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Libertarian Candidate Michael Badnarik Interview

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the bad-to-the-bone dept.

Politics 188

Lowtekium writes "On November 2nd many young adult Americans will go to the polls to vote for their next President, but very few of them know of the Libertarian Presidential Candidate, Michael Badnarik. JIVE Magazine had the chance to interview Mr. Badnarik. He gives his thoughts on various topics that affect young adults such educational aid and funding for college students, video game violence, and even music and entertainment censorship."

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188 comments

Radical, but needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10666889)

Badnarik is a touch radical for me (bulldozing the UN building? Honestly.), but a third party voice is ALWAYS welcome to me in our inefficient bipartisan system.

Did he get the memo? (3, Insightful)

kajoob (62237) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666943)

I stopped as soon as I read this...


Democrats and Republicans are planning to restore the draft with House Resolution 162 in the House of Representatives


Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats will bring back the draft. In fact, that bill was killed weeks ago. The Republicans from the Prez on down have said there will be no draft, and even though the Democrats sponsored the draft bill in the House, they weren't really serious about it - it was just used as a scare tactic / wedge issue.

So either Badnarick is either ignorant, or just thinks young people are so stupid that you can just scare them into voting for you. MTV does the same thing with Rock the Vote. Check it out - as we've seen before, neither party is bringing back the draft but MTV still hosts this page [rockthevote.com] .

Perhaps if Badnarick starts treating the "Dot Net" age group like the intelligent, informed people that we are instead of all the MTV-esque scare-mongering, maybe we might vote for him.

Re:Did he get the memo? (3, Insightful)

bevo14 (820443) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666994)

If the Rebulicans and Democrats have no intention of having a draft, then why don't they get rid of Selective Service Department? It might just save us taxpayers some money for a change.

Re:Did he get the memo? (1)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667132)

How many times do Bush and Kerry have to say "THERE WILL BE NO DRAFT" for you to believe them?? The reason they don't get rid of selective service is that it MIGHT be necessary in the future if there's another Pearl Harbor attack on America that starts WWIII.

THERE WILL BE NO DRAFT. Anyone who tells you to vote for a certain candidate because the other candidate "will draft you" is a FEAR MONGER and a LIAR, and they know it.

Re:Did he get the memo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667223)

I don't doubt that they are a fear mongers, but isn't that, what you just described, a draft?

So what you're saying is, "THERE WILL BE NO DRAFT...unless there's a big war?"

Why not just say, "There could be draft." It seems misleading to say in all caps 'there will be no draft" and then go on with an exception.

Or perhaps you're saying, "Wether or not there will be a draft will be an irrelevant question when the time that one is needed arises?" Essentially, "don't worry about it?"

Watch for something to happen to "justify" it! (4, Insightful)

slithytove (73811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667491)

How many times does a politician have to lie to you before you stop believing anything they say?

Of course they're going to say there will be no draft (how would they get elected otherwise), but as you admit yourself, it MIGHT be necessary in the future. There is CURRENTLY a sort of "backdoor" draft going on (RETIRED RESERVISTS being called into active duty), and if we continue the so-called War on Terror, there WILL be a need for more warm bodies.

I will make a bold prediction ;) Sometime in the next year, something will happen that "justifies" a draft. I have a hunch its that President Kerry will be assasinated by "terrorists" (read CIA/illuminati/insert your favorite here)

Re:Watch for something to happen to "justify" it! (1)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668279)

There is CURRENTLY a sort of "backdoor" draft going on (RETIRED RESERVISTS being called into active duty

Baloney. Nobody is being called up out of "retirement" -- they all still have time left in their commitment, even after their first tour of duty.

Most of the people being re-called up have special skillsets, or are otherwise experienced. If we need more lower-skilled grunts, there still is about 300,000+ reservists we haven't called up yet.

So we have no need for draftees (whom are invariably totally unskilled, hard to train, and often unwilling!)

Re:Did he get the memo? (1)

Darth_Burrito (227272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667329)

Me too. I really really really want to like 3rd party candidates, especially a guy that's for civil liberties, but when he opens his interview with such an obvious/condescending/manipulative lie, it's not possible.

Re:Did he get the memo? (4, Insightful)

KilobyteKnight (91023) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667429)


Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats will bring back the draft. In fact, that bill was killed weeks ago.
---[cut]---
So either Badnarick is either ignorant, or just thinks young people are so stupid that you can just scare them into voting for you

Or the interview was done while the bill was still alive.

The Democrats and Republicans constantly say one thing and do another. The draft died this time. After the election the political pressures will be different.

mod parent up (1)

Leftist Troll (825839) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667472)

There will be no draft. It would be a serious political liability.
Say what you will about the Bush administration, but they know a thing or two about politics.

It is disheartening to see Badnarik claiming that "if I'm not elected you'll be drafted!" - I thought at least third party candidates could refrain from baseless scare tactics.

Why reestablish the draft boards then? (3, Informative)

slithytove (73811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667563)

You're right that the bill was not serious. On the other hand, how do you explain this [thememoryhole.org]

Re:Why reestablish the draft boards then? (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668024)

Take a look here [objector.org] .

It seems to be a rather objective resource. It basically says, there might be one, but don't buy into any fear-mongering.

I'll tell you why (1)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668434)

Because the Selective Service System is legally obligated to keep the draft boards stocked. And they've been obligated for a good number of decades now.

Re:Did he get the memo? (1)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668006)

Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats will bring back the draft. In fact, that bill was killed weeks ago.

Agreed. The public wouldn't stand for it. Maybe for a war with really broad popular support, but not for a war like Iraq where the rationale is unclear and evolves constantly (WMD, terrorist ties, Saddam was a bad guy... etc. etc.) and not for a bogged-down guerilla war with no clear end in sight.

There's also the problem of who to draft. Focusing unfairly on minorities might meet more resistance today than it did during Viet Nam, and you also have the issue of whether it is OK to draft women, now that they can serve. Finally, even assuming you signed the legislation, would people go? I think that during the last round of drafting, in Viet Nam, people were much more inclined to trust/obey the government than they are today. I would probably serve for a war I believed was just (like Kosovo or Afghanistan). With things the way they are in Iraq, well personally there's no way in hell I'd go- jail or Canada first.

Legal? (2, Insightful)

dasheiff (261577) | more than 9 years ago | (#10666956)

FTA
Earlier today, Libertarians attempted to serve these same papers at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the CPD - but were stopped from approaching the CPD office by security guards.

Though I understand that it's suppose to be civil disobeadence, I'm not sure how they can Legeally be stoped from serving papers. I guess the idea is that they were trying to do it during the debate itself for the most coverage, but what am I missing here?

Re:Legal? (2, Interesting)

slithytove (73811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667610)

They can't legally avoid being served indefinitely, but its pretty common to avoid it while you can. Also, MB did attempt to serve them at ASU as a sort of publicity stunt (who can blame him when the media ignores him even when he's arrested?).

They were served in DC, and there was a hearing about the injunction. The judge denied it, saying that the LP didn't provide enough time, but that they could continue the suit to seek damages. The fact that the injunction was filed for the DAY AFTER the debate at ASU was confirmed, is, apparently, not good enough.

Personally I think it was a major miscarriage of justice, and would have made for interesting reading if any of the mainstream media had picked it up.

Re:Legal? (2, Insightful)

sevinkey (448480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668555)

IF you're serving papers to the CPD, the CPD can do whatever it wants, since it's a private company. If the CPD says "get off my lawn", and you don't, you're trespassing.

