Sunday, January 4, 2009

Political Parties - Libertarian

I'm back to my quest for a political party identification and my secondary quest to educate those who care to learn about the various beliefs of the different parties regardless of how minor or major. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I hope you have a Happy New Year.

Today I will discuss the Libertarian party and their issues and my opinions agreeing or dissenting. My discussion below is in red. For a complete list of their platform, please go to the following link as I will probably remove some in the essence of time if I feel they are somewhat repetitive or if they are issues that I tend to ignore when making my decision on who to vote for. Feel free to ask me my opinion on anything I've left out, related to the Libertarian Party.

1.0 Personal LibertyIndividuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. Our support of an individual's right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices.

Yes I agree with this completely. You'll have to ask me specific questions if you want me to expand on this.

1.2 Personal Privacy: We support the protections provided by the Fourth Amendment to be secure in our persons, homes, and property. Only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed crimes. We favor the repeal of all laws creating "crimes" without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes.

I tend to agree with this until someone can present me with a good example of a victimless crime that should be prosecuted. The government shouldn't be responsible for trying to protect people from their own bad choices that hurt only themselves and not others. However I believe the libertarian party has historically been labeled as the party that wants to "legalize drugs" so much so that the other issues aren't even taken seriously. They need to focus on repositioning themselves as crusaders for limited government, balanced budgets, and reduced spending.

1.5 Crime and Justice: Government exists to protect the rights of every individual including life, liberty and property. Criminal laws should be limited to violation of the rights of others through force or fraud, or deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. Individuals retain the right to voluntarily assume risk of harm to themselves. We support restitution of the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer. We oppose reduction of constitutional safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused. The rights of due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, and the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, must not be denied. We assert the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.

I also agree with this statement, which expands on the last statement beyond drugs.

2.0 Economic Liberty: A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.

Absolutely. The government needs to return the free market back to freedom and quit interfering. By the poll results on the left, most people agree with this whether they realize it or not.

2.1 Property and Contract: Property rights are entitled to the same protection as all other human rights. The owners of property have the full right to control, use, dispose of, or in any manner enjoy, their property without interference, until and unless the exercise of their control infringes the valid rights of others. We oppose all controls on wages, prices, rents, profits, production, and interest rates. We advocate the repeal of all laws banning or restricting the advertising of prices, products, or services. We oppose all violations of the right to private property, liberty of contract, and freedom of trade. The right to trade includes the right not to trade — for any reasons whatsoever. Where property, including land, has been taken from its rightful owners by the government or private action in violation of individual rights, we favor restitution to the rightful owners.

I concur...

2.3 Energy and Resources: While energy is needed to fuel a modern society, government should not be subsidizing any particular form of energy. We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production.

I tend to agree with this unless cost of the absence of government control exceeds the cost of government intervention. However subsidizing corn for ethanol is absolutely a ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars, which leads me to believe that any government intervention is a complete waste.

2.4 Government Finance and Spending: All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution. We oppose any legal requirements forcing employers to serve as tax collectors. Government should not incur debt, which burdens future generations without their consent. We support the passage of a "Balanced Budget Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution, provided that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes.

Yes. I agree. However this is idealistic to make such major cuts even for republicans who were formerly the party of small government. The lack of compromise or support for ideas like the Fair Tax isn't helping them. They need to be open to suggestions that are a step in the right direction rather than vehemently oppose such things on principle. Because let's be honest, probably 95% of Americans, regardless of party affiliation are going to vote away Medicare, Medicaid, and social security even if you show them that it won't be available to them until they are 85 or 90.

2.6 Monopolies and Corporations: We defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives and other types of companies based on voluntary association. We seek to divest government of all functions that can be provided by non-governmental organizations or private individuals. We oppose government subsidies to business, labor, or any other special interest. Industries should be governed by free markets.

I absolutely agree with this.

2.7 Labor Markets: We support repeal of all laws which impede the ability of any person to find employment. We oppose government-fostered forced retirement. We support the right of free persons to associate or not associate in labor unions, and an employer should have the right to recognize or refuse to recognize a union. We oppose government interference in bargaining, such as compulsory arbitration or imposing an obligation to bargain.

Yes I agree with this, as long as there is no pressure political or otherwise, for a company such as oh GM and Ford, to continue negotiating with the unions at all cost. Remember the bailout is going to the unions. But if people want to unionize so be it as long as they are reasonable and expect reason from union leaders.

