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Thread: Libertarians?

  1. #81
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Ever heard the phrase "correlation does not equal causation?" India has a more regulated economy than the United States; it is also far poorer. Your statistics have no context.
    So why do you think our most libertarian states have such poor economic performance and high poverty? Usually, the type of economy a state has is very relatable to, well, its economy.

    But to understand causation better, it can help to examine places that adopted major libertarian economic policy changes, and look at their performance before and after the shift.

    New Zealand in 1984 underwent perhaps the largest shift ever towards libertarianism, called The New Zealand Experiment. What happened shortly after that is they had almost zero growth for the next 6 years, and they fell from having the 4th highest GDP per capita to having the 15th. Poverty increased, foreign debt skyrocketed, and income disparities rose. Between 1985 and 1992, developed economies grew by an average of 20%, while New Zealand's economy shrank by 1% over the same period.

    They started to recover some in the 90s, and in 1999, the libertarian experiment officially ended when the new Labour/Alliance Government was elected.

  2. #82
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Just to chime in, I'm totally in line with everything the Libertarians have to say about social issues and am at least somewhat in agreement with their foreign policy stances...

    But as for economics, I feel like they're just living in a dream.

    Extreme economic conservatives seem to do one of two things:

    A) Declare that human compassion is, while admirable, essentially unnecessary if you can show "logical" justification for letting people die in abject poverty, or
    B) Deny that anyone will ever slip through the cracks through no fault of his own. Poverty is such a complex issue with so many variables that I feel like a lot of extreme economic conservatives make a huge mistake by just painting it away with one huge stroke where anyone who isn't doing as well as me CLEARLY isn't working hard enough and BOOT STRAPS BOOT STRAPS BOOT STRAPS!!

    It's true that from a purely rational standpoint, the 100% laissez-faire argument actually does hold up. It's just that subscribing closely enough to that theory as to be called a Libertarian sort of requires us to place "rich people get to keep at least x% of their money" as a higher value than "everyone should be able to eat", and I'm afraid I really can't agree with that.

    You're right, logically, of course--the market really does even itself out. People who can't compete find themselves with insufficient resources to continue living, die off and stop burdening society. But am I really the only person who sees that as a big enough problem to justify limited socialist policy?

    I get the whole "it's not your money to be taking in the first place" thing, but really, I can't grasp the Libertarian position that if you're in a shitty situation, it's your fault period deal with it good luck. Whatever happened to the value of compassion/allowing people to learn from mistakes?

    Yes I've heard all the T arguments for why you shouldn't be logically compelled to give up any of the money you earned, and frankly it reeks of F-tardation.

    Somebody explain the idea of completely eliminating all social support nets/regulation of industry? That's really the biggest issue I have with Libertarianism.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  3. #83
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    New Zealand in 1984 underwent perhaps the largest shift ever towards libertarianism, called The New Zealand Experiment. What happened shortly after that is they had almost zero growth for the next 6 years, and they fell from having the 4th highest GDP per capita to having the 15th. Poverty increased, foreign debt skyrocketed, and income disparities rose. Between 1985 and 1992, developed economies grew by an average of 20%, while New Zealand's economy shrank by 1% over the same period.

    They started to recover some in the 90s, and in 1999, the libertarian experiment officially ended when the new Labour/Alliance Government was elected.
    New Zealand is an interesting case. For unlike Australia, New Zealand is a unitary State, it is not a federation.

    This means that if you are elected to power in New Zealand, you can make big changes.

    And New Zealand has a whole history of libertarianism, in particular, the Social Credit Party.

    They actually gained seats in New Zealand's parliament but not enough to govern.

    This was fortunate as the Social Credit Party was also anti-semitic.

    But still you have this virus of libertarianism in New Zealand and it struck in 1984 sickening the whole economy only recovering in 1999 with the election of a Labor government and New Zealand's first woman Prime Minister.

