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Wed Sep 17, 2014, 01:14 PM

 

Hello, DU. I am a libertarian.

I'm not here to troll or disrespect anyone, or to otherwise cause mayhem. Hoenstly, I just want to learn from/about you, and maybe even make some more friends along the way. In my short time here, I've noticed we have much in common, including (but not limited to) stances on:

-ending the War on Drugs
-ending costly foreign wars
-addressing the epidemic of police brutality
-preventing NSA and other unconstitutional surveillance
-stopping/preventing crony capitalism
-overall disgust with the Republican party

Even as a self-proclaimed libertarian, I do find myself supporting Democrats from time to time. Dennis Kucinich is probably my favorite Democrat ever; his foreign policy views are common-sense, and we need more people like him. Cory Booker is another Democrat who I greatly respect due to his drug sentencing reform efforts. These are the sensible, across-the-isle types who give me hope for America.

I hope you will find that I'm not just another selfish, naive ideologue. I'm just a guy who wants to learn more about other points of view. Despite our differences, I will show nothing but respect to you all, and I look forward to future dialogue with you.

68 replies, 27514 views

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Arrow 68 replies Author Time Post
Reply Hello, DU. I am a libertarian. (Original post)
R.Quinn Sep 2014 OP
Scuba Sep 2014 #1
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #2
Scuba Sep 2014 #3
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #4
Scuba Sep 2014 #5
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #6
Cal33 Dec 2014 #68
Scuba Sep 2014 #7
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #12
Scuba Sep 2014 #34
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #41
Scuba Sep 2014 #44
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #47
Scuba Sep 2014 #48
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #49
Scuba Sep 2014 #50
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #51
Kevin from WI Dec 2014 #62
Scuba Dec 2014 #64
uppityperson Sep 2014 #9
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #10
uppityperson Sep 2014 #13
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #14
uppityperson Sep 2014 #15
NRaleighLiberal Sep 2014 #16
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #17
NRaleighLiberal Sep 2014 #18
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #20
NRaleighLiberal Sep 2014 #21
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #23
uppityperson Sep 2014 #25
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #27
uppityperson Sep 2014 #31
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #36
uppityperson Sep 2014 #19
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #22
uppityperson Sep 2014 #24
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #26
uppityperson Sep 2014 #30
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #32
uppityperson Sep 2014 #35
Warren DeMontague Sep 2014 #38
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #39
Warren DeMontague Sep 2014 #43
JonLP24 Nov 2014 #53
Dr. Xavier Sep 2014 #8
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #11
grahamhgreen Sep 2014 #28
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #29
grahamhgreen Sep 2014 #33
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #42
grahamhgreen Sep 2014 #45
rug Sep 2014 #37
R.Quinn Sep 2014 #40
grahamhgreen Sep 2014 #46
Name removed Nov 2014 #52
TshaiRedhair Nov 2014 #54
Ravenna44 Nov 2014 #55
R.Quinn Nov 2014 #56
Ravenna44 Nov 2014 #57
Ravenna44 Nov 2014 #58
R.Quinn Nov 2014 #59
Ravenna44 Nov 2014 #60
Bagsgroove Nov 2014 #61
Kevin from WI Dec 2014 #63
cyberswede Dec 2014 #65
awoke_in_2003 Dec 2014 #66
bigwillq Dec 2014 #67

Response to R.Quinn (Original post)

Wed Sep 17, 2014, 02:33 PM

1. So what makes you think you're a libertarian?

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 17, 2014, 02:54 PM

2. I'm glad you asked

 

This is where things may get messy for me on this site, but here are some of my views that may be considered a bit more controversial:

-firm support of 2nd Amendment rights
-support of a flat tax system (or otherwise simplified tax code)
-belief in the freedom of association
-belief that a minimum wage is a hinderance, not a help, to the poor
-belief that the government should not be involved in marriages whatsoever

These were the first that came to my head. And I could be wrong; you may very well find some of these views tolerable. But that is not my expectation.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 17, 2014, 03:34 PM

3. A flat tax would be a terrible thing for middle and lower income workers - very regressive ...

 

... Simplified tax code yes, flat tax no.

Your position on the minimum wage will be met here with scorn and derision. There's a ton of data available to show that higher minimum wages actually grow jobs and are a boon to the middle and lower classes.

There's plenty folk here who support the 2A, including plenty who support it but want further limits on weapon possession. There's a very scant few who want the 2A repealed and guns consficated. Can you please elaborate on your position vis a vis background checks, ownership of fully automatic weapons, shoulder-fired missiles, etc?

Freedom of association is a basic tenet of liberalism. Government out of marriage also, unless that implies something besides marriage equality.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 18, 2014, 08:51 AM

4. Hmm...

 

Why do you feel that way about a flat tax? One thing I know for sure is that our tax code should not be hundreds of pages long. It should be simple enough that a 5th grader can understand it. This would greatly prevent fraud, since fraud would be so easily recognized, not to mention removing the need for government offices such as the IRS. I am not aware of a simpler way to accomplish this than through a flat tax.

As far as minimum wage goes, I figured that would be the climate here. Personally, I have yet to see a positive national report on minimum wages that hasn't lead to any sort of job loss, or any reports that address the new poverty created by those who do end up losing their jobs since employers can no longer afford to pay them. Can you point me in the direction of the data you are referring to?

Background checks are tough for me. At first glance, they make all the sense in the world to me. My only worry is the slippery slope they may present (i.e. whoever has the power to deny or approve gun ownership could theoretically abuse said power for political reasons). For now, I suppose I am okay with them. I do not have a problem with ownership of fully automatic weapons. Ownership of shoulder-fired missiles have never crossed my mind, however. Probably not okay with that.

How far are you willing to take Freedom of Association? If a store owner does not not wish to serve Asians, for example, I believe that should fall under Freedom of Association. (HOWEVER, I would find such a practice to be completely and utterly reprehensible and immoral, not to mention a poor business model, and I would never support such a business with my money). You should be free to associate or NOT associate with whomever you wish, however despicable your views may be.

Lastly, I mention government and marriage because it seems to me that we are asking the wrong questions. The national discussion typically asks "should we legalize gay marriage?" when we SHOULD be asking "why is the government involved in marriage at all?" I have my personal feelings on what a marriage is and what a marriage isn't, but I don't believe the government should be giving ANY extra benefits to married couples one way or the other (hence the flat tax).

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 18, 2014, 08:57 AM

5. Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I'll respond in detail ...

 

... later, but first a clarifying question: Would your flat tax apply to all income (e.g., capital gains) or only payroll? If the latter, how would capital gains be taxed?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 18, 2014, 10:20 AM

6. Yes, the flat tax would apply to capital gains as well.

 

I would want a flat tax to cover any and all income.

Thanks for taking the time to respond!

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 02:53 PM

68. Let's say a flat tax of 17% would cover all the expenses, and 2% more would be needed to

 

cover Medicare, Medicaid, one-payer universal health care ...... etc...... It's understood
that there would be no tax loopholes for anybody. A flat tax rate of 19% would greatly
simplify matters, wouldn't it?

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 18, 2014, 02:42 PM

7. My thoughts ....

 

I agree with a simplified tax code, but a flat tax is very regressive.

Imagine two people, one who makes $10,000/year, and one who makes $1,000,000/year. Suppose the flat tax rate is 25%.

