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The Tarrant County Libertarian Meetup Message Board › How we could forge an alliance between the left and the libertarian party.

How we could forge an alliance between the left and the libertarian party.

user 8266615
Euless, TX
Post #: 1
You have had an opening created with Ron Paul, where many have found themselves upset with both parties, but with no alternative that is either viable or doesn't violate some of their principles. There are disenfranchised fiscal conservatives coming together with people such as myself who are on the left, but are disgusted by the bailout, the federal reserve's policies, the war on drugs, the foreign policy choices, the massive military spending, etc. That is truly strange bedfellows, and you should take advantage of this opportunity while you can.

Regardless of who wins (looks like Obama, but who knows), neither is going to be able to stop the coming deep recession/depression that is going to make life harder across the board for all of us. 2012 is your chance , imo.

I have been very interested in politics and economics for many years, and have found the Libertarian Party compelling for many reasons, but there are some things I just cannot get behind. To me it seems like the Republicans and Democrats debate about Tier 2 issues, which while still important and effect many people...they do not offer a choice on what I consider Tier 1 issues: The Federal Reserve, The "Bailout" plan, the war on drugs, Imperialism.

I am VERY compelled to the libertarian party because of things I've heard about their views on the federal reserve, our monetary policy, currency issues, and LETTING companies who make bad bets fail. I also agree very much with their stance on the war on drugs, as this is a private issue, and the government has no business involved in it. On Imperialism, what I hear from Ron Paul, about pulling out of all of these military bases around the world, and ending this imperialist "policing" of the world, I agree with.

Here are where I have issues with the Party:
" 2.8 Education

Education, like any other service, is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Schools should be managed locally to achieve greater accountability and parental involvement. Recognizing that the education of children is inextricably linked to moral values, we would return authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. In particular, parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children's education.

2.9 Health Care

We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want, the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions.

2.10 Retirement and Income Security

Retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government. We favor replacing the current government-sponsored Social Security system with a private voluntary system. The proper source of help for the poor is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals."

I cannot, and most people will not, get behind the view that the free market is best to provide education. This will undoubtedly leave less fortunate areas, hitting the minorities the hardest, without access to good education. Their chances will be even slighter than they are today. This is completely unacceptable, and in fact radical. You are going to have to take much more moderate stand, where you give ACCESS to those who want to opt out of public schooling to do just what you propose, but you are going to have to accept public education as a necessary evil, I suppose, because (a) it is vital to those who are less fortunate than yourselves to give them at least a basic education and chance to better themselves and (b) because it will NEVER fly politically and you turn people away just on this alone. Period.

Next, healthcare. Again, this free market will solve everything attitude simply doesn't work. It doesn't work because it will get corrupted, and business will exploit it at every turn. Again, this country can afford to give the basic level of care that other industrialized countries all over the world afford their citizens. We can have a healthcare plan, and then have the OPTION to keep your existing "free market" plan. You will never have a chance in hell without accepting this as another necessary evil. You have to pick your battles. And there are many to be had, most of which MANY Americans agree with you on, and the 2 main parties are ignoring.

The retirement thing. You are going to have to meet halfway on this one. I agree that those who want to take on retiring for themselves should not be forced into any retirement plans, or forced to take money from their checks on Social Security..., but for the vast majority who don't have the time , knowledge etc, there still needs to be those programs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a safety net such as this, as you will end up paying for their mistakes of misallocating their retirement money anyway, short of letting them die homeless and starving (not exactly a great party platform). Compromise.... you should push to allow those WHO CHOOSE to not be forced to contribute to these programs of retirement (obviously those who chose to do so would not receive any benefits from it either, but they could invest it how they see fit).

Whether or not you become a viable alternative or not depends on you making these necessary compromises. You will have pissed off and betrayed republicans coming together with pissed off and disappointed democrats, and you can have an enormous effect in 2012, but in my opinion, you will have to embrace some of the left's values that they WILL not compromise on.

If you did, think of what could be accomplished. Massive cuts in spending by cutting back unnecessary wars and bases across the globe. Ending the war on drugs. Dissolving the Federal Reserve, and having our money backed by gold again. Ending foreign economic aid, or at least radically cutting back. Ensuring individual rights and liberties , regardless of race, sex, etc. Putting a wall inbetween church and state, and ending the tax exemption of churches. (real) election reform, ensuring privacy, and more.

Those things would be revolutionary. What do you have to do to get them? Compromise on healthcare, education, and retirement. On each, allow the public system to go on, while allowing vouchers, charters, exemptions etc for those who wish to opt out.

That is your shot. This is an opening you might not have again, and Ron Paul has gotten the ear of many young , and energized people on the right, but also MANY on the left. Take advantage and do the smart thing.
A former member
Post #: 4
Note: Without the benefit of my in-person jovial demeanor to soften the message, my previous reply sounded too harsh, so I nuked it. Let me try again :^)

[jovial demeanor]

The LP made big strides this year by implementing a much more moderate platform (see the Reform Caucus Site at: http://reformthelp.or...­ ), and just as the LRC promotes incremental change in government, changes in the LP will also have to be incremental, so please bear with us.

On your specific issues:

I think I'm with you on education, but I need to do a little more research. I like the idea of vouchers from a choice standpoint.

I respectfully disagree with you on healthcare and retirement. Accepting a notion like "It [free-market driven healthcare] doesn't work because it will get corrupted, and business will exploit it at every turn..." is nothing more than a total surrender to Socialism, something no Libertarian will accept. After all, could you not insert any industry into those brackets if you start with the assumption that businesses corrupt and exploit?

