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Rand Paul and the Philosophy of Libertarianism

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  • Jim
    Tom, There is not much agreement between right-wing libertarians like you, and left-wing liberals like me. Certainly I agree with your foreign policy views and
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 4, 2010
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      Tom,

      There is not much agreement between right-wing libertarians like you, and left-wing liberals like me.

      Certainly I agree with your foreign policy views and the policy of reducing military spending to virtually zero.

      I also agree with your views on legalising drugs and reducing the prison population by decriminalising "victimless crimes".

      However there the agreement seems to end.

      From what I have read of Rand Paul's policies, he doesn't seem to have said anything about spending on the military and he has sent out mixed messages on legalising drugs (see policy descriptions below lifted from Wikipedia).

      He describes himself as a "social conservative" and opposes abortion and same-sex marriages. This is very anti-liberal, if not also anti-libertarian. Is he a "moral majority" fundamentalist Christian in disguise?

      Whereas RP does not seem to be a social libertarian, he is certainly an economic libertarian – someone who wants to reduce taxation to zero if he can.

      The problem with this is that it may be fine for the rich, but it is very bad news for the poor. Low taxation means the poor have poor or non-existent healthcare, poor or non-existent education, and the unemployed and old are left to fend for themselves.

      Liberatrianism entails that the poor live and die in squalor and misery. There is no sense of community, no sense of "we are all in this together". Libertarianism is a "dog eat dog" philosophy of every man for himself. It is a barbarism which tends to destroy civilization.

      Fortunately the extreme right-wing libertarians of the Tea Party don't seem to have done that well, and more centrist Republicans seems to have done better. Hopefully the American public will see through the surface to the underlying truth of libertarianism.

      Jim


      Rand Paul's policies (according to Wikipedia):

      Abortion and bioethics

      Paul is opposed to abortion and supports a Human Life Amendment and a Life at Conception Act. He also opposes abortion in cases of rape and incest,[116] but supports use of the morning-after pill.[117] He opposes federal funding for abortion. He takes a states' rights position, favoring the overturn of Roe vs Wade and allowing states to decide on the legality of abortions without federal involvement.

      According to the Paul campaign, Paul received a 100% pro-life score on a Kentucky Right to Life survey and indicated on the survey that he opposed human cloning. This was disputed by Kentucky Right to Life, however, who endorsed Paul's primary opponent instead and claimed that Paul did not, in fact, answer the cloning question.

      Medical marijuana

      Paul believes the issue of medical marijuana is a states' rights issue and that the federal government should not interfere. In August, the Associated Press reported that Paul said he was opposed to the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, but the Paul campaign says he was misquoted. Paul described himself as a "social conservative," but was nonetheless described by the AP reporter as holding "libertarian leanings on drugs" and believing some drug sentences were too harsh.

      Same-sex marriage

      Paul opposes same-sex marriage, but believes the issue should be left to the states to decide.

      Illegal immigration

      Paul has proposed adding security to the border by installing an underground electric fence and helicopter stations. He opposes birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants.[136] Paul has said that courts should review the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States," to conclude whether or not it should apply to the children of illegal immigrants. If court challenges fail, Paul would support a constitutional amendment that would deny citizenship to children of illegal immigrants who are born in the United States.

      Education

      Paul supports returning control of education to local communities and parents and thus eliminating the federal Department of Education, but he says that some functions of the Department of Education, such as disbursing student loans and Pell Grants, should be transferred to other departments instead of being eliminated.[129][130] Paul opposes federal regulation of homeschooling.

      Health care

      Paul opposes federal government involvement in health care. He would repeal the HMO Act of 1973 that "drives a wedge between the patient and [one's] doctor". He believes that government has driven up the cost of health care and causes the quality and coverage to decrease. Paul would support a free market approach to health care, including tax deductions for medical expenses. He opposes federal regulations discouraging businesses from providing coverage. He supports Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). On Medicare, Paul has suggested higher deductibles as well as changes to premiums or eligibility rules as ways to address what he sees as the program's looming financial problems, saying "You want to have more participation by the person who's receiving the entitlement..."By that I mean that they need to be more involved with some sort of economic transaction every time they use their entitlement, and that means they have to bear more of the burden."] Paul also stated that he does not support such changes for current retirees or people nearing retirement.
    • tom
      Jim I am not totally sold on libertarianism, or any other political philosophy. I stated a few months ago, that in many ways it often appears to me that we are
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 4, 2010
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        Jim

        I am not totally sold on libertarianism, or any other political philosophy. I stated a few months ago, that in many ways it often appears to me that we are between the devil and the deep blue sea regarding choosing between free market capitalism and socialism. There are many weaknesses in both. Western nations have become mixed economies, but that too has its drawbacks. In practice, in the US we have big box stores by necesity forced to buy huge quantities at low prices in China, and then get the products on the shelf at the lowest prices in order to compete with other big box stores.The people that are employed in these types of operations have presure to be continually more productive and cost concious. Then we have government employess and government contractors and their employees. As opposed to having to compete for getting products on the shelf at the lowest possible prices, things just cost what they cost. And of course, there is always presure for anything to expand the easy going, secure, well paid parts of the economy as opposed to the dog eat dog parts which still operate largely as the world Dickens wrote about.

