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Thread: Libertarians?

  1. #91
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    CONGRATS!!!!
    I'm not sure if that's supposed to be sarcastic, given the context...

  2. #92

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    I reckon that embracing a label and ideology like libertarianism is highly reductive, surely it makes more sense to be interested a more integrative approach?

    It took long enough for that sort of narrow and blinkered posturing to be overcome in therapeutic circles but it looks as though the party line thinking of politicals is lagging long behind.

    I'm not talking about so called third ways or middle ways or compromise solutions either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    I'm not sure if that's supposed to be sarcastic, given the context...
    Nope it was genuine. Law school isn't easy to get into, so that in-and-of-itself is an accomplishment.

    Sorry to delay again, but I just finished studying for business associations tomorrow and the only thing I can think about is getting outrageously intoxicated.

    I'll reply tomorrow with a huge response.

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Nope it was genuine.

    Sorry to delay again, but I just finished studying for business associations tomorrow and the only thing I can think about is getting outrageously intoxicated.

    I'll reply tomorrow with a huge response.
    I've been told that 90% of law school is learning how to drink effectively.

    I've had no experiences to convince me otherwise.

  5. #95
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    Alright OneM here it is.

    The most important political principle to Libertarians is that of freedom. This desire for freedom stems from the understanding that governments naturally seek more power over time. The problem with modern politics is that the public (of either party) only asks what the government can do for them. Whether they're asking for the gov't to pay for their lifestyle through entitlement programs, or asking the gov't to go and kill people of a different color so they can feel safer. There is no mainstream political movement actively pursuing a smaller (federal) government.

    Have you ever heard the saying, "Give a man a hamburger and he's fed for a day, but teach a man how to make a hamburger and he's fed for life"? This statement basically enumerates my problem with gov't as of late.

    The federal gov't doesn't need to be worrying about how it can provide things for the people (except roads and other reasonable tax issues), it needs to focus on how it can help people help themselves.

    This is why I will start this off with education. I am of the belief that we have let our educational system deteriorate beyond measure. Our 180 day school year is not enough to be competitive in a global economy where Europe and Japan have 200 and 220 day school years respectively. We also need a more standardized curriculum so that certain states (mine included) can't fall so far behind. Education is the backbone of any nation and we have scoliosis. We need more money for education. By this I don't mean we need to spend a few million more, I mean we need to rethink our country's priorities when we establish our budget.

    This leads me to my next topic, the military. If our educational and health care systems need so much money then where is it going to come from? The populace won't support the tax burden that would be required to fix our health care and education problems without diminishing the size of the military. I'm as patriotic as the next guy, but is it just me that doesn't understand our need to police the entire world. For instance, through our navy (specifically our carrier groups) we have the ability to project our force wherever needed (with some exceptions). So why do we continue to operate 700-800 foreign military bases? I'll tell you why, the strength of the military industrial complex. The corp's making our guns, tanks, etc. have enough lobbyist pull on the hill to make sure the only answer the gov't ever comes up with concerning our military is more. My question is, how is our massive military spending benefiting me as an American citizen right now? It isn't. The only thing it really is doing is continuing to demonstrate this nation's unappreciated hamfisted tactics to the rest of the world, and in so doing, pissing many off. Now I'm not saying we shouldn't have any foreign bases but, jeeze we really could use a few less. Also, we need to stop focusing on high tech R&D weapons that are really only useful in a full on WWII style brawl. How much better off would our troops in the field be if we stopped buying 100's of $361 million F-22's and started buying armor for the humvees our troops are getting blown up in?

    This brings me to health care. I'm certain that if we cut the fat from our military we could finance education and health both of which have a tangible benefit to me right now.

    I believe in the second amendment without question. It's the one amendment which makes all the others possible. All governments should fear their people. And, more importantly, I need access to any firearm a (common) criminal can get his hands on. With as many guns in America as there are, control only pushes more of them into the black market where criminals and not lawful citizens can access them. The common argument against this is "But what about the police? They can protect you." To that statement I respond with this, Are the cops going to get there fast enough to keep the robber, mugger, etc. from killing me if he so desires. NO. Criminals are more frightened of armed citizens than they are of police.

    I have more but I'm too tired to write any more.

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Alright OneM here it is.

    The most important political principle to Libertarians is that of freedom. This desire for freedom stems from the understanding that governments naturally seek more power over time. The problem with modern politics is that the public (of either party) only asks what the government can do for them. Whether they're asking for the gov't to pay for their lifestyle through entitlement programs, or asking the gov't to go and kill people of a different color so they can feel safer. There is no mainstream political movement actively pursuing a smaller (federal) government.
    My personal interpretation is that the desire for freedom is an expression of man's state of nature, and that within the context of the social contract, we agree to restrict certain freedoms to ensure others. Through history, this has expanded in Europe from the freedom to live, to the freedom of expression and worship, to the modern embodiment of the freedom to pursue one's life as they see fit without fear of destitution, provided they infringe on no one else's freedoms. That's my ideal.