After paying taxes, the person earning $10,000 only has $7,500 left. If the poor bastard's rent + utilities = $500/month, that's another $6,000 for housing. If he can get by on $100/ month for food, that's another $1,200. He'll have to get by on $300 worth of clothing for the year just to meet the basic necessities of life. (Food, shelter, clothing.) And at the end of the year, he's still just barely treading water.

Now, let's head out to the 'burbs. After taxes, Joe Millionaire has $750,000 left over. To keep it all nice and round numbers, let's assume his mortgage + utilities = $10,000/month. Let's suppose his food bill is $2,000 a month (he buys caviar and champagne, rather than ramen noodles and malt liquor) And let's suppose he's a raving metrosexual who drops $20,000 a year on clothes.

Joe Millionaire still has $586,000 left over at the end of the year to buy Porsches, vacation in Arruba, and invest in his kids' trust funds.

THAT'S why the flat tax hurts the poor more than the rich - food, shelter, clothing. Those basic necessities don't scale equally.


As for the minimum wage, I don't know what studies you've seen, perhaps you can provide some citations, but here's some data ...



Contrary to the conservative narrative, unemployment actually decreases a majority of the time when the minimum wage is increased. The few times that unemployment increased after a raise in the minimum wage can only be used to claim there is no correlation between minimum wage increases and job growth. The idea that there is statistical proof that raising the minimum wage kills jobs is laughable at best.

Monthly unemployment statistics were not available until 1948 but yearly unemployment when the minimum wage was established was 19.1% and I think we all know what direction it went after that.


Here's the most recent results ...

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119440/states-raised-their-minimum-wages-had-stronger-job-growth

In 2014, 13 states raised their minimum wages, five through legislation and eight through inflation indexing. Gould compared wage growth for the bottom 10 percent of Americans in those 13 states with the rest of America. In the former, real wages grew 0.9 percent, a non-negligible increase. In the remaining 37 states, real wages declined 0.1 percent. In other words, wage growth for the bottom 10 percent of Americans is entirely attributable to states that increased their minimum wages.

.....

Thatís good news, but itís not unexpected. Conservatives largely concede that raising the minimum wage increases wages. They oppose it, they say, because it will reduce job growth. So, did that happen in those 13 states? Jared Bernstein, the former chief economist for Vice President Joe Biden and a senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, looked at the data. He found that job growth was higher in states that raised their minimum wages than it was in those that didnít (1.8 percent versus 1.5 percent).


As for limits on firearm ownership, it sounds like you draw a line between fully automatic rifles and shoulder-fired missiles. I'm not sure how this fits into the definition of libertarian.

As for "freedom of association", it sounds like you are OK with businesses having the right to discriminate and refuse to serve certain classes of customers? Is that right?

You'll get much agreement here on the topic of marriage.

Finally, you didn't mention government regulation of business. As this is a basic principle of classical libertarianism, it's curious you didn't include it in your definition of what makes you a libertarian. Do you advocate getting rid of the EPA, FDA, OSHA, USDA, etc?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #7)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 09:58 AM

12. Thanks for the in-depth reply

 

I get where you are coming from with that flat tax scenario. I fully agree that $1,000 means something entirely different to a $10,000/year worker than $100,000 means to a millionaire. However, I think the solution would instead be a lower tax rate! 25% seems super, super high (although I know it was just an example). It may not be possible with our government in its current form, but I think a 10% flat tax rate would be fantastic. The wealthy are still going to be paying far more than anybody else. Making laws more complicated instead of simplifying them is where I believe we get into trouble. If we are trying to achieve fairness across the board, this is one way to go about it. Tax everyone the same.

In regards to your first data table on minimum wage, it seems that sometimes unemployment went up, sometimes down, and sometimes flat-lined. I see a lot of varying outcomes there. Early on it's true that unemployment seemed to decrease, but then from '74 thru '91, it generally increased following wage increases. My main objection is out of principle. For the federal government to impose a minimum wage is to damage the employer and employee's abilities to negotiate wages on their own terms, based on each other's needs and skills. An employer cannot hire a worker for $5 an hour, even if the worker would agree to it. That seems like a violation of liberty to me. Lastly, your recent results mention that eight of those states increased their minimum wages due to inflation indexing, which would suggest that wages are only being increased in relation to the worth of the dollar, which is only enough to keep pace. What this truly means is not that people are getting paid "more", but that the dollar is now worth less than it was before!

Now to firearms. Let me clairfy. My opinion on the shoulder-fired missiles is arbitrary. I wouldn't like it, but I would support private ownership. Now let me explain why. In the 70's and 80's, the US sent stinger missiles to Afghani militia to aid them in their fight against the Soviets. Our own government established precedent that, in our modern age, military rocket launchers are in the scope of citizen militias fighting against tyranny - inadvertently making the case that they could be covered under 2nd amendment. The whole point of the 2nd amendment, after all, is to be a check on tyrany, similar to the purpose of the 1st ammendment.

You are correct about my views of freedom of association. It does lead to some ugly conclusions, but not all valid expressions of freedom and liberty are good ones.

Lastly, I have not yet determined where libertarianism meets environmentalism or food safety. I will humbly submit that libertarianism certainly isn't the answer to everything. I would have to look into these matters further before I can give an educated opinion.

Thanks for your time, Scuba.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #12)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 06:04 PM

34. OK, I looked at your responses ....

 

As for the flat tax, you seem to agree that a flat tax would be unfair to low income earners but your solution is to just lower the rate, suggesting 10%. Two questions:

Why is 10% more fair than 25%?
What government spending cuts are you proposing to stay within budget?

Your rationale for opposing a minimum wage was that it's a job killer. When presented with evidence that minimum wage increases are not job killers, you come up with a new rationale. That's called "moving the goalpost" and is a dishonest debate tactic. Worse, your new rationale is that a minimum wage is "a violation of liberty" which means exactly nothing. The part about inflation looks like a red herring as it has nothing to do with the argument.

As for firearms as a "check on tyranny" are you proposing that citizens be allowed to arm themselves with Tomahawk missiles? Nukes? The US military arsenal has long ago passed the tipping point where citizen-owned firearms could prevent tyranny.

Now on to freedom of association. You're suggesting businesses should have the right to discriminate for any reason they see fit. Not only is this morally abhorrent but would cause all kinds of problems in our society. Imagine a black law enforcement officer not being allowed to tail a suspect into certain businesses while a white one is unable to conduct surveillance in others.

Finally, you say you "have not yet determined where libertarianism meets environmentalism or food safety" yet de-regulating business is THE core principle of the modern libertarian politician.

Perhaps your time on DU will cause you to rethink some of your positions. You may decide you're not a libertarian at all. As my grandmother used to say, "A wise man will change his mind; a fool never will." It's also well known that it's easier to fool people than it is to convince them they've been fooled. Give it some thought.


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Response to Scuba (Reply #34)

Tue Sep 23, 2014, 02:38 PM

41. Some more responses for you

 

Last edited Tue Sep 23, 2014, 04:11 PM - Edit history (1)

I didn't say a 10% flat tax is "more" fair; I just said it would tax people less, leaving considerably more money in your pockets for those pesky living expenses. Also, I did not say that a flat tax is unfair to lower wage workers; I simply observed that $1,000 means more to a lower earner than to a higher earner. That observation, however, is not a justification to punish someone who has more money by taxing them at a higher rate. Fairness and equality are not the same thing. If you want fairness, tax everyone the same. If you want (eventual) equality, tax everyone based on their income. So which are you after? Fairness or equality?

