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Making Libertarianism Work

Redress

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Any one who has been here awhile knows I have a certain fascination with libertarians. Simply put, they make no sense to me on almost any issue, and I have a habit of digging at things that don't make sense to me, trying to get them to make sense. So, this leads me to some questions for you all.

1) What policies that libertarians espouse would work?

2) What policies are pie in the sky dreams that won't work?

3) Within the framework of our election system(which is not going to change any time soon), how do you get libertarian ideas passed and libertarian candidates elected?
 

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Any one who has been here awhile knows I have a certain fascination with libertarians. Simply put, they make no sense to me on almost any issue, and I have a habit of digging at things that don't make sense to me, trying to get them to make sense. So, this leads me to some questions for you all.

1) What policies that libertarians espouse would work?
I am particularly fond of noninterventionalist foreign policy. I also like the idea of removing the liability shield that a incorporating creates, however not a complete removal as it does have some practical use. I am for legalizing certain drugs (but not all), so I am not sure if this one applies. A smaller military would be good.

2) What policies are pie in the sky dreams that won't work?
I believe that their economic policies do work, but only if we forget the idea of prosperity and accept things like child labor (from a conversation I had today in fact), an uneducated citizenry, and poor people dying all over the place. And of course we ignore the inevitable (possibly bloody) revolution that such a situation would foster. (Hopefully this comment doesn't break the rules, but that is how I honestly see it).

3) Within the framework of our election system(which is not going to change any time soon), how do you get libertarian ideas passed and libertarian candidates elected?
I think the best thing that could work for libertarians is something that libertarians would likely hate. That is fully federally funded (or state/country funded, depending on locality) elections where funding is the same among all parties involved and can be gotten by passing a certain test, such as enough signatures.
 
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Harry Guerrilla

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Any one who has been here awhile knows I have a certain fascination with libertarians. Simply put, they make no sense to me on almost any issue, and I have a habit of digging at things that don't make sense to me, trying to get them to make sense. So, this leads me to some questions for you all.

1) What policies that libertarians espouse would work?

2) What policies are pie in the sky dreams that won't work?

3) Within the framework of our election system(which is not going to change any time soon), how do you get libertarian ideas passed and libertarian candidates elected?
I find it very difficult to convey, how the things we believe would work, because it requires a great amount of documentation and a some what different way of looking at things.

That is where most of the problems reside.
 

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I am not asking you to document your ideas are right, only that they are presented.
 

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I am not asking you to document your ideas are right, only that they are presented.
Things that would work, in my opinion:
Full drug legalization, deregulation of medical insurance and the medical industry, less licensing and certifications for jobs/career paths, no more corporate personhood, deregulation of firearms, removing the state from education(on all levels), some other things I can't think of at the moment.

Things that probably wouldn't work:
Gold standard, anarcho capitalism, flat tax on all income levels(i.e. 10% for all income levels), probably some other things I haven't though of.

Election standards to get libertarians elected:
Honestly, probably not a lot of anything will allow that to happen.
 

Redress

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Can I get you to expand a bit on the "deregulation of medical insurance and the medical industry"?

Also you mention deregulation of firearms. Do you mean completely, or where does the line get drawn?
 

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Things that would work, in my opinion:
Full drug legalization, deregulation of medical insurance and the medical industry, less licensing and certifications for jobs/career paths, no more corporate personhood, deregulation of firearms, removing the state from education(on all levels), some other things I can't think of at the moment.

Things that probably wouldn't work:
Gold standard, anarcho capitalism, flat tax on all income levels(i.e. 10% for all income levels), probably some other things I haven't though of.

Election standards to get libertarians elected:
Honestly, probably not a lot of anything will allow that to happen.
I think this is where we get into the degrees of libertarianism a libertarian actually believes in. Personally, I don't have anything against moderate libertarians - rather, it is those libertarians on the more extreme end who advocate those issues that you state probably would work.

