Author Topic: Who else here is a libertarian?  (Read 20805 times)

Kris

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #300 on: January 24, 2017, 10:45:49 AM »
I can't see any evidence that libertarians, by definition, care about anything but their own self-interests.

Are Mustachians any different, by and large? We aren't seeking to have all our money distributed among the poor through taxation, we're here in this group because we want to secure our personal futures through wealth.

Yes, I think so. Part of the reason Pete wants to live frugally is to not destroy the planet. Because other people live here. I am completely fine with paying my taxes. I just choose to buy fewer things, which means I will be able to retire earlier. It also means I'm consuming fewer earth-wrecking products. I don't see that as not caring about others. On the contrary, I am limiting what I consume because I want others to not suffer.

For some of us: less pollution and more green nature is a selfish desire.  Not for other people.  For ME.

Often there is common ground even if the reasoning behind it differs.

Sure, in part. But I'm fifty, and relatively well-off, and I live a comfortable life. And I don't have kids, so it's not about the extension of me, either. I don't really care about that stuff for me, because it won't really affect me in my lifetime. By the time the effects of climate change start to negatively affect the people where I live, I'll be dead. So no, in this case I'm not doing it for me.
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robartsd

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #301 on: January 24, 2017, 11:08:28 AM »
The major problem that I see with Libertarianism just like Socialism (and most "isms") is that not all people are as hard working and self-governing and even as generous as everyone else.  We will always have that segment of society who do grossly irresponsible things (not save money, reckless & unhealthy behaviors).  In fact, a lot of people in a lot of different ways meet that criteria.
No disagreement there. Libertarians just believe that when a segment of society suffers the consequences of doing grossly irresponsible things (beyond the rest of society's willingness to voluntarily bail them out) it simply is the way it is.

So, we have laws that help to enforce responsibility and avoid costly recklessness. Helmet and seatbelt laws, for example. Legalizing recreational marijuana is probably not a great idea -- altered mental states aren't safe in a variety of scenarios and it's far more difficult to determine if someone is "under the influence" of marijuana at the time of a workplace accident versus testing the blood-alcohol level of someone who is suspected of being drunk (but that's another topic).
I believe is wearing seatbelts and helmets. I don't see how other people's choices on these matters affects me much. I believe in holding people accountable for what they do regardless of what drugs they may have been abusing that altered their mental state; being able to test for (thus blame) the drug is not relevant. I don't see a conflict between an employer's choice to prohibit and test for drug use and libertarian philosophy.

Anyway. If we could somehow ensure that people weren't doing stupid things that cost others' time/money/health/lives -- that would be great and I'd be all about everyone doing what they want.  It just doesn't work out that way in real life.  I'm for minimal government, as appropriate.  And that's why I can't be Libertarian, and fall pretty squarely in the Republican camp.  I could never be Democrat with the ideal that everyone "deserves" a grand lifestyle without necessarily having to sacrifice anything because "someone else" will be taxed (or earn) it for them.
I don't see how making certain things that are stupid to do (in many circumstances) illegal to do actually prevents people from doing stupid things. You've already stated that "We will always have that segment of society who do grossly irresponsible things". The libertarian ideal is a government that protects individual liberty from the abuse of others. It libertarian philosophy authorizes the government to use forceful action when an individual or group's actions infringe on the time/money/health/lives of others. I believe that by making some stupid/immoral things illegal we develop the dangerous idea that if it is not illegal it is OK to do, thus reducing individual responsibility to avoid doing irresponsible (legal) things.

While libertarian philosophy resonates strongly with me; I'm not always supportive of libertarian politics. I understand your political stance - I'd probably support the Republican Party too if I actually believed their limited government rhetoric; especially if they took a more libertarian approach to social issues as well.

robartsd

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #302 on: January 24, 2017, 11:15:33 AM »
Sure, in part. But I'm fifty, and relatively well-off, and I live a comfortable life. And I don't have kids, so it's not about the extension of me, either. I don't really care about that stuff for me, because it won't really affect me in my lifetime. By the time the effects of climate change start to negatively affect the people where I live, I'll be dead. So no, in this case I'm not doing it for me.
And you have no friends with children whose happiness you care about. You don't get a positive feeling for doing things that you think are positive for the greater good.

I agree with GuitarStv that people are basically motivated by self-interest; but that self-interest can be constructed to value others in a way that we have labeled not selfish. Just because your self-interest construct is more abstract than GuitarStv not wanting to ruin the world for his son does not make it less real.

Spork

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #303 on: January 24, 2017, 11:25:23 AM »
I can't see any evidence that libertarians, by definition, care about anything but their own self-interests.

Are Mustachians any different, by and large? We aren't seeking to have all our money distributed among the poor through taxation, we're here in this group because we want to secure our personal futures through wealth.

Yes, I think so. Part of the reason Pete wants to live frugally is to not destroy the planet. Because other people live here. I am completely fine with paying my taxes. I just choose to buy fewer things, which means I will be able to retire earlier. It also means I'm consuming fewer earth-wrecking products. I don't see that as not caring about others. On the contrary, I am limiting what I consume because I want others to not suffer.

For some of us: less pollution and more green nature is a selfish desire.  Not for other people.  For ME.

Often there is common ground even if the reasoning behind it differs.

Sure, in part. But I'm fifty, and relatively well-off, and I live a comfortable life. And I don't have kids, so it's not about the extension of me, either. I don't really care about that stuff for me, because it won't really affect me in my lifetime. By the time the effects of climate change start to negatively affect the people where I live, I'll be dead. So no, in this case I'm not doing it for me.

Okay.  I'm over fifty and relatively well off and I live a comfortable life.  And I don't have kids.  And it's still for me. 
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golden1

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #304 on: January 24, 2017, 11:34:50 AM »
My husband is a libertarian.  I would love to be a libertarian, but in general, I don't think it is workable.  I think people suck far too much for it to work properly.  I think we would see a lot more people dying on the streets.  I think tribalism would end up determining everything and there would be a lot of violence and suffering. 

Gal2016

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #305 on: January 24, 2017, 11:35:17 AM »
The major problem that I see with Libertarianism just like Socialism (and most "isms") is that not all people are as hard working and self-governing and even as generous as everyone else.  We will always have that segment of society who do grossly irresponsible things (not save money, reckless & unhealthy behaviors).  In fact, a lot of people in a lot of different ways meet that criteria.
No disagreement there. Libertarians just believe that when a segment of society suffers the consequences of doing grossly irresponsible things (beyond the rest of society's willingness to voluntarily bail them out) it simply is the way it is.

But it's not "a segment of society", it ends up being individuals and their families (at the very least).

So, we have laws that help to enforce responsibility and avoid costly recklessness. Helmet and seatbelt laws, for example. Legalizing recreational marijuana is probably not a great idea -- altered mental states aren't safe in a variety of scenarios and it's far more difficult to determine if someone is "under the influence" of marijuana at the time of a workplace accident versus testing the blood-alcohol level of someone who is suspected of being drunk (but that's another topic).
I believe is wearing seatbelts and helmets. I don't see how other people's choices on these matters affects me much. I believe in holding people accountable for what they do regardless of what drugs they may have been abusing that altered their mental state; being able to test for (thus blame) the drug is not relevant. I don't see a conflict between an employer's choice to prohibit and test for drug use and libertarian philosophy.

Being "accountable" isn't going to bring back the health/life of someone who is harmed. I'm a nurse, I see the results of people doing stupid stuff, every day.  Sometimes it affects just them or their immediate family, but mostly it affects a vast array of others.

On a personal note, as someone who has been significantly (life alteringly) injured in an auto accident that was someone else's fault -- I don't care how "accountable" the law makes the other driver for his lack of car insurance and the fact that they gave him a ticket, or even how much (a pittance) I got from my own insurance. His careless driving has left me dealing with daily pain. Daily - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the last decade....  the point being that in a whole lot of cases, there are no "take backs". I don't blame the poor kid. He should have been paying attention, sure. It was an accident... but what about all the INTENTIONAL stupid things people do that harm others? -- those are the things that I think need to be regulated.

Anyway. If we could somehow ensure that people weren't doing stupid things that cost others' time/money/health/lives -- that would be great and I'd be all about everyone doing what they want.  It just doesn't work out that way in real life.  I'm for minimal government, as appropriate.  And that's why I can't be Libertarian, and fall pretty squarely in the Republican camp.  I could never be Democrat with the ideal that everyone "deserves" a grand lifestyle without necessarily having to sacrifice anything because "someone else" will be taxed (or earn) it for them.
I don't see how making certain things that are stupid to do (in many circumstances) illegal to do actually prevents people from doing stupid things. You've already stated that "We will always have that segment of society who do grossly irresponsible things". The libertarian ideal is a government that protects individual liberty from the abuse of others. It libertarian philosophy authorizes the government to use forceful action when an individual or group's actions infringe on the time/money/health/lives of others. I believe that by making some stupid/immoral things illegal we develop the dangerous idea that if it is not illegal it is OK to do, thus reducing individual responsibility to avoid doing irresponsible (legal) things.

The thing is, that it does alter people's choices. Let's take helmet and seatbelt laws (controversial but high impact). Almost EVERYONE wears their seatbelt now. Seriously. It's ingrained. People don't feel safe if they get on a motorcycle without a helmet and hold others' accountable for wearing a helmet. I remember a time when nobody wore a seatbelt. And we were all up in arms about having to (when they first passed the laws).  It affects change.

