism are in fact meaningless in the real world. For example, the states with the *highest* tax rates have the *highest* incomes, despite your theory predicting 100% totally the reverse.

                    That’s exactly what I would expect, actually.

                    If the taxes came first, I would expect workers demanding higher incomes in order to offset the higher taxes, and employers granting higher incomes in order to be able to find help.

                    If the high incomes came first, I would expect the governments to see a great deal of potential benefit and power in those incomes and so work to raise the taxation on them.

                    1. I would also expect to see the highest rates of unemployment, and the highest rates of entrepreneurial exodus from those states because paying employees more and more is unfeasible for most businesses.

                      And gosh… Hello California!

                    2. Of course the states with the highest pre/tax incomes have the highest taxes. They also have the highest cost of living too. A good comparison is Houston and LA, similar cities, but LA is way more expensive.
                      This is because taxes and government spending both raise prices.

                      60k a year in Houston is the same as 95k a year in Los Angeles. http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools…..iving.html

                  3. Chad, what did you see? Not just in terms of abstract data and theory, but have you ever seen liberalism working in fabulous manners?

                    I have seen what liberalism, socialism, the notion that government is there to bring about social equality has done. I saw it up close, and personal, in a world where I had to pay a large amount of money for the privilege of living in a city where I had my truck stolen, broken into twice more, had to answer the door with a gun and had to put up with all manners of social injustice, all in the name of government-based equality.

                    No amount of programs saved Youngstown, and no amount will. Show me one city that is safe and solvent, and is primarily liberal.

                    1. Steff, I have lived in both Europe (non-PIIGS, btw) and Japan, both of which have already adopted many of the policies I support, quite successfully. For example, Japan’s transit system makes us look like a banana republic. It is cheaper, more convenient, more reliable, and far cleaner than anything we could dream of here. And the evil socialist country where I lived in Europe has an unemployment rate around half of ours, worker productivity and per capita gdp near ours, and generally a much more pleasant lifestyle.

                      Funny, the one time I had my truck broken in to, I was living in the ‘burbs.

                    2. Here in the USA, Chad. We can never be Japan, nor Europe. Not without tearing down our entire nation and rebuilding it from the very foundation.

                      Tell me, where here in the US?

                    3. We tear down and rebuild most of our infrastructure every few decades. Let’s get it right this time. Our auto-based culture is expensive, filthy, ugly and unhealthy. And despite the claims of wing-nuts who have never left the country, a good public transportation system offers MORE freedom than cars. For example, my fiancee and I, when abroad, can go out and get smashed together…and still get home. That is all but impossible here in the ‘burbs, because one of us has to drive. Or consider, for example, all those too young or old to drive. The public transit system in Japan makes it possible for middle and high school aged children to access dozens of schools, and choose the one that best suits them. Here, even if we have “school choice”, transportation issues often make it moot. Likewise, the elderly in Japan are far healthier than Americans, and I am absolutely certain one reason for this is that little old ladies can wobble their way down to the station and head to town each day to meet their friends or see the doctor or whatever, while similar people here, like my grandmother, are trapped in their homes unless a kind relative stops by to take them somewhere.

                    4. I live in the middle of nowhere now (after a long stint in Youngstown) — no one’s going to bring rail service here. I’ve driven (yes) all over this nation, to places well out of the way of public transit, and most of this nation simply isn’t compatible with rail service in today’s society.

                      I fully would love to see more public transit in any major urban center and suburbs around it, but complaining about the auto-culture is complaining about most of America, to whom rail service cannot possibly get them to work or get them to where they need to go. My nearest doctor is eight miles. My rheumatologist is more like twenty.

                      And I’d also like those urban centers, with public transit, to have the benefits of actual competition, not a monopoly by government. They’d be a Hell of a lot cheaper. D’you know what my Canadian girlfriend pays for transport every month? And in taxes on top of it?

                    5. I don’t know how much your gf pays for transport, but it is unlikely to be more than what it takes to own, maintain, and fuel a car. When I lived in Japan around 2005, my transportation budget was $150/month. That’s barely gas money here, let alone the $200 average payment (~$400 half the time or so), $75 in insurance, $150 in gas, and $50 in maintenance you pay each month for each car.

                      One thing you should consider is that public transit CAUSES the density that it requires. If we had a good system, most things would be built near the stations. For example, if you go to the hills overlooking Osaka, Japan, you can literally SEE the main subway lines, because the development follows them. Most Americans already live near the costs or along a couple other density corridors. No, we aren’t going to have a HSR to Bismark. But we can easily have one running from NYC to Chicago (and Boston, and Miami), and good transit in all these cities.

