Tag Archives: libertarian

The end of nation states?

Seth Godin notes what the future holds in the information age.

The nations that will prosper in the future are the ones that adopt Classical Liberalism (Libertarian) philosophy first.

Some Advice for the “99%”

Quit complaining about what other people have that you don’t.  Instead, go out and try to get in the 1%.

You probably won’t make it.  That’s OK, I probably won’t, either.  But you’ll do a ton of good along the way as well as (obviously) make yourself better off.

Most of the people in the 1% got there by creating value (either a product or a service) for other people.  Steve Jobs did that.  Even the hypocrite Warren Buffett does it indirectly.  Are there bad people in the 1% that took advantage of government bailouts?  Sure.  So what – many of you elected the people who gave them the bailouts.  Instead of complaining about it, start taking power away from the government so they can’t bail them out, and put the power in your own hands to do as much (or little) good for others as you like.

The closer you get to the 1%, the more you are able to give money and time to those less fortunate.  Isn’t that a better use of your energy than protesting something you can’t change by protesting?  You can change the world by participating in the process (vote, petition, etc), by removing the power from the elite and putting it in the hands of the masses.  You can change the world by earning and producing enough that you meet your needs and can help meet the needs of others!  The nice thing is, the more power you retain, the more of your wealth will go where you want, not where central planners want.

As you inch towards the 1%, you’ll be happier and healthier.  Yeah, I know money doesn’t by happiness, but it sure doesn’t hurt.  And there’s plenty of research showing there’s a link between good health and wealth, not because of better access to care, but because wealthy people worry less about money!  Being happy and healthy is a great thing, I wish it for everyone, even those who want to use force to take my things.  (Selfishly, I know that the happier, healthier, and wealthier other people are, the less they will want to use force to take my things.)

So spend your time wisely, not by protesting some random injustice, but by going out in the world and making a real difference.

And quit talking about taking wealth by force from the 1%.  That will not work out well for you, I promise.


Penn Jillette on Reason.TV

Watch the whole thing; some great stuff at the end.

I don’t know, either

Penn Jillette’s commentary at CNN is awesome.

It’s amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness.

People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we’re compassionate we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.

So well said.  Compare this to the crap Warren Buffett got published, where he complains that he pays too little in taxes, but does nothing to increase his tax burden voluntarily (he could take a larger salary instead of capital gains, hell, he could contribute all of his earnings if he wanted).  Instead, he thinks we should use force to take more stuff from more people.

I know one thing:  which side I’m on.

Good stuff

The Economist has an interview with Radley Balko of Reason, Hit and Run, and The Agitator. The latter is the first blog I found lo those many years ago, and one of the few blogs I read every day. Radley has also been an engaging guest on the Ron Smith show on WBAL in Baltimore.

Anyway, his thoughts on the militarization of the police and on the Libertarian movement are interesting (and quite nicely mirror my own). This is a good read.

That said, I think there’s reason for some optimism for libertarians. The generations raised on the internet will be more educated, aware, and informed than any before them, and I think that has instilled in them some naturally libertarian instincts, particularly when it comes to issues like government transparency, accountability, censorship, and police power. Perhaps I’m a bit pollyanna-ish, but it’s at least possible that once the Obama administration proves just as inept, corrupt, and hopeless as the Bush administration, the younger people who flocked to Obama will start to understand that the problem isn’t who’s running government, it’s that government power itself corrupts–and that we’re better off keeping as much of our lives as possible off limits to the whims of politicians instead of this repeating cycle of putting all of our hope into the idea that someday, the right politicians will finally get elected.

The last sentence is so important, and really is the reason for optimism, that at some point all these smart people will stop thinking ‘their guy’ can take government power and make it all right (see the irony in healthcare). Trust me, you are not going to be happy when Sarah Palin is running your healthcare.

If you don’t already, I highly recommend reading both Hit and Run and The Agitator.

Reason is awesome

No comment needed


These two vids show an interesting rift in the Republican party, and frankly, the one that wins out will determine the long term success of the party. In my view, Graham is as much a statist as his friends on the other side in the Senate, they just disagree on usage of the increased power of the state. Sanford, on the other hand, has actual opposing views from those on the Left, views I think will resonate with both the Republican base and people who got fed up with neoconservatism.

But what do I know. You watch and decide.

Stop Signs

I saw a a comment on a post that deserved a quick blog entry.  The original commentary is interesting and well done, but a commenter suggested that:

The libertarian philosophy does not do well when cooperative action is superior to personal actions, but enforcement is required to achieve cooperative action.

A libertarian crossroad would have no stop signs. People could stop if they wanted to or drive through if that was there choice. The result would be chaos.

Most everyone would agree to stop *if everyone else agrees to as well* and *if there is enforcement on that agreement*. You need both.

You might not see healthcare as an joint issue like the cross roads (or like defense spending, fore example). But others do. That is the source of the disagreement.

There erroneous assumptions here.  The commenter assumes the individual(s) are too stupid to work together without the use of force.  Self interest is completely ignored.  He assumes Libertarian = Anarchy, which simply isn’t the case.

I stop at a stop sign not because the sign is there.  I stop because it is in my best interest not to get broadsided by another car.  At a crossroads where there is no clear right of way, everyone will stop in order to avoid collision.  Those who do not and cause property damage will be held accountable (if one continues the Libertarian philosophy).  So I stop because I don’t want to wreck my car, and I stop because if I don’t and I hit you, I will be held accountable for the damage at a minimum, and could be punished for violating your property rights.

There is virtually no need for traffic enforcement because of how this works, and it’s why the focus of traffic enforcement is on revenue, not on safety. 

When it comes to issues like health care, the crossroads analogy works as well.  It’s in my self interest for people to be healthy and live for a long time.  (It’s also in my self interest for people to be wealthy.)  So I will act accordingly.  When you introduce the use of force, you cross a moral barrier I’m not willing to accept (slavery), and you introduce the collective as if the collective has feelings and acts as an individual… but the collective is an abstract, with no feelings and no morality.

Which explains why government intervention is so often a failure, and why the attitude prevails that ‘if we just had the right people running it…’  Which of course isn’t possible, and even if it were, at some point someone who you don’t agree with will be running the show.  But if you keep your liberty, you are always running the show.

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