        As I started out my previous post, I can't be sure what any politician will do. How much Rand Paul will vote as his dad has is unknown. And Ron Paul himself has his own brand of libertarianism.His positions also might be influenced because he represents a rural Texas district. Libertarians vary on a number of issues. Most liberrtarians are pro choice, but some are pro life. Most libertarians are ok with same sex marriage; whereas some don't see it as necesaryl. . Even if they are opposed to things though;they usually believe the federal government should stay out of it and let the states decide. Libertarians believe government by nature tends toward corruption and reduced liberty, so they tend to prefer to keep it as small as possible. They believe government in the US has expanded as courts have increasingly interpreted the US Constitution allowing the government to expand far beyond the areas which were originally deemed necesary. Thomas Jefferson said history tells us nothing about good governments. I believe these sentiments largely influenced the US Constitution, as the colonies were cautious about ratifying anything that was just going to substitute Washington for King George.The Constitution was like burglar proofing your home. Strong locks and bars on the windows can slow down thieves, but with enough time, skill, resources and determination, a thief can eventually get through them.

        As for you describing yourself as a leftwing libertarian, Soros and his Open Society is a bit in that direction, and I am also rather favorable to them. Despite big differences on the mix between government and market forces, libertarians and Open Society types both tend to oppose the drug war as well as the mideast aggression the US has been involved in over the last 9 years.In terms of your ideals of social democracy, the northern Europian nations are nations that score well on the Transparency International rankings, which rank countries in terms of the degrees of corruption and necesity of bribes found by people doing international business. In my opinion, nations which long traditions of corrupt government are poor candidates for moving toward socialistic agendas. I believe this was a big part of the downfall of the USSR. Starting from an idealistic concept of from each according to his ability to each according to his needs, the reality soon evolved into black market underground dealings as commissars became the new aristocracy."All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal." Orwell's Animal Farm But that is true whither in the US or USSR, a government may allegedly start out with the goal of equality etc, but in effect aristocracies soon develope. In practice, whither we are talking medieval Europe, the US or the late USSR, political powers are used to subsidize sectors of the population. In the 80s, I read that USSR military officers were to a very large extent sons of USSR military officers. Everyone equal under the law sounds good, but in reality government power is used to favor egotistic, nepotistic, and cronyiestic objectives as opposed to idealistic fictions.Whither special interess are the Duke of so and so, or huge megacorps giving big bucks in campaign contributions, it is a form of aristocracy. And deep down, we all have a desire to live the secure, affluent, rather leisurely life of the aristocrat rather than the harried, impoverished life of Bob Cratchet, Scrooge's employee.

        In the US as well as most of Europe now, years of expanding government goodies to various groups have created scenarios that must be dealt with. Politicians are short term opportunists, and can generally be counted on to do whatever will give them votes in the next election, and not be too concerned about consequences in 20 or 30 years. States signed union contracts with teachers and cops giving them pensions at young ages that as more baby boomers retire will not be sustainable.

        I always appreciate your input. Even though, I often may disagree; I find it interesting to understand how different people perceive the world.

        Peace and best wishes
        Tom
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Jim
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 8:09 AM
        Subject: [existlist] Rand Paul and the Philosophy of Libertarianism



        Tom,

        There is not much agreement between right-wing libertarians like you, and left-wing liberals like me.

        Certainly I agree with your foreign policy views and the policy of reducing military spending to virtually zero.

        I also agree with your views on legalising drugs and reducing the prison population by decriminalising "victimless crimes".

        However there the agreement seems to end.

        From what I have read of Rand Paul's policies, he doesn't seem to have said anything about spending on the military and he has sent out mixed messages on legalising drugs (see policy descriptions below lifted from Wikipedia).

        He describes himself as a "social conservative" and opposes abortion and same-sex marriages. This is very anti-liberal, if not also anti-libertarian. Is he a "moral majority" fundamentalist Christian in disguise?

        Whereas RP does not seem to be a social libertarian, he is certainly an economic libertarian - someone who wants to reduce taxation to zero if he can.