                    6. The notion that it’d work for a nation the size of the US, though, is flawed. Even in Russia, which has fair rail service still, people have to drive to reach a whole lot of areas by virtue of the sheer size of the country. In Canada, which has a healthy public transit system (though ridiculously expensive in many ways), outside of urban centers, people have to drive.

                      There’s no way to actually make rail or bus the primary mode of transport in a nation of this size and diversity. I’m actually a big fan of rail, and would like to see more passenger train service between cities (by more than stinking AmTrak, dammit — let the big freight boys pick it up again if it’s viable, and smaller regional lines), but I still can’t see how our auto culture isn’t the most efficient way to handle the nation at this time. Japan is a small, small country by comparison. Canada’s more reasonable, for comparisons — and they still rely on cars, in addition to planes and trains.

                    7. It doesn’t need to work for “the entire US”. It only needs to cover the vast majority, who live along the coasts and a couple other major corridoors such as NYC-Chicago.

                      Btw, the Japanese rail system is PROFITABLE and largely PRIVATE. Sounds like a libertarian dream, don’t you think? But it is a chicken-and-egg problem, as each line makes the ones it connects to more valuable, resulting in a situation where profitability is not reached until the scale is very large.

                      Another factoid: both the US road system and the US “public transportation” system get about half of their revenue from general taxes, and half from the fare box, gas and excise taxes, registration fees, etc. If you have the crazy idea that the road system pays for itself with directly-related taxes, you are simply wrong.

                    8. When I lived in Japan around 2005, my transportation budget was $150/month.

                      One thing you should consider is that public transit CAUSES the density that it requires.

                      How much did you pay for living space per square foot?

                    9. Rents are similar in Japan and the US. You just buy less space, and spend more time at work and/or out and about. Roughly, Japanese tend to live in places half the size we do.

                      Because I chose to live in a very small space (and do nothing but sleep and shower there), my rent was actually only $350/month, utilities included. Oh, and this was in a major city that you have heard of.

                      Compared to the US, where I spend ~$1000/month on a standard suburban 2-bedroom apartment (including utilities), and spend ~$700 a month on my car (which is new, so I have a payment), I was ahead over $1000 a month in Japan when it came to these to facets of my budget. It bought a shit-ton of beer, travel, and good times, and kept me so busy that I was never home long enough to be bothered by the fact that my entire apartment there would fit in my bedroom here.

                    10. ‘Our auto-based culture is expensive, filthy, ugly and unhealthy.’

                      You realize that Japan is also an auto based culture? The trains don’t move around the majority of human traffic… automobiles do that.

                    11. Luckily, Reason doesn’t have a “pay-per-comma” policy.

                  4. Chad, you may have been a Randian, but it’s just possible that you never really got very deep into libertarian philosophy to understand that there are, in fact answers to most of the issues you list.

                    They just aren’t the kinds of things that get discussed in Freshman year objectivist clubs.

                  5. Don’t get mad at Chad. He makes libertarianism out to be anarcho-capitalism. Chad, this is known as a strawman argument. Quoting Chad: “There’s nowhere in the world capitalism exists without cronyism! Therefore, capitalism CAUSES cronyism! There’s no capitalism without cronyism! You guys are just dreaming!! Why doesn’t mommy love me?!” Chad, this is known as correlation not implying causation. For example, what if there was another variable here responsible for cronyism? Hmm.. what could that be? Could powerful cronies created by systemic government invention be the culprit? Nah, too logical. Political cronyism co-exists with private ownership of capital everywhere in the world. Therefore, it’s convenient for someone who dislikes personal and economic freedom to blame that freedom for problems actually caused by the political elite. But of course, that’s why you must use your strawman (aka the “simplistic freshman logic” you project on others). Otherwise, anyone remotely sane would argue that less powerful government cronies equal a more productive output from free markets in the vast majority of the world’s current mixed economies.

              2. Existing in echo chambers is bad, I agree, but intentionally trolling the other side is not only counterproductive but a great way to turn people off to your rhetoric.

                1. I think Chad believes that we don’t read other sites. I do, though; I read from the left, the right, the center and then I come back to Reason because no shit, there ARE good arguments here. And recipes. And sometimes comments that make me spit my drink out all over my monitor laughing.

                  This isn’t an echo chamber. This is one place I’ve found where people do disagree, even if they’re both libertarians, because they have different views. Man, try finding that on HuffPo, or Kos, or Malkin.

                  1. Jeez, even if it is an echo chamber, we libertarians live the rest of our actual lives outside the echo chamber. We spend 99% of our time being blasted by all shades of totalitarian thought. I can hardly hear myself think in the first place, let alone an echo.

              3. Randian lunatic back…

                Lunatic…there’s your problem.

              4. Randians – by their own self-ascribed definition – aren’t libertarians. Duh.

          5. It seems that Chad equates libertarianism with an narcissistic extreme of Randian objectivism.

            At least he admits that his understanding of libertarianism is limited to the strawman of “simplistic freshman logic” constructed by its detractors.

          6. Lol, show us proof, Sir Chadley of DumbFuckIngTon. You have never had the logic and reason to even think about being a Libertarian.

          7. How fuck is what you do with other people’s money any indication of “miserliness”, jackass? There no sacrifice being asked on your part — just one principle set against another.

          8. How’s Michigan doing, by the way?

          9. How’s Michigan doing, by the way?

      3. If i recall Milton Friedman called for ending all social programs and just have the government give everyone a $10,000 a year salary.

      4. That’s right, Chad, because we believe in giving our OWN money, voluntarily, to the poor. Giving someone elses’ money to the poor is like walking into a strangers’ home and raiding the refrigerator for sandwich components.

  2. Converting Kinsley would be a coup, but don’t count on it. He’s too sophisticated to become evangelical about your silly little cult.

    1. Give it up, dude.
      Grow some balls and find a handle you want to keep.
      If you can’t find a reason to disagree, then either leave, or join us. First posted (today!) 5/21/10

      1. I see what you’re doing here. I like it.

      2. When you feed a troll, 40 Haitians die.

        1. But I though that quake was Depak Chopra’s fault.

          1. We all know it was my cleavage.

            1. We all know it was my cleavage.

              Proof, infidel!

              fap
              fap
              fap

              1. Sadly, Reason doesn’t allow image linking. XD

            2. Now that one definitely needs a (photo) citation.

              1. Since Steff is from Youngstown and there are a lot of heavyset people in Ohio and heavyset women generally have ample cleavage, I am going to play the odds and just take her word for it and not ruin the image with the potential reality.

                jk…I’m originally from Canton so I felt the need for a little bit of a dig.

                1. Actually, I’m not quite heavy-set. 😉 I’m 5’9″, I’m a bit more of an amazon.

                  And while my cleavage isn’t huge, I still firmly believe it set off that earthquake. The muslims said so. Such a proud, principled people would never, ever lie about such things, nooooo, in the name of paternalism and hatred.

  3. Somebody with far more internet skills than I should research if the websites supporting the party out of power link to Reason.com more than they do when the they’re in power.

    I suspect that GOP or right leaning sites link to Reason.com more often since Obama was elected and Dem or left leaning sites linked here more often when they were on the outside looking in.

    1. A reasonable hypothesis, but it will never get funding for research.

  4. It would be nice to be hated for what one actually believes, rather than the completely fabricated fantasies of TEAM RED TEAM BLUE partisan goosestepping morons who can only project the perceived evilness of their TEAM RED TEAM BLUE opponents onto libertarians.

    1. See how selfish you libertardians are? You can’t ever think about our petty schemes or our mendacious narratives. It’s always me, me, me! Learn about our beliefs! Stop making things up about us!

    2. “TEAM BLUE” projects the evilness of libertarians on “TEAM RED” rather than the other way around.The left blamed Bush for the financial crisis because of his purported radical free-market, regulation-gutting, laissez faire, pure-capitalist ways.
      They understand and truly hate libertarians.There is no common “liberaltarian” ground with collectivists. I think the only statist political faction more opposed to liberty is communitarian centrists as they consider most of the left and right to be useful idiots while hating and fearing the extreme right(which to most everyone, excepting some libertarians, includes libertarians).

      1. I am practically a Bolshevik these days and I don’t hate you or any other libertarians.

        I do, however, find the blanket “all liberals think” assertions tiresome.

        1. A Bolshevik eh? Hmmm, “worker” revolutions and communism have such a glorious track record why wouldn’t anyone be? Clearly collectivism is the savior of humanity and anyone who doesn’t think so needs to be put up against the wall.

  5. You cock suckers would love to be noticed enough to be hated.

    1. How does that explain you? 😉

    2. Read much?

    3. Give it up, dude.
      Grow some balls and find a handle you want to keep.
      If you can’t find a reason to disagree, then either leave, or join us. First posted (today!) 5/21/10

      1. Troll-feeders = scum.

      2. Why did I have to die?

  6. Only half?

    If the Tea Party is anything close to libertarian it will lose half of its supporters after the first invitation.

  7. I 100 % dislike abortion. New gentics , a new person! Know that if i had an enclosed back yard,sometimes taken off of the clothes(no strangers). If stomach pains from hep, bring over the half of grass to eat. Let the in love youth christians have sex relations. Fire all uncaring or maybe unhelpful politicans. Thank you. Abortion is wrong. Rom 12:2. rom 3:23 kjvz and forgiveness. Rev 12:9.

