Monday, February 9, 2009

Libertarians......are whack's okay for me to say that....I googled it and it checked out Part II

Dear Schmeat -

Having previously established the Libertarian views I find most objectionable, I think it's best that I just move straight into analyzing the many flaws in their thinking, so that they can get straight to work correcting themselves.

You see, Schmeat, Libertarian "thinking" seems to fall into three large categories, which are as follows:

  • Unrealistic
  • Misinformed
  • UnAmerican

All of which fall under the larger umbrella of what I like to call "Ludicrous". Now that I have established a framework for classifying Libertarian views, let me walk you through where each of the major points of their platform falls. Let's begin with those odious views that fall under the category of "Unrealistic"

Unrealistic Views:

The Libertarian party believes that its platform is designed to guarantee the freedom and individual liberties of all Americans by having us swallow a concoction of emaciated government and uninhibited free markets.

They make the claim that free markets not only govern themselves best, but that, somehow, they are also the best steward of the common good, and that, if left alone, they will regulate themselves, and provide for the interests of the masses out of economic self-interest. Thus, all basic social services now provided by our bloated federal and state governments, including, but not limited to education and health care, would be provided by the private sector, and what's more, they will all function with superior efficiency.

Why, Schmeat, is this unrealistic?

As seen time and again, money speaks for money. Free markets exist for one purpose; Profit. Private industry has little, and in most cases no financial incentive to provide for the common good. As seen, time and time again, throughout history, and as recently as right now, private industry is all to willing to sacrifice the good of the many for the momentary gains of the few. While it is almost certain that some rudimentary services in the way of education and health care might be provided just to guarantee a functioning work force, it is unlikely that it would compare with the quality, or scope of our, admittedly flawed, public systems.

Misinformed Views:

Libertarians (ship jumper Ron Paul included) regularly attempt to tie their views to some historical precedent, hearkening back to a time when our government was less overbearing, obtrusive, and omnipresent. Libertarians, and Republicans, are oft heard to be the Constitutional party, whose sole ambition in life seems to be to return us to the noble principles laid out by our fore bearers in the Constitution.

Unfortunately they have little understanding of many of the basic facts of U.S. History, let alone a perspective on that history that would allow them to draw comparisons between seemingly nebulous events.

Let's review just a few topics on which the run of the mill Libertarian is in need of a history lesson:

Education: Libertarians believe that education should be provided by private industry and that government should not dictate what is taught in schools. Public education is not a privilege, it is an absolute necessity to have a functioning republic. Our founders provided for public education when creating the Northwest Territory under the Articles of Confederation. This should be proof enough that they felt that government should provide at least basic education. Additionally, the quality of education that would be provided in an all private system is dubious at best. The fact is that our current public system cannot turn anyone away. An all private system would provide quality education to those who fit the mold and could afford it. It would provide an "education" to everyone else.

Taxes: Libertarians propose an end to our federal income tax, claiming that it did not exist before the early 20th century. They are correct in that fact. Unfortunately, when they suggest that we amputate that revenue stream, they fail to suggest a reasonable replacement for it other than fiscal responsibility. They seem to want Americans to believe that prior to the income tax, spending was less and that the government wasn't taking in that money from another source. In fact, the income tax was actually created as a means of boosting the Libertarian's precious free markets. Our economy had been hamstrung by protectionist tariffs, which the U.S. government used to fund its federal programs. The removal of these tariffs provided a boost to our economy, but left a gap in out federal budget. This gap was filled by our income tax.

Free Market Altruism: Libertarians believe free markets to be the answer to most, if not all, of the world's problems, naively trusting private industry to have the best interest of the nation at heart, if only because it is "good for business". This, again, has been proven wrong numerous times throughout our short history. Even if we disregard the current financial shit storm, caused in a large part by greed, shortsightedness, and lack of oversight, our history is rife with examples of private industry's shortcomings. One need only open a high school history book to the chapter on the Progressive Era or the Industrial Revolution to see that private industry fought tooth and nail for the ability to keep wages low, conditions unsafe, and workers impoverished. It took intervention by government to force upon private industry what it would not do itself. It is a fact that much of what private sector workers consider standard practice such as a forty hour work week, health insurance, retirement, 8 hour work day, worker's compensation, unemployment, maternity leave, equality in the workplace for women and minorities, etc etc.....are ALL the result of victories won by workers Unions and enforced by legislation.

UnAmerican Views:

How, you might ask, are the Libertarian's views UnAmerican? Well, Schmeat, it goes without saying that an educated, healthy population benefits from government protection and intervention. To unilaterally eliminate public services only serves the wealthy and well connected. Libertarians are a party of relative affluence, blind to the fact that not all Americans are born into opportunity. In a nation where all men are created equal, they should be given the opportunity for equal footing, an even starting line, and in a nation where the government exists to "provide for the common defense", the government should and must defend against threats both foreign and domestic, and there have been few domestic threats in our history more destructive than an unrestrained free market.

Schmeat, I hope you've enjoyed this two day marathon of venom and misanthrope. I've certainly enjoyed penning it, but don't get to used to it. Schmeat on Schmeat is a forum for lighthearted sarcasm and tomfoolery. It isn't the proper venue for me to spew my totally awesome political commentary on a regular basis. Next blog you can look forward to the kind of ignorant, self-centered diatribe you've come to know and love.

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