I should have mentioned before that I have several objections to a minimum wage, one of them being out of fear of job loss and another being out of principle (although as a libertarian, that shouldn't surprise you). I admit that was my mistake. I did not intend to deceive. However, I don't appreciate how quickly you dismissed my charge of a violation of liberty as meaning "exactly nothing" without explaining yourself. It's akin to shooting down a point by simply saying, "That's stupid." I even gave you an example, which you did not mention. The mention of wage increases due to inflation indexing is not simply a "red herring", another point you quickly dismissed as irrelevant. You believe that minimum wage increases help increase jobs, but if wages are only being increased because of inflation, then they have no effect on jobs because they are only keeping pace with the devaluation of the dollar. Whatever job increases may happen are not because of minimum wage increases at all.

Nukes and chemical/biological weapons do not conform to any definition of just warfare as they have no capacity for distinguishing/targeting combatants from non-combatants. Therefore, there is no moral argument for anyone to possess or use such weaponry. I'm sure you and I can agree on this matter. Your pessimism regarding citizen-owned firearms preventing tyranny is not a justification to remove/diminish citizens' abilities to arm themselves. And if you really feel that way about the US military, then we have a much bigger problem than citizen-owned rocket launchers.

As for freedom of association, I've already told you that I'd also agree that such discrimination to be morally abhorrent, but I think you exaggerate the problems, if any, that would actually arise. The police don't have the right to go anywhere they please. That's what search warrants are for. If they want to enter/search the private premises of a business, they get a search warrant. Do you ever see the police "tail" a suspect right into the suspect's own house? Nope. Get a warrant for that. The police will be just fine. If a business owner is found out to be an intolerant person, public opinion will quickly turn against them, and the free market will weed them out. The free market is great at doing that. You really should trust it more.

I don't doubt that my time on the DU will change some of my thinking. But what those changes will be, only time will tell It's a pleasure debating with you.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #41)

Tue Sep 23, 2014, 04:39 PM

44. Thanks for you response. My thoughts ...

 

Let's start with the flat tax. I disagree that it is fair just because it taxes everyone at the same rate. Frankly, those with more wealth receive more government services than do the poor - police and fire protection for their expensive homes and businesses, military protection of their international trade, roads, sewers and other infrastructure for their businesses, an educated workforce thanks to public schools, etc. In fact, corporate welfare far, far exceeds social services. If taxation is to be fair, businesses and individuals should be taxed based on the benefit they receive from our society and government. Clearly the wealthy receive more benefit than do the poor. If fairness is the goal, and it should be, then a progressive tax policy should be in place. It doesn't have to be complicated.

As for the minimum wage, I'll accept that you didn't mention your only reason when you advocated against it, but one can easily infer that you'd mention your primary reason, but I guess "liberty" is your primary reason. Can you tell me how you think a minimum wage impinges on one's liberty any more than a speed limit does, or are you also against speed limits? Both of course, are for the benefit of society.

Now, on to the 2A being to prevent tyranny. How does it do so if there are no limits on private ownership of missiles, etc?

On the freedom of association thing, you've conflated tailing someone with searching a private home or business. No warrant is required to tail someone into a tavern. And as we sadly know from our history, the free market does NOT always weed out the intolerant.

I'm still perplexed as to why you would associate yourself with modern libertarianism without having a strong anti-regulation position, which is the hallmark of modern libertarian politicians. The rest of these issues are window dressing for them.

Good luck with the longterm evolution of your political thinking. Your willingness to discuss the issues rationally should serve you well.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #44)

Wed Sep 24, 2014, 02:42 PM

47. More responses comin' at ya

 

Glad to see we are both after fairness. Seems it's just a matter of how we should get there. You say that those with more wealth receive more government services than than do the poor, and I'd love to see some data on that, because I'm not so sure. Take fire and police services, for example. It would make more sense to me that these services would be used more often and more intensely in urban, densely-populated, lower-income areas; where there are more people around, there are typically more crimes and more fires, no? Joe Millionaire, living in his 6-bedroom palace in the 'burbs, probably never has to call the police or fire departments. The wealthy are also much more likely to be privately educated; they can likewise hire those with private educations, in which case they aren't utilizing public school services at all. If you have a problem with military protection of international trade, then fine; eliminate this service altogether and force the wealthy to hire their own private security; surely they can afford it. Furthermore, I would argue that the use of roads, sewers and other infrastructure for businesses is what business taxes are for, not income tax. So if you can prove to me empirically that the wealthy actually receive more of these services than the poor, maybe you can change my mind.

^^On a side note, you also mentioned "corporate welfare". If by this you are referring to things such as corporate subsidies and limited liability privilege, then yes, I agree with you that they are a problem. Let's eliminate them!

Speed limits are different from minimum wage. When you travel on a road paved by the State, it only makes sense that you would have to play by their rules. Private businesses, on the other hand, should have no such limitations. Not to be lazy, but " target="_blank">this guy essentially lays out my entire argument against minimum wage in terms of liberty and the free market.

Not all limits in our society are limits mandated by law. There is one major barrier to entry that has not yet been mentioned in regards to arms ownership, and that is COST. A single FIM-92 Stinger missile, for example, has a hefty price tag of $38,000. I'll go out on a limb and say most people don't desire to own such a weapon, and even those that do likely can't afford one. So who would realistically have private ownership of missiles? Hardly anyone. Same goes for fully automatic guns; if you're not willing to throw down at least $15,000, then good luck getting one. It's just not realistic to view these as a threat. So really, there are limits on these weapons, just not the kind of limits you were expecting.

If the police cannot obtain a search warrant, then they probably don't have reasonable cause to tail someone onto private property in the first place, be it residential or commercial, if the owner doesn't want them there. That's what I'm saying here. So, not being able to tail someone is a non-issue. With the way the police regularly abuse our rights (examples are all over this very site), I don't feel bad making their job a little more difficult. And you're right, the racists and the bigots will still be out there, but that's the the nature of liberty. It's dangerous, in that it can be used for both good and evil, but it's also precious because of the free choices it gives us. More laws will never eradicate these hateful views; only by changing hearts and minds can we achieve that. In the meantime, protect liberty!

I do have a strong anti-regulation disposition, I just haven't personally decided what that should look like on a practical level. The FDA, for example, I find to be extremely corrupt and manipulated by the very businesses it claims to regulate; it is no friend of the American people. I just haven't figured out how to replace it yet! I disagree that social issues are simply "window dressing"; those topics are extremely important to me and many other libertarians that I know. In fact, it's on these issues that you and I have the most common ground, so let's emphasize them instead!

Thanks, as always, for your time. It means a lot to me that you would provide your viewpoints and counterpoints in detail. I hope to find many more thinkers like you on the DU.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #47)

Wed Sep 24, 2014, 03:32 PM

48. Glad to reply ...

 

You've been led astray regarding the benefits of government regarding the rich and poor. Law enforcement spends much more time protecting businesses than private residences, as do fire departments. Sewer, water, roads and other public infrastructure are much more heavily used by businesses than individuals.

Here's some data (notice these are all sourced, not just my opinions) ...







Your link regarding minimum wage failed (404 error). Can you please re-post it?

Police don't need a warrant to tail someone. Tailing someone is how they gather the evidence to support getting a warrant. And what about the liberty of the black law enforcement officer who can't do his job if a business is allowed to discriminate against him? What about the liberty of the family that wants to buy food but can't because the business decides it's OK to discriminate against them? Seems like you're OK with individuals denying others their liberty in the name of liberty. Doesn't one's liberty end where another's begins?