    1. Dude. Whatever you’re smoking, I want some.

    2. After reading this, I’ve decided not to kill myself after all.

      Thank you, insane andy t. Jesus 1!!

      1. I, on the other hand, read it and took a bottle of sleeping pills with a pint of vodka, so it’s a wash at best.

        1. i think andy t did too. he just was able to get to the keyboard before nodding off.

    3. Huh???

    4. I’m not sure why, because I’m not sure what you just said, but this post strikes some sort of primal fear inside me.

      Or maybe that’s a contact high, I don’t know.

  8. I’m befuddled by the perception that libertarians are trying to cling to the past. Sure, there are a few Ron Paul followers who cling to the Constitution, but for the most part I see libertarianism as a really futuristic, forward-looking framework for the interconnected digital age. Anyone else with me on that?

    1. That doesn’t fit with the Program or Talking Points!

      Move along, nothing to see here….

    2. Sure, there are a few Ron Paul followers who cling to the Constitution

      It would be nice if our government did.

  9. Why do libertarians identify with the Tea Partiers when they are big fans of SS and Medicare? I’d be willing to bet they are big on defense spending too.

    1. Why are you assuming all libertarians do? And why are you assuming that we’re incapable of agreeing with some people on some points, but not necessarily all points?

      That’s the problem with just about everyone in politics right now — they all forget that you can be an individual, and have individual opinions.

    2. Who here identifies with the Tea Partiers? Seriously?

      1. I’m just pissed they co-opted my Gadsden flag.

      2. I am a libertarian and I do. We have to find coalitions for stuff we want to achieve politically.

  10. “…give poor people enough money to live decently…”

    Um, no…

    1. May as well give them enough money to live as well as prison inmates, otherwise some of them will commit serious crimes and get caught in order to improve their quality of life.

      Alternatively, we could just let people commit themselves to prison for a sentence voluntarily.

  11. I wonder what effect Reason’s “Draw Mohammed Day” celebration will have on the perception of libertarians as immature brats.

    1. You’re begging for a “Draw Tulpa Day”, dude ?

      1. If the worst I get is a pipe, Where’s Waldo, and connect the dots, bring it on bring it on bring it on!

        1. Good point.

        2. In tonight’s illustrated episode of The Confederacy of Dunces, the big fat guy who lives with his momma will be played by Tulpa . . .

          Yeah, like Nick and Matt picked the cream of the crop there buddy.

    2. Your offending me. Stop it.

    3. Possibly the same perception people get of Islam and its reaction to depictions of same.

      1. You mean the perception that they are politically powerful enough that they can threaten death with impunity?

    4. I IS TULPA STOPS HAVING FUN YOU GUYS I DISAPPROVE I IS TULPA

    5. I doubt most TEAM RED TEAM BLUE partisans are sufficiently versed in art culture to grasp the Magritte reference.

      TEAM RED would probably beat us up for speaking French.

      TEAM BLUE would probably beat us up for advertising tobacco use.

    6. You’re an ignoramus. How is Reason in any way behind “Draw Mohammed Day”? That’s more along the lines of folks like Thunderfoot on Youtube. Besides, Draw Mohammed Day is a GREAT idea! It exposes the anti-free speech nature of these Islamists and shows them that we won’t tolerate their bullshit. We’re not afraid.

      How about, instead, blaming gov’ts like Pakistan, which actually BANNED sites like Facebook from Pakistani users b/c of draw mohammed day? Lol

  12. What I find amusing is all these pundits talking about The Tea Party?, The Tea Party Platform?, The Tea Party Candidates?, and so on. We’re in the middle of an spontaneous political revolt, and people still keep insisting in thinking of it in terms of old political networks and affliations. That there’s some leadership out there coordinating it. That Ron Paul and Sarah Palin, two wildly different politicians, are the two “favorite” politicians of The Tea Party? should send a clue to anyone with any sort of IQ that this is not conventional politics, and they should stop thinking of it in those terms. This is not being driven by powerful forces. It’s spontaneous order at its finest. What we’re seeing is a product of the Internet spilling out onto the real world, and the pundits on both sides have no idea what the hell is going on. Hence the usage of old, increasingly archaic terms. If anything, we should be thinking of the Tea Party? as an IRC channel, not a political affliation.

    1. Now get off your asses, find who’s in charge of this goddamn Tea Party thing, and take him out!

    2. Well said Nino…The Tea Party movement has been over analyzed and dissected by every political mouthpiece with a pulse over and over again, and NONE of them ever seem to understand WHY these rallies are happening.

      It’s the spending, stupid.

      It’s also ridiculous to argue that TPP’s are illogical for wanting to keep Medicare and SS yet still lower taxes and reduce government spending. The two are hardly mutually exclusive, or at least they SHOULDN’T be.

