Wednesday assorted links

Comments

2. Harsh but fair.

yup, I always go to Atlantic Magazine for a fair and insightful analysis of libertarianism (not),

That article is about Republicans, not libertarians (Atlantic progressives can't tell the difference). Reagan and Buckley were not libertarians; Rand Paul and Gillespie are weak libertarians. 92.3789 % of Americans do not understand libertarianism and casually dismiss it as merely another oddball fringe ideology. Libertarians casually dismiss conventional politics as the madness of crowds.

Libertarians are a lot like centrists, everyone wants to claim to be one but hardly anyone actually is. Most of the libertarians I have encountered are simply people who want to enshrine certain power dynamics in our society under the guise of economic freedom.

Rather most Libertarians are republican who want to legalize drugs.

"92.3789 % of Americans do not understand libertarianism and casually dismiss it as merely another oddball fringe ideology."

Seems like a self-validating claim.

"Seems like a self-validating claim."

Well done! :)

Yep. I was gonna say something similar but less concise and pithy. +1 from me too.

Telling people who is and who isn't a "true" libertarian sounds like a very libertarian thing to do.

While I think the article was pretty real, you do raise some interesting questions, kelly. For instance, do we think that electable Libertarian candidates are good exemplars of libertarian philosophy? If not, which way does that knife cut?

+1 on the utter uselessness of the Atlantic for ... anything.

Counterpoint to their ‘claims’: toxic identity politics and terrifying regulations that touch everyone’s lives are driving more and more people into a libertarian mindset.

It's not "The Atlantic", it's Kevin Williamson!

He's hardly a left-winger. In fact, leftists are furious that the magazine hired him.

Know your crowd, man. To "stop reading at" before you begin is true to form.

When I was in elementary school, one of the new-fangled pedagogies for teaching reading was to teach the students to do "SQR" before reading anything. Something like "scan-question-read" or something like that. I.e. before reading the actual text, scan what we might call the article's metadata and ask yourself what you're reading, who wrote it, why they wrote it, where they chose to publish it, and what message the author is trying to impart. Pretty good critical thinking basics -- but with the danger of injecting prejudice into the activity of reading.

I think we're seeing that here. Some commenters see the magic words "The Atlantic" and the blinders fall into place like the collision doors on the Seaview in "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea". (Yesterday's "Time Tunnel" reference in a comment has put 1960s sci-fi TV shows on my mind.) If they did a more thorough SQR, they'd see the name Kevin Williamson.

so "The Atlantic" editors do not carefully choose the articles/writers in their magazine ??

Kevin Williams is a NeoCon (leftist, statist). Irving Kristol is properly called the NeoCon godfather, with Bill Buckley and National Review as important NeoCon agents. Today's NeoCons include Bill Kristol, John McCain, Charles Krauthammer, and Sean Hannity; the entire Bush II administration was a NeoCon triumph and they're still powerful with Trump.
NeoCon policies are no longer openly socialist, they now promote a government-controlled capitalism, instead. NeoCons favor global empire, perpetual war, the police state, central banking, total surveillance, and an omnipotent government executive -- thanks to them, that’s called Republican-conservatism these days.

Williamson is no neocon. He's a libertarianish conservative.

Hes a leftist? What? Obviously words dont have meanings anymore.

Now there's a caricature of Neocons by a paleo/libertarian, which is indistinguishable from a leftist. Extremes meet.

Pray tell, what are they not fuming about?

"It’s not “The Atlantic”, it’s Kevin Williamson!"

Update: The Atlantic just fired Kevin Williamson.

http://reason.com/blog/2018/04/05/kevin-williamson-fired

The essay was not BY the Atlantic, but a PUBLISHED essay written by Kevin D. Williamson.

By wikipedia: "He was previously deputy managing editor and roving correspondent for National Review.[1]

He is the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism (2011, Regnery),[2] The End Is Near and It's Going to Be Awesome (2013, HarperCollins/Broadside Books),[3][4] The Dependency Agenda (2013, Encounter Books),[5] and The Case against Trump (2015, Encounter Books),[6] and has contributed chapters to The New Leviathan: The State Vs. the Individual in the 21st Century (2013, Encounter Books)[7] and Future Tense: The Lessons of Culture in an Age of Upheaval (2013, Encounter Books).[8]"

Care to name the "leftist" authors hired by National Review, Conservative Review, etc?

As for libertarians not being represented by Republicans, you are arguing libertarians are now and as forever, a fringe group who are totally irrelevant. That all libertarian ideas are impossible to put into practice in any society.

I'm thinking your average Joe has spent the last 30 years laboring under free trade. lower taxes, less regulations, lots of immigration, and found it wanting. I think if libertarians could figure out why that is and make the needed corrections, they might have a political chance.

You mean, if libertarians abandoned all that shit about liberty, and just went full alt-right and advocated the interests of "average Joes" (read "working class white men"). I mean, we could keep the parts about guns and kicking black people out of restaurants. But all that free market economics shit has got to go!

Well they are noticing now that neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party are consistent with classical liberalism. Congratulations! That has been the fact since, like, the 1960's or so.

neither one has been consistent, but the R's used to be slightly better due to the emphasis on free trade and lower government spending. Neither of those things are the case anymore. And yet, some people seem to think that libertarians should continue to favor Republicans, because the Republicans are so much better on those other freedoms - the ones that involve owning guns and being openly prejudiced. Who cares about free trade, right? The important issue is whether I'm forced to bake cakes for gay weddings or not.

You can't have free markets without freedom of association. Which you deny repeatedly, here, Hazel. Your libertarianism seems to extend only to freedom from government tariffs.

Hazel bravely standing up against the onslaught of people pushing to bar black people from restaurants.

The tiny pond of libertarianism is especially charming for its internecine warfare.

"Repeal the Civil Rights Amendment" has about 6,940,000 search results, per Google. While I didn't put Paul Rand in my search terms, he is on the front page:

https://thinkprogress.org/rand-paul-explains-his-familys-opposition-to-civil-rights-act-it-s-about-controlling-property-42a47bcf996a/

Maybe I should be explicit: I think Hazel is going a little overboard today, but obviously she, as a libertarian, is frustrated. How could she not be in 2018?

Not sure how to interpret that metric, but "alien invasion" garners 5.12 million google hits, so repealing the Civil Rights bill is 35% more worrisome.

Sounds about right.

You don't think it's interesting that they only (I think that's right) libertarians in national office are "repeal the Civil Rights Amendment" folks?

Get's back to what libertarian means, and "what kind" gets elected.

Dude, the issue is on my radar. Way ahead of alien invasion. Thanks for the tip.

For every libertarian out there, there are several people who need to take down libertarians.

Not as impressive a ratio as for Nazis, but libertarians have authored zero Holocausts or World Wars so far, so it's pretty impressive.

If it's such a tiny number of people, why do so many self-identified "libertarians" seem to think that it's a top priority for the libertarian movement? Up to and including supporting a politician who opposes free trade and favors more government spending? Who are we and what are our priorities? Is libertarianism primarily a liberal movement that advocates free-market principles and culturally plural social norms, or is it a socially conservative movement that is about opposition to "political correctness" and preservation of America's white European cultural heritage? Is libertarianism genetically "alt-right" or is that just some sort of recent perversion? How much of our principles are we going to compromise to win the support of closeted racists?

"For every libertarian out there, there are several people who need to take down libertarians."

Right. We want to "take down" 3% of the vote, for victory.

At least Hazel is looking for problems in that scenario.

Brian, you may not have grasped this but libertarianism's incestuous relationship with the far right is actually providing ammo to people who want to "take it down". I'm trying to end that relationship, and a lot of people seem to think that doing so is some sort of horrible attack on libertarianism itself. What does that say?

https://thinkprogress.org/rand-paul-explains-his-familys-opposition-to-civil-rights-act-it-s-about-controlling-property-42a47bcf996a/

This article conflates government actions and private actions. I always wonder when I read articles like this that conflate government actions and private actions, whether the conflation is deliberate, or the author simply doesn't see any difference between government and private actions.

There is no alt-right connection to libertarianism

The modern Left wants to impose further restrictions on the First & Second amendments, as well as the rights of Free association. The modern Right has it's own contradictions with Libertarianism, as has been pointed out.

Frankly, any ideological Libertarianism is incompatible with either the modern Left or the modern Right. So, either Libertarians can become pragmatic and form alliances or they can remain a very small group.

I do notice that no prominent members of the Democratic party espouse Libertarian principles. A few Republicans do. It may be a few, but that's better than nothing.

Free Trade should be a moderate to low priority for libertarians. Amongst developed countries, trade barriers are modest, and don't impact growth and freedom that much. Most human "harm" is done with prohibition on African exports, not Chinese, but frankly I'm not in the gain to maximise other's welfare.

On the other hand, general taxation, regulation, eminent domain, zoning, and government debt really DO massively reduce individual liberty. They should be front and centre of a libertarian economic programme.

And then there is the small matter of freedoms of speech, free association, and self-determination, without which the entire rest of the libertarian programme is worthless. The skewed priorities of the libertarian globalists are unfounded on any kind of rational analysis.

It’s perfectly reasonable to be skeptical about the free market bring perfect without being against trade or the market. In fact, such skepticism is a position taken by some Tories. Unchecked immigration and globalization can have downsides. Is it alt-right to ask questions about these?

Less regulations in the last 30 years? On what planet?

Hush. They mean less personal inconvenience for their global lifestyles. Regulation = My delays at Passport Control.

#2: The lead sentence chooses Rand Paul and Reason magazine as bastions of libertarianism. From https://pando.com/2014/07/18/homophobia-racism-and-the-kochs-san-franciscos-tech-libertarian-reboot-conference-is-a-cesspool/:

"Anyone paying attention to the Paul family knows about Ron Paul’s unhinged racist newsletters, Ron and Rand Paul’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act, and Ron-Rand Pauls' intimate associations with neo-Confederates, white supremacists, and conspiracy loons."

"Reason needs to account for its grotesque propaganda supporting apartheid South Africa in the 1970s and 80s. Not least because the same key figures in charge of Reason during its pro-apartheid years are still around. Robert Poole, who headed Reason from 1970 through 2001, [...] continued denouncing anti-apartheid sanctions as late as 1989 in the pages Reason."

Is this the type of libertarian completely alienated by the 2018 Republican Party?

No, this is selective memory. Kevin Williamson is quite deliberately forgetting the mainstream libertarian arguments against the Civil Rights Act, for the Southern Confederacy, and for South African Apartheid from the '80s that got so roundly defeated in public opinion. Most libertarians genuinely believed in those things. The political blowback was so fierce and libertarians were so humiliated, and people like Kevin Williamson worked so hard to distance themselves from the unpopular parts of libertarian philosophy, that they are in a sort of denial.

I’ve never cared for unpredictable TV show hosts like our Potus, let alone smarmy a-holes like Jon Stewart. But this piece was hysterical. And not in the funny way. The terrorism of Trump’s economic policies? Yeah sure.

The Tweets have been gibberish, and the Tweets are really all there is.

So in that sense I agree. Gibberish is not terrorism.

#1 On the contrary! https://www.phrases.org.uk/quotes/last-words/henrik-ibsen.html
#2 I know the traditional answer to such questions are "No", but I believe Libertarism is a bad idea whose time has passed.
#4 So it has come to it.

6. Sinclair seems a pretty weird outfit to me, but this is America and any media company may have editorial policy.

I would have thought their weirdness on employment contracts would be more up the MR alley:

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2018-04-03/sinclair-employees-say-their-contracts-make-it-too-expensive-to-quit

Is this the April Fool's collection? #1 gives it away.

I feel that the term libertarian has been misappropriated so many times now that it doesn't mean anything anymore.

I think what killed it was the folks who didn't really embrace any libertarian policy positions except marijuana legalization.

Open borders advocacy is what did it. It became clear that big-L Libertarians were not trying to make things better for the people they wanted to embrace their policies.

But I agree with you point that the focus on legalization didn't help. Drug laws were libertarian problem #19 in this country, but because they grew the tent, they were given outsized focus.

What in your mind, was libertarian problem #1? The inability to deny service to black people in restaurants?

Size of government / spending.

We should pay more attention to quality of service, rather than size of bill. Or combine the two, in ROI.

Fine, but an ROI calculation is going to say you need to cut 90%+. I think even most libertarians would take issue with that. You'd be left with defense, or maybe just the nuclear arsenal.

Revealed preference says that people want more kinds of Return. We just need to tie it to cost, as tax Investment, to be sure they are serious.

This current theory that we can just cut tax and lalala everything will be fine is actually the most dangerous thing in politics.

Separating tax from spending means that no one has to seriously think about spending.

Revealed preference doesn't work that way. Yeah a lot of people want other people to foot the bill for things that they would like to have, and a lot of other people would like to buy political support

I think you kind of agreed.

If we get over this idea that spending is independent of tax, people will reveal their true preference.

Huh? Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are most of the problem, and they're all big negative ROI redistribution schemes. They exist to transfer money from the more productive to the less productive.

You can argue they should not exist, or they should be drastically shrunk, but probably ROI is not the best window through which to view them.

Well, this reminds me of the joke that Libertarians support a social safety net, but only in the abstract.

In fact, social safety nets do have a return on investment, because they allow a dynamic market economy.

Maybe you're not the target market for libertarianism?

There were times when I identified as a bit small-l libertarian, but this is not the time. Better to tip neoliberal, and for taco trucks on every corner as the freedom we all want.

+1 Lord Acton. Size and scope of government, proxied by spending.

+1 on the Open Borders policies. The marijuana legalization didn't help perceptions, but they were basically a no harm no fail policy.

However, Open Borders is not compatible with a Welfare state. When questioned about this the default hard line Libertarian response seems to be that either a) It's not their problem or b) Good, the welfare state will quickly collapse and kill two birds with one stone. Those don't strike me as nuanced positions.

Which Libertarians were actually true open borders guys?

Or is open borders something we say to mean 2016 levels?

Open Borders is not compatible with a Welfare state

Says who? We have laws right now against immigrants qualifying for welfare. Where it written that you can't have an immigration policy in which there are no numerical limits on visas AND immigrants don't qualify for welfare benefits?

"However, Open Borders is not compatible with a Welfare state"

It could be. Enforce the provisions that non-citizens are ineligible for safety net programs until after x years of residence and gaining citizenship. Meaning that nobody comes who isn't willing and able to support themselves. Done.

But burdening the welfare state is not really the problem -- that's a pretext. The real issue, as Jonathan Haidt has pointed out, is large numbers of immigrants coming from linguistically, culturally, and religiously different ethnic groups who aren't particularly interested in assimilating. That is what produces the backlash (as it has done in our past -- the 'Anti-Saloon League' and WCTU were, in part, an reaction to large numbers of immigrants in the late 19th century).

Does open borders just mean that a bunch of silicon valley CEOs went to the same school in India?

https://www.engadget.com/2016/11/17/trump-advisor-takes-issue-with-silicon-valleys-asian-ceos/

Yeah, I guess it does. So this isn't really about welfare rolls at all.

Says who?

Sez Milton Friedman and minimal common sense.

"Which Libertarians were actually true open borders guys?"

Bryan Caplan

"Hazel Meade -Says who? We have laws right now against immigrants qualifying for welfare. Where it written that you can’t have an immigration policy in which there are no numerical limits on visas AND immigrants don’t qualify for welfare benefits?"

