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Libertarianism’s Achilles’ Heel

Memo Pad Politics

Libertarianism’s Achilles’ Heel


WASHINGTON — In politics, we often skip past the simple questions. This is why inquiries about the fundamentals can sometimes catch everyone short.

Michael Lind, the independent-minded scholar, posed one such question last week about libertarianism that I hope will shake up the political world. I’ll get to his query in a moment. It’s important because many in the new generation of conservative politicians declare libertarianism as their core political philosophy.

Libertarians have the virtue, in principle at least, of a very clear creed: They believe in the smallest government possible, longing for what the late philosopher Robert Nozick, in his classic book Anarchy, State and Utopia, called “the night-watchman state.” Anything government does beyond protecting people from violence or theft and enforcing contracts is seen as illegitimate.

If you start there, taking a stand on the issues of the day is easy. All efforts to cut back on government functions — public schools, Medicare, environmental regulation, food stamps — should be supported. Anything that increases government activity (Obamacare, for example) should be opposed.

In his bracing 1970s libertarian manifesto For a New Liberty, the economist Murray Rothbard promised a nation that would be characterized by “individual liberty, a peaceful foreign policy, minimal government and a free-market economy.”

Rothbard’s book concludes with boldness: “Liberty has never been fully tried in the modern world; libertarians now propose to fulfill the American dream and the world dream of liberty and prosperity for all mankind.”

This is where Lind’s question comes in. Note that Rothbard freely acknowledges that “liberty has never been fully tried,” at least by the libertarians’ exacting definition. In an essay in Salon, Lind asks:

“If libertarians are correct in claiming that they understand how best to organize a modern society, how is it that not a single country in the world in the early 21st century is organized along libertarian lines?”

In other words, “Why are there no libertarian countries?”

The ideas of the center-left — based on welfare states conjoined with market economies –have been deployed all over the democratic world, most extensively in the social democratic Scandinavian countries. We also had deadly experiments with communism, aka Marxism-Leninism.

From this, Lind asks another question: “If socialism is discredited by the failure of communist regimes in the real world, why isn’t libertarianism discredited by the absence of any libertarian regimes in the real world?”

E. J. Dionne

Besides contributing to The National Memo, E.J. Dionne, Jr. is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, and a university professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University.

His most recent book is Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent (2013).

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  1. Lynda Groom June 10, 2013

    It has always seemed to me that the Achilles heal of libertarianism has been it spokespersons. The message gets lost in the extremes of the philosophy. Seemingly good ideas are often put aside due to the hyperbole of the messengers.

  2. John Pigg June 10, 2013

    Libertarianism is weak amongst the “Tea Party”. What you actually have is certain aspects of Libertarian thought: specifically related to taxes and domestic policy.

    Domestic Policy is where the “Libertarian Philosophy” is at its weakest. The biggest bastion of Libertarianism currently is former Ron Paul and Johnson supporters. Despite this article these voters tend to be extremely young and concerned with the impact of our war on terror.

    This faction which may or may not vote cares about Civil Liberties, Foreign Policy, and Drug enforcement.

    They are not welcome within the GOP, Ron Paul and Rachel Maddow has shown this to be the case. The right wingers of this faction may rally around Rand Paul of Ken, but the Liberal wing of Ron Paul’s faction will find other ways to express their dissatisfaction.

  3. Dominick Vila June 10, 2013

    Libertarianism is a wonderful concept…for those living in Nirvana. The truth is that we live in a world where greed, intolerance, and lack of compassion make utopian idealism a chimera. From limiting the probability of terrorist attacks, to building an infrastructure and supporting the institutions that allow us to maintain our standard of living, we increasingly depend on the public sector to fund programs conducive to the attainment of our national and personal goals.
    The anti-government sentiment that has existed since we became a Republic, and gained impetus in the Reagan era, ignores the fact that the private sector invests in businesses and concepts that offer a high probability of safe high return on investment. That does not mean our entrepreneurs are evil, uncaring, fellow citizens, that means they are savvy businessmen focused on growth, high sales, and profits. The basis of capitalism.
    Those conservatives, who claim to embrace some libertarian concepts, don’t do it because there is evidence the private sector will step in and fill the void caused by a smaller government, they do it because they would rather have a few extra dollars in their pocket to spend on the latest electronic gadget or a cruise, than help build the infrastructure we need to survive and retain our global hegemony for many years to come. There is nothing wrong with dreaming of a better world, as long as we don’t forget the realities that surround us. Government is not our enemy, we need government to perform the tasks and pursue the goals the private sector is not interested in, otherwise, we will become a Third World country in a matter of a few decades.

    1. Germansmith June 10, 2013

      I agree with most of your statement, but I would like to point out that most people will not argue with the need of an improved infrastructure if necessary to improve communications and business even if it cost them more money.
      The money issue, for me (I am not in the Tea Party, but I do understand some of their issues) is how is spent in items the majority of our population probably disagree with.
      I believe the biggest issues with Government is their tendency to grow uncontrollable and to find for themselves new missions and objectives there were not created for (as an excuse for bigger budget to grow some more)
      When government starts to tell me what can I eat or drink or what insurance I need to buy or how to raise my children, what language is appropriate or who do I do business with, it is going too far.

      1. idamag June 10, 2013

        There is no law about what you can eat or drink. Since obesity has become the number one health problem, it has been addressed with suggestions. Sure Bloomberg might have gotten carried away, but you could still drink 36 oz liquid sugar, you would have done it in smaller increments. The reason obesity is worrying politicians is that it causes so many other maladies that put people on welfare. So, I ask you, should I not be concerned if your lifestyle takes money out of my pocket?

        1. Germansmith June 10, 2013

          Why would my lifestyle takes money out of your pocket?
          I pay for my own health insurance and deductibles.
          If you are in Welfare and Medicaid, maybe we should prohibit their smoking, soft drinks and unprotected sex or having more kids?
          If you are going to start limiting health damaging behavior…. Why not unprotected anal sex? How about restricting police for car chases for MJ violations? Why not limit TV watching that is turning our citizens into couch potatoes?
          You are missing my point. You can not legislate responsible or logical healthy behavior…some people will find the way to abuse things and be stupid. That is NOT a Government’s role.
          The only thing you can do is allowing people to live the consequences of their behavior and actions good or bad. For those of us that believe in evolution is the law of natural selection

          1. Dominick Vila June 10, 2013

            As you know, there is no such a thing as a perfect institution or person. We all have flaws and limitations, but in the absence of a better alternative, government is the only thing we got, and contrary to what some people insinuate, ours is better than most.
            Yes, some times our leaders get carried away, often with the best intentions in the world, as I am sure was Bloomberg’s goal, but when that happens either the author, the opposition, or the people take steps to remedy the situation. Those shortcomings, however, should not be an excuse for inaction. The problem with our infrastructure goes well beyond its state of disrepair. Some of our resources are grossly inadequate (our levees are an example of that), some are very ineffective (our power grid is an example of that), some are in an advanced state of disrepair (many of our bridges are an example of that), and some are antiquated (our ports and airports come to mind). The problem is that the limitations that come along with having substandard resources put us at a disadvantage when we try to compete with other industrialized nations. The same happens when we neglect R&D, investment in new technologies, investment in education, and a greater focus on new concepts and processes.
            The key is to write legislation that addresses the issues that are important to our society, making them as specific as possible to minimize the probability of waste and fraud. What we cannot afford as a nation is to do nothing.

          2. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            I do not disagree
            I am all for rebuilding and repair our infrastructure and invest in R&D…and yes, that is under the scope of government…mostly because only government has the necessary resources to get it done.
            Those were not the expenditures I was talking about

          3. metrognome3830 June 10, 2013

            Actually, Germansmith, your lifestyle can take money out of others pockets. I hope you are not living the lifestyle you speak of, but if you do, and you require more expensive medical care than average, insurance companies don’t just raise your premium. They raise their premiums for all their members regardless of whether or not you require more medical care than average. Therefore, you would be taking money out of other people’s pockets. But I agree that government shouldn’t be telling us how to live.

          4. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013

            There is no such thing as The Perfect Lifestyle. Hell, even these long-distant runners die of a heart attack right on the track.

            Even if there was, I would not ever give up my Fair Fries, Sausage Sandwiches, Gyros, etc:)

            Also, there are people who are Genetically Predisposed to get many illnesses early on in life. So, what do we do about these people, give them a genetic test in the whom and then abort them to avoid the cost of taking care of them?

            I agree though, the government or private enterprises shouldn’t be trying to tell us how to live. That could lead to a very slippery slope too.

          5. metrognome3830 June 10, 2013

            I like your diet. I just love Gyros. I’m waiting for the opportunity to try ObozoMustGo’s French Fries fried in duck fat.

          6. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013

            Haha, I love it.

            But, honestly, for these past several years now, I can’t eat like I used to – which is good. It just don’t go through and out the pipes like it used to.

            However, I won’t give up my own Ribs, pull of the bone:)

          7. Siegfried Heydrich June 10, 2013

            ‘Cause . . . .
            I’m a carnivore and I’m OK
            I eat my meat real rare
            and if you serve it well done, I’ll turn into a bear!

            I chews the fat
            I gnaws the bones
            The gristle thrills my tongue
            And until I’ve sucked the marrow, I will not be done!

            (ah, Monty Python, what have ye wrought?)

          8. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            While you are technically correct (prices now would be based on age only) and I do have a fairly healthy life style, the point I was trying to make is that outlawing the use or consumption of items other people consider detrimental is not going to work and if they forget, they should go back and read about Prohibition.

          9. metrognome3830 June 13, 2013

            Well we can agree on that.

          10. jnap June 10, 2013

            Don’t tell me you can’t legislate responsibility. Here are some examples:
            If you drive a car you must have liability or no fault insurance. If you you own a home, with a mortgage, you must have insurance on that home to protect the lender from losing their collateral if the home is damaged or destroyed. If you own a business you must be licensed and insured and have the proper training and credentials. Now if you agreed to die and not seek health care unless you have the means to pay for it I would say great except that the one needing health care may be one of your children or some other dependent.

            It is governments job to make sure people meet their obligations and it does it through legislation and laws based on commonly accepted standards of fairness and human conduct.

          11. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            Government does not care if you have home insurance or not
            Just the lender will call out your mortgage…a free market exercise.
            You must have liability to protect the other people, but nobody is forcing you to have collision unless you owe money in the car.
            If you drive or have a business you are doing something that you choose to do.
            If my neighbor drives like an idiot and gets in all sorts of accidents, is the insurance company going to force me to pay higher premiums because of him?…well maybe yes, but they also have the choice to decline his coverage and just insure good drivers….that is not the question here.
            If we are compel to provide healthcare for everybody, fine because that is what he promised he will do, but do it thru Medicaid or Medicare and let the insurance market do what the do best, evaluate measurable risk and function accordingly.
            I still fail to understand why we are guaranteeing access to an expensive $1200 MRI, probably not needed, when we would have probably spend less providing a roof over the heads of poor people and at least 2 solid meals a day.

          12. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013

            Cost Control means Price Freezes and Regulating the profiteering that goes on in the medical fields that Republicans hate even the thought of.