      1. Yes! And it bears repeating:

        It’s the spending, stupid.

        It’s the spending, stupid.

        It’s the spending, stupid.

    3. That Ron Paul and Sarah Palin, two wildly different politicians, are the two “favorite” politicians of The Tea Party?

      Wildly different? Before her selection by Mccain Palin was best known outside Alaska as an up-and-coming “libertarian-leaning” pol with principles.Ron Paul supports jury nullification too doesn’t he?

      1. Now yer thinkin’ outside the bun!

        Or something?

    4. SPONTANEOUS ORDER?

      You mean like…. markets? No wonder the left doesn’t believe in it.

      You mean like…. evolution? No wonder the right doesn’t believe in it.

  13. If we wanted to, we could radically reduce the scope of government?defend the country, give poor people enough money to live decently, and leave it at that. But this isn’t the TPP vision. The TPP vision is that you can keep your Medicare benefits and balance the budget by ending congressional earmarks, and perhaps the National Endowment for the Arts.

    True, but I think you could educate the Tea Partiers to it.
    The Tea Partiers are incoherent merely because they havn’t been exposed to a coherent philosophy.

    Which honestly, the mainstream D’s and R’s don’t have either. They’re both kind of a collection of single issue positions without a unifying framework, except maybe some kind of degenerate Marxism for the progressives.

    1. I think (if you want to call this a defense of Kinsley, then… ok) he means that if you did expose them to a coherent philosophy, they’d lose half their members.

    2. I think the Tea Partiers on the right are probably trainable, or usable, provided they can stay on the anti-big-government track, and keep away from the social stuff.

    3. pragmatism is pretty coherent in a scary tyrannical sort of way.

    4. The real reason that Libertarian prospects are limited and any power we have is to affect the political zeitgeist is our principles are not conducive to patronage, nor the development of patronage systems. As Hazel points out, there isn’t a consistent frame work with the ‘D’s and ‘R’s, but merely two systems of patronage where outsiders are viewed as a threat to the flow of money and power. We are what ‘liberals’ would be if they had not been seduced by the God of Mammon by the easy seduction of power and prestige as means to their ends. So, they either ignore us, or they hate us to an obsessive level of intensity in the case of a Char or Tony for reminding them of what they have lost.

      1. comma after Mammon, ‘r’ to ‘d’ for Char.

        1. I said that aloud and a portal to Heck opened up.

          I didn’t go through but I did grab a brochure.

          1. Nicely played, fellow Crowleyite. Never been to Heck. I can recommend Zin though. If you ever have consumed so much LSD in a period of a few weeks, and your serotonin levels drop to nil, it’s pretty much the same thing, and quite nice.

      2. there isn’t a consistent frame work with the ‘D’s and ‘R’s, but merely two systems of patronage where outsiders are viewed as a threat to the flow of money and power.

        You hit the nail on the head here. To the extent that the D’s and R’s still have principles, those principles merely function as rhetoricals methods of attracting votes. And often the rhetoric is just a thin disguise for appeals to particular groups.

        For example, much of the D’s lefty talk is really just shout-outs to issues that unions care about, like card check. Hardly anyone even bothers to speak in pure philosophical terms any more. They just run down a laundry list of talking points aimed at specific narrow interests.

        1. To add: I think perhaps part of the appeal of the Tea Parties is that people are gradually waking up to the realization that the two-party system is just a couple of big patronage networks. While the Tea Partiers seem to be the only people out there objecting to it.

          And then when you see that there’s no coherent philosophy on either side, at least not one that they actually adhere to in a meaningful way, you start looking around for who *does* have a coherent philosophy.

          In this respect, libertarians are the only game left. We’re the only group that actually has a cosistent set of phinciples.

          1. So the TP plan is to split off the right wing of the Republicans, and force any sane conservatives to start a third party?

  14. “But this isn’t the TPP vision. The TPP vision is that you can keep your Medicare benefits and balance the budget by ending congressional earmarks, and perhaps the National Endowment for the Arts”

    I guess I missed the coronation ceremony where Kinsley was crowned as the official judge of what the Tea Party is all about.

    1. You sure did. It was awesome. They had cake.

  15. If pointing out that the Tea Party is full of non-libertarian asshats who just want a slightly different big government than the one we have now is a fatwa, then fatwa away.

    1. You misread. The first link (summary: libertarians are the unruly teenage children of the progressive state) was called a “fatwa”, while Kinsley’s article was presented as an example of liberals who were (blasphemously, according to the first article) treating libertarians with a degree of respect rather than as dangerously insane or backwoods racists.

  16. The TPP vision is that you can keep your Medicare benefits and balance the budget by ending congressional earmarks, and perhaps the National Endowment for the Arts.