On a side note, I know of a person who has been unresponsive, in a coma, on a ventilator and feeding tubes for over a decade due to not wearing his helmet while on a motorcycle. He's on medicaid, of course. Never woke up from the accident.

While libertarian philosophy resonates strongly with me; I'm not always supportive of libertarian politics. I understand your political stance - I'd probably support the Republican Party too if I actually believed their limited government rhetoric; especially if they took a more libertarian approach to social issues as well.

What kind of social issues are most dear to you? (just wondering)

Kris

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #306 on: January 24, 2017, 11:35:32 AM »
Sure, in part. But I'm fifty, and relatively well-off, and I live a comfortable life. And I don't have kids, so it's not about the extension of me, either. I don't really care about that stuff for me, because it won't really affect me in my lifetime. By the time the effects of climate change start to negatively affect the people where I live, I'll be dead. So no, in this case I'm not doing it for me.
And you have no friends with children whose happiness you care about. You don't get a positive feeling for doing things that you think are positive for the greater good.

I agree with GuitarStv that people are basically motivated by self-interest; but that self-interest can be constructed to value others in a way that we have labeled not selfish. Just because your self-interest construct is more abstract than GuitarStv not wanting to ruin the world for his son does not make it less real.

To be honest, Robertsd, when I think about climate change and its effects, the people I think about are complete abstractions. People across the world I've never met and never will meet, in countries who will see the most severe problems soonest, and who won't have the means to do anything about it. I almost never worry about anyone I know.

But if what you're trying to say is that basically anything we care about is for selfish reasons, then hey, follow your bliss.
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TheOldestYoungMan

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #307 on: January 24, 2017, 11:45:39 AM »
I can't see any evidence that libertarians, by definition, care about anything but their own self-interests.

It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people - women as well as men.
-Susan B. Anthony

There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.
-Alexander Hamilton

It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.
-George Washington

Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.
-George Washington

It is easy to castigate those who abhor the unjust usurpation of power in the name of good things as being against good things, or proponents of selfish things, but it is a shallow and meaningless argument.  You are better than that.

A fight does not have to be in service to things that do not benefit the self to have worth.  That a libertarian argument is an argument for a situation which would benefit the libertarian does not disqualify it as an argument, or demean it in any way.  An argument for lower taxes for me is selfish, an argument for lower taxes for everyone is not.  An argument for government to leave me alone is selfish, an argument for government to leave everyone alone is not.

From the very beginning of the government of this country there has been a struggle between those that would use the power of government to secure liberty and those that would use the power of government to impose their own will on others.  It is a very different thing to say "this is harmful, we're going to tax it, because taxes reduce consumption" and "we don't like this, we're going to blame you for it, and tax you."

What is disconcerting to the libertarian is the two party system, where one party is the oppressor of social liberty (Conservative stance on social issues) and the other is the oppressor of economic liberty (Democratic stance on economic issues).  So it's a pick your poison kind of thing.  Being unpopular and rich makes you a target of Democrats, regardless of whatever environmental arguments they are couching their sentiments in this week, if oil companies were poor they'd receive exactly as much attention as paint companies.  The worst environmental record doesn't earn you a spot on the shit list, it has to be paired with success.

Likewise, it doesn't matter how successful and contributory you are, if you're not fucking the right kind of person you end up on the conservative shit list.

The libertarian argument is to strip away the ability of government to take actionable steps on these irrational grudges.  Sometimes a thing needs to be done, true.  But you can't argue that something like education can only be handled by government unless you attended a government school in the US where that's what you were taught.  There are advantages to such a system, true.  But a huge disadvantage is the lack of competition that allows an idea like "the private sector can't be trusted" to become a gospel truth.  Nothing can be trusted, people can't be trusted, regardless of the nature of their employer.  By all means have a public education system.  But don't set up a system where it is virtually impossible for a private education system to compete with that.  A good option doesn't need the defense of public policy, but most public school systems in the US survive only because of the mandatory participation imposed by the government.  There's a history behind how we got where we are, but it should concern you that the defense of public education is not the failure to provide adequate public education in less settled areas historically, rather the utter ignorance of most of those who were subjected to public education that there's any other way to do it.

It's called indoctrination.  It's called propaganda.  And public policy should be supported by other means.  What the libertarian sentimentality seeks to do, more than anything, in my opinion, is to point out that much of the current public policy debate centers not on the merits of an individual program or idea, but on the entrenched interests of those who rely on the existence of the public policy.  It can sound selfish to want to get rid of the tax on nose hair because "what about all those poor nose hair tax collectors?"  But it isn't selfish.  We don't need a tax on nose hair.

All you can do is limit the scope of the damage any one person can do.  Vast scope of massive agencies is antithetical to that.  Opposing the desires of a community to set up their own school, and pay for it with money they are paying towards a school they no longer want to participate in, that's selfish.  Opposing everyone keeping a little more of their hard-earned money to use for their own good causes so you can force them to spend it on things you think are better causes, that's selfish.
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Kris

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #308 on: January 24, 2017, 11:54:36 AM »
I can't see any evidence that libertarians, by definition, care about anything but their own self-interests.

It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people - women as well as men.
-Susan B. Anthony

There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.
-Alexander Hamilton

It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.
-George Washington

Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.
-George Washington

It is easy to castigate those who abhor the unjust usurpation of power in the name of good things as being against good things, or proponents of selfish things, but it is a shallow and meaningless argument.  You are better than that.

A fight does not have to be in service to things that do not benefit the self to have worth.  That a libertarian argument is an argument for a situation which would benefit the libertarian does not disqualify it as an argument, or demean it in any way.  An argument for lower taxes for me is selfish, an argument for lower taxes for everyone is not.  An argument for government to leave me alone is selfish, an argument for government to leave everyone alone is not.

From the very beginning of the government of this country there has been a struggle between those that would use the power of government to secure liberty and those that would use the power of government to impose their own will on others.  It is a very different thing to say "this is harmful, we're going to tax it, because taxes reduce consumption" and "we don't like this, we're going to blame you for it, and tax you."

What is disconcerting to the libertarian is the two party system, where one party is the oppressor of social liberty (Conservative stance on social issues) and the other is the oppressor of economic liberty (Democratic stance on economic issues).  So it's a pick your poison kind of thing.  Being unpopular and rich makes you a target of Democrats, regardless of whatever environmental arguments they are couching their sentiments in this week, if oil companies were poor they'd receive exactly as much attention as paint companies.  The worst environmental record doesn't earn you a spot on the shit list, it has to be paired with success.

Likewise, it doesn't matter how successful and contributory you are, if you're not fucking the right kind of person you end up on the conservative shit list.

The libertarian argument is to strip away the ability of government to take actionable steps on these irrational grudges.  Sometimes a thing needs to be done, true.  But you can't argue that something like education can only be handled by government unless you attended a government school in the US where that's what you were taught.  There are advantages to such a system, true.  But a huge disadvantage is the lack of competition that allows an idea like "the private sector can't be trusted" to become a gospel truth.  Nothing can be trusted, people can't be trusted, regardless of the nature of their employer.  By all means have a public education system.  But don't set up a system where it is virtually impossible for a private education system to compete with that.  A good option doesn't need the defense of public policy, but most public school systems in the US survive only because of the mandatory participation imposed by the government.  There's a history behind how we got where we are, but it should concern you that the defense of public education is not the failure to provide adequate public education in less settled areas historically, rather the utter ignorance of most of those who were subjected to public education that there's any other way to do it.

It's called indoctrination.  It's called propaganda.  And public policy should be supported by other means.  What the libertarian sentimentality seeks to do, more than anything, in my opinion, is to point out that much of the current public policy debate centers not on the merits of an individual program or idea, but on the entrenched interests of those who rely on the existence of the public policy.  It can sound selfish to want to get rid of the tax on nose hair because "what about all those poor nose hair tax collectors?"  But it isn't selfish.  We don't need a tax on nose hair.

All you can do is limit the scope of the damage any one person can do.  Vast scope of massive agencies is antithetical to that.  Opposing the desires of a community to set up their own school, and pay for it with money they are paying towards a school they no longer want to participate in, that's selfish.  Opposing everyone keeping a little more of their hard-earned money to use for their own good causes so you can force them to spend it on things you think are better causes, that's selfish.

Thank you for that lengthy post.

However, I was speaking from my own personal experience that the libertarians I have spoken to (who are very vocal in their libertarianness so I know that they strongly associate themselves with that political stripe), when they pronounce an opinion about whether something is going to have a good or bad affect on someone else, have an extraordinary tendency to literally tell me that they don't care because it doesn't affect them.
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TheOldestYoungMan

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #309 on: January 24, 2017, 12:22:07 PM »
My husband is a libertarian.  I would love to be a libertarian, but in general, I don't think it is workable.  I think people suck far too much for it to work properly.  I think we would see a lot more people dying on the streets.  I think tribalism would end up determining everything and there would be a lot of violence and suffering.

All things in moderation.  I seek not a libertarian utopia, I seek only to counter the pressures of corporatism and socialism, to change the argument from we must do one of these two bad things, to we must do one of these two bad things, or nothing.  Reminding everyone that there's a third option is important.  That the harm we're doing to ourselves is self-inflicted.

