Libertarianism

Why Libertarians Are Like Kale To Everyone But Paul Krugman

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Last week, Paul Krugman, wrote that libertarian-ish Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) had no shot at success in the GOP presidential sweepstakes because, come on, "not many Americans consider themselves libertarian, and even those who do are deluding themselves." Sparing us little people the intricacies of high-level mathemetical formulae, he even proved his insight with a picture of a little box. Thus I refute you, libertarians! Not that he has to, mind you, because we don't exist!

This sort of pert hand-waving dismissal of the "Free Minds and Free Markets" crowd has long been part and parcel of Krugman's idiosyncratic take on the wider world. It's not as shockingly obtuse as his response to the 9/11 attacks—"All of a sudden, we need some new office buildings," he wrote on September 14, 2001, touting the stimulative effect of destroying the World Trade Center and a large chunk of lower Manhattan—but it reveals a particular sort of epistemic closure that few people can pull off without the help of drugs not yet invented.

Over at Five Thirty Eight, Nate Silver offered up the observation that "there are few libertarians but many Americans have libertarian views." Despite low numbers of folks explicitly calling themselves libertarian, it turns out that it's easy to show that nearly a quarter of us are socially liberal and fiscally conservative, which is one working definition of libertarianism.

And as Robby Soave noted here in response to Krugtron the Invincible's pronouncement and Silver's counter, fully 20 percent of millennials identify as libertarian according to a new YouGov poll, with another 42 percent saying they were unsure if they were libertarian. Older groups identified as libertarian in amounts ranging from 17 percent to 9 percent.

Let's be clear about a couple of things: First, the fact that YouGov and other groups are hunting down the number of libertarians afoot—Pew even went "In Search of Libertarians" just last year—is itself a sign that something new and different is happening. When you start touting up the way many things are breaking in a libertarian direction—the energy surrounding Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012, majority acceptance of pot legalization and gay marriage, serious efforts at criminal justice reform, plummeting numbers for faith in government, the rise of school choice, embrace of a sharing economy that routes around old-style regulation, general acceptance of free trade and free speech as positive values, and much more—it's fair to call attention to what we've dubbed here as "The Libertarian Moment."

Libertarians are the ideological equivalent of kale. A couple of decades ago, who cared about today's much-munched super food? Nowadays, you can't go anywhere without being tossed the stuff in your way. So it is with libertarians, who are regularly quoted, attacked, dismissed, reviled, and paid obeisance to in a way that just wasn't happening when Paul Krugman was still earning his bones as an economist.

Here's another marker for the growth of libertarianism. Since the early 1990s, CNN has looked at the responses to two questions on two different polls to crudely gauge libertarian sentiments. One was about the role of government in running things and one about the role of government in morality. The first question asked whether you thought government was trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. If you agreed, that was the libertarianish answer. Another question asked whether you think government should promote traditional values or favor no particular set of values. If you preferred the second answer, that counted as libertarian. You add up the libertarian response to both questions and you get a composite score.

The latest CNN survey asking these questions is from December 2014 (see questions 11 and 12) and  the trends are clearly moving in a libertarian direction. Back in 1992, only about 50 percent agreed that "government was doing too much." In 2014, that figure was at 58 percent (down slightly from a 2011 peak of 63 percent). In 1993 (the first year the question was asked), only 42 percent said that government should not favor one set of values. In 2014, that figure was 55 percent, an all-time high.

So in the early 1990s, the composite score for libertarian beliefs was around 92 points. It's currently at 113 points. Without taking anything away from him and his short but influential tenure in the Senate, I'd argue that Rand Paul's emergence as a serious presidential candidate is more a reflection of shifts in public sentiment than the other way around (even underscoring his role in changing those sentiments, especially when it comes to national discussions of privacy, criminal justice reform, ending the drug war, rethinking heedless intervention, the militarization of police, and other topics).

Like many liberals (and conservatives, too!), Krugman lives in a world of glib dismissals. Good for him. I'm sure it makes his life easier. But he misses the big point about Rand Paul's candidacy—it's the start of something bigger, not the last, best hope for anything—and he misses the point that the world is spinning in a different direction than it was 20, 30, or 40 years ago.

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273 responses to “Why Libertarians Are Like Kale To Everyone But Paul Krugman

  1. Bah bah! Liberals good, all else bad!

    Really, that’s all it takes to summarize Krugman’s view of the world. Unsurprising since he’s more a court astrologist to the New York Times’ readership rather than an actual economist.

    His whole purpose is to make stupid people feel smart and well-informed.

    1. His whole purpose is to make stupid people feel smart and well-informed.

      Exactly.

      “That really smart guy said what I feel. That means I’m really smart too!”

      1. I’d expand that to the “willfully ignorant.” I have some family members that are incredibly intelligent human beings. Academically and professionally successful, etc. They CHOOSE not to confront themselves with ideas that run counter to what they’ve believed their entire lives because their identity and self-perception are so invested in the sanctity of their belief structure. Having a prophet to point to spares them the need to explore the fallacies of their beliefs.

        1. We must have the same friends.

      2. I do this with Randy Barnett, Eugene Volokh and Tim Sandefur.

      3. When Friedrich Hayek said that there should be no Nobel Prize in economics because whoever won it could use the authority to influence public sentiment and policy in controversial ways just using their authority (something the Nobel scientists cannot really do), he must have had a premonition of Paul Krugman when he said it.

        The guy has not said anything half-intelligent since the 90s;

    2. He really comes across as an idiot. I get that part of that is just his lust for leftwing politics, but he’s not the slightest bit logical or factual in his takedowns.

      1. He’s good and making himself seem logical, or in other words, he’s good at masking his logical fallacies with strawmen and little jabs at Team Red.

        1. He doesn’t even seem logical. All of his arguments are appeals to emotion.

          1. Obviously you and I know straight away that the guy is appealing to emotion. His fans don’t know how to recognize magical thinking when they see it.

            1. Krugman and the rest of the leftist “intelligentsia” (an oxymoron if there ever was one!) know exactly what their supporters are – grubers. And so they play to their audience and watch their bank accounts grow.

          2. He also is one of the most dishonest and atrocious quote miners you will ever find. He writes plenty of articles on the people he hates, and almost without exception includes at least one or two quotes of them saying something that they often times directly contrary to what they were actually saying.

            Basically, Krugman has the same intellectual caliber as Rush Limbaugh. That people on the left aren’t as ashamed of him as many on the right are of Limbaugh does not speak to their integrity.

            1. Recall that we’re talking about an individual who, literally within a couple of hours, before the blood had even been hosed off the pavement of the Tuscon shopping center or much of anything at all was known about the shooter, rushed penned a NY Times column blaming Sarah Palin, the NRA and just about every other right-of-center boogeyman on his standard hit list for the shooting of . And even after his usual liberal cohorts in the media came out and said that was unwarranted, and it was later revealed that Loughner was a psychopath with no discernible political bent one way or the other, he wrote yet another editorial…not apologizing for his swimming in the still-warm blood of hapless victims for the sake of some cheap and petty partisan sniping, but actually doubling down on it.

              Expecting logic and integrity…or even the barest hint of honesty…from someone like that is like expecting your pet goldfish to master integral calculus.

              1. Wow…I really butchered that one. I really need to learn to stop editing my post so much while I’m still in the process of formulating them.

            2. Please! Krugman is a moron. Limbaugh is your typical right-wing, war-mongering, koolaid-drinking flag-waiver, but at least he has some original thoughts. Krugman is in no way limbaugh’s intellectual equal.

          3. All arguments are appeals to emotion, or there would be no point in making them. Krugie’s deficiency is not that he has emotions, but that he’s too attached to conventionality. (At least in the little I’ve read.)

          4. He makes a lot of personal attacks too. He said some nasty shit about Bill O’Reilly in one of his insipid columns. Some time after that they were on Tim Russert’s show together. Krugman looked like he was in mortal fear of what O’Reilly might do to him.

            Which I would absolutely pay to see.

      2. My girlfriend’s dad is a professor of finance. He met Krugman once at a conference some years ago. According to him he has a habit of misusing big words when he speaks, which I think is hysterical.

        1. Krugman utters malapropisms, I’m shocked!

      3. Krugman is working very hard for his useful idiot merit badge these days. He should get more than one.

    3. His whole purpose is to make stupid people feel smart and well-informed.

      And to make government actions appear wise, prudent and morally necessary.

      1. That was Lord Keynes’ whole point — any time the government wants to meddle in private affairs, the multiplier effect means the government’s actions improve the economy.

        All that in exchange for establishing a class of people — such as himself — who live on government subsidies and not taking jobs from the deserving poor while at the same time consuming goods and services.

      2. That was Lord Keynes’ whole point — any time the government wants to meddle in private affairs, the multiplier effect means the government’s actions improve the economy.

        All that in exchange for establishing a class of people — such as himself — who live on government subsidies and not taking jobs from the deserving poor while at the same time consuming goods and services.

        1. Keynes deserves more forgiveness than Krugman. It was a novel, unvetted idea at the time, and Keynes actually admitted when he was wrong. That’s why Keynes’s adversaries like Friedman and Hayek actually respected him.

          Krugman, on the other hand, will regurgitate statements even he has to know are verifiable false, will attack and insult his opponents (no matter how courteous they are to him) when he can’t refute them; and he’s an unabashed narcissist to boot. Even if he were right about everything (one of the more laughable claims I’ve seen in the NYT) he’d still be a piece of shit and his behavior unforgivable.

    4. “His whole purpose is to make stupid people feel smart and well-informed.”

      Contra Robert Reich, who just plain tells you you’re stupid.

      1. How is Reich not a Marxist?

        1. Ein Reich?

        2. 4th Reich?

        3. What do you see in Reich that’s Marxist? I’m curious. He talks leftishly but I’ve never seen him advocate anything but standard-issue Bismarckan Welfare-state stuff.

      2. Miguelito Lovelace Reich.

      3. And he’s right to do so, because anyone who actually pays attention to what he says has to be pretty stupid.

    5. I’ve come to the conclusion that Paul Krugman the Nobel Memorial Prize winning economist and Paul Krugman the pundit are two separate people inhabiting one body.

      1. Hold on… wasn’t Krugman’s Nobel for Data ANALYSIS, not Conclusions Drawn From Data Analysis?

        Like other economic morons of his ilk, he’s about Control. Of you, me, the economy, everything he can sink his fangs into.

        It’s no longer “Follow the Money”… it’s Control and Power (and money) they’re after.

        And as I’ve said many times, “Economics is NOT a “Science” because none of them (can) (ever) run a Scientific, Double-Blind Controlled EXPERIMENT to prove their ‘Theories’.”

        And Krugman has been the worst of the worst for most of my lifetime!

  2. “nearly a quarter of us are socially liberal and fiscally conservative, which is one working definition of libertarianism”

    Most people who consider themselves “social liberals” are for things like “common sense” gun regulation, making companies provide birth control to employees, and demanding cake from Christian bakers.

    “Another question asked whether you think government should promote traditional values or favor no particular set of values.

    That leaves out what the government is doing now – promoting non-traditional values (the aforementioned birth control and gay cakes, etc.).

    So the survey is skewed – garbage in, garbage out.

    1. And don’t forget socially-liberal views on the environment. Pure libertarianism. /sarc

      1. And a lot of people define fiscal conservative as ” we only increase spending a little every year”.

        1. Everything is relative in terms of opinion. If you didn’t define it that way, there’d be so few as to be negligible.

      2. Well, I wouldn’t call any of that stuff “liberal”. At least not when people want to enforce those things by law. But people do. You make a valid point. “Liberal” is used to mean many different things. And to many people it just means not-too-authoritarian-leftism.

        So the survey is skewed – garbage in, garbage out.

        As is the case with just about every survey ever.

        1. Then how would you go about finding out what people think?

          1. Robert…. how to? … maybe have two or three teams generate the questions and ask all three flavors randomly in the same poll… one worded by the liberals, one from conservatives, one from “others” like some of us?

            LOL… and then let the three groups do the data reduction, analysis and conclusion-drawing and see what happens! That would be a hoot!

        2. Progs are most definitely illiberal. Proto-fascists they are.

    2. Government should have no role in telling us how to live(via promoting any value)-that is strictly a personal thing! They should stick to running a government, which they do extremely poor, as it is. Krugman is vegetating in his own little world!

    3. What percentage of Americans support unrestricted, federally funded partial birth abortion? Pretty sure it’s in the single digits. Yet somehow, Obama got elected and Hilary may do so as well.

      People with broadly unpopular views get elected all the time, so Krugman’s head is (still) in his ass. For better or worse (probably worse), winning elections isn’t about policy agreement, it’s about selling people a narrative they can get excited about at the right time and with the right delivery.

      Winning elections is fundamentally a marketing problem.

      And personally, I’m quite accustomed to the idea that most people are, like Krugman, idiots. I’m just hoping we can get someone who can lure enough idiots to vote for him and use his ephemeral power to prevent the idiots from dictating what I can or cannot do.

    1. Which is why he is running a Conservative.. duh 🙂

  3. Back in 1992, only about 50 percent agreed that “government was doing too much.” In 2014, that figure was at 58 percent (down slightly from a 2011 peak of 63 percent).

    And if 58% of the people acknowledge that the sky is blue that would be a pretty depressing number considering the irrefutable evidence of the claim. Similarly, people who think the US government isn’t doing enough aren’t going to be convinced by any reason and evidence you present them, no matter how irrefutable.

    1. 58%! 9%! 91%! EXTREME SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES!! ARGH!!1!1

      *blood vessels in brain explode*

      *catatonic mumbling*

      /Michael Hihn

    2. *Cough* *cough*

      The sky isn’t technically blue.

      http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/blue-sky/en/

      Just messin’ with ya.

      1. I see your jest. But… just in case… the difference between a blue thing not technically being blue and something that simply blue, is semantics. To quote the great physicist, Bill Clinton, “That depends on what the meaning of is, is.”

        1. Well, technically the sky isn’t anything but an optical effect.

          So I say the sky is blue. Except when it isn’t.

          1. “Optical”? Like when light bounces off something and into your eyeballs and processed by your brain kind of “optical”?

            1. You know what I mean.

              1. That depends on what the meaning of “mean” means.

                1. I think he might have meant median.

            2. He means scattering.

      2. Bluebirds and blue jays aren’t technically blue either.

        If you backlight the feathers, they’re brown. It’s the scatter of light through the feather than makes them appear blue.

  4. Krugman is despicable.

    Here is a little analysis. 3,000 people died in 9/11. Let’s say they made an average of $50,000 every year since they died, that is a loss of $2.1 billion dollars. Not to mention this was NYC and DC so the average was probably a lot higher than that.

    What a fucknut.

    1. He is a professional liar. So if Krugman says Libertarians don’t really exist, they must exist in larger numbers than ever the most optimistic Libertarian thinks they do.

      1. I love/hate it when HuffPo references him. It is like he is their god. Why do both sides latch on to these men and women as if they are infallible?

        1. Did you win a Nobel Prize? I didn’t think so.

          The funny thing is, as I understand it (I’m no economics expert), the work he did in Economics that won him the prize really didn’t support the bullshit he peddles these days.

          1. If I’m not mistaken, his Nobel Prize was for proving the benefits of free trade.

            1. While not exactly it, that’s pretty close. Someone posted a summary in the comments a few years back. Summary
              Basically it’s a 10 page paper that models how economies of scale, specialization and the division of labor are mutually beneficial to the countries that trade with each other. For most of us here it’s kind of like “Yeah, no shit. You won an award for something we’re been saying for over a century?”

              1. He won a Nobel Prize for that? In the late 20th century? That’s Econ 101 stuff.

          2. I believe you are right. It is basically the equivalent of a guy winning a Nobel for his work in biology, and then going on to write a column regularly promoting Intelligent Design and Creationism.