Why are the presidential debates ran by a private company? How could they republicans and democrats put up with that? Because they own it jointly.

Draft? That was killed years ago (1)

Software (179033) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667001)

From TFA: Democrats and Republicans are planning to restore the draft with House Resolution 162 in the House of Representatives.

This bill was killed weeks ago. I think that only 1 representative voted for it. Even the sponsor (Rangel) voted against it.

There were some other interesting comments in the article about staffing up Selective Service, and the "back-door" draft of not letting people leave the military.

Re:Draft? That was killed years ago (1)

slithytove (73811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667536)

It wasn't a bill to reinstate the draft. It was a bill to make it include females and cut out the college exemptions.

Also, what politician is going to support something unpopular right before an election.

Re:Draft? That was killed years ago (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667588)

Makes sense to me. Women are equal these days (something I agree with, btw), so they ought to be equal in responsibility as well.

Re:Draft? That was killed years ago (2, Insightful)

snark42 (816532) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667903)

I thought it was mandatory civil service for all Americans regardless of if we were at war. This doesn't necessarily mean joining the army. The official title of the bill was:
"To provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes."

Word up (5, Interesting)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667029)

"If you vote for the lesser of two evils and your candidate wins, you still get evil. The only wasted vote is when you vote for a candidate that you don't respect."

Very true. I know there are those who will say "that is stupid, a vote for (3rd party) is just a vote for (candidate I don't like) and this election is the most important ever, we have to make sure (candidate I don't like) does not win"

I say bull. This election is possibly the LEAST important ever. Bush and Kerry are so similar it is sickening. Oh sure what they SAY is different but if you think for a second that Kerry is going to (end the war/roll back tax cuts/improve civil liberties/etc) you are either completely ignorant of what he has said and done in the past, or (worse) you think his sudden change in positions was legit and had nothing to do with struggling to find ways to differentiate himself from Bush.

So vote for who you really want to win, because either Bush or Kerry are going to win anyway and they will both equally suck.

Re:Word up (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667203)

So vote for who you really want to win, because either Bush or Kerry are going to win anyway and they will both equally suck.

See, that's where this reasoning falls down for me- I don't think they'll EQUALLY suck. I think Kerry's obvious INTELLIGENCE and flip flopping HYPOCRISY means more government gridlock and fewer stupid stuff sneaking by. Which ends up a net plus for America.

Having said that- if you're not in a swing state, if EITHER Bush or Kerry is leading your state by more than 10%, we need you to send a message to the major parties. You don't have to vote Libertarian. Just write in someone you'd rather see, like your dentist or a Seventh-Day Adventist (ok, sorry, channeling Jimmy Pheromone for a second there, I'll give you all Bacardi if you'll Join the All Night Party).

Re:Word up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667645)

Little known fact, your vote only gets counted in most states if it's for a party who's on the ballot (duh) or if the person you are writing in has submited a petition to have votes for them counted. Generally it's some small number like 500, but if you vote for your Dentist it's not counted.

Re:Word up (2, Interesting)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667931)

I don't think Bush and Kerry equally suck, either. I just think that Kerry sucks too much to get my vote.

Badnarik it is (Nader isn't on in Ohio and Cobb is an asshat).

Re:Word up (2, Insightful)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668738)

Frankly this is the only halfway decent reason for voting for either of these two I have heard.

But think about it...The best solution is to force gridlock so that all those we elected are the most powerless to do anything? That is what we consider best for the USA, to put people in power for the purpose of blocking those others we have put into power?

Is that not he saddest thing ever, that THIS is what we aspire to? If it were not real it would be too funny and outlandish to pass as fiction.

I refuse to participate in that game, and will vote for who comes closest to me in my opinions and beliefs. If my doing so means the "wrong" candidate ends up in the whitehouse, so be it. When both are wrong at least I can walk away from this mess without feeling dirty.

Finkployd

Re:Word up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667632)

Let me guess, you are not gay, you are not colored, you are not female, you are not poor, you are not uneducated, you are not uninsured, and you are not unemployeed.

It's no wonder a person such as yourself would think the two are the same.

Re:Word up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667828)

And you are a black lesbian illiterate bum?

Re:Word up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667850)

with prostate cancer.

Don't ask how.

Re:Word up (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668684)

Let me guess, you are not gay, you are not colored, you are not female, you are not poor, you are not uneducated, you are not uninsured, and you are not unemployeed.

It's no wonder a person such as yourself would think the two are the same.


And tell me, friend, what empty promises did the privileged, skull n bones frat boy from Yale make to you? What leads you to believe he is just not playing you to be elected and has no intention of following through (of course with some excuse, likely blaming the other party and continuing the cycle)?

Was Bush a hero to the uneducated? Has "no child left behind" make any tangible difference, or is it so much useless fluff?

Was Clinton, reveared by half of the country as the best president ever, a hero to the gays? Did he follow through with his promise to end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy in the military? Did he legalize gay mariage or even civil unions? Was he a model for equality of women, did he do anything to help their cause? Do we have the universal health insurance we were promised?

And Reagan, reveared by the other half of the country as the best president ever, did he turn this country around economically? Did he make us more fiscally responsible and lower the debt? Did he usher in a new "sustainable" (anyone can boost the economy temporarily, or rely on an internet stock bubble) economy? Did trickle down economics help the poor?

So you, the gay, poor, colored, female, uneducated, uninsured, and unemployed voter, who thinks that Kerry will save you. You are a deluded sheep. You will get nothing from him but you will rationalize it as the fault of the other party, and work that much harder to ensure than another corrupt, entrenched democrat gets elected in hopes that maybe he will some day follow through on the promises that the others have broken.

And you, the educated, successful, conservative, white, straight, and terrorist fearing voter. You are also a deluded sheep. You will continue to believe that tax cuts are the only thing that can save the economy. You will proudly proclaim that we must be ever viligant against the forces of terror and evil in this world, completely ignoring the damage that a misguided, ill-conceived, and impossible to win war is causing. Not realizing that not only is it a sideshow for the ignorant masses to watch and cheer for, but the single best tool those would harm us have to recruit into their ranks.

Of course, half of what I said was correct and half was lies and deceit right? I am just a random voice on the internet who does not know what he is talking about. Of course the two candidates are different. You will find the slightest difference in their actions or worse, just their empty words and magnify these differences until in your eyes one is Ghandi and the other is the devil. And who would ever vote for the devil? We must do all we can to make sure he does not win this election. It does not matter who you vote for as long as it is not him, so vote for the one with the best chance of beating him.

Sheep. But then, sheep do not proudly decide which wolf will ruin them, out of fear of the other wolf.

Finkployd

Re:Word up (1)

Spoing (152917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668445)

  1. I say bull. This election is possibly the LEAST important ever. Bush and Kerry are so similar it is sickening.

I had a long response and decided to drop it.

Fans and foes of President G.W. Bush alike see stark differences in forign policy as well as many domestic issues between Predident G.W. Bush and his father President Bush let alone G.W. and Kerry.

Compare how President Bush I handled war with Iraq vs. President Bush II. I'm surprised they are related!

Re:Word up (1)

Ender77 (551980) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668571)

I say bull. This election is possibly the LEAST important ever. Bush and Kerry are so similar it is sickening....

Funny, I said the same thing when it was Gore and Bush in 2000, I didn't vote and said at the time, that if I did vote I would have voted for Nader, since Bush and Gore are the same thing. Now I look back at my younger foolish self and shake my head at my idiotic assumptions. the proverb "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." best describes my situation. I have learned from my mistake and will not repeat it, do you really want to look back 4 years from now and shake your head in regret over what you could have done to change things?

