Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: The Libertarian Party & The Bear

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Northwestern Ohio
    Posts
    9,327

    The Libertarian Party & The Bear

    Election's over. Now we get to hear the Republicans talk about the "clear mandate" they have to move in the direction they want. We get to hear the Democrats scramble to reinvent themselves as "centrists". All the talk show geeks are blaming this Kerry loss on everything from Massachusets to Michael Moore.

    Just for kicks, in case you are a frustrated Democrat or a teed-off Republican (yes, there are some), here's some info on the Libertarian Party.

    The Libertarians advertise themselves as the party of individual liberty and personal responsibility. They are for a free market economy and a foreign policy of non-intervention. Here are some of their major issues and where The Bear stands on them:

    GUN CONTROL
    They want no part of gun control. This is the individual responsibility part, along with the old "right to bear arms" mantra stirred in. They believe that criminals who use guns will get guns....period. This Bear has NEVER fired a gun in his life. I fish but I don't hunt. I agree with their position.

    FOREIGN POLICY
    There is a continuing debate going on now in the Libertarian press. A small percentage of Libertarians believe that our actions in Iraq were right and necessary, to assure a continual buildup of freedoms in the world. Most Libertarians take the opposite viewpoint. I agree with the small percentage.

    CENSORSHIP / ADULT STUFF
    Most Libertarians want very little government censorship. They want no restrictions on the rights of adults to pursue relationships with other adults, no matter if male-male, male-female, female-female. They want the internet to provide access to downloading of music with no risk for prosecution. This Bear agrees with all of this.

    HERE COMES THE TAX MAN
    The Libertarians want to end or greatly reduce the tax code. Libertarians want pay-as-you-go services and an end to government subsidies of corporations, etc. This Bear agrees with most of their positions but feels that their views are a little too constrictive and illogical.

    FREE MARKET
    The Libertarians support free trade issues, believing that this is the route the world is going and we cannot box ourselves in with restrictive tarrifs, etc. This Bear agrees.

    DOOBIE
    Libertarians have an internal argument going on this topic, too. Some very hard core Libertarians want and end to ALL drug laws. Most are at least in favor of decriminalizing marijuana laws. This Bear agrees with the latter and is somewhat supportive of harder drug use decriminalization. However, this Bear also thinks that employers should have the right to test for drug use and fire those that use. Is the Bear's thinking contradictory? Me thinks not.

    If you want to see what the hey this Bear is yakking about, do a Google. Take the "World's Smallest Political Quiz". The Bear scored 100% Libertarian on personal issues and 80% Libertarian on economic issues.

    My guess is that this Bear is not going to be agreed with on most of these points. Not in this crowd, anyway. That's OK, still luv you guyz.

    Bear Ventura
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #2

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Psychologically, the idea of minimal laws and regulations is of course appealing to almost anyone.

    In a United States with one city over a million people and maybe 50 million population total, I would be all for Libertarianism. 310 million and growing, multiple mega metropoli, I'm not sure I see chucking all land use laws and regulations would be a good idea. Especially since, as an asthmatic, I don't trust "the market" to protect my right to breathe-and I find the argument that I could just sue somebody ridiculouly ineffective. Dittos for meat, drugs, water quality, preservation of open space (private theme parks are not enough. I want good ol' useless regional parks that are not forced to earn big bucks through the free market). Not that I'm claiming that government regulation is perfect or always effective or very efficient. Not that I am saying that 50% of most zoning codes shouldn't be chucked as useless (challenge me to pick which 50%, but...)

    I just don't trust the "free market" that much. The free market is still run by people. Efficiency and market values are not everything to me. There are values outside the marketplace. We can argue about them endlessly-that's what dirty, nasty ol' politics is for.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    skating on thin ice
    Posts
    6,958
    I see it now, Jesse "The Body" Ventura vs Arnold "I'll be BaaaacK" Schwartenegger vs Ralph Nader in te next election.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,677
    What is the Libertarian ideal on the local level? Would people still be taxed to support a local police or fire department? How would education be funded?

    And Bear, you left out the "clothing optional" rule too.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Not Cliff Island, Maine :(
    Posts
    589
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    I just don't trust the "free market" that much. The free market is still run by people. Efficiency and market values are not everything to me. There are values outside the marketplace. We can argue about them endlessly-that's what dirty, nasty ol' politics is for.
    The free market has its benefits. I think in most cases, it does the job. However, when public commodities are involved and the rights of people will be trounced upon if the free market is followed unilaterally, then it must be considered more carefully.

  6. #6
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    at the neighboring pub
    Posts
    5,283
    If you are looking for a good example of a Libertarian arguement, I suggest reading Forbidden Grounds: The Case Against Antidiscrimination Laws by Richard Epstein. (note: I do not completely agree with the conclusions of his arguement necessarily, but his reasoning is rooted in Libertarian arguements). I am reading this book in association with a Public Law class for my MPA. The professor is giving us three different points-of-view on discrimination/profiling/affirmative action.

