Prisons

5 Issues (Among Many) on Which Libertarians Are On Your Side

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Are libertarians just Ayn Rand-obsessed pot smokers who want to hide their money from the tax man? That's what many critics of the libertarian movement, and its seemingly looming moment in American history (as reported by the New York Times) would have you believe. But maybe we're smoking that grass because we're all too aware of what government officials do with that money (and to us all) when they get their hands on it (Ayn Rand did provide some cautionary tales, if you care to read her books).

Below are just five of the many issues on which libertarian journalists, independent think-tankers, state-challenging politicians, and freedom-loving litigators, among others, have worked to preserve and extend our liberty over the years. These are issues that matter to us. We think they should matter to you too—and they already may.

America's Insane Incarceration Rate

Click for larger image/Prison Policy Initiative

"Every ten or eleven people that you meet, someone is going to either know someone in prison, has been in prison with a record, or you met them and they are going off to prison," Michael Stoll, co-author of Why Are So Many Americans in Prison?, told Reason last year.

Those who now fill the nation's jails, prisons, and detention centers, says the Prison Policy Initiative, number about 2.4 million people.

The United States actually has the second highest incarceration rate in the world, just behind the Seychelles, says the International Centre for Prison Studies. That's an accomplishment, of sorts. Just not the good kind.

After years of escalating efforts against crime, the Land of the Free has made itself not so very free—and much of its population not free at all.

Speaking at a meeting of the National Urban League last month, libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) noted that "Three out of four people in prison right now for non-violent crimes are black or brown. Our prisons are bursting with young men of color and our communities are full of broken families."

Paul joined with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) to sponsor the REDEEM (Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment) Act. The proposed legislation would seal and expunge juvenile records and create a path for non-violent adult offenders to seal their criminal records so they can have a fresh start at making lives for themselves. The law would also give states incentives to increase the age of criminal responsibility to 18, so that young offenders are spared the harshest penalties.

Many individuals and organizations, such as the Cato Institute's Tim Lynch and Families Against Mandatory Minimums, would go further, reducing penalties for numerous crimes and eliminating often-cruel mandatory sentencing laws that allow little leeway for individual circumstances.

The Insane War on Drugs

Obama toking

The easiest way to get thrown behind bars in recent years has been by using, buying, selling, or merely possessing an intoxicant that doesn't meet politicians' approval. Prohibition of alcohol may have failed, but the impulse to prohibit—and to penalize those who don't or won't get with the program, continues in laws against marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and myriad other substances.

Reason has covered that war from the beginning—notably, in the documentary America's Longest War, which provides a brief history of drug prohibition, beginning with Nixon's declaration of war in 1971 and ending with Obama's broken promise to allow states to determine their own medical marijuana policies. The documentary also puts a human face on the war, examining some of the individuals victimized by officials' insistence on telling people what they can and can't put into their bodies.

Reason recently focused on marijuana prohibition with a special issue and online "Marijuana on Main Street" compilation of stories, videos, and other features. Marijuana arrests have served as a first bust for many Americans, introducing them to the police, prisons, and curtailed civil rights.

Libertarians from Milton Friedman to Ron Paul have favored marijuana legalization, and recent years have seen real progress in this arena. Once the focus of reefer madness-style propaganda, states began legalizing marijuana for medical use in the 1990s. Colorado and Washington have both legalized it for recreational use (though the battle isn't over).

Check out where marijuana stands in the 50 states here (though keep in mind that laws are happily evolving).

The Libertarian Party favored full drug legalization as far back as its first platform in 1972.

Whatever the Hell Happened to Police in This Country

Cops
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

You can't have prisons groaning full of people busted for drug violations without somebody to put them there. That somebody is inevitably law enforcement in all its various permutations—though you might be forgiven for thinking it's an occupying army, given the military tactics, equipment, and mindset that so many police departments have adopted.

Former Reason senior editor Radley Balko, now at the Washington Post, penned Rise of the Warrior Cop, a book delving into the militarization of American policing, which built, in many ways, on a paper he wrote for the Cato Institute in 2006.

