San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Monday, September 19, 2016

Libertarianism Will Never Work

Libertarianism will never work.  That is the conclusion of Thomas Cronin and Robert Loevy, both of whom are political science professors at Colorado College in Colorado Springs.  How do I know this?  Because the two men wrote an op-ed piece for the Denver Post yesterday in which they detailed their view that the Libertarian party is interesting to look at but would never work in the real world.  Let's consider their arguments for a while today.
The authors quote some statements from the Libertarian party's website and then write, "...this year's Libertarian ticket puts a happy face on questionable policies.  Many voters will want to think twice before they are tempted to vote for these policies and this ticket."  What are the planks in the Libertarian party's platform the authors find "questionable?"  They write, "Abolish Social Security?  Zero foreign aid?  Zero military aid for threatened allies such as Israel and South Korea? Zero help for a temporarily ailing industry like the automobile industry?  No Medicare or Obamacare?...No gun registration?  No IRS?  No programs to lessen inequality in America? No programs to promote renewable energy?"  Apparently these two intellectuals believe each of the government programs listed above are essential government services that must be retained. The only argument they present in favor of their position is another question.  They ask, "What are they smoking?"  And these fellas consider themselves to be intellectuals?
Actually the two fellows named above do present some sort of argument in defense of their position.  They write, "Some of these ideas are intriguing and idealistic and have an immediate emotional appeal.  But what kind of society would result from these policies?  All of us, understandably, have a libertarian streak and some of this is healthy.  But we must balance that impulse with a sense of community, inclusiveness and fairness."  So it seems the best argument two of Colorado's finest political scientists can come up with against the stance of the Libertarians is that freedom sounds like a good idea and it has an immediate emotional appeal but once we come to our senses we all, or at least the majority of us, realize that we are better off when government can be used to force one group to pay the bills of another group.  In other words, the majority does not want freedom when government can be used to pillage the upper 49% of the income population and give them all sorts of cool shiny things for "free."  I can't disagree with that argument because it is quite obviously correct.  The majority will always institutionalize their sinful envy when the end result is free stuff at the hands of the unprotected and wealthier minority.  That is the Amerikan way.
I would like to answer their question about what sort of society would be the result of recognizing that there are only three civil rights (my freedom, my property and my life) and that government should be restricted to protecting those rights and nothing else.  In a word, paradise.  Don't get me wrong.  Men are still sinners and men will still sin.  There will be violence and there will be theft, lying, adultery and murder.  But in a free society the impact of man's sinful behavior is always dramatically smaller than when the civil government itself is dedicated to sinful and criminal behaviors.  Under our present system the civil government sanctions the death of a million+ unborn children every year.  Under our present military system the empire kills tens of millions of citizens of foreign countries around the world in the cause of empire maintenance and expansion.  Under our present system my property does not belong to me.  It belongs to the state.  I must license my car or be forbidden to operate it.  I must pay property taxes (rent) to the civil government or be evicted from my home.  I may not do improvements to my home without the prior approval of my landlord.  I am not free to express my opinion about a career politician unless I am standing in a "free speech zone."  I am not free to put a new room on my home without the permission of a faceless bureaucrat.  I am not free to go into any career that I choose as I must first be granted permission (a license) by the government to do so.  Everything the government of the Socialist Democracy of Amerka does inhibits the free exercise of my right to my life, my freedom and my property.
The authors are aghast at the idea of abolishing Social Security.  They believe that "a sense of community, inclusiveness and fairness" mandates the Social Security system that presently exists.  They also believe that a government program that forces one generation to pay a large portion of its income to another generation is a great example of fairness, whatever that is.  Even if I live to be 100 years of age I will never get back in future Social Security payments what I have already paid into the system by this point in my life and career.  That means my "return" on Social Security is negative.  I have a significantly smaller nest egg today than I would have created if I had not been forced to pay 15% of my income to Social Security the past 40 years.  Please explain how it is fair for me to have subsidized the retirement incomes of millions of people who paid little to nothing into the system.  Please tell me how it is an example of inclusiveness when today's retirees spent their money on fun and games only to be subsidized by me today.  Please describe the sense of community I am expected to experience as a result of the fact that I am being robbed to support deadbeat retirees.   And, if things go as they appear to be heading, please explain the nature of the fairness that will exist when my future Social Security "benefits" are reduced by means testing precisely because I behaved as a responsible adult and have built up a nest egg of my own. Why should I be punished for being responsible?  How is that fair?
Our two political scientists also believe it is the business of government to take money from the top 49% of the income population and give it to politically connected businesses in the undefined "renewable energy" market.  In a free country the renewable energy market would be financed by the free and voluntary decisions of investors, if they deemed the companies worthy of their investment dollars.  If the renewable energy companies were not able to raise sufficient funds to operate, they would never come into existence or cease to exist through bankruptcy.  Either way, that would be the sovereign choice of free consumers as everyone casts an economic vote about how energy should be derived and provided to the citizens of this land.  Not content with the free market, our authors believe the government should step in and force the taxpayers to subsidize a business they would never voluntarily invest in.  I guess that will generate a sense of "inclusiveness" when all the taxpayers are forced to suffer losses together in the renewable energy industry.
Ultimately the argument of our two professors boils down to the standard elitism of the privileged class.  Government works for them and they like it.  They believe they know what is better for us than we do ourselves.  Rather than giving us the freedom to choose things they do not approve of, they promote government programs to ram their elitist goals and ideals down our throats.  They defend their actions as being fair, inclusive and as generating a sense of community, whatever that means.  Ultimately they are worshipers of the almighty empire and the beneficent State.  As we have seen millions of times before, we should not expect a rational argument in defense of their position when their religious beliefs about their deity are being challenged.

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