Voting for third parties in prez race is lose/lose (1)

melquiades (314628) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668823)

Bush and Kerry both have many serious problems, many of them the same problems -- but if you actually believe that they are identical, that which of them wins will not have a profound effect on the world -- then you are either living in a cave, or are blinded by ideology.

If nothing else, Kerry believes in making decisions based on discernable reality, and Bush believes that we are an empire that can create its own reality, because we're armed to the teeth and on a mission from God. That difference alone is profound.

I would love to have better candidates to vote for, and would love to have more room for more voices in the presidential election. But running and voting for third party candidates is not an effective strategy in theory or in practice -- neither for changing how politics work, nor for swaying the country to your point of view.

Or maybe I'm wrong. Just look at how effective the libertarians have been running their prez candidates for the last umpteen years: our civil liberties have never been safer! (There was that little trifle about habeus corpus, but who needed due process of law anyway?)

Until we start using a more intelligent algorithm for casting and counting votes, third parties in national elections will remain a losing proposition. There was a lengthy discussion on this topic [slashdot.org] attached to an earlier article.

Why do they even bother? (0, Troll)

minkwe (222331) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667037)

What's the point of all these candidates with less than 1% of the vote even trying.

Re:Why do they even bother? (2, Informative)

dykofone (787059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667281)

If you just count the voter turnout during a presidential election of about 100 million people, that means that there are at least one million people who are voting for these "1%" candidates.

And that's just the people that have the balls to vote third party. I'm sure there are even more who live in a swing state and would rather vote against the worst candidate than vote how they really feel. Not to mention all of the people who have never even heard of the 3rd party candidates thanks to the media.

People will flip out in rage against the tobacco industry if they hear a statistic like "20,000 people die every year from second hand smoke," but if you hear "one million people are so fed up that they voted Libertarian" it gets shrugged off.

Sorry for the pathetic metaphor, but small percentages can still be big numbers, especially when those small percentages are drastically more informed than your typical voter.

Get the man a real chair. (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667056)

He looks like he's struggling to stay upright in that sofa thing.

Anyway, I think he presented himself better in the /. interview. Here he just repeats over and over the most basic concepts of Libertarianism. Which is mildly compelling, but the specifics are way more interesting.

And if there was ever a massive sea change in American politics that made the Libertarian Party suddenly have a viable shot at the presidency, Badnarik is the Libertarian that I would want. Not because I like or dislike Libertarians in general, but because he seems like an honest, swell guy, and I wouldn't think he'd pander to special interests. I'd trust him not to do a pro-corporate hack job of libertarianism.

Whenever anyone else talks about "deregulation" it winds up being some horseshit.

Re:Get the man a real chair. (1)

E_elven (600520) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667860)

Here he just repeats over and over the most basic concepts of Libertarianism.

"I get to do whatever the fuck I want and you don't get to say anything about it. Oh, except if someone threatens me. Then you have to defend me to death."

On a related note, I propose that we allow anyone to own whatever weaponry they please. To compensate, they will be completely excluded from police and military protection.

Re:Get the man a real chair. (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668132)

Great. I choose a nuke. Give me all your money, or I'll use it.

The world doesn't work that way, unfortunately. You can't remove youself from society. Exactly how do you remove police/military protection anyway? Even if someone never cals the police, they still deter crime against him by arresting criminals. The fact the US has a military stops anyone from invading him. The libertarian idea of independance doesn't exist, in truth it never has.

Re:Get the man a real chair. (1)

E_elven (600520) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668576)

You miss the point. The other guy is still protected.

If someone breaks in your house, kidnaps your kid, etc., you're on your own.

If you try to rob someone, the police will protect that person.

Re:Get the man a real chair. (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668713)

No, you miss the point. A lot of crime is prevented just because the police exist at all. People don't become muggers because the risk of being arrested is there. He'll be recieving police protection because the police exist for other people. There's no way to remove that protection from him. No man is an island, there is no way to totally withdraw from society. Nor would you truely find it desirable to do so if you could.

Arrr.... (4, Insightful)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667142)

"We just expect you to handle all the consequences of your decision. So everything Libertarians espouse is basically individual rights and personal responsibility."

But that is the whole sticking point.

The conceptions of what one should be a responsible for or have the right to do is are so varied that to simply say that that is what you espouse is meaningless.

As Badnarik asks, "Why would you let the government tell you what to do?" This is not a reasonable argument against other parties: Libertarians still tell you what to do. They say you have to respect what Badnarik calls "divine rights." No one would agree with Badnarik's exact intepretation of "divine rights" and many would not agree with anything significantly close to it.

It seems anarchists outdue the libertarians with regards to personal liberty: they say the government shouldn't tell you what to do at all. Libertarians say that the government should tell you to do some things. Marxist-Leninists says that the government should tell you to do other things. Libertarians have just picked one of many positions of the government telling you what to do. And they don't offer any definitive reasons that trump any other political parties' reasons for choosing their particular ideological position. They're saying: "everyone must have these rights simply because it's natural/divine." I don't see any evidence whatsoever that their conceptions of rights and responsibilities are natural. You can say they're "nice" or "moral", but to claim their natural is to claim that the universe is bound to your ideals. Perhaps it is, but I don't see the evidence.

Does anyone more familiar with Libertarian thought have more evidence? I'm glad to dicuss this and think about it moreso.

Re:Arrr.... (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667409)

Perhaps I'm off-base here, but I believe when he talks about our rights he's referring to what's written in the Constitution. The appeal of Libertarianism is that it's essentially getting back to our roots, or getting back on track re: the gov't that the Founding Fathers wrote. That appears to me to be Badnarik's, if not the whole LP's platform. All the stuff about individual freedom &c. stems from the return to constitutional government. Also, the increased power of the states (not covered in this interview) is from the Constitution as well.

So the rights come from the constitution. Libertarians still tell you what to do, but they do so within the boundaries laid out by the Constitution. The reason for this is to protect people from each other, rather than from themselves. With Libertarianism there is a system in place to enforce constitutional rights (life, liberty, pursuit of mone^H^H^Hhappiness) with as little interference with your own personal choices as possible.

Re:Arrr.... (1)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 9 years ago | (#10669338)

States rights are far more in danger, have been curtailed far more, and are far more important in keeping the Constitution alive, than individual rights.

You can be an anti-abortionist libertarian, for example--the Constitution doesn't address murder; it's left up to the states. You can be Libertarian that wants to set up a Marxist utopia in your home town. It's all about devolution of powers to the lowest possible level of government.

As far as the official party is concerned, I think they're far too concerned with personal liberties and corporate liberties than with states rights. Registered Libertarians, however, usually agree with me here.

Re:Arrr.... (1)

Talondel (693866) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667668)

Those "Divine Rights" you're talking about are the rights to Life, Liberty, and Property (substitute happiness if the right to Property sounds to greedy for you). They are the basic human rights that America was founded on, and that our Constitution and Bill of Rights were designed to protect. Note that these rights are not granted by these documents. Nothing should be able to "grant" you Life or Freedom because if they granted you those rights that would imply that they could be taken away. Libertatians simply believe that these rights are inhernant to all people. Governement then, should be designed to protect these rights for as many people as possible, and in that order (Life, then Liberty, then Property). As to why the Libertarian's view of what rights are inherant to all people should take precident over, let's say the Anarchists or the Marxists, well this country was founded under Libertarian principals. They're right there at the front and center of all of our most important documents.