          13. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            If we go to a single payer system and we get some managing officials with some level of efficiency and NO plans to be working for the HCA after government service (yeah, stop laughing, it could be possible) there is no need to implement price freezes.
            This system should allow to operate free from any influence from the executive or legislative branches and only use medical accepted guidelines to approve or disapprove procedures.
            I think HHS did something good when they published the master biller list for a lot of the hospitals. Would people use this information it remains to be seen.
            Look, as long as government and insurance companies pay for most medical bills, regular Joe (who may spend 3 days comparing prices in the internet to buy his 55″ TV) is not going to make any effort to evaluate prices, performance and results when they have a need for non-emergency medical care….it does not matter to him, Uncle Sam or Aetna pays
            If for whatever reason, the system does not work for him by not paying for some of his medical care , they stump and cry and blame the insurance company or the government. In my experience with my clients, 90% of those problems lie with the client or the doctors.
            Who is going to help those people whenever health insurance agents are replaced by “navigators” ?

          14. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013

            It would be “nice” to choose, by price, the doctor you want to wind up with in the hospital, or what hospital has the cheapest prices along with the best services.

            However, that’s not goona happen.

            And, why on earth the double-billing, windup in the emergency room, they take a x-ray, read it there, then send it out to a clinic to do the read again, then your billed. Not to mention, the doctor according to the hospital is a independent contractor. You get HIS bill directly from his office.

            And, this is not only for emergency visits either.

            To me, this is nothing but unregulated GRAFT!

          15. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            It is a sick system that soon will be benefiting from a large bundle of cash pour over them.
            One of the things I do is teach my clients to read and understand the EOB (Explanation of Benefits) and to take responsibility to follow the claims that are accessible in their insurer web site where they can also find programs designed to help you live a healthier life and take some control over your healthcare cost.
            I noticed, some people have troubles ALL THE TIME , while other learn to use the system and prosper

          16. Siegfried Heydrich June 10, 2013

            Easy-peasey fix. Anyone convicted of fraud loses ALL of their professional certifications permanently and irrevocably, and is also barred from ever being employed or associating in any size, shape, manner or degree, even on a detached or consultative basis, with ANY company or organization receiving ANY federal or state funding. Any corporation found to have a connection to convicted felon automatically is ineligible from receiving ANY gov’t payments.

            Make the penalty for cheating so draconian that only the most greedy, avaricious, and amoral will even consider it, and then use the ones who do get caught as very public object lessons for those considering a similar path. You want to fook the system? Just remember that the system fooks back, and they have a MUCH bigger dicque than yours . . .

            The public will wise up after a few really egregious and sensational examples of doodikopfery, as they generally do.

          17. charleo1 June 11, 2013

            You know you just suggested kicking out of the Country,
            every health insurance co. Every corporate hospital chain.
            Most of the drug cos. And the Governor of the State of FL.?
            I like it! Please continue!

          18. Allan Richardson June 12, 2013

            The only benefit I received (other than family ties) from moving out of Florida to Georgia is losing that “gonifator” (ask an old Jew what that means). The downside is not being able to vote or campaign against him next year. But at least I have Phil Gingrey to vote against for the Senate!

          19. charleo1 June 12, 2013

            Well, there you go! And the battle rages, unabated!

          20. jnap June 11, 2013

            Damn, it must be nice to have such a superior intellect as to be able to prescribe what is proper and not proper in the health care system of this country. Navigators would be superior to those that make health care decisions based on profit or just plain greed.
            I would love a health care system like Canada or France but, politically, at this time and place in the US it is impossible.
            Obama care is the first time, in the existence of this country and after one hundred years of trying, that allows all Americans that want health insurance and health care that is more than just a stabilizing trip to the ER, to have it. Is it perfect, well no, but it is a great start in the right direction and I predict, in ten years from now, people will say it is the best thing that happened since Social Security.

          21. Germansmith June 11, 2013

            I am sad for you if you think that all people that work for profit are greedy bastards out to screw the world. You sound like you would love a world where government does everything and controls everything for you…can I interest you in a cute house in N Korea or Cuba? Price is very good…certainty you keep the property, not so much

            As a Financial Advisor we have fiduciary responsibility toward our clients, we are regulated by NAIFA and this association is far stricter and tougher on the members in regards to our ethical behaviors toward our clients and general public than any government agency could even consider doing. Furthermore, I have never sold a product or a solution just for the fee or commission and about 20% of the people I work with NEVER will give me any profit, but they really need my help.
            Oh well…give you an example, how about the SEC letting Maddoff get away with fraud all these years while NAIFA was raising all sort of concerns about his dealings?
            There is government efficiency for you…..

          22. jnap June 11, 2013

            I never said all businesses screw their customers but they certainly are out for profit. In the insurance industry there is very little or no competition because they have built the system so it is very difficult if not impossible to compare products. They created, in the health insurance industry, codes for all of the services rendered and unless you work in the business you don’t know what was provided, exactly, why and whether the payment was fair. Many of the treatments I have received, recently, are billed at four times what the reimbursement rate is and the providers always seem to accept the payment negotiated by the insurance company or Medicare. As for the integrity of the securities industry ask Merrill Lynch about that and also about the collateralize debt obligations products they sold to the world which turned out to be worthless. Ask bank of America about Countywide and how it damn near put them out of business and would have if not for the Federal government bailout. Ask Lehman brothers; ops sorry but you can’t. Those that trust others to make decisions about their wealth or finances should always be skeptical. When someone asks why I am cautious I say “because it is my money and not yours”.
            My business was built on doing work for the Government and in every case, at my small business level, they held me accountable and made sure any sizable contract went out to bid.
            If I read you right you are as skeptical of Government as I am of the insurance industry. At least with the government I can vote them out of office but I can’t do that with a business.

          23. jnap June 11, 2013

            So when you go to your doctor tell him or her what you think you need or not need in the way of tests. Treat yourself and debate with your health care provider about what is appropriate care or not. And then you will be like the doctor that treats themselves and has a fool for a patient.

          24. Germansmith June 11, 2013

            If you do not take active part of your health care procedures and become informed about them…you will have an early death and your doctor have a fool for a patient.
            I am getting tired of this, Are you arguing with me because you think I am not a good person not to like? or because you really totally disagree with my comments?
            Vaya con Dios……

          25. jnap June 11, 2013

            I am arguing with you because I believe you lack compassion for the common man and because you appear to have had a life that has not faced certain life altering, catastrophic, circumstances that you had no control over.
            It is not always about who makes the most money, or who has the most business success, it is about what would you want and what would be proper if you personally faced what so many people face through no fault of their own.
            Yes, I do think terrorist insurance is proper and I would support legislation that provides it for free to all Americans. Since you believe it is rarely of almost never needed the cost should be very low. Somehow we have billions to fight the war on terror but very little money to help those directly affected.

          26. Germansmith June 11, 2013

            Then you know nothing about me
            My family was forced to migrate from Spain after the Spanish Civil War as we were on the losing side
            Again from Cuba as once again we were dispossessed of all we had work for and were forced to start again in the US.
            Because I had a US citizens as family members, I came to US when I was 14 years old, received 2 cans of government cheese and move in with family in a ghetto (now there are called “Urban Environment ” I spoke no English
            Went to school in the morning, had football practice later and a job washing dishes in a hotel until midnight and start it all again the next day. Graduated from high school and since I was injured (on purpose by one of my own teammates to make sure my position went to a friend) I had no college opportunities
            That left the Navy as an option. Served for 3 years to a E4 and left the Navy to work as a microfilm technician for 3M. From engineering I became a salesman.
            Studied and climbs the ranks to reach a high level management with Eastman Kodak international division
            Thru all this process I have been married twice, have 2 daughters and 2 sons, I have been shoot at, kidnaped in Mexico, chased by contras in Nicaragua and Honduras.
            My kids, wife, ex wife never had to lack for the basic necessities of life.
            After 18 years in 1997 and because I argued for my company to pursue a digital strategy (which they ignored) I was asked to resign and due to the economy and my age I was forced to pursue a different career in financial services
            thru all, I collected only two months of unemployment and I believe that the mark of the man is not how many times you fall, but the fact that you get up again. As long as you have the will, discipline and earn Karma by helping others, this is a great country of opportunities.
            My point of view is not forged by a privileged life. It is build on my experiences that taught me that unless you are disable or lazy or stupid, most people can build themselves a good life with what is offer to them. I do believe in helping people when the chips are down…but only as such I see a desire from them to get up and go and not become a permanent victim of bad circumstances that happens to everybody.

          27. Michael Kollmorgen June 12, 2013

            You’ve been through a lot. I congratulate you for achieving what you have.

            However, take a softer tone towards people who haven’t, please. Your Candor, way of posting makes it seem you are a bigot.

            I don’t believe you are, but others might.

          28. Germansmith June 12, 2013

            I do not see myself as a bigot, but I must agree and admit I am not totally free of prejudices (may I add most people still have some, but will not admit them)
            I will also admit that I enjoy being a “devil’s advocate”
            What good is a blog thread is everybody agrees with each other?
            How is that helping other people see a different point of view?
            If the replies I received are thoughtful and educated even as they may disagree with my point of view, I value then as well, some may even change my opinion in a subject.
            As long as the person do not use insults to compensate for the lack of substance in the argument, is all good
            Have a good one!!

          29. Michael Kollmorgen June 12, 2013

            I have my Prejudices as well. But, I try to keep them repressed as much as possible.

            Some of my views I would not want to disclose, others like on here, I’ll free give. Everyone has a deeper opinion on a lot of subjects they won’t disclose, sometimes to save face, sometimes to avoid a major argument.

            Some opinions are just too harsh and honest to express also. Sometimes reality just slaps you in the face as well.

          30. Michael Kollmorgen June 11, 2013

            I have on occasion, fought tooth and nail with my doctor in the area of what he prescribes to me, or what he wants me to take.

            Some of these drugs he prescribes, or tried to, is more dangerous from the side effects than the cure for the problem.

          31. Yappy2 June 12, 2013


          32. RobertCHastings June 16, 2013

            But you can make it costly for people who engage in risky behaviors to continue such behavior. Most workplaces require periodic random drug testing; many are beginning to charge higher insurance premiums for those who engage in risky behavior, like smoking or alcohol use; life insurance companies have their own penalties for those who engage in risky behavior.
            So, your risky behavior SHOULD result in some – at least inconvenient – financial consequences.

        2. Fern Woodfork June 11, 2013

          They Act Like They Don’t Get It!!!!!!!!!! It Cost Money To Live Anywhere!!! If They Don’t Like Paying To Live Here MOVE!!!! Try Telling Your Landlord Or The Lender To Your Home, You Don’t Feel You Should Pay Them And See Where That Get You!!! Out In The Street!!! It Takes Money To Live Here If You Don’t Want To Pay MOVE!!!!!!!

        3. RobertCHastings June 16, 2013

          I agree with you, in part. Welfare has been changed so that it is no longer a haven for the lazy and indigent, or the chronically ill. There is now a move afoot to allow companies to charge those who engage in risky health behavior greater premiums along with agreeing to some control over their health issues by those who provide the coverage. This process should apply not only to the obese, but to ALL risky behaviors. I remember maybe thirty years ago the Atlanta Braves released a player from their roster who had broken a leg riding a motorcycle, a violation of their “risky behavior” clause, even though, at the time, he was among the league’s leading home run hitters. I hated to see him go, but we must all be aware of the risky behavior we engage in and how it affects others.

      2. DemInExile June 10, 2013

        “….is how is spent in items the majority of our population probably disagree with.”

        But that’s the problem. Whenever Americans are polled about specific programs and what should be cut, it turns out that ALL programs are considered important/should not be cut by a majority of Americans, with the sole exception of “foreign aid”, which of course is about as relevant to overall gov. spending as the change in my pocket. (source – http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/23/americans-still-dont-want-to-cut-any-actual-government-programs/

        It is a myth, a perception driven by the propaganda of those with a (often temporary) deficit fetish that our government pisses away money on worthless things.

