Progressives

New Definition of Libertarian: A Liberal in Pain

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Matt Yglesias, previously surprisingly libertarian on occupational licensing, has a cyst turn him into a pain-relief-liberty crusader:

from a real human welfare perspective, we ought to put a lot of weight on making sure that people with chronic pain get the best treatment possible. Minimizing addiction is a fine public policy goal, but the priority should be on making sure that people with legitimate needs can get medicine.

In order to sound "reasonable" to moral monsters, Yglesias gives away the game there: The fight against "addiction" is a rich enough fantasy to feed any amount of horribly restrictive laws and actions against people using medication. (See our extensive coverage of the Richard Paey prosecution lunacy, as a paraplegic got a 25-year prison sentence in Florida, for which he was later pardoned, essentially for using too much prescribed medication–and doctors in prison realize he needs even more of it than he was arrested for taking.)

Reason's Jacob Sullum wrote the journalistic masterpiece on the topic of the insane legal war on pain meds back in our January 1997 issue.

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  1. Minimizing addiction is a fine public policy goal

    Suffer in agony you little bitch.

    1. Apparently Balko has a post up at 7:00 AM but I can’t see it even if I clear cookies. That is happening a lot on this POS site.

      1. Clearing cache seems to work. Kind of a PITA though

        1. You don’t want to read his posts at 7 am anyway.

  2. Umm I actually read the Yglesias piece and he’s making a libertarian argument. Patients should have more freedom to have pain-reducing medication. The quote you selected is, at worst, saying we should put addiction mitigation below pain relief in policy priority.

    Is reality so lacking in things to complain about that you have to make stuff up?

    1. Oh I get what you’re saying: How dare a liberal express a libertarian argument! It makes it harder to caricature him as a government loving communist.

      1. “Caricature”

        1. We liberals are NOT communists!

          But we’ll cop to the other stuff.

          1. speak for yourself, rightie.

            1. None of you so-called liberals come close. Not even that wannabe Bernie Sanders. But keep trying anyway.

      2. Clarification: I will avoid, at all costs, agreeing with any post on Reason. So when I agree with the topic, I will impute bad motives to the poster. This is because I am imminently reasonable about everything, and libertardians are insufferable crybabies.

        1. First, I tend not to comment on posts I agree with. Second, I don’t agree with Brian that Yglesias is trying to sound reasonable to moral monsters. He’s making a liberal point couched inside a libertarian one. He, like all moral people, believes that there should be a role for the public sector in healthcare. That should include treating addiction as a medical issue (which would go a long way toward fixing one of libertarianism’s primary complaints, the drug war). Even so, he places that public policy priority below that of drugs being available. He’s making a libertarian argument, and right-wing hack Doherty is tweaking him for it because he’s a pissy bitch.

          1. He, like all moral people, believes that there should be a role for the public sector in healthcare.

            Therefore libertarians are immoral. Another brilliant lesson in question begging Tony!

            That should include treating addiction as a medical issue (which would go a long way toward fixing one of libertarianism’s primary complaints, the drug war).

            You know what would really go a long way to fixing the drug war? Ending the drug war. Yeah, I’m sure making addiction centers is going to do that. Dumbass.

            He’s making a libertarian argument, and right-wing hack Doherty is tweaking him for it because he’s a pissy bitch.

            I’ll try and explain this to you, even though I don’t think I can make it any more obvious than it already is. Why is Yglesias all of a sudden making a “libertarian” argument? Is it libertarian to be liberal on everything except pain meds? Yglesias is being tweaked for being inconsistent and too dumb to realize that the same arguments he uses for pain meds applies to every other position he holds.

            1. Liberals and libertarians are in sync on the drug war. The difference is that liberals see a public role in healthcare, and therefore in addiction treatment. You’re both consistent. You both want government to stop policing drug use, but you want people to fend for themselves for that medical issue (and all others), and liberals think it’s a social issue.

              1. Liberals and libertarians are in sync on the drug war.

                Who, then, is perpetuating the drug war? Are the Democrats in congress really conservatives in blue drag?

                1. Come on. Obama promised he’d have the DEA layoff the Medical Marijuana states. He has to keep the promise too to get credit in your book?

          2. “He’s making a libertarian argument, and right-wing hack Doherty is tweaking him for it because he’s a pissy bitch.”

            You’re good at spotting prissy bitches, aren’t you?

            One wonders why.

            /snark

          3. That should include treating addiction as a medical issue (which would go a long way toward fixing one of libertarianism’s primary complaints, the drug war).

            No; you can’t treat addicts as victims while regarding their suppliers as criminals. This leads to perverse situations where you absolve the man who robs convenience stores for drug money, while you condemn the teenage who sells drugs so he and his grandmother won’t get evicted from their house.