Probably the reason why I am most against libertarianism is because it tends to be against the rights of consumers and workers. I think that there should be some protections for consumers and workers, even at the cost of profit for private businesses, and I think there are those who call themselves libertarians just so they can have their industry deregulated so they can try to acquire a greater profit margin.
 

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Can I get you to expand a bit on the "deregulation of medical insurance and the medical industry"?
The medical industry was already heavily regulated prior to the most recent legislation passed.
It is to me, one of the biggest reasons why Medical insurance, and the general cost, is increasing.

Before I start on the specifics, I am open to universal health care, for those that have incurable, debilitating, life long conditions.
Such as, AIDS/HIV, Cerebral Palsy, things like that.
That UHC, would be unconditional, meaning that there is no income requirement to qualify.

With the rest of deregulation, I would move back towards price discrimination (where those who incur the most service costs, do pay more.), no insurance mandates (besides the insurance contract being clear and concise.), no restrictions on medical school construction, hospital funded residency, things of that nature.

At the moment, congress controls many of those areas directly.
Hospitals also have to right to prevent competition, in many localities.
It's a crazy backwards system.


Also you mention deregulation of firearms. Do you mean completely, or where does the line get drawn?
Mostly in complete, the line would probably drawn somewhere around missile based weaponry and things like that.
Right now, the laws are formed to catch some people as felons because of ambiguity.
It's wrong.
 

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libertarian ideals I think would be beneficial
-deregulation of private healthcare and health insurance industry as already harry explained
-their stance on firearms
-their stance on gay marriage

Where they fall short(IMO)
-non-interventionist/lassie-faire policy with regards to international relations
-taxation policies
-education
 

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Curious what exactly you mean when you say libertarians "make no sense to me on almost any issue". Is the positions libertarians take that confuses you? Or the underlying philosophy? Or both? Or something else entirely?

1) Repeal of drug prohibition (especially marijuana!)
Fire arms.
The rejection of nation building and being the world's self appointed police man.
Ending various forms of corporate welfare.
Cutting entitlements and defense spending (which is tied to moving away from an aggressively interventionist foreign policy)
Free trade
Removing red tape that hampers entrapenuership
Free speech
Due process

2) Open borders.
Total non-intervention foreign policy.
Removal of all safety standards for consumers and workers.
Repeal of anti-trust laws
Eliminating public education
Privatized roads, police, or military
Pollution
No public safety net
Gold standard

Most of the ones I rejected are more extreme libertarian ideas. I think moderate libertarianism that recognizes reality and theory aren't the same is quite feasible and even ideal.

3) There are a few things. First off, libertarian candidates need to learn how to embrace incrementalism. Too many libertarians focus on theri end goal, which is often seen as extremely outside the mainstream. Let's take drug policy as an example. Libertarians was to legalize all drugs, but most people aren't even ready to seriously discuss that as a policy option. But they are ready to discuss medical marijuana and perhaps even legalizing pot. So libertarians should be focused on those issues rather than trying to convince people to legalize crystal meth. Same is true for other issues. Instead of talking about eliminating Social Security, focus on reforming it by cutting back future benefits in order to make the system solvent. Just as these huge government programs weren't created overnight, they won't be removed overnight. They expanded slowly, piece by piece, and need to be cut in a similar fashion - one piece at a time.

Secondly, it would be nice to see libertarians work in both parties. Democrats are far more likely to be allies on issues like gay marriage/civil unions, drug policy, defending free speech, defending due process, abolishing the death penalty, and abortion (though I personally break with mainstream libertarianism here and am strongly pro-life). Is no room in the Democratic Party for people who agree with the social agenda, but reject big government tax and spend policy?
 

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What I mean by makes no sense to me is that libertarian solutions are completely at odds with my world view on almost every issue. I can understand the issue, but not the mindset that sees those issues as an appropriate direction for the country. It's just totally alien to me. And so I poke and prod and try and come to a better understanding.
 