Re:Arrr.... (1)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668038)

Well that's what I'm questioning. I'm questioning where Badnarik/Libertarians/the Consitution gets the knowledge that the rights they say are natural are actually natural.

It's as me asking, "How do I know God is real?" and you asnwering, "Because God says so in the Bible." It's not very helpful, you know? You can say "It's a matter of faith," and I'll accept that answer for what it is. But, I don't see the former answer as actually answering the question, it seems more like an appeal to an authority which has not been established in any way.

Re:Arrr.... (1)

Wolfkin (17910) | more than 9 years ago | (#10669343)

Badnarik might not agree with this, but here's a quick rule of thumb (which ought to be fleshed out into more, but I don't have time right now): If everyone else and everything that is owned by someone other than you disappeared tomorrow, anything you could still do would be your natural right. Anything that you do that depends on someone else is a negotiated right, or not a right at all.

devine? try constitutional (1)

slithytove (73811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667680)

I heard Mr. Badnarik speak at length and in person. As a sort of Athiest/Techno-Pagan, I am particularly sensitive to talk of God or the "divine", especially by politicians. I do not recall hearing any religious words out of Michael, except when he was talking about the seperation of church and state (which his is firmly in favor of). He even refused to tell us what his own religious affiliation is.

Michael Badnarik's belief in what our unalienable rights are, is derived directly from the constitution. He teaches a class about it, and his book on the subject (Good to be King [amazon.com] ) is currently doing quite well on Amazon.

Re:devine? try constitutional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10669348)

Athiest/Techno-Pagan

Huh? This really bothers the ex-atheist in me.

You like pagan gods because they're "cool," but you don't believe in any of them?

It's simple (3, Informative)

scotay (195240) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667688)

The constitution limits the areas where the federal government gets to tell us what to do to those specifically enumerated. All the other areas are left to the state or local governments, or to the people themselves. If we want to grant further federal rights to tell us what to do, we go through the rather laborious process of amending the constitution. It's hardly anarchist or even complicated. It's just confusing because our well meaning, progressive notions bulldozed through those complications by popular demand. Now we have unlimited government and EVERYTHING is political and we wonder what we can do stop becoming a totalitarian nation. Constitutionally limited government is the Libertarian answer to that problem.

Re:Arrr.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667825)

'As Badnarik asks, "Why would you let the government tell you what to do?"'

What Badnarik is getting at is that the government should be a small, humble servant of the people; it should protect basic liberties and do nothing else.

In contrast, most governments (including the US federal gov't) enslave or oppress the citizenry on behalf of an elite, which could be politicians, corporate interests, special interest groups, ethnic minorities, organized crime - you name it.

Democracies typically break down into a sort of mob phenomenon where the state continually increases its power and influence by pitting factions against each other and promising each group bribes and advantages at the expense of its rival. It plunders the rich on behalf of the poor (welfare), it plunders consumers on behalf of corporations (gov't contracts, patent protection, regulatory barriers to competitors), it penalizes employers on behalf of employees (union laws, minimum wages, racial hiring quotas), it plunders pensioners and their pension funds to fulfill its other spending promises, and so on.

All these activities come at the expense of freedom. A person in America is no longer free to work for a living unless he gives the government its cut. A person in America cannot buy goods from a fellow American unless he gives the government its cut. An American cannot invest his own pension savings as he chooses, because the government insists on doing it for him (and then spends the money immediately on more pressing concerns).

To a libertarian, these are serious problems, because libertarians believe that a person should be free to do, think, and say whatever he wants, so long as it does not impose violence or fraud on others.

Asking "why would you let the government tell you what to do" is a decent start when introducing someone to liberty.

Paul

Re:Arrr.... (1)

cjhuitt (466651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667937)

As Badnarik asks, "Why would you let the government tell you what to do?" This is not a reasonable argument against other parties: Libertarians still tell you what to do.

I would rather say, they still tell you what not to do, but I think I understand your point.

It seems anarchists outdue the libertarians with regards to personal liberty:

I agree that it seems this way as well, but I'll try to offer a few of my ideas on this (please note that I'm new to studying Libertarians as a party, but the ideas are similiar to ones I've been developing for a while).

As for anarchists and personal liberty, it might be true at its most base level. However, most libertarians (and others, I believe) think that the eventual result of anarchy on a scale larger than a very small community would eventually lead to the rise of a de-facto government. One way is as follows: I don't want to be killed, so I contract with a private security group to protect me and/or handle retribution in case I am killed. Now, either there will be a lot of these private security firms around, which could easily result in turf wars a lot like gang disputes today, or there will be a relative few that come up with a way of working together. In the first case, one group will either win, or everyone will be so decimated as to allow a group from another area to move in, leading to one group controlling an area. In the second case, the groups will come up with a set of rules that becomes the de-facto law. In either case, you have a group or set of groups that now has a more-or-less monopoly on using force, and thus becomes a de-facto government. In this case, there is basically nothing individuals in an anarchy can do to go against it, without risking that force. If the force-wielders decide to make everyone else do X, most everyone will do so. So in the end, it is quite likely to have a much-reduced personal liberty than it started with.

A more libertarian point of view would be to take the fact that some government is going to exist (de-facto or "real"), and try to restrain that government as much as possible so as to maintain the personal liberty as much as possible well into the future. It is still possible that, with the government basically having a monopoly on force, that things can go bad. But having established a method of checks-and-balances from the beginning, they think, would stand a better chance.

They're saying: "everyone must have these rights simply because it's natural/divine."

I don't think the libertarian point of view would necessarily point at a source of the rights, but you are correct in saying they believe everyone has a set of rights. You might say they are psychologically ingrained, even, as a source. It might even be true - most people seem to want to live, generally speaking, as well as move about or not based upon their own desires. Even a lot of communal items tend to become treated as being "owned" by people.

But apart from the derivation of these rights, libertarians seem to try to find the minimum set of restraints that can be placed on people while still having a functional society. They generally boil these restraints down to 1) You can't hurt other people, 2) you can't take what isn't yours, and 3) if you have a contract, you should honor it or be in trouble. The three are somewhat inter-related, of course. But many people (a reasonably large number, I think) agree that these are about the minimum number of restraints you could put on people and still have a functional society. So that is where the rights come from, IMHO, in a practical sense.

Beyond that, they claim that one person doesn't know what is best for another person as well as that person does. So, they don't think anyone should be forced to do more than observe the three restraints above, and leave everyone basically free to do whatever they want otherwise.

Re:Arrr.... (1)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668385)

Now we're talking.

So, Libertarians agree with the anarchists: total personal liberity is an ideal. But, the Libertarians don't take the governmental acualisation of this imperative as a finality. They import some utilitarianism. My objection to this formulation of Libertarianism is that it has merely moved the problem I raised(and others as I've read in this story dicussion) of "why are these/(which) liberties (are) an imperative for the government to protect?" to "what laws will maximise well-being for all in general?"

However, we've reached a similar and equally insoluble situation. For the sake of good measure: Anarchists(if one could imagine utilitarianistic anarchists -- they sure wouldn't have too much problem coming to a conclusion utilitarianisticly - ha!) would say "no laws!" Marxist-Leninists would say something else, distinguishably none that defend private property etc. Again, it becomes a matter of ideology/beleif of what a functional society is/what is a moral imperative etc.

Sometimes I think I should be studying philosophy instead of physics, particularly right now when i should be studing for midterms. Oh well, I can consider this leisure time. But what a sad Friday evening that makes this...

