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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Koch Brothers’

How the World Views Libertarianism | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on September 12, 2019

https://mises.org/wire/how-world-views-libertarianism

Ask ten libertarians for a definition of libertarianism, and one is likely to receive about ten different answers.

Indeed, libertarians have something of a reputation for internecine battles over who the “real” libertarians are.

Most of the world, however, couldn’t possibly care less about these battles over how to correctly slice and dice the different types of libertarians.

When it comes to use of the term libertarian out “in the wild” among mainstream, non-libertarian pundits, the use of the term is surprisingly consistent. It nearly always refers to an ideology that pushes for greater economic freedom in the form of less regulation of economic life, lower taxes, and freedom in trade.

Most writers on political and public policy matters, however, are not friendly to this sort of ideology so the term “libertarian” is also often expressed with an air of disapproval.

A Sampling of Media Coverage

This definition of libertarianism was made more clear than usual in the wake of the death of industrialist David Koch. Koch was known to support a number of libertarian political initiatives around taxation and government regulation.

To say that Koch was savaged for these views in the press and in social media would be an understatement. But the criticism also helped to bring out how mainstream media organs view libertarianism, and how they define it.

After Koch’s death, Salon declared we “live in the brothers’ libertarian utopia” thanks in part to the political machinations of Koch and his brother Charles.

What does this utopia look like? According to Christopher Leonard, a reporter known to have written a “secret history” of the Koch brothers, the assumed victory of libertarians has led to a world in which environmental regulations have been eviscerated, social programs are impoverished, and wealthy corporations wield vast power over workers. Indeed, according to Leonard, this Kochian libertarian program seeks a return to the days before the New Deal, allegedly a “capitalistic free-fire zone” characterized by starving workers lorded over by corrupt plutocrats.

But thanks to libertarians like Koch, the progress forged by the New Deal has largely been brought crashing down.

Similarly, the Washington Post refers to Koch’s “libertarian” empire responsible for pushing the Republican party further in the direction of low taxes, fewer government programs, and what the author refers to as anti-government extremism.

Needless to say, we don’t actually live in a “libertarian utopia” and its unclear if Koch did the things attributed to him. But for our purposes in this article what matters is that the mainstream view of libertarianism is clear: libertarianism is an extreme pro-capitalist ideology.

This view extends well beyond a handful of articles about the Kochs.

For example, Darren Dochuk at Politico writes this month on the now-forgotten Pew brothers who were influential political operators behind the scenes in the mid-twentieth century. The brothers, Dochuk notes, “spent their oil fortune remaking the GOP in their libertarian and conservative Christian image.”

Both the Christianity and the libertarianism are apparently meant by the author to be seen as nefarious aspects of the brothers’ agenda. The nature of the libertarian side of their agenda is consistent with what we see said about libertarians elsewhere: the Pews’ libertarianism impelled them to oppose the beloved New Deal, especially its “encroachment on their corporate sector.” Capitalist dystopia allegedly ensued.

From Guns to Free Trade

The title “libertarian” can also be used to encompass those who take an excessive view of the freedom to own firearms. For example, Georgetown historian Robert Curran writes “Our scandalous gun policy is the inevitable consequence of libertarian ideology.” Libertarian laissez-faire, we’re told, doesn’t just encourage oppression of hapless workers. It encourages murderers as well.

Other writers have claimed to be appalled by the callousness of libertarian ideology. For instance, consider David Masciotra’s confession about once being libertarian, but eventually coming to his senses. Masciotra describes libertarians as “individuals myopically pursuing their own interests have no solution to ecological catastrophe, thousands dying for lack of health insurance, lethal disparities in the public education system, and the unending terror and devastation of racism.”

The context makes it clear that these are problems government regulation and control could solve, but libertarians dogmatically insist on their idiosyncratic views of how government regulation and funding in areas such as health care and education are a bad thing.

Other references make it clear that the term “libertarian” can be generally used to describe any organization that, on the whole, favors even a marginally pro-market political economy. This often involves applying the term to a variety of organizations that are also often just regarded as mainstream “conservative” organizations. As Max Moran writes at the American Prospect:

Democrats, if you’re reading, here’s a shot of reality: Google doesn’t just donate to think tanks on the center-left of the political spectrum. It also funds libertarian and right-wing institutions like the American Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, and the Heritage Foundation.