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What I mean by makes no sense to me is that libertarian solutions are completely at odds with my world view on almost every issue. I can understand the issue, but not the mindset that sees those issues as an appropriate direction for the country. It's just totally alien to me. And so I poke and prod and try and come to a better understanding.
At odds in what way? Do you think they would not work? Do they make no sense to you (as in, why would someone come up with this sort of thing as a solution to our problems?), Do they speak greek while you are speaking dutch?
 

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At odds in what way? Do you think they would not work? Do they make no sense to you (as in, why would someone come up with this sort of thing as a solution to our problems?), Do they speak greek while you are speaking dutch?
The bolded part.
 

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The bolded part.
I think the answer is that they have different priorities. I have been told by a few libertarians that the goal of the philosophy is not to help people or the nation, but to maintain a moral ideal, regardless of any damage or prosperity it causes (in fact they went so far as decouple the outcomes from the policy, stating it all relied on personal responsibility instead). My view on this comes from a couple of threads where I have specifically what sort of good things that libertarianism will bring about. I was told that I was asking the wrong question, because the focus is rights, not a good outcome and that the outcome was not important (or if not important, way down on the totem pole of importance as compared to other priorities). An actual libertarian can correct me if I am wrong in this interpretation. I am probably going to have to dig up those threads I started on it too I guess.
 
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I think it depends on what kind of libertarians you talk to. I think your response is true of the more ideologically zealous ones. Their only concern is maximizing personal freedom by limiting the initiation of force to a few key government roles (namely law enforcement).

What they so often fail to recognize is if they create a society that is so weak and backwards because of the negative affects of their more extreme views, that society will not be able to fullfill one of it's primary purposes - preserving our personal freedoms from outside threats.

Imagine a society with no public education system, no public safety net, and no limits on big business. A poor, uneducated, exploited working class with almost no hope for upward social mobility is a textbook formula for a worker's revolution which will likely replace the libertarian's ultimate "free society" with something far more oppressive or will force those in power to adopt increasingly repressive policies in an effort to prevent a revolution.

Also a society that fails to publicly maintain essential infrastructure, keeps only a minimal military force, has completely open borders, and refuses to ever pusure its interests by intervening on the international scene. Is that not a society ripe for invasion by another society that doesn't share their peaceful, non-interventionist views?

If creating an totally free society means creating a society so weak that it can't defend itself or one with such massive economic inequalities that its practically begging for a revolution, then really aren't preserving freedom are you? Since once your society fails, its very likely it will be replaced by something far more repressive.

The libertarian philosophy appeals to me on many levels. I do value personal freedom quite highly. I think people should be allowed to make their own decisions and then be allowed to live by the consequences of those decisions. I think those with the best combination of ambition, talent, intellect, and work ethic should rise to the top and be rewarded more than the average worker bee. I think the free market is generally the most efficient way to allocate resources and to create a prosperous society. I think if libertarianism is applied in a moderate, intelligent, pragmatic way, it would create a better society. But I'm not so committed to the philosophy that I'm blinded to the flaws of mindlessly implementing it without a thought to the real world affect it would have on society.
 

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I think people should be allowed to make their own decisions and then be allowed to live by the consequences of those decisions. I think those with the best combination of ambition, talent, intellect, and work ethic should rise to the top and be rewarded more than the average worker bee. I think the free market is generally the most efficient way to allocate resources and to create a prosperous society.
1. I quite like your version of libertarianism. One of the things that greatly bothers me about libertarians in general is that they seem to want to put ideals over practical reality. However, liberals who do that annoy me just as much. I guess my streak of practicality is why I call myself slightly liberal. I want practical solutions to societal problems, but I generally see liberal solutions as best fitting that criteria. However, if it can be solved better by another approach, than great!

2. I pretty much agree with the quoted statements. The unfortunate thing, and the place people so often get caught up is in the details. I think capitalism is great and is truly the engine of wealth, but like a fire, you have to use it responsibly or else it wrecks the place.
 
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Election standards to get libertarians elected:
Honestly, probably not a lot of anything will allow that to happen.
Do you advocate any particular type of electoral reform so libertarians have a chance to get elected?
 