        The problem with this is that it may be fine for the rich, but it is very bad news for the poor. Low taxation means the poor have poor or non-existent healthcare, poor or non-existent education, and the unemployed and old are left to fend for themselves.

        Liberatrianism entails that the poor live and die in squalor and misery. There is no sense of community, no sense of "we are all in this together". Libertarianism is a "dog eat dog" philosophy of every man for himself. It is a barbarism which tends to destroy civilization.

        Fortunately the extreme right-wing libertarians of the Tea Party don't seem to have done that well, and more centrist Republicans seems to have done better. Hopefully the American public will see through the surface to the underlying truth of libertarianism.

        Jim

        Rand Paul's policies (according to Wikipedia):

        Abortion and bioethics

        Paul is opposed to abortion and supports a Human Life Amendment and a Life at Conception Act. He also opposes abortion in cases of rape and incest,[116] but supports use of the morning-after pill.[117] He opposes federal funding for abortion. He takes a states' rights position, favoring the overturn of Roe vs Wade and allowing states to decide on the legality of abortions without federal involvement.

        According to the Paul campaign, Paul received a 100% pro-life score on a Kentucky Right to Life survey and indicated on the survey that he opposed human cloning. This was disputed by Kentucky Right to Life, however, who endorsed Paul's primary opponent instead and claimed that Paul did not, in fact, answer the cloning question.

        Medical marijuana

        Paul believes the issue of medical marijuana is a states' rights issue and that the federal government should not interfere. In August, the Associated Press reported that Paul said he was opposed to the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, but the Paul campaign says he was misquoted. Paul described himself as a "social conservative," but was nonetheless described by the AP reporter as holding "libertarian leanings on drugs" and believing some drug sentences were too harsh.

        Same-sex marriage

        Paul opposes same-sex marriage, but believes the issue should be left to the states to decide.

        Illegal immigration

        Paul has proposed adding security to the border by installing an underground electric fence and helicopter stations. He opposes birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants.[136] Paul has said that courts should review the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States," to conclude whether or not it should apply to the children of illegal immigrants. If court challenges fail, Paul would support a constitutional amendment that would deny citizenship to children of illegal immigrants who are born in the United States.

        Education

        Paul supports returning control of education to local communities and parents and thus eliminating the federal Department of Education, but he says that some functions of the Department of Education, such as disbursing student loans and Pell Grants, should be transferred to other departments instead of being eliminated.[129][130] Paul opposes federal regulation of homeschooling.

        Health care

        Paul opposes federal government involvement in health care. He would repeal the HMO Act of 1973 that "drives a wedge between the patient and [one's] doctor". He believes that government has driven up the cost of health care and causes the quality and coverage to decrease. Paul would support a free market approach to health care, including tax deductions for medical expenses. He opposes federal regulations discouraging businesses from providing coverage. He supports Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). On Medicare, Paul has suggested higher deductibles as well as changes to premiums or eligibility rules as ways to address what he sees as the program's looming financial problems, saying "You want to have more participation by the person who's receiving the entitlement..."By that I mean that they need to be more involved with some sort of economic transaction every time they use their entitlement, and that means they have to bear more of the burden."] Paul also stated that he does not support such changes for current retirees or people nearing retirement.





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jim
        Tom, Thank you for your detailed reply, which helps to clarify your views in my mind. Just to correct one thing you wrote. You said As for you describing
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 5, 2010
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          Tom,

          Thank you for your detailed reply, which helps to clarify your views in my mind.

          Just to correct one thing you wrote. You said "As for you describing yourself as a leftwing libertarian, Soros and his Open Society is a bit in that direction ..."

          Actually I didn't describe myself as a "left-wing libertarian". Rather I described myself as a "left-wing liberal". In fact one of the points of my previous posts was to try to draw a clear distinction between libertarianism and liberalism.

          As you right say, libertarians are against big government as you correctly say "Libertarians believe
          government by nature tends toward corruption and reduced liberty, so they tend to prefer to keep it as small as possible."

          Liberals, by contrast, have no such suspicions of governments, per se, and left-wing liberals like myself favour big government and high taxation.

          I agree that there is a danger that public sector employees may coast along without the pressure of competition, but I think a certain amount of inefficiency in government departments is a necessary evil in order to provide the benefit of the safety net needed for those at the bottom of society and an approximation to a free and equal society.

