The election is coming to an end. Yet the question in (l)ibertarian, and (L)ibertarian Party circles is should we take the federal handout if the party receives 5% of the vote? Should the libertarians and Libertarians take Federal Funding? I don’t think so.
The Libertarian Party has been around since 1971, and during its conception, the party out of the gate has been consistently receiving about half of a percent of the popular vote, and 1 electoral vote in 1972. The party was originally formed to promote the principles of classical liberalism, and to roll-back the state powers. The party was formed to promote the ideas of the libertarian philosophy; the party was based on principles, not a party based on politics.
Now it’s 2016. The Libertarian Party could actually attain 5% of the popular vote which could be the biggest win for the party in their history. In 2016 Gary Johnson and Bill Weld have had the greatest opportunity imaginable (To win), with the other two candidates from both of the major parties that are both morally reprehensible, and economically illiterate. Unfortunately, the candidates while marketing, and advocating a watered down version of libertarianism, the presidential and co-presidential combo didn’t even come close in winning the popular election.
Yet, this could still be a win for the Libertarian Party, by receiving 5% of the vote so we could get this “magical” federal funding, to supposedly level the playing field. Therefore, The Federal Election Commission will classify the Libertarians as an official "minor party," granting the 2020 nominee money to make politics more equal. I don’t know about you, but a libertarian for political equality just seems a little bit hypocritical.
The Libertarian party’s original logo was the Libersign (an arrow), and with the emblazoned "TANSTAAFL" "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch". The party in its creation, understood that government bailouts, handouts, generally government anything was a bad idea. The party’s end was to reduce the size and scope of government, or to others eliminate it. By advocating or trying to attain government money through popular elections, we are going against the very principles that the party was based on. I wonder sometimes if the party’s means have become the end in itself.
Some would argue that the FEC fund is made entirely out of voluntary donations from the tax-payers. But if it’s money that is stolen anyway, then why perpetuate the problem? Why acknowledge the system to begin with? Why use any federal money at all? We don’t want the FEC to exist in the first place, so why continue to perpetuate the problem? We don’t want to be “Part of the Problem”. By continually recognizing the state with its wasted and inefficient functions, it gives the state even more credibility to the already brainwashed public as well as other libertarians.
Some of my Anarcho-Capitalists heroes would proclaim to take all the government money handouts, and everything you can, to bankrupt the system from within. I don’t think that is the correct method of handling it either. Again, by acting in such a way seems immoral. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and I truly believe if we acted that way, government would grow even faster. The government would force tax payers to make up the difference in higher taxes for their other "obligations" that are depleted by political parties taking these funds. We can also argue that we cannot avoid the state (roads, taxes, legislation) but we should try to avoid the things we DO have control over, by creating bylaws that prohibit our private organization from expanding the political welfare. We could lead the charge and put our lack of money where our mouth is, by setting a precedent that we will not encourage theft, of any kind. The only solution is to avoid taking ANY federal money. I think the best thing we can do is to rely on markets and charities as much as we can, the two things we celebrate and hold near and dear to our hearts.
Another conflation made by libertarians is with different types of welfare or subsidies. A long time motto and one adopted by the Libertarian Party is "Taxation is theft". So using legal means to avoid paying this theft or extortion is not the same as using legal means of taking extorted money. The easiest solution is to hold ourselves to a higher standard and refuse the funds.
I would argue that the problem with the Libertarian Party is not the platform, but the messengers. Liberty in itself is a hard sell. We don’t want to give out free stuff, we don’t want to help special interest, and we don’t want to interfere with the economy. That in by itself is a hard obstacle to overcome, especially in the self-entitled culture we live in. By standing by our principles, and not relying on the system, we can use that to our advantage, that we are principled and not hypocritical, or corrupt. We don’t want to get too close to the political event horizon, like the other two parties have.
The other two parties are not even taking government money, because it’s limits how much they can spend on their own campaigns. We should set a higher standard, and act principled instead of giving lip service. We should take the hard right over the easy wrong. Nobody said being a libertarian or promoting Liberty is easy, and we still have a big fight on our hands. In this fight we should take the moral high ground, regardless of how dirty our opposition fights.
