Libertarian

by Kimberly on October 26, 2009

I went and did two test to see what political party I fall in.  One is The Political Compass it is one that is long, but doesn’t take long to do.  The other is World’s Smallest Political Quiz.  Over the last few years I have changed some of my feelings and opinions about current things.  I don’t put my self as a Democrat and can’t completely put my self as a Republican either.

So I decided to take both those tests which said I’m a Libertarian.

LIBERTARIAN

Supports maximum liberty in both personal and economic matters.  They advocate a much smaller government; one that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence.  Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.

I went to The Libertarian Party of Florida website.  I liked their Q&A page. Here is a list of those Q&A’s below.  I like their way of thinking.

1. What is libertarianism?
Libertarians want a win-win world of peace and plenty. And we believe
that the only way to get it is through self-government… NOT others-
government.

Self-government is the combination of personal responsibility and
tolerance. Responsibility means you govern yourself. Tolerance means
you don’t force your values on peaceful, honest people.

Today, however, others-government is giving us insecurity, conflict
and poverty. Let’s revitalize our heritage of self-government to
create a win-win world where everyone comes out ahead. [4] — Carole
Ann Rand

2. Are libertarians liberal or conservative?
You have a better choice than just left or right. The libertarian way
gives you more choices, in politics, in business, your personal life,
in every way. Libertarians advocate a high degree of both personal and
economic liberty. Today’s liberals like personal liberty but want
government to control your economic affairs. Conservatives reverse
that, advocating more economic freedom but wanting to clamp down on
your private life.

Libertarian positions on the issues are not “left” or “right” or a
combination of the two. Libertarians believe that, on every issue, you
have the right to decide for yourself what’s best for you and to act
on that belief so long as you respect the right of other people to do
the same and deal with them peacefully and honestly.

Today’s liberals and conservatives have rejected America’s heritage of
liberty and personal responsibility. They want to put us all in their
straitjacket. Americans built a great country without shackles. It’s
time to take them off again. Break free of the useless left right
spectrum. Think freedom on all issues. Think libertarian. [2]

3. How do libertarians approach the issues?
Libertarians use a caring, people centered approach to politics.
Politicians too frequently forget that their laws and regulations
affect real, live human beings. Libertarians never lose sight of that
fact. We see each individual as unique, with great potential. We want
a system which encourages all of us to discover the best within
ourselves and make the most of it. A system which encourages the
development of the most harmonious relationships among all people.

In dealing with political issues, libertarians focus on the people
involved. Who is having a problem? What is it? What is the government
doing already, if anything, and might that be the cause of the
problem?

Most importantly, Libertarians ask: is anyone violating another’s
rights? Is someone committing murder, rape, robbery, theft, fraud,
embezzlement, arson, trespass, etc.? If so, then it’s proper to call
on government to help the victim against the wrongdoer. But, if not,
the government should not get involved.

In most instances, people are better off if allowed to work out their
own problems through voluntary cooperation without introducing the
coercive tool of government. [3]

4. What is the libertarian position on the military draft?
History shows that free people can be counted on to defend their homes
and their country. But the draft is slavery, and slaves make lousy
defenders of freedom.

I like knowing I’m being protected by people who are in the military
because they want to be there, not because they were forced against
their will to be there.

A military focused on defending America instead of policing the globe
would reduce manpower needs and further eliminate any reason to have a
draft or draft registration.

Let’s let free people defend freedom. [3]

5. Should the government regulate radio, TV, or the press?
America’s free press is envied by freedom-starved people everywhere.
Dictators use a controlled press to silence opposition and to feed
lies to their citizens.

Americans would not like it if the government here owned or controlled
the newspapers. Why should we like government control of TV and radio
any better? As with printed words, broadcast words can and should be
regulated by the free market.

Americans should be able to freely choose what they will watch or
listen to, without Big Brother making those decisions for them. [3]

6. Why do libertarians want to repeal regulations on sex by consenting adults?
Nothing is more personal than the way people chose to shape their
sexual relationships. Government has no business intruding into
people’s bedrooms.

This doesn’t mean we must personally approve of the sexual behaviors
of others. It simply means that as long as the participants are
consenting adults, no one has the right to use the force of government
laws to try to stop or punish them.

There is no justification for throwing peaceful Americans in jail
because of their sexual choices. Let’s respect people’s right to
control their own bodies. [3]

6a. Does this apply to prostitution also?
Every day millions of adult Americans agree to make love. There is no
justification for throwing them in jail. These are peaceful voluntary
agreements between consenting adults. A tiny fraction of these involve
money.

Criminal penalties do not stop prostitution. They just create real
problems. One study showed it costs taxpayers two thousand dollars
every time a prostitute is arrested. Let’s respect people’s right to
control their own bodies.