Theory... (1)

abulafia (7826) | more than 9 years ago | (#10669006)

This is actually interesting - I don't think I've seen a real discussion of this sort of thing in ages.

Couple of points:

So, Libertarians agree with the anarchists: total personal liberity is an ideal. But, the Libertarians don't take the governmental acualisation of this imperative as a finality.

Couple of things, the first of which is annoying. There are _l_ibertarians and _L_ibertarians. The Libertarian Party does not represent everyone who calls themselves libertarians, which stands in contrast to the term, "Republican", for instance. Everyone qualified to vote in the U.S. is both a republican, and a democrat, by virtue of birth or naturalization, but they break up on the capital letters. Sorry if you already know this, but it is an important distiction.

Second point: I believe you're attempting to triangulate on things by sweeping the dial from side to side, so to speak. By doing so, you're missing the point, in subtle ways. People who call themselves 'libertarians' disagree on many, many points, but the fundamental point of agreement that makes one a libertarian is this: 'relations betweeen people should be voluntary'.

Note that there is no statement about 'total personal liberty' or anything along those lines. Seeking off in that direction doesn't lead to libertarian thought - it leads to, as you said, anarchism.

The difference is that the anarchist will let someone drown, because, hey? maybe they wanted to, whereas the libertarian will pull them out, and then bill them. Old joke, but it does illustrate part of the difference.

However, we've reached a similar and equally insoluble situation. For the sake of good measure: Anarchists(if one could imagine utilitarianistic anarchists -- they sure wouldn't have too much problem coming to a conclusion utilitarianisticly - ha!) would say "no laws!" Marxist-Leninists would say something else, distinguishably none that defend private property etc. Again, it becomes a matter of ideology/beleif of what a functional society is/what is a moral imperative etc. Sometimes I think I should be studying philosophy instead of physics, particularly right now when i should be studing for midterms. Oh well, I can consider this leisure time. But what a sad Friday evening that makes this...

Actually, I think your mistake is in thinking of names like 'libertarian' being things that describe certain points on a series of sliders. While it is true that some theories of governance would result in more or fewer laws, the point is what sort of laws are in place. There are factions of Christians who want almost no law, other than the ten commandments. Hey, almost no law, right? Until you're obligated to kill your daughter for making out with a boy. (No, I'm not kidding.) (To be clear, I'm also not bashing christians - I'm not one, but some of my best friends, etc. No, really, a person very close to me is an Episcopal, and her take I respect heavily.) The point is that the matters of public law should be aligned with what makes sense, and less is better.

Are you being compelled to do something? That is wrong.
Is someone stealing from you? That is wrong.
Are you killing yourself slowly with drugs? That's not good, but that's your business.
Did you take up a collection to fund a hiway? Great. Enjoy it.

There are problematic issues, involving national defense, game theory, and public goods. Libertarians tend to believe they're soluble, but they are there.

(BTW, the concept of 'utilitarian anarchist' isn't as goofy as you think- google 'anacho-syndicalist'. While it doesn't make a cohesive philosohy, people do try.)

Re:Arrr.... (1)

abulafia (7826) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668551)

And they don't offer any definitive reasons that trump any other political parties' reasons for choosing their particular ideological position.

If you're looking for a well reasoned philosophical argument for libertarianism (small "l"), you should really just google it, or perhaps start with Libertarianism: a Primer, by Boaz. Basically, it comes down to a distillation of classic liberalism (which should not to be confused with recent U.S. redefinitions of the word) - a human owns itself, the right to property is right and proper, interfering with other's actions is immoral, unless that person's actions themselves are immoral, etc.

The short version is simple to state: all human relations should be voluntary. Folks that aren't familiar with the arguments tend to be on board with that statement, until they're surprised by the implications. Libertarians differ on the proper scope of the state, but tend to sort of cluster around the notion that the state's only legitimate role is to protect its citizens from the illegitimate initiation of force.

Variations include Objectivism/Randian thought, which include things that start looking like moral precepts. (I'll not include my kneejerk Rand humour here.), Anarcho-Capitalism, which starts with the above, but holds that there is _no_ legitimate role for the state, and Anarcho-Syndicalism, which tends to hold, roughly, that the whole human race is the state, and that property is owned by all, but it tends to shift all over the place, from espouser to espouser.

Names to google, if you want a strong background on the arguments:

Classic liberalism:
David Hume, John Stuart Mill, Adam Smith

Modern libertarianism:
Well, just google around - there's a lot of material on the web. Anarcho-Capitalism:
David Friedman (especially recommended - The Machinery of Freedom), Roy Childs, some of the writings of Timothy May.

Anarcho-Syndicalism:
The most respectable was probably Krotopkin.

Objectivism:
Well, Ayn Rand. And that eager looking 11th grader over there. (OK, sorry.)

Re:Arrr.... (1)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668783)

Libertarians differ most from other political parties in the US in their interpretation of the constitution. The libertarian party could be said to follow most the idea of "original intent".

For example, when the US constitution's second amendment was written (the right to bear arms), it was intended to allow any citizen of the US to own a gun for personal and national defense. As long as that amendment is in the constitution, a libertarian will argue that the government has no right to issue permits, the permit is already implied by the constitution.

Similarly, there bill of rights reserves all rights not listed in the constitution to the states and individuals. That's the key. This is also where the historical concept of divine rights comes in. Badnarik is not talking about some 20th century evangelical concept of divine rights, he's talking about the historical concept of divine rights, which is basically all of them.

In the Constitution, we have given up some specific rights. You must pay your taxes, and you are subject to common law. In Libertarian thought, the Constitution and the methods therein are some kind of holy scripture (this time in the 20th century evangelical sense).

Everyone must follow the laws, and everyone must be held responsible, especially the government. Therefore the government can only do what the constitution says it can do, and nothing more.

There is nothing in the constitution about illegal drugs (save prohibition, and its repeal), thus there should be no FEDERALLY determined illegal drugs. Nor for that matter, any regulation of medical drugs.

I don't think I would call the libertarian viewpoint "moral" or "nice", but it is definitely "ethical".

In any case, you pose very interesting questions and I really should be getting back to physics as well, what with midterms to grade and all. Do all of us a favor and don't forget about politics and these questions when you are a scientest, we all need to think these thoughts.

Try Locke (1)

Henn (657612) | more than 9 years ago | (#10669077)

"Natural Rights" in the sense that Americans understand them were discussed at length by John Locke back in the late 1600's.

If you get a chance to check out his Second Treatise [lessonsofthepast.com] , you will see these writings that heavily influenced America's founding fathers. In fact, if you read the Declaration of Independence [archives.gov] closely, you will find that some of it was cribbed word for word from Locke!

I can't vote for this guy (3, Insightful)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667191)

Read the interview, he calls college grants for low-income student "goverment-sponsored theft".

Without this "goverment-sponsored theft", I wouldn't be making $70K right now and contributing $20K per year to Uncle Sam... I might even be on welfare...

Re:I can't vote for this guy (1)

Leftist Troll (825839) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667398)

Without this "goverment-sponsored theft", I wouldn't be making $70K right now and contributing $20K per year to Uncle Sam... I might even be on welfare..

But if Badnarik had his way, you wouldn't get welfare either. You'd be stuck in the gutter, and he'd blame you for not being a Nietzschian superman.
That's the thing about Libertarians. Either they're coldhearted and don't give a shit, or naive and expect private charity to take care of everything.

All that being said, I would be thrilled if Badnarik were elected president. He is infinitly better than either Bush or Kerry on civil liberties and foreign policy.