"The police have become more militarized, more soldier-like in the last generation or two," Balko told Reason after the publication of his book "It applies to the weapons they are using, the uniforms they wear…to the tactics they use, to what I think is the most pervasive problem which is the mindset that police officers take to the job."

Cato's Timothy Lynch continuously monitors police misconduct on a depressingly regular basis. The incidents he reports don't all involve cops in tanks and battledress—many involve corruption, old-fashioned brutality, or general bad behavior.

There is occasional good news, too. New York City's notorious stop-and-frisk program, which overwhelmingly targeted young black and Hispanic men for Fourth Amendment-defying pat-down searches on the street, were declared unconstitutional as implemented in 2013. While not entirely abandoned, city officials have reined-in the practice.

Small Business-Killing Meddling

Hair braiding
Institute for Justice

Government officials don't have to unleash uniformed minions on you to make your life miserable—they can do the same thing with a web of red tape and a plague of inspectors. The challenge of making an honest living can become almost impossible when burdened with bureaucracy.

Karate legend Fumio Demura, who worked as Mr. Miyagi's stunt double in The Karate Kid franchise, has been threatened with the loss of his dojo because politicians in Santa Ana, California, decided to grab his (and other business owners') property for their pet projects. Upstart bus companies are smothered by "safety" regulations that favor established lines at the expense of entrepreneurial outfits.

Washington, D.C. was finally shamed into relaxing its restrictions on food trucks—popular, mobile eateries that provide a relatively low-cost way for would-be restaurateurs to find eager customers without having a huge bankroll to get them launched.

The libertarian Institute for Justice (IJ) specializes in breaking down arcane regulatory barriers to small business. These include rules that would mandate thousands of hours of expensive and utterly irrelevant cosmetology training before people can charge a few bucks to braid their friends' and neighbors' hair.

IJ also successfully challenged rules in Louisiana and Minnesota that reserved the sale of caskets as a monopoly for government-licensed funeral directors at the expense of those (including monks!) offering low-cost burial options to grieving families.

Peace

U.S. soldiers
Public Domain

You can't enjoy life, liberty, and prosperity if your ass has been shot off in some politician's bloody military adventure. And libertarian-oriented lawmakers feature prominently among the "wacko-birds" denounced by uber-hawk, Sen. John McCain (R-Az.). Specifically, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) ranked proudly among those called out for opposing drone assassinations and unprovoked interventions in other countries' affairs.

"Amash is not only conducting an exemplary districtwide listening tour on Syria, he's documenting it via his Twitter feed and the Facebook page he uses to explain all his votes and positions," wrote Reason editor Nick Gillespie during the debate over the U.S. response to Syria's civil war. "Paul added an amendment to the Senate resolution on Syria that declares the president in violation of the Constitution if he launches attacks without congressional authorization."

And it's not partisan opportunism. Senator Paul's father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tx.), opposed then-President George W. Bush's insertion of troops into Iraq, saying that "blowback" from such actions helped fan the flames of terrorism. The Cato Institute's Earl Ravenal warned as long ago as 1980 that intervening in Afghanistan "is likely to be expensive, risky, and fruitless."

The U.S. government ignored such advice, and among those trained in CIA camps to fight the Soviets was, quite likely, a young Osama bin Laden.

No wonder that current polling finds little interest among the American public for meddling in other countries' conflicts.

"We were supposed to go into Iraq, hold elections, turn over the keys, and get out," Michael Kamber, a photojournalist and editor of the book Photojournalists on War: The Untold Stories from Iraq, told Reason. "That's not how it works, and we need to think about that next time we get involved in a military adventure."

NEXT: Tonight on The Independents: The Lawyer for Shaneen Allen, the Writer of That NYT Mag Piece, the Mom Who Claims Cannabis Saved Her Kid, Plus Iraq War, St. Louis Riots, Tony Stewart, Robin Williams, and After-Show

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  1. 5-issues-on-which-libertarians-give-a-sh

    Did someone make you change the title? I’d have preferred the original.

    1. Was it Five ways progressives have made the country worse?

  2. Bravo. I’m sure this article will be heavily mischaracterized in some ambitious statist hack’s next hit piece. So you got that goin’ for you, which is nice.