Decriminalize sex, and let it be a private affair. [3]

7. Does libertarian support of personal liberty extend to drug use?
Alcohol prohibition tore America apart once. Now it is the war on
drugs. Harsh laws and the threat of jail and fines will not stop drug
use. All they do is make it harder to help people. And just as
Prohibition created organized crime, today’s drug laws keep organized
crime alive — with all the violence and corruption that goes along
with it.

Before drugs were illegal, Americans handled them with few problems.
Let’s respect the right of people to control their own bodies.

Decriminalize drugs, help those who need it, and let the police spend
their time protecting us from real crime. [3]

7a. But if drugs were legalized, wouldn’t there be millions more drug addicts?
I, too, want to live in a society where people are healthy and
productive, not destroying their lives with addictive drugs.

All of the hard drugs were legal before 1914, and there were few
addicts. Studies show that even addicts can be productive, and also
that they do not engage in crime when they can get their drugs
inexpensively.

We have addicts today despite drug criminalization. We also have the
violence that is caused by drugs being illegal. Let’s decriminalize
drugs so we stop the violence and get help to those who need it. [3]

8. Do libertarians support gun ownership as a personal liberty?
Libertarians,, like other Americans, want to be able to walk city
streets safely and be secure in their homes. We also want our
Constitutional rights protected, to guard against the erosion of civil
liberties. In particular, Libertarians want to see all people treated
equally under the law, as our Constitution requires. America’s
millions of gun owners are people too.

Law-abiding, responsible citizens do not and should not need to ask
anyone’s permission or approval to engage in a peaceful activity. Gun
ownership, by itself, harms no other person and cannot morally justify
criminal penalties.

A responsible, well-armed and trained citizenry is the best protection
against domestic crime and the threat of foreign invasion. America’s
founders knew that. It is still true today.

9. How do libertarians want to handle immigration?
People have the right to travel anywhere, and to take any job offered
them, so long as they do it at their own expense and without violating
the rights of others.

A way to help the poor is to let them go where the work is, regardless
of borders. Studies show that immigrants don’t take jobs from others,
they add to the economy and help create more jobs.

America was built by immigrants who came here seeking nothing but
opportunity and freedom — and created the greatest, most productive
society ever.

Respect for human rights and compassion for the world’s poor require
that we relax immigration restrictions. [3]

10. What position do libertarians have on subsidies for farm and business?
All business people, including farmers, should be able to offer their
products in a free market without being subsidized by others. The way
to help both producers and consumers is to remove government programs
and restrictions which have damaged America’s free enterprise system.

Subsidies are harmful and unfair. Why should some businesses be taxed
to give handouts to others? Why should you pay higher prices to
support government favored businesses?

Let’s stop this nonsense. Then business could operate in a free market
and all of us could be better fed, clothed and housed at lower cost.
[3]

11. Are people better off with free trade than with tariffs?
Free trade provides consumers with better goods at lower prices. Trade
restrictions produce the opposite: shoddy goods and higher prices.

With free trade, consumers pay lower prices for products and thereby
have more money left to spend on other goods, domestic as well as
foreign.

Free trade also helps the cause of world peace. In the 1920′s and
30′s, trade barriers went up everywhere, directly contributing to the
outbreak of World War II. If goods don’t cross borders, armies will.

Let’s end all trade restrictions and free the world’s resources to be
allocated in the most efficient and productive manner. [3]

12. What position do libertarians take on minimum wage laws?
Skilled, experienced workers make high wages because employers compete
to hire them. Poorly educated, inexperienced young people can’t get
work because minimum wage laws make them too expensive to hire as
trainees. Repeal of the minimum wage would allow many young, minority
and poor people to work.

It must be asked, if the minimum wage is such a good idea, why not
raise it to $200 an hour? Even the most die-hard minimum wage advocate
can see there’s something wrong with that proposal.

The only “fair” or “correct” wage is what an employer and employee
voluntarily agree upon. We should repeal minimum wage now. [3]

13. What about the poor?
I want to break the chains of poverty and help the disabled. First
remove laws that prevent work. Second, privatize welfare.

Permits, licensing, zoning, labor laws. They all stop people who want
to work, especially minorities. Repeal those laws. Private charity is
more compassionate and delivers the goods better than the government
welfare plantation.

We can’t make a perfect world. We can do more for the poor by
replacing inefficient government programs with effective voluntary
assistance. [1] — David Bergland

14. Don’t we need affirmative action to keep bigoted employers from refusing to
hire minorities and women?
Libertarians want to see people of all types working in the most
harmonious relationships. “Affirmative action” refers to laws which
force people into relationships whether they want them or not. Not too
many years ago, there were laws in many states which prevented people
of different races from doing a variety of things together, working,
eating, marriage, etc. Libertarians oppose all such laws because the
people involved have the right to decide for themselves whether or not
to enter a relationship or association.

