A Mostly Libertarian View – Part III

DontTreadThumbby Steve Lancaster   1/1/14
Economics and Business: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity” (Yeats again).

• Business
Business is regulated by exchange in the free market and competition. Business taxes are set at the same percentage of income as for individual taxpayer and will not be changed except to be reduced. A better solution but perhaps unworkable idea, is no business taxes at all. Let the free market work in the way intended.

• Markets
The free market is the only method of economics that works. Government intervention or control and regulation are anathema to the proper performance of markets and are always to the detriment of the poor and middle class. Government intervention always results in market disruption and less opportunity for the poor to advance economically.

• Energy
For the last 30 years our government has attempted to justify an energy policy based on government control of a free market product. The failure of this policy is floating in the Gulf of Mexico today (2011). There is no technology that is going to bring stability to this market until the government reduces regulation to the lowest point possible and allows the free market to work. This means in the short run more coal electric plants, more off-shore drilling and more nuclear plants. The free market will develop solutions to energy when the cost demands a new solution. Government cannot of itself mandate what the ultimate solution will be.

• Education
“We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men” (George Orwell).

Parents are the most significant educators in a child’s life. It is the obligation of parents to provide the basic essentials before children enter school. Government funded education is costly, mind deadening to students, and lacks efficacy. All public education must be returned back to the free market. Yes, this means that government school instructors will be challenged to become real teachers or they must find actual employment. Schools that truly educate their students will succeed others will close for lack of students.

• Higher Education
Universities have become a business. Core education requirements have been reduced at most public universities to bring more students into the matrix. There is little, if any, interest in these students actually graduating. The interest of the university is the money the student will contribute. University administrators are not concerned where the students get the money for school; only that they pay the bills with expanded loans that the student, whether they graduate or not will be legally responsible to repay. The modern American public university exists to provide jobs and resources for staff and faculty; students are a byproduct of this system, some in university administration would say a waste product.

The Human Condition

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a decision to either convince me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s all.

The most unpredictable and dangerous creature on the planet is man. We are killers it is hardwired into our genetic composition. Under the right conditions, each of us will act to protect our family, friends, community or country. Each of us must understand ourselves and where the line is and what it would take us to kill without remorse or second thought. In short he’s dead, I’m not, and I am glad of it.

Additionally, many people ask to be killed by their behavior or personality and are often the cause of much heartache to their families and community. Sometimes killing the evil doer is the only way of maintaining civilization. Killing is not easy, nor should it be, but it is often necessary. There is a difference between murder and killing; in short murder is premeditated and unjustified, killing is justified by law, but may still be immoral.

There is no doubt that evil exists in our world. It shows itself in the millions of dead from war and conflict; in the millions of people with little hope for a future. The libertarian does not wring his hands about the existence of evil, but stands the wall with weapons ready to defend the good and decent people. A true libertarian runs towards the sound of the guns. • (1000 views)

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6 Responses to A Mostly Libertarian View – Part III

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    A better solution but perhaps unworkable idea, is no business taxes at all. Let the free market work in the way intended.

    Steve, I think you miss the point of how useful the government’s role is in regulation (that is, “in making regular”). Regulation was the actual impetus that led to the Constitutional Convention. After the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, a number of leaders in the states on the Potomac wanted to get together to discuss regulating (making regular) the tariffs and etc. As it was, trade was inhibited by the hodge-podge of various currencies, rules, tariffs, and dissimilar methods. This idea was enlarged and expanded beyond the Potomac to the idea of scrapping the Articles of Confederation and coming up with something that would address the problems the various states were having, including problems with free trade.

    It is true that America is founded on the idea of freedom. But much of the impetus of its founding was also in facilitating free trade. It is was understood, correctly, that a certain amount of regulation would aid in this. The free market cannot function well without government. Too much “regulation” can, of course, kill it. And right now we have too much government influence. After all, we have these “Progressive” nitwits trying to tell us what kind of light bulb we can buy. No traditional American conception of liberty or free trade every had a role for government in such minutia.

    What poses for regulation (making regular) is typically not that today. It is mostly about enlarging the state and/or forwarding a nanny “Progressive” religious-like world view on us all. We must be fair and note that the Christians who were a large part of those who formed this country did not have that in mind. It is the totalitarian religion of “Progressivism” that does (which is similar to the totalitarian religion of Islam).

    Re: Energy. You are not seeing the forest for the trees unless you mention the Leftist environmental wacko component that is driving our absurd economic policies. It’s not a function of regulation, per se. It’s a function of the ideology behind that regulation. I think the largely amoral view of Libertarianism blinds you guys to these important distinctions.