            If you want to strip the moral dimension from the addict’s behavior, you need to do so for the supplier as well.

        2. Seriously, Tony… people on your side of the ideological rip in the fabric of space-time view self-sufficient people with disdain (and some of you use the phrase “rugged individualism” like you were describing serial child-raping murderers), and there’s a general view on the left that there’s something wrong with people who refuse to get on the dole. Your side also views successful people and successful companies with snorts of derision and sometimes outright hatred.

          And you wonder why you’re viewed as “government-loving communist[s]”.

    2. Umm I actually read the Yglesias piece and he’s making a libertarian argument.

      Do you ever read the articles?!?!

      Jesus fucking Christ. This very day Nick wrote about how republicans are not going far enough in cutting spending and now we have another reason writer, Doherty, telling left winger Yglesias that he is not going far enough to fight the drug war.

      DO YOU SEE A FUCKING TREND???

      WAKE UP!!

      Reason magazine does not write about half-assed libertarainish measures. They are actually writing about full on peddle to the metal libertarianism.

      How else would you expect Reason to react to Yglesias’s piece?

      1. to fight the drug war.

        to be more clear

        “to fight against the drug war.”

        1. It should be “so-called ‘War on Drugs'”.

          1. Or “War on (some) Drugs.”

            1. This is War.

              This is War on drugs.

      2. “pedal to the metal”

        1. give him a break, he’s towing the party lion.

          1. For full credit, you should have said “brake.”

            1. The leopard cannot change his shorts.

        2. Petal to the mettle

          1. No. Peddle to the meddle.

            1. Peddle to the mental!

            2. *sigh*

              PADDLE TO THE MIDDLE!

              1. Piddle in the muddle?

                1. No, it’s piddle in the mud hole.

      3. Reason magazine does not write about half-assed libertarainish measures.

        That’s like Richard Dawkins as characterized by South Park: that to be an atheist, you have to not only believe in God but also be an asshole.

        Maybe the blog-and-comment format exaggerates things, but it seems to me that Reason’s writers in recent times have gone off the deep end in terms of what Rothbard categorized as sectarianism: the perfect as enemy of even the very, very, very good. Reason for a very long time (albeit not including the very beginning) was just the opposite, tending to see the good in everything.

        What’s really funny is that I used to see Mr. Yglesias in Reason so often, I thought he was a fairly radical libertarian. Now it seems he gets mention almost as often, but only to say how libertarily incorrect he is.

        So…apparently any admission that “addiction” might be a phenomenon to be opposed by public policy leads to extermination camps, or at least a lot of dead dogs.

    3. Re: Tony,

      […]from a real human welfare perspective, we ought to put a lot of weight on making sure that people with chronic pain get the best treatment possible. Minimizing addiction is a fine public policy goal [???], but the priority should be on making sure that people with legitimate needs can get medicine.

      Learn to read, Tony.

    4. “the priority should be on making sure that people with legitimate needs can get medicine”

      That “legitimate needs” is the loophole that breaks the rule. Healthists with power will simply deny the legitimacy of the need of the patients they harm.

      1. This.

        You can’t have it both way. Not in the real world.

        Trying to regulate access to painkillers will torture[1] innocent patients unless your regulation is so weak that anyone can bypass them with a whim.

        [1] A word I use with malice aforethought because I have seen the results.

  3. …,we ought to…

    we?

    1. we? ?
      [wee]
      ?plural pronoun, possessive our or ours, objective us.
      1. nominative pl. of I.
      2. (used to denote oneself and another or others): We have two children. In this block we all own our own houses.
      3. (used to denote people in general): the marvels of science that we take for granted.
      4. (used to indicate a particular profession, nationality, political party, etc., that includes the speaker or writer): We in the Medical profession have moral responsibilities.
      5. Also called the royal we. (used by a sovereign, or by other high officials and dignitaries, in place of I in formal speech): We do not wear this crown without humility.
      6. Also called the editorial we. (used by editors, writers, etc., to avoid the too personal or specific I or to represent a collective viewpoint): As for this column, we will have nothing to do with shady politicians.
      7. you (used familiarly, often with mild condescension or sarcasm, as in addressing a child, a patient, etc.): We know that’s naughty, don’t we? It’s time we took our medicine.
      8. (used in the predicate following a copulative verb): It is we who should thank you.
      9. (used in apposition with a noun, esp. for emphasis): We Americans are a sturdy lot.

      1. me thinks “I” needs a context before making it plural.