Living in the US today is just about the most awesome experience a human has ever had.  Even if your experience is relatively worse than others' in the US, it is still objectively pretty badass.  Yet there seems this enormous pressure to change everything, this narrative that everything sucks and is getting worse.

We can't just eliminate the bad laws, we have to eliminate them and replace with something else, go bad the other way.
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Libertea

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #310 on: January 24, 2017, 01:50:19 PM »
Great post, TheOldestYoungMan.  And I agree completely. 

Kris, I also consider myself to hold libertarian views, and I would argue against wasting natural resources or ruining the planet because it violates the rights of others to have access to the "commons" of clean air, water, etc.  The biggest principle of libertarianism, IMO, is that everyone should be left to do as they wish up to the point that their doings interfere with the rights of others.  So if I want to pour raw sewage into a stream, I can't, because that violates your rights and everyone else's rights to have a clean stream.  Obviously, people's rights do conflict at times, and that's why we need police, courts, etc.  But in general, I don't want someone else telling me how to live my life, and in return, I will grant that I cannot tell anyone else how to live their lives (spend their money, etc).  So while I greatly disapprove of certain other lifestyle choices, if some people want to sit at home and get high, eat McDonald's every day, not wear seat belts, etc, the rest of us should not be forcing them to do the "right" thing at the point of a gun.  And that includes taking their money by force (taxation) for the "right" social projects, even if I personally like those social projects and agree with their aims.

MVal

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #311 on: January 24, 2017, 01:53:44 PM »
I can't see any evidence that libertarians, by definition, care about anything but their own self-interests.

I guess I'm not a pure libertarian, but I would disagree with this.  By preserving individual liberties, each person is free to voluntarily help whomever they want to help.  I'm a big believer in donating to charitable causes and being generous with other people when I can.  The point is that each person is not forced to give to others but can choose independently.  At least, that's how I see it.

I see it this way as well. Completely voluntary charity, which is a purer human expression anyway.
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shenlong55

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #312 on: January 24, 2017, 02:17:04 PM »
Great post, TheOldestYoungMan.  And I agree completely. 

Kris, I also consider myself to hold libertarian views, and I would argue against wasting natural resources or ruining the planet because it violates the rights of others to have access to the "commons" of clean air, water, etc.  The biggest principle of libertarianism, IMO, is that everyone should be left to do as they wish up to the point that their doings interfere with the rights of others.  So if I want to pour raw sewage into a stream, I can't, because that violates your rights and everyone else's rights to have a clean stream.  Obviously, people's rights do conflict at times, and that's why we need police, courts, etc.  But in general, I don't want someone else telling me how to live my life, and in return, I will grant that I cannot tell anyone else how to live their lives (spend their money, etc).  So while I greatly disapprove of certain other lifestyle choices, if some people want to sit at home and get high, eat McDonald's every day, not wear seat belts, etc, the rest of us should not be forcing them to do the "right" thing at the point of a gun.  And that includes taking their money by force (taxation) for the "right" social projects, even if I personally like those social projects and agree with their aims.

Just curious, does your definition of 'social projects' include national defense?

robartsd

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #313 on: January 24, 2017, 04:16:19 PM »
What kind of social issues are most dear to you? (just wondering)
There are few (if any) stands on social issues made by the Republican Party's Religious Right base that do not align with my personal moral values; I just think it is folly to try to legislate morality if you value freedom.

Libertea

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #314 on: January 24, 2017, 07:08:22 PM »
Quote from: shenlong55
Just curious, does your definition of 'social projects' include national defense?
I can't say I've ever heard anyone describe national defense as a social project.  Given that nonaggression toward others is basically axiomatic to libertarianism, I'm curious why you chose that as a test case?

In general, I would say that protecting people's rights to life and liberty (including gainfully obtained property) is the primary time when using state force is both necessary and justified.  So if someone wants to attack you, whether it's your neighbor or someone on the other side of the planet, then it is reasonable to use state force to defend you against that attack.  Regardless of what organizational units we choose to use for the common defense, protection of the rights of the individual members should be one of the primary functions of the state's reason for existence.  So no, I would not call national defense a social project.  (I'm assuming here that we are speaking of true self defense and not getting into "nation-building" and other unwarranted acts of aggression toward others on our part).

bacchi

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #315 on: January 24, 2017, 07:31:59 PM »
In general, I would say that protecting people's rights to life and liberty (including gainfully obtained property) is the primary time when using state force is both necessary and justified.  So if someone wants to attack you, whether it's your neighbor or someone on the other side of the planet, then it is reasonable to use state force to defend you against that attack.  Regardless of what organizational units we choose to use for the common defense, protection of the rights of the individual members should be one of the primary functions of the state's reason for existence.  So no, I would not call national defense a social project.  (I'm assuming here that we are speaking of true self defense and not getting into "nation-building" and other unwarranted acts of aggression toward others on our part).

Why does it have to be the state? If people want to defend themselves, they can form a well regulated militia with themselves. Creating a military-industrial complex funded by taxes is antithetical to freedom, especially when the state military is often used against its own citizens (like at Waco).

Libertea

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #316 on: January 24, 2017, 08:15:20 PM »
In general, I would say that protecting people's rights to life and liberty (including gainfully obtained property) is the primary time when using state force is both necessary and justified.  So if someone wants to attack you, whether it's your neighbor or someone on the other side of the planet, then it is reasonable to use state force to defend you against that attack.  Regardless of what organizational units we choose to use for the common defense, protection of the rights of the individual members should be one of the primary functions of the state's reason for existence.  So no, I would not call national defense a social project.  (I'm assuming here that we are speaking of true self defense and not getting into "nation-building" and other unwarranted acts of aggression toward others on our part).

Why does it have to be the state? If people want to defend themselves, they can form a well regulated militia with themselves. Creating a military-industrial complex funded by taxes is antithetical to freedom, especially when the state military is often used against its own citizens (like at Waco).
I'm guessing you've never actually tried to form a well-regulated anything that involves a group of people, or you wouldn't be asking.  ;-)

All kidding aside, there's no inherent "has to be" WRT a state, in the sense that some other institution (like a private militia) could possibly be substituted instead.  But someone still has to run that institution, and the problem is that power is corrupting no matter who holds it (whether government, corporations, or some other entity).  Even an independent militia can run amok if it gains too much power.  So the argument you make against giving the power to a state is equally valid against giving it to a private militia or corporation.  Having our organizations turn against us is a risk we face any time we create one and then allow it to gain too much power.

bacchi

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #317 on: January 24, 2017, 09:52:02 PM »
In general, I would say that protecting people's rights to life and liberty (including gainfully obtained property) is the primary time when using state force is both necessary and justified.  So if someone wants to attack you, whether it's your neighbor or someone on the other side of the planet, then it is reasonable to use state force to defend you against that attack.  Regardless of what organizational units we choose to use for the common defense, protection of the rights of the individual members should be one of the primary functions of the state's reason for existence.  So no, I would not call national defense a social project.  (I'm assuming here that we are speaking of true self defense and not getting into "nation-building" and other unwarranted acts of aggression toward others on our part).

Why does it have to be the state? If people want to defend themselves, they can form a well regulated militia with themselves. Creating a military-industrial complex funded by taxes is antithetical to freedom, especially when the state military is often used against its own citizens (like at Waco).
I'm guessing you've never actually tried to form a well-regulated anything that involves a group of people, or you wouldn't be asking.  ;-)

All kidding aside, there's no inherent "has to be" WRT a state, in the sense that some other institution (like a private militia) could possibly be substituted instead.  But someone still has to run that institution, and the problem is that power is corrupting no matter who holds it (whether government, corporations, or some other entity).  Even an independent militia can run amok if it gains too much power.  So the argument you make against giving the power to a state is equally valid against giving it to a private militia or corporation.  Having our organizations turn against us is a risk we face any time we create one and then allow it to gain too much power.

Why even do it then? If someone threatens a city/state/country, people can form up to defend it. There doesn't need to be a taxpayer funded standing militia that will be host to corruption and waste. Get rid of it entirely and save us all the money.

Kris

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #318 on: January 25, 2017, 05:17:47 AM »
In general, I would say that protecting people's rights to life and liberty (including gainfully obtained property) is the primary time when using state force is both necessary and justified.  So if someone wants to attack you, whether it's your neighbor or someone on the other side of the planet, then it is reasonable to use state force to defend you against that attack.  Regardless of what organizational units we choose to use for the common defense, protection of the rights of the individual members should be one of the primary functions of the state's reason for existence.  So no, I would not call national defense a social project.  (I'm assuming here that we are speaking of true self defense and not getting into "nation-building" and other unwarranted acts of aggression toward others on our part).

Why does it have to be the state? If people want to defend themselves, they can form a well regulated militia with themselves. Creating a military-industrial complex funded by taxes is antithetical to freedom, especially when the state military is often used against its own citizens (like at Waco).
I'm guessing you've never actually tried to form a well-regulated anything that involves a group of people, or you wouldn't be asking.  ;-)

All kidding aside, there's no inherent "has to be" WRT a state, in the sense that some other institution (like a private militia) could possibly be substituted instead.  But someone still has to run that institution, and the problem is that power is corrupting no matter who holds it (whether government, corporations, or some other entity).  Even an independent militia can run amok if it gains too much power.  So the argument you make against giving the power to a state is equally valid against giving it to a private militia or corporation.  Having our organizations turn against us is a risk we face any time we create one and then allow it to gain too much power.