    He kind of has a point.

    1. not a TPP, but wouldn’t that make more sense than to have both? i think everyone can agree that if you ABSOLUTELY had to either cut NEA/Pet Projects or medical care for the elderly, you would choose to cut the worthlessness that is the NEA.

      1. My problem with the whole thing is when you don’t back it up with a coherent philosophy, then you’re just cutting programs you don’t like, not cutting programs because the government shouldn’t be involved.

        That’s how you get a 1994 revolution based on “smaller government” that eventually grows into a quasi police state.

      2. No, I wouldn’t agree to that. As pointless as I think the NEA is, they are a drop in an ocean of spending profligacy. If you are serious about cutting spending, the octogenarians are gonna have to pawn up for their own damn treatments or recognize that death ain’t that bad when all you can do is mumble, shit yourself, and bitch about the soup at the local jewish deli. Let old people die… its fucking natural.

        1. Also note that the elderly are the richest demographic*, yet by raising the SS minimum age we would force all those poor elderly to eat cat food…on the streets!

          *No citation today, go find it yourself. I have to go to work, and don’t have the time.

  17. Anyone else with me on that?

    Nope. Confederacy 4 LYFE.

  18. The TPP vision is that you can keep your Medicare benefits and balance the budget by ending congressional earmarks, and perhaps the National Endowment for the Arts.

    I think he left out they would also stop bailing out banks and nationalizing car companies and would not commit economic suicide with a carbon cap and trade scheme.

    Tea partiers are no fiscal libertarians….but they are light years better then those currently running things.

    1. Until they’re in power. Then its pouring money Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, et al. All of a sudden, deficits don’t matter once they’re patrons are begging for cash. And even those that really do care about deficits as a general rule are gonna be pacified by a few stupid bones thrown to the alter of the Christian Right on gay marriage, sodomy, prayer in school, etc.

    2. Painting the contemporary political aspirations of large political movements in very broad strokes:

      The Tea Partiers aspire to restore the US to the way it was back in 1989 with a few tweaks in the political system along with the benefit, of course, of technological improvements since then. Given that the Democrats are generally hopeless, they are trying to influence Republicans to stop the growth of government. Unfortunately the Tea Partiers are susceptible to the influence to “the-US-government-is-uniquely-good-and-we-need-more-of-it” propaganda, particularly in war-related issues, from establishment Republicans.

      Ron Paul prefers to restore the US to the way is was back in 1789 plus Amendments XI-XV and XIX and XXVI (ie, no slavery or apartheid, women’s suffrage, and age 18 voting) and a few tweaks in the political system along with the vast benefits, of course, of technological improvements since then. He’s trying to sway Tea Partiers and Republicans on particular libertarian issues.

      The people running things in the US now (i.e., progressive Democrats, aka socialists) aspire to the USSR in 1921 (the end of “war communism”) but with current US levels of prosperity and no gulags or forced starvation programs in the future. WRT to technology, theirs is an incongruous amalgam of 15th century technology (windmills), 20th century technology, and magic. They are well underway in accomplishing this (except for the magic) in a Fabian sort of way.

      Establishment Republicans prefer whatever will get them elected and keep the graft flowing.

      Except for trolls who have, at best, a “simplistic freshman logic” understanding of libertarianism, everybody here understands its outline in broad strokes. When they insist upon the instant realization of their ideal, Libertarian Party purists prefer to remain a debating society. Pragmatic libertarians will usually try to influence the Republicans given that the Democrats are hopeless.

      Which is most realistic? Which is most productive? I dunno, it seems pretty hopeless.

      1. It seems pretty hopeless

        That about sums it up. I’m simply waiting for a revolution to follow the worldwide collapse of Western society, then to emerge as a dominant shaper/demogogue of that post-collapse world, assume power as an enlightened despot (Plato would be proud) ruling in the interests of libertarian goals (sans democratic republic until my power had been consolidated and institutionalized) and then hand power over to a representative libertarian minded society, kinda like a softer, non-tyrannical version of Franco in Spain.

        1. Good luck.

  19. CatoTheElder wrote:

    Libertarian Party purists prefer to remain a debating society. Pragmatic libertarians will usually try to influence the Republicans given that the Democrats are hopeless.

    One of the best posts I have ever read here. You are so spot on with this. We can use the Repubs and the Tea Party. We not only can, but we have to. This is the only way, we have to become more pragmatic, we can no longer afford to take stances like, Rand Paul is too conservative on this or that, so let’s just stay home and let the dems win another one. We are not just going to go to bed one night and wake up in a Libertarian world. It is going to be a long and bitter battle. It bothers me just as much as any Libertarian to vote for a Republican candidate that is pro small business, pro smaller government, pro lower taxes, only to hear them endorse the insane drug war. But, the time is ripe for doing more than talking, and it is going to take strategy and lots of patience.