      2. Wee Wee Wee Wee. I can do this ALL THE WAY HOME.

    2. Yglesias is terrible at making libertarian arguments. He should have simply linked to an article written by a libertarian on the subject then wrote at the bottom “I agree”.

      cuz “put a lot of weight” is the shittiest policy recommendation and justification I have ever seen written by anyone.

      1. Isn’t the Left and Right always about carving out exceptions to their otherwise complete control freakishness?

        1. When our side does it, it’s for the good of society.

            1. It’s so hard to tell Troll Tony from Real Tony sometimes.

  4. For what it’s worth, I think most of the people who are anti-pain medicine tend to be socially conservative drug warriors who view suffering as noble and think that people in pain can just “suck it up” instead of using DRUGS OMG to control it.

    I’d be curious how much influence Christianity has on people that are delusional enough to think that enduring chronic pain is a fair trade to avoid EVIL DRUGS.

    1. I don’t know why Christianity has anything to do with it. I must need to reread my New Testament cause I completely miss the passages saying that Drugs=Satan.

      1. drugs=Santa
        Santan was a typo

      2. Well, I would appreciate you passing along whatever you find out to other Christians.

        The central sacrament of Christianity is an act of torturing and suffering. Christianity as a religion tends to emphasize the sacrificing of “worldly” comforts in order to achieve glory in the afterlife. It doesn’t explicitly say “Drugs=Satan” but it does imply that suffering will bring you redemption. It would seem that trying to minimize the suffering would be minimizing God’s Will.

        1. “All that suffering-where would the world be without it? Innocent suffering is the same as the suffering of Jesus. He suffered for us and all the innocent suffering is joined to his in the redemption. It is co-redemption. That is helping to save the world from worse things.”

          “The important thing, is not to waste suffering. Join it to the suffering of Christ; offer it up with his suffering. Don’t waste suffering.”

        2. No, the central act is the belief that Christ rose from the dead. The crucifixation is meaningless without the reesurrection.

          1. The theme of enduring the suffering and persecution in this life as part of earning a better life in the one to come is a recurrent one in the letters of Paul, as well as other books of the New Testament (such as the Book of Revelation).

            This is understandable, since Christianity at that time was a minority and persecuted faith, but it’s not inaccurate to observe that this “vale of tears” attitude is a common one in Christian cultures.

      3. It’s the same ones who think “OMG homersexuals are teh SATAN and must be put in jail.”

        1. I thought drugs were Satan? I’m so confused…

          1. Drugged homosexuals are Satan. Or Satan drugs homosexuals?

            I get all my theology from South Park reruns, so I may not be the best one to answer your question.

    2. “For what it’s worth, I think most of the people who are anti-pain medicine tend to be socially conservative drug warriors…”

      It’s not worth very much. You seem to be one of those people who cannot wrap their minds around the idea that liberals like interfering in personal decisions, but their rationales for doing so are a bit different than a conservative’s.

    3. Re: Bingo,

      I’d be curious how much influence Christianity has on people that are delusional enough to think that enduring chronic pain is a fair trade to avoid EVIL DRUGS.

      You would have to explain how much Christianity influenced drug laws in such countries like China or Indonesia. The war against drugs stems more from collectivism than Christianity, or religion, in general.

  5. To make me clearer, there is no such thing as a we (collective) back pain or a we orgasm. If Yglesias means ‘we’ the government should have a policy about pain and pleasure, me thinks it should have none at all and stick to the business of politics: the relationships between me and others.

    1. There is such a thing as a “we” orgasm. It just takes some comfort level, timing, and appropriate knowledge of your partner’s body. It’s pretty great, but not the wholy grale of sex that it is made out two be.

      Another news, I waffles, have a concussion.

  6. SIV, Tony, Joshua, I, you, and they, wee and me are up-let’s talk about them. 😉

    1. In that “downfall” video on your site did it just translate “SS” as “NPR”?

      1. what story? Sometimes I write in french and don’t catch it

        1. The Hitler parody about olberman being fired.

          The original movie is called “Downfall”

          Thus the name Downfall Parody

          1. I didn’t edit the video-
            Joshua, I’m working on a story based on one of your posts

        2. Oh my god fucking die already.

          1. Hugh, you need to mellow out.
            Here:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..ure=fvwrel

            1. I’m not clicking on shit, rectal. Now or ever. I will not feed your unholy blog-whoring click-lust.

              I have been commenting on this blog for years, and have endured the asinine antics of Max, Edward, Lefiti, Tony, Chad, MNG, Dan T., LoneWhacko, and fucking Donderoooooooooo! But you are the first troll to give me serious pause about installing incif.

              1. Years? I thought you started last Tuesday. I was going to wish you a happy one week anniversary. Hugh, it must be hard to be so insignificant…

              2. 65 tons of American pride, Donderoooooooooo!

