By Mencken’s GhostLibertarianism is my political philosophy. That means I’m a crackpot.
It’s not that libertarianism is a bad philosophy--in theory. Actually, if the USA had subscribed to it, slavery and Jim Crow wouldn’t have happened, the welfare state wouldn’t have been needed, deep boom and bust cycles wouldn’t keep occurring, we wouldn’t be expending lives and treasure in fighting al Qaeda in some parts of the Middle East while supporting them in other parts, the government wouldn’t have huge deficits and debt, and Americans would be wealthier and better educated
For libertarianism to work, however, humans would have to stop sticking their noses in other people’s business, stop trying to remake the world into their image, stop injecting their religious beliefs into politics, and stop wanting special privileges and money from the government at the expense of their neighbors.
Only a crackpot would think that humans are ever going to stop this. They wouldn’t be human if they stopped it. It’s like expecting chimpanzees to stop behaving like monkeys and to put on a Shakespearean play. Ain’t going to happen.
Still, the one benefit of being a libertarian crackpot is the ability to see the nuttiness of Democrats and Republicans and liberals and conservatives.
Consider the following nuttiness:Arch-conservative Sean Hannity blames President Obama for the home ownership rate falling in the country, as if the decades of distortions and malinvestments in the housing market caused by Democrats and Republicans were the president’s fault. Unable to see his own intellectual contradictions, Hannity preaches small government out of one side of his mouth while insinuating out of the other side that the government should do something to increase home ownership. Worse, Hannity apparently thinks that more people should own homes, a belief that helped to create the housing bubble in the first place and that tied people to homes they couldn’t afford and restricted their ability to move to other locales to find work. Democrats embrace Keynesian economics and call for more government stimulus to end the recession. But whatever one might think of Keynesian economics, the theory doesn’t cover a situation like the current recession, where the government and consumers were already deep in debt before the recession began. Republicans castigate Obama and other Democrats for spending a gazillion dollars on various economic stimuli and for bailing out GM, although such spending began at the end of the Bush administration. Do they really believe that if Romney had succeeded Bush, he wouldn’t have done the same as Obama? Republicans say that ObamaCare will cost a gazillion dollars and that they have a better plan, a plan that they never reveal. The real cost of ObamaCare is the net difference between the cost of medical care now and what it will cost under ObamaCare (not counting the loss of liberty). Yet Republicans keep citing the gross number, as if medical costs will go from zero to a gazillion. (Note: I spent considerable time and personal wealth fighting the nationalization of medical care long before Obama came on the national scene, so don’t mistake this as an endorsement of ObamaCare.) Both Democrat and Republican politicians blather about their ability to create jobs, as if they have some kind of magical foo-foo dust that will create jobs by simply adding water. Neither party will admit that economic growth will be stunted for years due to the deleveraging that will be required after the massive accumulation of personal and public debt, following decades of easy consumer credit and deficit spending, thanks to the policies of both parties and their partner in economic folly, the Federal Reserve. Liberals get into lather about the history of Mormon polygamy and try to tag Romney with it. At the same time, they embrace welfare policies that encourage women to have children by multiple de facto husbands, at great physical, mental and financial harm to themselves and their children. Liberals also go apoplectic over the mention of the Koch brothers, who run legitimate businesses. But they love George Soros, a Wall Street tycoon who made a gazillion arbitraging exchange rates. At the same time they rail against Wall Street.
I could go on for pages and volumes, but you get the point: I’m a crackpot and
you’re probably a nut.
_________________Mencken’s Ghost is the nom de plume of an Arizona writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.