    Of course the Dems hate Libertarians, we are devoted capitalist, and they have been taken over by socialist, our sworn enemies. Of course the entrenched Repub machine hates Libertarians, they realize that they now stand for nothing, and that void is about to be filled by real capitalist who believe in our very own constitution, with all of it’s personal liberties and advocacy of a small government controlled by the people.

    1. Why do people believe that Republicans are less hopeless than Democrats? You have a chance to sway a democrat by empirical proof that libertarianism will lead to greater prosperity.

      You are going to have a way harder time talking down a protectionist, police state loving, “the free market is good, even though I don’t have any understanding of what and actual free market is” Republican.

      Of course 95-99% of Rs and Ds are hopeless no matter what you tell them and what evidence you have, but I don’t see this whole fantasy about thinking that Republicans are better.

      I guess my anger has to do with hating people who claim to believe things you believe and are utterly and transparently full of shit than those who just openly disagree with me.

      1. ‘You have a chance to sway a democrat by empirical proof that libertarianism will lead to greater prosperity’

        The newest fad growing in the dems is that societal prosperity and economic growth is bad.

  20. Here is a way to help get more people to hate libertarians by raising their profiles.
    I was shocked to that Everybody Draw Mohammed day was taken over by those protesting for censorship.. with no rallies to point to celebrating the spirit of free speech I know obviously this isn’t government censorship, but its still a chance to teach the general principles behind the importance of freedom of speech and religion. Last I checked, the Everybody Draw Mohammed page had disappeared from facebook.. but the page for those against it was till there.

    So I’ve been stuck hunting around the net finding people to alert to create a day of rallies in support of free speech.

    So:

    Announcing Show Mohammed Day June 3rd: Rallys in Celebration of Freedom of Speech & Religion.
    I hadn’t expected much to come of Everybody Draw Mohammed Day once the instigator
    canceled it and there was no organized effort for rally’s in support of it. Little did I know there were so many in favor of censorship
    that would arise and capture the day instead. I’d planned to to announce the new event yesterday on the wall of the
    Everybody Draw Mohammed day facebook page.. only to discover when I was ready that it had disappeared. I thought it would be back
    today but since it isn’t I need to find other ways to get the word out to suggest people being organizing real world rally’s in support
    of freedom of speech and religion. I was hoping you might consider helping announce and spread the word about the group.

    The facebook page is at
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/…..8857900451

    and a backup of the welcome page is at
    http://www.showmohammed.com/

    Unfortunately with the Everybody Draws Mohammed facebook page and its > 100,000 people following it perhaps having been censored.. I seem
    to be suddenly starting from scratch to find sources to spread the word.

    thanks.

    1. I drew Mohammad being sodomized by a pig, while watching South Park. Damn, I don’t see it on facebook anymore, did it get censored? Want to stop this? Vote all fascist anti-American democrats out of office.

    2. I drew Mohammad being sodomized by a pig, while watching South Park. Damn, I don’t see it on facebook anymore, did it get censored? Want to stop this? Vote all fascist anti-American democrats out of office.

    3. I drew Mohammad being sodomized by a pig, while watching South Park. Damn, I don’t see it on facebook anymore, did it get censored? Want to stop this? Vote all fascist anti-American democrats out of office.

      1. Shit, I hate double posts, not that I mind that one being posted twice. Can we get pic posting ability soon Reason? I am a web developer and have helped develop many blog and forum sites. I volunteer my services to Reason for free. I have references.

  21. I have only a 2 sentences comment on this.No i do not. Well I pay 20 dollars a week in taxes and still was guned down in a grocery store parking lot? Caring can be liberal. You are not wrong fo complaining about bullys. Counter police work is not funded in small cities a lot of times. Some people hate justice. Stop hurtful crime immediately!!! Contact gov.Fund help for poverty stricken. Abortion is wrong. A new genetics. A new person! Fund regional buses for troubled, disabled. Continue to keep true christianity legal! Let you go. Be careful. Rom 12:2. rom 3:23 kjvz. Gal 3:2.

    1. Dude, I think I am with you on this one, but I am not sure what you said.

  22. If we wanted to, we could radically reduce the scope of government ?defend the country, give poor people enough money to live decently, and leave it at that.

    Fixed.

  23. You have it all wrong, salon only hates libertarians that actually have a chance of winning the office they are running for. That is why they like Gary Johnson and his run for president, but they think Rand Paul is evil. Hypocrites. Fuck salon

    1. EXACTLY! They hate libertarianism, but wish it could siphon votes away from right winged candidate.

  24. As Plato predicted, the middle classes have revolted against liberalism, the movement of drones and artisans.

    The middle class manifesto: don’t force us to pay for you, because we’re incompatible.

