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request for evidence that a libertarian policy works

tacomancer

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Can anyone provide evidence that a libertarian economic and social approach to society will yield positive results for reducing the number of poor, social issues, educational, health issues, environmental issues. Also, I am looking for data that will show the effect on income equality.

I like the idea of libertarianism, but I would like to know if such an approach actually makes society better (per the above indicators).

I am willing to look at this with an open mind too.

And before anyone posts one. Appeals to the libertarian notion of liberty will not sway me. Neither will libertarian notions of morality (you are not my responsibility, etc)
 
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Ikari

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Libertarian policy is more aligned with promotion and proliferation of rights and liberties than it is with social engineering and wealth redistribution policies. Most of that stuff, barring environmental, would most likely find itself on the community rather than federal level where it can be better controlled by the local populace. Maybe some exceptions, but in general.
 

tacomancer

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Libertarian policy is more aligned with promotion and proliferation of rights and liberties than it is with social engineering and wealth redistribution policies. Most of that stuff, barring environmental, would most likely find itself on the community rather than federal level where it can be better controlled by the local populace. Maybe some exceptions, but in general.
I don't doubt the outlook. However, I like the idea of people being able to do as they please as much as possible, but I believe that in order for society to function at an acceptable level for today's technology and expectations, than there are certain minimum standards that must be met. Many times, because of the nature of not working for it, people expect these things to just happen and they do not want to put the necessary work into it. So they can be their own enemies in regards to that. The Federal government than has to be the responsible one and make sure it gets done. Because it requires some stepping on toes, people get upset, as is understandable. Witness the near universal demand for low taxes and high levels of service as an example.

So, in asking the question in the OP in a different way, do you think it is possible to meet these minimums required for a modern and functional society without a strong central government or would one be required? I guess the appeal of libertarianism is that I prefer that there be a weaker central government, but I see it as an unfortunate necessity for reasons already given.

However, I would love to have my cake and eat it too.
 
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Harry Guerrilla

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Can anyone provide evidence that a libertarian economic and social approach to society will yield positive results for reducing the number of poor, social issues, educational, health issues, environmental issues. Also, I am looking for data that will show the effect on income equality.

I like the idea of libertarianism, but I would like to know if such an approach actually makes society better (per the above indicators).

I am willing to look at this with an open mind too.

And before anyone posts one. Appeals to the libertarian notion of liberty will not sway me. Neither will libertarian notions of morality (you are not my responsibility, etc)
Be more specific.

Do you want an example of a whole economy or a specific industry?
 

tacomancer

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Be more specific.

Do you want an example of a whole economy or a specific industry?
Whole economy. The more people who are healthy, prosperous and with a reasonable chance at happiness the better.
 

Deuce

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Libertarianism shares a component with communism: They'd work great in theory, but there's that whole human nature problem.
 

tacomancer

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Libertarianism shares a component with communism: They'd work great in theory, but there's that whole human nature problem.
And I accept that a basis of my yearning may be a certain emotional satisfaction over practical needs. However, it would be dishonest to not try to look at this thing truthfully every few years as I continue to learn more over the course of my life.
 

Gipper

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As Ikari has suggested, libertarianism isn't designed to work that way. Poverty and wealth disparity won't go away under libertarian ideals. The environment won't suddenly be green and clean. Unhealthy people won't be made whole. It essentially works in a microcosm, like other ideologies that function on paper. The only difference is that while socialist and communist structures are ideal and made to believe that they can cure the world's ails, libertarian structures are designed to maximize efficiency and utility while accepting that you have to break eggs to make the omelette.

Libertarianism, in its purest form, is designed to reward those who benefit society and create distinct social castes based upon that benefit, whether inherit or acquired. You have the freedom to be anything you try and get lucky enough to be. You also have the freedom to be a minimum wage mouth-breather who is left to the world his work ethic creates.

It's a belief that you know what's best for you instead of a bloated bureaucracy. This is patently designed so that some people will indeed fall through the cracks.