An old saying states: “it takes two to tango.” Relationships or
associations require at least two people. We cannot justify using
force to keep people out of voluntary relationships and we cannot
justify forcing private citizens into relationships against their
will.

Government employment is a different case. The only criteria for
employment or advancement in government work should be merit. The
Constitution requires that we all be given equal treatment under the
law. Since governments are created by law, they are Constitutionally
required to be absolutely even handed. Private citizens or companies
on the other hand have the right to be stupid and suffer the
consequences.

Attempts to correct bigotry with affirmative action haven’t worked
very well. Such laws are easy for bigots to circumvent and people tend
to think minority employees did not earn their positions on merit even
if they did. They also make it possible for bigots to harass
minorities by demanding employment at minority owned businesses. [2]

15. How do libertarians feel about taxes?
Americans already obtain a host of services from private providers.
There is every reason to think that other services, from postal
delivery to education to road building and maintenance, could be
provided more efficiently and at lower cost by the private sector.

We should support all moves to reduce and repeal taxes because taxes
are obtained immorally, by force. The income tax is particularly evil,
since it penalizes productivity and forces all of us to expose our
private affairs to government snoopers.

We had no income tax before 1914 and America prospered. Replacing the
income tax with voluntary methods for financing services should be our
goal, and we should begin right now. [3]

15a. I’m for cutting taxes, but as a practical matter, how do we do it?
Think of government as a conglomerate of service businesses. The
providers of those services do not have to be government employees,
and the services do not have to be paid for with tax dollars. Whether
it is education, security, transportation, charity, energy, or
whatever, the private sector is already doing it for less. To cut
taxes, we must allow private service providers to replace inefficient
bureaucracy. Market competition will give us better service at lower
cost, and put the consumers in control. [3]

16. Aren’t you going too far?
I want you to be able to govern yourself. The libertarian way lets you
decide how much independence is good for you and lets others decide
for themselves.

Replacing political controls with self-government will only go as far
as you let it. So let’s experiment. Cut foreign aid. Deregulate
transportation. Repeal one drug law. Cut farm subsidies. Cut taxes.

As you gain self government, you will probably want more. That’s for
you to decide. No one can force you to be free. [1] — David Bergland

17. Won’t these ideas work only if everybody is good?
You don’t have to believe people are always good for freedom to work.
Most people, most of the time, deal with each other on the libertarian
premise of respect for the rights of others. You don’t want to be
pushed around or to push your neighbors around. You don’t steal, cheat
or mug people. Very few among us commit all the crime. Society would
collapse if most people were evil most of the time.

If people are basically evil, the last thing you’d want is a big
government staffed by those evil folks exercising control over you.
[1] — David Bergland

18. In a libertarian society, wouldn’t polluters get away with destroying
the environment?

“Today, the biggest polluter of all — the U.S. military — gets away
with murder — literally. When courts found the military liable for
illness and death after careless nuclear testing in Utah, the
government claimed sovereign immunity and refused to pay damages. In a
libertarian society, no one would be immune from the consequences of
their actions — especially not a government charged with protecting us.”

“Libertarians believe that people and governments should right their
wrongs by restoring, as much as possible, what they’ve damaged. Today,
instead of making polluters pay, our government makes the taxpayers
shoulder the burden. Sometimes it requires whoever buys a polluted
property to bear the cost of the clean-up. If polluters don’t pay for
the damage they do, why should they stop polluting?”

“Since government is the biggest polluter of all, putting government in
charge of stopping pollution is like putting the fox in charge of the
hen house.” [5] — Mary Ruwart

19. Where would a libertarian fall with respect to laws outlawing
smoking in bars?

“In a libertarian society, the smoking policy would be set by the bar
or restaurant owner. Customers would patronize the establishments
that had the policy they preferred, much as they do today. For
example, I avoid places that are smoke-filled, and opt for restaurants
that are smoke-free or have separate accommodations for smokers and
non-smokers. As a customer, I have no right to dictate smoking policy
any more than I have a right to dictate the color schemes for clothing
manufacturers. However, I let both know my preferences by voting with
my dollars to do business with them or their competitors.” [5] — Mary
Ruwart

20. Isn’t any destruction of the earth a direct threat to the existence,
– and thus, the rights — of future human beings?

“The best way to protect the earth is to honor property rights of
individuals. People care for things they own and can sell later, but
are not so careful about things they rent. If you go out West and
compare grazing land owned by individuals with that administered by
government, the benefit of individual ownership becomes apparent.

“When I was a member of the Kalamazoo Rain Forest Action Committee,
environmentalists recognized that helping the native people defend
their property rights was the best protection the rain forests could
have. The government is the biggest polluter and despoiler of our
lands, yet we’ve been fooled into letting this fox guard our hen
house.” [5] — Mary Ruwart

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