    Education: I’m more in tune with you on this. I’m somewhat of the Jonah Goldbergian view that, in theory, what we need to do when institutions (such as the government education system) become dysfunctional and corrupted is to infuse them with conservative ideas. But sometimes, as Jonah has noted, the corruption becomes so deep, all one can do is put the system out of its misery.

    But, again, we should not lose site of the reason why the education system has become so corrupt and dysfunctional. The reasons are various. But as Thomas Sowell notes, government education combines the worst of two elements: unionism and a government monopoly.

    Also corrupting the education system is that (similar to the different purpose of today’s “Progressive” regulators) is that the Left has a different conception of the purpose of a human being. The conservative idea is that for a good society to function, people must be educated in the basics of their world, how it works, its history, in the basic “three R” skills, the basics of Western Civilization, etc. Also, the point of such an education (unlike the Left) isn’t to produce a state-friendly “Progressive” mindless drone. It’s to create a dynamic, responsible, intelligent, and wise individual who is prepared to face life on his own. One would suppose this ideas jibes with the libertarian view. It certainly is at odds with the “Progressive” view which wants to create a state-friend (and state-dependent) Utopian drone. It’s even worse in higher education.

    What is the solution to this? Well, for starters, competition. School vouchers would be the most immediate type of policy that would do this.

    Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force.

    This is not true. Many of the core libertarians principles such as this are why libertarians typically can’t think their way out of a wet paper bag. It’s always a case of “garbage in, garbage out.”

    What is reason? What is force? Is the former always good? Is the latter always bad? In the Libertarian conception, yes, the former is always good, the latter bad. And thus endeth any type of intelligent engagement with the facts and reality.

    I couldn’t drive down the damn highway in relative safety without some implied force (or real force should I want to do 50 in a 25 mph zone). There are necessary rules and regulations for were to drive, how to drive, how fast to drive, etc. And that’s because chaos not only doesn’t work but doesn’t facilitate our ability to freely drive the roads. In fact, this principle is true of most of society. We couldn’t exist in a relatively peaceful society without mountains of coercion. That’s is the very point of law. If you steal, you will be arrested.

    Force is inherent to society, a fact Libertarians, for some odd reason, can’t grasp. It’s how much force, or what kind of force, or force regarding what type of behavior, that is the relevant question.

    And as for “reason,” it is, in my experience, an idea that is hard to define and is often merely a conceit of those with big egos. “Reason,” as I often note, is a process, not a moral imperative or philosophical position. Certainly “reasonableness” and non-zealousness are good emotional foundations from which to try to adjudicate differences in a self-governing society — traits that the lunatic Left, for example, is in short supply of.

    But it must be said that the Nazis used a great amount of “reason” in regards to setting up the entire logistics of The Final Solution. Reason is value-neutral. One could even reason that lying was a good way to promote one’s policies. Again, reason is a method, not any specific ideology or goal.

    Yes, indeed, there is evil. You got that right. As to whether libertarians run to the sound of the guns, I kind of doubt that. In practice, their ideology is one of isolationism which they call “non-intervention.” I tend to agree very much with Libertarian critiques of the so-called “neo-cons” — those nitwit “Progressives” who go around the world thinking that they can do a makeover in Islamic regions. Such “neo-cons” often have the amoral guiding influence of “stability” and/or have such a keen sense of their own do-gooderism that a show of good will to our enemies is all that it takes to win them over. But my experience with Libertarians and Paulbots is they tend to excuse evil as a way to cling to their belief that it is our “intervention” in the world that is the problem — a belief that is completely consistent with the hard Left.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Anyone who disagrees that reason is value-neutral is invited to consider the Star Trek episode “Amok Time”, and particularly T’Pring’s explanation for her choice of challenger to Spock — very logical (as he admitted), but hideously unethical.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Timothy, you’re my hero. I’ve always thought that “Everything I need to know about life, I can find in Star Trek.” 😀 And you make an excellent point.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    I’ve pointed out many times that in free-market capitalism, businesses compete for the favor of the customers; in crony capitalism, they compete for the favor of the rulers. Naturally, the former is better for the customers, the latter for the rulers. So supporters of free markets must always push back hard against any form of crony capitalism. (Down with corporate welfare!)

  3. Timothy Lane says:

    Given that Steve has previously suggested that he (as a libertarian) would be ready to refuse to obey lies he opposes, even if such disobedience requires violence, I want to note here that libertarian writer Daniel J. Mitchell (in his Cato column repeated on Townhall) pointed to the importance of the rule of law — even bad laws should be obeyed, lest the country sink to the level of a banana republic (as Barry Screwtape Obama has been trying hard to bring about).

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