Liberty & Rock n’ Roll
Johnny “Goddamn” Rocket
Host of the Johnny Rocket Launch Pad
By Remso W. MartinezI love watching Republicans criticize the Libertarian Party. It’s like watching someone with a string of traffic tickets criticize someone whose never been allowed to step behind the wheel.
What’s even funnier is how they criticize Johnson and Weld (who are open to criticism, as should all people) for being moderates and all that jazz. Frankly I’m tired of it, frankly I’m just tired of Republicans, even libertarian leaning Republicans.
Election after election we are given a bill of false goods. While there are good Republicans out there, it’s time to make a difficult decision. If you are a disenfranchised conservative or a libertarian-republican, whatever, as messed up as the Libertarian Party is sometimes ask yourself this, when was the last time a Libertarian screwed up America? Seriously? There is enough room open and work to be done in the party, just come over, it’s that simple.
Here is where you say “no” to me, here is where you say “never.”
But hear me out…
I get it, the Republican Party used to be the liberty party, it freed the slaves, it gave us Coolidge and Reagan, but there is a difference between the Democrats and the Republicans these days, as surprising as it may seem, the Democrats are honest….
The Democrats believe all their terrible ideas, they stick to what they say when they are elected, as destructive as those promises may be, and then as they are elected they do everything they can to make their voters happy and expand government as much as they can.
Republicans aren’t consistent at all though. We saw in 2014 we gave them the House and the Senate, and all they have done is continue the terrible record of the current administration. Republicans have simply done everything the Democrats wanted all in the name of “compromise.” Republicans continue to do as much damage as the Democrats, it’s that simple.
To even call them the “fiscally conservative party” anymore is a farce; I don’t think many people consider renaming the “fiscal cliff” the “debt ceiling.” Even in a party with admirably men such as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and several others, we need to stop depending on a handful of men to constantly save us. We need to end this peasant mentality where we look for a good king and take charge. It’s time to end this lying monstrosity of a party once and for all because it keeps us in a constant state of battered spouse syndrome.
How much more do we have to take before we realize that we are being pulled at the seems and told it’s for our own good? Why do Republicans have to vote for a progressive-liberal like Trump instead of a progressive-liberal like Clinton in order to hopefully get a actually adherent to the constitution later? How does that make sense?
For just one election, opt out and try something different, this time as they fall down, just let them fall and stand for yourself. This time, we just need to not vote Republican and give liberty a chance. Just as the Whigs went away the GOP can too, but what that requires is action, what that requires is choice, a choice quickly fading…
We don’t need simply the Libertarian Party to replace them, what we need is a market of choices, what we need is variety, and as much as I’d like to see the Democrats go first, the fact is this, they GOP has removed it’s armor and cried “end it.” What comes after is a mystery, but the choice now is to stay stagnant or take a different direction.
*Originally published at the Liberty Conservative, republished with permission of the author
Hillary wasn’t indicted…
Trump is “silent” compared to usual and Johnson and Weld are well… Johnson and Weld, good but not great.
Throughout the country Democrats are quietly preparing for the coronation of Clinton, while Bernie is establishing the skeleton of his failed campaign to support his vetted socialist acolytes to carry on his revolution past July. The Republicans are jumping to their scattered factions, hoping they can bundle enough money to fix this zero sum game and maintain enough seats in state and federal government to maintain a majority. All the while the silence continues.
The silence is loud in itself…
Johnson and Weld are doing a good enough job, they are giving Americans a chance to feel good about voting for them. But why would they feel bad voting for Clinton or Trump in the first place? It’s because Clinton and Trump represent two walls closing in on them, while Johnson and Weld are lowering a rope for them. While we think about the walls and the rope and the fast heart rate screaming at you yelling “act” one question an omnipotent observer could ask is simply this… who said to look up in the first place?
John McAfee has been popping up in my thoughts lately. I spoke against his candidacy when he was running for the Libertarian nomination for the presidency but Mr. McAfee did something I didn’t see coming. He proved to not only be a legitimate candidate but in doing so, declared open warfare on the same leviathan loving opponents whom Libertarians fight against. While McAfee wasn’t the first person to address the fiscal crisis, the oncoming cyber war, and the issue with a lack of societal understanding of self ownership, he awoke a segment of the population that, while might be in the minority, will have an impact in the years to come.
the punk rockers, the black sheep, the nerds and the outcasts, those who need a second chance whether institutional or cultural, knew something was inherently wrong with the way our nation was going. John McAfee was able to not simply talk to those who had different political beliefs but were still politically active, but those who weren’t active nor even cared in the first place.