          Jim




          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "tom" <tsmith17_midsouth1@...> wrote:
          >
          > Jim
          >
          > I am not totally sold on libertarianism, or any other political philosophy. I stated a few months ago, that in many ways it often appears to me that we are between the devil and the deep blue sea regarding choosing between free market capitalism and socialism. There are many weaknesses in both. Western nations have become mixed economies, but that too has its drawbacks. In practice, in the US we have big box stores by necesity forced to buy huge quantities at low prices in China, and then get the products on the shelf at the lowest prices in order to compete with other big box stores.The people that are employed in these types of operations have presure to be continually more productive and cost concious. Then we have government employess and government contractors and their employees. As opposed to having to compete for getting products on the shelf at the lowest possible prices, things just cost what they cost. And of course, there is always presure for anything to expand the easy going, secure, well paid parts of the economy as opposed to the dog eat dog parts which still operate largely as the world Dickens wrote about.
          >
          > As I started out my previous post, I can't be sure what any politician will do. How much Rand Paul will vote as his dad has is unknown. And Ron Paul himself has his own brand of libertarianism.His positions also might be influenced because he represents a rural Texas district. Libertarians vary on a number of issues. Most liberrtarians are pro choice, but some are pro life. Most libertarians are ok with same sex marriage; whereas some don't see it as necesaryl. . Even if they are opposed to things though;they usually believe the federal government should stay out of it and let the states decide. Libertarians believe government by nature tends toward corruption and reduced liberty, so they tend to prefer to keep it as small as possible. They believe government in the US has expanded as courts have increasingly interpreted the US Constitution allowing the government to expand far beyond the areas which were originally deemed necesary. Thomas Jefferson said history tells us nothing about good governments. I believe these sentiments largely influenced the US Constitution, as the colonies were cautious about ratifying anything that was just going to substitute Washington for King George.The Constitution was like burglar proofing your home. Strong locks and bars on the windows can slow down thieves, but with enough time, skill, resources and determination, a thief can eventually get through them.
          >
          > As for you describing yourself as a leftwing libertarian, Soros and his Open Society is a bit in that direction, and I am also rather favorable to them. Despite big differences on the mix between government and market forces, libertarians and Open Society types both tend to oppose the drug war as well as the mideast aggression the US has been involved in over the last 9 years.In terms of your ideals of social democracy, the northern Europian nations are nations that score well on the Transparency International rankings, which rank countries in terms of the degrees of corruption and necesity of bribes found by people doing international business. In my opinion, nations which long traditions of corrupt government are poor candidates for moving toward socialistic agendas. I believe this was a big part of the downfall of the USSR. Starting from an idealistic concept of from each according to his ability to each according to his needs, the reality soon evolved into black market underground dealings as commissars became the new aristocracy."All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal." Orwell's Animal Farm But that is true whither in the US or USSR, a government may allegedly start out with the goal of equality etc, but in effect aristocracies soon develope. In practice, whither we are talking medieval Europe, the US or the late USSR, political powers are used to subsidize sectors of the population. In the 80s, I read that USSR military officers were to a very large extent sons of USSR military officers. Everyone equal under the law sounds good, but in reality government power is used to favor egotistic, nepotistic, and cronyiestic objectives as opposed to idealistic fictions.Whither special interess are the Duke of so and so, or huge megacorps giving big bucks in campaign contributions, it is a form of aristocracy. And deep down, we all have a desire to live the secure, affluent, rather leisurely life of the aristocrat rather than the harried, impoverished life of Bob Cratchet, Scrooge's employee.
          >
          > In the US as well as most of Europe now, years of expanding government goodies to various groups have created scenarios that must be dealt with. Politicians are short term opportunists, and can generally be counted on to do whatever will give them votes in the next election, and not be too concerned about consequences in 20 or 30 years. States signed union contracts with teachers and cops giving them pensions at young ages that as more baby boomers retire will not be sustainable.
          >
          > I always appreciate your input. Even though, I often may disagree; I find it interesting to understand how different people perceive the world.
          >
          > Peace and best wishes
          > Tom
        • tom
          Jim I can t understand how anyone regardless of political preferences can not have suspicions of government corruption. Transparency International is the best
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 5, 2010
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            Jim

            I can't understand how anyone regardless of political preferences can not have suspicions of government corruption. Transparency International is the best source of perceived corruption of governments. In 2008, the UK was ranked 16 and the USA 18 out of 180 countries in terms of lack of corruption. I read the US has dropped to 22 now with recent financial scandals. Northern European countries score well as Denmark is ranked number 1 with Sweeden 5, Switzerland 6, Iceland and Netherlands tied for 7. New Zealand is tied with Denmark for number 1, and Singapore is number 4. I have read that in Finland political scandals are rare and the people generally respect their elected leaders. Certainly, the northern European countries appear to have the fairly honest political class necesary to have social democracies. In recent years, it has become increasingly apparent in the US how crooked our politicians are.

