Libertarian Ramblings

Archive for the ‘libertarian’ Category

Fruit of the Poisoned Tree

Posted by gravisman on November 11, 2012

One of the ideas I find myself most often thinking about and evangelizing is the general philosophy of non-aggression ethics in creation of laws. That is, the idea that any law that aggresses against citizens, or takes liberties from the same, is unethical. By far the most typical form of aggression is that which steals from the citizens – i.e. through income taxes.

I find that virtually every argument in favor of the modern governmental system which steals 1/3 or more of citizens’ income is, rather obviously, centered around bragging about the wonderful services rendered with the plundered coin. Moreover, proponents of large government like to make a counter-factual argument by supposing that if we did not have a large government, surely we would not have anything that is good like health care, electric service, roads, or any other necessities of life. That might be true or it might not be – none of us can know because do not live in that world. That is precisely why the counter-factual argument is a fallacy, but that’s the beside the point for the moment.

The more important idea, philosophically, is that even if it is true that without government, society would lose a lot of great things, the government is still unethical. We would not have a good highway system, health care, or (god forbid) even the internet itself. Even if all of that is true, a government funded via income taxes is still not justified. The issue is that income taxes are simply stealing, even if the masses tacitly consent. If all the voters but me believe taxes are good, but I would rather keep my earned income, the masses use their strength via the “legal” system to steal of my income without my consent. Therefore any income tax which lacks 100% agreement from the citizenry is certainly stealing from some.

Returning to thoughts of the wonderful services provided to us by the government, of which there are arguably many (with trillions of dollars in operating budgets, there ought to be). Problem is, no matter how great the services provided, they are all stained with the red hands of the thief, and therefore none of them can be considered ethical. They are all fruit of the poisoned tree, so to speak.

What I say to those who justify taxing people like me against our will is that your argument boils down to this: “Look at all the cool stuff we can build by stealing from people.” I have no doubt you can do great things by stealing great amounts of wealth. Stealing is still wrong.

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An abortion dilemma?

Posted by gravisman on December 7, 2008

Jane has become pregnant and wants an abortion, which is perfectly legal. She goes to her doctor and he says he will not treat her because he is ethically opposed to abortion.

Jill is becoming sexually active and wants to use birth control pills. Her doctor prescribes them for her, but when she goes to the pharmacy, the pharmacist refuses to fill her prescription because he is also ethically opposed.

If you’re reading LR, there’s a decent chance you’re pro-choice as I am, and the actions of the doctor and pharmacist above are probably appalling. The question is, what do we do about it?

If you’ve read LR more than once before, you should already know the answer. Say it with me…..

Nothing!

That’s absolutely right. Without consistent ideology, we don’t really have anything. Being a libertarian – or simply being an ethical human being – is all about abstaining from the use of force to get others to live how you want them to live. If we force the doctor to give girls abortions, then we have enslaved that doctor. If we force the pharmacist to fill all prescriptions, we have enslaved that pharmacist.

Choice is the golden egg that life has wrought humanity. We must protect it at all costs.

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Revolt avoided this time around

Posted by gravisman on November 5, 2008

A time for revolt

That is an article I wrote over a year outlining the need for a revolt against our government in the unlikely event elections were not held on this day. I’m glad to see that things never got that bad and some degree of order and sanity is still intact. Obviously, that’s not enough in and of itself. From here we must continue the pursuit of liberty.

Campaign for Liberty

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Let’s keep marriage the way it’s supposed to be

Posted by gravisman on November 5, 2008

Marriage, in it’s most classical sense, is the joining together of a well-to-do man and a lovely young woman. Man has money, girl has beauty, and a transaction is made. The man gets exclusive rights to a fertile vagina, and the woman is taken care of and financially secured.

What’s blasphemous today is all these beautiful young women marrying men with no money. This has got to be stopped. The ideal couple is, and always will be, a 20 year old full chested young girl to a 60 year old white man. We don’t want our nation’s children being raised by poor people, do we?

We, the people of the State of California, have spoken by passing Proposition 8 and defining marriage to be between a man and a woman. This is a great step toward maintaining its sanctity and denying rights to those who have no business claiming them. Now it’s time to take the next logical step and allow marriages of only 18-25 year old girls to white men 60 and older with 6 figure net worths. Only by denying rights to all the “new age” hippies can we achieve a truly moral society.

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Free Market Government

Posted by gravisman on October 28, 2008

Link – Dealing with Police

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Getting it right

Posted by gravisman on October 12, 2008

“They should FIRE Bernanke and Paulson, and have people like Peter [Schiff] on the helm of US economy.”

The above is a response I read to this video of Peter Schiff dispensing his usual free market based economic wisodom. I felt this worth a comment because it’s important to not simply recognize who is speaking with logic, but to get the whole picture right.

What’s wrong with that quote is the idea that someone should be “at the the helm of the US economy.” The logic that makes Peter Schiff’s words ring so true is based on markets doing what markets do: setting prices and exchanging goods based on supply and demand. The idea of free market by definition shuns leadership (dictatorship) by some individual or set of individuals.