        And your examples are overly general and vague. Should the gov tell parents that their children must read certain books, must go to bed by a certain time? Of course not. NOBODY would argue that. But the child is a person, whose liberty is protected under law just as much as the parents, but whom does not have the decision-making, power, or independence to stand up for themself. If a parent is parenting in a way that imperils a child’s health, liberty, freedom, etc… it is absolutely the responsibility of the government to get involved, just as much as when protecting any citizen from loss of life or liberty.

        You don’t want car insurance? What happens if you wreck another person’s car and can’t pay for it? Does that person suffer to protect your liberty? Eating and drinking? A poor diet, leading to diabetes and inability to work means people will have to help pay for your medical care and existence. Forcing other people to pay for your poor decisions (the prime reason behind most of these seemingly intrusive government rules) is reducing your “liberty”, but at the same time protecting the liberty of everyone else.

        The libertarian view of liberty only exists in a world in which nobody impinges upon the liberty of another. This is only possible in a world where people do not coexist – where they live in isolation, off the grid with no interactions with others. Their poor decision or bad luck means they die, just like a deer or fox or any other wild animal. The existence of a professional police force (arguably the largest expansion of government/misssion-creep, as neither local police nor standing army originally existed) is simply a reflection of the common American will. In other words, government isn’t some abstract thing with a life of its own, government is us, Americans. And while imperfect, government mission-creep is really a reflection that we, as an American society, collectively wish for something to happen.

      3. jnap June 10, 2013

        If you drive a car the government indeed does tell you what insurance to buy so that if you have an accident and are at fault you are able to pay for the damages. The reason Obamacare is the law is that many people were not buying health insurance and were expecting other people to pick up the cost.

        1. Germansmith June 10, 2013

          In Florida, You are forced to buy PIP (Personal Injury Protection) no matter what if you want to have a license. BUT, I have health insurance, why do I have to buy a PIP if it probably never covers any needs because I am already covered by health insurance. I have a dual coverage that I am paying for and have no choice but to.
          Obamacare will be forcing people to buy health insurance with some federal minimum coverage requirements. Maternity must be covered, so if you are a nun or a lesbian or a woman with no intentions of ever getting pregnant, you will still be subsidizing the costs for that coverage. The young also will be subsidizing the old and sick.
          If you want to cover everybody, why not install a National Health System, hire doctors (pay them a salary) and hospitals to work covering the poor and uninsured. Care to questions why this was not done this way? Why did we have to come up with this 2700 pages of convoluted laws that even HHS is having problem understanding and implementing.

          1. plc97477 June 10, 2013

            Contrary to what some think the female body does not shut down in a rape and nuns, lesbians etal can be raped.

          2. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            Really..?.is this your best argument to provide maternity coverage. Are you insulting my intelligence OR yours?….just in case of rape?. Anyway, fine, I’ll be happy if we pay for the abortion.
            Why not also mention in case God wants to come back again and impregnate another Virgen Maria….probably harder to find a virgin now.
            Why not implement a life insurance program for everybody’s families to get 250K of life insurance for free or subsidized…just in case we get shoot by a mugger in Chicago?
            Why not volcano insurance in Miami? Or Flood insurance in the Sahara?

          3. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013

            Don’t knock the Sahara. That used to be near swamp conditions a few million years ago.

            With our luck, global warming and oceans rising, it might happen again.

            And, there is an extremely good chance Florida might be half the size it is now too.

            As far Volcanoes go, Yellowstone is a huge Caldera just waiting to blow itself to hell and back.

            Be prepared too, buy as much land as you can on the “other side” of the San Andreas Fault. That land will be priceless eventually:)

          4. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            Well, I do have flood insurance in Miami and maybe with the proceeds I’ll buy a boat to take me to NC.
            With all you are describing, maybe Nebraska will soon have ocean view properties for sale.

          5. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013

            IF that big earthquake hits the Fault, it will be nearly instantaneous in its effect. It will probably leave cliffs a half mile high in most places. Salt won’t be a problem unless someone considers the Pacific Ocean as the problem.

            What I suspect may happen is that the part of CA the western part may pull apart from the east side along this fault and create chain islands, similar to japan if the big one hits. I don’t see it all going under the waves.

            Then, we could also have half of CA creep north very slowly too for another few hundred thousand years, which it already is doing. Imagine, someday people living there will be Canadian residents………..

            Regardless, it’ll be a long term investment on the other side of the fault, hehe.

            They are not sure exactly when Yellowstone will blow, but it will. According to most studies it’s overdue.

          6. Russell Byrd June 11, 2013

            For the record, the San Andreas is a strike-slip transform fault. Basically, two plates are sliding in opposite directions. This makes it impossible for the land to collapse as you have suggested. That would be “subduction.” If the “big one” hits, when it hits, there will probably be few undamaged structures on the land. Devastation will be immense, BUT the land will not be going anywhere. As for creeping northward – L.A. will, but I do not think we will be around by the time it matters.

          7. jnap June 11, 2013

            Germansmith, why not catastrophic federal insurance that covers hurricanes for places that can experience them, flood insurance (which is already a Federal insurance plan), earth quake insurance, tornado insurance, and possible fire insurance when it involves a forest fire. Add to that terrorist insurance which some people in Boston lately would love to have.
            There are some catastrophes so large that only the Federal government has the resources to pay for and cover. Let the insurance companies cover car insurance and business liability insurance and possible supplemental health insurance and let everyone that wants catastrophic insurance buy a policy from the Federal Government just like they do for flood insurance. Here in Florida the state had to offer hurricane insurance for many people because the insurance companies refused to do so after the hurricane Andrew and the four hurricanes that came after. Sometimes only government has the resources.

          8. Germansmith June 11, 2013

            All those insurances you mentioned are available in the open market. The problem is, if you try to insure everything that could happen to you, you be left with no money to eat.

            I am a Floridian as well and I was consulted about insurance by some of our politicians.

            My main issues with insurance in Florida is that PIP is a racket abused by crooked people, lawyers and doctors. If a P&C company wants to sell auto insurance in Florida, they must also sell Home insurance as well or be forced to participate in the declined pool. Andrew cost the insurance companies a great deal of money, but that is the way the cookie crumble and is was partly their fault for using out of state adjusters and paying them based on a percentage of the claim.

            I have problems with our government efficiency and would not trust them to do a good job. I present to you the VA after years and a billion dollars have been spend, they still takes up to 12 months to process benefits for our veterans. Or Medicare.1 year ago, I tried to report a fraud to Medicare and after 8 phone calls and replies by uncaring bureaucrats I gave up

          9. jnap June 11, 2013

            I don’t care what the insurance coverage is someone is going to try and game the system or commit fraud. What I am suggesting is a Federal insurance like flood insurance that covers the things I mentioned previously. Now someone that needs earthquake insurance probably won’t need hurricane insurance. Someone needing flood insurance may not need tornado insurance but everyone could use terrorists insurance if they are at the wrong place and the wrong time. Federal insurance for certain things makes good sense and if you don’t want it don’t buy it.

          10. Germansmith June 11, 2013

            Let us get out of your tunnel vision
            Terrorist Insurance??? What can a terrorist do to you???
            Kill or maimed or kidnap…or just hurt your feelings??
            Kill- Life Insurance Most of then will pay on any form of death
            Maimed- Disability Income and health insurance.
            Kidnap- There is Kidnaping Insurance. Pay for your return if you are kidnap.
            Hurt you feelings?? Buy a bottle of Jack Daniels
            Why not buy “hit by lightning insurance” or “fall in your bathtub”
            or “being bitten by an alligator” insurance
            As a Floridian, you have more chances to die that way than from a terrorist attack

          11. jnap June 11, 2013

            Are you not paying attention? Do you think those injured and killed on 9/11 were fully compensated by private insurance. Do you think those similarly injured and killed in Boston did not suffer financial injury. In fact there was a television program about 8 women that lost a limb at the Boston attack and they were worried about how they would be able to afford the artificial limbs they would require to continue their lives. How about Oklahoma? Colorado, Newtown, and others. You are getting ridicules with your assertions. I mentioned things that are current and of which the Federal Government is being expected to provide billions of dollars of help and you mention BS.
            The reason there is federal Flood insurance is that private insurers do not want to provide coverage. And if you read most policies certain acts of war are excluded. Are terrorist acts acts of war since we have a war on terrorism?
            I am suggesting insurance for catastrophic occurrences and you are talking crap.

          12. Germansmith June 12, 2013

            Yes they were. Actually, on 9/11 I was working for MetLife.
            MetLife paid every claim, either Disability or Life insurance for the victims that had their policies. I do not know about other companies
            Yes, Acts of War are not covered in most policies, so do not go wandering into Syria, But there are policies that would cover Acts of War, policies that cover our warriors.
            I said before. Insurance only works when you have a measurable risk. There is nothing anybody can do to make the Boston victims as good as before, but I am sure between government and or donations/foundations they would probably get the artificial limbs they need. I know I sound insensitive, but if you are going to lose a leg, better in a media covered terrorist attack than from a thug with a machete.

          13. jnap June 10, 2013

            Have you just now figured out how insurance works? Insurance pays for the small percentage of people that file a claim and not for those that don’t suffer some kind of loss or are sick or are responsible with the operation of their business. Insurance pays for those things that, for the most part, are out of our control. The idea is that everyone pays and only a small percentage collect. Those that are young will be glad when they’re old and the young are paying for their care.

          14. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            Well, that would be problem for me since I am a Financial Planner.
            Insurance works when you are insuring a quantifiable and measurable risk. There are dark mysterious people called actuaries that creates mortality and morbidity table rates and underwriters that decides who is a good risk (sell insurance to) or not (denied)
            In Obamacare, government controls what you can charge and what you must cover.
            If I have a house on the hill in North Carolina, should I pay the same home insurance rate as the guy with an ocean side house in New Orleans? NO, because my risk is less. Should I (who is healthy and in shape) pay the same rate as the guy who has been smoking his whole life, weights 300 lbs.
            and have diabetes because of his live style? Obama says YES and since I make enough money not to need a subsidy, I am subsidizing his poor decisions (or unfortunate luck) by paying the same premium.
            As I said, why not have medical care system of government doctors take care of those that can not afford (or where too cheap and/or stupid to buy health insurance when healthy, trust me lots of them) and let the insurance market function as intended.
            Before Obamacare we were actually seeing some premiums go down due to competitive pressure and clients had a choice of what coverage to buy, now premiums will go up (except in NY and NJ where they are all messed up anyway), but if you live in Indiana or Nebraska expect up to 70% increases to some younger buyers.

          15. jnap June 11, 2013

            You are speculating and talking like someone that thinks they have the insurance system figured out. So far those that have set up the exchanges are seeing rates that are less expensive and the reasons are simple; insurance companies must spend 85% of their premiums on actual health care and not huge salaries and bonuses for executives. Secondly, they must compete, price wise, offering the same product or one that can be compared to the products of other insurance providers. Third, insurance companies will have 30 million more customers many of which will be younger and not require as much health care as older people, fourth, children can stay on their parents policy until they are 26 years old. Finally, and in line with what so many state on this message board there will be “competition” among insurance companies and isn’t that what makes the capitalistic system work; competition?

