Matt Welch Interview in Sacramento's Capitol Weekly


Over in California's troubled capitol, a local weekly has printed a version of a conversation with me about libertarianism, the Golden State, and The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America. Excerpt from the not-quite-a-transcript:

How can libertarian policies help California?

I highly recommend reading probably the most libertarian speech ever given by a sitting politician in America. It is Jerry Brown's second inaugural address, back in 1979. It has some fire-breathing, anti-Lord Keynes kind of comments and it will shock the modern reader. California has been spending itself into oblivion for a really long time. The more local you get, the worse it gets. It's very telling that a lot of the official thumb-sucking class in the L.A. Times and elsewhere say that the problem is the ten Republicans left in the state and if they can just get rid of these obstructionists, we'll repeal Prop. 13 and all will be good and gravy.

In the short term, it's about pensions and fixing the giveaways to public sector unions. Schwarzenegger, who was a great disappointment as a governor, finally did a little bit of reform at the tail end of his term and Brown has talked about it but hasn't really done much.

Whole interview here.

Curious about that 1979 Brown speech (which I will confess to describing hyperbolically above; there have surely been more libertarian speeches)? Though I've linked it before, I'll link it again. Here's an excerpt:

[The tax revolt] has without question inspired the hopes of many.  Plain working people, the poor, the elderly, those on fixed incomes, those who cannot keep up with each new round of inflation or protect themselves from each subsequent round of recession, these are the people who are crying out for relief.

But in their name and in the name of misfortune of every kind, false prophets have risen to advocate more and more government spending as the cure – more bureaucratic programs and higher staffing ratios of professional experts.  They have told us that billion dollar government increases are really deep cuts from the yet higher levels of spending they demand and that attempts to limit the inflationary growth of government derive not from wisdom but from selfishness.  That disciplining government reflects not a care for the future but rather self-absorption.  These false prophets, I tell you, can no longer distinguish the white horse of victory from the pale horse of death.

Reason on the always-interesting Jerry Brown here.