              3. and have endured the asinine antics of Max, Edward, Lefiti, Tony, Chad, MNG, Dan T., LoneWhacko, and fucking Donderoooooooooo!

                I can’t believe you did not include Joe in that list…

                But I guess he didn’t pull any antics…he was simply only asinine….of course that doesn’t work either. max and Tony and chad don’t pull antics either….

                Your list is very confusing.

          2. Sorry, folks… I brought up that particular parody clip in another thread.

            ‘Twas kinda funny, though.

              1. No, you did not.

                1. oh wait… misread.

                  1. Stolen from

                    Mr. FIFY|1.23.11 @ 12:08AM|#http://www.youtube.com/watch?v?..dded#at=55

  7. Maybe, if Rush Limbaugh were allowed the pain-killers he needs, he’d shut the fuck up.

  8. Journalistic masterpiece? You libertoid assholes love to jerk each other off, don’t you?

    1. I wish someone other than Mom would give me a handjob.

    2. Somebody get me a rolled-up newspaper! Max just did his banalities on the carpet, again! And I just had it steamed!

      Bad Max! Bad!

  9. Ok who do you think the trolls are?

    1. I can’t tell if you’re a troll or just self-deluded. Maybe both?

    2. For god’s sake, Rather, stop forcing us to click on your blog?

      1. I have a feeling clicking on my blog is like masturbating-even priests can’t give it up but go ahead and try FR Me

        1. No, I can click on a blog once or twice without making it an obsession. On a technical note, your blog is a bit overwhelming. I have geeky obsession for minimalism. My laptop computer has a screen resolution of 1920×1200. Every image you post shows up four times. A pair on the left and another pair on the right.

          1. Hmm, I don’t understand how to resolve that issue for just you. Is there a secondary setting for a blog? Or, do my subscribers just get the text, and that solves the issue?

              1. I suppose I could do a screen capture and post the result somewhere, but I don’t have the time or interest to figure out how to do that.

                Figuring out how your web page presents itself to others is your problem, not mine. I am only suggesting that you look at your content from a viewer’s perspective. I am just one viewer who finds it noisy. Take it or leave it at that.

                1. I’m an artist too and it is always tricky to know when to stop and walk away from a piece; I’ll revisit it.

                  Send it to me here
                  if you do.

                  Thanks

              2. Show me an example-

                Reason.com = minimalist and easy to read

                rctlfy.wordpress.com = coma induced by crap everywhere.

                Why are there two images of Ceaser’s funral on one post? No one knows. It is hard to tell when one post starts and another one ends.

                And why is the screen so big? books, newspapers magazines even blogs tighten up the text into narrow columns…my eyes feel like they have just crossed the pacific ocean when i read your blog.

                Also tell us at the start of any post what the fuck you are talking about. reading one of your posts is like opening a random book at a random page. that is why god invented post tiles…to tell us what the fuck it is about.

                Use smaller sized videos. youtube allows us to expand them if we want. White space is your friend. It allows us to look away and contemplate what we are reading or viewing. Your blog forces us to keep looking or to leave…you do not want us to make that choice.

        2. You’re right, Rather: no one (priests or otherwise) wants to “give it up” for you.

          1. looking at my blog stats this morning, you’re wrong.

            1. I take full credit for that

    3. You seem lucid today. New meds, or just a good day?

  10. To quote Mother Teresa: “All that suffering-where would the world be without it? Innocent suffering is the same as the suffering of Jesus. He suffered for us and all the innocent suffering is joined to his in the redemption. It is co-redemption. That is helping to save the world from worse things.”

    1. When I bitch-slap God; I’ll recite that quote

      1. Find the “Mother Theresa is Bullshit” clips on YouTube from Penn & Teller sometime.

  11. I had toothache pain last year of a sort so bad that I would kiss the person who invented modern painkillers and the associated treatments that make that go away.

    BTW, I cannot believe how juvenile some of the commenters are here.

    1. The more painkiller, the less juvenile.

  12. Why don’t you back that ass up?

  13. Funny thing, wasn’t Yglasias the same person who was celebrating Gonzales v. Raich because it might – horror of horrors – limit the scope of federal power? And didn’t that one involve an inherent conflict between the Federal Government & War on (some) Drugs versus chronic pain and cancer treatment advocates? Why, I think it did!

    In any case, I find it notable that, similar to Rush, his tune seems to change now that the shoe is on the other foot. I suppose I should be a bigger person and simply welcome his conversion, no matter how he came about it, but I have my doubts about how deep said conversion actually runs.

    PS: God bless the Internet Wayback machine (the original page was now dead.)

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