Therefore, libertarianism believe that maximum utility can be gained by unfettered liberty granted to the populace to succeed or fail by their own practiced ethics. It is a long term good, while socialism and communism are more about immediate good. It also doesn't preach a utopian society where everyone works together, is autonomous, and is happy. Like smurfs. Communists like smurfs.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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tacomancer

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As Ikari has suggested, libertarianism isn't designed to work that way. Poverty and wealth disparity won't go away under libertarian ideals. The environment won't suddenly be green and clean. Unhealthy people won't be made whole. It essentially works in a microcosm, like other ideologies that function on paper. The only difference is that while socialist and communist structures are ideal and made to believe that they can cure the world's ails, libertarian structures are designed to maximize efficiency and utility while accepting that you have to break eggs to make the omelette.

Libertarianism, in its purest form, is designed to reward those who benefit society and create distinct social castes based upon that benefit, whether inherit or acquired. You have the freedom to be anything you try and get lucky enough to be. You also have the freedom to be a minimum wage mouth-breather who is left to the world his work ethic creates.

It's a belief that you know what's best for you instead of a bloated bureaucracy. This is patently designed so that some people will indeed fall through the cracks.

Therefore, libertarianism believe that maximum utility can be gained by unfettered liberty granted to the populace to succeed or fail by their own practiced ethics. It is a long term good, while socialism and communism are more about immediate good. It also doesn't preach a utopian society where everyone works together, is autonomous, and is happy. Like smurfs. Communists like smurfs.
Perhaps I was not clear. I am not looking for utopia because, barring a change in human nature, that is something that will never happen. We, as a race, contain evil as well as good and thus are not able to achieve it.

However, what I would like to know is there is if these sorts of problems will simply be ignored or if there is a mechanism to address them in the libertarian ideology.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Perhaps I was not clear. I am not looking for utopia because, barring a change in human nature, that is something that will never happen. We, as a race, contain evil as well as good and thus are not able to achieve it.

However, what I would like to know is there is if these sorts of problems will simply be ignored or if there is a mechanism to address them in the libertarian ideology.
Here's the thing, something most of us haven't experienced is family/community based social welfare.

Back in the day your family, locality and ethnicity related groups would provide a lot of the social welfare.
They were pretty successful in both areas because of the specific scope and limitations to the assets they could expend.

It's easy to wave it off as not applicable today but that's only because it was eliminated a long time ago.
Not because it didn't do they job but because something from the state replaced it.
 

VanceMack

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Im not sure what you are looking for. Take the existing federal government. Kill off the fed dept of trans, education, and every other redundant program that exists and is best served run at a state level. Pay off the debt and require a balanced budget with the federal government beholding to its citizens for every dollar raised and spent. Allow the states to tax and spend accordingly to provide for social services and mandates as per their citizens. voila. You HAVE a libertarian government.

The notion of a libertarian government is not one WITHOUT rules...its with approriate levels of rules. The term 'appropriate' can be debated.

Too often libertarians are their own worst enemy. They cling to the most ridiculous of party platforms when there are much more simple rules that could bring about effective change and would receive broad appeal.
 

tacomancer

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Im not sure what you are looking for. Take the existing federal government. Kill off the fed dept of trans, education, and every other redundant program that exists and is best served run at a state level. Pay off the debt and require a balanced budget with the federal government beholding to its citizens for every dollar raised and spent. Allow the states to tax and spend accordingly to provide for social services and mandates as per their citizens. voila. You HAVE a libertarian government.

The notion of a libertarian government is not one WITHOUT rules...its with approriate levels of rules. The term 'appropriate' can be debated.

Too often libertarians are their own worst enemy. They cling to the most ridiculous of party platforms when there are much more simple rules that could bring about effective change and would receive broad appeal.
So, for example, you would be OK with the idea of welfare as long as it is at the state level?

I was under the impression that it would still violate certain libertarian principals that I often see expressed.
 

VanceMack

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So, for example, you would be OK with the idea of welfare as long as it is at the state level?

I was under the impression that it would still violate certain libertarian principals that I often see expressed.
Yes and I have said as much. Im not opposed to social programs...locally operated...locally maintained. Im not opposed to health care...Im opposed to irresponsible healthcare. Im not opposed to a federal government...Im opposed to a federal government that has spent us into a soon to be 15 trillion dollar hole. I dont care if you are a libertarian, republican, democrat, or druid...if the federal deficit doesnt scare the hell out of you, and if you believe there is a dimes difference between the two parties and their destructive tendencies, you are a/an ___________. (fill in the blank)

There are 'libertarian ideals' that I have opposed (and been told by others here that I cant be a 'real' libertarian because of that opposition) to which I usually reply "funny...thats what I was told when I used to be a registered republican too." Oh...and I also reply with something to the effect that until the 'real' libertarians get a little more intelligent about their national and local platforms they will continue to know the same success with elected representation that they have known in the past.
 