Are you strongly anti-regulation, or stongly anti-corruption of regulators? If there was no corruption would you be less anti-regulation? If so, shouldn't ending the corruption be the goal? Some police are corrupted. Do you want to end law enforcement?

I agree that most of these issues are not window dressing to the rank-and-file libertarian. They are however, simply wedge issues for the anti-regulators who hold the power in the libertarian political landscape. Their goal is to let corporations profit without interference from government, polluting the environment, having unsafe working conditions, offerering sub-standard wages that leave workers reliant on food stamps and Medicaid. IMHO, working full time should pay enough to lift workers out of poverty. If your business can't cover the costs keeping the environment clean, providing safe working conditions and non-poverty wages, then it's not a viable business. The modern libertarian politician disagrees.


On edit: Just read your post #40. Agree on # 1 and 2, but not on 3. Externalizing costs issue as already explained in another reply.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #48)

Mon Sep 29, 2014, 12:52 PM

49. Back again

 

I've been doing some digging over the last few days after reading your most recent reply, especially in regards to regulation and tax expenditures.

Let's clarify what "tax expenditures" means in the context of your first figure (titled "Wealthy Households...". Tax expenditures, as defined by the CBPP (which is where the first figure comes from), are subsidies delivered through the tax code as deductions, exclusions, and other tax preferences (i.e. "tax breaks". This is different from "tax spending", which is how services, programs, and infrastructure get funded (e.g. cops, sewer, etc.). A flat tax would eliminate these very same breaks that disproportionately favor the rich. Furthermore, federal money doesn't generally fund police, fire, sewer, water, roads, schools, etc. That stuff comes from state and local tax spending. Therefore, we should be looking at state and local tax data, and I still haven't found hard data showing that state and local tax spending favors the rich. Lastly, keep in mind that although a flat tax would tax everyone at the same rate regardless of income, the rich would still by far pay the most taxes relative to lower earners.

Sorry about the minimum wage link not working. Here it is:
This short 8-minute video sums up my minimum wage views rather nicely.

You're right, police don't need a warrant to tail someone. But they also don't have the right to trespass on private property either. Neither does a family have the "right" to enter someone's private business for any reason, whether to buy food or otherwise (it's a privilege granted by the property owner). No liberty is being denied because these aren't guaranteed rights in the first place. They're terrible situations, yes, but that does not mean that liberty has been denied or rights have been violated; you aren't guaranteed the right to not be discriminated against. To force a business owner to serve someone on their own private property is not only unconstitutional but also an act of aggression and therefore a violation of the non-aggression principle, which I strongly adhere to, as do most libertarians.

Even more than I am anti-regulation, I am indeed anti-corruption. This should come as no surprise. However, problems arise when the only one responsible for the regulations (the government) has no accountability, the inevitable result of which is mass corruption. Let's be clear here. The government does not regulate things, such as the environment, because it is moral to do so; they do it because of monetary kickbacks. That, my friend, is a conflict of interest. Seeing a bureaucracy such as the FDA get in bed with big pharmaceutical companies should not surprise you. I want a clean environment and safe food as much as the next guy, but I would never trust the government to see that end met because of the sovereign immunity they have. To take manage our national parks, for example, I would much sooner trust any non-government naturalist organization, such as the Audubon Society, before I would trust the hapless EPA.

Just because corporations would profit without interference from the government doesn't mean they wouldn't experience interference elsewhere. That is where non-government organizations, such as the aforementioned Audubon Society, come into play. These are the groups that provide actual accountability and transparency, not government bureaucracies like the EPA. You see, it's not that I'm anti-regulation, really; it's more just that I'm anti-government with respect to regulation. The big lie is that the government is the only one who knows how to properly impose regulations, when that simply isn't true at all.

Did you have more thoughts on the weapons ownership issue? Just curious.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #49)

Tue Sep 30, 2014, 06:13 AM

50. Thanks for your reply ....

 

Let's cut to the chase on the flat tax. 57% of all federal discretionary spending goes to the military. 100% of all military spending is to protect and advance the interests of the wealthy. You really think we wage wars and maintain a nuclear arsenal to protect people in the ghetto? Get real. If we want a fair tax code, the wealthy should be paying a larger pecentage of their income than the poor.

You're worried about corruption in government but not in corporations. Government's job is to protect the citizens, and regulation are intended to do just that. No, they're not all about kickbacks. If there's corruption in government we can clean it up (that's what electins are for). If there's no regulation of corporations we're all simply screwed as corporation will run over the rest of us in the name of profit. This has been demonstrated time and time again. The Audubon Society has no ability to regulate corporate polluters. Such thinking is terribly naive.

As for firearms, your stated position is that private ownership of arms is to prevent tyranny, yet it does not.

On edit: I watched your minimum wage video, which provides no evidence that minimum wage kills jobs or does any other harm. It merely advocates for a "market wage" and acknowledges this would result in a drop in wages for many Americans. This would of course ruin the American economy, but add to the bloated coffers of multi-national corporations. Is that really what you want? Can you provide any logic for why the minimum wage for a full-time worker should not generate enough income to provide for food, shelter and healthcare? Can you cite any reason why corporations should be allowed to shift these costs to the rest of us? Or are you OK with having people work full time - and more - and still not be able to survive? Or do you simply advocate that everyone become a doctor?


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Response to Scuba (Reply #50)

Tue Sep 30, 2014, 11:50 AM

51. Interesting.

 

Cut to the chase indeed! I would love to take your word as gospel, but I won't believe that "100% of all military spending is to protect and advance the interests of the wealthy" just because you say so. That sounds like an emotional argument, not an empirical one. How about instead of taxing the rich more to fund our wars, we END the wars instead? Raising taxes on the wealthy temporarily treats a symptom; ending the wars and scaling back our military cures the disease.

I don't pretend to suggest that corporations can't be corrupt. The difference between corporations and the government, however, is that the government is funded by taxpayers and does not hold itself accountable to taxpayers whatsoever. Corporations are beholden to their shareholders, their employees, and their consumers. When the tide of public opinion turns against them, say, in regards to an environmental issue, change happens much more quickly and effectively than a mere government regulation could ever accomplish (e.g. BP oil spill). I agree that the government's job is to protect the citizens. The problem is, that's not what the government does. I could cite many of the most egregious examples imaginable of government corruption, but I am sure you can find most of them yourself with a quick Google search, so I will leave you with these two recent tasty tidbits to whet your appetite:

EPA corruption: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/377760/if-you-still-need-proof-epa-rogue-agency-last-week-provided-plenty-iain-murray
FDA corruption: http://www.naturalnews.com/042562_total_corruption_drug_companies_fda_advisory_panels.html

The EPA doesn't care about protecting the environment. The FDA doesn't care about safe food and drugs. I don't even need to get into how incompetent the IRS is. The government doesn't really care about you or me; it only cares about itself and advancing its own interests (i.e. money). It's a business run just like the corporations, except that it has unlimited authority over us without any transparency. You say we can "clean it up" via elections. Tell me, now who's being naive? How has electing politicians to fix the government been working out for us? Don't you see that our politicians are funded by the very corporations they claim to regulate? The government is in it for the money and the power, not for you and me, and that is what has been demonstrated time and time again. "Regulations" from the government's politicians only serve to repay and further empower these same corporations by killing off small-business competition. Don't ever trust the government; trust yourself.