Why even do it then? If someone threatens a city/state/country, people can form up to defend it. There doesn't need to be a taxpayer funded standing militia that will be host to corruption and waste. Get rid of it entirely and save us all the money.

I agree. Also, get rid of the fire departments. People shouldn't have to have money stolen out of their own pockets for that. Individuals have the right to protect themselves from fire or emergency.
"Well I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation."   - David St. Hubins, This is Spinal Tap

shenlong55

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #319 on: January 25, 2017, 06:38:02 AM »
So while I greatly disapprove of certain other lifestyle choices, if some people want to sit at home and get high, eat McDonald's every day, not wear seat belts, etc, the rest of us should not be forcing them to do the "right" thing at the point of a gun.  And that includes taking their money by force (taxation) for the "right" social projects, even if I personally like those social projects and agree with their aims.
Quote from: shenlong55
Just curious, does your definition of 'social projects' include national defense?
I can't say I've ever heard anyone describe national defense as a social project.  Given that nonaggression toward others is basically axiomatic to libertarianism, I'm curious why you chose that as a test case?

In general, I would say that protecting people's rights to life and liberty (including gainfully obtained property) is the primary time when using state force is both necessary and justified.  So if someone wants to attack you, whether it's your neighbor or someone on the other side of the planet, then it is reasonable to use state force to defend you against that attack.  Regardless of what organizational units we choose to use for the common defense, protection of the rights of the individual members should be one of the primary functions of the state's reason for existence.  So no, I would not call national defense a social project.  (I'm assuming here that we are speaking of true self defense and not getting into "nation-building" and other unwarranted acts of aggression toward others on our part).

Well, I'm not sure how your defining 'social project' anymore, but I chose national defense as a test case because it is a social project by my definition (a project that we undertake as a society) and because I think most people recognize the value in national defense.  And while I can see the value in having at least some level of national defense, I can guarantee you that there are people who do not want to pay for that social project.  But you appear to be okay with taking others money by force to pay for this particular social project, because you think it's 'necessary and justified'.  That seems to be at odds with your previous statement.

What if I think that universal healthcare is 'necessary and justified'?

LalsConstant

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #320 on: January 25, 2017, 06:53:46 AM »
I agree. Also, get rid of the fire departments. People shouldn't have to have money stolen out of their own pockets for that. Individuals have the right to protect themselves from fire or emergency.
Straw man argument by the way of false dichotomy.

What if Amazon launches its own fire extinguishing service which uses advanced chemical products to extinguish fires more quickly and with less collateral damage and I would rather have that instead?

LalsConstant

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #321 on: January 25, 2017, 07:00:26 AM »
What if I think that universal healthcare is 'necessary and justified'?

Unless you can explain how you came to this conclusion using the same definition of necessary and justified as the other poster, you're just playing rhetorical sleight of hand which ends up in both sides talking past each other.

shenlong55

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #322 on: January 25, 2017, 07:32:36 AM »
What if I think that universal healthcare is 'necessary and justified'?

Unless you can explain how you came to this conclusion using the same definition of necessary and justified as the other poster, you're just playing rhetorical sleight of hand which ends up in both sides talking past each other.

Well, I don't know what definitions Libertea is using but here's my reasoning.

Quote
nec·es·sar·y
ˈnesəˌserē/
adjective
adjective: necessary

    1.
    required to be done, achieved, or present; needed; essential.
    "members are admitted only after they have gained the necessary experience"
    synonyms:   obligatory, requisite, required, compulsory, mandatory, imperative, needed, de rigueur; More

Quote
es·sen·tial
əˈsen(t)SHəl/
adjective
adjective: essential

    1.
    absolutely necessary; extremely important.
    "it is essential to keep up-to-date records"
    synonyms:   crucial, necessary, key, vital, indispensable, important, all-important, of the essence, critical, imperative, mandatory, compulsory, obligatory; More

Quote
jus·ti·fied
ˈjəstəˌfīd/
adjective
adjective: justified

    1.
    having, done for, or marked by a good or legitimate reason.

Personally, I would say that universal healthcare is definitely necessary/essential/extremely important and justified/done for a good or legitimate reason.

Libertea

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #323 on: January 25, 2017, 07:42:14 AM »
Well, I'm not sure how your defining 'social project' anymore, but I chose national defense as a test case because it is a social project by my definition (a project that we undertake as a society) and because I think most people recognize the value in national defense.  And while I can see the value in having at least some level of national defense, I can guarantee you that there are people who do not want to pay for that social project.  But you appear to be okay with taking others money by force to pay for this particular social project, because you think it's 'necessary and justified'.  That seems to be at odds with your previous statement.

What if I think that universal healthcare is 'necessary and justified'?
In order for us to have a society, any society at all, there needs to be certain basic ground rules.  If I can't be reasonably secure against being attacked by others, then my entire life will by necessity consist of me trying to protect myself and anything I have from others who want to take them away from me.  Might will make right.  Clearly that is not a situation that maximizes anyone's freedom, since basic security is essential before anything else can be attempted or accomplished in a society.  So while it is true that defense is "social" in the sense that it involves a group of people, I don't consider it to be a "social project," because without it, we can't have a society at all.  I would consider those goals that are desirable to many (maybe most) people, but that are not essential for society to exist, to be social goals.  Paying for them via taxpayer dollars should be minimized as much as possible; even though complete elimination of state force is not possible, it should be well-circumscribed and limited.

Universal healthcare is something that many people consider desirable, and good health is almost certainly something that everyone considers desirable.  In reality, it is the second goal (good health) that is the real goal, not the first.  The infighting we have as a society is not about whether health is important, but rather about how we ought to go about maximizing health.  It's not a simple issue of just private versus public healthcare, not the least of which is because good health is also an important factor for leading a "good life" (however one defines that), and also because there are many members of society who are not able to provide that for themselves (with children being a clear and probably unobjectionable example). 

However, health care does not grow on trees and is not a renewable resource.  Someone has to provide that care, and those people ideally should do so willingly (unless you are ok with forcing health care providers to provide care).  We cannot magically conjure up more PCPs simply because we passed Obamacare, for example.  There is a limited amount of health care resources.  Since everyone desires good health, and since there is a significant (but not complete) overlap between access to medical care and good health, then a "fair" system of allocation has to be determined.  Some are fine with it just being based on what someone can afford to pay for; this actually may not maximize even the health of the wealthy (as with over testing and unnecessary procedures).  Many would agree that ability to pay is not a very fair allocation method because being poor shouldn't preclude one from being able to obtain medical care.  But again, if you can't force someone to provide that health care, how do you intend to make it universal?  Demand for healthcare will continue to increase faster than any increase in supply, not too dissimilar to how a newly widened road is already congested as soon as the renovation is completed.  And so we wind up with a relatively dysfunctional hybrid system that basically pleases no one and leaves us objectively less healthy as a nation than are residents of many other countries.  (Assuming that you, like I, are an American.)

I don't personally have a good answer to the question of how best to maximize health for individuals while minimizing state force and maximizing individual liberty.  I suspect that if there were an easy answer, no doubt it would already have been conceived of and implemented by people far more knowledgeable and intelligent than I am.

Kris

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #324 on: January 25, 2017, 07:50:06 AM »
I agree. Also, get rid of the fire departments. People shouldn't have to have money stolen out of their own pockets for that. Individuals have the right to protect themselves from fire or emergency.
Straw man argument by the way of false dichotomy.

What if Amazon launches its own fire extinguishing service which uses advanced chemical products to extinguish fires more quickly and with less collateral damage and I would rather have that instead?

Okay. Well, that's the way things are likely to go in the future, so have at it! Unfortunately, that will make it too hard for local fire departments to run themselves because of lack of operating budgets. So the guy next to you, and the guy next to him might not have adequate fire protection. Hope one of their sparks doesn't hit your house.
"Well I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation."   - David St. Hubins, This is Spinal Tap

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #325 on: January 25, 2017, 08:21:29 AM »
The fundamental problem with any "social project" is some groups of individuals will deem it "essential", others will not.  This means force must be used on those who deem it unessential to provide resources for said social project if one believes the resource cost should be distributed to all who benefit in a "fair" manner.  This is likely due to a fundamental flaw of humans ability to work with and understand large groups of other humans.  An evolutionary side effect of coming from small groups of hunter gatherers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar's_number

Libertarians tend to believe that small human groups and individuals will come together in more efficient forms to meet their perceived essential needs without significant use of force by government.  Now, modern society is so specialized and complex most realistic and serious libertarians will also concede that some social structures are required for maintenance of society (ie a group can not simply pick up sticks and align with other groups on an as need basis to defend their homeland anymore, some level of standing military is required).  OTOH, Democracy, by definition, forces the policies of the majority onto the minority.  So, this is a dangerous balance.  A balance which can best be held by understanding a simple concept; government sucks at everything.  As such, government force should only be used as a last resort, see this excellent post: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/can-you-convince-me-that-government-is-inevitably-incompetent/

One can always argue there will be a segment of society that makes poor decisions. This may be true from our perspective, but evidently not from theirs.  I, personally, don't like the idea of people starving in the the streets, nor the social disorder which would certainly result from said situation. However, beyond maintaining a "fair" system, it is not my responsibility to force some to give to others (personally, I would do this willingly) to avoid the results of individual or small group decisions that end poorly, beyond maintaining fairness of opportunity (which is NOT currently present).  In fact, a libertarian would argue it is the use of government force itself that has created the unfair system we see today, propagating poverty and what most on here would deem poor decisions.  Force and regulation creates an unjust and unfair system, to which we respond with more force and regulation in attempts to create a fair playing field.  Insanity, doing more of the same and expecting different results. I am hard pressed to think of modern examples of widespread systemic racism, unfairness, atrocities, etc that did not stem from some form of forced government institution, past or present.