Re:I can't vote for this guy (1, Troll)

cjhuitt (466651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667595)

Read the interview, he calls college grants for low-income student "goverment-sponsored theft".

Well, you know what? It may not fit the definition of theft that's codified into laws, but it comes kinda close to the idea most people have. (I'll overlook the removal of the quote from the context, because I don't think it matters too much in this instance.)

I'm not sure how I feel about federally funded student aid, but I know I have seen many, many students that probably wouldn't have been able to go to college without it. And you know what? Those students shouldn't have been in college, because they were wasting everyone else's time, going to drop/fail out anyway, and still getting a portion of the money the government takes from what I earn. I would imagine many others on /. can relate...

The only possible bright side to this that I can think of is that those... people who managed to get federal financial aid will at least likely have gotten loans for the large portion of it, which will need to be paid back with interest, even if that interest is currently less than the rate of inflation.

Without this "goverment-sponsored theft", I wouldn't be making $70K right now and contributing $20K per year to Uncle Sam... I might even be on welfare...

I hate to point this out to you, but if someone robs a bank, uses that money to start a business that eventually ends up employing hundreds of people, and by the end of their life donates 3 times what they stole to charity, well... they still robbed a bank. Can't change the facts just because it happened to be a "good" result this time.

Re:I can't vote for this guy (1)

E_elven (600520) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667990)

You're just so wrong I bet you can't even look right.

Bank robbery? Try a loan. The government is 'borrowing' money to you with the expectation that you will 'pay them back' after you graduate. They give you $40000 and you give them $10000 a year for fourty years. I'd say the terms are pretty good, wouldn't you?

I do agree, though, that abuse of the system is a problem. I, therefore, propose that the aid be made in form of a loan. If the student graduates within a given time limit (exclude illness etc.), the loan is forgiven. That way the grants could also be expanded a little to help everyone out.

Re:I can't vote for this guy (0, Troll)

Masker (25119) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668015)

'm not sure how I feel about federally funded student aid, but I know I have seen many, many students that probably wouldn't have been able to go to college without it. And you know what? Those students shouldn't have been in college, because they were wasting everyone else's time, going to drop/fail out anyway, and still getting a portion of the money the government takes from what I earn. I would imagine many others on /. can relate...

Where do you get off saying this? What possible information could you have that ties federal financial aid to drop-out rate or overall success?

You know, I think the pretty-boy frat assholes & bimbette, know-nothing sorority girls who went to college on mommy & daddy's dime and who spent far more time in bars than in class didn't deserve to go to college. All they did was party, but then cheat, lie & bribe their way into high paying jobs in sales. I imagine many others on /. can relate... </sarcasm>

Fuck you for saying that just because their parents couldn't afford to send them to college that they don't deserve to go. Fuck you for condemning unprivileged people to having less opportunity for education than upper-middle class kids. And fuck you very much for judging someone who went to college and got a good job to be equal to a bank robber.

You are seriously screwed up, jerk-weed.

Re:I can't vote for this guy (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667823)


If you're making $70K/year you are probably one of the Slashdot elite. Don't expect too many sympathies from the proles.

Re:I can't vote for this guy (4, Insightful)

funk_doc (738861) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668778)

It's unfortunate that you think that if the government didn't educate you, you would be stupid and poor. Education in a free market not only would exist, but it would be more efficent and cheaper.
What you said would be like someone under Soviet Russia thanking the government for bread, because without the government providing bread, there would be no bread at all.

I guess your government (AKA public) schools didn't teach you to think for yourself.

Re:I can't vote for this guy (1)

DavidH_Mphs (657081) | more than 9 years ago | (#10669080)

Actually, his criticism is not of the grants themselves. Rather, he takes issue with requiring that everyone 'donate' a certain portion of his paycheck to fund education. If education were privatized, private grants would be available.
From the interview:
So even if the Department of Education was constitutional--and it clearly is not--we should disband that agency because it is terribly inefficient.

What if you made $70k and were able to keep, say, $65k?

Well-meaning idealist with no sense of reality. (2, Interesting)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667199)

But when you're 40 years old and you finally get your office job and you're wearing a suit and tie to work, all of a sudden you realize the government is taking 35 percent of the money that you've worked so hard for and giving it to people who do nothing but sit on the couch, watch TV, and procreate.

What about people who work sixty hours a week at minimum wage and can't afford to feed their famililes? Lazy bastards.

It's sad that the term "Big Government" carries such negative connotations. It's mostly something that Republicans (ironically) invoke to attack Democrats.

When railing on big government, it's important to consider the fact that big government was what got us out of the Great Depression, and small government was what got us into it. Unchecked capitalism leads to monopolies, which lead to all of the wealth being concentrated in a few hands, which leads to (eventual) economic collapse. You can see it happening right now. Rich getting richer, poor getting poorer, etc.

The solution isn't a total conversion to communism or socialism (both of which have repeatedly been shown to cause economic stagnation), but rather to put a system in place that redistributes wealth at about the same rate that the wealthy can hoard it. That's where taxes and social programs come in.

Unfortunately, people will always take advantage of the system. Capitalism, even controlled capitalism, provides an incentive for people not to do this. What's important to remember is that the people who are taking advantage are the exception and not the rule. So while some of your tax money is wasted on welfare for layabouts and bottom-feeders, it's also going to a lot of people who genuinely need it and deserve the help.

One last note: If you have to vote for lower taxes, you should vote for Badnarik over Bush, as someone will eventually have to pay for Bush's out-of-control spending. Kerry in 2004!

Re:Well-meaning idealist with no sense of reality. (2, Insightful)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667547)

When railing on big government, it's important to consider the fact that big government was what got us out of the Great Depression...

That is absolute codswallop. Big Government is what got us into and kept us in the Great Depression, and War is what got us out.

Re:Well-meaning idealist with no sense of reality. (1)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667735)

War may have been a catalyst, but what brought an end to the great depression was the New Deal.

Re:Well-meaning idealist with no sense of reality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667945)

War may have been a catalyst, but what brought an end to the great depression was the New Deal

This is flat ludicrous statist claptrap.

Our "Big Government" schools (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667786)

Seem to teach a history biased in favor of big government.

unchecked capitalism (1)

slithytove (73811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667790)

Its obviously difficult to predict how the free market and/or government regulation will affect any given industry. You have a good point that there are historical examples of very damaging monopolies in our history (before the era of "big government"). Personally, I think that only industries which include a lot of expensive infrastructure have any great potential of monopolistic abuse. On the other hand, government regulation usually amounts to GRANTING a monopoly and requiring some sort of compliance so that the consumers don't get screwed. The thing is, that as much as consumers might be protected, it prevents any other businesses from competing, and therefore provides no incentive for the monopoly to innovate.
I think, in the information age, it is time to give the free market another chance. If all the laws protecting and subsidizing corporations were repealed, and we were each individually responsible for our own actions, I think the level of abuse by big business of consumers, other business, and the environment, would drop drastically. This, unlike in times long past, would be enabled by the rapid spread of information on corporate abuses.
Even now, far more people are aware of what they are buying and who is benefitting from it, but its currently quite difficult to keep track of and there are cases where one has little choice but to keep buying from a company you despise (M$, utilities)

Re:unchecked capitalism (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668293)

Actually, the natural state of a market is monopoly. The end goal of any business is "market power"- the ability to set prices, instead of letting supply and demand set them for you. This is only attainable via monopoly/oligopoly. The reason this is desirable by the producer is because it increases profits. The reason it is the end result is because of economies of scale and barriers to entry.