If there is one word I can use to describe him accurately, it’s enigma. I was hoping at the end of the day Kevin McCormick could clinch the nomination but that would have offered the American voter the same thing as Johnson and Weld, a calm and sensible approach to government in an insensible world. McCormick wouldn’t have made waves sadly in the same way two outsider, former Republican governors aren’t making the waves they assumed they would- McAfee did it by being revolutionary and an outlaw.
Good, bad, or indifferent, McAfee isn’t a villain, and he certainly wasn’t a joke.
McAfee has pulled a modern day Lazarus, jumpstarting a new company, a new lease on life, but most importantly at least in my opinion, a new mission. His #VoteDifferent initiative to help specific Libertarian candidates make an impact in their elections will hopefully succeed in giving them the attention and communication advantage often alien to 3rd party candidates. The most important skill though is not telling regular voters simply what you want to tell them, but talk to them in a way to make them want to listen.
I’ve been wrong in the past about things but perhaps a more outlaw approach to thinking isn’t something to be ruled out. After all as my friend Larry Sharpe once told me, “we were founded as a nation of outlaws.”
I still don’t think a McAfee/Weiss ticket would have been good for us in 2016, but hopefully the “let life live” movement he pushed into existence still serves a good purpose. Hopefully it can still remind us that sometimes America doesn’t need calm, sometimes, it needs someone whose blacklisted and loving it.
*Originally published at the Liberty Conservative, published with permission of the author
Bill Weld amongst libertarians isn’t a person- he’s a stance.
You either hate him or love him but you can’t be middle ground. I’m not going to lie, before he was announced as Gary Johnson’s running mate, I had no clue who he was. Quickly things went left field and the internet was bombarded with hatred of him. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but as time continued, I realized that I still didn’t like the choice Johnson made.
My criteria to be considered a libertarian is kinda slim to begin with since it is a big tent philosophy, but Weld falls short of that criteria. The “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” slogan Weld and Johnson run with don’t do much convincing since their primary principled core is not based on individual liberty, just a different shade of compassionate conservatism mixed with social progressivism.
Bill Weld does not have a good track record with pro liberty positions, but that’s a rabbit hole I don’t want to travel down today. What no one is asking is this, why would someone who is not a (Big “L”)Libertarian want to represent the party? This isn’t something you do simply because you have much to gain. Think about it, this party holds no major office (not counting the state representatives as of late who switched party affiliation from Republican to Libertarian) and will not be able to win the White House. So why would Weld spend time campaigning? Ego? Some kind of self-gratification? Certainly not money.
Perhaps Weld wants to be part of the national conversation again? It’s obvious he won’t be running for some other office after this race, but perhaps a TV gig? Book deal? Weld has the clout to do that without running for vice president of a major party.
Unlike other candidates such as Virginia congressional candidate J.D. Thorpe running for office in November, Weld wasn’t simply a party man who had failed aspirations of running for office as a Republican. Having been a two-term governor already, running as a Libertarian candidate isn’t something that would fit the profile of someone looking for power.
So what can we go off of as of now, simply based off what we know? What we know is that Weld is bringing the party national attention that it has never seen before. Weld, unlike Trump of Clinton, isn’t trying to creative an administration that would make fascism a reality. While he does say things that are just completely stupid (like the time he said Hillary did no wrong in the server scandal), some of his recent rhetoric regarding domestic policy is seen as sane in the age of insanity.
I’m not the type of person that won’t vote because I don’t like any of the options. In fact, some of the people who make great politicians are sometimes, really, really, crappy people. We don’t vote for people though, we vote for results. Callous I know, but that’s the reality of politics and the state. I’m voting for Gov. Johnson and Gov. Weld in November not because I like them (this ticket was at the bottom of my list) but because I want Libertarians to have ballot access and a shot at shaking things up. I know Weld won’t be Vice President of the United States, but what I do know also is that he’s not my enemy either.