I would like to genuinely thank you for taking the time to watch the video. The purpose of the video, however, was not to provide evidence of job loss; it was to show you that minimum wage laws greatly damage a person's freedom to make choices for themselves. You carry on as if all business owners would suddenly only pay their workers $1 an hour without a minimum wage "safety net". I don't buy it, because that's not what was happening before minimum wage was instituted. Back then, if you had education and/or skills, you got paid accordingly. It's that simple. Pay people according to their ability. You shouldn't get to tell me what I can or can't pay my workers, nor should you be able to determine what I can or can't get paid for my work. I certainly don't need the government to hold a gun to my head in order to determine what a fair wage is. Do you?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 6, 2014, 12:42 AM

62. I love your reply Scuba

I think you did an excellent job with the bit on taxes. Hope you don't mind if I use your example when discussing this with conservatives at work.

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Response to Kevin from WI (Reply #62)

Sat Dec 6, 2014, 07:48 AM

64. You're welcome to use it Kevin. Sadly the libertarian who prompted the discussion ...

 

... was uninterested in any facts that didn't support his pre-disposed position on issues.

Oh, and welcome to DU! Always good to have more Cheeseheads here!!!

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 21, 2014, 01:35 PM

9. Have you ever read the marriage statutes in a state? I have and they are about who owns what,

how things are divided if/when they dissolve the partnership/marriage, protection of any children involved, etc. It also gives certain rights to the couple such as being able to see them and get info it they are hospitalized.

It is possible to write up a different set of papers, file them to give the legal protections that marriage statutes give, but why bother when they are already there? Some people do with prenuptial legal papers.

As to the question of why is the gvt involved with marriage, it is because it is a legal partnership document giving legal rights and ownerships. Rather like those signed in having a business.

My question to you is why should those legal protections and rights be associated with sexual orientation?

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #9)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 09:28 AM

10. You and I are asking the same question!

 

Let me clarify my position. Please hear me out on this.

I will be up-front with you in that I am a Christian who believes that a "marriage" is between a man and a woman.

***HOWEVER***

I don't believe that a heterosexual partnership and a homosexual partnership should be viewed differently in the eyes of the law/government. They should be afforded the SAME legal protections and rights. Just because I personally view marriage one way does not give me the right to dictate the law accordingly. Would you say that is fair?

As far as division of property, protection of children, etc., that all makes sense as to having government involvement. Thanks for mentioning those points.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 11:32 AM

13. Thank you for clarifying. Who are you supporting for the next Presidential election? I am curious.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #13)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 12:35 PM

14. I am not 100% decided yet...

 

...but I will tell you one thing: in making my decision, foreign policy will be my top criterion.

To me, foreign policy has a trickle-down effect unlike any other. These wars we are fighting continue to cost us precious American lives; furthermore, they bankrupt us, and further still, they create enemies. The big, bad boogeyman of ISIS now looms on the horizon, and much of Congress are licking their chops.

This madness must end. I believe the neocons are largely to blame here; if they had their way, our nation would be doomed. However, the other part of the problem is their Democrat enablers like Hillary Clinton. I am dumbfounded that a Democrat could be so hawkish. To be honest, her foreign policy views are completely unacceptable to me.

Two questions for you: To your knowledge, what is the general feeling about Hillary on the DU? And who will you support for the next election?

Sorry if you feel like I have ducked your question, but that is the best answer I can give for now.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #14)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 12:47 PM

15. DU is split on Ms. Clinton and I do not know who for the primary.

General it will be the Dem candidate though. Back in the day, I voted third party and ended up getting Reagan in. I wish we had better than the 2 party thing going, but do not see that changing in my lifetime and to give up more to the Republican Fundamentalists is not an option for me.

It was interesting, watching Roosevelt on pbs about Teddy being the first USA pres to leave the country during his administration, and how he changed a lot during his time in office, focusing more on The People vs the powers that be as now it is assumed that that is how Pres's will be. Another turn in the cycle and again we are working trying to wrench power from the War Machine and Business Men to become morally and legally responsible for The People (too many capitalized words, sorry)

This country has not been in its current state and shape for very long, European countries also, much less Africa, Asia. It seems S America has had its countries be as they are the longest, continent wise. Which is a rambling way of saying change happens. Add in my cynicism and belief humans ability to manipulate technology far outgrew their ability to take care of the results of said technology or social attributes, and you get my view that humanity has peaked and is headed down.



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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 01:28 PM

16. Question as to your views on marriage

Do you think that sexual orientation is a preference (something that one chooses at some point) or a trait?

This is the DU member formerly known as NRaleighLiberal.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #16)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 01:49 PM

17. Good question

 

However, I'm not sure how it is relevant to the discussion. Why do you want to know?

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #17)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 02:19 PM

18. It is extremely relevant to the discussion because of this.

If sexual orientation is inherent in the being - like blue eyes, blonde hair - and not a choice, then there is no validity to barring same sex marriage. It is the violation of a civil right.

You will probably quote some bible passage for why it should be this way - but the bible is full of inconsistencies and one can cherry pick it all day to confirm a personally held belief.
This is the DU member formerly known as NRaleighLiberal.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #18)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 02:29 PM

20. Let me state my position again.

 

There should be no distinction between the legal partnerships of heterosexuals or homosexuals in the eyes of the law. The government should treat them the same and afford them the same benefits and protections.

I'm not sure why you felt that I was trying to bar or ban anything.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #20)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 02:34 PM

21. Because your line in a previous post, quoted below, is a troubling position to take, in my view.

"I am a Christian who believes that a "marriage" is between a man and a woman"

It is the tool that is being used that leads to the difficulties in marriage equality in the country. Hence civil rights are being violated - conflating religion with law - with reality, to tell the truth.
This is the DU member formerly known as NRaleighLiberal.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #21)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 03:28 PM

23. I see.

 

If a homosexual couple wants to get married and be recognized by the State as a married couple, then I think they should be afforded that right. But that does not change my personal belief on what a "marriage" actually means. The State may define marriage one way, which is totally fine, but I also have the right to believe differently. My view does not come from a heart of hatred or a heart of superiority. We're really just talking about the meaning of words.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #23)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 03:39 PM

25. Do that one man one woman have to be of breeding potential to be recognized as a real marriage?

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #25)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 03:58 PM

27. In your scenario,

 

what party is recognizing the marriage?

If the State is the party recognizing the marriage, then no, that shouldn't have to be the case.

If it's just some individual person, such as myself, then does it really matter?

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #27)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 04:48 PM

31. I am asking your opinion since this is a discussion forum and we are discussing this.

Do that one man one woman have to be of breeding potential to be recognized as a real marriage? In your opinion.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #31)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 07:01 PM

36. To answer

 

I don't believe breeding potential should have anything to do with it. Not an issue in my book.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 02:24 PM

19. You say' "marriage" is between a man and a woman', yet partnerships should not be viewed

differently.

What is the difference between a "partnership" and a "marriage"?

My apologies for replying again but I missed that the first read/reply.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #19)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 03:23 PM

22. This really comes down to semantics.

 

"Marriage", as recognized by the State, is really a legal partnership. You have to get a license (i.e. State permission) to enter into said partnership. Thus, we have now established this to be a State-instituted partnership in which the State gives out benefits and protections to those in legal partnerships in exchange for granting the State jurisdiction over your partnership. Why should these partnerships be limited to heterosexual couples? I would argue that they shouldn't be limited in that way, and should in fact be extended to homosexual couples as well.

