Friday, May 1, 2009

Libertarian Party

For those of you unfamiliar with the Libertarian Party, let me enlighten you. Their party line is "Smaller Government, Lower Taxes, More Freedom." They are the third largest party in the US and I think a good alternative to the other two. Below is where they stand on the issues.

Bailouts: No way. They think bailouts are bad for taxpayers and the businesses they are given to. You can't reward failure. If a company can't stay afloat on their own, then they are not a viable company.

War/Military: They believe we should have a large enough military to defend our country, but we should stop trying to be world policemen. We should be involved in the UN and let the world government take the lead on policing other countries.

Environment: Libertarians believe that we should reduce pollution and work towards a more sustainable environment, but they also believe that environmental protection should be done by private non-profits that already exist, not the federal government. Their website has some interesting facts pointing towards the government as being the biggest cause of pollution and waste in this country. Assuming that is true, it is definitely a conflict of interest to have the government regulating themselves.

Taxes: They support massive tax cuts across the board through the privatization of many government social services. They are also big proponents of the flat tax.

Immigration: They support immigration reform, similar to the guest worker program that has been previously proposed, making it easier for immigrants to come into the US legally, work here for a period of time, and then return home.

Their support on other issues include every American's right to own a gun, the right to free speech, ending welfare, making Social Security a choice instead of a requirement, and removing many of the government programs that force the continual cost increases for health care.

On almost every issue, they believe the most efficient and cost effective solution is by letting the private market handle it. They speak out strongly against all of the money that is wasted by the government trying to offer many of the social services we have today. They claim that if we reduced the size and scope of our government, the private market could offer us better quality of these services at a lower cost through normal market competition. They strongly support an individual's right to privacy and as well as free speech.

I personally think they are dead on for many of these issues. I would love to see one make it into a major office, but unfortunately I don't think they have enough support yet. But it seems like I keep seeing more and more of them on the election ballots. You can read more about the party and where they stand on their website:


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sorry Jake, I'm afraid I disagree you with you. Though anecdotal, I believe that the causes for the recent economic catastrophe were exacerbated by this kind of mentality. The right, especially Shrub, of the Connecticut Bush's, de-regulated so much of our economy, that this kind of collapse was always in the cards. This is not to say that the left did much to stem the tide either. But slashing regulations, both economic and environmental, have disastrous consequences.

  3. No problem, believe it not, disagreements are allowed on this blog.

    In my opinion, the root cause of the recession (which was triggered by the housing collaspe) was that every administration since Carter has been preaching this backwards idea that every single American should own a home. As nice as that idea sounds, the fact is that not every American can afford a home. And under a truly free market system, this problem never would have happened. Mainly because in a free market system, the government does not give incentive or force banks to make bad loans. Believe it or not, banks do not want to make loans to people who they think are high risk, have bad credit, can't hold a job, are in debt, etc... They want to see a return on their money. So when I look at the mess we are in, I see the problem as there was too much government involvement in our system and as usual, they failed to regulate the one entity that needs the most regulation, themselves. And you are right, both sides are too blame. They both had things to gain from continuing to allow the mortgage and housing industries to artifically inflate. And once again, another example of too many politicians getting too much money from lobbyist groups to look the other way.

    To me, that was the cause of the problem. But what made matters worse was that, Americans are disgustingly obsessed with consumption. And the federal government praises consumer spending because that is what boosts our economy. Every president, the current one included, has made speeches to the American public encouraging them to go out and spend. This message is being delivered to the same American people who have had wages cut, have huge amounts of debt, and are having their houses foreclosed on. But what alternate message would we expect from a government who also can't spend within their means or balance the federal budget?

    So in summary, I agree with regulation only to the extent of preventing fraud. But what caused this meltdown in my opinion was not lack of regulation (the government knew exactly what was going on because they were helping to spur it on), but rather an over-involvement of our government into the workings of a free market based system.

  4. I absolutely disagree with you. Lack of proper regulation let the banks come up with exotic accounting practices and credit default swaps, which the banks believed insured them from the risk inherent in providing loans to 'subprime' borrowers.

    If we removed all regulation from the banks they'd just come up with another scheme that supposedly eliminates risk, and we'll repeat this cycle for a THIRD time.

    It's a pipe dream to assume that no regulation at all will result in a better economic system. People are greedy, and a total free market will end up with huge monopolistic companies running our lives. See Teddy Roosevelt and 'trust-busting' for more info.

  5. Who said no regulation? I agree with regulation to do what regulation is suppose to do. You are right, lack of regulation let this problem build up until it exploded. Frank and Dodd weren't doing their jobs. Those committees were warned about this impending problem and it was ignored. We need regulation to keep the system in check and make sure nobody is taking advantage (monopolies included). I never said no regulation.

    But let's not be so shallow. What really caused the problem? Regulation was just one of the things along the way that should have helped stopped the snowball, it didn't, they screwed up. But that didn't cause the original problem. What caused the original problem was too much government involvement into our economy. I'm not referring to regulation. I'm referring to the government giving financial incentives to banks to increase their subprime loan quotas. Our government should not be involved in a bank's decision to give out loans. Banks used to look at the financials of each situation and decide if it was in the best interest of the bank to give out the loan. But of course that wasn't good enough anymore and the process turned political. Our government has no business telling banks who they should loan money to. The government should be there to regulate banks so as to prevent fraud and discrimination. And I do not consider financial discrimination as a true form of discrimination, that's called a bank doing it's job and not making stupid loans.

    The real pipe dream is that people believe that more government is the answer to all our problems. The government isn't looking out for you, and it doesn't matter which party you belong to. The government is not going to solve our problems, period. And you want to talk about monopolistic companies, let's talk about the increasing amount of power that we are continuing to hand over to our federal government to control our way of life. Now that is a scary prospect.

  6. I haven't read all of these blogs, but part of the reason that banks got into "Subprime" loans, is because federal regulation that was intended to prevent discriminatory lending practices. Bankers lost some of their discretion in who they could loan money to, so instead of going to fewer loans (which, given how the credit freeze had such immediate disastrous effects on our economy, was probably a safer bet) the banks decided to go to giving more loans. The federal government's Fair Lending Practices Act, contributed to the SubPrime problem as much, if not more, than bankers' greed.