Legal immigrants qualify for Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security (providing they meet the normal qualifications) and all immigrants (including illegal) qualify for primary education. There are numerous other benefits but those are just the huge ones. Furthermore, I'm against disqualifying legal immigrants from those benefits, because it would lead to a two tier population system.

Bryan Caplan it's about as far from the halls of power as anyone you could ever name.

Open borders is supposed to undermine and explode the welfare state, not be compatible with it. Open borders is also supposed to explode democracy and the nation state itself. That's why they are called Anarcho-libertarians.

Most libertarians from the '80s, supported South African Apartheid, small government, the right of that small government to exclude others and act in the interest of current members, like an extended family. That is the premise of immigration restriction. Apartheid is very similar to an enforced border.

Bryan Caplan is absolutely influential. He's widely cited in the National Review, his book is making a big splash. He's not directly in a position of political power, but he's a widely cited leading public intellectual.

Massimo, no.

Bryan is an authors' "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" favorite and that is all.

Anonymous you are such an internet troll.

First: "“Which Libertarians were actually true open borders guys?”" So, I point out Bryan Caplan

And then without hesitation you Move the Goalposts: "Bryan Caplan it’s about as far from the halls of power as anyone you could ever name."

No one's ever going to take you seriously if you repeatedly engage in logical fallacies.

JWatts,
You don't get Medicare Medicaid and Social Security unless you pay taxes into it for at least 10 years. The only people making a profit off of Social Security are the very poor - everyone else loses money. Most immigrants aren't in their 50s, they are predominantly younger people who will be paying into and supporting the system. So that leaves public schools. Billions of people aren't going to move to the US and live on nothing just so they can put their kids in American public schools. If they don't qualify for welfare benefits to cover their living expenses, they aren't going to have anything to live on unless they can find a job.

JWatts, this is already a long thread, but I think you should consider that if people are far from the corridors of power, they are not such a great foil after all.

Actually, to go further, it was a great trick of the last election cycle to organize an opposition to an "open borders movement" that did not really exist.

Example :

https://twitter.com/GenAugustoP/status/955811008832004096?s=19

"JWatts, You don’t get Medicare Medicaid and Social Security unless you pay taxes into it for at least 10 years. The only people making a profit off of Social Security are the very poor – everyone else loses money. Most immigrants aren’t in their 50s, they are predominantly younger people who will be paying into and supporting the system. So that leaves public schools. Billions of people aren’t going to move to the US and live on nothing just so they can put their kids in American public schools. If they don’t qualify for welfare benefits to cover their living expenses, they aren’t going to have anything to live on unless they can find a job"

Hazel,

"You don’t get Medicare Medicaid and Social Security unless you pay taxes into it for at least 10 years. "

No, Medicaid doesn't have a 10 year work history requirement. And if you don't qualify for Medicare, you are generally eligible for Medicaid.

"The only people making a profit off of Social Security are the very poor – everyone else loses money."

No that's not true. Indeed, it's not even close to the truth. Most people get back more out of social security than they contributed even after adjusting for inflation.

"Most immigrants aren’t in their 50s," First, we don't have Open Borders. Second, even if we did, it's not about the "most", it's about the Net effect of the entire group. If we had Open Borders, with the existing SS rules, the US would immediately be inundated with millions of additional older workers. If you are a poor 45+ year old living in the Third World, there would be a large financial incentive to move to the US and work for whatever wages you can until retirement. There would be an extremely large incentive for 55+ year olds to move and get the minimum 40 quarters of work needed to qualify.

"Billions of people aren’t going to move to the US and live on nothing just so they can put their kids in American public schools."

You are correct. However, 10's of millions would immigrate if there were no limit. 200 million low skilled legal immigrants over a 10 year period would break both the current US social welfare system and the current public school system. The school system would probably survive by doubling class size, building much cheaper schools (mostly trailers) and eliminating costly extracurricular activities. The result would be drastically different than what American's have experienced for the last 70 years.

"If they don’t qualify for welfare benefits to cover their living expenses, they aren’t going to have anything to live on unless they can find a job."

At the point in time there were Zero jobs available at the Federal minimum wage, the US population would have exploded and the US social welfare system would have collapsed. Granted, a new equilibrium would be reached. But it would be a drastically different US than we have today. It looks like it would be much worse for the current populace, but much better for hundreds of millions of third world immigrants. I haven't seen a Libertarian make a convincing argument for why the current American populace should suffer such a calamitous event for the benefit of non-Americans.

Hazel,

Any voting bloc will necessarily become a welfare state constituency given time. Especially immigrants. You can't have open borders and welfare as you know it.

I thought it was embracing getting rid of government, except building more prisons to lock up drug users, especially pot smokers.

In the 80s, it was a love fest between Reagan backers and Milton Friedman, while more and more prisons were built to lock up people in crime 99% connected to drugs. Friedman never denounced Reagan, the GOP, for doing the opposite of what he argued with so much prose and film time on drug policy.

And Friedman wrote the first essay that I know of on the "misappropriated" word "liberal" and inferior "libertarian" substitute that was misappropriated from the start.

If Friedman couldn't hack it, who can.

How can something illogical as what it tries to advocate not be misappropriated?

Libertarianism is free lunch. Liberty with no costs. Ie, 100% benefits, 0% cost.

Liberals are "TAX and spend". Cost right up front, then benefits.