    Oversimplifying, Libertarians tend to believe that government exists only to prevent "force and fraud". They are not saying absolutely no government, just that it should stay out of people's lives to the maximum extent possible. Police must exist in order to prevent force/fraud. Likewise, fire protection would likely be OK because government is only providing a service with that. However, traditional/historic Libertarianism would likely not agree with the current form of land use law/zoning since part of the Libertarian compromise is that you get control of your own property, but you give up authority over others. However, you could argue that incompatible uses next to each other would be a case of "force" since the actions of the incompatible neighbor may force the "good use" to shut down or relocate.

    If anyone is interested in learning more about historic Libertarianism, I strongly suggest reading a little John Locke. He ties human & individual liberty closely to private property, which should be more relevant to us planners. As another sidenote, the Declaration of Independence was by its nature a Libertarian document, so there is some historic relevance to the Libertarian platform.

    In general, I tend to agree with BKM in that Libertarianism is much more compatible with a smaller country with a simpler economy than the United States. However, some of their principles can be used to make excellent arguements for and against many of today's issues like abortion, gay marriage, reefer, etc. In fact, if I were the Democratic Party, I would start using more Libertarian arguements on these issues since the idea of minimal government interference has more appeal with conservatives (though I'm not sure enough to displace morals/values).

    The one weakness I see in Libertarian ideas is that they do not address "public/common goods" effectively.

    [this ends today's ultra-nerd mini-disertation on Libertarians 8-| ]

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  7. #7

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman

    The one weakness I see in Libertarian ideas is that they do not address "public/common goods" effectively.
    My understanding/reading is that they largely deny such common goods exist-or rely upon the tort system to deal with conflicts regarding such. I remain skeptical.

    Still, as an "ideal," I do indeed tend toward libertarin thinking in many things.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Northwestern Ohio
    Posts
    9,327

    Taking Part In My Right To Pry Open An Old Thread

    Opening an old thread, for a solid reason.

    A week or so ago, a small Ohio town announced that they would not be putting-up any holiday decorations. Primary reason: the town is broke, so if they are going to go in debt it will be for essential services.

    A Toledo talk radio DJ continually goes on about Toledo's government spending money for a city-owned building in the CBD that is home to a few retail businesses and has been pushed as a place for concerts and parties (with very limited success). The DJ also harps on the city paying for bicycle paths.

    Small communities (like the example above) and major cities (such as Toledo) are in dire financial straits.....worsened by diminishing revenue sources as jobs are lost and homes are foreclosed-on. Toledo is now cutting many city services and employees, in an attempt to "come close to" balancing the budget. To help with the latest budget, they are digging into funds that had been set-aside for other projects.

    One of those earmarks was the dredging of the Ottawa River. Toledo is on the largest river to feed the Great Lakes, the Maumee River. A smaller river also runs through the northern part of the city.....the Ottawa River. Near the mouth (at Maumee Bay) are most of Toledo's numerous yacht and boating clubs. Thousands of boaters use the facilities along that stretch of the Ottawa.....and the weather conditions of the last 20 years has led to very shallow circumstances at many of the docks. Boat-owners, land-owners, and businessmen with an interest in the dollars that the recreational boating community brings to the city are in an uproar because the dredging monies are being used for general operations.
    _____

    This Bear is similar to many of the boats on the Ottawa River.....stuck in the mud. Part of me wants our community (all of NW Ohio) to provide the essential services AND provide-for some of those "extras" that enhance the quality of life.

    OTOH, the more Libertarian guy on my shoulder is calling for an end to all of those "extras" and calling for a good strong look at "essentials", with the paring knife in hand.

    And that is where I am stuck.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    Metro Detroit
    Posts
    6,419
    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    This Bear is similar to many of the boats on the Ottawa River.....stuck in the mud. Part of me wants our community (all of NW Ohio) to provide the essential services AND provide-for some of those "extras" that enhance the quality of life.

    OTOH, the more Libertarian guy on my shoulder is calling for an end to all of those "extras" and calling for a good strong look at "essentials", with the paring knife in hand.

    And that is where I am stuck.

    Bear
    Bear, I think this is the mindset of the vast majority of the American public. The problem is that we haven't had a leader since 2000 who has been able to balance the two and explain it to the American people. Hopefully that will start to change come January.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 47
    Last post: 25 Jul 2014, 6:53 PM
  2. Replies: 57
    Last post: 23 May 2013, 4:29 PM
  3. Replies: 17
    Last post: 04 Apr 2010, 1:58 PM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last post: 08 Mar 2007, 5:56 PM
  5. Replies: 8
    Last post: 31 Dec 2006, 5:17 PM