2.8 Education: Education, like any other service, is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Schools should be managed locally to achieve greater accountability and parental involvement. Recognizing that the education of children is inextricably linked to moral values, we would return authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. In particular, parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children's education.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I believe in school choice, money follows the kid not the kid following the money.

2.9 Health Care: We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want, the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions.

I believe the free market works better than the fiasco system we have now. That said health care is the responsibility of the individual not the government.

2.10 Retirement and Income Security: Retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government. We favor replacing the current government-sponsored Social Security system with a private voluntary system. The proper source of help for the poor is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.

I agree that retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, however the individual has been relying on the government for this for so long that if it weren't automatically taken out of their check, many wouldn't save a dime for retirement. What I favor is complete privatization of the compulsory system. Part of privatization includes allowing individuals to choose the government as a manager of their account. But only those tax dollars will go to support the government bureaucracy in place to manage their accounts. What you want to bet they would still outsource to a private company?

3.0 Securing Liberty: The protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of government. Government is constitutionally limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government itself. The principle of non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments.

I generally agree with this. There are exceptions to this, but as a general rule this is a good principle to follow. The thing to remember is some governments want no reasonable/rational relationship with other governments and if they refuse to operate on this principle, it's likely impossible to adhere to this principle in the name of protecting the liberty of our nation.

3.1 National Defense: We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should both abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world and avoid entangling alliances. We oppose any form of compulsory national service.

I generally agree with this as well, however please see my previous response. It applies here as well. I do oppose compulsory national service in spite of the the good it could do in helping a lot of people grow up and become disciplined respectful people.

3.3 International Affairs: American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world and its defense against attack from abroad. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups.

This is a complicated issue, but I generally agree with it in theory. Sadly it may be a bit idealistic. My question is why do some people insist we get involved in places like Darfur and Rwanda but want us to stay out of Iraq? It would be one thing if they opposed intervention in both places but they don't. People were being terrorized in Iraq. People are being terrorized in Darfur. What's the difference? I'm not a foreign policy expert so I welcome reasonable feedback addressing my questions. When I say reasonable, I mean avoid hateful, irrational, swearing. If you can't form a thought without swearing at me, I don't want to hear it.

3.4 Free Trade and Migration: We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a threat to security, health or property.

I disagree with this. I believe sanctions on other countries are at times necessary. I believe complete monitoring of who's coming across our borders and why, not just of those who pose a threat to security, health, or property. I believe in legal immigration and legal border crossing. I oppose open borders. For a detailed analysis on why open borders is a threat to our nation, read or buy this book on CD. "State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America" by Patrick J. Buchanan.

3.6 Representative Government: We support electoral systems that are more representative of the electorate at the federal, state and local levels. As private voluntary groups, political parties should be allowed to establish their own rules for nomination procedures, primaries and conventions. We call for an end to any tax-financed subsidies to candidates or parties and the repeal of all laws which restrict voluntary financing of election campaigns. We oppose laws that effectively exclude alternative candidates and parties, deny ballot access, gerrymander districts, or deny the voters their right to consider all legitimate alternatives.

Yes, if you want further explanation, you'll have to ask me to expand on a specific point. Let's just say I haven't felt represented very well over the last year of my life.

3.7 Self-Determination: Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of individual liberty, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to agree to such new governance as to them shall seem most likely to protect their liberty.


I find it interesting that more people don't identify with the libertarian party. I don't think anyone agrees to "T" on every issue of any party. I also find it amusing how people on the far right see libertarians and way liberal, and people on the far left see them as too conservative. In reality, so far I think they are the most moderate party out there. They just haven't done an effective job of presenting their ideas, or coming across to most people as anything but unyielding, unopen to discussion, nutjobs who only care about legalizing drugs. Sometimes they are seen as only caring about the economy. But I find it interesting that many elections are decided on the economy. The sad thing is they are probably the party of personal responsibility and that leaves a bad taste in many peoples' mouths.

They are also very unorganized. They seem more concerned with getting numbers of candidates running rather than quality candidates in a few good positions. Our local election for example was littered with libertarian candidates who either barely had a website, or who posted only the libertarian talking points on their website rather than stating what they believe even if it did deter from the libertarian platform at times. Although I have seen some progress. Look at Ron Paul. He's basically a libertarian, but had the foresight to see that he'd only get elected (to his senate seat) running on the republican ticket. However once he starts running his mouth, most people see him as a crazy nutjob and don't take him seriously. If you were to read anything he writes with any other unknown name on it, you'd say he's dead on. Unless you're fascist or communist.

I'm not declaring a party yet as there are many other perhaps unknown parties out there to explore.

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