So, while I see little wrong with firing Bernanke and Paulson, let’s remember to get it right – we don’t need Bernanke, Paulson, Peter Schiff, or anyone running the economy – markets and the players in those markets can handle themselves.

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A bailout would be unethical

Posted by gravisman on September 28, 2008

I’ve already posted on the logic of why a federal bailout of wall street firms is a terrible idea economically. That should seem obvious to anyone. Government management of economic matters only ever does one thing: artificially affects prices. Printing money inflates the system artificially and drives up prices of everything. Using the Fed to set low interest rates artificially drives down the price of money (more precisely, the price of debt). Purchasing insolvent “illiquid” assets drives up the prices on those assets in the sense that it keeps them from falling down to a level where the market would actually be interested in purchasing.

Artificial pressures on prices are unfair and unethical to the players in the economic system. They always result in bad investment, because goods are being traded for something other than a real market value. An accumulation of bad investment always ultimately results in an economic bubble that must burst to correct itself. That is the nature of economic systems – people must pay the price for poor investment.

Just as much as the initial government pressures that influenced and supported poor investment were unfair to the market, so too is the action of propping up that failed system with an artificial bailout. This prevents the market from draining the bubble, as needs to happen, and course-correcting so that prices and investments can return to a sound state.

In addition to all this economic logic, there is one overriding reason why bailing out ailing investment firms with federal money is completely and entirely unethical, and it has nothing to do with whether doing so will fail or succeed. The simple fact is that the mob (some people call it government) has no right to decide that it needs $3000 dollars of my money (probably more than that, but a rough estimate based on the taxes I pay and the budget for the bailout) to help some private companies that have nothing to do with me, and do this without my consent.

If the bailout plan passes congress and I attempt to withhold $3000 of my tax money, men with guns will certainly come for me and throw me in prison. That is insane! Our people must wake up and recognize that there is an ethical element to government and how it spends its money and how it takes money from the people that cannot simply be ignored. Just because we have the infrastructure in place to take money from citizens whenever we want and spend it on whatever we want does not make it right.

Government should be allowed to collect some taxes and spend them on courts, transportation, non-aggressive defense, and other matters of reasonable infrastructure. The mob cannot take my money just because it paternalistically thinks it knows how to spend it to help me better than I can spend it to help myself. That is truly insanity.

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Intervention is the problem – not the solution

Posted by gravisman on September 18, 2008

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What Iran crisis?

Posted by gravisman on September 1, 2008

If citizens of the United States have the right to keep and bear arms, why should the member states of the world not have the right to keep a military? Nobody spends more on their military forces than the United States, and somehow we like to act as though it’s wrong for someone like Iran to develop strength as well. The idea of nuclear non-proliferation is as insanely unfair as saying that anyone who hasn’t yet gotten broadband internet should never be allowed to have it. Nothing like setting the rules expressly against those who are already behind.

I titled this post after reading an article that asked the question of how the US should deal with the “Iran crisis.” The thought of Iran as somehow posing a crisis situation for our country belies a disturbing reality existing in the political thinking of the United States. How can we view a nation as presenting to us a crisis when they have done nothing to either us or anyone else, and they have not threatened to take any aggressive action toward us or anyone else.

Our invasion of Iraq was unfounded enough, but at least they had something to be framed as a history of aggression, even if that history was more than a decade old when we decided we must destroy them.

The way we treat other countries both reflects our current attitudes toward individual rights and inevitably shapes the evolution of those attitudes into the future. If we view Iran as a problem when they have not even done anything to hurt any other country, then what stops us from passing more and more laws to criminalize people haven’t hurt anyone else? The war on drugs has seen enough innocent people just trying to live their own lives put behind bars. If we continue down this path, we are sure to see more of the same.

My question remains, in the end, what Iran crisis?

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Should opposite-sex marriage be legal?

Posted by gravisman on June 22, 2008

Same-sex marriage is up there on the list of current hot political topics. If the legality of same sex marriages can be questioned, why does nobody ever question the legality of opposite-sex marriages? This seems especially weird since our culture spends a great deal of effort trying to ensure that children and teens of the opposite sex never sleep in the same place, but once they hit the 20s, we change gears and do whatever we can to prevent those of the same sex bedding together. That’s just plain weird.

I digress, though. The real issue is about rights (i.e. special privileges) given to married couples by the government. For whatever reason, there is a large group of the population that is concerned with giving these same special privileges to couples of the same sex. I think I have to agree. We should not be giving out special privileges to same-sex couples. Just the same, though, we shouldn’t be giving special privileges to opposite sex couples.

The entire idea of marriage rights in the first place is discriminatory bullshit. It enacts legal favors to those who marry, which as a consequence discriminates the very ugly, the severely handicapped, and those who are just really bad at relationships. More than that, it discriminates against those who simply choose not to marry. Why should the class of married people have any rights not conferred to the class of unmarried?

As far as rights of joint ownership and property transfer following a death, and anything related to that, there’s no need for marriage for people to enjoy these rights. Two people (or even three or four!) can form any private contract they wish. Whatever contract people wish to form should then be honored by the courts and the government.

Same-sex marriage is not the issue. Marriage is the issue. The word marriage should mean nothing to the government, and the people can go about their business.

Posted in libertarian, philosophy | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »