A question to my Libertarian friends.
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16-07-2012, 10:23 PM (This post was last modified: 16-07-2012 10:37 PM by HDT.)
A question to my Libertarian friends.
This is a legitimate question in which I am solely seeking the opinion of those who call themselves Libertarians. I find myself in agreement with many of the things which they say, which is why I guess I have many friends who are libertarians, but there are multiple key issues that I firmly disagree with them. This thread is going to focus on one of those issues: environmentalism and/or how to deal with climate change. Natural resource scarcity and the quality of the environment seem to be a very hard matter to trace to a single (or multiple) individuals whom would then be punished for their acts. Much of the time if that were even possible it seems that the damage is done and will be very hard or impossible to reverse.

I would like to start a civil discussion about the ideals held by libertarians on how to counteract the effects and causes of ACC, specifically what policies they view should or should not be enacted?
Also do you view yourself as a "free market environmentalist" or would you perhaps slip out of your libertarianism for issues, such as ACC, that affect numerous people on a global or community wide scale?
Do you hold the view that private property or tort law can solve issues such as air pollution?

I do not want to appear disingenuous and so will be upfront about my political views, if not already known, and tell you that I am very much to the left on issues such as these. I don't see free market environmentalism as anything except a way to reconcile strong laissez-faire economics with a crisis that transcends the boundaries of private property and thus our way of law, but I am very much interested in learning more about your opinions and why you hold them because I know there are very intelligent people out there who DO in fact hold that view and would like to come to an understanding with one another.

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17-07-2012, 09:48 AM
RE: A question to my Libertarian friends.
(16-07-2012 10:23 PM)HDT Wrote:  This is a legitimate question in which I am solely seeking the opinion of those who call themselves Libertarians. I find myself in agreement with many of the things which they say, which is why I guess I have many friends who are libertarians, but there are multiple key issues that I firmly disagree with them. This thread is going to focus on one of those issues: environmentalism and/or how to deal with climate change. Natural resource scarcity and the quality of the environment seem to be a very hard matter to trace to a single (or multiple) individuals whom would then be punished for their acts. Much of the time if that were even possible it seems that the damage is done and will be very hard or impossible to reverse.

I would like to start a civil discussion about the ideals held by libertarians on how to counteract the effects and causes of ACC, specifically what policies they view should or should not be enacted?
Also do you view yourself as a "free market environmentalist" or would you perhaps slip out of your libertarianism for issues, such as ACC, that affect numerous people on a global or community wide scale?
Do you hold the view that private property or tort law can solve issues such as air pollution?

I do not want to appear disingenuous and so will be upfront about my political views, if not already known, and tell you that I am very much to the left on issues such as these. I don't see free market environmentalism as anything except a way to reconcile strong laissez-faire economics with a crisis that transcends the boundaries of private property and thus our way of law, but I am very much interested in learning more about your opinions and why you hold them because I know there are very intelligent people out there who DO in fact hold that view and would like to come to an understanding with one another.
HDT,

I like to think of myself as a progressive libertarian. I think government should have a limited, but defined role in accordance with the governed.

Staunchly social libertarian -- the government should have no role whatsoever in the individual choices you make in terms of how you live your life -- unless those choices infringe or impact on the lives of others. Pretty straightforward.

In the specific case you bring up, corporations should have to play by the same rules. Take fracking for example. It is pretty apparent that the process of fracking is poisoning the water people use in the communities impacted. If corporations played by the same set of rules - this would not be allowed to happen. Whenever public safety is an issue, government should play a role in either regulating or penalizing those that engage in the practice.

As an aside, if you look at the tax code through a libertarian lens, you could blow the whole thing up. Our tax code is NOT designed to raise revenues to pay bills/debts -- its sole purpose is to manipulate behavior the government wants you to engage in. That is heinous. We seriously should consider eliminating all loopholes, credits, and subsidies and institute a progressive flat tax.

The tax rates would need to be "floating" to ensure the revenue received pays for the debts incurred on a rolling basis. For example, if the government runs a deficit one year, the next year, tax percentage increases to cover the additional costs.

That said, the government should only be spending monies on the specified actions the people want it to.

