Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Why I am a Libertarian
I've never been one to go "all in" with the mainstream. I realized after years of picking the lessor of two evils in every election, that the mainstream political parties were always going to be more of the same, no matter what they promised. I felt trapped in a system that offered no way to effect real change in government. While driving across upstate New York, I heard an address to the National Press Club by Ross Perot ( I know, not exactly a Libertarian), who was speaking about the ideas of real liberty and freedom. This man was certainly not more of the same old, same old and for the first time in my adult life, I started exploring the possibility of changing the way that we, as Americans, do business in Washington.I started reading books on economics at the suggestion of a friend. He steered me towards the works of Ludwig von Mises and many of the others of the Austrian School. I read Rothbard's What Has the Government Done To Our Money , and Mises Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow to begin with and ,then consumed everything I could get my hands on; Adams, Bastiat, Block, Paul, Tucker, etc... and one day realized that economic freedom is the root of true liberty. I realized just how little true liberty modern Americans really have. Sure, we all love the slogan "Land of the Free and Home of The Brave", but the truth is we are oppressed by the size of government today. Medieval serfs paid 30% tribute to their masters and were considered slaves. Modern Americans pay on average 50% to the government in the form of income taxes, sales taxes, ad valorum taxes, luxury taxes, fuel taxes, cigarette taxes, alcohol taxes, capital gains taxes, property taxes, Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, Medicaid taxes, even death taxes, just to name a few. So, does that make us slaves? I think so.The platform of the Libertarian Party appealed to me because it to is rooted in real economic freedom.The truths and ideals that Libertarians believe in are not possible without true economic freedom. Jefferson astutely pointed out this truth in his first inaugural address in 1801 “A wise and frugal government….shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government”I am a Libertarian because I believe in the sovereignty of the individual, the ability to make decisions for myself and take responsibility for my own actions, that I can decide better what is right for my own life than can a state bureaucracy, that no one's liberties give them the right to deny the rights of others, that the use of force which results in the deaths of others in order to achieve political or social goals is the ultimate violation of rights, that the unalienable rights guaranteed by our Constitution belong to all of us - equally.