          16. jnap June 12, 2013

            We really do not know, at this time, what insurance premiums will be and don’t forget that those with a pre-existing conditions prior to the Affordable Care Act could not get health insurance at all. Worse, someone that had insurance and lost their job found themselves not only out of work and without a paycheck but also without insurance. Yes, they could have opted for Cobra but without a paycheck and considering how expensive Cobra is, it is not a viable option for most people. Now Medicaid, which is intended to help the poor and handicapped does provide care for many who are less fortunate but there are strings attached and most that are on it suggest that it does not address many health issues.
            I like the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare if you like, and think it is a very good start but most certainly will be adjusted to make it even better. As for those that are in a good of shape as you are you suggest they go to a government provided health care system. Isn’t that what the VA is?
            The health care system has enough problems already and if it were up to me I would get rid of the VA health care system and put everyone in the general care system including ex-military.

          17. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013

            Insurance of ANY kind is like gambling in Vegas.

            You know you might need to use it someday. Insurance companies don’t want you to use it and prorate whatever is covered to minimize payouts.

            Coming to think of it, you’re probably better off gambling in Vegasl

            In either case, the House/Insurance Company has the odds on their side.

          18. FredAppell June 10, 2013

            I may be wrong but I assume the reason why we don’t have a National Healthcare System such as the one you mentioned is probably due the fact that Obama knew he would have to make it more palatable to conservatives and insurance companies. Big insurance is about to get a major influx of new registrants, thus increasing their profit margin. A true National Healthcare System
            would take the profits out of healthcare which would have had dire political consequences.

          19. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            Probably right.

            But if your try to please everybody, you end up pleasing none.

            I’ll go further…I think Obama is smart enough to know this is an expensive unworkable disaster. Soon people will get still angrier at the insurance companies and will clamor for a NHS like France or Canada. Kind of similar to what FDR did when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor.
            The insurance companies knows what is coming and are probably hoping for Republicans to eventually change the equation…but Republicans keep shooting themselves in the foot by arguing about stupid things.

          20. Sand_Cat June 11, 2013

            I think Obama is fundamentally a conservative, and this – a largely Republican, “Free-Market” approach – is what he wanted, and probably the only one he could get in any case in today’s political climate.

        2. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013

          Ohio mandates that you must have at least Liability Coverage.

          Ohio spot checks car plates against insurance coverages and IF found you don’t have insurance, they can and do arrest you for driving without insurance, even IF your car is parked in the yard with the motor missing.

      4. charleo1 June 11, 2013

        Well, show ’em who’s boss. Send your Social Security,
        and Medicare cards back in.

        1. Germansmith June 11, 2013

          What is this? Adult version of “I’ll take my ball back, I am not playing anymore, you guys are mean!!!”

          1. charleo1 June 11, 2013

            I swear, I was hacked!

    2. Fern Woodfork June 10, 2013

      Libertarian Tea Party Same Old Re-fried Bullshit!! If They Want A Smaller Government Why Do They Keep Applying For Jobs In Government!! Ron Paul Owns An Island Let Them Pack Up Their Crap And Go Move With Him!!!

      1. Ford Truck June 10, 2013

        And when we get them all on this island, bomb it!

        1. Fern Woodfork June 11, 2013

          Hell Yeah Sounds Good To Me!!!

    3. progressiveandproud June 10, 2013

      We’re well on our way to third world status right now, and if the hard right gets their way, we’ll be there fairly soon.

  4. cemab4y June 10, 2013

    Many people on the right and left, are resentful of the government intruding on our private lives. Conservatives want less intrusion, and Liberals want less intrusion. (see the dust-up about the NSA leaks).

    1. disqus_fsqeoY3FsG June 10, 2013

      I am uncomfortable with what has come out about the NSA, and I understand that this has been going on for 7 years and is completely legal. We as a society have to determine when the price of National Security is too high.

      I am also concerned about the fact that I pay for an unpublished phone number yet I receive countless unsolicited sales calls and robo-calls. I am more concerned about the hackers who break into physician’s servers, banks, credit cards, personal computers obtain all our personal information for criminal purposes. What about all the unsolicited mail and e-mails we receive because companies sell our data.
      Has the existing NSA program prevented attacks on our citizens and our Country? Perhaps we need to narrow the scope or the Patriot Act or repeal it completely and start over. Perhaps NSA should tighten their background checks on people being hired by the Government. There are too many leaks and my question is are these people being paid for the leaded information? Than the next question is if they would sell to a media outlet, would they accept even more money from an enemy of our Country.

      1. Mark Forsyth June 10, 2013

        You may want to take a look at Majicjack.I have used both the basic and the upgrade which keeps the phone turned on while the computer is turned off.If you change your number at hook up then the only way you will get unsolicited calls will be due to sharing that number at websites or with charities.

        1. disqus_fsqeoY3FsG June 10, 2013

          Thank you

        2. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013

          I have friends that used that. They gave it up.

          And, I don’t like VOP anyway, too unreliable, too scratchy, breaks up all the time. Nothing beats a full fledged land-line.

          And, there’s no guarantee you won’t get unsolicited calls either. These bastards buy Hugh amounts of numbers, blocks at a time and just start robo calling them.

          Ohio just busted 8 people from 3 different states doing this.

          1. Mark Forsyth June 10, 2013

            I have read a variety of pros and cons about Majicjack since it hit the market.My move to try it was inspired by a consistently unsatisfactory arrangement with Verizon.My own experience using the device has been superlative and I have found that the only calls I get are from people or parties with whom I’ve shared my numbers.I suppose it may have to do with ones location.

    2. Allan Richardson June 10, 2013

      Conservatives want less intrusion in some areas (like telling me I have to spend money cleaning up what I dump in the air or water while making the product that I sell) and liberals want less intrusion in other areas (like religion in schools, book/movie/TV censorship, drug laws). Libertarians, to their credit, would fight BOTH kinds of intrusion, but they forget that total freedom in economics means that people who are more successful and have no regulations can harm the innocent as much as a dictatorial government would, partly inadvertently via the market, and sometimes deliberately by manipulating the market by monopoly and monopsony (if you don’t know that word, look it up). As the writer of the article pointed out, America DID have a libertarian economy in the Gilded Age and through the 1920’s, and it was good for a small part of the population, but could not, or at any rate did not, avoid the Great Depression.

    3. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013

      People love privacy. But, at the same time, they are hungry to see what your doing, even if it invades your privacy.

      In another words, Do As I Say, Not As I do!

  5. Germansmith June 10, 2013

    Government is a necessary evil. It is an entrenched bureaucracy, usually ineffective and in the long run, more concerned about keeping their jobs and power than to fulfill the objectives there were originally created for. .

    Libertarians are forgetting (as much as Socialists and Communist do) that man is NOT perfect. If giving total freedom, a great percentage of them will abuse it to the detriment of other’s people freedom.

    That does not mean that we should have government intervene in all aspect of our lives under the guise of protecting the foolish, the uneducated, the undisciplined and the unprepared. Government should there to protect our common good and resources and to maintain a fair society.

    Our society was created to protect the rights of the individual (yes, also the right to be stupid and fall to their own perdition). I failed to see how the folly of Libertarians have anything to do with the folly of those that want government to be in every facet of our life.

    We should strive to maintain government as small and nimble as possible. BIG GOVERMENT is how tyranny is born. For those who complained about the 19th Century, I would like to remind them that it was then what made America what it is today. It was our greatest century.

    1. stcroixcarp June 10, 2013

      I disagree with the statement that governments are a necessary evil. Governments are necessary and are not necessarily evil.

      1. Catskinner June 10, 2013

        Some governments are more evil than others, just as some administrations are more evil.

      2. Germansmith June 10, 2013

        You are entitled to your opinion.

        Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
        Thomas Paine

      3. idamag June 10, 2013

        Yes, and it wasn’t big governments that led to tyranny. I suggest everyone read “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.”

    2. Mark Forsyth June 10, 2013

      The communists are gone and have embraced capitalism.So many people not only fail to distinguish between communist and socialist but also overlook the fact that there is no one size fits all definition of socialism,hence the terms-social democrat/ social democracy etc.etc.

      1. Germansmith June 10, 2013

        There is no pure Capitalism or pure Communism (either is not acceptable or possible) but not all Communists are gone and there is a rebirth in the making.
        Are you forgetting N Korea or Cuba? How about Venezuela and Peru and their political paths?
        A label does not make a system Remember the National Socialists? There were Socialists, they rebuild their economy, they provided a safety net for their people and were elected to power.

        1. Mark Forsyth June 10, 2013

          First off ,North Korea is a dictatorship.The advance of capitalism in countries such as Cuba and China is well known and niether one refers to itself as communist anymore.
          National Socialists were Nazis aka fascists.The use of the word “Socialist was a publicity hoodwink to appear acceptable to the populace,used by the Nazis and the Communists in order to cloak their totalitarian intentions.Socialists are not totalitarian.
          I have a bucket with holes in it that holds more water than your argument.This Nations’ forefathers were some of the greatest minds to come from the Age of Enlightenment and they laid the foundations for a Democratic Republic which we are along with continuing to be the Greatest Social Experiment in the world. Imperfections notwithstanding!

          1. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            Then feel free to put your head in your bucket and avoid the reality coming upon you.

            And thanks for enlighten us to the fact that N Korea and Cuba are NOT communist countries…Maybe I was confused by the fact that the ruling politburo calls themselves the “Communist Party”.

            I guess I was also mistaken…I thought that the USA was a Federal Republic….ooopps, I guess I will ignore Madison and my government teachers and listen to you from now on…..

          2. Siegfried Heydrich June 10, 2013

            For the same reason that the Catholic Church considers itself a force for moral virtue. Tradition, marketing, and a refusal to face reality. Communism is as discarded as Phlogiston theory or Lamarckianism. Whenever I hear someone raising the tired, lame old ‘communist’ shibboleth, I know that the poster is very old and is completely detached from modernity.

          3. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            I hope you do not talk to your lions and tigers that way.

            Shibboleth? Yeah, sure communism is gone, there is slavery no more, The NSA do not spy on regular people, the IRS is totally impartial on their processes and Obamacare will NOT increase the cost for health insurance or the national deficit

            if that allows you to sleep better at night…go for it

          4. Siegfried Heydrich June 10, 2013

            I sleep fine, but then, I’m not in a constant state of agitation from all the outrages and conspiracies and threats to everything that those of you who are addicted to Fox & Hate Talk Radio revel in.

            Some people see a glass as half full. Some see it has half empty. And then, there are the ones who want to convene hearings, a special prosecutor, and a blue panel commission to get to the bottom of the ‘who stole my half glass’ conspiracy that was most likely an unconstitutional effort at redistribution and given to illegals by Obama to buy their votes..

          5. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            Why is it that Obama supporters see no evil? If you disagree, then you must be hate filled Fox loving, right winger.
            And Obama retractors see no good? and if you disagree with them, you are labeled a commie loving MSNBC gay supporting RINO out to destroy the American Way.
            I am neither and both sides are wrong and/or corrupt
            Is it the nature of people to take sides and then defend their decisions no matter what? Yes, it is.
            There may be no hope for the hyper-partisan, but if a couple of people stop to think for a second or two, then maybe we can all find a way to meet in the middle and actually find a solution that is good for the country.
            Just because I call then as I see then do not mean that I am right winger or even like Romney. As you probably noticed, this is a left leaning web site, kind of “See No Evil” or misguided whatever Democrats do. I can also tell you I get as much vile from Conservatives when I argued against their points of view.

          6. Siegfried Heydrich June 10, 2013

            I see plenty of evil. I just don’t see conspiracies everywhere I look. And that’s what Fox sells – conspiracies, outrages, threats to your freedomzz, a war on everything (capitalism, christianity, christmas, fast food, etc) to a gullible audience which laps it up. Most Fox viewers don’t watch for ‘news’, they watch to have what they already believe confirmed, amplified, and issued their daily talking points.