LalsConstant

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #326 on: January 25, 2017, 08:30:36 AM »
What if I think that universal healthcare is 'necessary and justified'?

Unless you can explain how you came to this conclusion using the same definition of necessary and justified as the other poster, you're just playing rhetorical sleight of hand which ends up in both sides talking past each other.

Well, I don't know what definitions Libertea is using but here's my reasoning.

Quote
nec·es·sar·y
ˈnesəˌserē/
adjective
adjective: necessary

    1.
    required to be done, achieved, or present; needed; essential.
    "members are admitted only after they have gained the necessary experience"
    synonyms:   obligatory, requisite, required, compulsory, mandatory, imperative, needed, de rigueur; More

Quote
es·sen·tial
əˈsen(t)SHəl/
adjective
adjective: essential

    1.
    absolutely necessary; extremely important.
    "it is essential to keep up-to-date records"
    synonyms:   crucial, necessary, key, vital, indispensable, important, all-important, of the essence, critical, imperative, mandatory, compulsory, obligatory; More

Quote
jus·ti·fied
ˈjəstəˌfīd/
adjective
adjective: justified

    1.
    having, done for, or marked by a good or legitimate reason.

Personally, I would say that universal healthcare is definitely necessary/essential/extremely important and justified/done for a good or legitimate reason.

By those definitions one can argue the people being mocked in the comedy forum are making necessary and justified purchases.  The point being terms must be precise to context for the discussion to have meaning.  Invoking the dictionary definition isn't satisfactory especially given there are multiple dictionaries and that the dictionary definition by its nature must be concise.

I am not saying you are wrong or right I am just pointing out that unless both sides agree on the terms used no discussion will be fruitful.

LalsConstant

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #327 on: January 25, 2017, 08:33:33 AM »
I agree. Also, get rid of the fire departments. People shouldn't have to have money stolen out of their own pockets for that. Individuals have the right to protect themselves from fire or emergency.
Straw man argument by the way of false dichotomy.

What if Amazon launches its own fire extinguishing service which uses advanced chemical products to extinguish fires more quickly and with less collateral damage and I would rather have that instead?

Okay. Well, that's the way things are likely to go in the future, so have at it! Unfortunately, that will make it too hard for local fire departments to run themselves because of lack of operating budgets. So the guy next to you, and the guy next to him might not have adequate fire protection. Hope one of their sparks doesn't hit your house.

Again false dichotomy, but by way of shifting the goal posts.  The issue here isn't there must be a fire department the issue here is what requirements should be in place for property owners to avoids a tragedy of the commons?  The best way to resolve that is not necessarily to have a fire department.  All possible solutions should be considered.

Rimu05

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #328 on: January 25, 2017, 08:38:20 AM »
I am not a libertarian but I've read this thread because it's interesting to see other points of views. I'm more liberal and definitely into Keynesianism although not always.

Anyway, from reading this thread and being mostly ignorant about libertarianism, I'd like to ask what the stance is on infrastructure. It seems the general consensus here is less government to even no government, but does that mean things like infrastructure should be built by the highest bidder?

Also, things like public transport. Should we let private companies take care of this and just price at their own convenience? Sot off like Airlines?

Kris

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #329 on: January 25, 2017, 08:43:11 AM »
I agree. Also, get rid of the fire departments. People shouldn't have to have money stolen out of their own pockets for that. Individuals have the right to protect themselves from fire or emergency.
Straw man argument by the way of false dichotomy.

What if Amazon launches its own fire extinguishing service which uses advanced chemical products to extinguish fires more quickly and with less collateral damage and I would rather have that instead?

Okay. Well, that's the way things are likely to go in the future, so have at it! Unfortunately, that will make it too hard for local fire departments to run themselves because of lack of operating budgets. So the guy next to you, and the guy next to him might not have adequate fire protection. Hope one of their sparks doesn't hit your house.

Again false dichotomy, but by way of shifting the goal posts.  The issue here isn't there must be a fire department the issue here is what requirements should be in place for property owners to avoids a tragedy of the commons?  The best way to resolve that is not necessarily to have a fire department.  All possible solutions should be considered.
[/b]

This is true.

However -- and I recognize I have not talked to all libertarians -- I have literally never heard a libertarian give a list of concrete and workable/fleshed out "solutions" to a problem that is currently addressed (more successfully or less so) by a public service.

So, actually, I would love for you to put down your thoughts for a plan for something like that. E.g., other alternatives, fleshed out somewhat, to a fire department. Or a police department. Workable solutions that would work for both smaller and larger agglomerations -- with tweaking, of course.
"Well I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation."   - David St. Hubins, This is Spinal Tap

Spork

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #330 on: January 25, 2017, 10:28:21 AM »
I agree. Also, get rid of the fire departments. People shouldn't have to have money stolen out of their own pockets for that. Individuals have the right to protect themselves from fire or emergency.
Straw man argument by the way of false dichotomy.

What if Amazon launches its own fire extinguishing service which uses advanced chemical products to extinguish fires more quickly and with less collateral damage and I would rather have that instead?

Okay. Well, that's the way things are likely to go in the future, so have at it! Unfortunately, that will make it too hard for local fire departments to run themselves because of lack of operating budgets. So the guy next to you, and the guy next to him might not have adequate fire protection. Hope one of their sparks doesn't hit your house.

Again false dichotomy, but by way of shifting the goal posts.  The issue here isn't there must be a fire department the issue here is what requirements should be in place for property owners to avoids a tragedy of the commons?  The best way to resolve that is not necessarily to have a fire department.  All possible solutions should be considered.
[/b]

This is true.

However -- and I recognize I have not talked to all libertarians -- I have literally never heard a libertarian give a list of concrete and workable/fleshed out "solutions" to a problem that is currently addressed (more successfully or less so) by a public service.

So, actually, I would love for you to put down your thoughts for a plan for something like that. E.g., other alternatives, fleshed out somewhat, to a fire department. Or a police department. Workable solutions that would work for both smaller and larger agglomerations -- with tweaking, of course.

I think most Libertarians (or at least more little 'l' libertarians) would just be happy with not building NEW conglomerations.  In fact, I think a huge majority of us would call it a victory if we could just implement something as silly as "Stop giving government money to rich people."
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

Kris

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #331 on: January 25, 2017, 10:31:49 AM »
I agree. Also, get rid of the fire departments. People shouldn't have to have money stolen out of their own pockets for that. Individuals have the right to protect themselves from fire or emergency.
Straw man argument by the way of false dichotomy.

What if Amazon launches its own fire extinguishing service which uses advanced chemical products to extinguish fires more quickly and with less collateral damage and I would rather have that instead?

Okay. Well, that's the way things are likely to go in the future, so have at it! Unfortunately, that will make it too hard for local fire departments to run themselves because of lack of operating budgets. So the guy next to you, and the guy next to him might not have adequate fire protection. Hope one of their sparks doesn't hit your house.

Again false dichotomy, but by way of shifting the goal posts.  The issue here isn't there must be a fire department the issue here is what requirements should be in place for property owners to avoids a tragedy of the commons?  The best way to resolve that is not necessarily to have a fire department.  All possible solutions should be considered.
[/b]

This is true.

However -- and I recognize I have not talked to all libertarians -- I have literally never heard a libertarian give a list of concrete and workable/fleshed out "solutions" to a problem that is currently addressed (more successfully or less so) by a public service.

So, actually, I would love for you to put down your thoughts for a plan for something like that. E.g., other alternatives, fleshed out somewhat, to a fire department. Or a police department. Workable solutions that would work for both smaller and larger agglomerations -- with tweaking, of course.

I think most Libertarians (or at least more little 'l' libertarians) would just be happy with not building NEW conglomerations.  In fact, I think a huge majority of us would call it a victory if we could just implement something as silly as "Stop giving government money to rich people."

I'd say most liberals are right there with you.

But I'm not so sure "most" libertarians feel that way. Or at least, they are quite unrepresented in the sample population I've interacted with. I've had a hell of a lot of "taxation is theft" conversations -- a hell of a lot more of those than "stop giving government money to rich people."
"Well I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation."   - David St. Hubins, This is Spinal Tap

Lagom

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #332 on: January 25, 2017, 10:49:26 AM »
I'd say most liberals are right there with you.

But I'm not so sure "most" libertarians feel that way. Or at least, they are quite unrepresented in the sample population I've interacted with. I've had a hell of a lot of "taxation is theft" conversations -- a hell of a lot more of those than "stop giving government money to rich people."