    Libertarianism is this movement, and it outrages liberals as a result. It’s their undoing, and the middle classes awakening and defending themselves against guilt.

    1. Middle class: but we still want our unemployment and Medicare.

  25. So, Chad, you used to be a libertarianish type, according to your own anecdotal testimony.

    Would you mind telling us why you turned to one of the two dark sides?

    1. Please, what is wrong with you TLG?

      The only reason Chad is fabricating this “conversion” is because he thinks it adds some kind of evidence or credibility to his point-of-view.

      And even if it were true, who gives a shit about a blowhard like Chad anyway?

      1. People can still see Chad’s posts? Huh.

      2. Well, I’m curious. Lots of lefties are former non-liberals; I’d just like to know what makes them snap, mentally.

        1. I used to be a conservative, until I went insane and become a cheerleader for socialism… which I talk about on my radio and TV shows, in-between paid advertisements.

    2. As I mentioned in an earlier post: reality and your theory are in complete mismatch. You take a few kernals of truth, and extrapolate them endlessly, while ignoring others. The result is that your theory predicts many things that just don’t happen that way in the real world. You believe in a myth, which will never even be tested, let alone work.

  26. my old friends that will indeed testify that I was a Randian lunatic back in my freshman days?

    I don’t think that Randian lunatic = libertarian.

    I don’t know many people who do.

    The hostility many objectivists direct at libertarians is frequently reciprocated.

    Sounds to me more like you once believed one simplistic answer to all the ills of the world and when you saw that life was more complicated than that you settled for an equally simplistic answer to all the ills of the world.

    One that, incidentally, gives you the comfort of having a large number of people agreeing with you most of the time.

  27. I don’t give a fuck about Ayn Rand, and I never did. Why would I waste time reading her stupid books?? I always preferred Milton Friedman and others like him, who actually could SHOW that smaller gov’t and economic freedom worked, rather than just spew rhetoric. Friedman was an economist; Rand was just a polemicist who actually said selfishness is moral and totally fine. Fuck her… And fuck her stupid-ass ideology known as “Objectivism.” I can do fine on my own figuring these tough moral questions out.

    I just as easily became a libertarian, although not entirely as doctrinaire or dogmatic as some other folks here, just by looking at the evidence, studies, and just plain logic. It’s obvious that gov’t should be a lot smaller than it is now! I mean, Chad, do we REALLY need to be spending $3.72 Trillion in gov’t funds to keep the country working?

    To me, that seems a little extreme. How about $2 Trillion? Or $1.5?

  28. Almost every one of the 15 or 16 Cabinet agencies is just basically just a rent-seeking scheme devised for the special interests in that particular field: HUD, Energy, Education, etc. etc. Just give these ‘functions’ of the federal gov’t back to the states already.

    The gov’t has no business ‘ensuring’ that everyone has a house. I’m sorry, but that is NOT a right, and there are plenty of cheaper, comfortable and more affordable ways to live for the time being. This “government must make sure everyone can afford a house” bullshit has done nothing but caused a housing a crisis, significantly weakened lending standards, and forced bailouts up the wazoo at taxpayer expense. Just end this bullshit already. Fuck the “homeownership society” nonsense. Gov’t can reduce housing costs much more easily just by STRIPPING all the unnecessary regulations, such as inane zoning laws and whatnot. Houston has practically NONE of those, and it does fine!

    Obviously, federal control or direction of public education has not made it any better. If anything, it’s at least one big cause of it getting monumentally worse in this country. The DOE has got to go. States and localities can figure out how to fix education on their own much better. A one-size-fits-all approach never works.

    And much of this “green” bullshit is just THAT- BULLSHIT. Energy independence is a scam. It’s not possible in a nation as rich, consumerist or as large as the U.S. We don’t even get 1/5th of our oil from the Middle East, either! So clearly, Middle East oil is NOT “screwing up our nat’l security”, as some claim. If that were how things work, surely we’d have bigger security risks with Venezuela and Mexico. Trying to become independent when it comes to just oil is one thing; but forget about getting the U.S. OFF carbon at all. It’s not happenin.

    Sure, the libertarian solution may not work every time, but it can and will work A LOT of the time. I guarantee it. We just need to make sure the right regulations are in place, get rid of all the wrong ones that are dragging us down, bring back fiscal responsibility, and remember the federal gov’t’s true place within the framework of the Constitution.

    I mean, who says the highway system has to be FEDERAL? I’m sure the states could easily find a way to afford and deal with road construction and repair on their own within their borders, ESPECIALLY if they cut unnecessary spending, as California MUST do sooner or later.

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