            I know of very few hyper-partisan leftists, and those I tend to avoid for the same reason I avoid bagroes. I enjoy discussion, but in all too many cases, as soon as the partisan starts getting points scored on them, they’ll immediately head for the gutter and start throwing insults.

          7. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            Amen brother!!!
            It is hard to find an impartial source of news.
            It seems to me that since we have a polarized society newscasters and commentators seen to also be taking sides depending on their employer or even individual point of view.

          8. Siegfried Heydrich June 10, 2013

            I tend to hit the Reuters, AP, Bloomberg, NPR, PBS, BBC, and al Jazeera International sites for serious news. To keep abreast of events in hot spots, I get daily feeds from the Foreign Policy sites, which provide links to local sources which are often hilariously detached from everybody else’s narrative.

            Anyone reading HuffPo deserves the resulting explosive diarrhea, though those reading WND, Grudge, and DeadBart generally deserves the resulting cortical degradation and incontinence.

          9. Mark Forsyth June 10, 2013

            You don’t even know what’s heading your way much less mine.You are like any other who is willfully ignorant.You twist the facts to augment your warped perspective. What I am good with is not caring who you are or who your teachers were.In fact I don’t care if you damn well go fuck yourself.That at least would be more productive than the comments you are posting here.

          10. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            You are finally showing your true self
            People with no arguments resorts to insults,
            If I was able to fuck myself I would not be working for a living…I’ll be doing porn movies

          11. Mark Forsyth June 10, 2013

            I merely handed your shit back to you.You aren’t smart enough to know that you are already doing porn.Get off these pages,you’ll get no traction here.

          12. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            Are you always so rude to people you do not agree with your dogma? You are angry because you know nothing and now IT SHOWS….the lefty emperor wears no clothes …or logic.
            I am free to discuss here as long as I want to. If I was able to curb my opinions I would have stayed in newly “Capitalist Cuba”, you know, this country you claim to know so much about…..

          13. Mark Forsyth June 10, 2013

            You are a goddamned mother fucking bullshit poseur.I have been calling out your type along with your shit and shinola wherever you appear..You are not intelligent enough to have an opinion.You ass sucking trolls who come on this page are no more significant than a pimple on a fleas ass.Your preposterous pronouncements are taken from the cesspools of idiocy.You are a shit eating hermaphroditic jackal worthy only of contempt.
            Be Gone.You have been identified and will be ignored from this point on.

          14. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            do you kiss your kids with that mouth?
            Is it your nature to try to prevent free speech by intimidating other people with insults?…how un-democratic
            Oh Wait…only Communist would do that and according to you they are as extinct as the DODO bird….

          15. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013


            I couldn’t have put THAT paragraph together as well as you have:)

          16. Mark Forsyth June 10, 2013

            Thank You, Mike.I write a great deal so I have a bit of practice under my belt and as I’m sure you’ve noticed,little tolerance for bullshit.

          17. Robert P. Robertson June 10, 2013

            Wow. . . That gave me a hair lining, eye brow, and moustache trim!

          18. Allan Richardson June 10, 2013

            Thanks for pointing out the difference between fascism (in its various forms, some slightly less dangerous than others) and socialism. The NSDAP already HAD “Socialist” in its name when Hitler and his buddies joined it. They kept the name because, to European workers of those days who mistrusted bankers and capitalists, that was a good label. Under fascism, in reality, the MOST powerful capitalists, who became wealthy under the laissez-faire system advocated by Libertarians, collude and conspire to TAKE OVER a democratically elected government, set up a dictator, and from then on, the wealthy in the private sector use government regulations and subsidies to keep THEMSELVES on top and make more money.

            By contrast, socialism in its more extreme forms (e.g. Soviet, not Danish or British) has ALL big business run by the government, which was installed by home grown revolution OR by invasion from another socialist country, so that the government BECOMES the only capitalist.

            In both systems, the average person has no real economic power (either not free to change jobs, or jobs are kept scarce to keep workers in line) and no political power (because the elections, if there are any, are rigged). It is the confluence of power of all kinds into the hands of a few people that makes them evil. A healthy capitalist democracy has political power distributed by the vote, so that the people HAVE THE POWER to order government to protect their economic and social interests for large, powerful, non-governmental entities such as churches or corporation; but the people ALSO have the power to change government’s personnel to protect themselves from overreach BY government.

            The key is in the BALANCE of power, and thus no group of ideologues on EITHER end of the spectrum will, or should, be TOTALLY in agreement all the time. Extreme ideologies of any kind are nice illustrations (like the “thought experiments” scientists use to determine how to test their theories in REAL experiments), but they are dangerous to follow without any reservations.

          19. Mark Forsyth June 10, 2013

            I firmly believe that a one party system is too easily corrupted and usually has little to do with Democracy which by its nature is Socialistic.Far too many people get hung up on that term these days and equate it,mistakenly so,with communism.
            I’m with you in that I seldom give anything carte blanche,even those things that I firmly support.I suppose that’s because I’m familiar with the human capacity for fuck-ups.

    3. CrankyToo June 10, 2013

      I think you mean the 20th century, don’t you?

      1. Germansmith June 10, 2013

        No the 19th Century…you know
        Cowboys , expansion West, bought Alaska, took a bunch of land from Mexico. Found lots of gold in California and Alaska, Eliminated slavery, taught the Brits to respect us, taught a lesson to Spain and kept PR, the Philippines and Cuba for a while
        What so great about the 20th century?. That is when we created the industrial military establishment that we use with gusto all so often and cost us so much money

        1. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013

          I don’t think the American Indian would consider what we did to them as anything good.

          1. Germansmith June 10, 2013

            Or the Mexicans, or the Japanese, or the Iraqis, or the Palestinians when we pushed the British to give Palestine for the State of Israel, or the rest of the Arabs inundated by Palestinian refugees or the Iranians when the CIA sponsored coup against Mosaddegh and a lot of other people as well.
            But Hey, if you want to make an omelet, you have to break some eggs. In history I can not think of any great countries that derived their power from goodness and kindness.
            I guess that says a lot about humanity

          2. Michael Kollmorgen June 11, 2013

            I think in another thousand years or so, historians are not going to paint this country in a very good light, IF there is anyone left to write it.

        2. CrankyToo June 11, 2013

          Sorry, Squire, but we were still a country of (predominantly) ignorant hicks though the 19th century. What “made America what it is today” (for better or worse) were the industrial revolution and the dawning of the space age – 20th century phenomena.

          1. Germansmith June 11, 2013

            We are still in a country filled with ignorant hicks.

            They just have their faces buried in their IPhones and IPads. They have all the world info at their fingertips and still know nothing.

            Those ignorant hicks in the 19th century expanded our country, build the Transcontinental Railroad, open the West and basically created what is the uniquely American character. They may have been hicks to you, but the average man had a sense of honor and civility not found today.

            Are we better of today because of the space/computer age? Call me a luddite if you wish but the industrial revolution and the space age has led to the raping of our planet to make items everybody wants, nobody really needs and will end up in trash heaps in a short period of time

          2. Michael Kollmorgen June 11, 2013

            Yes, they were HICKS, mostly greedy MFers. And, everyone else who didn’t know better paid a hell of a price for it too and still are.

            Yea, this ALL is going to turn into one huge trash heap.

            I’ll tell ya, these native tribes, say in the Amazon Forest, in and of itself, have it a whole lot better, at least for the time being.

          3. CrankyToo June 11, 2013

            You could be a historian – down in Texas.

    4. charleo1 June 10, 2013

      Actually, big government, a government big enough to do the job people
      expect out of it, is not where tyranny is found. Tyranny is found in small
      bureaucracies. Where the purity of an ideology, is seen as preferable to
      the inefficiencies, of finding common ground, and compromising one’s own
      strongly held beliefs, in favor of a government that more closely represents
      the will of a diverse people. This is why the T-Party should still be attending
      rallies, with their signs demanding the government keep it’s filthy hands
      off their Medicare. And not bringing their ideas of Party purity, into institutions of government. Designed to prevent one ideology, or one group, from bending the body politic, into a carbon copy of themselves. That is the territory of the despot. Perhaps Castro, might have been forgiven his revolution, and his parting of ways with the U.S. Government. If he had not set himself up as dictator for life. But, Castro is an ideologue. He believes in one ideology, to the exclusion of all others. That his ideology is best. And, no one understands better, how to carry it out, in it’s most purist form, but him. That’s my idea of tyranny. And certainly not because the taxes I pay is
      used to help the poor. Or the young person, needing a hand up, getting
      an education. Or, seeing that our systems do not allow the perishing of
      our citizens. Simply for the unfortunate circumstances of finding themselves,
      sick, or their child sick. And not having the funds to pay for medical care.
      What the ideologue forgets, is there are others, who in no way share his
      Darwinian concepts. That however he is convinced his way is natural,
      or normal. There are those of us, who see it’s roots in the selfishness of
      those, who have not successfully transcended themselves from the animal
      kingdom, to the higher calling of humanhood. And we insist allowances
      be made.

      1. Germansmith June 10, 2013

        I disagree with you in so many way
        But if you think tyranny is found in small bureaucracies you have obviously not learned much from history.
        To be a tyrant you must learn a few things
        -Have large army to support you. Make sure there are no armed competing factions.
        -Justified your large army with exterior threats (terrorists, Russians, right wingers and so on)
        -Have a Government Bureaucracy that controls all aspects of citizens life.
        -Learn from the Roman Emperors. As long as you give bread and spectacles to the masses, you control Rome (or Washington) and the Empire.
        -Properly use crises to compel the uneducated populace to grant you more power for the sake of security.
        If you need to learn more, take some time reading Jefferson, Washington and Franklin letters as well as thoughts from our other Founding Fathers.

        1. charleo1 June 10, 2013

          Well, you can disagree if you want. But, a tyrant doesn’t
          need a large army. And, it doesn’t need to disarm the
          citizens, to flourish. Unless you believe the Taliban in Afghanistan were not tyrants. They had no large armies,
          and the Afghans are as armed with private weaponry as Americans are. And, if they hadn’t ran afoul of the U.S.
          they could have continued to control every aspect of the
          lives of the people. Simply by using a fundamentalist form
          of their religion, as a cudgel, to instill fear, and terrorize the people, with it’s brutal, State enforcement. You want to stick your Right Winged, Bug-A-Boos on Democrats. When you ought to be concerned by the decidedly Fascist bent of insurgent groups, like the American T-Party. And, it does concern me, when people conflate the fall of Rome, with giving bread to the hungry masses. When, for the larger part of the last 2000 years, it was Jesus Christ that fed the hungry.
          And it was looked upon as the right, and moral thing to do.
          Now, some are claiming it is a precursor to tyranny. Perhaps you could tell me when this heretofore, concept of caring for the least among us, fell so out of favor. And why?

        2. Robert P. Robertson June 10, 2013

          I notice how you carefully spin your twisted Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bag sentiments into what makes a tyrant, bitter immigrant. I thought you might show some originality, but you descended square into your typical anti-American, anti-government, anti-Obama, anti-social schtick, like a dying comedian. Show some original thought, bitter immigrant, so we can take you serious instead of slapping you around like a pillow pet. You were all wrong about what makes a tyrant in spite of your Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bag spin. Try using some facts or something factual, bitter immigrant.

  6. Catskinner June 10, 2013

    The writer promises early on in the article to point out “why” libertarian-ism can’t work, tells the reader he will get to that later in the article, and then never gets there. What’s his point?

