Monday, May 30, 2011

Libertarian Varieties

Just walked Dexter 40 minutes this morning -- already nasty hot at 9:45. Biked 28.7 miles yesterday to Paul's Mill Rd. 2h18m, 1 stop. I thought about biking again this morning (Memorial Day), but my legs were pretty sore. Dexter and I did 1h20m Saturday morning, but it was 10-15 degrees cooler. In the hot weather, I'm going to try to keep his walks below 45m. He will be 16 YO next month.

So when politics comes up around any of my Libertarian WRAs (WRA == Work Related Acquaintance), I pretty much just start shouting at them. I am filled with righteous anger, and desire solely to verbally smite them. So, I got to thinking, why does this make me so mad?

I believe that it is because most conservative politics violates one of my 3 basic principles of life (blogged here, in my first ever post): #3, Children are Sacred. The belief means to me that the top priority of any civilization is to make sure that all mothers have access to the best prenatal care; that all children have enough to eat, a place to live, education, and health care. And sure, up to age 18.

Opposed to this view, conservatives, of which Libertarians are currently the most prickish, do not care if children go hungry. They are more interested in trying to regain the status quo of feudal times: of kings and lords with everything, and peasants and serfs with nothing.

I am a Jeffersonian democrat: I believe that this country will not achieve its full potential until "all men are created equal". And to me, this cannot happen without taking care of our children as described above.

Conservatives say, it's the parents' responsibility to take care of their own children. It's nice when that works out. But, children do not have a choice to be born, nor into what family they will be born (unless they're a bodhisattva ;->). If they are born into a family that has been destitute for generations, without a social safety net to assure them access to food, health care, and the best education, then they are not "created equal".

How can anyone argue that we can go wrong if our goal as a country it to attempt to maximize the possibilities for every child? I perk up every time I see a reference to the "economy of plenty", rather than the "economy of scarcity". I firmly believe we can get there; that Jebus was wrong when he said "the poor are with you always".

On the other side of the coin, here's some lyrics from the (pessimistic and homophobic) 70's song by Ten Years After, "I'd Love To Change The World":

Tax the rich, feed the poor
Til there are rich no more.
Are we ever going to get rid of the rich? I totally doubt it. I believe in the free enterprise system. I believe hard work and good ideas will result in new companies and new billionaires. This is a good thing. (Half of the world's richest 50 people were self-made, the other half inherited.) But I believe that they need to pay their fair share of taxes, which is, however much it takes to balance the budget.

There have been numerous articles on the shocking levels of wealth inequality; here's one. In the last 40 years, the top 1% has had their income and net worth increase ~600%, the next 9% has gone up 8%, the bottom 90% has gone down. Reagan's busting the unions helped. Trickle-down economics don't work for crap.

And now the Republicans are insisting, cut this, cut that. How about instead we get rid of the Bush Tax cuts for starters? And get estate taxes reasonable again?

The deficit is such a smokescreen issue. Sure, we can balance the budget by restricting abortion; by getting rid of OSHA and the EPA; by getting rid of everything conservatives don't like. I balanced the budget -- it was easy. And I did not cut defense spending.

Why do the ultra-rich want more, more, more? What did I read the other day -- "When money rules you, it becomes a bucket with no bottom". When you go from millions to 100s of millions to billions to 10s of billions, it surely must quit being about anything real -- after all, how many houses, cars, boats, planes, helicopters can you really manage? It just becomes score-keeping, and they want to make sure that their score is highest. That's OK, but not when there are children hungry

And our Libertarian senator, Random Paul. What an embarrassment. Determined to stick to his Libertarian principles. Known so far for his dislike of low flush toilets and CFC lightbulbs, and his contention that universal health care would enslave doctors and other healthcare professionals. Oh, BTW, did you know he was a doctor? A mealy-mouthed, self-entitled prick of one?

So anyway, I have a new, kindler, gentler strategy for talking with Libertarians. I will attempt to determine what variety of Libertarian they are. Are they a:

  • selfish prick me, me, me libertarian;
  • ignorant dupe of billionaire polluters, financial fraud con artists, embezzlers, and thieves libertarian;
  • willing accomplice of the above libertarian;
  • all of the above.
That will surely open more of a dialogue ;->


Ron said...

Or you could just call them dumbasses

dumbass said...

They are absolutely not worthy of the honorific "dumbass".