          3. Paul Krugman the economist won a Nobel Prize for his economics work.

            Paul Krugman the political pundit writes columns that contradict Paul Krugman the economist’s work.

          4. On the line of funny things, Obama won the Peace prize(I’m no Peace expert)-what did he do for that. They are two peas in a pod-clueless.

          5. You know who else won a Nobel Prize?

        2. “I love/hate it when HuffPo references him. It is like he is their god. Why do both sides latch on to these men and women as if they are infallible?”

          Because most people treat politics as a religion and need various deities to worship.

          I find any hero worship distasteful, pretty much no matter the circumstances, but hero worship in the political realm is the absolute worst.

        3. Here’s the appropriate response to leftists citing Krugman: Luc Montagnier, the guy who discovered HIV, won the Nobel prize in medicine, believes in homeopathy. Kary Mullis, discoverer/inventor of the polymerase chain reaction, Nobel laureate in chemistry, believes in aliens, astrology, and advocate LSD use.

          Sometimes Nobel laureates lose their minds; hence Paul Krugman. If you defer to Paul Krugman, you may as well also practice homeopathy, start praying to aliens, and doing LSD.

    2. You can’t effectively monetize this which is one of the reasons Krugman’s arguments are frequently absurd. He does these back of the envelope calculations and makes wild claims about how effective some government program will be, but it’s impossible for anyone to actually calculate.

      He’s basically the knowledge problem personified. He’s smart so he assumes he’s capable of collecting enough information to run an economy, which of course he isn’t because no one is.

      1. +1 job created or saved

  5. Libertarians and conservatives both need to a better job of articulating the positive case. By that I don’t mean positive feeling. I mean positive as in what we expect government to do instead of always what we think it shouldn’t. The government is completely out of control. It is to be expected that a huge part of the message will be STOP!! It can’t however be the entire message.

    Libertarians are not anarchists. They do see a role for government in society. Unfortunately they don’t do a very good job explaining what that role is and what the justification for that role is. If you don’t do that, you risk coming across as someone who just hates government and doesn’t see any solution to any problems. It makes both Libertarians and Conservatives vulnerable to the charge of being cynics who just hate government.

    A positive case for the proper role of government also makes it easier to explain why so much of what the government is doing is bad. Without a clear position on what government should do and why, you end up arguing against government programs on the Progressives’ terms. For example, instead of “government shouldn’t be regulating my food because government has no business telling someone what to eat”, you wind up being drug into various idiotic Progressive’ arguments about how everyone must have safe food.

    1. The problem has always been time. The government has a huggggeeeeeee advantage on libertarians. Money, power, influence, etc. I have discussions all the time with people about libertarian ideas and they just don’t believe in free markets or they say “that will never work.” People don’t want to think, we are naturally lazy, naturally dependent on one another, and naturally prone to delegate our power.

      1. The other problem is that it is a hard question to answer. It is hard to articulate exactly what the government should be doing and has a legitimate interest in doing. It is a hell of a lot easier to just claim it should do everything and solve every problem. That is a simple and easy message and one that is conducing to moral preening. The small government message isn’t.

        The other problem is that the answer often ends up goring a few sacred cows. This is a real problem for conservatives. Why is it that the government has a proper role in banning recreational drug use and gambling but it doesn’t have a role in banning sugary sodas or plastic bags? Conservatives will just claim drugs and gambling are different. That is not very convincing because what it is really saying is “conservatives think they are different and more important”. That is nice but liberals think plastic bags are important too. Who is to say they are wrong?

        1. Gaia thinks plastic bags are super important.

      2. Libertarians’ problem is that the non aggression principle is so vague and easily to manipulate it becomes meaningless. A Prog will tell you that the CO2 you produce is harming others just as surely as if you were physically attacking them. Indeed, if AGW is true that is at least in principle true. The answer of course is not all harms are the same or worthy of using government coercion to prevent. The problem is defining what is a harm worthy of preventing is just a restatement of what is the proper role of government and asking it defeats any utility of the non aggression principle. Yeah, we shouldn’t harm others. We all agree on that. Now tell me what constitutes a “harm”?

        1. Now tell me what constitutes a “harm”?

          Infringing upon the life, liberty, or property of another person.

          1. Through force or fraud.

          2. Infringing upon the life, liberty, or property of another person.

            Not everyone defines those terms the way you do. It is not that simple. If it were, you would have won the argument. Moreover, why is “life, liberty or property” the only worthy harms? You just assume they are because you like them. Well, it is not self evident that they are. I agree with you but there is more to it than that. You need to be able to justify and understand and explain why those things are important, because not everyone values them like you do. Some people value fairness or stability or security more than they do liberty. And those people are going to find your assertion insane. So you better be prepared to explain to them why liberty and property are really more important.

            1. I’ve tried and it’s a lost cause. They feel what they feel, and until they decide to think there is no moving them.

              Like I said in another response, it’s a logical argument. For government to enforce fairness, it must abandon justice. For government to make things fair, it must commit acts that would be injustices if committed by anyone else. The victims of these injustices have no where to go for justice, since that’s the government’s job.

              But you can’t convince someone of this if they want the government to commit injustices against people just because they don’t like them.

            2. Any other harm, like hurting someones feelings, is completely subjective. Evaluating harm to Live, liberty, and Property are hard enough to keep nominally objective. Once you venture out from there … where is the limit?

            3. Its the Knowlege Problem, John. Just as command economies fail because finding the right price for everything is impossible in a world of shifting supply and demand, so too is trying to set the right “good” for everybody. Therefore, like JS Mill, the greatest good for the greatest number is impossible to achieve by command regulation. What allows the greatest good for the greatest number to be achieved is allowing each individual the same liberty to the maximum extent possible. From this we can derive a limit by which you would deprive someone of their life arbitrarily and another that prevents you from stealing the fruits of another’s labor. After that there is a huge gray area of liberty-license disageements that we have to find a way to arbitrate in a manner that is equally fair and unfair to all.

            4. You hurt my FEELINGS! Prepare for my legal consultant to call you. *puts down keyboard, goes to phone and dials 1-800-law-dogg. “hey sharky, if you haven’t gone to hell yet, someone has hurt meh fellingzzz…”

            5. I believe your question of what government should do is answered with the Dec. of Ind..

              “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,” Their job is to secure our rights. Not protect us from harm. There is a difference. If I am an idiot and want to harm myself by drinking a toxin (alcohol), then so be it. We have the right to be morons. We don’t have the right to then drive and endanger the right to life of others. Define everything as rights and the forest of confusion thins. Well….it does for me at least.

              Aggression? Non-aggression? Doesn’t matter. What matters is if someone’s rights were violated. Then it’s wrong. It’s all about rights. Anything else is simply a successful distraction.

              What are our rights? Ahhh now there’s the rub laddie. Gettin folks to agree on that nowadays is like trying to poke a worm up a wildcats ass. Pretty frustrating.

              Anywho….just my lil ole thoughts.

              1. i agree… problem is they always throw back, “oh yeah, well i consider XXXXX a right.” birth control, clean air, security, welfare… whatever. we use the term “entitlements” because people really believe they are entitled to it… they see it as a right.

        2. Libertarians’ problem is that the non aggression principle is so vague and easily to manipulate it becomes meaningless.

          Minarchists might have a hard time being consistent about it, but the principle in and of itself is logically consistent and universal in applicability and not the least bit vague. The legal principles that should follow from it I can’t say for sure beyond the broad strokes, because not all aggressions are equally aggressive. Just as not all rapes are equal in their heinousness, the exact heinousness and proper recourse may be vague and easy to manipulate, but the fact remains that any such crime is a violation of the NAP. That fact is not vague or easy to manipulate.

          1. yes it is. You just assume you know what a “crime” is. And you don’t. You have your idea of what it means, but it is not self evident that that is the only way to define the term much less the correct way. Other people definite differently and more broadly. How broad it should be is of course the debate. No one disagrees with the NAP. They just disagree on what constitutes “aggression”.