    1. awakenaustin June 10, 2013

      He never said he would point out why libertarianism would not or could not work. He said a question had been asked re: Libertarianism (Why there are no libertarian governments?) and he would get to the question later. He got to the question. He cannot be faulted for not answering a question he did not ask, nor offer to answer.

    2. Robert P. Robertson June 10, 2013

      The writer explained that libertarianism can’t work because it is based upon an unreasonable utopian illusion. America and other countries are smart enough to see that libertarianism has no real social foundation, structure, or economics that would advance a “real” society.

  7. Catskinner June 10, 2013

    Tea Party people seem to make more sense when they talk about fiscal issues. Their problem, as I see it, is when they get a right-wing-religious agenda mixed up in their message. At that point their monetary concerns get lost in all of the foolish buffoonery.

  8. Mark Forsyth June 10, 2013

    Libertarians love their credo until it starts to cut into the programs that they themselves depend on.

  9. montanabill June 10, 2013

    No libertarian countries? Simple. Because people who get power like to keep it and exercise it, and people on the receiving end of government largess like to keep it. With a corollary that a libertarian country would require more self-reliance of its people and the sad fact is that most people are not self reliant.

    1. longtail June 10, 2013

      I think I disagree with the fact that there are no libertarian countries. Somalia has little government outside it’s main cities. It no taxes (with the exception of occasional protection rackets) that I’m aware of and spends practically nothing on infrastructure since it has none. Perfection.

      1. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013

        Perfection?, try telling that to the ships that get hijacked along their coastline by pirates based in Somalia.

        1. Siegfried Heydrich June 10, 2013

          Hey, nobody said it was perfect for THEM!

        2. Allan Richardson June 10, 2013

          The pirates are acting in obedience to the MARKET. The difference between those pirates and many corporations in our country is that the pirates are honest about what they do: they CREATE a need for a service (release from captivity with one’s life intact) and then they charge for that service (pay the ransom and walk away safely).

          1. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013

            That is one hell of a way to run a country.

            BUT, at least they’re HONEST! That’s sort of like telling someone I ain’t goona kill you, but you’ll die sooner or later anyway. So, let the MARKET dictate when you die.

            This reminds me of Capitalism…………..

          2. Independent1 June 11, 2013

            We kind of have something very close to the Somali pirates in America, Corporate Vultures – companies like Bain Capital that unfortunately are legal here. For just like the Somali pirates who see a vulnerable ship on the horizon, companies like Bain Capital often see companies that are foundering in a sea of financial difficulty that are just ripe for the plucking. And just like the Somali pirates who appear to give no sanctity to human life, corporate vultures like Bain Capital have no quams about buying out foundering companies and plundering them of all their assets, including their pension funds and jobs, destroying thousands of Americans their working lives, just so they can stuff millions of dollars into their own greedy pockets – somewhat unlike those greedy Somali pirates who at least spare the lives of those for whom they get paid off.

      2. montanabill June 10, 2013

        Might help to know what libertarians believe.

    2. ObozoMustGo June 10, 2013

      HI Montana. I’m reminded of a couple of quotes:

      “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend
      on the support of Paul.” — George Bernard Shaw

      “The fact is that the average man’s love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. He is not actually happy when free; he is uncomfortable, a bit alarmed, and intolerably lonely. Liberty is not a thing for the great masses of men. It is the exclusive possession of a small and disreputable minority, like knowledge, courage and honor. It takes a special sort of man to understand and enjoy liberty– and he is usually an outlaw in democratic societies.” — H.L. Mencken, Baltimore Evening Sun, Feb. 12, A. D. 1923

      1. metrognome3830 June 10, 2013

        That’s because he often is an outlaw, OMG. He (that special sort of man) is the reason all the great masses are uncomfortable. You just love to put down the Great Masses and Vast Majorities, don’t you.
        Have a great day, OMG!

        1. ObozoMustGo June 11, 2013

          Metro… I’ve told you before that Mencken was a scumbag. But that doesn’t mean that some of his observations were not accurate. They clearly were. Oddly enough, GBS was a scumbag, also, and a big supporter of eugenics even to the point of accepting genocide. However, his quote about those takers supporting government over the makers is very accurate. Who, after all, would willingly vote to have the government take away their goodies that are paid for by someone else? Hence, the growth in government and the resulting conversion of the US from the world’s biggest creditor nation into the world’s biggest debtor nation in less than 50 years since the explosion in transfer payment programs. Don’t you ever ask yourself why the problems these programs set out to solve when enacted never get solved, but instead get worse? The subsidy of failure and bad behaviors always brings about more failure and bad behaviors. This is NOT to say that some sort of safety net is not needed, but it is simply a recognition that the natural state of the bureaucracy is to grow itself by increasing the numbers of people to whom they can deliver their services. It is that danger that most of us conservatives foresee and why we oppose such programs from the beginning unless they are made restrictive enough that only those truly in need like physically or mentally disabled people. Unfortunately, Obozo has expanded food stamps from 32 million to now over 50 million people in America. You cannot tell me that 1 in 6 Americans can’t afford food. It’s simply not believable. I see well dressed people in line at the store with EBT cards and watch them get into nice cars when they leave. The magic of free stuff is a powerful aphrodisiac.

          Have a great day, Metro!

          As William Voegeli put it in Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State, “Liberals don’t want the government to grow
          indefinitely. They just want it to be bigger than it is right now. The corollary of this stance is liberals’ refusal even to entertain questions on the dimensions of a welfare state that is exactly the right size.”

          1. metrognome3830 June 14, 2013

            I absolutely will tell you that 1 in 6 Americans are far worse off now than they were. The figures are there, OMG. If you choose not to believe it, you are the one living in a dream world. This nation is a consumer nation. Historically we purchase (or at least used to) about 70% of the goods we produce. Now you are a bright fellow and good with numbers I’m sure. If you continually lessen the buying power of large numbers of people (to you that would be a vast majority) — not just take away their livelihood but gradually shrink their income while continuing to increase the now bloated salaries of corporate executives who earn their keep by figuring out ways to make more money with fewer people, what would most likely be the end result? There is no way you can argue that income has kept up with inflation. I won’t be silly and argue that 1 in 6 Americans can’t afford food. You make statements like that simply to try and make others look silly. But we have reached a point where 1 in 6 Americans have to make a choice between food and the purchase of any extras, including in the case of many seniors, medication and medical care. I buy insulin for type II diabetes. I have Medicare (which is not free as some people think). Until a couple of years ago, I never went into the “Donut Hole.” Then it was donut hole time for the last 3 months. This year, I have $50 left by June 1. My dosage is the same as always, so here is the big mathematical question for you. Why does my insurance run out 4 months earlier? Never mind, I’ll answer that. Because the price of the Insulin has been increased to more than $700 for a 3-month supply. So from now until I spend $4700 bucks out of my own pocket (not counting what I have already paid in co-pays) I pay full price for all my Insulin and testing supplies. I’m not going to tell you I can’t afford it because I still can. But my retirement income is larger than the average. I have personally observed seniors come into the pharmacy and walk out without their medication because they can’t even afford the co-pays. Don’t come at me with the old Reagan line about the “welfare queen.” Of course, some people game the system. They always will, but don’t try to argue that they are the average. A lot of the people getting assistance now were once making excellent family incomes. Now they have been unemployed or underemployed for several years. It could even happen to you, OMG. Like I said, we are a consumer society. When you take away the wherewithal to buy the products we produce, what happens? A couple of things. Either people cut way back on what they purchase or they continue purchasing more than they can afford. The conservative argument that people on public assistance are just lazy and enjoy the “good life” they have on welfare is simply a way of making themselves feel they are not being intolerant of those “welfare bums.” The fact is the libertarian ideal is just as Utopian in nature as pure socialism. Did you never consider, OMG, that those people in the “nice clothes and nice cars” bought them when they were gainfully employed and that they would much rather be gainfully employed again. Oh, just one more thing. Don’t tell me that the law of supply demand controls the market. That laws is being broken as well.

            Hey, have a nice day, OMG!

  10. charleo1 June 10, 2013

    Libertarianism does not exist. And never will. At least, not in the real world.
    In fact, the logic, or reason, for GOP support of supposed, Libertarians like
    Ron, and Rand Paul, is to use the anti-government emotionalism contained
    in the rhetoric of Libertarianism, as yet more rationalization for their determination
    to obstruct the current government. But, certainly not aganist the concept of government, or even big government. Which the GOP has never had any problem believing in. Except on those occasions, when the government was being led by
    the, non-Republicans. In which case, over night, it became far too big, and way too expensive, and intrusive on the lives, and Liberties of Americans. Who shouldn’t tolerate it a second longer than it takes to vote the Democrats out, and them in.
    And if it works. They will gently fold all their, grand Libertarian ideas, and, story
    book, fantasies, and tuck them neatly away for safe keeping, until they are
    needed again. Some more moderate Libertarians will admit, that some form of Gov’t.is a necessary evil. They are half right. Government is necessary. But, all
    governments are not evil. Perhaps they are channeling their inner flower child,
    from the sixties. The grassroots movement aganist the establishment. The
    idea, that if we made peace, and not war, that love, and Bob Dylan, was all we really needed. Of course, while they dropped out, and searched for the perfect
    inner person they knew was somewhere in all of us. There were those who continued to with the mundane. Going to work, and providing the necessary foundations, and, securities, that allowed these overaged, adolescents, the unfettered freedom from the responsibilities, that are inherent to any self
    governing, society.

    1. Allan Richardson June 10, 2013

      Conservatives insist that government cannot solve our problems, because government IS the problem. And whenever THEY are running a government, they prove it!

      1. charleo1 June 11, 2013

        Sure. Now, as trash talking the government has always been
        somewhat of a National pass time. And, sometimes I think we
        criticize the government, or public officials, because we can.
        Or, as a sort of litmus test, maybe. To reassure ourselves that,
        yes, we still have the freedom to gripe, and bitch to our heart’s
        content. And the government won’t be sending spooks to our
        homes, in the middle of the night. Now, I’m very confident
        that that’s not going to happen. However, those that are the
        most alarmed by the NSA, and other security related issues.
        Seem to believe, “The Government,” wants to enslave us all.
        That, “It,” is constantly plotting, and scheming, with the singular
        goal of making the U.S. into one big North Korea. But ironically,
        are not concerned in the least, about these huge multi national,
        conglomerates, shipping out jobs, and crawling into bed with the guys that are writing the checks, that make a North Korea even
        possible. So, if we’re talking about connecting the dots here.
        A lot of these same folks stay so busy worrying about whether the Country is sliding into Socialism. They haven’t noticed the dots,
        much less, connected them. But, I can not recall, if there ever was
        a time in all of American history, when we had people run for public office, so they could intentionally cause the government to
        dysfunction, and actually bring hardship, and harm to the public.
        To what end, if not to cause more mistrust, and fear of the Gov’t?
        But the reason I rambled on a bit here, was to tell you how spot
        on you were, when you wrote, “Conservatives say, Gov’t cannot
        solve our problems.” Because, Gov’t is the problem.” “And,
        whenever they are running a Government, they prove it.” Ought
        to be on a billboard.

  11. longtail June 10, 2013

    I have always been under the impression that the libertarian movement has been fueled by corporate entities to further a corporate agenda. What I have never understood was why so many libertarians seem to come from, or profit from, government payroll/programs.