Is Bill Weld the best communicator of the ideals of liberty? No, but what that means is that we have to be even better at doing so, because now America has some questions they’re going to want us to answer.
*This blog has been reposted with the permission of the author
by Alex Merced
As you can see from the video above, I'm running for US Senate from New York against arguably the most powerful Senator in the country. The reality of the uphill battle I have before me makes many question why would I subject myself to such a battle. The reason is that someone needs to seriously challenge Schumer and the "government can solve everything" culture he feeds with his constant big government proposals. (If that isn't enough there are more of his proposals in this National Review article and in this article from the Observer)
I want to counter the "government can solve everything" culture with a "you are the solution" culture that is encompassed in my "Pro-You Agenda". The Pro-You Agenda is about electing officials who will fight for your rights and the constitution, by not only defending your rights, but also restoring rights that have been taken away (many taken away by Chuck Schumer). There is no better way to make this cultural shift than to defeat the biggest symbol of the dangerous big government culture.
One particular recent proposal of Chuck Schumer that really has me concerned is Schumers proposal to force phone companies to block Robocalls. We all hate getting robocalls, making this great populist politics and opportunism/ Although, this sets a very dangerous precedent. The precedent that the government can dictate a common carrier to block content it does not like (phone companies are classified as common carriers and regulated as such). Remember, it wasn't that long ago that in the name of "Net Neutrality", Internet Service Providers were also reclassified as "Common Carriers". It would not be a stretch that Chuck Schumers robocall bill would create room for the Government to eventually block internet content they don't like.
There is also the issue of restricting peoples rights because they are on a Government list without any sort of due process. The Terrorist watch list is plagued with errors such a having Veterans and Congressmen on the list, do we really want to be treating our Veterans as guilty until proven innocent after all they have sacrificed?
Hopefully in 2016, New York will decide that enough is enough and it is time to have a Senator that is accessible, thoughtful and transparent instead of a busybody who'll propose populist favors if it means some time in the spotlight.
I'm running for US Senate because New York can do better and deserves better.
(Please visit my website to learn about how you can support the campaign)
The anarchist Darryl Perry has chosen a Muslim running mate...
Two points I'm going to make in order to continue with this rant:
1) I don't actually care that he chose a Muslim, in fact I think it's lovely to have a person of faith as the nominee, the Libertarian Party is not openly cheery to religious individuals in the party itself. I think this is a great opportunity to work to develop inroads within the Muslim community instead of burning them down. All we hear on Fox News is the usual "we need to reform it!" But do you here the Islamic community doing anything about it? No, because all the conservatives wanna do is mass surveillance of mosques and deport them, all while the Democrats are chill with full on Sharia Law and head chopping because "tolerance ya'll". The way I see it, Will Coley, while I don't agree with him on a lot of things, makes some good points, and if he wants to convert hard core jihadists into peace loving libertarians, I say put him in front of a crowd and let him have at it. If the results produce more peace, whose left to be angry?
2) I know that Darryl Perry won't be the Libertarian nominee, but on the offshoot chance he is, I think it would be funny as Hell. Can you imagine the commercials that would come from this? The Anarchist and the Muslim running against the Republican moron and the Democrat moron is sketch comedy material that would write itself. Think of how priceless that would be!
So finally, I'm not going to go into a long philosophical talk about how anarchism and classical liberalism are not the same and why a Muslim should never be President of the United States- I'll leave that one for Ben Carson when he's not combing Trump's hair- this is to small of a pit stop in electoral history to really get worked up about.
What I'm hoping is that perhaps Coley will continue to practice what he preaches because the fact is this, every country runs by a country is an authoritarian nation hostile to everybody whose not a Muslim. What I hope he does is continue to speak the message of liberty and help Muslim communities become more vocal about the problem of jihad.
Your friendly neighborhood rabble rouser,
Remso W. Martinez
I was in the Libertarian Party from 2014-2016 before making the decision to be an independent. During my time with the party I worked on a Virginia House of Delegates campaign (which was a blast) and a presidential campaign (which turned into that movie Apocalypse Now). Just so you know I'm a classical liberal, some would call me a conservative-libertarian, I prefer the term conservatarian, but none of that really matters; the thing is this, in terms of the Libertarian Party, it's a political party and not a tool.