            1. You just assume you know what a “crime” is. And you don’t.

              Right because I’m not a Christian, as you told me a few weeks ago. If I don’t listen to the profound knowledge of genocidal goat herders, I can only pretend to know.

              Other people definite differently and more broadly.

              Rape is rape, it’s a categorical distinction of man, not a law of nature that simply is what it is. But insofar as man made distinctions are made rational, logically consistent and universal, you will arrive at the same place somewhere beyond the margin of error.

              They just disagree on what constitutes “aggression”.

              That’s an indictment of that person’s thinking, not of the NAP itself. Not everyone agrees on the exact meaning of the much more complex 2nd Amendment, that doesn’t mean a progressive has any standing to claim the amendment is all about arming the government or all about free bananas for that matter.

            2. Agreed. Some people find economic exclusion ism to be aggression. Of course they’ve assumed the existence of positive rights, but they legitimately believe that refusing to give is to take.

              How do you argue with these wannabe utilitarian pragmatist? These folks who feel their ways through the issue? Frankly, you can’t. They have legitimately insulated their views from logical rebuttal… whether called mansplaining, white privilege, or even something as innocuous as “it would never work,” all are ways of shortcutting intellectual introspection in favor of post-positivist coalition building. In essence, they are worshippers of might makes right, and they have to do everything they can take sure that they have the lynch mob on their side.

        3. A free market person would tell you that the CO2 you produce by combusting fuels in an open chemical reaction is an externality. AGW doesn’t really matter one whit – but the existence of the externality does.

    2. It’s pretty easy to articulate. Government is force, so it should only be used when force is justified. Like protecting the people from invasion, enforcing criminal law, and providing courts where people can resolve disputes without resorting to violence. There is a case to be made for government being involved in the protection of the environment, but even that is debatable.

      And that’s it.

      Yet for some reason most people conclude that that means no government at all. I don’t get it.

      1. Have you read the libertarian manifesto on the environment/pollution. It is pretty damn good. Private property rights have been so eroded in this country that government has to intervene. If we had stronger property rights, then the courts could handle claims.

        1. My understanding is that courts used to handle claims just fine until the government stepped in and said “We’re going to issue some rules, and as long as polluters follow the rules, the people downstream have no standing in court.”

          1. The municipality I inhabit has a permit to dump raw sewage into our local river that flows into Lake Erie. The property owners downstream have no standing in court. And yet when Lake Erie has an algae bloom, the environmental regulators come howling for farmer blood. The crime isn’t the damage to property of others mind you, their crime is not having the proper permission slips to do so.

      2. Government is force, so it should only be used when force is justified

        that is just restating the question. When is it “justified”? You think it rarely is and that is nice and all but other people disagree. Why are you right and they are wrong?

        1. When is it “justified”?

          In response to force, or in the case of courts to prevent people from resorting to force.

          Why are you right and they are wrong?

          It is logically inconsistent to say that government should both respond to force and be the initiator of force. Just as it is logically inconsistent to say government can both protect property rights while giving some a claim to the property of others.

        2. Arguments from self ownership are nice. But most people aren’t interested in those arguments.

          So practically it comes down to assumptions or values. Libertarians think that individual (negative) rights are the most important thing. Other people think other things are sometimes more important.

          1. So practically it comes down to assumptions or values.

            Yes it does. This is why the culture war is important. If society doesn’t have a culture that values self reliance and risk taking over fairness and security, you will never win the argument. Progs understand this and thus constantly wage the culture war in an effort to destroy the culture of self worth. Libertarians sadly often just take it for granted that everyone operates under the same assumptions they do and fail to realize what the Progs are doing.

            1. The progs have won the culture war, it’s already over. They have completed the Long March Through the Institutions and own education both K-12 and college, and they own both entertainment and news media. All that’s left is mopping up the last remnants of what once was, thus the ever more petty and ridiculous targets.

              1. Well, that’s awfully gloomy.

                1. Yeah, I figure at this point all we can do is have a few drinks and watch it burn.

              2. Oh contrare, mon frere(sic/siiic*fake french accent);
                Teh Progtards, by “winning”, have now become the MAN. The normal rabble rousers and hippie dippie revolutionaries have become that which they revile the most but at the same time coveted. I have a theory(and one example of this being right is the # of newcomers to the Libertarian side of the FORCE)- once you become the MAN and spread your lies, their will inevitably be push back from people armed with truth, conviction and the “fuck you I won’t do what you tell me(RATM lyrics) attitude that Americans have cherished since inception.
                Even now the MAN puts these “problems with their message” people on watch lists and tracks their movements/conversations. But just like all cycles it will come to pass, the Progturdian movement is already ebb and flowing down the piss drain of your local bar(the birthplace of revolutions). Us lazy bastards just need some more kicks to the groin by them to get us going.

                1. *there
                  (and whatever other misspellings and gross violations in grammar I done did)

            2. Progs understand this and thus constantly wage the culture war in an effort to destroy the culture of self worth.

              +1000 correct. It is a key to understanding how their positions on various issues, which seem so inconsistent on the surface, are in fact consistent with their long term goal.

          2. Many people don’t even agree with the notion of self-ownership. Especially collectivists. They feel that since we’re all in this together, nobody really owns themselves. We belong to society. But then they conflate society with government, and essentially say that we are all owned by government.

            1. They think they agree but they really don’t. They love the freedom of self ownership. They just don’t like the responsibility of self ownership. And you can’t have self ownership without both.

              1. The leftist view of life is nothing but a long string of logical inconsistencies.

                1. Which is why they support Hillary because she promises to fight income inequality while her daughter Chelsea buys a nice new $10MM Manhattan condo.

              2. They love the freedom of self ownership. They just don’t like the responsibility of self ownership.

                I think it’s very important to know the ideological roots of the Progressive movement. There is a reason that they have abandoned responsibility.

                It’s important to note that these people developed out of a religious revival. Ever wonder why all of their arguments are one form or another of moralizing? It’s because they started with the social gospel, a moral movement to improve society through opposing injustice.

                Also important is that when they broke away from religion, it was on a pseudo-scientific platform. The secular and atheist progressives (forebearers of todays progressives) believed in social darwinism and eugenics. They based their policy on pseudoscientific racism.

                Finally, it’s really important to understand that their major “win” wasn’t the civil rights movement… it was feminism. This is where the abdication of responsibility comes from. Feminism has only had a 30 year period of “hear me roar” second wave power feminists. First wave feminism was a Victorian “fragile flower and moral superior” feminism, where women were expected to be handled with kid gloves. Third wave feminism is a mix of all of the “winning” arguments from the first two waves. Most importantly, the “winning arguments” have spread through all of progressivism, destroying human agency of aggrieved classes.

                1. Wow. I love your analysis.

                  I rarely post here at Reason; but I know I can always come here (and I frequently do) to read rational thought! (primarily from the comments section)

              3. They just don’t like the responsibility of self ownership.

                “Freedom is the opportunity to be responsible for yourself”- David Gerrold

            2. …and Progs endeavor to perfect man through application of correct governmental policies and processes using the march of history to iterate to this state of perfection.

              In other words, they are fucking monsters.

      3. Tenet 2:

        The ONLY legitimate purpose of government is to protect the rights of the individual.

        1. Lots of people think “free shit” is their right.

          1. Tenet 1:

            A person may do as they wish, PROVIDED in doing so they do not infringe upon the rights of others.

            Free shit violates tenet 1.

    3. This is true. You hear a lot of “taxes are theft” and calls to shut down some department or other. Which is all valid. But isn’t going to persuade and doesn’t help lose the image that libertarians are a bunch of cranky contrarians and cynics who just hate government (which is also true to some extent).

      The trouble is, I think, that it takes about 5 minutes for a libertarian to describe the proper role of government. After that, the question goes right back to “how do we get there?”. Which of course means talking about what should be cut and what government shouldn’t do.
      There is also the fact that a rapid transition to a more libertarian government is very unlikely and incremental change is the only politically practical way of moving in that direction. Which means that you are talking about cutting spending and taxes and getting rid of government agencies.