  12. Robert P. Robertson June 10, 2013

    Which brings us to democracy, a social order that spans the dawn of civilization. That is why democracy is more acceptable: because it has worked for the last 30,000 years. Socialism as a form of government works hand-in-hand with democracy. Socialism only means “social living”, how we function with and care for one another in a society of the people. Communism is not a social government, which is why it has never worked in any government. Communism is an economic concept, “the order of the commune” as Marx called it in his “Economic Manuscripts of 1844”. It is what capitalism is: purely economic, not a social order. Coupled with Socialism it falls flat on its face. The concept of communism asked the biblical question: Am I my brother’s keeper? which was posed to God by a murderer of his own brother. In democracy, we are our brother’s keeper because it allows for anyone the freedom to make as much as they want as long as they consider the whole. The capitalist economic concept allows for anyone the freedom to make as much as they want under a fiercely competitive system, and to hell with the whole if they can’t compete. It is a fiercely competitive, animalistic system where the weak are cast beneath them and trod upon like so much rubble. It is the survival of the fittest, kill or be killed. That’s the inhumanity of it. Were a person to become indescribably wealthy but extends his wealth to the benefit of the whole, the social concept of democracy and the economic concept of capitalism would compliment one another. Without that quality of caring for the whole, democracy/capitalism degrades into another negative concept: a plutocracy.

    1. Independent1 June 11, 2013

      Very well said!! If only those who seem so capitalistic minded today (the majority of the GOP), could see the downside of a concept that can often be so very detrimental even to themselves.

      1. Robert P. Robertson June 11, 2013


    2. Russell Byrd June 11, 2013

      Fabulous post, but I take issue with the opening statement. For
      instance, democracy is a very modern concept for most of the world’s
      people. Thinking about Greece: Remember that most of the population
      were slaves and democracy did not last anyway. Rome was the same. “Power” won out. Only, in the last 250
      years, or so, has democracy had any staying power. Only in the last
      250, or so years, has the “isms” risen to the forefront. Even so, democracy is constantly under attack. Power has
      always ruled, and in my interpretation, has a whole lot to do with why
      Capitalism is so wrong, so often.

  13. Don-Flyboy June 10, 2013

    I was pleased to read FJD’s reference to the late 1800’s early 1900’s
    for historical perspective. We heard both Libertarians and the GOP
    complaining about Government bureaucracies…. like the EPA, OSHA, FDA,
    SEC and others, ad infinitum. Yet back before those agencies came into
    being there were corrupt corporations and greedy business magnates who
    made such appalling atrocities that We the People screamed for agencies
    to fix the problem and prevent re-occurrences. People died from
    pollution, fish stocks upon which people depended were decimated,
    children were maimed and disabled for life, and many died, in our
    factories, we had terrible fires, San Francisco burned and so did
    Chicago… so stricter building codes and fire codes were adopted and
    enforced. People died from bad food sold under false labeling. The
    problem is MORE political pundits and more newspapers FAIL to recant the
    horrific history from which we came!! Now, I know that 90% of all media in the US is controlled by just six corporations…which
    is likely why we don’t get these reminders in the evening news. These
    libertarian desires and the Tea Party desires both ideally line up to
    enable the dirty underhanded uncaring characters to get away with more
    unbridled greed and exploitation. Crooks would love to defund the police
    so they could get away with more crime. The only chance the Middle
    Class has is to have a strong government to look out for their interests
    against the abuse, fraud and malevolence of the elitist upper crust usurpers.

  14. latebloomingrandma June 10, 2013

    How did monarchies get started? You can probably consider that these ancient groups were “free” in that there were no laws or no organized structure to their beginnings of a society. They were free to hunt and gather. When you have “tribes” or groups of people gathered, someone with leadership skills always rises to the forefront. Even in a libertarian society, someone will grab power. And then here we go again; the exploitation starts, some win , some lose. Survival of the fittest. Human nature. That’s where religions come in. Taking care of your fellow man and teaching respect for humanity. I don’t think there is any “pure” form of government. Take the best of several systems and as the philosopher Rodney King said—“Can’t we just all get along?”

    1. Mark Forsyth June 10, 2013

      Altruism is not dependent on religion though it does sometimes foster generosity.Usually as an act of gratitude.

    2. Michael Kollmorgen June 11, 2013

      How this all started was these “elites” following what is called; The Ten Commandments of Evil, by Machiavelli. Corporations follow the same exact rules taught to the Royalty 500 years ago, today.

      Read a book titled: The Prince, by Machiavelli. You’ll know exactly how things “really” work.

      The ONLY difference between then and now is that now we don’t have slavery, torture, murder to achieve those goals. Oh, I forgot, we DO have Economic Slavery and we DO have an Industrialized Justice System which serves their own agendas.

      Methods change, but the ultimate purposes still remain the same – control and manipulation of civilization(s) by a select group of people.

  15. The_Magic_M June 10, 2013

    It’s the same excuse that proponents of Communism use – they claim “true” Communism has never been tried and therefore hasn’t been discredited by the failures in the former Eastern block, China or Cuba.
    And formally, they are correct, just like libertarians.
    But this also begs the question, why has *no* attempt to implement Communism ever reached that “pure” state and always decayed into one party rule (Russia, China) or “Führer” states (North Korea, Cuba)?

    The point is, a social democracy is the only thing that works. It may not have been refined to optimum (perfection being unattainable in the real world anyway), but at least it’s something that doesn’t require unrealistic utopian prerequisites to even basically function.

    1. montanabill June 10, 2013

      Just so long as the ‘social democracy’ doesn’t get divided into payers and receivers.

      1. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013

        Yea, 90% of us who own 30% of our countries wealth pay the top 10% who own 70% of our country’s wealth. Of course, these are rough estimates.

        That’s Trickle UP Economics.

        Who’s “receiving” the shaft?

        1. montanabill June 11, 2013

          You think you are ‘paying’ the top 10%? Then maybe you ought to get in the top 10% so people will start paying you.

          Everyone in this country has the opportunity to get to that 10%. The only barrier is your willingness to do the work, incur the sacrifices and your ability to make good decisions.

          1. Michael Kollmorgen June 11, 2013

            I believe in those same principals as well.

            Sorry, but our country hasn’t worked on those principals for many years because the top 10% has everything geared towards them.

            I’m not jealous of their wealth at all. Many of them worked for what they have. But, they HAVE instituted regulations, laws, passed legislation that tilts favoritism in their direction.

            There used to be a sense of Fair Play in this country. No longer! There used to be “Free Enterprise” in this country. No Longer!

            Ya know, I don’t think I’d want to be in that top 10% category. I refuse to kiss someone’s ass just to make a profit. At least, I still have my pride, my dignity and my honor still intact. I refuse to sell these for any price. And, I won’t sell my country out from under everyone else for a few pennies more either.

            The bulk of these people including their supporting politicians should be tried and hung for being TRAITORS.

            This is MY Bottom Line!

          2. montanabill June 11, 2013

            You have been reading too many left wing victim articles. FYI: I started in the bottom 0.1%. I have overcome a couple of serious illnesses, worked my way through college, worked for small companies and large. Started and failed at a few businesses. Started and succeeded at others. I’m now in the top 0.1%. I have never had anything to do with politicians, trying to game the system, kiss anyone’s behind, or any of the other things you assume must be done to succeed. It simply takes the willingness to work hand and smart, forego 40 hr. work weeks, days off and vacations while you are getting started. And, as I said before, make the best decisions you can, even if it means a period of discomfort. Nobody ever promised that succeeding would be easy, but this country still promises a shot.

          3. Michael Kollmorgen June 11, 2013

            Yes, this country does offer a shot.

            But, you better dam well be in the right place at the right time, have the right knowledge, have the right amount of money to do it, know the right people and have LOTS of luck to boot, OR that shot you fire will never be heard.

            You just probably have more tolerance to tolerate all these battles. If you do, congrats to you:) Most people however don’t, no matter how they try. Even with the best ideas or intentions, you’re still bound to fail.

            99% of all businesses started today will fail within 1 to 5 years. That is 99% of the people who have saved for an idea, asked for loans to start a business, bought and paid for all the necessary equipment to have that idea come to reality. And, they all went broke supporting someone elses business who stands to make a huge profit off your loss. These are the top 10% who made it so difficult to start a small business that you will experience a nearly 99 to 1 failure rate.

            Sorry, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s nearly impossible to start a small business and succeed today. You’re probably a lot better off putting that money you want to use to start a business in your Bed Mattress because the banks don’t even pay a decent interest rate anymore.

            Yea, I’ve become extremely skeptical of starting any business today. I been through it too many times before. I could tell your horror story upon horror stories of what I have been through.

            I won’t ever again attempt it. I got my pension. I got a place to live, plenty to eat. I have my cable and the internet, my dog, my vehicle. I don’t give a crap about anything else anymore. Let this country go straight to hell.

            Let it all get sent to China, I don’t care anymore. Let some other fool take up these battles. I’m tired and burned out to the max.

            Maybe the next generation might do better. But, I doubt it!

          4. jnap June 11, 2013

            Montana bill, sorry but that is simply not true. The tax system is geared to help the top 1%. The fact that you made it too the top .1 percent can not be credited just to you own skills and business acumen. Even if you made all of your money investing in the stock market, by yourself, sitting in a dark room with zero assistance from anyone, you used the internet, originally developed by government, electricity, provided by a public utility, the stock exchanged governed by the SEC and a banking system regulated by the Federal Reserve and the treasury. You drive on public roads and probably received an education in the public school system.
            People that say they did all on their own forget those that helped them through life forget about a spouse or parents that supported you and without which you would have had no chance at all.
            I guess you are the center of your universe and take great comfort in your own success without ever really taking account of the myriad of things that got you there.

          5. montanabill June 11, 2013

            Since you have not walked in my shoes, you are talking through your jaded prism. No one ever said that I didn’t have help. I certainly had help from my spouse and the people I hired. I had help from the teachers I had in school. I had help from the medical people that helped me. I even had help from the bosses who fired me at times during my career. I learned from every job, from working in the fields to washing dishes to supervising in other people’s companies. The key is what you do with the help and knowledge that are available. You can either learn and use that knowledge, or you can ‘woe is me’ and fail.

          6. demz taters June 11, 2013

            This is the typical libertarian attitude from someone whose experience has been highly atypical. Numerous studies show that one’s economic status at birth is the single most powerful determinant of economic status later in life, yet the handful of people who defy those odds insist that their highly-subjective, anecdotal evidence is proof that the data can’t be true.

          7. montanabill June 12, 2013

            Oh I believe all right, but I also know that too many people don’t think it can be done and with that frame of mind, it can’t. Monetary success usually occurs when you follow your passion and become the very best you can be at it. The money then is simply a secondary result. The primary result is that you will lead a fulfilling life.

          8. jnap June 11, 2013

            Montanabill, yes, in a perfect world everyone has a chance to get to the 10%. However why does it have to be 10% and not 30% or 50%? Furthermore if getting to the 10% means that the 90% has little or nothing then, eventually that 90% is going to come after that 10% and demand that they give up something to make their lives better. In case I am losing you I am talking about more opportunity, better and affordable education, and a living wage. And also health insurance and care that is affordable. Lastly, not just hope for a better future but tangible evidence that their future will be better because they, personally, will see the opportunities in front of them like so many, including myself, did 40 years ago.

          9. montanabill June 11, 2013

            You must have missed the part about where I started my journey. I have lived in every single economic strata (except Warren Buffett’s). I didn’t begrudge those who were ahead of me. I didn’t envy them. I didn’t complain at any time about where I was on the ladder. I simply had a goal. I never had a silver spoon or a benefactor. I had a goal. I got knocked down a lot, but I had a goal. There are opportunities everywhere. If you don’t see them, that is to your shame.

          10. Michael Kollmorgen June 11, 2013

            It could be too that the people who fail aren’t shown a truely better way of doing it.