            One of the attractions of the American western frontier in the 19th century was to get away from various government entities picking your pocket and regulating your life.I misread your describing yourself as leftist liberal for leftist libertarian because I have heard Europe does have leftist libertarians. Government bureaus of whatever nature do tend to become self serving and self perpetuating as can be seen in the US with its huge military industrial complex, and growing police state and prison industrial complex. The incarceration rate has quadrupled here in the last 40 years, but I think in Europe and the UK it has about doubled. These rises are not equated with increases of violent crime, but certainly in the US and probably over there also it is mostly due to laws getting stricter to fill more cells and keep the police state growing. I did tell you I do like the Soros Open Society, which is liberal economically but opposes drug war and the US mideast aggression. My major values are opposition to unnecesary arrests and wars. I admit problems exist in free market capitalism, but more often than not the people who ostensibly are to level the playing field get on the take from the special interests and the opposite occurs. With too much government welfare, there is also the problem of government subsidies encouraging the dumbing down of the population as instead of evolution supporting the survival of the fittest, welfare supports sectors of the population whose capacity for reproduction is high, but capacity for production in out space/time is low..

            Anyway, I appreciate your expression of your views; and in this like everything else we are like the blind men reporting on the elephant.

            Peace and best wishes

            Tom
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Jim
            To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Friday, November 05, 2010 8:35 AM
            Subject: [existlist] Re: Rand Paul and the Philosophy of Libertarianism




            Tom,

            Thank you for your detailed reply, which helps to clarify your views in my mind.

            Just to correct one thing you wrote. You said "As for you describing yourself as a leftwing libertarian, Soros and his Open Society is a bit in that direction ..."

            Actually I didn't describe myself as a "left-wing libertarian". Rather I described myself as a "left-wing liberal". In fact one of the points of my previous posts was to try to draw a clear distinction between libertarianism and liberalism.

            As you right say, libertarians are against big government as you correctly say "Libertarians believe
            government by nature tends toward corruption and reduced liberty, so they tend to prefer to keep it as small as possible."

            Liberals, by contrast, have no such suspicions of governments, per se, and left-wing liberals like myself favour big government and high taxation.

            I agree that there is a danger that public sector employees may coast along without the pressure of competition, but I think a certain amount of inefficiency in government departments is a necessary evil in order to provide the benefit of the safety net needed for those at the bottom of society and an approximation to a free and equal society.

            Jim

            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "tom" <tsmith17_midsouth1@...> wrote:
            >
            > Jim
            >
            > I am not totally sold on libertarianism, or any other political philosophy. I stated a few months ago, that in many ways it often appears to me that we are between the devil and the deep blue sea regarding choosing between free market capitalism and socialism. There are many weaknesses in both. Western nations have become mixed economies, but that too has its drawbacks. In practice, in the US we have big box stores by necesity forced to buy huge quantities at low prices in China, and then get the products on the shelf at the lowest prices in order to compete with other big box stores.The people that are employed in these types of operations have presure to be continually more productive and cost concious. Then we have government employess and government contractors and their employees. As opposed to having to compete for getting products on the shelf at the lowest possible prices, things just cost what they cost. And of course, there is always presure for anything to expand the easy going, secure, well paid parts of the economy as opposed to the dog eat dog parts which still operate largely as the world Dickens wrote about.
            >
            > As I started out my previous post, I can't be sure what any politician will do. How much Rand Paul will vote as his dad has is unknown. And Ron Paul himself has his own brand of libertarianism.His positions also might be influenced because he represents a rural Texas district. Libertarians vary on a number of issues. Most liberrtarians are pro choice, but some are pro life. Most libertarians are ok with same sex marriage; whereas some don't see it as necesaryl. . Even if they are opposed to things though;they usually believe the federal government should stay out of it and let the states decide. Libertarians believe government by nature tends toward corruption and reduced liberty, so they tend to prefer to keep it as small as possible. They believe government in the US has expanded as courts have increasingly interpreted the US Constitution allowing the government to expand far beyond the areas which were originally deemed necesary. Thomas Jefferson said history tells us nothing about good governments. I believe these sentiments largely influenced the US Constitution, as the colonies were cautious about ratifying anything that was just going to substitute Washington for King George.The Constitution was like burglar proofing your home. Strong locks and bars on the windows can slow down thieves, but with enough time, skill, resources and determination, a thief can eventually get through them.
            >
            > As for you describing yourself as a leftwing libertarian, Soros and his Open Society is a bit in that direction, and I am also rather favorable to them. Despite big differences on the mix between government and market forces, libertarians and Open Society types both tend to oppose the drug war as well as the mideast aggression the US has been involved in over the last 9 years.In terms of your ideals of social democracy, the northern Europian nations are nations that score well on the Transparency International rankings, which rank countries in terms of the degrees of corruption and necesity of bribes found by people doing international business. In my opinion, nations which long traditions of corrupt government are poor candidates for moving toward socialistic agendas. I believe this was a big part of the downfall of the USSR. Starting from an idealistic concept of from each according to his ability to each according to his needs, the reality soon evolved into black market underground dealings as commissars became the new aristocracy."All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal." Orwell's Animal Farm But that is true whither in the US or USSR, a government may allegedly start out with the goal of equality etc, but in effect aristocracies soon develope. In practice, whither we are talking medieval Europe, the US or the late USSR, political powers are used to subsidize sectors of the population. In the 80s, I read that USSR military officers were to a very large extent sons of USSR military officers. Everyone equal under the law sounds good, but in reality government power is used to favor egotistic, nepotistic, and cronyiestic objectives as opposed to idealistic fictions.Whither special interess are the Duke of so and so, or huge megacorps giving big bucks in campaign contributions, it is a form of aristocracy. And deep down, we all have a desire to live the secure, affluent, rather leisurely life of the aristocrat rather than the harried, impoverished life of Bob Cratchet, Scrooge's employee.
            >
            > In the US as well as most of Europe now, years of expanding government goodies to various groups have created scenarios that must be dealt with. Politicians are short term opportunists, and can generally be counted on to do whatever will give them votes in the next election, and not be too concerned about consequences in 20 or 30 years. States signed union contracts with teachers and cops giving them pensions at young ages that as more baby boomers retire will not be sustainable.
            >
            > I always appreciate your input. Even though, I often may disagree; I find it interesting to understand how different people perceive the world.
            >
            > Peace and best wishes
            > Tom