    What you may be describing as "only ask[ing] what the government can do for them" may also be simply a demand for public services that are not fulfilled through the current market structure, perhaps due to a lack of profitability in the venture. While some abuse of the system is inevitable (we humans are a crafty sort), oftentimes many of these programs reap economic rewards far beyond that immediately apparent. For example, food stamps - while seemingly a charitable effort, they also have been found to bring in revenue-wise six times as much as is outlaid, either from increased work performance from nutrition, or the ability of grocers to stock a greater product variety with the surplus that food stamps grant.

    Military spending in the current context goes far beyond what is necessary for common defense, and is nothing but corporate raping of the public treasury. I agree with you on this point.

    There's no movement for a smaller government in and of itself, because in many ways, there's no demand for a smaller government. The size of the population and the scope of the country's needs are much too great.

    Have you ever heard the saying, "Give a man a hamburger and he's fed for a day, but teach a man how to make a hamburger and he's fed for life"? This statement basically enumerates my problem with gov't as of late.
    The problem here is that many people will espouse this platitude, but forget a few aspects of it:

    -If the guy is starving, and you have a hamburger, one of two things is going to happen if you try to teach him to make one: either he'll assault you and steal the hamburger, or he'll starve to death before he gets the opportunity to make one

    -You can be the greatest hamburger chef in the world and still be unable to eat if you don't have any buns or ground beef

    -The market has no need for anyone that can make hamburgers anymore, since machines can do it for much cheaper. It's still too expensive for you, though, because you have no marketable skills at this point.

    Personal responsibility is a good thing, but we set up societies for precisely the above reasons: to reduce the amount of uncertainty life throws at us humans (it's the major reason civilization has stuck around for this long). If economic conditions have reduced things to the level where people genuinely risk not eating, then it's worth giving them food for the good of all of us. Even if things are above starving level, but below the level where people stop resenting society for their misfortune and are prone to violence, that's worthwhile as well - social pressures (such as the stigma of being on welfare and the desire to make more money) will often take over and inspire economic development.

    The federal gov't doesn't need to be worrying about how it can provide things for the people (except roads and other reasonable tax issues), it needs to focus on how it can help people help themselves.
    You're right. The best way it can help people help themselves is to set up a stable and fertile environment whereby individual actors can maximize their potential. We do that through laws, national defense, infrastructure and other public goods. It's my belief that health care is included in that list, along with anti-poverty/discrimination initiatives.

    This is why I will start this off with education. I am of the belief that we have let our educational system deteriorate beyond measure. Our 180 day school year is not enough to be competitive in a global economy where Europe and Japan have 200 and 220 day school years respectively. We also need a more standardized curriculum so that certain states (mine included) can't fall so far behind. Education is the backbone of any nation and we have scoliosis. We need more money for education. By this I don't mean we need to spend a few million more, I mean we need to rethink our country's priorities when we establish our budget.
    You're absolutely right, we do need a higher quality of education. Most of the lag comes from the long summer vacation - Americans tested in December of a grade level are generally on par with their worldwide cohort. It's when they come back in August they've lost a whole lot of knowledge.

    A standardized curriculum would be wonderful, but then again, the US is a nation of many different regions, with many different impetuses toward education (some desiring socialization, others emphasizing knowledge of fact, and others emphasizing critical thinking). The hard part is knowing how and where to distribute the resources, as you mention.

    The other big issue is that there is no control over the greatest factor toward educational success - parental involvement. That's where the class divide usually comes - poorer parents just don't have time to be involved with their kids' studies.

    Finally, there's the urban-rural divide. What is right for one set of states, where most of the population is concentrated in cities and will likely end up in industrial, professional or service jobs, can be quite different than that of a state based around primary industry such as resource extraction or agriculture. Likewise, the emphasis on college education that we have is often not suited for both market demands and for needed skills suitable to the region.

    This leads me to my next topic, the military. If our educational and health care systems need so much money then where is it going to come from? The populace won't support the tax burden that would be required to fix our health care and education problems without diminishing the size of the military. I'm as patriotic as the next guy, but is it just me that doesn't understand our need to police the entire world. For instance, through our navy (specifically our carrier groups) we have the ability to project our force wherever needed (with some exceptions). So why do we continue to operate 700-800 foreign military bases? I'll tell you why, the strength of the military industrial complex. The corp's making our guns, tanks, etc. have enough lobbyist pull on the hill to make sure the only answer the gov't ever comes up with concerning our military is more. My question is, how is our massive military spending benefiting me as an American citizen right now? It isn't. The only thing it really is doing is continuing to demonstrate this nation's unappreciated hamfisted tactics to the rest of the world, and in so doing, pissing many off. Now I'm not saying we shouldn't have any foreign bases but, jeeze we really could use a few less. Also, we need to stop focusing on high tech R&D weapons that are really only useful in a full on WWII style brawl. How much better off would our troops in the field be if we stopped buying 100's of $361 million F-22's and started buying armor for the humvees our troops are getting blown up in?
    I agree completely. I also would point out that the bases are also indicative of our corporate imperialism throughout the world, and emphasize American hegemony. Likewise, it's very disheartening for many to come to terms with a great, glorious war being a thing of the past while we're on Earth, due to nuclear weapons, and asymmetrical warfare between effectively colonized people and the imperial power will be the rule as opposed to the exception. It's hard to sell people on the concept of "hey, all we really need are a bunch of ICBMs, SLBMs, gravity and smart nukes, and then enough firepower to protect our shipping interests and coastal waters" as an effective defense policy, particularly when there's so much profit to be made otherwise. Not to mention the effect of nationalism - people like seeing their country do crazy stuff.

    Some people will point out all the consumer products that came from military spending - and they're correct, a lot of it did come about because of this. However, that's more spending for pure research than military spending in general; it's just more palatable when you can say we're just throwing money in a black hole to protect us. NASA did much of the same in the same environment (though a space program is missile testing by other means), as did Bell Labs when it was a state-sanctioned monopoly (they invented the damn internet for DARPA, not the other way around).

    This brings me to health care. I'm certain that if we cut the fat from our military we could finance education and health both of which have a tangible benefit to me right now.
    I agree completely.

    I believe in the second amendment without question. It's the one amendment which makes all the others possible. All governments should fear their people. And, more importantly, I need access to any firearm a (common) criminal can get his hands on. With as many guns in America as there are, control only pushes more of them into the black market where criminals and not lawful citizens can access them. The common argument against this is "But what about the police? They can protect you." To that statement I respond with this, Are the cops going to get there fast enough to keep the robber, mugger, etc. from killing me if he so desires. NO. Criminals are more frightened of armed citizens than they are of police.
    I'm fervently pro-second amendment as well, but I also think that it's certainly within the rights of communities to regulate the use (not ownership) of guns. Unrestricted gun usage is perfectly acceptable in rural areas where response time is limited and collateral damage is unlikely. In the cities, both of these are not necessarily the case. Having a single national standard is counterproductive in this situation, in my opinion. It's the right to keep and bear arms, not necessarily use them. I also think that the well-regulated clause implies that it's within the government's purview to place these sorts of restrictions.

    Part of the social contract is revoking the right to use violence in exchange for the protection of society as a whole. As you say, the police are under no compulsion to protect you or your property; their job is to maintain public order. With that in mind, I have no problem with castle doctrine laws - within reason. Trespassing within a domicile has since time immemorial been considered more egregious than trespassing on property, and with that in mind, society owes it to its members to be able to protect oneself within their own property, as society as a whole cannot do it due to logistics. That being said, the ability to blast someone who stepped onto your lawn with no malicious intent is nothing less than the sanctioning of homicide.

    I have more but I'm too tired to write any more.
    Thanks, enjoyed the discussion. Look forward to your future thoughts. I still think you're a closet progressive, though

  7. #97
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    A well reasoned response. I'll get more into the expansion of state gov't in my next post. Which in my opinion would deal with the regional issue of education and many other facets of daily life better than the federal gov't. Also state gov't is more representative of its constituents than federal.

  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Dude View Post
    So, any Libertarians on here? Yes, please.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    A well reasoned response. I'll get more into the expansion of state gov't in my next post. Which in my opinion would deal with the regional issue of education and many other facets of daily life better than the federal gov't. Also state gov't is more representative of its constituents than federal.
    It's also much more susceptible to corruption and misrepresentation via districting. Rural interests tend to be very much overrepresented in state legislatures, and in a country that's 85% suburban and urban in population, that can be a serious problem.

    California is the worst offender in this department - the districting is such that you cannot win office unless you are a hard extremist on either side. The lack of consensus-building is a huge factor in the current fiscal crisis.

    Low turnout in statewide elections also often leads to legislators that do not resemble their full constituency, just the loudest interest group in that particular election. Not only that, but competence in governance can be an issue, as often the only requirement is an ability to raise a ton of cash within a certain community, while it's often difficult to get the necessary funding for national office if you don't meet certain standards (though not impossible, Houston congresspeople are notorious for being complete boobs).

    I think the argument for greater state control was stronger when it literally was impossible for the national government to control territory of that size - basically, before the telegraph. That being said, it never really manifested itself well anywhere - Machine States in the North, Single-Party Dictatorships in the South, and Corporate States (particularly the railroads) in the West. On the national level, ambition counters ambition enough to where it's much more difficult (though not impossible) for one interest group to gain control.

  10. #100
    PEST that STEPs on PETS stellar renegade's Avatar
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    Libertarian checking in here. If you want to pull me into the discussion, you can, but so far it's tl;dr for me.
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