            No smart business person tells all their secrets on how to do something. IF they did, that would be competition from the provided knowledge. And, they’ll do anything they can to quash that competition.

          11. montanabill June 12, 2013

            Most people who succeed didn’t do it by someone showing them how. They worked hard to discover their own path. There is no real secret to it. Of course, we strive to find advantages over possible competition. It makes for better and cheaper goods and services. In my view, a company that looks to quash competition rather than out competing it, has run out of ideas.

  16. Jim Myers June 10, 2013

    I, for one, would not mind smaller government, IF deregulation of industries actually worked. IT DOES NOT!

    Scream, rant and rave, point fingers, and cry about the burden of higher taxes to support regulation.

    But the fact remains that the need for regulation falls squarely on the shoulders of the businesses that demand deregulation.


    However, in nearly every case where deregulation takes place, THE ABUSES GROW EXPONENTIALLY!

    That will NEVER change. Money and power are much too intoxicating to ever expect a different outcome.

    1. Michael Kollmorgen June 10, 2013

      Businesses and corporations can NEVER be trusted. Greedy people can NEVER be trusted. Most Republicans and some Democrats can NEVER be trusted either.

      Unfortunately, unregulated Capitalism fosters greedy behavior. Give these bastards a foot, they’ll take a mile and more.

  17. Siegfried Heydrich June 10, 2013

    Libertarianism is the Dungeons & Dragons of political theory, attracting many of the same enthusiasts.

    1. paganheart June 14, 2013

      Truth. Of the men I know who support libertarianism–and they are all men; I know of no women who are libertarians, their heroine Ms. Rand notwithstanding–nearly all of them would be considered the sort of “geeks” interested in Dungeons & Dragons (or it’s modern online counterpart, World Of Warcraft.)

      Interestingly and anectdotally, I have also observed that all the libertarians I know either grew up without fathers, or lost them during childhood or adolescence via death, divorce, or abandonment. I am not enough of an amateur (much less professional) psychologist to speculate on why that might be…

  18. Allan Richardson June 10, 2013

    There is no such thing as a small government when you look at the private de facto “governments” that form in a power vacuum. People are being deceived by small government talk, because the very entities that would FORM those de facto governments, which by there nature are unelected and oppressive, do not WANT us to regard what they do now, and want to do more, as “government.” But if a difference of opinion between you and your employer, rather than being resolved by due process of law, is unconditionally resolved by the loss of your job, AND all other potential employers collude in a “gentlemen’s agreement” not to hire you, then you have, in effect, been “punished” by an entity that has the power of government over you.

    There are always private power sources as well as public power sources, and there needs to be a balance of power. The biggest protection for workers, consumers, and third parties (such as people who live downstream from a company that neither hires them nor sells a product that they need to buy) is government regulation: child labor laws, minimum wages, wage/hour laws, discrimination laws, pollution control laws, etc. And part of that is unemployment insurance, welfare (some people legitimate NEED it), public assistance with medical care costs, etc. Of course, “protection” for the rest of us is a THREAT to those from whom we need protection!

    Look at “failed” states like Somalia, for example. Those “private citizens” with the most guns and most ruthless attitude become de facto dictators: that is why they are called war LORDS and drug LORDS! We do not need to be at the mercy of oil BARONS or insurance DECIDERS in the private sector, who can form a “government” more intrusive than any we could vote into power in Washington.

  19. Darsan54 June 10, 2013

    Libertarianism assumes people will always behave reasonably for both themselves and others. And I would say history proves the exact opposite is SOP. That is why you will never have a Libertarian government. Well, that and neighboring countries would invade the s**t out of this defenseless nation.

    1. Fleet Admiral Josh June 10, 2013

      they believe the “market” will regulate itself. Thus if corporations do something bad, the people will respond by punishing them, and this will be an incentive for businesses not to partake in bad practices.

      The problem with that view is two fold:

      First, this assumes that everyone is fully informed about everything. Even if that were theoretically possible, it assumes that businesses are open about what they are doing, something which they won’t be if they don’t have to be, which of course they won’t because there will be no regulations forcing them to disclose said information.

      Second, it assumes that people can “punish” businesses without also punishing themselves, meaning that people may have an incentive to NOT punish businesses because they will ultimately be harmed more than the businesses are.

      Let’s say it’s revealed that Wal-Mart engages in egregious labor practices that cause people to rebel against them. Assuming this even happens, doing so could result in many people losing their jobs. If Wal-Mart goes out of business, it could crash the economy, harming the livelihood of countless other people. And this is assuming that people will care enough as long as they can buy their inexpensive goods (though Libertarians would argue that if the market shows that people prefer buying cheap goods over not half-enslaving workers, then that’s how things are meant to be)

      1. Germansmith June 10, 2013

        Well. Not quite correct
        You assuming that the needs and wants created by Wal-Mart will actually go away if Wal-Mart is not to be around.
        I do not buy at Wal-Mart, but if I did and I needed a gallon of milk or a TV set I would still buy it somewhere else (therefore creating a job for a potential Wal-Mart displaced employee)
        I have a choice to pay more for a good if it seems moral to me. Probably the saddest fact is that most people that actually buy in Wal-Mart are the ones that can probably benefit from a better job.

  20. Lovefacts June 10, 2013

    Years ago, Libertarianism stood of the government doing what was necessary–not necessary a small government–and to stay out of: abortion, religion, gay rights. And yes, they always supported the Second Amendment, but not to today’s extreme. But then, today’s Libertarian Party is an extension of the far right of the Republican Party.

  21. Fleet Admiral Josh June 10, 2013

    “Libertarians,” he writes, “seem to have persuaded themselves that there is no significant trade-off between less government and more national insecurity, more crime, more illiteracy and more infant and maternal mortality … .”

    Because most of the people who advocate for it are either:

    1) anti-corporate as well (meaning, they’re anarchists, not libertarian), or
    2) Are old, rich guys who not only would have no problem living in such a society but would be the very people to benefit from it

  22. John Pigg June 10, 2013

    A friend of mine commented to me after the election that he feared the Tea Party would succeed in hijacking the usage of the term “Libertarian”. After reading everyone’s post it would seem as if his assessment is correct.

    The beliefs of hard red Republicans in the deep south run counter to the tenets of Libertarianism. The only aspect that they agree on is cutting back on taxes and reducing the role of the Federal Government.

    If you maintain that the Libertarian Party is closer ideologically with conservatives than it stands to reason that they would do better in Red states. The TP is not LP leaning, neither is the GOP to suggest so is to only misunderstand the beneficial aspects of the Libertarians.

  23. David_Naas June 10, 2013

    Most amusing comments.
    Here is another one to ask.
    Why is it *social conservatives*, almost all of whom are Evangelical Christians, think Darwinian evolution is the work of Satan, but Social Darwinism is just fine?
    Actually, I never met a *libertarian* who didn’t consider themselves to be a highly superior specimen of humanity, held back from greatness by the *ballast* and the *rabble* of society. Most of these Nietzschean Superman were pathetic failures at everything but inflating their own self importance.
    It isn’t a fine theory. It is a flawed theory, of the variety, “If everyone thought like I do, there would be no problems in the world”.
    Like Marxism and Freudianism, the Libertarians have a “magic Bullet” which solves the problems of the entire world. For the Marxists, it is the capitalists. For the Freudians, it is Sex. For the Libertarians, it is “gummint”. Each one betrays a slothful immaturity and willful ignorance as to how reality is constructed. Nor can you tell them, “Sorry, it doesn’t work that way,” because their invariable rejoinder is,”But you haven’t tried it”.
    I haven’t tried the green Kool-Aid either, and have no desire to do so.

  24. howa4x June 10, 2013

    it is easy to be anti government because it touches us in many parts of our lives and seems intrusive. We have local regulation, country regulations, state regulations and federal ones. If we have a problem we can become entangled in in a bureaucratic web of conflicting and overlapping regulatory laws making it seem we are in a maze. The issue with libertarians is they make it a zero sum game. Instead we all should advocate for sensible regulations and in doing so try to figure out what business each level of government should be in, find the inefficiencies, get rid of the overlap. Neither party has been able to do this effectively. We allow our elected official get off easy. They get away with not being specific about what they will cut, or what effect if will have. One place we all can start is where we live. What stupid regulations are on the books and who put them there? If we can’t change them locally than we have little hope changing them statewide or nationally. How many regulations has Rand Paul changed in is hometown? Is it a libertarian utopia? If he hasn’t then don’t believe a word from him that he can do this federally.

  25. Nicky Wilks June 11, 2013

    We are in gridlock because we have a two-party system. Don’t bash the closest thing we have to a balanced government system just because you don’t agree with its fundamental principles. I don’t agree with liberalism or conservatism, but there is a place for it at the table as long as some people identify that way.

    Saying we have gridlock because of Utopian ideas is complete bullshit. It is important to have a clear vision of what is ideal, and if you can’t picture perfect to you, you have no business writing in a public forum.

  26. RobertCHastings June 16, 2013

    While their ideal of smaller government is a commendable goal, and one which many mainstream politicians have in good faith attempted to achieve, in an interconnected and complex world such as that in which we live today, it is impractical and unrealistic. If all they require is enough government to provide us with adequate security, then they will be surprised at how much that costs, and really disappointed at how little security is provided by a government of only a military and intelligence community. In order for our needs to be met, government regulation is absolutely necessary to assure the safety and security of everyone, regulation of imported goods, financial services, environmental issues, education, transportation, business at all levels from the neighborhood grocery store to the international food conglomerate that stocks the shelves of that store. If they want to provide ALL the services that every neighborhood requires, then by all means reduce all government subsidizing of police and fire, of schools, of anything relating to the gathering and dissemination of news, etc., etc. There are very few areas in our personal lives that are not impacted by government, and that does not mean by government interference, but in support and protection.
    Are there areas in which government’s size and influence can be reduced? Of course there are. There are definitely regulations that are not necessary in today’s world for they are to some extent based upon prior social models. Can life be simplified by reducing things like the burgeoning tax code and changing an unwieldy and sometimes unjust justice system? Could we all benefit from an economic system based upon a truly free market? HELLO! Of course things could be better through simplification. However, there is the concept of fairness, that seems to change over time. In 1952, when Dwight Eisenhower was president, the top tax rate on the wealthiest Americans was 91% (as it was until 1961 when John Kennedy was inaugurated) and the corporate tax rate was 52%. Both rates have been significantly reduced and a scan of our tax code can reveal that it has not exactly been fairly and equitably done. The reduction of tax rates for the wealthy and for corporations has been reduced at the expense of the middle class which, over the past thirty years, has seen wages and salaries stagnate in terms of real buying power, while the top 3% have seen their pockets bulge with the transfer of $30 trillion in wealth from the middle class to the wealthy, and the reduction in the ability of our government to provide promised services to the American people.
    By all means, let us return to the good old days when the boys were returning from WWII, blacks were setting out upon their great Civil Rights movement and a president who had just taken over from his predecessor had integrated the military, to a time BEFORE we became embroiled in the Cold War and the still unresolved Korean Conflict had not yet begun, when industries and manufacturing were just tooling down from the massive war effort and beginning to tool up for one of the most prosperous periods in American history. Much has changed since those halcyon days, some it good and some of it bad. I fear, however, that the libertarian icon Ayn Rand must not have experienced those times.

  27. kduble August 3, 2013

    The closest model we have to libertarian countries are perhaps Somalia, Sudan and Afghanistan. By the libertarian definition, however, these undoubtedly come up short in their ability to enforce law and contracts.


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