    It seems to me that libertarianism is the place for cranks.

  4. #84
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenocyde View Post
    It's so crazy to me how scared people are about the Libertarian party here, when most of you have apparently never read a stitch of literature about it. And the scary part is that Bush can be elected (twice) and that is somehow acceptable? Please read a book, or at least look at the parties by-laws before spewing such nonsense. No one is talking about anarchy, no rules and letting babies do heroin in the gutter. This level of ignorance is shocking. Get a grip on your imagination, folks.




    I think you are confusing topics. Gay marriage is equality for all, but others would have you believe that it is the dogma of their party to prevent it. That was my point in bringing it up.

    I never said we should do without public roads and I don't believe the Libertarian party stands for that either. That would be ridiculous. Smaller government doesn't mean no government. Do you agree that we should have troops in over 130 countries, or is your only problem with libertarians is that you think we will take away your roads? Why do people insist on the most extreme apocalyptic ideas about libertarianism? My goodness, you are reminding me of the "end is near" guy on the subway...

    About healthcare, this is highly debated in every party, not just the libertarian one. I don't think any one person or party has the answer. In addition, there is a huge difference in supporting health care and supporting the health insurance business. If you really want to get into this argument, please pm me and I will start a new thread.




    No libertarianism is not about turning a blind eye. And even the Talmud is a dogma.

    Yes, New York is America. So is Houston, San Diego, Wichita and Tampa. We are. No, the authorities have not taken her kids away, nor have they taken the kids of all the other bomb dropping mothers across the ghettos - there is no way they could. So, you look at the facts. The fact is that you have no idea who I am or who she is. The fact is you have no idea how much or little of a Mensch I am. The fact is that I am wasting my time dialoging with you, since you take a few paragraphs, cast your judgment and apparently think that I am what's wrong with America.

    Read the Organon.



    I am not against a safety net, but I am against abuse of it. It's true that Libs would rather there be no government assistance, but I am not of that mindset.

    You are acting like I am talking about a woman down on her luck, rather than someone who deliberately has children to get more government money. And yes, we have reported her to agencies, but the "government" is not as responsible as you would like to believe.

    People think welfare is such a great idea and that the prison system really does reform criminals. Ignorance is bliss. So you know what? After having this discussion, I believe most people deserve to be shepherded.
    Jesus said: Love your NEIGHBOUR as yourself. It is a good advice. I would take it.
    What if she is a publican and a sinner? So what? Who are you to judge? She is a good mother. Our good Lord did not mind sinners. Jesus would have given her coffee and bisquits. Lama lo.
    This is all I wanted to say. Shalom.

  5. #85
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I'm interested in some libertarian ideas, I dont like ideologues and people who pigeon hole people on the basis of particular ideologies though, I'm interested in socialist ideas too.

  6. #86
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    I'm libertarian.

    Poli. Sci. undergrad

    In law school now.

    Member of the federalist society.

    Hoping to join CATO somehow sometime soon.

    The problem with this entire argument has been a human one. When one views an opposing stance, person, or group, they (as is human nature) analyze the position of the opposition in a way that is most beneficial to their argument. For instance, if a Dem. and a libertarian are arguing policy, the Democrat will (usually) assume that the Libertarian believes that there should be zero welfare, that everyone should be armed, that taxes shouldn't exist etc. Conversely, the Libertarian will assume that the Democrat wants high taxes, huge gov't that sponsors every program imaginable, strict economic controls etc. This applies to Republicans as well, but you guys already know where I'm going with this and I'm too lazy to write more.

    Unfortunately for both sides, these assumptions reinforce the arguer's ability to cling to their own beliefs because its easy write off an extremist. Thus, the arguer has painted the opposition as a caricature of itself, and in so doing, relieved the arguer from having to listen to the points made by the opposition. This immediate assumption of political extremism in the opposition serves one purpose. To keep the arguer from having to question their own beliefs.

