Libertarians and me

I should write a book about it, but as one well versed libertarian replied on a blog – I should fuck off and die, quite!

But as this is an open blog for those who wish to discuss things – let me make the first point.

I agree with Libertarians as much as I agree with the BNP – so why?

This is the UK Libertarian website – their manifesto.

Should I go through it line by line and bore any readers to death? I think not – you read their manifesto and I’ll just make a few comments.

The first principle is the rule of law – but, as I look through the manifesto – who makes the law? Well, parliament makes the law and then some body of enlightened individuals looks at it and says whether it is constitutionally sound or not.

In a way I agree with that, always have – said so many times even. But I want a constitution, if there has to be a written one, that is clear and precise for today, not back in the 1600’s.

Their taxing policy would be one of taxing what people spend rather than income. From what I see, it isn’t both. Now, we have to take into account that Libertarians don’t agree with regulation, so, in any crisis like there is now in the world – the regulators would not be able to do anything – including any law – because there would be no regulation, so Bernie Madoff and his ilk would have free reign – but they then say that they would regulate without fear or favour? OK – so which is it?

You allow regulation or you don’t. Core principle and all that. Regulation means that Madoff and his ilk can be investigated, no regulation means he can’t – nor the banks.

Healthcare is another one that I can’t quite get my head around. OK, libertarians believe that healthcare should be provided, this is a good thing. But they feel it should be by insurance based, not-for-profit, companies. Certainly not by the central government. And, as they don’t agree with a minimum wage, or welfare benefits, how do those who are poor pay for it?

I know that they say people who don’t have a safety will mean that they will provide for themselves. Oh, they certainly will – that is a given – but if you really think that people will, in a time of mass unemployment will just go out and negotiate a wage, any wage, just to work – you must either be blind or patently stupid. If insurance for healthcare is a minimum cost, because it is not-for-profit so it has to have inbuilt costs – just to keep it not-for-profit, and Joe Bloggs is getting 20p an hour to work 150 hours a week, well – what do you think Joe will actually do when one of his kids gets ill – or his wife dies?

“Giza-job – will work for food!”

Education is another one. Vouchers to send kids to the best school – great you say. Well, that is perfectly fine if you want mega-schools and teachers, the really good ones, teaching classes of 150 kids or more. All parents want great education for their kids, who would deny that? Certainly not me – and I do have a bit of sympathy with Libertarians, I don’t like LEAs having all that cash either! But parents can just go and say that they want their child in X school because it is the good one? Let the bad schools die because they don’t have any funding? What then happens to the teachers, the good ones, in that school – they all go to one massive central school to keep classes down? Interesting concept that Libertarians don’t, or should I say hate, centralisation, but their policies would make that centralisation inevitable.

And, again, if parents are out of work, looking for a job, (burger-flipping?) any job that they negotiate a wage to work for, have no time at home to make sure the kids go to school and not fall in with the bad crowd, why would they use those vouchers for their kid, rather than selling them at the going price to put food on the table?

We have to remember at this point, that all this is being funded on sales taxes, not income based taxation or a combination of both. You spend, you get taxed! As we humans really don’t like paying taxes, how long do you think those spending taxes are going to last? What I can see is a black market so large it would be the real economy! And in the black-market – you don’t have people paying any taxes at all – or have they missed that one?

No job, little money, no healthcare, no prospect of going to collage or uni because you have no job, no money and are providing for your family on or below the poverty line – where would you go to buy your stuff you need? Would this sales/spending tax be included into the price of a can of beans – or not?

Their gun law would have to be bolstered by an armed police force – no matter how they want to go back to Peelian principles.

All is fine for some class structure, maybe that is what they really want, fictional Victorianism? Edwardianism? Dickensian utopia?

I’m not sure!

Now my view has upset at least one Libertarian, he/she would like me to fuck off and die – but I believe that a society at ease with itself can thrive – and part of that is an economy that benefits all.

This is why I am not a Libertarian, but Liberal-Left.

Go read their manifesto – it looks great – for an individual. But a society isn’t just one person, it is made up of many.

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About Bolshy

Blogging in the ether to see if that elusive literary agent or publisher wants some new talent.
This entry was posted in Blah!, Blogroll, Blogs, Comment, Conservatives, Economy, Liberal, Modern Liberty, Personal Opinion, Personal philosophy, Politics, Socialism, Sociology and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Libertarians and me

  1. Will,

    Some decent points there and I shall try to find the time to answer them at The Kitchen: however, I’d like to address a couple of points of… ah… philosophy, if you like.