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Do you advocate any particular type of electoral reform so libertarians have a chance to get elected?
Not directed at me, but I'll answer. I do advocate a few electoral reforms, but not solely for the purpose of getting libertarians elected. I think the two party system is detrimental to us and we'd be better off breaking their shared monopoly on power. I'd like to see all third parties have a better chance at having their voices heard and then let the free market of ideas sort out the winners and the losers.

The main reform I want to see implemented is instant run-off voting. It eliminates the "lesser of two evils" dilema, also known as Duverger's law. I'd also support publicly financed campaigns for candidates/parties who reach a very obtainable minimum threshold. The goal being that everyone can then get their message out effectively and then the voters can judge the quality of those ideas for themselves.
 

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Not directed at me, but I'll answer. I do advocate a few electoral reforms, but not solely for the purpose of getting libertarians elected. I think the two party system is detrimental to us and we'd be better off breaking their shared monopoly on power. I'd like to see all third parties have a better chance at having their voices heard and then let the free market of ideas sort out the winners and the losers.

The main reform I want to see implemented is instant run-off voting. It eliminates the "lesser of two evils" dilema, also known as Duverger's law. I'd also support publicly financed campaigns for candidates/parties who reach a very obtainable minimum threshold. The goal being that everyone can then get their message out effectively and then the voters can judge the quality of those ideas for themselves.
I totally agree with your points here, Psychoclown. I would add publically funded and broadcast debates on C-SPAN, with all candidates. A 2 or 3 hour job, so each candidate gets asked a range of questions. I would also add a published article from each candidate specifying positions on issues.
 

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Not directed at me, but I'll answer. I do advocate a few electoral reforms, but not solely for the purpose of getting libertarians elected. I think the two party system is detrimental to us and we'd be better off breaking their shared monopoly on power. I'd like to see all third parties have a better chance at having their voices heard and then let the free market of ideas sort out the winners and the losers.

The main reform I want to see implemented is instant run-off voting. It eliminates the "lesser of two evils" dilema, also known as Duverger's law. I'd also support publicly financed campaigns for candidates/parties who reach a very obtainable minimum threshold. The goal being that everyone can then get their message out effectively and then the voters can judge the quality of those ideas for themselves.
I have always been an advocate of IRV, but I am against campaign financing limits. There's too much interference regarding free speech when it comes to that issue. Besides, if IRV was implemented to allow election of third-party candidates, I think campaign financing would become something of a moot point.
 

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My version of publicly funded campaigns would look like this: Each candidate is completely prohibited from recieving funds from individual or corporate donors. Instead they are given a set of matching funds from the government. I wouldn't be opposed to allow the candidates' party to add additional funds. And certainly individuals or groups could spend their money promoting a particular candidate on their own. The main purpose is to give every candidate enough money to get their message out there.
 

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My version of publicly funded campaigns would look like this: Each candidate is completely prohibited from recieving funds from individual or corporate donors. Instead they are given a set of matching funds from the government. I wouldn't be opposed to allow the candidates' party to add additional funds. And certainly individuals or groups could spend their money promoting a particular candidate on their own. The main purpose is to give every candidate enough money to get their message out there.
Well, considering such social networks like FaceBook, Reddit, and YouTube, do you think that the real problem nowadays isn't for a candidate to get their message "out there" but to get voters to seriously pay attention to them?
 

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Yes. Because it's quite easy to ignore a link to a candidate's Facebook page or a youtube clip or a website. The internet is a great way to spread information, but it still does require that people actively seek it out. In traditional media, the campaign ads come to you as you're watching your favorite show. A perfect example would be to the typical person on the street who the Libertarian or Green Party candidate was in their state during the last Senatorial race. I'd bet 9 out of 10 would look at you with a blank stare. Heck, most of them probably couldn't tell you what a Libertarian even is. Costly traditional media is still the way most candidates achieve name recognition and how they get their message out.
 
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