    1. Why Can’t we be friends?

    2. You either come to libertarianism on your own or you won’t get it.

      1. Ah, so it’s like BDSM, Burning Man, and Battlestar Gallactica.

        1. And furries

            1. I was thinking of young Amy Irving myself.

          1. Yiffing. Incidentally, my iPhone auto correct made that into “tugging.”

        2. BSG the remake was the absolute worst. It had so much potential.

          1. It was a “Now how are we going to write ourselves out of this hole?” classic.

      2. You either come to libertarianism on your own or you won’t get it.

        Maybe. But if you can talk to people and make them see how it (the things mentioned above) affects them on a personal level, people will be more inclined to listen. Unfortunately rational appeals will not work. This is why I say if you want the drug war to stop, show pictures of burned babies, dead and beaten children, etc. This will get peoples attention, not statistics on how many people are in prison because of drugs.

        1. Just expose a conservative to David Frum for a couple of weeks.

  3. I am all of the above. I think. Who is Ayn Rand?

    1. Someone who once had a fling with God and gave birth to the Oxford Comma.

      1. I love commas, commas, and commas,

        1. But not periods it appears.

          1. He’s insulted since you didn’t use a comma between “periods” and “its”.

    2. An author who didn’t live a perfectly moral life, and therefore all of her ideas are wrong.

      1. Is that a joke? Humor is the denial of metaphysical importance to the object of your ridicule.

        Randians are not amused. (mainly because they’re not allowed to be)

        1. I’ve had more than one leftist attack Rand’s ideas by attacking her less than perfect life.

        1. “An author who didn’t live someone else’s ideal of a perfectly moral life, and therefore all of her ideas are wrong.”

          FTFY

  4. a brief history of drug prohibition, beginning with Nixon’s declaration of war in 1971

    So brief it leaves out the first 57 or so years of drug prohibition.

    1. How about the 100 years of Drug Prohibition?

  5. And not one mention of artisanal mayonnaise nor gay marriage.

    Reason, I am disappoint.

    1. Splitter!

      1. Or the one declared by Nancy Reagan.

    2. Yeah, what about Mexicans and ass sex?!

      1. Actually listing ass sex as one of the categories might have forestalled the inevitable mischaracterizing reaction-hit-piece by a day or so.

        1. No; it would simply have changed which side wrote the hit piece.

          1. I dunno, is Team Red anti-sodomy or anti-same-sex-sodomy? I thought this was an equal-opportunity pervert haven. Something for everyone.

            1. I dunno, is Team Red anti-sodomy or anti-same-sex-sodomy?

              Yes.

            2. Don’t be getting any ides.

  6. all these articles are not recognizing a movement or trying to learn about it, they aim to discredit it, mostly by purposely misrepresenting it. It is a threat to the current power structure; therefore, it must be delegitimized.

    That’s the American political way – when you are unwilling or unwilling to debate someone on the substance of their argument, you lie about them and go into character assassination mode.

    1. Libertarians are poo-poo heads, therefore all their ideas are wrong!

      1. that’s pretty much the basis of the argument.

      2. Libertarians are poo-poo heads

        Well, to be fair…

  7. Who is this article aimed at, anyway? Criminals need to be locked away. Drug dealers and users are subhuman and out to destroy our children. Police protect us from the criminals by whatever means necessary. Consumers need to be protected from businesses out to make a profit off them. And, uh, yeah, pretty much everyone outside the beltway is sick of war at this point, so you have them there.

    1. And, uh, yeah, pretty much everyone outside the beltway is sick of war at this point, so you have them there

      I’m not, we need to put War Plan Red into action and annex Canada!

      1. But not Quebec! They will have to hand over poutine as tribute, however.

        1. My Cassus Belli is to liberate the common canukistani from the Quebecer Linguistic Tyranny!.

  8. What? No mention of our love of child slavery, monocles and top hats?

    1. Indeed! Why, we organized a hobo shoot and monocle exposition just before this article, and cannot get a word mentioning it!

      1. What do you expect from Cosmotarians?

    2. Doesn’t everybody love Top Hat.

      1. I do. Though push comes to shove, I’ll say my fav is Swing Time.

        1. I have to admit my favorite is The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle. I’m not the biggest fan of musicals, so putting the dance routines in a biopic fits better in my view.

