A few questions for Libertarians

For the sake of full disclosure, I’d like to begin by pointing out that I consider myself to be quite Left of center in my political ideas (Liberal, Democrat, whatever you wish to call it) . But I also believe that both parties (sorry, all of the parties, I would not want to offend) have some very glaring problems.

I used to be of the opinion that the government was served best by a balance of power between the two reigning parties, but the last 8 years convinced me that a certain party, which shall remain nameless other than to mention that they consider themselves to be grand and old, abused the power entrusted to them, and has pushed me towards wanting their rival party to be given a chance to turn things around.

But these 8 years (and living just outside DC) have also made me more interested in politics, and left me wanting to look at alternatives to how things are currently done. As an atheist I have heard much from other atheists (including some very famous ones such as Penn and Teller) about Libertarianism, and while my first reaction is that I disagree with a number of the ideas, the more I looked the more ideas I found that I do agree with.

However I still do not know too much about Libertarianism, other than the basics that most people would get from hearing about Ron Paul, Bob Barr, etc. But with that limited understanding, I admit, I tend to see Libertarians as essentially: Republicans without all the religious bullshit hanging over their heads.

So this post is directed at those who consider themselves to be Libertarians, a series of questions to help me understand your views from your own words. I know that not all Libertarians can be pigeon-holed, so I am hoping for some diversity of opinions within the Libertarian ideals.

  1. One of the main goals of your party seems to be the desire for “3rd parties” to have a realistic shot at power. While I agree this is good in theory, how would you propose this happening, given that the two major parties are unlikely to be of much assistance, since they both would be inclined to try to keep the power they currently have?
  2. Many Libertarians repeat catch phrases along the lines of “let the free market sort it out”. This has happened in the past, and lead to monopolies that abused their power. These monopolies have been in turn broken up by the government. If limiting government power and letting the corporations (i.e. free market) control things is one of your goals, how would you propose keeping those corporations from abusing power (either through forming a monopoly or collusion with their “rivals”?
  3. Many Libertarians (and supporters of the party which shall not be named) go on about not taxing the rich more than we currently are. What is your ideal tax scenario (rough outline) that you feel would be fair to all classes of society, and not financially cripple those already at the lowest end of society?
  4. I have heard many Libertarians talk about removing various federal agencies (including the CIA, IRS, etc). In your view, what would be the first 5 (if there are any) federal agencies that you would want removed?
  5. What do you feel is the ideal role of government in a society? (i.e. national and local security, helping the disadvantaged, etc)
  6. If some role that is currently taken care of by the government was removed as a government role (let’s say mental health facilities for the poor as an example) and was put as a function for the private sector to fulfill, how should they be over-seen to ensure they are doing the job sufficiently, and who should be the one overseeing them?
  7. This question is really for Ron Paul supporters only:  “Why is it that so many conspiracy nut-jobs on the internet, who are worried about the New World Order, Bildeberg, etc, seem to be Ron Paul fans? (I’m not saying all Ron Paul supporters are nuts jobs , but a high percentage of NWO conspiracy minded nut-jobs with blogs do seem to support Ron Paul)
  8. Rank the last 7 presidents in order from best to worst in your view. (If it will help I’ll start it for you, #7 = W)
  9. What do you feel is the biggest misconception about Libertarians that the general public has? And how would you go about fixing that misconception?

This does not cover all of the questions I have about Libertarianism, but it should at least help me start getting an understanding of your views. Thank you, in advance, for taking the time to answer these questions.

[Also posted at: JREF]

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About Rodibidably

Jeff Randall is a frequent volunteer for free-thought organizations, including the Center For Inquiry – DC. Having been blogging since January 2008, he decided that a community of bloggers would be an interesting new experience (or at the very least a fun way to annoy his friends into reading his posts more frequently). Since finding out about about the existence of, and then joining, the atheist/skeptic community in 2007 he has been committed to community activism, critical thinking in all aspects of life, science, reason, and a fostering a secular society.
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4 Responses to A few questions for Libertarians

  1. chunque says:

    A description of libertarians:

    http://americandouchebag.wordpress.com/

  2. Rodibidably says:

    From somebody on AIM:

    well question one is still trying to be figured out by everyone
    i wouldn’t begin to even try to answer that right now
    I’m not sure I would know
    I think you know what I would say to #2
    #3, we want a consumption tax to replace income tax
    no taxes on food and rent
    or healthcare
    #1 agency to be removed is the IRS
    the treasure can take care of collecting the taxes from a consumption tax
    treasury*
    #5 too much to go in to
    #6 shouldn’t happen
    #7 doesn’t apply to me
    #8 is a tough one
    I’d say that Reagan, Bush Sr, and Clinton ties for first
    The rest tie for last
    #9 most people that have heard of libertarians automatically assume anarchists
    and keep doing what I’m doing answers the 2nd part of your question
    so there you go, most of them were given the short rundown

  3. Db0 says:

    Don’t forget to check out the antilogue

  4. Rodibidably says:

    Db0,
    Thanks for the link… It looks like a woo site, but it seems to have some legit info… It’ll take some time to sort through it all and get an understanding of it’s value, but it seems like an interesting resource.

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