    This is how this thread got sidetracked, and the reason for a great deal of the ill will, and disagreement in this world.

    Luckily however, we Libertarians are (most often) not as others would like to portray us. I for instance, do think that a smaller more manageable welfare system would be alright, as long as the decision of whether or not to provide welfare to a given individual is handled on a case by case basis, and is at the discretion of a judge or some other impartial body. I think that taxes are fine, as long as they support shit the gov't is good at doing or shit that only the gov't can do. I believe that in our two party system, political power has become too concentrated and entrenched. I believe that some economic regulation is a good thing as long as the regulation galvanizes fiscal accountability and not merely gov't intervention. I believe that only those acts which deprive others of their natural rights can be properly be called crimes (i.e. possesion of something cannot be criminal [with some exceptions of course]). I believe that it is man's God given right to not be told how to raise his kids, pursue his happiness, or whom he can marry. Lastly, I believe in man, and his ability to make reasonable decisions concerning his own life and those of his family, and his right to be free from oppression, tyranny, or any other yoke thrust upon him by his government.

    This is as best as I could express my opinions on the topic at the moment but by no means is it the entire picture. I don't claim that all Libertarians believe as I do but, that most believe in a far more moderate version of it than our opposition would have you believe.

  7. #87
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I'm libertarian.

    Poli. Sci. undergrad

    In law school now.

    Member of the federalist society.

    Hoping to join CATO somehow sometime soon.

    The problem with this entire argument has been a human one. When one views an opposing stance, person, or group, they (as is human nature) analyze the position of the opposition in a way that is most beneficial to their argument. For instance, if a Dem. and a libertarian are arguing policy, the Democrat will (usually) assume that the Libertarian believes that there should be zero welfare, that everyone should be armed, that taxes shouldn't exist etc. Conversely, the Libertarian will assume that the Democrat wants high taxes, huge gov't that sponsors every program imaginable, strict economic controls etc. This applies to Republicans as well, but you guys already know where I'm going with this and I'm too lazy to write more.

    Unfortunately for both sides, these assumptions reinforce the arguer's ability to cling to their own beliefs because its easy write off an extremist. Thus, the arguer has painted the opposition as a caricature of itself, and in so doing, relieved the arguer from having to listen to the points made by the opposition. This immediate assumption of political extremism in the opposition serves one purpose. To keep the arguer from having to question their own beliefs.

    This is how this thread got sidetracked, and the reason for a great deal of the ill will, and disagreement in this world.

    Luckily however, we Libertarians are (most often) not as others would like to portray us. I for instance, do think that a smaller more manageable welfare system would be alright, as long as the decision of whether or not to provide welfare to a given individual is handled on a case by case basis, and is at the discretion of a judge or some other impartial body. I think that taxes are fine, as long as they support shit the gov't is good at doing or shit that only the gov't can do. I believe that in our two party system, political power has become too concentrated and entrenched. I believe that some economic regulation is a good thing as long as the regulation galvanizes fiscal accountability and not merely gov't intervention. I believe that only those acts which deprive others of their natural rights can be properly be called crimes (i.e. possesion of something cannot be criminal [with some exceptions of course]). I believe that it is man's God given right to not be told how raise his kids, pursue his happiness, or whom he can marry. Lastly, I believe in man, and his ability to make reasonable decisions concerning his own life and those of his family, and his right to be free from oppression, tyranny, or any other yoke thrust upon him by his government.

    This is as best as I could express my opinions on the topic at the moment but by no means is it the entire picture. I don't claim that all Libertarians believe as I do but, that most believe in a far more moderate version of it than our opposition would have you believe.
    Honestly, I do not know how what you proposed differs with modern liberalism. Like you said, there's the misconception that we want the government to spend money on everything; nothing could be further from the truth (look at how much we hate corporate welfare and military spending). The difference is that we feel that there are areas where it's in the nation's best interest for a centralized structure that are currently handled in a different manner, such as health care.