        2. “Shall We Dance” is the most accessible to non-Astaire fans, I think.

  9. I would’ve been tempted to add something about corporatism to the above, 2Chili. That’s another point of agreement (sort of) with the populists on both sides.

    I think there’s a need for a monosyllable-level article about libertarian positions on Teh Evul Korporashuns that tries to make a few basic points:

    – people don’t give up their rights based on how they group, and defense of rights is Wicked Important
    – corporate/government associations are almost always abused and should be reined in. We just think that it’s easier to eliminate the temptation as opposed to crafting some brilliant legislative netting to achieve this end.

    etc.

  10. Kinda scary when you think about it.

    http://www.AnonWays.tk

  11. And one reason they are not…their denial of science.

    “Concern is spreading among climate scientists over why the global warming they’ve been cautioning us about seems to have stopped almost twenty years ago.”
    -J.D. Tuccille

    Hmmm, no, it hasn’t, J.D.

    1. He said “seems”; yeesh.

    2. Jackand Ace|8.12.14 @ 11:01AM|#
      “And one reason they are not…their denial of science.”

      And one reason they are is libertarians don’t lie enough as Jack does.

    3. Turd.Burglar.

    4. For the last time, it’s spelled J-A-C-K-A-S-S. Get it right, sheesh!

      1. Oh, thanks for providing one more reason…Libertarians are juvenile.

    5. Let me guess, you read that on a True Science (TM) blog that also prominently featured a takedown of the Koch conspiracy to cover up fracking-induced earthquakes and chemtrails, right?

      1. Ah, climate science is the equivalent of chemtrails. Thanks for making my point that Libertarians just can’t accept science, PM.

        1. The science tells us the earth has not warmed in 17+ years.

          Science tells us the earth has warmed in the past.

          Science tells us that the earth cooler then climate change alarmists claimed it would be.

          You are the one denying science.

          1. Temperature data tells you the earth’s temperature, not science.

            But let me try to help you out here. Temperature data tells you the earth has been warming for the past 100 years, with many “pauses” in that length of time, such as the one we are going through now. In fact, it pause for a longer period in the 40’s through the 60’s. But then guess what, Corning? Right back up again. A pause is not the sign you think it is that the earth has stopped warming.

            What science tells you is that the speed of the current warming is fairly unprecedented, with some climate scientists from Stanford saying it hasn’t happened in over one million years. And what climate scientists say is that the only explanation is in fact man-made CO2 emissions. That is what SCIENCE is telling you.

            But again, another Libertarian who has no clue what science is, or says.

            1. “And what climate scientists say is that the only explanation is in fact man-made CO2 emissions. That is what SCIENCE is telling you.”

              No, dipshit. It is quite obvious you have no idea what “science” is.
              It is not a “scientist” telling you something. It is a process of theorizing and experimenting to establish the truth from the data.
              You have failed that and pretty much succeeded as a slimy, self-important twit.

    6. Yes it has:

      http://notalotofpeopleknowthat…..thumb5.jpg

      You have a weird definition of science if it involves denying what the data tells us.

      1. That graph…from who exactly is that? What, you just post something with no idea from where it comes?

        Again, let me try to help you. Here is real temperature data, from NOAA.

        http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gist…..Fig.A2.gif

        Note the trend for over 100 years. Note the current pause you think is so revealing, which it is not. See for yourself the longer periods in the past 100 years where it paused.

        This has nothing to do with a definition of science, but everything to do with reading a graph…something you seem unable to do.

        1. “This has nothing to do with a definition of science, but everything to do with reading a graph…something you seem unable to do.”

          Now dipshit here claims others can’t read graphs. Please do click on that graph, and notice that dipshit here is totally ignorant of reading a graph.
          Dipshit here *makes prseumption* that the current and continuing static temperatures (as shown in the graph that dipshit links) must be temporary.
          How does dipshit here know that? Well, dipshit knows nothing of the sort, but someone told him that so dipshit is absolutely sure of it.
          Dipshit, you’re both a liar and an ignoramus

        2. Jackand Ace|8.12.14 @ 9:34PM|#
          “That graph…from who exactly is that? What, you just post something with no idea from where it comes?”