I think most actual libertarians would agree with Spork, but the movement is rife with people who have appropriated the mantel of libertarianism to promote various extreme (usually right-wing) views under the veneer of protecting "liberty" and "freedom of association." These people all voted for Trump and see little to no conflict with that choice. I just wish more true libertarians would spend some time actively trying to divest themselves of this cancerous parasite that has attached itself to what otherwise is a laudable, if (in my opinion) unrealistic cause. I'm not saying every libertarian is complicit. Far from it. But many seem reluctant to decry others who dislike the federal government, regardless of their reasons. 

Spork

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #333 on: January 25, 2017, 10:52:25 AM »
I agree. Also, get rid of the fire departments. People shouldn't have to have money stolen out of their own pockets for that. Individuals have the right to protect themselves from fire or emergency.
Straw man argument by the way of false dichotomy.

What if Amazon launches its own fire extinguishing service which uses advanced chemical products to extinguish fires more quickly and with less collateral damage and I would rather have that instead?

Okay. Well, that's the way things are likely to go in the future, so have at it! Unfortunately, that will make it too hard for local fire departments to run themselves because of lack of operating budgets. So the guy next to you, and the guy next to him might not have adequate fire protection. Hope one of their sparks doesn't hit your house.

Again false dichotomy, but by way of shifting the goal posts.  The issue here isn't there must be a fire department the issue here is what requirements should be in place for property owners to avoids a tragedy of the commons?  The best way to resolve that is not necessarily to have a fire department.  All possible solutions should be considered.
[/b]

This is true.

However -- and I recognize I have not talked to all libertarians -- I have literally never heard a libertarian give a list of concrete and workable/fleshed out "solutions" to a problem that is currently addressed (more successfully or less so) by a public service.

So, actually, I would love for you to put down your thoughts for a plan for something like that. E.g., other alternatives, fleshed out somewhat, to a fire department. Or a police department. Workable solutions that would work for both smaller and larger agglomerations -- with tweaking, of course.

I think most Libertarians (or at least more little 'l' libertarians) would just be happy with not building NEW conglomerations.  In fact, I think a huge majority of us would call it a victory if we could just implement something as silly as "Stop giving government money to rich people."

I'd say most liberals are right there with you.

But I'm not so sure "most" libertarians feel that way. Or at least, they are quite unrepresented in the sample population I've interacted with. I've had a hell of a lot of "taxation is theft" conversations -- a hell of a lot more of those than "stop giving government money to rich people."

While I think a lot of "taxation is theft" ... to paraphrase your thoughts up thread: I'm old.  I'd be fine with a whole lot less than my "ideal."
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Kris

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #334 on: January 25, 2017, 10:55:21 AM »
I'd say most liberals are right there with you.

But I'm not so sure "most" libertarians feel that way. Or at least, they are quite unrepresented in the sample population I've interacted with. I've had a hell of a lot of "taxation is theft" conversations -- a hell of a lot more of those than "stop giving government money to rich people."

I think most actual libertarians would agree with Spork, but the movement is rife with people who have appropriated the mantel of libertarianism to promote various extreme (usually right-wing) views under the veneer of protecting "liberty" and "freedom of association." These people all voted for Trump and see little to no conflict with that choice. I just wish more true libertarians would spend some time actively trying to divest themselves of this cancerous parasite that has attached itself to what otherwise is a laudable, if (in my opinion) unrealistic cause. I'm not saying every libertarian is complicit. Far from it. But many seem reluctant to decry others who dislike the federal government, regardless of their reasons.

Interesting. Perhaps you're right. I certainly do see the extremists out in force. Of course, they are probably more vocal. The people in my real life experiences who look like the "true" libertarians you describe seem to have slipped out of Republicanism, had a brief flirt with libertarianism, and then moved to voting for Democrats out of social progressiveness, while keeping their critical thinking skills actively engaged regarding the failures of neo-liberalism.
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Spork

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #335 on: January 25, 2017, 11:00:03 AM »
I'd say most liberals are right there with you.

But I'm not so sure "most" libertarians feel that way. Or at least, they are quite unrepresented in the sample population I've interacted with. I've had a hell of a lot of "taxation is theft" conversations -- a hell of a lot more of those than "stop giving government money to rich people."

I think most actual libertarians would agree with Spork, but the movement is rife with people who have appropriated the mantel of libertarianism to promote various extreme (usually right-wing) views under the veneer of protecting "liberty" and "freedom of association." These people all voted for Trump and see little to no conflict with that choice. I just wish more true libertarians would spend some time actively trying to divest themselves of this cancerous parasite that has attached itself to what otherwise is a laudable, if (in my opinion) unrealistic cause. I'm not saying every libertarian is complicit. Far from it. But many seem reluctant to decry others who dislike the federal government, regardless of their reasons.

Interesting. Perhaps you're right. I certainly do see the extremists out in force. Of course, they are probably more vocal. The people in my real life experiences who look like the "true" libertarians you describe seem to have slipped out of Republicanism, had a brief flirt with libertarianism, and then moved to voting for Democrats out of social progressiveness, while keeping their critical thinking skills actively engaged regarding the failures of neo-liberalism.

Libertarian is a pretty frustrating pigeon hole to be in. 

You KNOW your guy probably won't win. 
You are HARD left on most social issues... and the left seems to vilify you.
You are HARD right on most economic issues... and the right seems to vilify you.

I know our numbers are small and probably don't really matter in the grand scheme of things... But it just seems to me there would be a reasonable way to work with both sides on an issue-by-issue basis.
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Kris

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #336 on: January 25, 2017, 11:23:59 AM »
I'd say most liberals are right there with you.

But I'm not so sure "most" libertarians feel that way. Or at least, they are quite unrepresented in the sample population I've interacted with. I've had a hell of a lot of "taxation is theft" conversations -- a hell of a lot more of those than "stop giving government money to rich people."

I think most actual libertarians would agree with Spork, but the movement is rife with people who have appropriated the mantel of libertarianism to promote various extreme (usually right-wing) views under the veneer of protecting "liberty" and "freedom of association." These people all voted for Trump and see little to no conflict with that choice. I just wish more true libertarians would spend some time actively trying to divest themselves of this cancerous parasite that has attached itself to what otherwise is a laudable, if (in my opinion) unrealistic cause. I'm not saying every libertarian is complicit. Far from it. But many seem reluctant to decry others who dislike the federal government, regardless of their reasons.

Interesting. Perhaps you're right. I certainly do see the extremists out in force. Of course, they are probably more vocal. The people in my real life experiences who look like the "true" libertarians you describe seem to have slipped out of Republicanism, had a brief flirt with libertarianism, and then moved to voting for Democrats out of social progressiveness, while keeping their critical thinking skills actively engaged regarding the failures of neo-liberalism.

Libertarian is a pretty frustrating pigeon hole to be in. 

You KNOW your guy probably won't win. 
You are HARD left on most social issues... and the left seems to vilify you.
You are HARD right on most economic issues... and the right seems to vilify you.

I know our numbers are small and probably don't really matter in the grand scheme of things... But it just seems to me there would be a reasonable way to work with both sides on an issue-by-issue basis.

Libertarians seem only to be interested in running the occasional federal candidate, no? That's not really a "party," so not surprising that the effectiveness of the candidates are limited.

I think if libertarians actually organized themselves into local, state, and national chapters, they might manage better -- but then again, they seem pretty anti-government, so I don't know if that's very workable.
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shenlong55

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #337 on: January 25, 2017, 11:39:08 AM »
In order for us to have a society, any society at all, there needs to be certain basic ground rules.  If I can't be reasonably secure against being attacked by others, then my entire life will by necessity consist of me trying to protect myself and anything I have from others who want to take them away from me.  Might will make right.  Clearly that is not a situation that maximizes anyone's freedom, since basic security is essential before anything else can be attempted or accomplished in a society.  So while it is true that defense is "social" in the sense that it involves a group of people, I don't consider it to be a "social project," because without it, we can't have a society at all.  I would consider those goals that are desirable to many (maybe most) people, but that are not essential for society to exist, to be social goals.  Paying for them via taxpayer dollars should be minimized as much as possible; even though complete elimination of state force is not possible, it should be well-circumscribed and limited.

But defense is not necessary for security, nor for society.  People have free will right?  We could all just choose peaceful solutions to our problems instead of violence.  Come to think of it, I don't feel secure in my neighborhood because I trust the police, I feel safe in my neighborhood because I trust my neighbors.  Now I'm getting a little upset that I have to pay for police protection, what good does it do me if all my neighbors are good, trustworthy people?  I'm wasting a lot of my money to pay the salaries of police officers that don't do jack for me!*

Universal healthcare is something that many people consider desirable, and good health is almost certainly something that everyone considers desirable.  In reality, it is the second goal (good health) that is the real goal, not the first.  The infighting we have as a society is not about whether health is important, but rather about how we ought to go about maximizing health.  It's not a simple issue of just private versus public healthcare, not the least of which is because good health is also an important factor for leading a "good life" (however one defines that), and also because there are many members of society who are not able to provide that for themselves (with children being a clear and probably unobjectionable example). 