Take for example, your local government. If people want trash picked up twice a week -- here's the cost. But if we moved to once a week, the cost decreases. If the people decide that government shouldn't be paying for trash removal and everyone should get their own waste to the dump accordingly, then the cost is zero. Once the decision is made, then you fund it appropriately...Same can be said with defense, health care, etc... Smile

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17-07-2012, 09:59 AM
RE: A question to my Libertarian friends.
(17-07-2012 09:48 AM)Seasbury Wrote:  
(16-07-2012 10:23 PM)HDT Wrote:  This is a legitimate question in which I am solely seeking the opinion of those who call themselves Libertarians. I find myself in agreement with many of the things which they say, which is why I guess I have many friends who are libertarians, but there are multiple key issues that I firmly disagree with them. This thread is going to focus on one of those issues: environmentalism and/or how to deal with climate change. Natural resource scarcity and the quality of the environment seem to be a very hard matter to trace to a single (or multiple) individuals whom would then be punished for their acts. Much of the time if that were even possible it seems that the damage is done and will be very hard or impossible to reverse.

I would like to start a civil discussion about the ideals held by libertarians on how to counteract the effects and causes of ACC, specifically what policies they view should or should not be enacted?
Also do you view yourself as a "free market environmentalist" or would you perhaps slip out of your libertarianism for issues, such as ACC, that affect numerous people on a global or community wide scale?
Do you hold the view that private property or tort law can solve issues such as air pollution?

I do not want to appear disingenuous and so will be upfront about my political views, if not already known, and tell you that I am very much to the left on issues such as these. I don't see free market environmentalism as anything except a way to reconcile strong laissez-faire economics with a crisis that transcends the boundaries of private property and thus our way of law, but I am very much interested in learning more about your opinions and why you hold them because I know there are very intelligent people out there who DO in fact hold that view and would like to come to an understanding with one another.
HDT,

I like to think of myself as a progressive libertarian. I think government should have a limited, but defined role in accordance with the governed.

Staunchly social libertarian -- the government should have no role whatsoever in the individual choices you make in terms of how you live your life -- unless those choices infringe or impact on the lives of others. Pretty straightforward.

In the specific case you bring up, corporations should have to play by the same rules. Take fracking for example. It is pretty apparent that the process of fracking is poisoning the water people use in the communities impacted. If corporations played by the same set of rules - this would not be allowed to happen. Whenever public safety is an issue, government should play a role in either regulating or penalizing those that engage in the practice.

As an aside, if you look at the tax code through a libertarian lens, you could blow the whole thing up. Our tax code is NOT designed to raise revenues to pay bills/debts -- its sole purpose is to manipulate behavior the government wants you to engage in. That is heinous. We seriously should consider eliminating all loopholes, credits, and subsidies and institute a progressive flat tax.

The tax rates would need to be "floating" to ensure the revenue received pays for the debts incurred on a rolling basis. For example, if the government runs a deficit one year, the next year, tax percentage increases to cover the additional costs.

That said, the government should only be spending monies on the specified actions the people want it to.

Take for example, your local government. If people want trash picked up twice a week -- here's the cost. But if we moved to once a week, the cost decreases. If the people decide that government shouldn't be paying for trash removal and everyone should get their own waste to the dump accordingly, then the cost is zero. Once the decision is made, then you fund it appropriately...Same can be said with defense, health care, etc... Smile
I generally agree, but I might cast in terms of the social contract. We decide what kind of society we want and tote up the cost. We get as much government as we want to pay for.

Quibble Warning Consider :

A tax is either flat or progressive, it can't be both.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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17-07-2012, 10:05 AM
RE: A question to my Libertarian friends.
Although I classify myself as a conservative, it is abundantly clear to me that people like me are not welcome at that party and haven't been for sometime.

I guess a left leaning Libertarian would best describe me. I agree with most of Seasbury' post above.

When it comes to environmental issues I think this falls well within the purview of government. Since the behavior of a company/individual who pollutes causes damage not just to their land, it can cause illness and damage to others we need to regulate things. In regards to ACC I would tend toward solutions that are efficient and do as little harm to our economy as possible. I prefer to place incentives in place to make it the best choice to do what is best for the planet and society.