          Oh, glorius lying twit, THAT’S THE SAME GRAPH YOU LINKED, doofus.

    7. Read “Whole Earth Discipline,” “Green metropolis,” “the high cost of free parking,” and “asphalt nation.” Denser construction and less space between where people live and where people work would reduce driving and conserve land, but sprawl is mandated by zoning laws.

      Untolled highways, regulations mandating the construction of parking lots, and wars for oil subsidize America’s massive consumption of oil.

      Economic growth in the third world will lead to smaller families.

  12. Below are just five of the many issues on which libertarian journalists, independent think-tankers, state-challenging politicians, and freedom-loving litigators, among others,

    I think H&R commenters deserve a mention outside of “others”.

    1. You looted these from a store in Missouri didn’t you.

  13. “Speaking at the National Urbal League…”

    It’s “Urban” but I like your unintentional play on words there…

  14. And the standard progressive retort is

    ‘None of this matters, because you are part of the Ultra-Right Wing which desires the destruction of Collective (Government) Action to help bring Economic Justice and Address Inequality…

    […even though we keep finding out that our Collective Actions tend to screw the hell out of people and fail to deliver any benefits, YOU STOP US FROM TRYING MORE!!]

    …and all this blah blah blah about Liberty and Freedom and stuff is actually just a bunch of lies so you can excuse your tax-cuts for the Corporashuns and the Plutocrats so they can rape the planet and run rampant over the disenfranchised WHO WE claim to represent… and OK, yeah, we may have been responsible for the drug war and structures that keep the poor even poorer… but YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SAY THAT! WE have to criticise ourselves. And we will! As soon as we get a group of Top Men to fix the policies we tried when Lyndon Johnson was in office… MOAR TOP MEN this time!!! 10year plan!!..debt relief!!! unicorns!!!.’

    something like that

    1. hahaha – I like the fact that you truncated the rant here and there. It would easily be thrice as long.

  15. 4 billion people would read this and scratch their heads and wander back to their assorted dictatorial social structures.

    1. Given that the intended audience are American voters, i’m not sure the other 3.5 billion matter all that much at the moment.

      your point probably applies anyway

      1. I’m thinking global, bro. Let’s take this thing worldwide, babe.

        1. please, I prefer to be referred to as ‘It‘.

  16. Prog (The Porg?) Mic On-

    Yeah, but, all these problems were caused by the corporate interference into the government, you know? Sayiing the government needs to stop is pretty fairy tale fantasy land when Microsoft, Nike, Coca Cola, NewsCorp and the OIl Companies all own the government. The police are slaves to private companies as are the DEA and the CIA. So, ywan goback to slave owning Ayn Rand who wanted to own slaves and have billions ofdollars and make pot illegal. You guys just want slaves and guns.

    /Prog mic off. All done with the raised intonation at the end.

    1. This is ridiculous.

      All my slaves are on 40+year indentured-servitude contracts. Signed by their parents. in blood. Its all legal!

      1. Hahah, nice!

        All my slaves are only allowed to drink Coca-Cola products and wear the reject Nikes they make during their breaks in the diamond mines.

        Monocles Unite!

  17. All well & good, but where do voters rank those issues in their decision-making priorities? I could see war & peace ranked highly, biz regul’n ranked fairly highly, but not so much drugs, imprisonment, & policing. Even on those lower priorities, I don’t think most voters agree re drugs generally, just pot.

    I can’t see large number of people getting riled up about imprisonment generally. They may know individuals they feel were railroaded or harshly sentenced, but even if they’ve been in prison themselves, they probably think most of the other people there should be kept there. At best they may be like Dyanne Peterson, who said after her 1st term that half the other inmates didn’t deserve to be there, and the other half didn’t deserve that good, i.e. that mere prison was too generous for them. But the ones who didn’t deserve to be there was almost entirely based on her judgment of the underlying laws.

    Duh, the most popular issue libertarians have ever had is the obvious one: taxes!

    Taxes!!

    TAXES!!!!

    The only problem you’ll have getting people to vote for you to cut taxes is getting them to believe you. But that’s a problem with any promise you make about anything, isn’t it?