      1. Thing is, government is a one-way ratchet. It’s nearly impossible to roll anything back. Doing so means people lose their jobs or their entitlements, and they’re going to be pissed.

        That’s why conservative politicians say “We want to cut government!” but refuse to give specifics. Anything specific means someone loses their job or entitlement, and that’s political suicide.

        1. Which is why, when it comes down to it, I am just a cynic who hates government.

          1. Me too.

          2. Yeah that’s me in the mirror too. The US is a fascist, surveillance police state and it is only going to get worse until it implodes or becomes a true dictatorship. Even if we had a civil war I think we’d only end up with a military dictatorship and be no better off. Libertarianism is a dream, but it is better than what we have.

        2. Agreed. Too many times I’ve seen even regular people with little political power who say they wish to cut something, but as soon as it gets specific, they always respond that you can’t cut that because of what it will do to the people affected by that.

          That’s why it’ll always sound like “pro-government” proponents are more moral, since they care about how political actions affect lives, while those “pro-individual” proponents are ideological zealots who put their ideology over the wellbeing of others.

          1. That’s why it’ll always sound like “pro-government” proponents are more moral, since they care about how political actions affect lives, while those “pro-individual” proponents are ideological zealots who put their ideology over the wellbeing of others.

            And that of course is a complete lie. It is the Progressives who continue to pursue programs in the name of ideology and power even those policies have been proven time and again to cause disastrous harm. It is they who expect people to suffer for an ideology.

            Yet, they constantly claim it is everyone else who does that and worse still get away with it. The reason they are able to do that is they are experts in controlling the terms of the debate. You can’t win arguing on their terms. You have to change the terms of the debate. That is of course easier said than done. Ultimately, we have got to figure out to defeat the very idea that there are collective big solutions ot societal problems. That of course is the truth. You don’t solve “poverty” or “addiction”, individuals solve their own poverty and addiction. But telling people “no we can’t change the world the world has to change itself” doesn’t appeal to moral vanity and is a hard truth for many people to face.

            1. How does a therapist change a light bulb?

              The therapist doesn’t change the light bulb. The light bulb has to want to change itself.

              The government cannot solve someone’s problems who doesn’t want their problems solved for them.

          2. It’s the seen versus the unseen. The seen almost always wins. It’s hard to convince people that if that money was left in the hands of people it would be invested and jobs would be created in the market versus actually seen evidence of “x amount of government jobs were created with that money”.

            1. + 1 Broken Windows

          3. To win the argument, you have to make people understand the ripple effect: bailing out GM is nice for those workers, but it’s bad for all the taxpayers who funded it, and for people who buy foreign cars who have to pay more due to Japan responding with protectionist measures of its own.

            The problem is the same almost every time, imo, when a government measure is proposed to ‘help people.’

            1) people care more about the particular people being helped, who have names and faces, than the anonymous taxpayers, consumers, and employees of uncertain number who are being hurt. People have to be made to see that they are basically choosing to help one person at the expense of three people merely because they can see the one being helped, they see their face, they see pictures of their family outings and get all these warm fuzzy feelings and oh how they deserve to be helped. But those other three anonymous people being hurt? One must convince everyone that those anonymous sufferers are equally worthy of consideration, despite the lack of a tangible emotional connection with them.

            1. 2) There’s a general lack of a sense of delayed gratification that has to be dealt with. People have to be made to realize that, sure, this measure does an immediate good thing, but the downstream bad things it does outweigh the immediate good. You have to keep their eye on the big picture, the indirect unintended consequences, to realize that for a measure to be justified it must not merely do good, but rather must ultimately (rather than immediately) do more good than harm.

      2. The trouble is, I think, that it takes about 5 minutes for a libertarian to describe the proper role of government.

        Sure it does. But the conversation doesn’t go to “how do we get there”. The conversation goes to “what do the words you just used mean”. You guys suffer from the same problem progs do sometimes in that you just assume that your assumptions are acknowledged as the absolute truth by everyone else. They are not. You have to justify your assumptions and your definitions to people or you will never convince anyone except those who are already disposed to agree with you. And that is not good enough.

        1. How about a 3% cut in real government spending every year until people start to faint in the streets, and then reassess? Right now, compromise means slightly smaller growth in government than the left wants.

          1. I think a vast majority of Americans would agree with the simple proposition “The government is too big.”

          2. Sure, but I am thinking more broadly than that. Why do Progs get away with claiming a 3% cut in government is the end of the world? Because they get to define the terms before the argument starts.

            1. I don’t follow your logic here.

              1. Because they have gotten most people to operate under the assumption that the government trying to solve a problem is always better than it not trying to solve it. Thus, anytime someone says “cut government”, they end up being accused of wanting things to get worse. Progs have defined the terms of the debate such that government action is always good and government inaction is always allowing a problem to continue. That is the mentality that has to be changed.

                1. Because they have gotten most people to operate under the assumption that the government trying to solve a problem is always better than it not trying to solve it.

                  [insert Bastiat quote here]

                2. I’ve started pointing out how politicians created the problem that people are asking them to ‘fix’.

              2. Progressives use the tried and true and tactic of making any proposed reduction in spending into an outrageous assault on some vulnerable or sympathetic group. It ceases to be about numbers and common sense and instead becomes a narrative where the poor get shafted for the benefit of the rich.

                For example, cutting spending 3% across the board is like kicking poor people to the curb while corporate fatcats golf and buy fancy cars.

            2. My explanation: they are akin to a witch doctor watching a real doctor perform a surgery to remove a tumot on a patient before an uninformed loved one. When the surgeon cuts the patient, the witch doctor shouts hysterically “look at the blood, the blood! And his innards, my god, the surgeon is killing him! Quick, tell him to stop and let me treat him instead!” The loved one is then does precisely this, because even if they suspect the witch doctor is full of shit, the site of blood scares them into capitulating.

              People have to be convinced to calmly look beyond the immediate effects of cutting a government program (the blood spilled, the lost jobs and services) to realize that in the long run it is necessary and beneficial as the negative impact of the program outweighed the positive, and they have to be willing to wait long enough to see the patient recover from the surgery to see that the surgery was actually good for the patient.

              When the patient is doing badly, people will go to the surgeon. But usually, the sight of blood is enough to send them back to the witch doctor.

        2. You guys suffer from the same problem progs do sometimes in that you just assume that your assumptions are acknowledged as the absolute truth by everyone else.

          Well, I don’t do that. I am quite aware that that is a big reason why serious, ideological libertarians don’t get very far, as I note above.

          Utilitarian arguments still remain. And those can be convincing in some cases, but again, it comes down to different assumptions about how people operate morally and respond to incentives.

          1. I most definitely don’t do that. If we were all libertarians, we wouldn’t be where we are now.

          2. That is another problem with Libertarianism, sometimes utilitarian choices have to be made. If there is a cost to doing nothing, then you have to weight that cost versus the cost of acting. And that is a utilitarian choice. You can’t avoid it. So, you can’t just say “we never make utilitarian choices” because you do whether you want to or not.

            No ideology is perfect. The world is too messy for that. At some point circumstances get extreme enough that living by your principles, no matter how noble, becomes a vice.

            1. I was thinking more of utilitarian arguments for libertarianism itself. Like saying that it will lead to better economic and social outcomes than a more active government. And the problem there is that people have different assumptions about how people will behave under different conditions.

              1. Libertarianism is not only morally superior, it’s usually practically superior. Of course, like any -ism, it is scalable, from anarchy to a minarchy like the former constitutional republic.

  6. ” Libertarians are the ideological equivalent of kale. A couple of decades ago, who cared about today’s much-munched super food? Nowadays, you can’t go anywhere without being tossed the stuff in your way.”

    I just can’t even…

    1. Let’s play fill int he blank: Libertarians are like kale because ____________

      I’ll start: Libertarians are like kale because they’re both stocked at Whole Foods.

      Libertarians are like kale because hot blond women didn’t pay much attention to them in high school but have begun to recognize their benefits as they age.

      Libertarians are like kale because Nick Gillespie has an incredibly difficult time coming up with similes that aren’t objectively retarded.