"Marriage", as recognized by the Bible, is something completely different. It is a holy covenant before God between a man and a woman. By this definition, the government has no say in the matter, because I do not need the Stateís permission to participate in something which God instituted. However, most couples choose to go ahead and get the state's "permission" to marry anyway, which is their choice.

So you see, these are two completely different definitions of what a "marriage" is. Just because I personally believe the latter definition to be the correct one does not mean that the State should single out heterosexual couples when giving out legal privileges.

I hope all this makes sense. It's a matter of semantics. Again, I fully believe that homosexual couples should be given all the same legal benefits afforded to heterosexual couples.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #22)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 03:38 PM

24. If you were to congratulate a couple on their marriage, what would you say to each?

A heterosexual couple would be "congratulations on your marriage"?
A homosexual couple would be "congratulations on...." what?

Do you recognize a married couple as being married, no matter what their sexual orientation is? Only as far as legal benefits or as far as the larger picture?

You seem to be advocating for "separate but equal". It goes far beyond semantics.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #24)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 03:56 PM

26. I don't believe it's "separate but equal"

 

"Separate but equal" would be if I supported legal marriage only for heterosexuals while limiting homosexuals to civil unions that effectively accomplished the same thing. That is not what this is.

I believe the State can define marriage however it wants. And in that definition, it should not distinguish between heterosexual and homosexual couples. On a personal level, however, I don't have to agree with that definition.

What's happening here is that we are agreeing on the legal definition of marriage, but we are disagreeing on what a marriage is beyond the law's definition. I believe we can agree to disagree on the latter while still working together to establish the former.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #26)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 04:47 PM

30. You forgot to answer any of my questions. Let me ask again and add 1 more

If you were to congratulate a couple on their marriage, what would you say to each?
A heterosexual couple would be "congratulations on your marriage"?
A homosexual couple would be "congratulations on...." what?

Do you recognize a married couple as being married, no matter what their sexual orientation is? Only as far as legal benefits or as far as the larger picture?


The added question. You say "we are disagreeing on what a marriage is". What is a "marriage"? Not the State, but you, not legally, what what are you meaning, define please "marriage".

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #30)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 05:35 PM

32. Sorry, I did forget to answer your questions.

 

But do understand that we are now talking about my personal beliefs, not what I think the law should be. You may not agree with me on this, and I certainly don't expect you to. But I think we can be civil with each other despite our differences.

As a Christian, I believe that marriage is a holy covenant before God between a man and a woman.

To a heterosexual couple, yes, I would congratulate them on their marriage.

To a homosexual couple, in all honesty, I don't know what I would say. I have never been in such a situation. But the one thing I certainly do know is that I would show both parties the same love and respect I would show a heterosexual couple, or any other human being for that matter. People are just people, and I will love others regardless.

You may now say I'm a bigot, or accuse me of homophobia or (at best) intolerance, but I don't see it that way. There is no hate in my heart towards anyone; only love. As long as a person doesn't violate the rights of others, I believe they should be able to live however they want, regardless of whether or not I approve. That's liberty. And in that regard, we are allies.

Which finally brings me to a question for you: why was it important for you to know my personal beliefs?

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #32)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 06:09 PM

35. Talking about our personal beliefs is a way to get to know one another. Thank you for answering.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #22)

Tue Sep 23, 2014, 01:08 AM

38. But you recognize that both the civic and the religious institution are called "Marriage".

I mean, heterosexual Atheists get legally "Married", too (I'm one of 'em) ... most definitely NOT a holy covenant before God. Also, there are wide gaps between the marriages that are recognized by different faiths, and that of the legal civic institution- for instance, Catholics don't believe in Divorce. Under most circumstances, you can't have a Catholic "marriage" if one member of the couple is divorced, any more than you can have a same-sex one.

Similarly, many Denominations DO perform same-sex marriages, even when the local jurisdiction does not (yet, at least) recognize the same.

So semantics or no, the "religious" definition of marriage- even if, to you, that is the important one- is kind of irrelevant in the context of a political discussion, for a number of reasons not the least of which is, it's all over the map. To be truly honest, we should recognize that when we discuss "marriage" in a political or legal context, we're talking about the civic partnership as recognized by the state, since we all know religious institutions can do and will continue to do what they want, as is their right- but that is separate from legal questions which apply to all the citizenry.

Usually at this point someone will float the idea of "getting the state out of the marriage business entirely", often but not always just by proposing to change the name of the legal partnership the state recognizes. This is, basically, a sop to fundamentalists who are mad at the idea of sharing the word "marriage" with people who don't fit their definition, like same sex couples. But that is ALREADY the case, for instance, with Catholics, because divorced "married" people have been running around for years, and yet lo, the sky has not fallen.

We should recognize that Marriage as a civic and legal institution exists and will continue to exist- the real question is, do you support equality under that institution being extended to LGBT citizens? There is really no other question on the issue. You and your religious leaders can "believe" whatever you wish on what that word means "in the eyes of God", however those beliefs are for the pulpit and pews- not the county recorder's office.

This is the DU member formerly known as Warren DeMontague.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #38)

Tue Sep 23, 2014, 09:15 AM

39. You and I are in agreement

 

Last edited Tue Sep 23, 2014, 03:30 PM - Edit history (1)

Looking specifically at your last paragraph, my answer is yes, I do support equality under that institution being extended to LGBT citizens. I do recognize that both the religious and civic institutions are called "marriage", which is fine. It doesn't matter to me how the State defines marriage because that won't change how I view my own personal marriage one bit; my personal views are indeed for the "pulpit and pews", as you put it. No problem there.

I'm very hands-off in this area, as I try to be in most areas. That's why I'm particularly drawn to libertarian ideals. Do whatever you want to do. Live and let live!

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #39)

Tue Sep 23, 2014, 04:03 PM

43. Gotcha.

Thanks for the add'l clarification.
This is the DU member formerly known as Warren DeMontague.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 6, 2014, 07:04 PM

53. Government not in marriages?

Well do you feel gays or lesbian couples that want they same sort of commitment have the same rights and benefits?

If you don't feel straight marriages shouldn't have those same rights or benefits how do you propose we go about doing that?

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Response to R.Quinn (Original post)

Sat Sep 20, 2014, 03:40 PM

8. I'm curious as to how you rationalize

the separation of church and state if you believe that government shouldn't be involved in marriage? Who do you think should administer this legal action, which affects property rights, children's rights, and other legal issues?

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Response to Dr. Xavier (Reply #8)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 09:30 AM

11. I think I was overzealous

 

in my effort to remove government from marriage. See my above response to uppityperson, which may answer your questions. Thanks for your reply.

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Response to R.Quinn (Original post)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 04:18 PM

28. How would you feel about eliminating all worker income tax and only taxing corporate income and weal

 

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #28)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 04:27 PM

29. Interesting proposition.

 

I haven't considered that before. What is your rationale for taxing corporations and not workers?

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #29)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 05:36 PM

33. Tax collection becomes infinitely less expensive. Resources are freed up to find

 

tax fraud.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #33)

Tue Sep 23, 2014, 03:29 PM

42. I'd have to think that one through before giving an answer.

 

Thanks for mentioning this idea.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #42)

Tue Sep 23, 2014, 07:37 PM

45. Cool. It's my own idea, one which generally finds little support, lol!

 

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Response to R.Quinn (Original post)

Tue Sep 23, 2014, 12:23 AM

37. How much liberty would you afford corporations?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #37)

Tue Sep 23, 2014, 01:56 PM

40. Ah, corporations.

 

Let me tell you that I am not a corporate apologist. In fact, I believe some of the problems we are seeing are due to government overreach. Here are some things that I would like to see implemeted:

1) Elimination of corporate subsidies. Why is the government picking winners and losers, handing out grants, tax breaks, and other favorable treatment to some corporations and not others? This is the essence of crony capitalism. The legislators who push for these sorts of things very likely have their pockets lined with money from the same corporations they give subsidies to. It needs to stop, and it needs to stop now.

2) Elimination of limited liability priviledge. Maybe (just maybe) if stockholders were actually liable for their losses, they wouldn't engage in such risky behavior. The more ownership of a corporation one takes on, the more personal risk would be involved. The individual risk takers in management would personally compensate others for the damage they cause (e.g. BP oil spill). Having limited liability privileges in place unfairly distorts the natural balancing mechanisms of the free market. Our government tries to compensate for this distortion by providing further distortion through the suffocating use of...

3) Regulations. Sadly, the effects of regulation are often exactly the opposite of their intention. Regulations raise the barrier of entry into the business world, snuffing out the existence of innovative, small-budget start-ups that would create good competition with larger corporations, eating into their market share. Big corporations love regulations (they LOVE them) because they help to eliminate competition, since these corporations are generally big enough to absorb whatever regulatory changes may come down the pipeline, while mom-and-pop businesses are forced out of business. You want to cartelize an industry? All you have to do is regulate it to death, and that is exactly what will happen.

I hope this answers your question. What I want is an even playing field. Ironically, that's not what regulations and subsidies give us.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #40)

Tue Sep 23, 2014, 07:39 PM

46. Def agree on 1&2, 3 I think would lead to needless death and a lot of externalized costs.

 

Definition of External costs. An external costs occurs when producing or consuming a good or service imposes a cost upon a third party. If there are external costs in consuming a good (negative externalities), the social cost will be greater than the private cost.

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Response to R.Quinn (Original post)


Response to R.Quinn (Original post)

Sun Nov 9, 2014, 02:51 AM

54. Hi

 

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Response to R.Quinn (Original post)

Sun Nov 16, 2014, 02:11 AM

55. I thought I might be Libertarian

 

...So I looked up the beliefs of Rand Paul (or else Ron Paul - I live in KY and can't keep them straight.)

What I utterly couldn't stomach was his view that government should play no role in protecting workers from injustice or bigotry. Example: asked whether sexual harassment in the workplace should be a crime, he said no, and that if a woman is being harassed she should just quit and work somewhere else, and if she decides to stay put then she is "asking for it."

This strikes me as ludicrous for a couple reasons. First, bad behavior by employers will vastly increase if the laws punishing injustice are repealed. Second, where is the justice in making the innocent injured party bear the burden of others's sins?

All in all this idea seems like a great recipe for taking us back into a Jim Crow, abuse-of-power, grab-the-secretary's-boobs kind of society. Which I don't want, but perhaps Libertarians are fine with.

What do you think?

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Response to Ravenna44 (Reply #55)

Mon Nov 17, 2014, 12:00 PM

56. Thanks for your thoughtful post

 

I can certainly appreciate your viewpoint. Harassment in the workplace absolutely sickens me as well. My question is, how do we prevent this stuff from happening without heavy-handed government interference?

I think the best way is for workers to self-organize. I fully support the right of workers to unionize and become their own best advocates for good wages, fair treatment, etc. This provides an effective check on the power of the employer and holds them accountable for their actions. I think the only time the government should get involved is if force is initiated by the employer upon an employee (e.g. rape). Otherwise, if it's a matter of being pressured or coerced by an employer to do something (which I would still find morally abhorrent), I don't think that's sufficient grounds for government involvement.

Just to be clear, I don't believe libertarians are ever "fine" with harassment, anymore than they are "fine" with racism or starvation. We can all agree that such thing are terrible, but I think libertarians believe there are better ways to solve these problems within the private sector than with an overgrown government handing out edicts and executive orders.

Again, thanks for you post!

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #56)

Mon Nov 17, 2014, 04:06 PM

57. Thanks for your thoughts

 

I appreciate your answer. The truth is, the current system doesn't work perfectly anyway. In my own experience - medical residency - it was better to play along with chronic "hostile workplace" stuff (anti-woman jokes and mockery, mild assault for "fun" than speak up and be hated by my co-workers and supervisors as a snitch and troublemaker. Despite the "whistleblower act,". The fact was that I still had to work long hours with those people, and they would have found it easy to make things even worse for me, or fire me on a hundred pretexts. So I am not a blind supporter of status quo.

But I do find it hard to imagine how an organization of workers could do a better job. If your co-workers are making your life hell, a co-workers' union is gonna be the LEAST sympathetic group. Even if it's the boss doing the stuff because he's (male/white/straight/etc) and you are not, it is hard to imagine that all your (male/white/straight/etc) coworkers would rush to defend you. More likely they are grinning and getting in on the action - after all the boss is giving them the green light!. These situations are often not as simple as "bad boss vs outraged and united employees.".

I don't expect you to come up with a magic answer. I would just ask you to think of real-world solutions if you are going to vote to strip protections away from people who count on them. There is a reason these laws came into being.

Best wishes.

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #56)

Mon Nov 17, 2014, 05:12 PM

58. Also would like to hear your thoughts on this:

 

I have only talked with two Libertarians before you. The first was a guy I dated. His ideas were Darwinian - basically "it's a mean ole world and it's not government's job to rescue people.". For example, he wanted to see abortion outlawed, not for the usual reasons, but because it amounted to rescuing people from their own bad choices. I asked, "what if a woman cis too poor to afford prenatal care? What if she was raped? What if she has health problems? Would you be okay with that even if it meant her dying?" He said, well, whatever happens, happens. If she dies, then she wasnt strong enough to survive. And them's the breaks.

The punchline: he didn't have a condom but wanted to have sex anyway. . Meaning he was okay with impregnating me, and then shrugging and (if he ran the government the way he wanted it run), outlawing abortion, watching me die in pregnancy, and calling it my own problem.

This got me thinking of the function of government in repairing inequities so we can have a just society. Fact is, when two people have sex, only one of them bears the burden of pregnancy. When a minority goes to work or walks down the street, he is likely to be outnumbered by the majority. Women will always be in general weaker and less aggressive than men and outnumbered in some workplaces for the foreseeable future; gays will always be just a few percent of the population; etc. If we are okay with a dog-eat-dog world (like my date) we could say, "Those who can't defend themselves: eh, let them suffer!". But assuming we want something better, I think government involvement is the only option.

I am guessing libertarians are mostly straight and white and male. Tell me if I am wrong.

The evening ended with him saying, "Well I wouldnt stop YOU from getting an abortion!" at which point I laughed at him and told him to leave.

So: your thoughts on how to resolve the fact that we are not born equal, not really. And that the nature of the beast is that certain groups can and have and will get a raw deal. Unless the law (imperfect as it is) evens things out somewhat.