Economies of scale basicly means that as you produce more of something, the cost to produce a little bit more yet becomes cheaper. If you already own a factory, increasing prodution a bit more is cheap. If you own 1 factory, its easier to set up a second than for someone else. Barries to entry means that there's costs (time, money or other) that makes it difficult to enter a market.

Take a market for some good (we'll say paper) with 10 companies. All start with equal market share. A and B merge. For the heck of it, lets say they even lose some market share, so they now have 1.9 times any other company. Due to economies of scale, they are now making as much or more than they did separately. This allows them to buy out another (or another greedy owner will merge too). Now the company has an even bigger advantage. Repeat until monopoly.

Now a company could try and enter the market. But the existing companies could drop prices to stiffle them out, have existing sales channels and contracts, etc. Odds of them making it are very small, and the bigger companies can buy/merge them easily.

The thing that the free marketers forget is that this is true for EVERY market. Back in the 1890s we had monopolies for things like sugar for pete's sake. Since there is always an advantage to forming a monopoly, someone will always try and eventually do so.

Sorry, but totally free markets just don't work. Companies willd o anything for profit, and the very system provides positive reinforcement so only the most greedy rise to rule corporations. Oversight is necessary, and the only organization which can do it is the government.

Re:Well-meaning idealist with no sense of reality. (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667975)


The solution isn't a total conversion to communism or socialism...

What is often missed with meritocracy-based economic theories is the fact that machines are replacing humans. Not just robots in factories, software and computers are deplacing thinking jobs.

The "baby-boomers" basically structured American society as it exists today. Why do big companies need 25 vice-presidents? It's mutual ego-building.

The American economic system has gravitated towards the boomers (ironically not those that fought and died in WW2) and they have gotten fat and lazy.

It's time for a shake-up, reality check, whatever you want to call it.

Re:Well-meaning idealist with no sense of reality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667979)

"When railing on big government, it's important to consider the fact that big government was what got us out of the Great Depression, and small government was what got us into it. "

Is that what you think? You should read some of the Austrian economic literature on the subject for another perspective.

The twenties were marked by marked by an unparalleled inflationary credit expansion (thanks to the Federal Reserve and government intervention in the interest rate) and a corresponding stock market boom, not unlike the dot-com boom.

Eventually, the market had to correct itself. Not only did the government's easy credit not prevent the crash, but increased government intervention in the market turned what should have been a 1-2 year correction into a 10-year depression.

Reference: http://www.mises.org/fullstory.aspx?control=447

Re:Well-meaning idealist with no sense of reality. (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668347)

Wrong. A 1-2 year correction? The crash happened in 1929. Hoover held office until 1932, and he didn't meddle in the economy. It didn't fix itself. The New Deal started in 1932, and the economy started repairing itself. The repair completed with the war boom in the 40s. So no, government intervention did NOT turn a 1-2 year recovery into a 10 year depression.

The real cause of the Depresion was the trickle down economics used by the Harding, Hoover, and Coolidge administrations. Trickle down doesn't work- it causes no real trickle. The middle class shrunk, the gap between rich and poor grew, and it eventually became unsustainable. Add in unregulated corporations commiting massive fraud and people who bought the fraud goign into debt to buy stock, and you have a recipie for true disaster.

For anyone who likes trickle-down, look at the facts. The US has used it twice- in the 20s and the 80s. The 2 largest stock market crashes in history were in 1987 and 1929, respctively. The two worst recessions/depressions in US history were in 1929-1940 and 1988-1993 respectively. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Re:Well-meaning idealist with no sense of reality. (1)

synaptik (125) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667986)

What about people who work sixty hours a week at minimum wage and can't afford to feed their famililes? Lazy bastards.


Whose fault is it that they have a family to feed, but lack the skills to generate sufficient income?

It seems to me, that you have no business procreating if you can't support your progeny. But once you do procreate, it is your responsibility to care for them, regardless of how much personal effort that requires.

Freedom is always accompanied by Responsibility. You can't have one without the other.

Observe. Interpret. Adapt. That's what's required to thrive in a fitscape. Fitscapes evolve, and so must you. Just because certain survival strategies worked for you in the past, there's no guarantee that they'll continue to work in the future.

Re:Well-meaning idealist with no sense of reality. (1)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668237)

In the society you just desribed, you naturally end up with a few people who are born with more money and then do everything they can to stay in power. That isn't survival of the fittest. In fact, it's been shown time and time again that an incompetent moron with money and friends can get a lot farther than a smart, "fit" individual who had to start at ground zero. Survivial of the Fittest works in nature because nature doesn't have nepotism.

Re:Well-meaning idealist with no sense of reality. (1)

synaptik (125) | more than 9 years ago | (#10669235)

First, I wish to laud you for your intelligent retort. I half expected a flame without substance.

But, nowhere in my post did I say that compassion for the less fortunate has no place. I just don't think government should take on the role of Robin Hood.

In fact, I commit to you today that, should I ever become a billionaire, I will use my fortune to improve the education of the proletariat sheople. :) <== very big grin

I think a pure, hard-assed econo-evolutionist (which I am not!) would counter that survival of the fittest would indeed happen, if you let the unfortunate die off. Because then, all you'd have left are the Fortunate Sons, and you'd have a higher mean affluency.

Yes, I am amazed at how people like Anna Nicole Smith become accidental billionaires, while smarter people toil away at life. But with billions of people to sample from, there are bound to be occasional statistical outliers.

Re:Well-meaning idealist with no sense of reality. (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668377)

And if you can't? We should instead let the children suffer, and perpetuate the cycle since its unlikely they'll have the education ro skills to move up in the wrld? Yeah, that a great idea.

You want people to take responsibility? Start with yourself. You are a member of society. As a member of society, you have a responsibility to help your fellow man. That means giving money and time to those in need. You dont' like it? Too bad- its your responsibility as a human being.

Responsibility for other people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10669258)

Its my responsibility as a human? I guess I missed that memo..

In case you missed the clue there, your idea of responsibility is only an opinion, one that you shouldn't hold as absolute fact.

Re:Well-meaning idealist with no sense of reality. (1)

synaptik (125) | more than 9 years ago | (#10669316)

I never said compassion has no place in society. And as I also pledged to Lendrick, I pledge to you: should I ever become a billionaire, I will use my wealth to help the less fortunate //help themselves// through education.

What I object to most are those that someone else here described as "layabouts and bottom-feeders". I also think that most people who become dependent on welfare find it to be a comfortable local-minima, and then make no effort to remove themselves from the nipple of the public dole. Helping someone help themselves? Yes! Giving someone a free handout without stipulation? Never.

Finally, I do NOT believe that the sentiments I've described above are an intrinsic responsibility, borne from being human. They are merely a consequence of my own personal set of values, which others may or may not share.

I see one of your other respondents agrees with me on that point.

Re:Well-meaning idealist with no sense of reality. (1)

cjhuitt (466651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668213)

OK, I'm going to play devil's advocate here. These aren't meant to be complete rebuttals or anything, but points to consider.

What about people who work sixty hours a week at minimum wage and can't afford to feed their famililes? Lazy bastards.

Obviously, I don't think anyone working sixty hours a week is too lazy, but who told them they were entitled to not working any more when they decided to obtain more dependants? Did they neglect to count of the fact that 1) prices (recently) go up and 2) more people means more expenses? Does everyone have a [diety]-given right to have children (or a stay-at-home spouse) and not have to work a lick harder to support them?

It's sad that the term "Big Government" carries such negative connotations.