      1. Alright I’ll play. Libertarians are like lake because Nick lives in a hipster bubble in DC.

        1. Libertarians are like lake because they are all wet.

        2. See! Kale is so damn far from my radar that my phone doesn’t even no what it is.

          1. Or know even.

            Fuck it. Time for some day drinking.

      2. Libertarians are like kale because they get bitter and weird-looking if you leave them in the fridge for more than a couple days.

        Libertarians are like kale because you can substitute them into a decent palakh paneer.

      3. Libertarians are like kale because although it’s really good for you, people’s first impression of it is “Ew, why the fuck would I eat that?”

        1. I’m modifying this because it’s too good: Libertarians are like kale women’s first impression upon seeing one is “Ew, why the fuck would I put that in my mouth?” Then it grows on them.

  7. I think many people who hold Libertarian beliefs don’t call themselves Libertarian because they just belive what they believe and don’t feel a need to call it something.

    1. Some comedian said that her mother told her something like “I know that you don’t believe in God, but now you say you’re an atheist!”

  8. We need a better class of enemy.

  9. “…it reveals a particular sort of epistemic closure that few people can pull off without the help of drugs not yet invented.”

    Admit it, Nick. You smiled when you finished typing that sentence.

    1. As well he should have.

  10. Offering an anti govt message is enough. You don’t have to explain how you’d be better off without cancer, you just remove it.

  11. nearly a quarter of us are socially liberal and fiscally conservative,

    Stated preference? Sure.

    Revealed preference? Not so much.

    1. Yep. And I would be shocked if real libertarians (as most Reasonoids would define the term) are more than 3% of the population. If we were anywhere near 10%, this country would be on a different path — you don’t need to have a 51% majority to effect change.

      1. And I would be shocked if real libertarians (as most Reasonoids would define the term)

        Most Reasonoids aren’t libertarians. (51%?)

    2. …which is one working definition of libertarianism

      It’s not a very good working definition, once you realize that “fiscally conservative” doesn’t mean much.

      1. That’s one problem; the other problem is that “socially liberal” doesn’t mean much either.

      2. Here’s the problem:

        Fiscal conservatism is indifferent between raising taxes and cutting spending as a means to balance the budget. Not just super-libertarian, IMO.

        Socially liberal doesn’t really mean “live and let live”. Anymore, it means “live at someone else’s expense.” Also, not super-libertarian.

      3. Put it this way…socially liberal and fiscally conservative as liberals and conservatives claim to be and not how they actually are.

  12. “I’d argue that Rand Paul’s emergence as a serious presidential candidate is more a reflection of shifts in public sentiment than the other way around”

    Absolutely. I’m a firm believer that the people aren’t led by “leaders” but are chosen by the people, directly or indirectly, that serve their perceived needs/wants. This is why RON Paul’s educational campaigns were vital.

  13. The problem is whether Paul is a Libertarian of not, his appeal is only that of a Libertarian or Kale.
    So the more important point of Krugman’s comment is spot on.

    1. Depends on how many voters are sticklers on one issue (like abortion or guns or whatever) versus how many are willing to vote for a candidate that they might disagree with in some areas but agree on in other, important ones.

      Rand isn’t getting many progressive votes because he’s on the wrong side of abortion and gay-friendliness but he could pull a lot of independent voters if they view him as a reasonable guy that’s not your typical Republican because of his libertarian views.

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  15. Kale sucks. I want a tastier metaphor.

    1. Libertarians are like metaphors…

    2. Oh, you just need to prepare it properly.

      I was eating kale before it was cool. It’s fun to grow.

      1. Only way to eat it is creamed. With sugar added. As a side to ham. Or some other big chunk of pork.

        In every other application it’s pretty unappealing. Kind of like Libertarians apparently.

      2. “It’s fun to grow.”
        I only know of one thing in the world it’s fun to grow…”

        Get it? And no I’m not referring to weed.

  16. Either Krugman is the Neil deGrasse Tyson of economics, or Tyson is the aspiring Krugman of science evangelism. They both seem staples of the “coffee table reading material designed by lefties to enhance their readers’ appeal to other lefties” industry.

    1. Krugman is worse. A physicist (or whatever he is) can still do physics well and have stupid political views because it’s hard to tie physics to politics (except for funding). Krugman, on the other hand, has to pretend that all the good work he did in economics doesn’t mean what it says.

      1. Tyson is a friggin’ lightweight. Take a look at his curriculum vitae…weak.

  17. I don’t know what is wrong with you Nick. Any fool can see that “libertarian” is in a much smaller font in Krugman’s polictical affiliation grid. What more proof do you need that he is correct?

  18. Krugman is like a pet rock being thrown through the glass window of economic self ownership.

  19. “The kids weren’t doing this with Andre Marrou, let me tell you.”

    I was.

    1. I have to admit to once having a “grip and grin” Polaroid taken w/AM. The 3D version, though.

      I was about 15 years to old to be called a “kid,” though.

      Kevin R

    2. Me too, except most people I talked to got him confused with Lyndon LaRouche.

      1. Yeah… my own mother once voted for Lyndon LaRouche, saying “that is the Libertarian candidate, isn’t it?”. I crawled under the table.

  20. I think we need to see a poll to see if millenials really do prefer libertarianism or kale. Is the libertarian moment bigger than the kale moment? Or has it peaked out like the zombies on TV moment?

    1. Perhaps millenials would really prefer to see libertarian zombies eating kale?

      1. Wouldn’t we all?

      2. Maybe zombie millennials would really prefer to see libertarian-free kale zones.

        1. Is a kale zone an ethnic slur against Italian food?

  21. Paul Krugman wrote more than once that raising the minimum wage would cost jobs. Then he became a high priest of progressive dogma for the NYT where that is blasphemy. He has duly recanted and now says raising the minimum wage will have no impact on unemployment. He is to economics what the Clintons are to politics.

  22. All you need to know about Krugman is that he is a strong proponent of single payer healthcare. He loves to point to Sweden as the shining example of how a single payer works well. He ignores the fact that Sweden is a country of 3 million people and when that same model is moved to a country 10 times its size (UK), it collapses. However, because he is an arrogant jackass, he continues to insist as system unable to work in a country of 33 million will work perfectly in a country of 330+ million. He is a Keynesian economist who refuses to accept that WWII, not his flawed economic model pulled the US out of the great depression. He is a rabid unionists who refuses to accept that the over the top demand of the UAW is what killed the US auto industry. Bottom line, he is an idiot..

    1. You know – your points might be valid if you didn’t make idiotic assertions about the population of UK (64 million) or Sweden (9-10 million). Or the Swedish health care system (decentralized) v UK (centralized). Or even the Swedish system v the American system – eg the Swedish central government pays roughly 30% of the overall healthcare bill. The US central government pays roughly 35% of the overall healthcare bill via Medicare and Medicaid.

    2. “He is a Keynesian economist who refuses to accept that WWII, not his flawed economic model pulled the US out of the great depression.”

      You need to refine your understanding of Austrian economics, bro. Keynesians would simply say that the WW2 argument proves their point, because WW2 resulted in the gov’t spending lots of money on the war, thus stimulating the economy. The argument that WW2 ended the great depression is equivalent to the broken window fallacy. A libertarian argument would be that the great depression ended because much of the new deal was rolled back by the end of the war, and 1945 was probably one of the only years in US history where the fed gov’t shrank.

      1. Actually, he is part right about the war. WW2 led to the imposition or rations, which, unintentionally, led to massive saving by the public. In fact, the net amount saved by the public during the war far outstripped even the amount of government deficit spending during the war; so far from an example of successful deficit spending, the effects of the war were the opposite: net saving (enough to cancel out public deficit spending) led to a huge expansion in the supply of capital available at the end of the war, contributing to the post-war boom in production.

        Oh, and another reason the war helped get us out of the depression, but less of an ‘economic’ reason: all our major competitors were bombed into rubble, so we inherited their market share.