To many libertarians, organization like the Heritage Foundation may hardly qualify as libertarian. But from the outside looking in, Heritage is libertarian because it takes a low-tax anti-regulatory view on some issues. What may seem milquetoast to a libertarian appears as extreme pro-market superstition to the average writer at The Washington Post.

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Libertarian Ideologues – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 23, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/07/laurence-m-vance/libertarian-ideologues/

By

Tucker Carlson is no libertarian—and neither are the Koch brothers.

Late last month, on his Fox television show Tucker Carlson Tonight, Tucker Carlson criticized Charles and David Koch for being out of step with Republicans, conservatives, and Americans, and for being “libertarian ideologues, passionate and inflexible.”

In doing so, Carlson revealed just how much of a libertarian he isn’t. He supports the government’s war on drugs, favors government interest rate caps on credit cards and payday loans, and opposes cuts to Social Security and Medicare—two of the pillars of the welfare state….

This brings up an interesting question: Just what do real libertarian ideologues believe? Here are forty things to start with.

Libertarian ideologues believe that taxation is theft.

Libertarian ideologues believe that ticket scalping is a victimless crime

Libertarian ideologues believe that the war on drugs should be ended and all drugs should be legal.

Libertarian ideologues believe that education should be completely separated from the state.

Libertarian ideologues believe that business owners have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason and on any basis.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the minimum wage should be abolished and all wage rates negotiated between employer and employee without government interference.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the government should not prohibit or regulate gambling in any way, shape, or form.

Libertarian ideologues believe that prostitution should be legal as along as property rights are respected.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the government should never prohibit discrimination, seek to prevent discrimination, or punish anyone for practicing discrimination.

Libertarian ideologues believe that health care and health insurance should be completely separated from the state.

Libertarian ideologues believe that all government welfare programs should be eliminated.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the TSA should be abolished and all airports and airlines be made responsible for their own security.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the government shouldn’t subsidize art and culture.

Libertarian ideologues believe that government CAFE standards should be eliminated in their entirety.

Libertarian ideologues believe that all charity should be private and voluntary.

Libertarian ideologues believe that “price gouging” should never be a crime.

Libertarian ideologues believe that all foreign aid to every country should be eliminated.

Libertarian ideologues believe that all usury laws and interest-rate regulations should be repealed.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the Department of Defense should be strictly limited to the actual defense of the country.

Libertarian ideologues believe that there should be no farm subsidies and that the Department of Agriculture should be abolished.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the government shouldn’t give research grants to any individual, school, organization, or corporation.

Libertarian ideologues believe that there should be no gun control laws.

Libertarian ideologues believe that all space exploration should be privately undertaken and funded.

Libertarian ideologues believe that all government funding to Planned Parenthood should be eliminated—even if the organization ceased performing abortions.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the government shouldn’t be doing anything to combat “climate change.”

Libertarian ideologues believe that the federal government should not have an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the federal government should not have a Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the federal government should not have a Federal Housing Administration.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the federal government should not have a Federal Trade Commission or a Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the federal government should not operate a rail service like AMTRAK.

Libertarian ideologues believe that all U.S. military bases on foreign soil should be closed.

Libertarian ideologues believe that all U.S. troops should be brought home from foreign countries.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the United States should not be the world’s policeman.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the government should not bail out any business of any size for any reason.

Libertarian ideologues believe that all tariffs, trade restrictions, import quotas, anti-dumping laws, and trade agreements be ended and absolute free trade established.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the United States should have a Jeffersonian noninterventionist foreign policy of peace, commerce, honest friendship with all nations, and entangling alliances with none.

Libertarian ideologues believe that all anti-trust laws should be repealed.

Libertarian ideologues believe that there should be no National School Lunch Program.

Libertarian ideologues believe that legal adults should not have to be 21 to purchase alcohol.

Libertarian ideologues believe that the United States should not fight foreign wars.

America needs more libertarian ideologues. And the more passionate and inflexible the better.

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Soros-Dionne Expose’

Posted by M. C. on June 17, 2012

The progressive’s progressive tells us how the Republican Billionaires are taking over the presidential election

Dionne bemoans the current regulations that permit big contributions to PACS. In true big government, big spending, neo-liberal fashion the solution to too much spending is even more spending. Dionne thinks the likes of Buffet, Blomberg and Soros should start pumping $Millions into PACS in the spirit of fairness. Looking at this from another perspective, someone like George Will may say that is fine. Both sides being able to spend as they wish.

I have a news flash! Read the rest of this entry »

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