    “You allow regulation or you don’t. Core principle and all that. Regulation means that Madoff and his ilk can be investigated, no regulation means he can’t – nor the banks.”

    A core principle — actually, the core principle — of libertarianism is that you cannot initiate force or fraud against another person’s life, liberty or property. As such, Madoff would be prosecuted and, if found guilty, severely punished.

    (It’s also worth pointing out — and I am not the first or only one to do so — that both the US and British welfare systems are, in fact, Ponzi schemes of a size that Madoff never dreamed of.)

    “But a society isn’t just one person, it is made up of many.”

    But that is the problem with your philosophy — if there really was such a thing as society, then you would not have to force people to pay towards its upkeep. There isn’t really such a thing — only individuals who have their own best interests as their first priority, c.f. Adam Smith — and so someone such as yourself has to advocate the rule of force in order to prop up the huge state that you believe in.

    I happen to think that forcing other people to prop up my philosophy — my personal morals — is wrong. You do not: that is where we differ.

    DK

  2. OK, Will, let’s disagree on the philosophy and have a look at actual outcomes. Let’s take education, for instance…

    Education is another one. Vouchers to send kids to the best school – great you say. Well, that is perfectly fine if you want mega-schools and teachers, the really good ones, teaching classes of 150 kids or more. All parents want great education for their kids, who would deny that? Certainly not me – and I do have a bit of sympathy with Libertarians, I don’t like LEAs having all that cash either! But parents can just go and say that they want their child in X school because it is the good one? Let the bad schools die because they don’t have any funding? What then happens to the teachers, the good ones, in that school – they all go to one massive central school to keep classes down?

    Now, let’s look at why we do this education thing, shall we?

    Do we do it for the teachers? No.
    Do we do it for the schools? No.
    Do we do it for the kiddies? Yes.

    There is remarkably little discussion of the outcomes for the kiddies in your paragraph. Well, none, actually.

    The fact is that vouchers work, not least in that leftie haven of Sweden (where they were introduced in 1994). A similar system exists in the Netherlands, and is being trialled in certain US states (where poor areas are benefiting particularly).

    And no, generally, bad schools do not go bust (although they can do): they tend to get better. Being no longer constricted by national pay contracts, bad teachers get sacked. Without LEAs stealing a third of the cash, there is more to spend. And with parents wanting to send their children to good schools, bad schools have to get better or… yes, they do go bust.

    Does everyone crowd into one big school? No. Other schools get started, to compete with the already good schools, thus driving up standards all round.

    Seriously, Will, why don’t you actually go and look up places where this system has actually worked and see what the outcomes have been, rather than speculating (wrongly)? Then you wouldn’t make statements like this:

    Interesting concept that Libertarians don’t, or should I say hate, centralisation, but their policies would make that centralisation inevitable.

    Almost all of our concrete policies have come from looking at countries where such policies have actually worked, you see. It’s called research.

    DK

  3. Will,

    This is just nonsensical.

    Do we then assume that you are advocating regulation, DK? I took it from the LPUK site that the Rule of Law was the core principle – maybe they should re-write that one.

    What? Seriously, what does this mean?

    Bernie Madoff was breaking the law: “regulation” (as I think you mean it) has less than stuff-all to do with it. The regulators failed to spot his Ponzi Scheme for 40 years, for heaven’s sake!

    He wasn’t, in any case, caught by “regulators”: he was dobbed in by his sons when — as the money ran out — he confessed what he had been doing.

    A Ponzi scheme is a fraud: it is illegal because it is fraudulent. So, as I said, under a libertarian government, he would still be punished because he initiated fraud against people’s property. Do you understand that?

    DK

  4. Will,

    I want bad teachers sacked, I want teacher training collages back – I want teachers who can teach! I don’t want career imbeciles teaching my children – I want teachers to teach my children. But – your voucher system, whether played around with in the US or any other nation is all about CASH! And that is what I detest!

    No. It. Isn’t.

    Levels of funding are not particularly important in this context: the important thing is setting the schools free of government control. It is about freeing schools from meaningless state targets; it is about letting teachers do their jobs (and, if they do that job well, being financially rewarded for it).

    Money does not make the better school, it does give them the better desks, computers, shithouses, but Teachers, the good ones, do. What is so wrong with investing real money in teachers who can teach?

    Nothing, Will, but who is going to know how best to do that — the school hiring them or some Civil Servant in Whitehall?

    DK

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