To have a goid economy, workers must be paid, COST, before GDP gets produced because GDP is not produced to stuff warehouses, but only to sell to workers with money to spend, or those who are supported by workers.

If libertarians started by saying they will humanely euthanize those who can't provide for themselves, like unwanted children and old people, they would offer a logical framework for society. Bashing brains in with a hammer and then butchering for meat can be considered humane, if you create a religion around it.

Well good thing workers get paid then, huh

We seem to be dividing between those who want less government even if it is worse, and those who want more and still hope it can be better.

Less/better is quite off the political table at the moment.

#6: Quite sensible, but even if it were wrong, "tens of millions of people exposed to some banal, mainstream right wing opinions that happen to be held by a few people in suburban Maryland" shouldn't exactly inspire alarm in anyone who isn't a nutcase.

3. I try not to listen to podcasts at home. It's too easy to lose focus and let a few lines or minutes go by. Driving is the only time I can keep the right kind of concentration. I do a couple 80-90 minute drives each week though, so that's my podcast slot. And possibly this is less distraction than looking for status transfers at the fringes of the room.

Do you randomly call a couple of probably former coworkers and classmates before and after the podcast to say "hi, how you doing? Still at xyz?" Or how are the kids or wife, and in response get a bit of info about 5% of the time leading to a job offer or business deal for one or the other?

In company meetings on product strategy or status, I often interacted outside the matrix on some issue with either a direct connection following between my group and theirs, or between one of us and someone else. Cost of initial inquiry about 30 seconds total, further inquiry followed in maybe 10%. At trade shows, i interacted in person with field support engineers and customers in person instead of in written messages and occasional phone calls where were were limited in what we could say. In person, in the context of product disclosures, we could say more, and in many cases resolve a problem. A frustrated customer can become very happy when you show him the solution that will ship in six months in the product update. We could never do what Elon does daily because we weren't management. But in private, one on one, we could.

This is indeed one of the reasons why face-to-face is superior to online (including meetings, conferences, and most education). The other reason, which I think is even more important, is the one that Anonymous indirectly alludes to. It's too easy to get distracted when listening online. In contrast, in person you have almost no choice but to be engaged

#1 April Fools! "the park will offer attendees of all ages a chance to experience the author’s… free-floating existential dread in a fun and interactive environment…"

2) People still want to be free. Who wouldn't want to have ownership of their economic choices, in relation to others? But a lot of people don't think that libertarians have really thought through what freedom might actually consist of, in a 21st century knowledge centered economy. In particular, when seeking freedom from taxation, for crying out loud, get specific about what taxation still needs to accomplish for 21st century life. Otherwise the social cohesion that taxation might have been able to support, is completely lost.

The only way to "own your choices" is by being a dictator that owns everything, and everyone.

All choices must be shared mutual agreement unless you are isolated. If you are isolated, there is no society or economy.

I grew up when everyone implicitly knew tanstaafl. Or was quickly reminded of it.

But in the 70s, and especially the 80s, the idea of it being possible to have free lunch society, free lunch economy, took hold and today goes largely unchallenged.

I see it in this blog all the time.

Tyler thinks raising the wages of the working poor will cut consumer spending because consumer spending is inversely related to wage income.

Thus, the way to grow the economy and make everyone better off by higher consumption is cutting everyone's wages, EXCEPT the author's. If lower wages would make people better off, Tyler's latest edition of his book would be priced at $10 or maybe $5, not $350+.

Everything is zero sum. As a scientist, I must obey zero sum rules.

That doesn't mean winner vs loser, but instead loser vs loser, or winner vs winner. If I pay you $1, I must accept I get only $1 from you. I can't pay you $1 and get $100 from you. I can get $100 If I pay $100. Money is work, so only work can be exchanged, although money allows exchanging work across space and time. But if money won't buy actual work, it's worthless.

Knowledge vanishes if not replicated by work by two people. One must teach and one must learn. Capital is stored work that can increase the productivity of work. Thus lots of extra work can create books that allow many to later learn after each investing extra work in learning to read. But book learning is inferior to actually learning by doing. Individual guided trial and error does work, but having an instructor who offers a bit of guidance can speed the process greatly. Making errors is important, but an instructor pointing out the error when you are focused on it ensures the lessipon is well learned.

Once obtained, knowledge is free, but obtaining it has cost, and society is all about cutting the cost of obtaining it.

Roads have cost even when built. But building a road single handedly is not only very costly, but probably pointless. Better to simply break a new one use trail on the path of least resistance. For a road to be built, it must be the mutual choice of many. Not much freedom.

Never found a libertarian who denies the need for roads. Only few argue that being forced to work for someone else to use a road provides maximum liberty. After all, money, a toll, is work.

Libertarians argue that government can be eliminated, and then create corporations to replace governments, ignoring the history of US State governments which were all corporations at the start expropriated from owners by the workers who formed them into governments.

The Mayflower Compact is taught as rejection of socialism, except it was rebelling against the owner and employer of all on the Mayflower. Ie, a rejection of capitalism by Marxists.

And Trump is the loudest libertarian. He alone can solve everything. He has the freedom to order anything he wants. He is free to set the terms of all trade deals. He alone has the liberty to take other people's money to build the wall he wants the way he wants.