What I cannot stand about this whole climate issue is that people who have issues with ACC cannot pause and find that doing things to limit our damage to the planet just make sense. The more draconian people on the other side seem to want to just hurt business for the sake of doing so. They have the tedious tones of the religious zealot. OK, off the soapbox now Smile

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17-07-2012, 10:05 AM
RE: A question to my Libertarian friends.
(17-07-2012 09:59 AM)Chas Wrote:  I generally agree, but I might cast in terms of the social contract. We decide what kind of society we want and tote up the cost. We get as much government as we want to pay for.

Quibble Warning Consider :

A tax is either flat or progressive, it can't be both.
Chas - In a way it could be.

Think about it in these terms:

For every dollar earned under the poverty line - no one pays a tax on any of it.

In the next bracket, say 25,000-50,000 - you only pay 5% on that bracket of money.

50,001-100,000 - the "flat" tax increases to 8% (but only on the income in that bracket)

100,001 - 200,000 - the rate is 12%

So if you were making a salary of $150K a year, you would pay 5% on the 25K you made to 50,000, 8% on the next 50K, then 12% on the next 50K.

The percentages can be quibbled with, as well as the brackets, but the idea...??? That's what I mean by a progressive flat tax...

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17-07-2012, 10:09 AM
RE: A question to my Libertarian friends.
(17-07-2012 10:05 AM)Seasbury Wrote:  
(17-07-2012 09:59 AM)Chas Wrote:  I generally agree, but I might cast in terms of the social contract. We decide what kind of society we want and tote up the cost. We get as much government as we want to pay for.

Quibble Warning Consider :

A tax is either flat or progressive, it can't be both.
Chas - In a way it could be.

Think about it in these terms:

For every dollar earned under the poverty line - no one pays a tax on any of it.

In the next bracket, say 25,000-50,000 - you only pay 5% on that bracket of money.

50,001-100,000 - the "flat" tax increases to 8% (but only on the income in that bracket)

100,001 - 200,000 - the rate is 12%

So if you were making a salary of $150K a year, you would pay 5% on the 25K you made to 50,000, 8% on the next 50K, then 12% on the next 50K.

The percentages can be quibbled with, as well as the brackets, but the idea...??? That's what I mean by a progressive flat tax...
That's a progressive tax. It's a simple progressive tax.
A flat tax is one where everyone pays the same rate, like a sales tax.

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17-07-2012, 10:18 AM
RE: A question to my Libertarian friends.
(17-07-2012 10:05 AM)KidCharlemagne1962 Wrote:  Although I classify myself as a conservative, it is abundantly clear to me that people like me are not welcome at that party and haven't been for sometime.

I guess a left leaning Libertarian would best describe me. I agree with most of Seasbury' post above.

When it comes to environmental issues I think this falls well within the purview of government. Since the behavior of a company/individual who pollutes causes damage not just to their land, it can cause illness and damage to others we need to regulate things. In regards to ACC I would tend toward solutions that are efficient and do as little harm to our economy as possible. I prefer to place incentives in place to make it the best choice to do what is best for the planet and society.

What I cannot stand about this whole climate issue is that people who have issues with ACC cannot pause and find that doing things to limit our damage to the planet just make sense. The more draconian people on the other side seem to want to just hurt business for the sake of doing so. They have the tedious tones of the religious zealot. OK, off the soapbox now Smile
I have always felt that I was a conservative, but between the highjacking by the religious right and my clearer understanding of libertarianism, I would have to say that I now consider myself a libertarian of some stripe.

I want government to do only what is needed - the question comes down to what is needed.
We need government to perform certain functions that cannot or should not be left up to individuals, functions that have effects on us all. The right wants to eliminate much of government.

We need government to be involved in:
Defense
Transportation infrastructure
Communication infrastructure
Environmental protection
Health care
Food safety
Medical safety
Workplace safety
Basic scientific research
Public safety

and so on.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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17-07-2012, 10:36 AM
RE: A question to my Libertarian friends.
(17-07-2012 09:48 AM)Seasbury Wrote:  
(16-07-2012 10:23 PM)HDT Wrote:  This is a legitimate question in which I am solely seeking the opinion of those who call themselves Libertarians. I find myself in agreement with many of the things which they say, which is why I guess I have many friends who are libertarians, but there are multiple key issues that I firmly disagree with them. This thread is going to focus on one of those issues: environmentalism and/or how to deal with climate change. Natural resource scarcity and the quality of the environment seem to be a very hard matter to trace to a single (or multiple) individuals whom would then be punished for their acts. Much of the time if that were even possible it seems that the damage is done and will be very hard or impossible to reverse.

