Re: Libertarians should give big government a chance

OK, I’ll bite. 🙂

  1. Just let other currencies compete with the dollar and remove hindrances on mutual banking. Rescind taxes on exchanging alternative forms of money like gold and silver and rescind legal tender laws that force people to accept the dollar for repayments of debt.
    As an aside, the Fed is formally private, but it’s already under control of the Federal government.
  2. Here’s an empirical test. If people thought their freedom or quality of life was being enhanced by some government program, they wouldn’t need to be forced to participate in its funding. Governments have their own interest in monopolizing infrastructure, even if there are some incidental benefits for ordinary people. Libertarians have long argued transportation would be safer, less expensive and more environmentally conscious if it were outside of government control, whether that takes the form of private ownership or community-based cooperatives.
  3. That’s correct; big business often lobbies for more regulations and laws. Big government and big business have a mutually beneficial relationship, even if they appear at odds struggling over which is the more dominant partner. You can read revisionist historians (like Roy Childs) who write that, in order to secure their existing profits and market share, big businesses were more than eager to give the federal government more power over their industries (like the railroad industry did). No different now.
  4. I’m lost as to what the questions is. I can say in general that a decentralized market approach is preferable to centralized planning because knowledge of relevant economic facts (like people’s demands and resources) is discrete and in constant flux. A pricing system (which most fully operates in an unhampered market-based economy) allows for the rational calculation of resource allocation needed for an advanced industrial economy that offers a multiplicity of resources for an incalculable number of possible outputs. The pricing system (which makes calculations of profit and loss possible) allow for resources to be put to their most urgently valued uses (at least as determined by consumer preferences).

As another aside, the principle issue isn’t the size of the government (although smaller is better, all else being equal), but the issue has to do with the scope of government power, not the size of its teeth. If a business is defrauding people, then the government should be powerful enough to stop it.

The Philosopher's Tinker Room

Libertarians should give big government a chance. 

-The Fed is a private organization that libertarians frequently call for abolishing.  But if the fed is abolished then wont an expansion of the government then automatically take place in order to fill the need to set monetary policy?

-The term ‘Libertarian’ is based on the Latin word for freedom.  So if freedom is the goal, then can’t big government actually act as a vehicle for making possible increased freedom.  Just one example is the publicly owned roads and highway systems that we take for granted but for which the government makes possible which in turn makes the ‘freedom of the open road possible’ as well.

-Libertarians frequently rail against big government restricting our freedoms.  But in the most egregious cases of government tyranny, there often is big business behind the scenes pushing for those restrictions we all hate.  So maybe it isn’t…

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