How dare Democrats defy him his liberty and freedom to get what he wants?

Libertarianism simply has nothing to say about identity politics, except that you shouldn't use violence against people to push your aesthetics. Except there is a growing trend to argue that historically innocuous actions constitute violence (public speech that offends and causes stress to minority groups).

There is a principled libertarian response to this, which is that it is really a problem intrinsic to public spaces rather than speech content, but no one wants to hear: "well, technically, public spaces are incompatible with libertarian rights, and it really matters who homesteaded the plot for which purpose and in which order............."

Very far from muh guns, muh discrimination, muh factory work, muh huddled masses, muh muh muh.

What's the point in a political movement that doesn't allow you to feel self righteous?

"What’s the point in a political movement that doesn’t allow you to feel self righteous?"

- The Libertarian Party's creed

Your point generalizes pretty well.

2. How long before Jeffrey Goldberg realizes he bought past the peak. Williamson has turned into such a bore. This article will seem fresh to many Atlantic readers who haven't read him before, but if you had you start to tune out in the first few paragraphs.

6. So the reporting on fake news was itself fake news.

No, real news. It's a little amazing how many people have come out defending fake news though.

Mainstream media journalism is extremely difficult. It's extremely hard work figuring what to tell the masses so that the Democrats and left don't look like idiots, thieves, and traitors.

#6 - See Washington Examiner, "The Sinclair video is the dumbest media freak-out since whatever the last one was . . ."

Unfortunately, I don't live in a Sinclair TV market. Thank God for Fox News.

The innocent reason behind all the "pomp and circumstances" is a video of numerous Sinclair TV announcers reading the same script about how they are more honest and trustworthy than the hard-left lie factories.

Apparently, that left a mark.

If I had never been stuck in an airport, I would not know CNN exists.

2. Unfortunately, Donald Trump exposed the libertarian-authoritarian axis. It was no accident that Cowen quoted the part of the MbS interview with Goldberg in which MbS extolls the virtues of monarchy.

7. My comment yesterday was about the likely volatility of Spotify stock due, among other things, to the absence of an underwriter. Behold, today's stock price reached a high this morning of $144 and a low this afternoon of $134 and then recovered to close at $138. Libertarians (see item 2) like volatility because it creates a greater opportunity for profit. Of course, that means the person on the other end experienced a greater opportunity for a loss. Market apologists (like Christian apologists, etc.) can find a silver lining in every cloud; what's in your wallet.

Close? Still trading, $139.40 last quote

"Libertarians (see item 2) like volatility because it creates a greater opportunity for profit."

?????

Conservatives, being conservative, prefer order and stability. Libertarians, being libertarian, prefer chaos. "Complacent" is just another word for order and stability. Or in the immortal words of Bobby McGee, freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.

Conservatives, being conservative, prefer order and stability. Libertarians, being libertarian, prefer chaos.

Plenty of chaos in urban slums. Don't think you'll find many Reason subscribers drinking it in. There aren't many people nowadays with the ingenuity to live an unstructured existence and thrive doing it. See how affecting is the story of Christopher McCandless.

"Libertarians, being libertarian, prefer chaos."

No, libertarians, being libertarians, prefer to let people choose for themselves how to live their lives individually and in voluntary, mutually beneficial cooperation without officious interference from their 'betters'. They're willing to accept whatever level of dynamism or stasis that emerges from free people cooperating and making choices.

"libertarian policies, as Caplan and others have noted at length, are not very popular at all.'

I don't think there is such a thing as a libertarian "policy" and that's the problem.

Thomas Sowell, Milton Friedman, and Megan McArdle have all been advocates of policies.

I think Megan McArdle is one of the most effective of modern Libertarian's. However, she's significantly closer to the center than most other prominent modern Libertarians.

Sure there is. Check out any Libertarian candidate

Ann Coulter proposed a number of years ago to her local Libertarian Party that she'd run against Christopher Shays. The meeting didn't go well. "I discovered the only issue they gave a damn about were the drug laws".

In rejecting Coulter they showed they also give a damn about free movement of people.

"I don’t think there is such a thing as a libertarian “policy” and that’s the problem."

What!? How about some examples:

Libertarians have long been in favor of legalizing gay marriage and marijuana and against the draft:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mCV29j9_nY&t=1m05s

Two down and one well underway. Libertarians favored deregulating airlines and interstate trucking and allowing you to brew and drink your own beer (a liberty I'm going to go enjoy shortly). They favor free speech and free markets. And second amendment rights. They oppose the use of eminent domain except for public use (no taking private property to hand over to politically connected cronies). They oppose tariffs and burdensome occupational licensing (if you want to do African hair braiding and people are willing to pay you, the state has no business getting involved). And there are plenty more where all those came from.

Are there others on one side or the other of the political spectrum who favor all of these policies? Yes, of course! The description of libertarians as fiscal conservatives and social liberals is largely accurate.

Neither Reagan nor Buckley were libertarians. Bad attitude theatre critic doesn't know manure from apple butter.