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Response to Ravenna44 (Reply #58)

Tue Nov 18, 2014, 10:58 AM

59. My thoughts

 

The cruel Darwinian view of humanity is indeed that the strong can/should prey upon the weak. Due to my Christian views and what the Bible teaches, however, I believe the opposite is true: it is the duty of the strong to help and protect the weak, to help those who cannot help themselves. This is in recognition of the fact that everything we have has been given to us by God in first place, and it is all far more than we deserve. Therefore, as we have been given to generously, so we will also give to others who are in need. My wife and I give away over 10% of our net income to our church every month, which helps provide housing, food, and aid to the poor in the surrounding neighborhood. We volunteer at our church's food pantry as well, and we give additional money to other charitable organizations throughout the year, such as the Salvation Army.

It is this sort of volunteerism that makes lasting, positive change. By actually getting to know the people we are serving instead of simply throwing tax dollars at them, we are building meaningful relationships and learning what their actual needs are. People always give away more to others when they are giving out of the goodness of their heart, not because they are forced to. You can't end poverty with laws, just like you can't end racism with laws; the only way these goals can be accomplished is by changing hearts and minds first.

I am against abortion for a different reason than your ex-boyfriend: I believe that human life is of the utmost value, no matter how it came into being, and it's not our place to decide otherwise. Only in a situation where the mother's life may be at risk during childbirth do I think an exception can be made, but that decision would be up to the mother. Otherwise, it is our duty to protect the weak, which in this case is the unborn life. Similarly, as you mentioned that women are generally physically weaker than men, I believe it is therefore the duty of men to protect and respect women. I'm not sure how I feel about actually criminalizing abortion, however... still haven't decided on that yet.

In closing, it is not the government's job to "rescue people" because that's my job and your job; it's everyone's job to help however they can. The government can't possibly care about you because the government doesn't know you or what your needs are; it is a non-human entity that can only throw money at problems, which does nothing in the long run.

Let me know what your thoughts are

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Response to R.Quinn (Reply #59)

Tue Nov 18, 2014, 04:58 PM

60. I respect your opinions

 

Last edited Tue Nov 18, 2014, 08:37 PM - Edit history (1)

You sound like a man who lives with integrity and believes in fairness and kindness.

The problem I have with libertarianism is: not everyone believes in fairness and kindness. In fact, the history of the world, as I read it, is rife with evidence of two overriding principles:

1) People have a dark nature. That doesn't mean that we are incapable of generosity, kindness and self-sacrifice; only that it is pretty natural for
(a) each individual to seek advantage over its fellows
(b) each tribe or clan to stick together and dislike outsiders
(c) individuals (and even more so, groups and mobs) to get a thrill out of beating up on the weak and the outsiders.

The other principle is POWER CORRUPTS. Basically meaning that if people are allowed to do the feel-good bad stuff I listed above, they will do it more and more and more.

Examples: Germans in the thirties were unhappy. Along came Hitler and said, "Blame the Jews, beat up the Jews, enslave the Jews, do whatever you want to the Jews!". Lots of people got a thrill out of following these suggestions. It's fun to run wild in the street. It feels good to have unchecked power over another.

Example: gender relations in Muslim countries. (I was married to a Muslim and studied Islam so I can write intelligently on this.). When it comes to "family law" (ie, spouses and children) Muslim countries mostly have laws similar to the beliefs of conservative Christians. The husband is head of household; the wife must obey; the husband has the right to make all the decisions and can divorce the woman at will. However - as you said in your last post - he SHOULD be kind. He SHOULD consider his wife's happiness. He SHOULD NOT criticize, shout at her or hit her, unless she is disobeying him and he has exhausted all kinder means of controlling her. But in these countries men hold all the power. Some are indeed kind to their wives. But the rate of abuse, and of women thwarted from education and career due to selfish husbands saying "no", is proven by surveys to be far higher than in the west. Men who want to let off steam by making their wives cower can do so. And the result (Power corrupts!) is that more men do so, than in countries where abuse is penalized. In Pakistan, for example, surveys put the rate of abuse at over 90 percent. We can surmise that men with unlimited power over women are frequently happy to use their power cruelly - and other men encourage rather than prevent them.

Example: the Jim Crow south before Civil Rights movement. For hundreds of years, whites happily viewed blacks as people they could own, whip, humiliate, even kill. It was a power trip - same as Kristallnacht, same as the husband who beats his wife knowing that 95 percent of his buddies are also beating their wives. It's the thrill of the mob, the clan-loyalty, the base excitement of making someone else crawl before you like you are a god. This is human nature. In the south it survived as long as it possibly could. On the day Ole Miss was integrated, good Christians like you came out in force to defend their white clan from the unwhite outsiders who dared try to enter.

In my previous post, I wanted to hear your thoughts *as a libertarian. You responded with your thoughts *as an individual.*. So tell me now *as a libertarian: if all government protections for the weak, the underdog, and the classically-discriminated-against are abolished: what does history predict will happen?

See, I don't believe that early-twentieth-century Germany birthed a particularly evil generation . Or that Muslim men are genetically more controlling and abusive than American-bred liberal Christians. Or that white southerners before the 1960's had some bizarre (but temporary!) plague of racism that people of today no longer suffer from.

I think We all wanna be Nazis and spouse-beaters and lords of creation. Call it a part of our fallen nature if you want. With restrictions (social and legal) and constant social pressure and training, most of us quell or redirect those desires. But what if the laws are revoked, and it becomes fine for whites to hang a "N's keep out!" sign on every business, in a mostly-white town where loss of minority customers has little economic impact? Or what if it becomes legal for men to humiliate or fondle female colleagues? Please Mr. Libertarian, do not imagine that a sudden magical force of economics or virtue will stem the tide of injustice that will follow.

When has it ever done so before?

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Response to R.Quinn (Original post)

Sat Nov 22, 2014, 03:03 PM

61. Big government?

The thing I like about libertarians is that you seem to confuse liberals and conservatives equally.

When I see Rand Paul denouncing the Patriot Act I find myself in agreement with his views about big government interfering in our lives. So it confuses me to see the same Rand Paul arguing that if a 14 year old raped by her father becomes pregnant, it is government that should decide her options.

By the way Mr. Quinn, I'm much impressed with how you've handled yourself in this discussion. I'm new here as well, and in fact it was reading this thread that prompted me to sign up on DU. I'm tired of sites where he who shouts loudest wins.

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Response to R.Quinn (Original post)

Sat Dec 6, 2014, 01:14 AM

63. I was once a libertarian

But I found myself drifting further and further left. Today I am a socialist, bleeding heart liberal. In the end I asked myself what sort of world I wanted to live in. I chose one with clean air, clean water, education, equality, and a social safety net. You don't get these things by getting rid of the EPA, abolishing the civil rights act, destroying public education, ending social security, ending medicare, creating private roads, private police, and legalizing missile launchers. Let's be honest, there is a place that has all of those libertarian ideals. It's called Somalia. It is what the tea party and libertarians are trying to turn america into.

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Response to Kevin from WI (Reply #63)

Sat Dec 6, 2014, 01:15 PM

65. Welcome to DU!

I love bleeding heart lefties!

Edited to add:
You might be interested in DU's Socialist Progressive group
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1024

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Response to Kevin from WI (Reply #63)

Sat Dec 6, 2014, 04:11 PM

66. welcome to DU...

 

I once used to think I was a republican

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Response to Kevin from WI (Reply #63)

Tue Dec 16, 2014, 09:39 PM

67. Hello.

 

Welcome to DU!

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