        1. Yep

    3. He ignores the fact that Sweden is a country of 3 million people and when that same model is moved to a country 10 times its size (UK), it collapses.

      Other way around — the UK created the Beveridge Model and Sweden imported it.

  23. “Libertarians are the ideological equivalent of kale.”

    So much for my crush on Nick. We are neither as popular as kale, nor as unpalatable.

  24. It’s a mystery to me why anyone gives a rat’s ass what Paul Krugman has to say about …anything.
    Truly mysterious.

    1. It’s a mystery to me why anyone gives a rat’s ass about numbers, graphs, statistics, facts, data, science, theory, experiment, observation, analysis, prediction, or even mathematics. They have nothing to say about …anything. They have never given anything of any value to anyone.
      Truly mysterious.

      1. Are you equating all those things with what Paul Krugman has to say? Or contrasting?

  25. “pot legalization and gay marriage”
    .
    I’ve found that most people in favor of pot legalization either:
    .
    1. Want to get high; OR
    2. Only see it from a utilitarian perspective.
    .
    Very few see the broader issue of self-ownership.
    .
    I’d don’t see either as indicative of a ‘libertarian moment’. but that horse has been beaten to death here. Plus, liberalizing either of those things poses no threat to the state’s power.

    1. ” Plus, liberalizing either of those things poses no threat to the state’s power.”

      I would disagree on that point. Liberalizing weed threatens revenues that are collected, and used by police departments, and threatens the profits of monopolistic drug cartels that use those profits to buy government influence.

      1. A reasonable point.

        It does threaten those things. but so long as other drugs remain prohibited, police departments and cartels still have some of those powers.

        I think the reduction in the state’s power is minimal in comparison to say, liberalizing gun laws, or abolishing the income tax.

        And, unlike those two things, ending pot prohibition can’t be framed by authoritarians as a threat to the state, or “society” (they might try, but the majority isn’t buying it anymore)

    2. I can affirm that in Colorado at least that is true. Legalizing had nothing to do with anything truly libertarian and has no broader implications.

  26. Kale is so last year. Everyone knows that the new superfood is collards.

    1. Americans opposing the Progs have been consuming far too much coward greens. They better start eating more oysters if they plan on standing up to those who fight dirty as a way of life.

      1. I would say Agorist Meat.

        1. Progs or those opposing them?

  27. Did Rand Paul sell himself as a Libertarian? Maybe I missed that part. From what I’ve read and heard he’s been mostly labeled libertarian leaning.

  28. the little chart isn’t even accurate. The people we call “conservatives” aren’t even socially illiberal. The lefties are more socially illiberal than they are. Even if you point out the gay marriage thing, the vast majority of the country (and therefore conservatives, too) were all for legalizing civil unions, they just don’t want the word “marriage” used.

    The term “conservative” and “liberal” at this point are anachornisms.

    The liberals nowadays are the ones who want widespread social control over people through government.

    1. That sounds about right.

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  30. With two stolen Bush elections and the last election a Republican landslide, of course the world is spinning in a different direction. Was 2014 stolen or did the electorate go mad? None of it has anything to do with libertarians.

    The Tea not-a-party cloaks itself in the mantle of libertarian, it is fascist, racist, xenophobic and dishonest. The Reaganites slash born-againers claim the mantle of libertarian, they are lairs, cheats, hypocrites, morally bankrupt and religious bigots. The hero pseudo-libertarian, Rand Paul, is a Randian, dreaming of corporatocracy crushing the Republic, the triumph of fascism.

    So I’m siding with Krugman. Few real Libertarians anywhere. I am sometimes one, mildly. Often our government decides who gets benefits, same way Insurance companies do – no lawyer, no benefit. So long as everyone gets benefits, like retirement Social Security, or there is an objective standard, I am a Socialist. If the government plays favorite, I say, tax me not at all and give me no benefit, the libertarian credo.

    I stand with all decent humans, politics aside. This venomous blog and the spiteful commenters here reek of indecency. If you are indecent, you cannot spot indecency, you use ad-hominem and innuendo, ridicule and scorn, thinking them cogent debate. If you are decent at your very core, like me, indecency jumps in your nose like a rotting corpse. Krugman is decent to his very core. I see very little debate here.

    1. Go tell Bo.

      1. On the subject of the Broken Window Fallacy, one could point out how the ultimate outcome of Kristallnacht (what could be considered the largest real life test of the theory in history) wasn’t that the community prospered, but after great and horrific suffering for all it was completely leveled to the ground.

        1. Yes. If increasing the minimum wage to 15$ an hour helps the economy why not increase the miinimum wage to 1000$ an hour

          1. Go for a million. If we’re all millionaires then none of us will ever want again. Worked for Zimbabwe…

    2. “you use ad-hominem and innuendo, ridicule and scorn, thinking them cogent debate”

      Oh, the projection. You forgot strawmen, and guilt-by-association.

      1. I am a troll. I am willing to crawl in the same mud the you crawl in. The difference between us is that I crawl in the mud to understand you. You crawl in the mud because you live there.

        1. Uh-huh. That sounds about right.

          1. I am glad you think so Mr. Galt. =D

            1. You know how it is. Free minds starving for free markets. 😉

              1. Sorry poasting in the wrong thread. =)

                1. Eh, I do it all the time.

                    1. Yeah! Good stuff.

      2. How you doing, Arizona_Guy. Still in AZ?

        1. Why yes I am. Good guess!

          1. Just wondering. I’m from AZ.

    3. Poor little fella, it’s obvious someone has hurt you very badly.

      It’s okay. Just let it all out. Once you’ve fully purged your healing may begin.

      1. Can you heal me Tulpa? Can your giant pussy cock make me whoe. ?

        1. So Oneye is Tulpa in disguise?

          1. It fits his MO

    4. As someone who is, like Krugman, decent at his very core you sure come across like a whiny, self-righteous, delusional prick. So yes, you do have a lot in common with the good Perfesser.

    5. The irony of this post….

    6. “If you are indecent, you cannot spot indecency”
      That explains why you think this: “Krugman is decent to his very core.”

      “you use ad-hominem and innuendo, ridicule and scorn, thinking them cogent debate.”
      Clearly, you’ve never read anything by Paul Krugman.

  31. My cat farts more intelligent positions than Krugman.

  32. “All of a sudden, we need some new office buildings,” he wrote on September 14, 2001.

    Well, wasn’t that a lucky day for us? For someone to write such a thing before the smoke had even cleared and when we were still expecting a death toll of around 10,000 shows what a degenerate dwarf of a man Krugman is. In 2002 he also predicted that “in the years ahead Enron, not Sept. 11, will come to be seen as the greater turning point in U.S. society.”

    So yeah, he’s a real fucking genius. Anything he opposes I’ll proudly advocate and vice versa.

  33. Libertarian is what wingnuts call themselves when they don’t want to be
    called Republicans and they can’t pass as independent. The ideology is based on childish notions that look great on paper but make no sense in the real world with real world people. Seriously, grow up.

    1. O mature and wise one who immediately comes off as someone’s spoiled brat. So what are your notions? Hurry, you don’t want to be late for the free face painting and temporary tattoos!

    2. Sad these days that supporting individual freedom makes one a wingnut but being a Stalinist makes one progressive. Apparently there is no left wing anymore, that side of the political spectrum apparently just devolves into a Mobius strip.

      As a side note, it seems writing about Krugman is a good way to get the trolls to come out. I’m guessing these ones are from Krugtard’s troupe of lictors at the NYT who have found enough time between their fellatio sessions with Dr. Paul to come over here and grace us with their presence.

      1. Cm’on, man, PLEASE don’t be disrespectful! Saint Krugman has got hisself a NOBLE PEACE PRIZE, fer Chrissakes!?!?!? Do ye NOT know, a Giant Paul Krugland meets us in an after-life Socialist Paradise; a North Korea in the Sky, where every new arrival is granted 72 brand-new Socialist Virtues??!!??? That’s step one towards True Enlightenment? KNOWING this simple, fundamental truth! The last step is getting yourself all Krugmanned up, and taking yourself (preferably along with many others) to this after-life Socialist Paradise, with a well-placed suicide bomb. Islamofascists need to be relegated to their inferior place with respect to the Holier-Than-Thou Socialists! Paul Krugman RULES!!!!