I say "tool" because as rumors spread of the GOP mounting a runaway third party run against a possible Trump and Clinton scenario, many people are considering voting Libertarian for the first time. This is great for the LP (probably bad for America in the long run but whatever...) because the principles behind the party are great, but those principles might not be what end up getting pushed forward as disenfranchised Republicans and Democrats come running to the LP. While the LP is a big tent party, it's not one of those situations where you can come into someone's house and dictate how they live.
I know plenty of liberals and conservatives who are part of the LP- they stay in their lane- the liberals focus on the civil liberties arena and the conservatives focus on economics. The dangerous thing is however is when you get career Republicans jumping in simply because they failed as Republicans. By this I mean the Republican that couldn't get the GOP nomination for whatever race, so he decided to run as a Libertarian. I'm talking about the gay guy that joined the LP to push gay rights, which is fine and all, but is harsh on gun control and other then civil liberties, is essentially a statist.
The Libertarian Party is a big tent party, but don't go into it with the intention of burning it down if it doesn't conform to you. Join it and accept it or be an independent like me if there are too many disagreements, just don't be that guy or gal that rains on everyone else's parade.
Now to the members and local party leaders, don't fall for the trap of the rich guy who can fund his own campaign, but isn't a philosophical libertarian. Don't fall for the gal that is a pro-choice activist, but wants to tax the Hell out of the rich. Don't be like the GOP who run liberal candidates pretending to be the conservative party, I think Libertarians deserve more than what you think you can give.
The Libertarian Party is on the rise, but just like the Hindenburg, a great rise can lead to a giant crash and burn if in-house issues aren't taken care of properly.
Your friendly neighborhood rabble rouser,
Remso W. Martinez
The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see." - Ayn Rand
Candidates for the Democratic Party's nomination for president, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, have both promised that if elected, they would put forth legislation that would dramatically reduce tuition and student debt for public universities in one form or another. This opportunity is a lie in itself. In order for the federal government to pay for all these students, it would be necessary for more tax money to get funneled to students who hold no real obligation to complete their degrees, and a lot of students who should not have gone to college in the first place would get degrees they don't know what to ultimately do with.
The first issue to bring up regarding this progressive scheme to attract millennial voters is the financing of this project. Lindsey Burke, a researcher at the Heritage Foundation, pointed out in her Daily Signal article, "Why Free Community College Is Anything But Free", a fundamental issue with financing tuition free 2-year college alone:
"Once again, the administration is pursuing initiatives to subsidize rising costs, instead of working with Congress on policies that actually would address the driver of college cost increases: the open spigot of federal student aid. Over the past several decades, college costs have risen at more than twice the rate of inflation, thanks in large part to federal subsidies."
By sending more grants and subsidizing higher education even more, that bad habit only creates the incentive for schools to drive up the costs, the ultimate reason behind soaring tuition rates. Because of this effect, every year students take out thousands of dollars in student loans to cover the cost of an education they can't afford, in order to get a degree for a job that doesn't exist or isn't available, leaving them with debt and unemployment. This betrayal of the American people takes away from ways people can still invest in themselves without being slaves to debts owned by the banks.
The idea behind free community college alone isn't about greater access to education. In today’s world, information is everywhere thanks to greater access to technologies and the internet, bridging the gaps between social mobility and economic opportunity greater than any point in human history. Looking at great sources like a local library or even the online Khan Academy alone shows just several ways people can access knowledge on their own accord. These resources are free and readily available to the entire public, the only thing that free community college would do is grow faux credentials by inflating the number of degree holders and promote more obtrusive, more burdensome, federal regulation.
The problem behind the average $29,000 student debt in America is obvious, and the reason why Sanders and Clinton don't want to talk about it is because its extremely easy to win votes by promising to give people something by taking the money, and resources from other people, by use of the government in order to provide it. Burke brings about a common sense solution to address this madness:
"Allow markets in higher education to work by limiting federal subsidies instead of increasing them, and costs will fall for students attending colleges of all types."