    Likewise, we want our social services to be as efficient and effective as possible. The difference, perhaps, comes from the idea that sometimes, the perfect is the enemy of the good. While bloat is absolutely unacceptable, it's also inevitable from time to time, since we're dealing with imperfect human beings. If the outcomes of the program outweigh the costs (which is often hard to quantify), then it's worth it. Education is one of those programs - while throwing more money at the problem doesn't always solve the problems perfectly, it often does ameliorate the situation (not to mention attract higher talent to teaching). The highest factor in a child's educational success is parental involvement - there are innumerable studies confirming this, so it's impossible at a governmental level to guarantee that all children will maximize their educational potential.

    However, the two next highest factors are nutrition and educational intensivity, often represented through classroom size. Those can be factored in through educational funding. While many will say that it's the parents' responsibility for ensuring their kids are taken care of in these areas, my thoughts are more that it's society's responsibility to make sure that parental neglect does not negatively impact society through future members that did not have their economic potential maximized, not to mention were directed toward antisocial behavior.

    As much as the two party system is flawed, it has been found that it's simply an inevitability of the plurality winner-take-all electoral system (Duverger's law). The United States has only ever had a maximum of two national parties with policymaking power, even if we do have a history of influential third parties (Free Soilers, Populists, Progressive/Bull Moosers, Dixiecrats). That being said, the existence of various caucuses and coalitions within the parties often mimics the role of multiple parties in proportional representation systems. Just as the Greens in Germany can't often get their policies pushed through due to a small representation, they can work with the SPD to get some of their policies implemented in exchange for votes on other issues. It's my thoughts that libertarians need to decide whether social or economic liberalism is more important to them, and work with the party so aligned to get those positions advanced.

    I agree with the rest of what you said, with just a few reservations - while all of those statements are absolutely true, I also believe they must be tempered with the understanding of our social obligations. When I say "obligation", I don't mean anything that is coerced for its own sake; that would be absurd and malicious. What I do mean is the basic underpinning of society - the ethic of reciprocation, or the Golden Rule. We do some things that are not immediately beneficial in our rational self-interest because if we were in the other person's position, we'd expect the same to be done for us. That's what society is, and that's what's allowed us to progress since the Neolithic Revolution.

    I'm not happy to pay for welfare because I think those people deserve it; I'm happy because if I found myself at the wrong end of some great misfortune, it establishes a sense of connection to our nation that I'll be taken care of until I get back on my feet. Likewise, I don't support a national health care system because I think people deserve health care. It's because I already know that I subsidize others through the insurance system (not to mention a bloated bureaucracy), and that since I'm interested in all our citizens being healthy and productive, that they'd be interested in me - we have a collective interest. In the same sense, I don't mind paying well for teachers and educational materials because I want everyone to be educated for the sake of it; I don't mind because as education is tied to economic performance, it's in my and society as a whole's best interest that everyone is educated to the highest level possible. Society paid for me to receive much of my basic education, and I owe it to them to make sure that the next generation receives the opportunity.

    That's my perception of modern Progressive thought, and I'd like to hear your response.

  8. #88
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    OneM, I greatly appreciate your thoughtful response.

    Unfortunately, I got three hours of sleep last night (studying), and got out of my professional responsibility final at 11am. It took everything I had to muster the mental inertia to complete that last post. I'll respond later this evening.

    I look forward to continuing this discussion.

  9. #89
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    OneM, I greatly appreciate your thoughtful response.

    Unfortunately, I got three hours of sleep last night (studying), and got out of my professional responsibility final at 11am. It took everything I had to muster the mental inertia to complete that last post. I'll respond later this evening.

    I look forward to continuing this discussion.
    I'll be starting 1L this fall, so I understand where you're coming from

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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    I'll be starting 1L this fall, so I understand where you're coming from
    CONGRATS!!!!

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