The trouble with libertarianism is that it's long been laden down with dead inventory (e.g. Objectivism), juvenalia (the obsession with drug laws), autism (Bryan Caplan and the whole open borders discourse), fantasy (Ron Paul's historiography of the Depression and the 2d World War), and the notion that they would be tainted working with other starboard dispensations (or that it was beneath them to do so). With some exceptions (Gottfried Dietze, Richard Epstein), they retreated to embarrassed silence on anti-discrimination law (perhaps because they interfere with the liberty of people doing boring adult stuff like running a business and not kewel stuff like snorting cocaine).

Yes. Drug laws are trivial, but anti-discrimination law is a serious and important issue that libertarians should really spend a lot more time arguing about. Cause what's really important are the interests of white business owners who don't want to hire black people, as opposed to the interests of young black men who get sent to prison over crack cocaine possession. Or, at least, you gotta know where the interests of your constituents lie, don't you?

Exactly. Only 80% of the public supports drug legalization, so obviously Libertarians should focus on anti-discrimination laws which about 1% of the population objects to if they want to get anywhere in politics.

Exactly. Only 80% of the public supports drug legalization,

In your imagination only.

"80% of the public supports drug legalization"

I wish. maybe 8-0% support marijuana legalization, but that is just one drug. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP56H_ZpEsE&t=231s

"but anti-discrimination law is a serious and important issue that libertarians should really spend a lot more time arguing about."

You really go off the rails with this. I typically agree with all you write until you get to this. I go to lunch about once a week with a black guy, so while I wouldn't be going to this lunch place that does not serve blacks (example you gave above), either with or without him, I still believe in freedom of association. It's not much different than me supporting a Nazi's first amendment rights even though I disagree with his message. You see to be libertarian when it suits you and not when it doesn't. Actually maybe that's the definition of libertarian.

I'm not saying I'm in favor of anti-discrimination laws. However, two things:
1) Opposing anti-discrimination laws should be way down the list of priorities, both because it's politicially expedient, and because it's a small infringement on liberty.
2) In the absence of anti-discrimination laws, we would have to rely on social norms (i.e. political correctness) to regulate bigoted behavior. There's a fair argument to be made there that you're going to end up with a more liberal social environment in terms of less virtue signalling, and more freedom to express racist beliefs, if anti-discrimination laws exist, than if people have to rely on social norms. I.e. People can say whatever they want if they can't legally discriminate - their words have no meaningful impact, but if they're free to discriminate, a lot of people are going to want to suppress racist expression in order to try to prevent actual discrimination from occurring, by making it socially unacceptable. That might be better, or it might be worse, but you sort of have to choose between formal legal suppression of racism, and informal social suppression of racism.

I’m not saying I’m in favor of anti-discrimination laws. However, two things: 1) Opposing anti-discrimination laws should be way down the list of priorities, both because it’s politicially expedient, and because it’s a small infringement on liberty.

No, it's not small.

What's a bigger infringement on liberty Art?
A) Being compelled to serve someone you would rather not serve.
B) Being sent to prison for selling a product to a willing buyer.

How many people get sent to prison every year for refusing to service black people, vs. how many get sent to prison for selling drugs?

Now I get it. I finally understand how you can maintain the positions that you hold. You've never run a buisness you've never had staff, you've never managed anyone. If you had ever been in such positions you would understand the costs.

You're a zero and you don't even know it. You have feels and you want them to count. They don't. You are nothing. Zero.

Go go something in the world and report back.

FWIW I'm with you on the drug use stuff, but we can be both for that and for freedom of association. The trouble with legal attacks on that is soon you get judges using the laws to force churches against gay marriage to marry gays, to force religious related schools to cater to all religious beliefs, ect. They will use any tool available to force your behavior. I don't care if someone is a bigot. Ignore him , as long as he's not attacking you. You can't force someone to like you, and you shouldn't really care. You can't force someone to do business with you either.

@Scared,
You want to talk about how government's laws and regulations mess with people's lives? You can start by talking to the "dreamers".
It's pretty hard to go "do something in the world" when you face the full force of the US federal government barring you from even having a job, much less being a manager who has the horror of having to fill out forms to prove to the EEOC that you're not discriminating. So I'm sorry that you have to deal with that shit, but there are many people out there who are WAY, WAY WAY more victimized by the US government than you are, and if you had half a brain you would figure out how to make those people your allies against arbitrary and capricious laws that fuck with people's lives instead of making them your enemy.

Hazel, it doesn't occur to you what anti-discrimination law amplified by lawfare artists on and off the bench has done. It has not only ruined free association, it has distorted and disfigured the operations of public and private institutions as they attempt to avoid harassment by public agencies and lawfare shysters alike. It's also a crucial buttress to the role of higher education in sorting the labor market. I'm sorry you're a blockhead about this due to your emotional shticks (see your apologia pro vita Rachel Dolezal), but it really is no one's fault but yours.

It has ruined free association in what way? By preventing people who want whites only clubs from keeping black people from joining? Be more explicit.

Shall we chalk this us against the destructive effects on human lives due to the mass incarceration that has attended the war on drugs?

The problem with being explicit, Hazel, is that we have - and it just slides right out of your memory. Water off a duck's back. In one ear, out the other. And a hundred more cliches that nevertheless remain true. But, let's try it again, surely it'll work this time! http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-39692673

At Oxford, students and staff were told that avoiding eye contact with a minority constituted "everyday racism". Never mind that many people are introverts who avoid eye contact with almost everybody; never mind that a man maintaining too much eye contact with a woman is considered "creepy", creating a potential Kobayashi Maru situation. Never mind that eye contact is often instinctively avoided because the person is already worried that they might cause offense!

Can't you see the issue? The imposition of these rules makes interacting with minorities stressful even for - actually, especially for - the well-meaning. Oh god, if I say the wrong thing then I'm a racist is not an uncommon feeling, and it leads to weird, stilted and unpleasant interactions. I have seen this barrier result in social segregation where there would clearly not have been without it. I understand the need to try to avert direct hatred or hostility, but when you start targeting unconscious or semi-conscious habits - which are almost never racist in the first place - it places a needless mental burden on what should be a free and amiable interaction.

As for eye contact, they eventually walked this particular instance back, after it made the news and Oxford became the laughing-stock of the world; but the general effect remains in a thousand other ways.

Feeling uncomfortable about maintaining eye-contact or not = just like going to prison for drug dealing.
Wow.

"Feeling uncomfortable about maintaining eye-contact or not = just like going to prison for drug dealing. Wow."

And I said or implied anything of that sort... where exactly? Try again.

Rich,

What connection whatsoever does that link have to do with anti-discrimination laws, which relate to not being allowed to exclude people from employment or to refuse them service on the basis of their race?

Anonymous,

Ok, mea culpa I was off topic - I was talking about the damage to social relations wrought by a general "anti-discrimination" crusade which has ballooned to insane proportions. Perhaps I didn't read carefully enough to divine the precise topic being discussed, and responded to a more general point which may or may not have been under contention. Where I am, these "guidelines" can land you in trouble if an accusation is made; hence I mentally equate it to a 'law' because they function pretty similarly. Yes, I've seen people break the guidelines and get away with it; but I've also seen people piss on a street corner and get away with it.

As for the precise laws you're talking about, I have no problem with e.g. "you have to sell person X a sandwich if they have the money to buy one" (if it's not clear, I'm not a libertarian). When it starts to get vague - e.g. "disparate impact" - then I start to worry about adverse and unintended effects, like in the "ban-the-box" case.

Aside from Art Deco, what libertarians do you see seriously arguing against anti-discrimination laws? I mean, i get that Anonymous is fixated on the Rand Paul civil rights gaff from like 10 years ago, but thats for the same reason that your typical Obama hater believes he is secretly a muslim terrorist, cause they are both dying to swallow any line which confirms their priors. Whats your deal?

"Neither Reagan nor Buckley were libertarians. "

Correct. They were "small government" conservatives.

Can anyone who knowingly kept mum when the Basel Committee, in 1988, with Basel I, for the purpose of bank capital requirements, assigned the sovereign a risk weight of 0% and the citizen one of 100%, be hold as a real libertarian?
http://perkurowski.blogspot.com/2016/04/here-are-17-reasons-for-why-i-believe.html

2. US's real libertarian moment was 1776. It has been passing since.

1) A Shakespeare theme park would be fun ... Neil Simon, maybe. Arthur Miller or Eugene O'Neill, not so sure.

4) Boy, two of my favorite sites can't seem to get enough of the Amish lately. All I know is, I got mugged after seeing Witness, so I blame the Amish and don't really care how happy they are.

The more interconnected the world gets (aka externalities) the weaker the case for Libertarianism

For parts of it or course.............

"The more interconnected the world gets (aka externalities) the weaker the case for Libertarianism"

I don't think it's primarily interconnections. I think it's population. A live and let live philosophy is far easier in a low population frontier environment than it is a dense urban environment.

Yep. The more society there is, the more socialist it has to be almost by definition.

Quite the opposite. The more complex and interconnected the world gets, the less able governments are to centrally plan and manage societies and economies. Hayek et al won the 'socialist calculation debate' based on the impossibility of managing and controlling complex economies. The more complex and interconnected they become, the less they can be conceivably managed (without doing great damage). As Trump seems to be trying to demonstrate with his ham-fisted trade war.

No one said they were more competent. Just that they were more capable of trying and willing to try. Alas.

Predictably, Kevin misses the nuance and evolution of any movement. Libertarianism, liberalism, neoliberalism, socialism, Marxism, and conservatism are simply boxes we put ourselves in. I am all of these things and none of these things. Labeling diminishes your voice outside of your in group.

Rand Paul has defended privacy rights, war powers, and prison reform. I respect him for those stances, but I have not voted for him. He is a man not only out of time, but out of party. A party that has diluted his message. At Fancy Farm, a local tradition, all he could yammer about was Hillary Clinton as if that was the only issue motivating voters. He sneaks into town, holding meetings during working hours or with select groups sympathetic to Republican causes. So we come to the crux of why this strain of libertarianism is struggling, it's affiliation with a pack of self-righteous bobble heads.

Rebirth will bring better days ahead.

“Seems like a self-validating claim.”

> Is the libertarian moment passing?

the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage

2. Kevin has been fired already

https://www.thedailybeast.com/kevin-williamson-fired-the-atlantic-memo-jeffrey-goldberg-abortion-hanging

nd who needs the Tower of Babel when we have "Libertarianism!

Who needs Ibsen and "Enemy of the People" when we have Rick Snyder and Flint, Michigan? And who needs the Tower of Babel when we have “Libertarianism!

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