Gipper

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megaprogman said:
Perhaps I was not clear. I am not looking for utopia because, barring a change in human nature, that is something that will never happen. We, as a race, contain evil as well as good and thus are not able to achieve it.

However, what I would like to know is there is if these sorts of problems will simply be ignored or if there is a mechanism to address them in the libertarian ideology.
Short answer, yes they will be ignored. Libertarianism is designed for that. As stated before, libertarian utopia hinges upon perfect society, which cannot happen.

You've already hinted as to why, as I have as well - human nature. Because of human nature, they have to be ignored on a large scale. It's just polar opposites of a freedom axis. On the far left, which is all security and no liberty, you have communism and socialism. On the far right, which is all liberty and no security, you have libertarianism. Neither will fix these problems. In fact, nowhere in the middle will these problems be fixed. There is probably a positive correlation between security (left communism/socialism) and the reduction of the societal maladies you mentioned, but at what cost?

If you're looking for pure humanity and selflessness, then no, libertarianism is too cruel and selfish of an ideology. The selfishness is what we libertarians, however, encourage and believe is best. Just like Michael Douglas's character in Wall Street, Gordon Gecko, said: Greed is good. He wasn't half right. It's implied that, in a libertarian society, if everyone looked out for themselves at the utmost level, society would thrive. We'd be a little paranoid and bloodthirsty, but hey - we still have laws for those who go too far.

Ultimately it's about maximizing happiness and utility, not creating a "safe" society. No libertarian will tell you that any and all problems go away.
 

Gipper

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So, for example, you would be OK with the idea of welfare as long as it is at the state level?

I was under the impression that it would still violate certain libertarian principals that I often see expressed.
Welfare would most assuredly exist in a libertarian society, regardless of state or federal level action. The main difference is that the private sector would assist in its funding a bit more than it does now. In addition, there would probably be sweeping reform to make sure it is not abused, which it is in spades these days.

Many social programs would be reduced, but very few would be outright eliminated. That's more of an anarcho-capitalist view, which I abhor.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Short answer, yes they will be ignored. Libertarianism is designed for that. As stated before, libertarian utopia hinges upon perfect society, which cannot happen.

You've already hinted as to why, as I have as well - human nature. Because of human nature, they have to be ignored on a large scale. It's just polar opposites of a freedom axis. On the far left, which is all security and no liberty, you have communism and socialism. On the far right, which is all liberty and no security, you have libertarianism. Neither will fix these problems. In fact, nowhere in the middle will these problems be fixed. There is probably a positive correlation between security (left communism/socialism) and the reduction of the societal maladies you mentioned, but at what cost?
A couple of points and clarifications.

The proverbial libertarian utopia, is not an actual utopia in the sense that everything is perfect.
It's perfection lies with in the imperfections trying to find "harmony" and "balance."

I know it sounds kooky but that is the best way to describe it, the ebb and flow of imperfect trying to eventually meat at perfection.

If you're looking for pure humanity and selflessness, then no, libertarianism is too cruel and selfish of an ideology. The selfishness is what we libertarians, however, encourage and believe is best. Just like Michael Douglas's character in Wall Street, Gordon Gecko, said: Greed is good. He wasn't half right. It's implied that, in a libertarian society, if everyone looked out for themselves at the utmost level, society would thrive. We'd be a little paranoid and bloodthirsty, but hey - we still have laws for those who go too far.
Greed has become such a loaded word.
We should use "long term rational self interest."

That is the best way to describe it in my opinion.

Ultimately it's about maximizing happiness and utility, not creating a "safe" society. No libertarian will tell you that any and all problems go away.
Agree with this.
 

tacomancer

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Thanks for the links Harry.

Anyway, I appreciate that you guys were honest with me and I guess I keep coming back to the same conclusions.

I am all about promoting freedom, but the way I see it is that if freedom cannot be used, it doesn't exist. For example, if someone cannot afford to eat, it doesn't matter if they have other economic freedoms. The idea if a highly free society seems grand, but to me, it seems that the devil is in the details. If there is no defense against bad stuff happening than the greater freedoms will be lost too. So while a more regulated society might be less free on some levels, it is also more free on others.