It's sad to me that "Governemnt" carries such negative connotations. Oh, no, wait - it isn't. Usually they're just a group of bureaucrats that voted themselves the ability to take my money and use it to pay themselves for the time they spend meddling in my business.

You can see it happening right now. Rich getting richer, poor getting poorer, etc.

Oh, those neglected poor. What is the poverty line again? In 2003 [census.gov] it was just over $12k for two people. According to many sources [google.com] , many poor actually own a home (46%), are not overcrowded (more than 2/3 have more than 2 rooms/person), own a car (>70%), and own a color tv (97%). Those are pretty rich poor, considering I don't yet own my home or my car. And as for starving - "According to the Agriculture Department, in 1995, there were 887,000 hungry children. By 2002, the number had fallen to 567,000." (The source [heritage.org] also cites references to US Dept. of Ag. in its footnotes.)

The solution [is] to put a system in place that redistributes wealth at about the same rate that the wealthy can hoard it.

I hope to become wealthy someday, actually, although I've got quite a ways to go. So tell me, if you are "redistributing" wealth at the same rate the wealthy are "hoarding" it, what incentive is there to become wealthy? At the same rate, they will gain nothing for their effort. So why make an effort? Surely someone else will make an effort, which will then be taken and given to me. We can argue about the actual affect of trickle-down economics, but it seems obvious to me that if nobody sees making an effort as worthwhile, then the economy is going to become pretty bad very quickly.

Unfortunately, people will always take advantage of the system.

The libertarians want to make one part of the system - the government, which happens to have a basic monopoly on force - small, so that when people go looking to take advantage of the system, they don't see any worthwhile advantage to using force. Seems reasonable to me.

One last note: If you have to vote for lower taxes, you should vote for Badnarik over Bush

Now this I agree with, although I believe there might be one or two other candidates who would actually reduce taxes. Likewise, if you really think more expansion of the government is the way to go, choose your candidate based on that view. But my biggest message would be to choose the candidate that represents you, or who knows what you will get.

Quick aside: My problem with Libertarianism (4, Interesting)

Dimwit (36756) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667251)

I'm pretty much a democratic socialist. While Badnarik gave compelling arguments in this interview - for example: "How do I pay for my granma's medication?" "Do you have money?" "Yes, but what about the guy with the SUV who has more money than he knows what to do with?" "Well, would you hold him at gunpoint to take the money?" "No!" "But you want the government to..."

That's all well and good, and I can see the point behind it. But then there is the tragedy of the commons. For example, if there is a river that runs through my property, I don't have the right to dam it up and deny people downstream the use of that river, because that river is a common, shared resource.

Look at copyright: Copyright is (supposed to) expire, because there is no such thing as an idea in a vacuum. The idea came from the combined experiences and environment provided by society. Giving up exclusive control of a creation after a certain amount of time is how we pay back society.

Well, Grandma raised a good mother who raised a good daughter, who then went to college to get a better job. She is therefore contributing more to society, possibly creating more jobs, building a better economy, providing living history. Her contributions to society are immeasurable, even if they're not directly monetary.

The problem with Libertarianism is that it assumes we all exist in a vacuum. "It's my money, and society has no right to it unless I give it." If that's your philosophy, then you have no rights to the benefit of society. Note that I said society, not government.

Re:Quick aside: My problem with Libertarianism (2, Insightful)

learn fast (824724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667349)

Yes, well, there are many different kinds of market failure [wikipedia.org] , all of which libertarians' only response is to shake their fists and say "Impossible!"

There is another candidate I have in mind who thinks that if the facts don't fit the theory, then the facts must be wrong. I don't plan on voting for him, either.

Re:Quick aside: My problem with Libertarianism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667397)

Simple question: "If I do hold him at gunpoint, why should the government have the right to take away my freedoms?" This is the point that libertarians don't get: they want the government to rescue them from some of their own problems, but not others.

Re:Quick aside: My problem with Libertarianism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667592)

That's a perfect way of phrasing it. They have their own ideological position, yet they INSIST that it's "natural or "divine." And then when you deny its divinity they use moral arguments against you. "You think it's alright to murder innocent people? You're sick." I don't think it's moral, no, but I don't think my morals define nature either.

Re:Quick aside: My problem with Libertarianism (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667597)

The problem with Libertarianism is that it assumes we all exist in a vacuum.

It's called "radical individualism". Libertarians often seem to think that there are only individuals and the State. They don't acknowledge other intermediary ties, like family, kin groups, churches, communities, a society. So, when there are a collection of individual rights, only the State can protect and enforce these rights. These intermediary organizations just don't enter the picture, it's just so "collectivist". So as the rights increase, the State grows. Just what the Libertarians wanted, right?

Re:Quick aside: My problem with Libertarianism (1)

isotope23 (210590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668758)

There is a difference between the philosophy of libertariansism and the reality of it. I am a Lib, but I do NOT think that the philosophy will work 100% in the real world. The point that most people miss AND the "purist" Libs miss is that while the constitution limits the power of the fed, that states are not so limited. Thus you could still have state owned roads, schools etc.

With the Libs in power on the federal level, I think you would see a great variation in towns cities etc. I.E. some green/socialist towns some lib towns and some a mix of the two. It is moving the direction of power towards the people that is the important thing, so they can better decide for themselves on the issues they care about.

One thing (1)

Apreche (239272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10667664)

He seems pretty confident that the draft is going to be reinstated no matter what. While I wont vote for bush he did say flat out that there wont be a draft as long as he is president. And despite him being incredibly stupid, he hasn't made any flat out blatant open lies. All of his lies are slippery with qualifications and such. And the people that write what he says are very careful. Also, it would take congress to have a draft and they voted almost unanimously against it just a short time ago. Obviously they could bring it up again and vote yes, but I can't imagine every person in congress changing their minds without a new catastrophic event.

I really hope that there is no new catastrophic event.

Re:One thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10667913)

Sure, the Republicans would vote in favor of an enormously unpopular bill just before the Presidential election. Same with the Democrats.

The real deal will happen in another year, when troops are totally burned out from their 3rd or 4th tour in Iraq. And if Georgie is the resident in chief again, we may have another major war somewhere else that will absolutely require a massive influx of new material (read: conscripts).

You seem to be saying that Georgie is an honest liar. That he certainly isn't. I would never trust that piece of shit who ran ads attacking McCain as a fucking traitor. The man was a goddam POW for this country. Bush has absolutely no respect for the military, contrary to what his writers put in front of him.

Re:One thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10668113)

I really hope that there is no new catastrophic event.

Like an election?

I voted for Badnarik to hurt the GOP in the future (1)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668733)

I live in Texas, where the GOP dominates. So instead of voting for Kerry (or the Green Party, my real favorite) I just voted in early voting for Badnarik, even though I am no longer a Libertarian. But since the Libertarian platform is essentially a rightwing platform (essentially advocating zero taxation), if the Libertarian party gets more popular and gets more ballot access, their candidates will take away votes from the GOP candidates....

Vote strategically, my fellow liberals!

Education in the article (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10668830)

Here are my comments regarding "So even if the Department of Education was constitutional--and it clearly is not--we should disband that agency because it is terribly inefficient."

That's kind of a scary thing to read, but consider this. That's only part of his plan. Perhaps with the completion of his whole plan, it could work, with people helping other people who can't afford school.

Also, please consider this. Unlike the current top two politicians, he's not trying to become President in order for power and control. Badnarik seems to care about the issues, instead of providing false promises in order to become leader of the third largest country in the world.
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