The second point is that the two candidates assume that there will be jobs waiting for the influx in college graduates. In a speech Sanders gave on August 11th:
"It makes no sense to me that when we need nurses, we need doctors, we need dentists, we need more people involved in healthcare, that when people leave school, for the crime of wanting to be involved in healthcare, they have enormous debts. That makes no sense... I will fight to implement as president, that will make every public college and university in America tuition-free."
Just looking at that one quote alone should point out two instant things Sanders fails to understand:
1) Sanders is the reason there are so few medical professionals right now- In my recent article discussing why Bernie Sanders is wrong about healthcare being a human right, I showed how Obamacare (which Sanders voted for and still supports expansion of) has led to the decrease in doctors and medical professionals since its implementation. According to a recent study :
"... The analysis finds that exchange plan networks include 42 percent fewer oncology and cardiology specialists; 32 percent fewer mental health and primary care providers; and 24 percent fewer hospitals. Importantly, care provided by out-of-network providers does not count toward the out-of-pocket limits put in place by the ACA."
2) Government doesn't decide what jobs are needed, markets do- FreedomWorks policy analyst Logan Albright spoke of how the Obama administration distorts market projections when he stated that:
"...Throughout his presidency, Obama has labored under the delusion that a liberal arts education is the best thing for absolutely everybody. But we are living in a time when trade and vocational schools are becoming extremely important, as are technical colleges, and the good old-fashioned work experience that led dropouts like Bill Gates to become great entrepreneurs."
This should be common sense, someone with a degree in 18th century French basket weaving studies (I made that degree up, but would it surprise you if it existed ?) is gonna have a hard time getting a career started since there is literally no market for someone who is an expert in 18th century French basket weaving studies. The reason why I choose this metaphor is because most of America's students fail to understand that some degrees just have a terrible return on investment in the long run. Unless Clinton and Sanders start controlling the economy directly and can manipulate supply and demand, that scenario would also have to force them to limit what people learn and what degrees they have to choose from. That's the fault that progressives ignore, risk! When little Johnny Graduate graduates from high school and decides to major in 18th century French basket weaving studies, that is the risk he is taking,his money, his time, and ultimately his life choices; Johnny Graduate alone is responsible for himself and has to deal with the results of his decisions without dragging down other people with him, or using government to fulfill his entitlements through force and coercion.
The federal government subsidizes this bad behavior already by giving schools who want a profit, and students who want a degree, a financial steroid which creates falsified hope and pushes the real issue down the road. Bernie Sanders specifically should not be taken seriously at all (not that I am suggesting Clinton is any more economically literate), since it should be a red flag that anyone would be advocating for socialism in America while socialist Europe is literally falling apart.
Originally published at FreedomWorks
Trump... It's easy to write an article hating on him, but instead I'm just going to lay some things on the table for you. The Donald has dropped some serious knowledge on us over the past couple months, like the following tidbits of wisdom like:
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, okay? It's, like, incredible."
"You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever." (referring to Megan Kelly who may have been on her period)
"I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I'll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
"I have a great relationship with the blacks."
"I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I'm more honest and my women are more beautiful."
"My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well been documented, are various other parts of my body."
"Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure,it's not your fault."
Apart from his poetic rhetoric, the Donald has a few ideas for how to make America great again, ideas like "bombing the shit out of Iraq" (again, since bombing Iraq is a great American tradition) and taking their oil. Building a wall along the Mexican border, and making Mexico pay for it. No matter how ridiculous, two faced, hypocritical, or downright evil he is, his support base really doesn't care because after all, they want invade countries that don't exist.
Forget the logical fallacies in his platform, his inconsistent ideology, his intolerable morality, and his ability to lie to your face with a smile, he's just a guy trying to make America great again.
Which is why I am announcing now that if Donald J. Trump announces that he will invade the great northern threat known as Canada- with their knock off "bacon", Justin Bieber, and Tim Horton's Tim-bits donuts- I will donate my entire life savings to his campaign in order to make America great again.
The offer is on the table Mr. Trump, I know that once you pledge to invade those moose loving maple syrup drinkers, your collective will fight tooth and nail to stop the imminent menace.
The clock is ticking Mr. Trump, let's make America great again...
rock, love, and live free...