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jim
            Tom, I agree that corruption is never far away and we all need to be vigilant. I am not sure the public sector contains a higher amount of corruption than the
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 5, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              Tom,

              I agree that corruption is never far away and we all need to be vigilant. I am not sure the public sector contains a higher amount of corruption than the private sector though. Arguably the public sector is more accountable to the ordinary citizen and tax payer than the private sector.

              Let me comment on this passage from your post:

              "With too much government welfare, there is also the problem of government subsidies encouraging the dumbing down of the population as instead of evolution supporting the survival of the fittest, welfare supports sectors of the population whose capacity for reproduction is high, but capacity for production in out space/time is low."

              This is a remarkable passage as you seem to be implying that without welfare benefits the poor would just die without having so many children. Back to the middle ages?

              However, my understanding is that it is the poor who breed more than the rich, so actually as people gain a higher standard of living they are less likely to have a lot of children. So a good welfare benefit system would actually reduce population growth. By a `good' welfare system I mean one that does not allow an underclass to develop, and which also helps the poor, ill and less-intelligent members of society develop the skills and motivations to gain some sort of employment.

              My own understanding is that religious people breed more quickly than atheists, so a campaign to promote atheism may help to reduce population growth.

              Jim
            • tom
              Jim There is some choice in buying this make of car or refrigerator, or the other make so even if some executives are robbing the till the prices for the items
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 5, 2010
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                Jim

                There is some choice in buying this make of car or refrigerator, or the other make so even if some executives are robbing the till the prices for the items will be accordingly higher, and the consumer can go elsewhere. US political figures have been compared to courtesans, and the lobbyists johns. Politicians play a game in that they don't want to be seen as easy or cheap, but likewise can't be too hard to get or the lobbyist will take his campaign contributions elsewhere. Even at a local level, in Memphis a number of city council members have in recent years been caught and prosecuted for a number of things.

                Will the same people reproduce less if given more welfare? I don't know. Actually, in western countries birth control has in many cases resulted in people reproducing less than required for level population. My point was not reducing population, but the belief that what is subsidized grows. I am not totally against a certain degree of safedty net, but it seems in UK, Europe and the US the recent economic decline indicates that government is spending too much. In the case of the US the huge military budget is also a big factor.

                Peace
                Tom
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Jim
                To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Friday, November 05, 2010 12:53 PM
                Subject: [existlist] Re: Rand Paul and the Philosophy of Libertarianism



                Tom,

                I agree that corruption is never far away and we all need to be vigilant. I am not sure the public sector contains a higher amount of corruption than the private sector though. Arguably the public sector is more accountable to the ordinary citizen and tax payer than the private sector.

                Let me comment on this passage from your post:

                "With too much government welfare, there is also the problem of government subsidies encouraging the dumbing down of the population as instead of evolution supporting the survival of the fittest, welfare supports sectors of the population whose capacity for reproduction is high, but capacity for production in out space/time is low."

                This is a remarkable passage as you seem to be implying that without welfare benefits the poor would just die without having so many children. Back to the middle ages?