Our current healthcare system is broken because the government started meddling with it in the 70's. Prior to that, the truly free-market system worked just parents never had a hard time finding affordable healthcare for me, my siblings, and themselves. Take a look at the pitiful care provided by our VA hospitals and heck, even closer to home, JPS in Fort Worth. Socialized medicine at it's finest. Free market healthcare most certainly does work.

I think some kind of incremental approach is needed for replacing Social Security, which was a terribly irresponsible program to implement in the first place. On a philosophical level, I most certainly agree with the current LP stance of "Retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government."

Since your discussion on retirement segues into the topic of "the poor", I will once again respectfully disagree with you and stand behind the LP's position statement of "The proper source of help for the poor is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals." The bulk of the aforementioned "private groups" being our numerous, tax-exempt churches. With churches on virtually every street corner, you would have a very hard time convincing me that there are not enough churches to assist with "the poor". If Churches were properly held accountable and were able to prove they were fielding their share of assisting the poor, then we'd have some mechanism to measure how much, if any, the government's role in providing welfare (be it Social Security, food stamps, etc.) should be. Unfortunately, churches are not held accountable, so tax-payers get mugged by bottomless-pit social programs that the tax-exempt churches should be handling in the first place.

All that being said, and I speak for myself only here, there is room for compromise on these issues, but no room for compromise without accountability.

I believe the LP is heading in the right direction though, away from unreasonable "all or nothing NOW" radical positions to more realistic, incremental approaches which inevitably involve compromise...I would not have joined the LP otherwise. The radical positions of the past have kept the LP floundering for 35 years, and you are absolutely correct that compromises must be made if the LP is ever going to be viable.

[/jovial demeanor]


Cheers, and welcome to the TCLP Meetup Group!

John S. Jones
Suzette W.
user 6392016
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 7
Both of you make some excellent, solution oriented points. Thanks so much for sharing your brilliant thoughts!! This is so exciting to see people actually practicing the art of reasoning with intellect!
Euless, TX
Post #: 62
"Governemnt meddling" has little, and maybe nothing, to do with our broken healthcare system.

Third-party payers, greed, and senses of entitlement have most, maybe everything, to do with our broken healthcare system.

And not only is the free market the very thing to fix it, the free market has already begun making its corrections.

I'll go into it more later on, right now don't have the time for a long discourse since it's end of month. But I'll be back!
A former member
Post #: 6
I respectfully disagree with you in that I was talking about the government meddling of the 70's that started us down the road to third party payers & senses of entitlement (where I DO agree with you).

Government meddling in the 1970's had everything to do with where we are today.
Dale B.
user 5895671
Abilene, TX
Post #: 3
The democrats destroyed most of The Constitution of The United States of America incrementally!
The Republicans assisted the democrats through their silence and realizing they could also gain personal power and money by doing democrat type things.
The Libertarian Party along with the Conservative Wing of the Republican Party is the only way for FREEDOM and democracy can be restored to We The People!
If there is anything democrats do, even one single seemingly unimportant issue with which you agree with democrats YOU are a DEMOCRAT! and should vote that way!
If there is one single issue with which you disagree with the democrats, you are still a democrat, and you have no business whatsoever belonging to a group of Libertarians or Ron Paul associated Republicans.
A former member
Post #: 7
Dale -

With all due respect, that is EXACTLY the attitude that has relegated the LP to "cute little debate club" status since 1971. Short of an armed revolution, the only way for the LP to succeed is to play ball in the same arena as the Republicrats, which means compromise and incremental change, not the butt-headed obstinance displayed by the party for the past 37 years.

All this "we ain't compromisin'" stubbornness has bought the LP over the years is right-of-the-decimal-point election percentages, snickerings of irrelevance, and eye-rolling/head shaking from people who would otherwise happily join and make the LP a viable party and formidable political force!

The Butt-Headed Faction of the LP have been the custodians of libertarian philosophy for long enough...time to hand the ball off to more sensible libertarian practitioners who will actually get something done, instead of pouting in the corner and stomping feet like two year old children.

John J
Suzette W.
user 6392016
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 10
The tone that Dale speaks in reminds me of the talk that is done on the extreme ends of the Republican & Democratic Parties (which gets [i]"We the people"[/i] stuck in road blocks and us working FOR our government instead of our government working for us like Palin says.).

Please define and give examples of "third party payers." I'm not totally sure what you are talking about.
A former member
Post #: 9
Suzette - I assume Leah is speaking of insurance companies as the "third party payers". I agree with her that third party payers are part of the problem.
Jeff D.
Houston, TX
Post #: 42
Government invariably works for the benefit of the privileged and the powerful. "Socialism for the rich" is a redundancy.

Example: health care. In each State, the number of physicians is tightly limited to reduce competition and bring physician incomes above what a free market would settle at. This hurts the poor and the middle class. Then, government regulation of medical supply companies works against the smaller firms, thus allowing the megacorporations to charge prices above what a free market would allow.

Education: government schools are geared to prepare the children of the affluent for college. Even an Establishment bastion such as The Houston Chronicle's former business columnist, Jim Barlow, conceded that government schools do not help the children of the poor.

Without government involvement in these areas, how would the poor fare? Well, remember that getting the politics out of these areas by taking these areas out of politics would not be done in a vacuum. Taxes on the poor would be slashed (if not eliminated), regulations and statutes favoring Big Business would be dumped, barriers to job creation and to launching a small business would be dismantled.

The huge gap between rich and poor, a product of government interference in the market, would shrink. What is today considered affluent would quickly become middle-income; what is today a middle-class lifestyle would become the new poverty level.

Tax protesters, war resisters, and advocates of civil liberties must join together. History shows that when it comes to free markets and social freedom, you can't have one without the other -- and an interventionist foreign policy erodes both.

Jeff Daiell
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