I believe in justice and if people cannot gain or lose by their own efforts than I do not see justice being carried out. Gipper posted that people will fall through the cracks, which is unjust. In fact, I cannot get past the fact that all markets are inherently unjust because half of success is caused by stuff people have no control over. However, markets are also good in that they create wealth, so there is a balancing act that must be maintained. Of course this will happen in any society, but if we make the attempt to be more just, at least we are doing something noble and good.
 
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The Uncola

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Why talk in the theoretic about Libertarian societies?

Go spend a few weeks in Somalia and see it up close and personal.
 

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As Ikari has suggested, libertarianism isn't designed to work that way. Poverty and wealth disparity won't go away under libertarian ideals. The environment won't suddenly be green and clean. Unhealthy people won't be made whole. It essentially works in a microcosm, like other ideologies that function on paper. The only difference is that while socialist and communist structures are ideal and made to believe that they can cure the world's ails, libertarian structures are designed to maximize efficiency and utility while accepting that you have to break eggs to make the omelette.

Libertarianism, in its purest form, is designed to reward those who benefit society and create distinct social castes based upon that benefit, whether inherit or acquired. You have the freedom to be anything you try and get lucky enough to be. You also have the freedom to be a minimum wage mouth-breather who is left to the world his work ethic creates.

It's a belief that you know what's best for you instead of a bloated bureaucracy. This is patently designed so that some people will indeed fall through the cracks.

Therefore, libertarianism believe that maximum utility can be gained by unfettered liberty granted to the populace to succeed or fail by their own practiced ethics. It is a long term good, while socialism and communism are more about immediate good. It also doesn't preach a utopian society where everyone works together, is autonomous, and is happy. Like smurfs. Communists like smurfs.

This is the best honest critique of idealistic pure libertarianism that I've ever seen. Well done.
 

tacomancer

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Why talk in the theoretic about Libertarian societies?

Go spend a few weeks in Somalia and see it up close and personal.
This thread has good momentum. Lets not trash it with these kinds of comments.
 
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The Uncola

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This thread has good momentum. Lets not trash it with these kinds of comments.
No disrespect intended MegaP, merely a simple reality check. The reality is that there is not now, nor has there ever been a nation that operated successfully under the "Libertarian" model of government. With the population having reached the numbers it has, the illusion that any sort of "Libertarian" nation could operate, is laughable. It's no more possible than a PURE "Communist" state. The reality is, that with well over 6 billion people on this planet, if we don't work TOGETHER for ALL, we'll ALL lose.

The myth that supposed "libertarians" promote is that they, and they alone have made it "on their own." Which is pure, unmitigated horsefeathers. NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE in today's world has "made it" without the aid and benefit of the collective society. Not a single one.

Libertarian World is a fantasy world, populated fictional characters, living mythical existences.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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No disrespect intended MegaP, merely a simple reality check. The reality is that there is not now, nor has there ever been a nation that operated successfully under the "Libertarian" model of government. With the population having reached the numbers it has, the illusion that any sort of "Libertarian" nation could operate, is laughable. It's no more possible than a PURE "Communist" state. The reality is, that with well over 6 billion people on this planet, if we don't work TOGETHER for ALL, we'll ALL lose.

The myth that supposed "libertarians" promote is that they, and they alone have made it "on their own." Which is pure, unmitigated horsefeathers. NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE in today's world has "made it" without the aid and benefit of the collective society. Not a single one.

Libertarian World is a fantasy world, populated fictional characters, living mythical existences.
Somalia is not an example of a libertarian country.
Your post shows that you don't review the history of the country at all but instead make claims with no bearing in truth.

Please educate yourself before making such claims.

Somalia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


That doesn't deal with the gross mischaracterization of the libertarian ideology.
Equating that we expect a utopia, when we know that there is no such thing.
 
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The Uncola

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Somalia is not an example of a libertarian country.
Your post shows that you don't review the history of the country at all but instead make claims with no bearing in truth.

Please educate yourself before making such claims.

Somalia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


That doesn't deal with the gross mischaracterization of the libertarian ideology.
Equating that we expect a utopia, when we know that there is no such thing.
Name ONE successful modern age libertarian government. (At a NATIONAL level)
 
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