  34. I would self describe as socially liberal and Fiscally conservative. For years I have said that no party represents this even though there are many who would also identify this way.

    I would never call myself Libertarian though. Libertarians elevate the marketplace to the level of religion. Pure market capitalism is not an absolute. libertarians could gain traction with their many good ideas if they stopped pretending that they were absolute truth.

    1. ” Libertarians elevate the marketplace to the level of religion. ”

      This is what Progressives actually believe.

    2. “Pure market capitalism is not an absolute”

      Individuals making their own decisions is an absolute. Self Ownership as an absolute property right is an absolute, unless you believe in slavery.

    3. ” libertarians could gain traction with their many good ideas if they stopped pretending that they were absolute truth.”

      Your logic sucks.

    4. “I would never call myself Libertarian though”

      Good. I would call you a fascist.

    5. Frankly, even if we accept your logic, the choice between A) libertarian who trusts the market 100% and the progressive who trusts the government 100%, the libertarian is still going to be right far more often than the progressive, as the market accurately prices goods far more often than the government does.

      If you must have a purism, then market purism is far less harmful than progressive purism.

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  36. I want to thank Old Mexican for showing me how to de-construct an argument. It’s a lot like fabricating a chicken. I am still getting the hang of it, nevertheless it is a good skill.

  37. This is the most intelligent, civil comment roll I’ve come across. And I’ve come across a lot.

    Go to Motherjones or FoxNews, and you have a bunch of pigs slinging mud at the abhorred ‘others’, engaging in ad hominem attacks, and rarely saying anything of intellectual substance. Not here.

    I’d like to see a poll comparing readership rates to political perspectives. I’d bet those who associate with Libertarians read far more books, and watch much less television.

    1. Yea some of the regulars here post up some really tasty stuff.

    2. Yer books means NUTHIN!!!! FEELINGS (of moral superiority especially) rules the day!!! I say Government Almighty LOVES us all, and that makes me feel GOOD!!! Ya say that Government Almighty is made of (some not all) fallible humans looking out to feather their nests??!? THAT is a WAY hurtful thing to say (w/o ANY “trigger warning” at all, I might add)!!! Ya said stuff that makes me feel BAD!!! BAD F-dawg, BAD!!! Bad stuff comes from BAD pepples!!! Ya made me feel BAD; ergo, YOU must be BAD!!!

      Case closed!

  38. “This is the most intelligent, civil comment roll I’ve come across.”
    +1 very interesting thread, much to think about. As a lurker, my favorite post,
    The progs have won the culture war, it’s already over. They have completed the Long March Through the Institutions and own education both K-12 and college, and they own both entertainment and news media. All that’s left is mopping up the last remnants of what once was, thus the ever more petty and ridiculous targets. WTF
    Yes, the Libertarians lost. If they want to win a war, they will have to start a new one.

    1. The progs won…

      The middle-age Europeans won their war against witches… Witches were to be blamed for dead babies and dead calves and failed crops, so the witches were burned. All this did NOT end well for peace and justice!

      Two Nazis and one Jew had a vote of whose life should be taken so that their property could be liquidated for the Good of the Greater Fatherland. The Nazis won the vote, but it did NOT end well in the long run.

      So the Libertarians will have to start another war… I hope that they will win one of these days, else it will NOT end well for all of us!

  39. add another jew to the list of Libertarian haters……

    -FFM

  40. A few libertarians are born. Government makes the rest.

  41. Krugman is a goofball (and I don’t say that about all liberals; I have a subscription to Mother Jones because they do real reporting). I have done Nolan Chart style polling since 1999. Among older Republicans, conservatism as Nolan Chart defined predominates. Among the young, libertarians (broadly defined) outnumber conservatives. Years ago I ran my computerized quiz at American University; the president of the College Republicans scored dead center of the libertarian quadrant.

    For the past few years I have had an online quiz which has unbiased priming, gives some reasonable authoritarian options, and points out the downsides of extreme libertarian proposals. Libertarians still outnumber conservatives. This does not reflect the general electorate, however. I large fraction of my quiz takers are students. It does, however, point towards the future.

    Rand Paul is riding in part on his father’s coattails. However, the Republican establishment is tolerating his run because they can see the future too. The future for the Republican Party is not Rothbard level libertarianism. It is, however, more libertarian than where the government is today (my centering of the Nolan Chart). Have a look at the scatter plot here: http://www.quiz2d.com/stats

  42. Many who have been vociferous in criticizing income and wealth inequality such as Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz have not pointed to the increase income inequality as the cause of the depression. Those on the left who might be the natural proponents of a more progressive tax system have not connected the dots. They have a different theory as to the cause of the depression. They are adherents to the regulatory fallacy, the belief that the depression was caused by insufficient regulation.

    To determine if someone is an adherent of the regulatory fallacy ask this question: Do you believe that given the degree that the tax burden was shifted from the rich to the middle class, was there any type of regulatory policy which would have prevented the financial crisis? If they answer yes, they are adherents to the regulatory fallacy

    In Paul Krugman’s 2012 book “End this Depression Now!” he comes heartbreakingly close to connecting the dots between the reduction in the progressivity of the tax system and the cycle of overinvestment that caused the depression. He states that the book is much less concerned with the cause of the depression than what should be done to end it. His prescription is fiscal stimulus focused on the spending side.

    Those on the right have their own version of the regulatory fallacy. They blame the government sponsored enterprises FNMA and the Community Reinvestment Act. ….”
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1543642

  43. I could go into a long diatribe on those “Libertarian Deniers” such as Krugman, but suffice it to say that anyone who truly understands the concept of Freedom and the perniciousness of a ‘self-sustaining’ government bureaucracy would simply have to be in favor of Libertarian principles.

  44. A quick look through the comments on Reason, as well as the content of most of their articles, makes it clear that libertarianism hasn’t expanded, t’s just that a great number of right wing republicans now identify themselves as libertarian. That is a net negative for libertarians, since the political opinions of the right wing republicans haven’t changed at all.

    1. Eh, what? First, there are polls. Second, guesstimating the number of comments on Reason is not scientific. Someone could easily counter that libertarianish comments are popping up elsewhere on the internet. Third, politics follows the general population, not the other way around, so if politicians have moved to the right, it is because the general population has moved to the right.

      Nick is right. Libertarians have the momentum at this point in history.

      1. Only if one redefines libertarianism to mean right-wing republicans. Before the Koch money, libertarianism had a set of principles distinct from the republican party. The principles are still at complete odds with the republican party equally as much as they are at odds with the democratic party.
        Only now, we have a wave of people who somehow think they are libertarian because they hate liberals, as if that was the principle at stake here.
        I see about the same number of people now as I did before that ascribe to libertarian principles.
        I do see a lot of people who claim they are libertarian, but support foreign intervention to support ‘business’ interests, a ludicrously large military, crony capitalism for oil, ISP’s, cable, etc, increased surveillance state, pro-police brutality, religious ‘social legislation’, etc, etc etc.
        Also, the only reason that the populace seems more ‘right-wing’ is the incredibly successful gerrymandering by republican state legislature the past decade. Does that reflect a right wing turn by the populace? The numbers don’t seem to support that hypothesis.

  45. I have begun to say fiscally conservative and socially libertarian. Being socially liberal to me now implies that I am willing to pay for someone else social needs. I am not willing.

  46. The difference between Krugman and Kale is that Kale has never made me sick.

  47. Didn’t Krugman marry into a truckload of old money? Can afford to talk redistribution.

    1. Eh? What’s the point of marrying for money if gov is going to take most of it away?

  48. I’m not disagreeing with anything Nick says but, believe it an omission to not point out libertarian’s themselves are more than skilled in the art of glib dismissals. Just saying.

  49. Like Randians and Kant, Libertarians love to point at Krugman, whom I believe isn’t serious about anything other than clicks.

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