    1. Yeah, sadly, the thing is, we have this government largely because of what the majority of people want, not in spite of it. A fact that Reason can’t bring itself to acknowledge, even as its own poll data supports it (the pollyannaish interpretation notwithstanding).

      The problem with running exclusively on taxes is that people want a monstrosity of a federal government without the inconvenience of actually having to pay for it, and only focusing on the tax issue gives them the impression they can actually have their cake and eat it too.

      1. So? Let them deal with the consequences as they see fit, but meanwhile ask people anywhere in the world, any time, about any fairly broad-based tax, as to whether they’d like to see it cut 25%. You’ll never fail to get a very substantial majority, and depending on how big that tax is to begin with, a large number of the people you ask would make it a priority issue. If the polity in question is at all democratic, such a cut can probably be achieved.

      2. Why is being class conscious and voting for one’s economic interests such a Marxist bugbear for libertarians? Do you think that Charles Koch’s 1.5 million dollar donation to Reason magazine is for anything other than getting other people to pay taxes that he would have otherwise paid? Good for him. He’s doing what I would do if I were in his shoes.

        Why should middle class voters follow his lead and vote for tax cuts on rich people?

        1. He’s doing what I would do if I were in his shoes.

          Why would he donate to something that has been a political loser for 40 years in order to change the tax code in his favor?

          “Oh these taxes are horrible. Hey you loser who is totally powerless and has zero political influence take this 1.5 million dollars and change the tax code for me. While you are at it take up some crazy ass positions like legalizing pot and Gay marriage that the vast majority of voters hates….my plan is coming together perfectly muahahahahaha”

          – strawman Koch

          If he really wanted screw middle class people and get rich from it he would do what Buffet did and put his full cash, political and media support behind Obama and his fellow socialists and then reap the rewards from being favored with bail-outs and stimulus money.

        2. “Why should middle class voters follow his lead and vote for tax cuts on rich people?”

          Because they might not share your propensity for parasitism?
          Maybe, unlike you, they have some ethics?
          Maybe, unlike you, they just aren’t moral cripples.

          1. american douchebag,
            tell us again how you stole $100K from your bank.

      3. Well, no, I don’t think that’s quite it. It’s not that people vote for higher taxes in exchange for more government involvement in their lives. It’s that politicians sell government services to people with the idea that they’ll get “the rich”, or “the 1%”, or, at the very least, not you to pay for it.

        Look at Obamacare. Do you think anyone would’ve voted for it if Nancy Pelosi gave a speech to the effect of, “Listen, we’re going to pass this bill that will require you to buy insurance that you don’t need at higher prices than you’re currently paying because we’ve just expanded Medicare and we’ve got to come up with the money somewhere, okay?” Shit, no! Everyone was assured that the most deserving among us ( which always includes the audience ) would see cheaper/better/more health care benefits, paid for by the evil rich and/or vile health insurance corporations, neither of whom are even really human anyway so fuck ’em, amirite???

        People who think free shit comes from the sky (or because some bureaucrat files a paper) don’t think they’re going to be the ones paying for it. Politicians running for office who want their votes don’t disabuse them of the illusion, either.

  18. Hi JD,

    Since I consider myself a libertarian i really want to join your club. In my application to join, can I say that I agree down the line with everything you’ve posted, except– you know– the absurd suggestion that justin smash and rand Paul should be part of our club. Is it ok that I want, for starters , for rich people to pay the same rate of taxes on their social security and capital gains as middle class people do on their income taxes? Is this really a bridge to far for you?

    Do libertarians really believe that socialists want to put ridiculous regulations on businesses or have crappy, bored teachers in the schools. Did you guys dream that one up at Galt’s Gulch?

    1. Hi AmSoc,

      I’m glad to see you’ve come around. I’ll admit I had my doubts, but I’m always happy to be wrong on things like this. Welcome! It’s a “big tent” kind of movement.

      Oh, there is one thing, though. You have to give up the whole taking property and enforcing your personal preferences on others by force. It’s kind of a thing.

      That’s not going to be a problem, is it? Because you’re welcome to be a socialist-libertarian, just so long as you agree on the whole “no coercion” thing. Not to tar you with the same brush, but that seems to have been a sticking point for other socialists historically.

