All of us have been born and raised within a statist box, one in which the federal government’s primary roles are to take care of people, regulate their economic activities, and maintain an overseas military empire that intervenes in the affairs of other countries.
Both liberals and conservatives have come to accept this statist box as a permanent feature of American life. Even worse, they have convinced themselves that life in this statist box is actually freedom.
What makes libertarians different from liberals and conservatives is that, although we too have been born and raised within the statist box, we have broken free of it, in an intellectual and moral sense. Moreover, unlike liberals and conservatives, we recognize that statism isn’t freedom at all. It’s the opposite of freedom. Genuine freedom, libertarians contend, entails a dismantling of the statist box in which we all live.
Let’s set aside, for the purposes of this discussion, the warfare state, and consider the welfare state, which is an economic system in which the federal government taxes people in order to transfer the money to other people, after deducting hefty administrative costs associated with making those transfers.