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Am I a libertarian?

Posted by Chance on March 30, 2006

The truth is, I just do not know. I don’t think I would be a big ‘L’ libertarian, and I don’t think I fit the requirements as put forth by David Nolan, the founder of the Libertarian Party. Many of the libertarian ideals I have… it is not so much an issue of “the government doesn’t have the right to tell me what to do”, or, “I own my own body” as my libertarians say. Some of the philosophical elements of the Libertarian Part could be incompatible with Christianity, as they insist self-ownership, ideas that the Bible directly refutes.

However, I have many ideas that are shared by libertarians, simply because I believe in a limited government. I try not to make it an issue of my rights, but simply an issue of avoiding centralized power. As Lord Acton said, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” which may not be a verbatim quote. Man is inherently sinful, therefore, I believe in giving Man less power over another Man. Power corrupts. I am not completely pleased with how the Republican Party has been conducting themselves. They said for years they wanted small government, while, of course, the Democrats were in control. Now they are in power, and the size of government is increasing at an alarming rate. Many people want a large government to help the poor, but a large bureaucracy is not the friend of the poor. Many Christians want to feed the government more and more power, but government is not the friend of Christianity in many cases.

Basically, my libertarian ideas are these: Allow citizens the right to defend themselves, allow for freedom of speech, but limit it in the public domain (i.e. no pornographic billboards, limit content on public airwaves), minimal regulations for businesses on every government level to make it easier for people to make a living, abolish minimum wage and social security (God expects the ants to store up for winter, why not us?), reduced taxes, among many others.

While I am more conservative than many libertarians when it comes to social issues, I am against using taxation to produce “beneficial behaviors.” What I am referring to is: I am against tax on fast foods, cigarettes, or beer. If beer is legal on weekdays, it should be legal on Sundays too. If legislating morality, at least be consistent, having different laws on different days is just hypocritical. Allow tattoo parlors. Even Christians do not have agreement on this issue, so just let the individual decide.

Also, I am against any corporate welfare. Do not fund stadiums through taxes. Multi-millionaires can make their additional millions without help from the taxpayers. Do not subsidize farmers. Both groups can make money like the rest of us: produce a product that we are willing to pay for in the free market.

I am against using taxation to encourage economic incentives. I got a tax break for moving 1000 miles for a different job. I made the decision because it was financially viable for me. I do not need the IRS prodding me to make favorable financial decisions. If it was not financially favorable, I would not have moved. I have no issues with getting a tax deduction because of moving expenses, but to get a type of credit simply for moving to a different job is a little absurd. Let individuals make financial decisions that is best for them.

I am for a simpler tax code. I have no idea what, but less and fewer taxes would be a good start, and without a huge bureaucracy, this would be much easier.

I could be off on this…but I believe the free market is a sufficient means to conserve natural resources. Society wants people to cut back on gas and drive less, or drive more fuel efficient cars, yet they complain when gas prices go up. Hello? Won’t hire prices cause people to cut back and drive less? When supply goes down for oil, prices go up. When prices go up, people will be motivated to carpool, have more fuel efficient cars, avoid casual trips to the supermarket, etc… People seem to have no problem with higher gas taxes, but if the company raises prices, oh no! The government makes more on gas than oil companies do on profit. As far as when the oil runs out, again, this will happen slower, I believe, if the free market is allowed to raise prices with decreasing supply. I would hope oil companies would be smart enough to research alternatives fuels, and I think the fact that they do not want to go bankrupt is enough to motivate them.

I believe the best way to help the poor is through what the Democrats snidely call “trickle-down economics.” Yes, that’s right. I prefer job creation and investments spurred by tax cuts to help the poor, rather than simply giving the money to them. I believe in making it easier for businesses to function, without red-tape, so that there are more jobs.

Most libertarians would disagree with me on this, but I have no issues with a temporary welfare system for those who cannot make it on their own. Concerning welfare and the poor as a whole…I believe strongly in private charity. Here is why:
1) private charity is much more efficient than government bureaucracy, and private charity coupled with only minimal gov’t programs, I believe, is sufficient to help the poor.
2) government is inherently secular, the church is not. I believe that when government becomes more powerful, and becomes the agent of change in our society, that muscles out the church. Jesus focused very strongly on people’s physical needs, but when government takes over as a caregiver to the poor and needy, the church loses its power. I believe government programs rob the church of its purpose. Also, government simply dishes out money. The church can minister to people’s spiritual needs while providing for the physical. Now, many may say that with the government, there is a guarantee of welfare, with private charity, there is not. I personally believe that charity given voluntarily, out of love and compassion, can make much more difference than a government program.

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