I would like to start a civil discussion about the ideals held by libertarians on how to counteract the effects and causes of ACC, specifically what policies they view should or should not be enacted?
Also do you view yourself as a "free market environmentalist" or would you perhaps slip out of your libertarianism for issues, such as ACC, that affect numerous people on a global or community wide scale?
Do you hold the view that private property or tort law can solve issues such as air pollution?

I do not want to appear disingenuous and so will be upfront about my political views, if not already known, and tell you that I am very much to the left on issues such as these. I don't see free market environmentalism as anything except a way to reconcile strong laissez-faire economics with a crisis that transcends the boundaries of private property and thus our way of law, but I am very much interested in learning more about your opinions and why you hold them because I know there are very intelligent people out there who DO in fact hold that view and would like to come to an understanding with one another.
HDT,

I like to think of myself as a progressive libertarian. I think government should have a limited, but defined role in accordance with the governed.

Staunchly social libertarian -- the government should have no role whatsoever in the individual choices you make in terms of how you live your life -- unless those choices infringe or impact on the lives of others. Pretty straightforward.

In the specific case you bring up, corporations should have to play by the same rules. Take fracking for example. It is pretty apparent that the process of fracking is poisoning the water people use in the communities impacted. If corporations played by the same set of rules - this would not be allowed to happen. Whenever public safety is an issue, government should play a role in either regulating or penalizing those that engage in the practice.

As an aside, if you look at the tax code through a libertarian lens, you could blow the whole thing up. Our tax code is NOT designed to raise revenues to pay bills/debts -- its sole purpose is to manipulate behavior the government wants you to engage in. That is heinous. We seriously should consider eliminating all loopholes, credits, and subsidies and institute a progressive flat tax.

The tax rates would need to be "floating" to ensure the revenue received pays for the debts incurred on a rolling basis. For example, if the government runs a deficit one year, the next year, tax percentage increases to cover the additional costs.

That said, the government should only be spending monies on the specified actions the people want it to.

Take for example, your local government. If people want trash picked up twice a week -- here's the cost. But if we moved to once a week, the cost decreases. If the people decide that government shouldn't be paying for trash removal and everyone should get their own waste to the dump accordingly, then the cost is zero. Once the decision is made, then you fund it appropriately...Same can be said with defense, health care, etc... Smile
I feel that I agree with everything you are saying in that should be theoretically how our government should be operating and so I feel that you agree with my opinion that combating the environmental problems should be a role of government. Correct me if I am wrong. I guess my question was more towards the right wing libertarians or big L libertarians or people that hold the view that ending ALL subsidies would allow the free market to balance out the best new technology and allow green technologies to rise over fossil fuels. I strongly disagree with that position considering the dominance oil has on not only the market, but our country in general. I mean people are really convinced that we've discovered how make "clean" coal for pete's sake. No I, myself, hold very socially libertarian views but differ on economic matters in that capitalism without regulation does not work for the benefit of society. The idea of free-market environmentalism is held by Ron Paul and, typically, the libertarian magazine Reason.

I may disagree with you some though because I see certain subsidies towards renewable energy, in theory, as encouraging and funding the research and production of the new technologies which one day we will have to use. (What doesn't make sense is subsidizing Big Oil & renewable technologies like we currently do).

(17-07-2012 10:05 AM)KidCharlemagne1962 Wrote:  Although I classify myself as a conservative, it is abundantly clear to me that people like me are not welcome at that party and haven't been for sometime.

I guess a left leaning Libertarian would best describe me. I agree with most of Seasbury' post above.

When it comes to environmental issues I think this falls well within the purview of government. Since the behavior of a company/individual who pollutes causes damage not just to their land, it can cause illness and damage to others we need to regulate things. In regards to ACC I would tend toward solutions that are efficient and do as little harm to our economy as possible. I prefer to place incentives in place to make it the best choice to do what is best for the planet and society.