Remso W. Martinez
In a recent debate the following gauntlet was thrown:
"I CHALLENGE YOU TO EXPLAIN WHY SOCIALISM IS BAD. WE SOCIALIZE OUR ROADS, OUR POLICE, OUR FIRE DEPARTMENTS. WE SHOULD HAVE UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE TOO. THE "FREE MARKET" APPROACH IS NOT WORKING. THE IDEA IS TO PROVIDE BASIC UNIVERSAL SERVICES FOR CITIZENS. IT IS REPUBLICAN JOE MCCARTHY SMEAR & FEAR & GUILT BY ASSOCIATION TACTICS [HE'S A MUSLIM. HE'S A SOCIALIST. HE'S NOT PATRIOTIC ETC] THAT HAS GIVEN SOCIALISM A BAD NAME."
Free market principles and a grasp at the historical importance of liberty and the role of government are not only important but VITAL to the preservation of our Republic (not to be confused with a Democracy). If the fundamentals of our way of life are not understood then our way of life has already been lost - and we should accept that the government has grown into an authoritarian powerhouse - and we should accept the end of liberty.
To be honest, it is socialism in history that has given socialism a bad name. The premise to socialism is a large government - large governments with authoritarian control. The misuse of government authority is an historical broken record, repeating again and again, often times to deadly ends. The presence of a large government in America is a current reality, which is a direct affront to liberty, and is not only bad but dangerous.
Let me explain further.
Can we agree that the initiation of force is evil? This is not to be confused with defense, etc... but the initiation of force.
Assuming your answer is yes, I will continue.
The idea of taxation is the essence of the initiation of force by the government onto the people. George Washington referred to the policy of taxation as "inconvenient and unpleasant" and an "intrinsic embarrassment" - though he did recognize that there was a necessity of taxation with the purpose of paying down debt. In his farewell address to the nation, paragraph 30, Washington discussed debt: "...avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts..." He also advocated for neutrality in regional conflicts, as the idea of forcing free men into foreign wars was an initiation of force as well. There is an historical precedence that indicates that the initiation of force is evil, and that taxation is a nasty side effect of government with the purpose of paying down the debt. It was not until 1913 when the idea of an Income Tax was made a reality - opening the doors for a continued large scale government. This was not part of the original intent of the free nation.
Furthermore, classical economist Adam Smith indicated that the government has three functions: national defense, administration of justice (law and order), and the provision of certain public goods (e.g., transportation infrastructure and basic and applied education). The existence of these three functions provided the atmosphere for the best economic growth - indicating minimal taxation, minimal government interference in private life, while stressing the importance of collective needs which do not hinder liberty, but serve to increase fundamentals of a society (access and education). This answers your question regarding fire and police protection... classical capitalism requires the administration of justice as a means to secure private property.
Ultimately, the existence of liberty - true personal freedom - lies within personal responsibility and minimal government intervention. As stated above, the ideology of socialism is predicated on the existence of an overbearing government with the power to intervene in personal decision making. This intervention (through taxes or authoritarian laws) is the initiation of force, and by definition, evil.
Let's use healthcare as an example, assuming an employer with 20 employees or more shall provide healthcare coverage. This is an example of the initiation of force by the government. What laws of this nature encourage is economic slowdown - as an employer now has just cause not to hire a 20th person, or has just cause to lower wages to cover the cost of the mandatory service, or risk taking the money directly out of his/her small business earnings. A more appropriate (small government) path would be to fix the high cost of healthcare by encouraging more citizens to go into medicine and tightening loose laws on malpractice lawsuits (lowering insurance premiums for doctors - thus lowering costs).
The reason why healthcare is not working now is because the system is in a pull between the idea of free market and the false system of "insurance" that has propped up as a safety net - artificially driving costs through the roof. Insurance is a ponzi scheme and has simultaneously held healthcare costs artificially high (keeping it out of actual reach for the average citizen) while also using the force of the government mandates to realize immense profits to the unnecessary insurance companies. Government forced socialism, stealing the wealth of the nation and depositing it in the pockets of the Oligarchs.
This idea of a "government entity" that is separate from the people able to dictate such nonsense is the absence of liberty.
In short, Socialism is bad not because McCarthy told me it is bad. Socialism is predicated on the initiation of force by a government entity, dictating unnecessary taxes and social behavior through such use of force. By this definition, Socialism is evil.