                However, my understanding is that it is the poor who breed more than the rich, so actually as people gain a higher standard of living they are less likely to have a lot of children. So a good welfare benefit system would actually reduce population growth. By a `good' welfare system I mean one that does not allow an underclass to develop, and which also helps the poor, ill and less-intelligent members of society develop the skills and motivations to gain some sort of employment.

                My own understanding is that religious people breed more quickly than atheists, so a campaign to promote atheism may help to reduce population growth.

                Jim





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • tom
                Jim Another example of the misalocation of resources resulting from government subidies is the city owned transit system.where I live. Obviously, they are
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 5, 2010
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                  Jim

                  Another example of the misalocation of resources resulting from government subidies is the city owned transit system.where I live. Obviously, they are getting large federal subsidies, as I often see a bus with no passengers or 1 or 2 passengers. Theoretically, mass transit would help environment and reduce congestion. However, when u have a big bus burning that much fuel and taking up that much space with no one on it, the theoretical purposes are at odds with the practical reality. Like the joke "How do u know a politician is lying? His lips are moving."

                  Peace
                  Tom
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Jim
                  To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Friday, November 05, 2010 12:53 PM
                  Subject: [existlist] Re: Rand Paul and the Philosophy of Libertarianism



                  Tom,

                  I agree that corruption is never far away and we all need to be vigilant. I am not sure the public sector contains a higher amount of corruption than the private sector though. Arguably the public sector is more accountable to the ordinary citizen and tax payer than the private sector.

                  Let me comment on this passage from your post:

                  "With too much government welfare, there is also the problem of government subsidies encouraging the dumbing down of the population as instead of evolution supporting the survival of the fittest, welfare supports sectors of the population whose capacity for reproduction is high, but capacity for production in out space/time is low."

                  This is a remarkable passage as you seem to be implying that without welfare benefits the poor would just die without having so many children. Back to the middle ages?

                  However, my understanding is that it is the poor who breed more than the rich, so actually as people gain a higher standard of living they are less likely to have a lot of children. So a good welfare benefit system would actually reduce population growth. By a `good' welfare system I mean one that does not allow an underclass to develop, and which also helps the poor, ill and less-intelligent members of society develop the skills and motivations to gain some sort of employment.

                  My own understanding is that religious people breed more quickly than atheists, so a campaign to promote atheism may help to reduce population growth.

                  Jim





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                • Jim
                  Tom, You write: I am not totally against a certain degree of safety net, but it seems in UK, Europe and the US the recent economic decline indicates that
                  Message 8 of 9 , Nov 6, 2010
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                    Tom,

                    You write:

                    "I am not totally against a certain degree of safety net, but it seems in UK, Europe and the US the recent economic decline indicates that government is spending too much. In the case of the US the huge military budget is also a big factor."

                    Your argument here seems to be that the governments of the UK, Europe and the US were spending too much before 2008, and this lead to the 2008-2010 economic decline.

                    My own understanding is that the sub-prime mortgage fiasco and general banker incompetence and sociopathy led to the economic crash and decline in 2008-2010.

                    Arguably government spending – particularly on large building and infrastructure projects – boosts a nation's economy.

                    Countries with very low government spending like Somali tend to become failed states rather than beacons of economic prosperity.

                    Jim
                  • tom
                    Jim You wrote Liberals, by contrast, have no such suspicions of governments, per se, and left-wing liberals like myself favour big government and high
                    Message 9 of 9 , Nov 8, 2010
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                      Jim

                      You wrote

                      Liberals, by contrast, have no such suspicions of governments, per se, and left-wing liberals like myself favour big government and high taxation.

                      One of the practical problems of big government and high taxation is to run off capital and high income people and attract needy poor people. Large urban areas in the USA have encountered these problems as busineses and middle income and higher people leave the city for the more hospitable suburbs, and the poor flock to these cities to avail themselves of the numerous entitlements. In the 60s and 70s, many UK rock stars migrated to the US to avoid the much higher UK income tax rates. Capital also is increasingly mobile in our globalistic economy. To stop these trends, you would need a successful world revolution as the early Marxists envisioned.

                      Peace
                      Tom


                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Jim
                      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Friday, November 05, 2010 7:35 AM
                      Subject: [existlist] Re: Rand Paul and the Philosophy of Libertarianism




                      Tom,

                      Thank you for your detailed reply, which helps to clarify your views in my mind.

                      Just to correct one thing you wrote. You said "As for you describing yourself as a leftwing libertarian, Soros and his Open Society is a bit in that direction ..."

                      Actually I didn't describe myself as a "left-wing libertarian". Rather I described myself as a "left-wing liberal". In fact one of the points of my previous posts was to try to draw a clear distinction between libertarianism and liberalism.

                      As you right say, libertarians are against big government as you correctly say "Libertarians believe
                      government by nature tends toward corruption and reduced liberty, so they tend to prefer to keep it as small as possible."

                      Liberals, by contrast, have no such suspicions of governments, per se, and left-wing liberals like myself favour big government and high taxation.

                      I agree that there is a danger that public sector employees may coast along without the pressure of competition, but I think a certain amount of inefficiency in government departments is a necessary evil in order to provide the benefit of the safety net needed for those at the bottom of society and an approximation to a free and equal society.

                      Jim

                      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "tom" <tsmith17_midsouth1@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Jim
                      >
                      > I am not totally sold on libertarianism, or any other political philosophy. I stated a few months ago, that in many ways it often appears to me that we are between the devil and the deep blue sea regarding choosing between free market capitalism and socialism. There are many weaknesses in both. Western nations have become mixed economies, but that too has its drawbacks. In practice, in the US we have big box stores by necesity forced to buy huge quantities at low prices in China, and then get the products on the shelf at the lowest prices in order to compete with other big box stores.The people that are employed in these types of operations have presure to be continually more productive and cost concious. Then we have government employess and government contractors and their employees. As opposed to having to compete for getting products on the shelf at the lowest possible prices, things just cost what they cost. And of course, there is always presure for anything to expand the easy going, secure, well paid parts of the economy as opposed to the dog eat dog parts which still operate largely as the world Dickens wrote about.
                      >
                      > As I started out my previous post, I can't be sure what any politician will do. How much Rand Paul will vote as his dad has is unknown. And Ron Paul himself has his own brand of libertarianism.His positions also might be influenced because he represents a rural Texas district. Libertarians vary on a number of issues. Most liberrtarians are pro choice, but some are pro life. Most libertarians are ok with same sex marriage; whereas some don't see it as necesaryl. . Even if they are opposed to things though;they usually believe the federal government should stay out of it and let the states decide. Libertarians believe government by nature tends toward corruption and reduced liberty, so they tend to prefer to keep it as small as possible. They believe government in the US has expanded as courts have increasingly interpreted the US Constitution allowing the government to expand far beyond the areas which were originally deemed necesary. Thomas Jefferson said history tells us nothing about good governments. I believe these sentiments largely influenced the US Constitution, as the colonies were cautious about ratifying anything that was just going to substitute Washington for King George.The Constitution was like burglar proofing your home. Strong locks and bars on the windows can slow down thieves, but with enough time, skill, resources and determination, a thief can eventually get through them.
                      >
                      > As for you describing yourself as a leftwing libertarian, Soros and his Open Society is a bit in that direction, and I am also rather favorable to them. Despite big differences on the mix between government and market forces, libertarians and Open Society types both tend to oppose the drug war as well as the mideast aggression the US has been involved in over the last 9 years.In terms of your ideals of social democracy, the northern Europian nations are nations that score well on the Transparency International rankings, which rank countries in terms of the degrees of corruption and necesity of bribes found by people doing international business. In my opinion, nations which long traditions of corrupt government are poor candidates for moving toward socialistic agendas. I believe this was a big part of the downfall of the USSR. Starting from an idealistic concept of from each according to his ability to each according to his needs, the reality soon evolved into black market underground dealings as commissars became the new aristocracy."All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal." Orwell's Animal Farm But that is true whither in the US or USSR, a government may allegedly start out with the goal of equality etc, but in effect aristocracies soon develope. In practice, whither we are talking medieval Europe, the US or the late USSR, political powers are used to subsidize sectors of the population. In the 80s, I read that USSR military officers were to a very large extent sons of USSR military officers. Everyone equal under the law sounds good, but in reality government power is used to favor egotistic, nepotistic, and cronyiestic objectives as opposed to idealistic fictions.Whither special interess are the Duke of so and so, or huge megacorps giving big bucks in campaign contributions, it is a form of aristocracy. And deep down, we all have a desire to live the secure, affluent, rather leisurely life of the aristocrat rather than the harried, impoverished life of Bob Cratchet, Scrooge's employee.
                      >
                      > In the US as well as most of Europe now, years of expanding government goodies to various groups have created scenarios that must be dealt with. Politicians are short term opportunists, and can generally be counted on to do whatever will give them votes in the next election, and not be too concerned about consequences in 20 or 30 years. States signed union contracts with teachers and cops giving them pensions at young ages that as more baby boomers retire will not be sustainable.
                      >
                      > I always appreciate your input. Even though, I often may disagree; I find it interesting to understand how different people perceive the world.
                      >
                      > Peace and best wishes
                      > Tom





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