However, health care does not grow on trees and is not a renewable resource.  Someone has to provide that care, and those people ideally should do so willingly (unless you are ok with forcing health care providers to provide care).  We cannot magically conjure up more PCPs simply because we passed Obamacare, for example.  There is a limited amount of health care resources.  Since everyone desires good health, and since there is a significant (but not complete) overlap between access to medical care and good health, then a "fair" system of allocation has to be determined.  Some are fine with it just being based on what someone can afford to pay for; this actually may not maximize even the health of the wealthy (as with over testing and unnecessary procedures).  Many would agree that ability to pay is not a very fair allocation method because being poor shouldn't preclude one from being able to obtain medical care.  But again, if you can't force someone to provide that health care, how do you intend to make it universal?  Demand for healthcare will continue to increase faster than any increase in supply, not too dissimilar to how a newly widened road is already congested as soon as the renovation is completed.  And so we wind up with a relatively dysfunctional hybrid system that basically pleases no one and leaves us objectively less healthy as a nation than are residents of many other countries.  (Assuming that you, like I, are an American.)

I don't personally have a good answer to the question of how best to maximize health for individuals while minimizing state force and maximizing individual liberty.  I suspect that if there were an easy answer, no doubt it would already have been conceived of and implemented by people far more knowledgeable and intelligent than I am.

Actually, I think I agree with you on a lot of what your saying here.  I agree that there is a limited amount of health care resources available at this moment in time, but I also recognize that we have ways of increasing the amount of available resources if we choose to do so.  I also agree that somebody will have to provide that care/security and those people ideally should do so willingly (unless you are okay with forcing health care providers/soldiers/police to provide care).  I know we can't magically conjure up more PCPs/soldiers simply because we passed Obamacare/the draft, be we could use various methods to incentivize more people to become doctors/soldiers.  I would also agree that the ability to pay is not a very fair allocation method, because being poor shouldn't preclude one from being able to obtain medical care/security.  I'm not sure of the answer to how we make health care universal, but some clues may be found in how we made security universal.

*I'm mostly playing devil's advocate here.

shenlong55

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #338 on: January 25, 2017, 11:48:19 AM »
By those definitions one can argue the people being mocked in the comedy forum are making necessary and justified purchases.  The point being terms must be precise to context for the discussion to have meaning.  Invoking the dictionary definition isn't satisfactory especially given there are multiple dictionaries and that the dictionary definition by its nature must be concise.

I am not saying you are wrong or right I am just pointing out that unless both sides agree on the terms used no discussion will be fruitful.

I completely agree with your point, I'm just not sure what your proposed solution is.  Should we all debate and discuss the meaning of every word that we're going to use in a debate beforehand?  My personal solution is to use shared (dictionary) definitions by default and if a discrepancy comes up during the debate to address it at that point.  Especially since a lot of people seem to get upset when I start talking semantics, I don't think people like their definitions being challenged.  Personally, I think semantics are often the best way to get at the root of a disagreement, but that doesn't seem to be a common view.

Spork

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #339 on: January 25, 2017, 07:36:16 PM »
I'd say most liberals are right there with you.

But I'm not so sure "most" libertarians feel that way. Or at least, they are quite unrepresented in the sample population I've interacted with. I've had a hell of a lot of "taxation is theft" conversations -- a hell of a lot more of those than "stop giving government money to rich people."

I think most actual libertarians would agree with Spork, but the movement is rife with people who have appropriated the mantel of libertarianism to promote various extreme (usually right-wing) views under the veneer of protecting "liberty" and "freedom of association." These people all voted for Trump and see little to no conflict with that choice. I just wish more true libertarians would spend some time actively trying to divest themselves of this cancerous parasite that has attached itself to what otherwise is a laudable, if (in my opinion) unrealistic cause. I'm not saying every libertarian is complicit. Far from it. But many seem reluctant to decry others who dislike the federal government, regardless of their reasons.

Interesting. Perhaps you're right. I certainly do see the extremists out in force. Of course, they are probably more vocal. The people in my real life experiences who look like the "true" libertarians you describe seem to have slipped out of Republicanism, had a brief flirt with libertarianism, and then moved to voting for Democrats out of social progressiveness, while keeping their critical thinking skills actively engaged regarding the failures of neo-liberalism.

Libertarian is a pretty frustrating pigeon hole to be in. 

You KNOW your guy probably won't win. 
You are HARD left on most social issues... and the left seems to vilify you.
You are HARD right on most economic issues... and the right seems to vilify you.

I know our numbers are small and probably don't really matter in the grand scheme of things... But it just seems to me there would be a reasonable way to work with both sides on an issue-by-issue basis.

Libertarians seem only to be interested in running the occasional federal candidate, no? That's not really a "party," so not surprising that the effectiveness of the candidates are limited.

I think if libertarians actually organized themselves into local, state, and national chapters, they might manage better -- but then again, they seem pretty anti-government, so I don't know if that's very workable.

I'm not sure how it is where you are.  We have a local chapter.  We have candidates on the state ballots.  I think the lack of success is BOTH (a) very small numbers actually call themselves libertarian (or even know what libertarian is) and (b) people want to vote for a winner.  It doesn't matter if he/she isn't representative... they want to get behind someone that will win.  I'm willing to concede it is likely more A than B.

Limited government isn't anti-government.  It may not be your ideal.  It's still government.
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Get caught in ticking traps
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Marky Mark

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #340 on: January 27, 2017, 04:12:18 PM »
Limited government isn't anti-government.   Exactly this.

Libertarians are stigmatized by the same political dynamic as Teams R and D - detractors want to define the movement by the most extreme members. Let's be honest, there are Republicans who, if they could, would implement an authoritarian theocracy. There are Democrats who are out and out Marxists, and some who identify as Libertarians are actually anarchists.   

I left the GOP because I came to realize that many in the party were just as much 'big government' types as the Democrats, they only differ in WHAT they want that big government to do.  I consider myself a moderate Libertarian, and certainly don't agree with every policy issue in the party.   I want far less government (particularly at the Federal level) than we have, but also believe that safety and security is job one for any government.  I find some "libertarian" positions ridiculous, like "every road should be a toll road" or carping about those "unconstitutional National Parks". Really? 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 04:14:22 PM by Marky Mark »
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RangerOne

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #341 on: January 27, 2017, 05:03:44 PM »
I like a lot of things about Libertarianism. I think its core appealing component is that it celebrates individualism and choice. Things important to most Americans especially, we want as much control and choice as possible.

However I tend to diverge with their current standard bearers on a few issues.

I think they are too soft on climate change and too willing to downplay the risk in order question good regulations. In fact for a variety of different reasons I feel like current Republicans and Libertarians are overly willing to simply paint all regulation and institutions like the EPA as terrible things that need to be gutted. I suppose that gross simplification makes public appeal easier. But I would prefer they would discuss deregulation in a more complex and thoughtful way that doesn't dismiss our best science.

I also think people like Gary Johnson were a bit soft on corporate and private financing for campaigns. Though I suppose a more limited government naturally will become less corrupt because their is less complexity to abuse.

But I would much rather have any of libertarian people in office right now over our current bunch even with those gripes.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #342 on: January 27, 2017, 09:20:12 PM »
I like a lot of things about Libertarianism. I think its core appealing component is that it celebrates individualism and choice. Things important to most Americans especially, we want as much control and choice as possible.

However I tend to diverge with their current standard bearers on a few issues.

I think they are too soft on climate change and too willing to downplay the risk in order question good regulations. In fact for a variety of different reasons I feel like current Republicans and Libertarians are overly willing to simply paint all regulation and institutions like the EPA as terrible things that need to be gutted. I suppose that gross simplification makes public appeal easier. But I would prefer they would discuss deregulation in a more complex and thoughtful way that doesn't dismiss our best science.

I also think people like Gary Johnson were a bit soft on corporate and private financing for campaigns. Though I suppose a more limited government naturally will become less corrupt because their is less complexity to abuse.

But I would much rather have any of libertarian people in office right now over our current bunch even with those gripes.

If you believe the current models of climate change, how in the world can you suggest the EPA has been effective in preventing environmental catastrophes?

Telecaster

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #343 on: January 28, 2017, 12:26:33 AM »
If you believe the current models of climate change, how in the world can you suggest the EPA has been effective in preventing environmental catastrophes?

I didn't see that suggestion the post.  He said...actually I'll just quote it:  "I feel like current Republicans and Libertarians are overly willing to simply paint all regulation and institutions like the EPA as terrible things that need to be gutted."

There was no comment about the effectiveness of EPA or even climate change.  It was simply an opinion (and framed as an opinion) about how Republicans and Libertarians view EPA.  Feel free to disagree, but I think that's pretty much on. 

Recall also, EPA follows rules created by Congress. If EPA isn't preventing environmental catastrophe, blame the rule makers. 

That said, EPA along with other government agencies and with some luck have been very, very effective at reducing increases in greenhouse gas emissions.    Beyond what most people expected, actually. 

Metric Mouse

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #344 on: January 28, 2017, 12:50:04 AM »
If you believe the current models of climate change, how in the world can you suggest the EPA has been effective in preventing environmental catastrophes?

I didn't see that suggestion the post.  He said...actually I'll just quote it:  "I feel like current Republicans and Libertarians are overly willing to simply paint all regulation and institutions like the EPA as terrible things that need to be gutted."

There was no comment about the effectiveness of EPA or even climate change.  It was simply an opinion (and framed as an opinion) about how Republicans and Libertarians view EPA.  Feel free to disagree, but I think that's pretty much on. 

