A Case for Libertarianism

A WaTimes OpEd from last month, that I just stumbled across, making a very cogent case for the ideology I subscribe to. Excerpts below.

Misleading or one-sided characterizations notwithstanding, libertarianism is precisely the “third way” that many Americans desire. 

Libertarianism is not the claim that individuals are always rational, or that markets are always efficient, or that the distribution of income under laissez-faire capitalism is always “fair.” Rather, it is the claim that, despite the imperfections of private arrangements, government interventions usually make things worse. Thus, non-intervention is the better policy. 

A crucial feature of libertarianism is consistency: It applies a skeptical lens to all aspects of government, whether economic, social or foreign. In every case, libertarianism asks calmly but rigorously whether intervention actually yields better outcomes, regardless of whether that implies a “conservative” or “liberal” policy conclusion. Libertarianism sticks to its principles. 

This consistency does not, by itself, make libertarianism “right,” but it shows libertarianism’s unique perspective on government. Libertarianism holds that government causes many current problems, so more government is unlikely to reduce these problems. The best approach is to remove the existing government that causes or exacerbates the problem in the first place.

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8 thoughts on “A Case for Libertarianism

  1. “Libertarianism holds that government causes many current problems”

    A sound view, both historically and currently. After all, the vast majority of the worst human rights catastrophes, oppressions, massacres etc have come about due to the actions of government doing too much.

    There are, true, some human rights catastrophes due to lack of regulation, bad private sector actions… such as Union Carbide in Bopal… but the death tolls from these are very tiny compared to the necessary result from activist governments.

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  2. It applies skepticism to government regulation but not to the laissez-faire market. Wow let's go back to the robber barons and forget that the tragedy of the commons is really the tragedy of the unregulated commons.

    The editorial can pretty much be dismissed out of hand.
    Simplistic proselytizing.

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  3. Ducky: Which laissez-faire market? I don't see anyone here proposing one…

    “Wow let's go back to the robber barons….”

    Well, that cant' happen under what is being proposed. The robber barons only because such because of government intervention.

    “tragedy of the commons is really the tragedy of the unregulated commons”

    No, it is really the tragedy of the regulated commons. So many examples, and one of the most recent (and the most costly by far) was the government intervention into banking which forced banks to make a zillion bad loans and push the economy off the cliff around 2008.

    If you look through history, and compare the “tragedy” caused by rulers doing stuff they have no business doing, and the “tragedy” caused by the ruled making their own decisions over their own personal matters…. the damage caused by the former is hundredfold…. thousandfold worse than the latter.

    ———

    The editorial should be read and embraced by all. A large dose of sense, against various fascistic policies.

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  4. …Which is nothing more than the powerful stealing our property at gunpoint (or the threat of armed violence). This attitude is fascistic, and ultimately regressive (as it opposes any sort of societal progress from the days of the Egyptian god-kings who ruled all absolutely).

    Yeah, I know Ducky's sympathies,God bless him, like too much with the rulers and not enough with the ruled.

    As far as him “failing to define why”, it is all related to the idea of being a toady, of being a bootlicker to the strong man. A person to whom “Question Authority” is an anathema, and to whom the phrase “We're from the government, we're here to help you” gives a warm feeling.

    Back to the “robber baron” subject, Ducky would do well to read this article about how the robber barons themselves were a creation of government regulation. Something that would rarely arise if left to the free market. Just like most other monopolies are creations of government regulations to keep competition out.

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  5. I overlooked this before, C.I. The source of this is from one of the newsletters of the Moonie criminal religious cult / organized crime operation.

    Surely you can do better than this. I.E. op eds from real newspapers, not the newsletter of some whacko who ran it out of prison for years and years.

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  6. CI said “I expect nothing less from Ducky” Sad, isn't it? And the really sad thing is you can expect nothing more.
    And, you're roundly and belittlingly dismissed if you aren't of his mind. Such a typical liberal, sadly.

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  7. And he's totally ignorant on the robber barons, too. Yes, they existed but they were fellows like Edward Collins (steam travel) and those bozos from the Union Pacific Railroad who not only ripped off their customers but reamed the taxpayers as well, and they WEREN'T fellows like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Mellon, Annenberg, Vanderbilt. etc.. Nope, those fellow created jobs, goods and services, and actually brought the cost of living down….Ducky needs to read a little bit more.

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