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Philosophy: Libertarianism

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Daily KOS

Notice a propensity of newly minted Libertarians showing up lately? Perhaps it's just coincidence their ranks swelled in inverse proportion to George Bush's approval rating, ditto that so many are mouthing traditional conservative talking points. But what about the everyday gun toting townhall screamers and taxcutters and deficit hawks we see on cable news: are they really libertarian as so many claim, or just conservatives in glibertarian clothes? Here's a few warning signs.

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Allison Gibbs & Angela Keaton

Allison Gibbs is the Director of outreach for the Campaign for Liberty and is the executive director for the emerging women organization for the movement: "Ladies of Liberty Alliance.

Angela Keaton is the development director for and the producer of Antiwar Radio.

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It's a curious phenomenon. Every once in a while, maybe every six months or so, some event in the media reminds Whole Foods (WFMI) shoppers that the company's (in)famous CEO John Mackey most likely doesn't share their political beliefs. Mackey is an anti-union libertarian. Most of his shoppers aren't. 

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The idea of a Labour Party shaped by liberal republicans sets itself deliberately against the Big State politics espoused by Mr Brown and his preferred successor, Ed Balls, let alone the civil liberties-destroying authoritarian streak championed by Mr Blair and core supporters such as John Reid and Hazel Blears. It favours individual budgets for health care, backs Tory reforms on education, prefers tax on unearned income, and believes in civil liberties – all ground championed by David Cameron.

It has attracted the attention of James Purnell, who is being talked about as the liberal alternative to Mr Balls or even David Miliband, another possible contender who is identified as an heir to the more authoritarian wing of the party. Mr Purnell in turn has excited the curiosity of Jon Cruddas, the leadership wild card, who sees in the idea of liberal republicans the outline of a grand alliance between ''early Blairite'' liberals and the radical Lef

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“When the government tries to make people more equal, it makes them more unequal.”  James Cook   “The first lesson which we meet again and again in history, is that once the dole or similar relief program are introduced, they seem almost inevitably – unless surrounded by rigid restrictions – to get out of hand.  The second lesson is that one this happens the poor become more numerous and worse off then they were before, not only because the have lost self reliance, but because the sources of wealth and production on which they depend for either their doles or jobs are diminished or destroyed.”  Henry Hazlitt

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Peter Schiff

In a free market, demand is always a function of price: the higher the price, the lower the demand. What may surprise most politicians is that these rules apply equally to both prices and wages. When employers evaluate their labor and capital needs, cost is a primary factor. When the cost of hiring low-skilled workers moves higher, jobs are lost. Despite this, minimum wage hikes, like the one set to take effect later this month, are always seen as an act of governmental benevolence. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When confronted with a clogged drain, most of us will call several plumbers and hire the one who quotes us the lowest price. If all the quotes are too high, most of us will grab some Drano and a wrench, and have at it. Labor markets work the same way. Before bringing on another worker, an employer must be convinced that the added productivity will exceed the added cost (this includes not just wages, but all payroll taxes and other benefits.)