Recall also, EPA follows rules created by Congress. If EPA isn't preventing environmental catastrophe, blame the rule makers. 

That said, EPA along with other government agencies and with some luck have been very, very effective at reducing increases in greenhouse gas emissions.    Beyond what most people expected, actually.
By luck do you mean fracking developments that have flooded the market with cheap, available natural gas? That's one of the large drivers of America's emissions reductions over the past few years.
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MustacheMathTM

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #345 on: January 28, 2017, 11:21:21 AM »
If you believe the current models of climate change, how in the world can you suggest the EPA has been effective in preventing environmental catastrophes?

I didn't see that suggestion the post.  He said...actually I'll just quote it:  "I feel like current Republicans and Libertarians are overly willing to simply paint all regulation and institutions like the EPA as terrible things that need to be gutted."

There was no comment about the effectiveness of EPA or even climate change.  It was simply an opinion (and framed as an opinion) about how Republicans and Libertarians view EPA.  Feel free to disagree, but I think that's pretty much on. 

Recall also, EPA follows rules created by Congress. If EPA isn't preventing environmental catastrophe, blame the rule makers. 

That said, EPA along with other government agencies and with some luck have been very, very effective at reducing increases in greenhouse gas emissions.    Beyond what most people expected, actually.

Perhaps I misjudged the comment (Rangerone feel free to correct me), but I read Rangerone's entire statement in context as being one of general agreement with libertarian principles.  However, Rangerone can not support the libertarian policies which would gut good agencies like the EPA, which have good, society protecting agendas.   I was merely pointing out that the EPA has been an inefficient and abysmal failure (like most government agencies) at performing the duties for which it was created. My comment was an obvious attempt to have Rangerone consider a different framework in which to achieve environmental protection. 

As far as blaming the rule makers... I do, they were not libertarians :)

Regarding your last statement of EPA effectiveness, please see MM informed and eloquent reply.  Market conditions created change, not a government agency.


bacchi

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #346 on: January 28, 2017, 01:38:07 PM »
If you believe the current models of climate change, how in the world can you suggest the EPA has been effective in preventing environmental catastrophes?

I didn't see that suggestion the post.  He said...actually I'll just quote it:  "I feel like current Republicans and Libertarians are overly willing to simply paint all regulation and institutions like the EPA as terrible things that need to be gutted."

There was no comment about the effectiveness of EPA or even climate change.  It was simply an opinion (and framed as an opinion) about how Republicans and Libertarians view EPA.  Feel free to disagree, but I think that's pretty much on. 

Recall also, EPA follows rules created by Congress. If EPA isn't preventing environmental catastrophe, blame the rule makers. 

That said, EPA along with other government agencies and with some luck have been very, very effective at reducing increases in greenhouse gas emissions.    Beyond what most people expected, actually.
By luck do you mean fracking developments that have flooded the market with cheap, available natural gas? That's one of the large drivers of America's emissions reductions over the past few years.

Don't forget the earthquakes! Fracking has also flooded Oklahoma and North Texas with plenty of earthquakes.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #347 on: January 28, 2017, 08:59:56 PM »
If you believe the current models of climate change, how in the world can you suggest the EPA has been effective in preventing environmental catastrophes?

I didn't see that suggestion the post.  He said...actually I'll just quote it:  "I feel like current Republicans and Libertarians are overly willing to simply paint all regulation and institutions like the EPA as terrible things that need to be gutted."

There was no comment about the effectiveness of EPA or even climate change.  It was simply an opinion (and framed as an opinion) about how Republicans and Libertarians view EPA.  Feel free to disagree, but I think that's pretty much on. 

Recall also, EPA follows rules created by Congress. If EPA isn't preventing environmental catastrophe, blame the rule makers. 

That said, EPA along with other government agencies and with some luck have been very, very effective at reducing increases in greenhouse gas emissions.    Beyond what most people expected, actually.
By luck do you mean fracking developments that have flooded the market with cheap, available natural gas? That's one of the large drivers of America's emissions reductions over the past few years.

Don't forget the earthquakes! Fracking has also flooded Oklahoma and North Texas with plenty of earthquakes.
As I don't consider earthquakes lucky or a driver of climate change, I didn't see the need to consider them in my comment.
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MustacheMathTM

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #348 on: January 30, 2017, 12:14:46 AM »

Regarding your last statement of EPA effectiveness, please see MM informed and eloquent reply.  Market conditions created change, not a government agency.

When I said "a bit of luck" I did in fact mean changes in market conditions.  However, it is false and misleading to suggest that was the only reason.  There was a lot more to it than that.  The data of where and how the carbon reductions came about are available, and you may wish to examine this site as a starting place:

https://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/carbon/

If you will, scroll down to Figure 12.   You can see that for electricity generation, the greatest reduction in carbon emissions was due to natural gas.  But generation from non-carbon sources is a major contributor.   There is a wealth of information on that page, and as you scroll through you can see that carbon emissions from liquid petroleum is also dropping.  That has zero to do with fracking.  It does relate to things like CAFE standards and increasing use of electric and hybrid vehicles.  Figure 3 is informative on that point, the transportation sector is producing less carbon.  That also has nothing to do with fracking.

Let me float a trial balloon here. If carbon emission are dropping in sectors unaffected by fracking, then maybe it is a bit silly to give fracking all the credit for dropping carbon emissions.  Some sure, but all? No, that would be nonsense.   Maybe a bottom line look is better:

http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec2_3.pdf

Bottom line:  Even though the economy is growing, energy consumption is declining.  There are lots of reason for this, not all of them have to do with government policy, but many of them do.  Some of those reasons include renewable portfolio standards created by the various states, subsidies on the federal and local level for renewables, increases in energy efficiency standards for everything from light bulbs, to cars, to HVAC equipment, loan guarantees for various renewables including nuclear.  Not to mention millions of government buildings and public housing have been upgraded for energy efficiency.  The DOE renewable portfolio has had a few failures like Solyndra, and even more successes like Tesla.   The result is that  wind-energy prices have fallen by 66 percent, utility-scale solar-energy prices by 75 percent, and electric-car-battery costs by 65 percent.  You can see if those trends continue even a while longer the carbon-based economy will become a pale shadow of its former self.  It is already happening in dramatic fashion and in a very short period of time. 







TheOldestYoungMan

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #349 on: January 30, 2017, 10:09:21 AM »
In general, I would say that protecting people's rights to life and liberty (including gainfully obtained property) is the primary time when using state force is both necessary and justified.  So if someone wants to attack you, whether it's your neighbor or someone on the other side of the planet, then it is reasonable to use state force to defend you against that attack.  Regardless of what organizational units we choose to use for the common defense, protection of the rights of the individual members should be one of the primary functions of the state's reason for existence.  So no, I would not call national defense a social project.  (I'm assuming here that we are speaking of true self defense and not getting into "nation-building" and other unwarranted acts of aggression toward others on our part).

Why does it have to be the state? If people want to defend themselves, they can form a well regulated militia with themselves. Creating a military-industrial complex funded by taxes is antithetical to freedom, especially when the state military is often used against its own citizens (like at Waco).
I'm guessing you've never actually tried to form a well-regulated anything that involves a group of people, or you wouldn't be asking.  ;-)

All kidding aside, there's no inherent "has to be" WRT a state, in the sense that some other institution (like a private militia) could possibly be substituted instead.  But someone still has to run that institution, and the problem is that power is corrupting no matter who holds it (whether government, corporations, or some other entity).  Even an independent militia can run amok if it gains too much power.  So the argument you make against giving the power to a state is equally valid against giving it to a private militia or corporation.  Having our organizations turn against us is a risk we face any time we create one and then allow it to gain too much power.

Why even do it then? If someone threatens a city/state/country, people can form up to defend it. There doesn't need to be a taxpayer funded standing militia that will be host to corruption and waste. Get rid of it entirely and save us all the money.

I agree. Also, get rid of the fire departments. People shouldn't have to have money stolen out of their own pockets for that. Individuals have the right to protect themselves from fire or emergency.

The overwhelming majority of fire departments in the USA are volunteer.  By the numbers, most firefighters are volunteer.  In terms of assets covered by volunteer vs. paid departments, volunteer wins if you count only property held by individuals (this one is flimsy, because you end up discounting most of the dense urban real estate of big cities like NY).  Almost 100% of the funding for those volunteer departments is from local property taxes.  Hell, almost 100% of the funding from the paid departments also comes from local property taxes.

Volunteer departments will tend to have better gear and apparatus, because they are free of the heavy pension load of the paid departments.  Some are even able to compensate the firefighters a nominal amount per year to cover transportation costs, etc.

There's even a handful of locations where fire service is provided by private contract, and you contract with a local fire provider (many of these are not great, but some of them can go toe-to-toe with any other arrangement).

The fire department is about as libertarian as it gets.  In fact, in places where the tax for the FD is called out separately and is optional, the FD will respond if your house is on fire and you opted out, but only to make sure it doesn't spread to your neighbors.  This is backed up as legal and correct in several court cases.

But only liberals have facts, so I assume you knew this already.
"Whenever you are presented with the opportunity to pee...pee." - Advice from my grandfather. 

At a fundamental level, it's all gambling.  Would you rather bet your money or your time?

20 months to go!