What I cannot stand about this whole climate issue is that people who have issues with ACC cannot pause and find that doing things to limit our damage to the planet just make sense. The more draconian people on the other side seem to want to just hurt business for the sake of doing so. They have the tedious tones of the religious zealot. OK, off the soapbox now Smile
I agree that once people start using harsh rhetoric it does nothing but isolate people who may have listened to your view otherwise. There should always be room for calm dialogue instead of preaching.

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17-07-2012, 10:45 AM
RE: A question to my Libertarian friends.
(17-07-2012 10:18 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(17-07-2012 10:05 AM)KidCharlemagne1962 Wrote:  Although I classify myself as a conservative, it is abundantly clear to me that people like me are not welcome at that party and haven't been for sometime.

I guess a left leaning Libertarian would best describe me. I agree with most of Seasbury' post above.

When it comes to environmental issues I think this falls well within the purview of government. Since the behavior of a company/individual who pollutes causes damage not just to their land, it can cause illness and damage to others we need to regulate things. In regards to ACC I would tend toward solutions that are efficient and do as little harm to our economy as possible. I prefer to place incentives in place to make it the best choice to do what is best for the planet and society.

What I cannot stand about this whole climate issue is that people who have issues with ACC cannot pause and find that doing things to limit our damage to the planet just make sense. The more draconian people on the other side seem to want to just hurt business for the sake of doing so. They have the tedious tones of the religious zealot. OK, off the soapbox now Smile
I have always felt that I was a conservative, but between the highjacking by the religious right and my clearer understanding of libertarianism, I would have to say that I now consider myself a libertarian of some stripe.

I want government to do only what is needed - the question comes down to what is needed.
We need government to perform certain functions that cannot or should not be left up to individuals, functions that have effects on us all. The right wants to eliminate much of government.

We need government to be involved in:
Defense
Transportation infrastructure
Communication infrastructure
Environmental protection
Health care
Food safety
Medical safety
Workplace safety
Basic scientific research
Public safety

and so on.
By my standards of today's government those things would make you a rather liberal man, Chas.
Conservatives' lists today would look more like this:

Defense
Transportation infrastructure
Communication infrastructure
Environmental protection
Health care
Food safety
Medical safety
Workplace safety
Basic scientific research
Public safety


I consider myself a rather liberal person and feel that I can agree with basically everything you said plus a few categories. I think where you divide liberals and conservatives ultimately comes down to the policies. I don't want the government running my life as much as you. I think liberals only want the government to do what is needed just like you and judging by what you think the government should be doing, I would contend that you could possibly be considered rather liberal Chas.

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17-07-2012, 10:53 AM
RE: A question to my Libertarian friends.
(17-07-2012 10:45 AM)HDT Wrote:  By my standards of today's government those things would make you a rather liberal man, Chas.
Conservatives' lists today would look more like this:

Defense
Transportation infrastructure
Communication infrastructure
Environmental protection
Health care
Food safety
Medical safety
Workplace safety
Basic scientific research
Public safety


I consider myself a rather liberal person and feel that I can agree with basically everything you said plus a few categories. I think where you divide liberals and conservatives ultimately comes down to the policies. I don't want the government running my life as much as you. I think liberals only want the government to do what is needed just like you and judging by what you think the government should be doing, I would contend that you could possibly be considered rather liberal Chas.
Defense
Transportation infrastructure
Communication infrastructure
Environmental protection
Health care
Food safety
Medical safety
Workplace safety
Basic scientific research
Public safety

Environmental protection can be traced back to Teddy Roosevelt (National Parks and conservation) and Richard Nixon who created the EPA. Both men would be considered communists today - but in their time, they were considered conservatives.

Food Safety was largely the result of the public outcry after Upton Sinclair's The Jungle was published -- the public wasn't thrilled about eating human fingers and/or hands in their sausage. Workplace safety followed years later...both were addressed by Republican administrations -- I believe...

Medical safety shouldn't be regulated? Let the market decide if you want to patronize a particular hospital that has a reputation for amputating the wrong limb? Rather not...

Basic Scientific Research plays a giant role in defense and exploration. Without it we do not have an internet to have this discussion -- that was DARPA. Many of the economic drivers we've enjoyed these last 60 years were directly related to innovations created by NASA -- think I'd like to keep that function of the government going...

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