      I’m sure you’re different, though.

    2. Democrats are socialists and they have filled whole libraries with ridiculous regulations.

    3. american socialist|8.12.14 @ 3:21PM|#
      …”Do libertarians really believe that socialists want to put ridiculous regulations on businesses or have crappy, bored teachers in the schools.”…

      No, commie kid, it’s not that we *believe it*, it’s that we see all that happening.
      You know, that horrible thing called “reality”; the reason slimy commies always fail.

      1. Maybe you’ll post for me the research that says charter schools do better than public schools. Something, you know, that doesn’t come from Cato.org

    4. “Is it ok that I want, for starters , for rich people to pay the same rate of taxes on their social security and capital gains as middle class people do on their income taxes?”

      Idiot

      Do you actually think changes in capital gains rates have no effect on the lives of the “middle class”?

      How fucking retarded are you? (oh, right – you think you’re libertarian)

      Do you know no one with retirement savings? do you know no one with a pension?

      basically, in what you’ve written above, you are admitting =

      – you know NOTHING about money, savings, retirement, and what 80% of the public actually do with their earned income

      – you know nothing about the regulatory systems for business or schools

      I can only assume you are in academia. No one else on the planet is that fucking ignorant.

      1. 401k distributions are taxed as ordinary income so increases in the capital gains tax rate won’t affect people with retirement accounts at all. Only around 65% of people have any retirement money set aside at all. Maybe you should ask them what they are planning to do in Libertopia when right-wingers finally get their hands on fdr’s shabby socialist retirement plans. They’ll probably move back in with their parents.

        I read that one of the Reason’s criticisms of social security was that it transferred income from relatively poor young taxpayers to old and rich retirees ( I thought that was the point of having a secure retirement system, but I digress). I’m delighted that Reason’s writers are concerning themselves with concerns about distribution of wealth. Really, I am. I share your concern for the poor, nick, and don’t find your magazine’s concern at all convenient or self-serving. if we are talking about fairness what the fuck is so great about a regressive tax? What is so fantastic about taxing a person that makes 1,000,000/yr at a rate of 1.45% and a person that makes 10,000/yr at a rate of 12.4%?

  19. Wow, quadruple alt-text AND a an alt-title? It’s our lucky day.

  20. Of course, people all around the world are into holocaust denial, jess like Reason Magazine,eh? A lot of antisemites and other morons feel the murder of the six million Jews in Israel will bring peace. Just as antisemites through the ages believed the mass murder of Jews was a good thing, also.

    Hey! We all know that “Reason Magazine was right and the holocaust never happened because JEWS DON’T EXIST! (excerpt from the link)

    “A PROOF THAT JEWS DON’T EXIST: Kosher hot dogs. You can’t live on that stuff.

    THEREFORE, the real reason the Holocaust didn’t happen is that JEWS DON’T EXIST!!”

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here!” (or maybe I’m not really here since Jews don’t exist)

    1. Underzog|8.12.14 @ 6:47PM|#
      “Of course, people all around the world are into holocaust denial, jess like Reason Magazine,eh?”

      Oh, good! A new addition to the liars posting on this thread!

  21. Unfortunately, the police need to militarize because we are seeing incredibly violent gangs move into America’s cities. It’s not just the Crips and Bloods, but MS13 and foreign cartels. Simply legalizing drugs will not stop the gangs because they are diversified into too many areas of criminality.

    Stop thinking we can go back to the 1950s of policing. That world is gone. I don’t like it, either, but we are faced with real threats.

    “Three out of four people in prison right now for non-violent crimes are black or brown. Our prisons are bursting with young men of color and our communities are full of broken families.”

    The reason is that “black or brown” people commit a disproportionate amount of violent and property crime. Over half the murders reported in the USA are perpetrated by blacks, for example. If you want to get these stats down, then Reason needs to perform “outreach” to the criminals who are committing violent crime. Care to head out to Ferguson and talk to some pillagers?

    One more thing you need to address: thanks to feminism we are seeing more people jailed for failure to pay child support, and trumped up sexual assault/domestic violence charges. How about going to your local womyn’s studies program and knocking off the hysteria?

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