I actually do watch/read a lot of Libertarian stuff. I don’t think they are all bad, but I think they choose to go too far in deregulation. The naive fantasy of the “Free Market” is a dream. There’s no way a pure free market can work. The abuses will be astounding (as they were in the late 1800s when there were no regulations). And there are some industries where a free market is impossible. Take health care. There’s no power of the boycott. Those who have to take part in healthcare are doing so because they got sick/injured. If they boycott, they could get no treatment which means they will either lose limbs, stay in a state that is less than functional, or DIE. There is no power of the market when there’s no ability to boycott. The health care industry is not a free market, it’s a captive market. The same could be said of water, food, electricity, sewage, internet, etc. Anything that’s a necessity to life or to the function of society.
Now, that doesn’t mean the private sector can’t take part in said industries, but at that point is when they need to be properly regulated. But that wont’ happen so long as corporations are bribing our politicians. And this all started with the two supreme court cases of Buckley v Valeo and First National Bank of Boston vs Bellotti. These allowed the creation of PACs and corporate donations to political campaigns/parties. You can see the results of these things as soon as they happened we saw deregulations in the airline industry (one of Carter’s biggest failures), in banking (Reagan, both Bush presidents, Clinton, Obama, and likely now Trump), in food, etc. Everywhere. And we see the productivity vs wages split so well around that time as well
CEO pay vs average employee pay also changed drastically (prior it was about 12/20 times the average employee, now it’s up to as high as 400 in some industries). We see almost every metric showing a degradation of our society for the majority and only the rich gaining more and more of the wealth/gains.
Money must be removed of politics, or, if people are going to believe money is speech, then the money must be redistributed evenly among all members of our nation (and, tbh, I don’t like that idea). Besides, with corporations being able to donate to political campaigns, many of which have foreign massive investors or being multinational corporations, we’ve opened up a means for FOREIGN powers to bribe our politicians (this is one reason we have such an unhealthy favoritism toward Israel… AIPAC is a huge money power house in campaign donations). I do believe that would be equivalent to treason in our Founding Fathers’ eyes.
Point is, Libertarians have some right ideas in getting outta foreign conflicts, in some regulations that are just cronyism to be removed, but they tend to want to remove too many regulations. Regulations are meant to prevent damage. And, guess what, economically, preventing damage is more sound financially than trying to make amends/repair damages. See BP and the oil spill. The cost of prevention would have been far less than the damages/repairing they’ve had to put out. But the problem is corporate culture is never set up to care about long term gains, only short term. The only thing that matters to them is short term gains by any means necessary and that’s why we see them willing to do things that are a great abuse to the environment, consumers, workers, other businesses, and even some of their own shareholders. That’s WHY we had congress in the early 1900s and after the Great Depression impose proper regulations.
Regulations have their place. The key is the right ones and to help reform our government to make it harder to corrupt. And then the other problem is, honestly, our own American people. Too many of them are not politically active. For many it seems to be disinterest or thinking it doesn’t matter or they can’t make a difference or laziness or because they are just so busy working 2–3 jobs while raising a family that they don’t have time in the day to pay attention. But, the point is, we could make our system better. For a few ideas.
- All federal level government jobs will be paid at the mean average of all the income of the citizens who fall between the 20th and 80th percentile and will be offset negatively by a factor proportional to the unemployment rate. The idea is to tie the government officials to the success of the majority of the nation.
- No federally elected officials nor their staff may take more than the average amount of vacation time those who fall within the 20th and 80th percentile get off (with the exceptions of major tragedies such as a sickness, accident or some otherwise problem, if it’s found there’s fraud in having time off faking an illness or injury than they will be heavily fined, perhaps fired). Again, tying the amount government employees work with how much the average citizen works. Fundraising can not be considered a part of the job, either.
- All federal level government jobs will be required to work the average amount of hours per day as the average of all the citizens who fall between the 20th and 80th percentile. The idea is to make sure congress and all other government employees work as much as at least the majority of the average Americans.
- No elected officials can receive any service or benefit with taxpayer money that is not available to the average American.
- No government employees can take external money from outside groups (contractors, lobbyists, corporations, unions, etc) for any reason. If they are, they’ll be found guilty of treason and put in jail for a minimum of 15 years as well as fined for 200% of all the money they have taken from external groups. This applies to gifts like tickets, dinners, trips, etc.
Voting System Reform:
- The electoral college is to be abolished.
- “First Past The Post” is to be removed, instead a voter can rate all the options from 1 to however many are on the ballot (or a number less than that if they don’t care to rate them all).
- Single Transferrable Vote implemented, using droop, maximum of 9 representatives per district (but allowed to be less if there are too few candidates, down to about 5)
- Voting is no longer designated to one day, but an entire week where the polls remain open. At least one day outta the week, every employer MUST give each employee one day of paid vacation to encourage more voting.
- Early voting and Absentee voting must be defended by law with substantial time (upwards of a month from the election week). Absentee voting can be done by people who are out of the district/state for whatever reason (be it military, business, educational, personal, due to age/sickness/disease making it harder to travel to a voting booth, etc)
- Voting IDs can be driver license, student IDs from approved colleges (basically any college that has been shown to be an actual college), worker ID, or just the mere Social Security Number (any conflicts can be resolved as the votes are being counted and if someone is voting as another improperly, they will be punished). If Voting ID, the state must make it free to get as well as easy to get (voting ID locations must be within a reasonable distance from all constituents).
- Voting Booths must be placed reasonably (similar to India’s every 2km from another). If an area is unreasonable to have a voting booth, there must be traveling voting booths/buses which show up to areas of homeowners who are too far from a voting booth or unable to make a travel or for some reason can’t send in an absentee vote
- Voting machines can not be provided by corporations with ties to any specific political party. Must be an unbiased to provide machines without error. Machines must also have open sourced code and means to trace the integrity of the votes.
- Primaries must be open or, if closed, can not a single penny in tax money. Currently, too many primaries are closed and take tax payer money denying people the right to vote. These might be only in the parties, but they are ultimately for public positions and should not block any citizen from voting.
- Gerrymandering Reform:
- No longer allowed to be drawn by individuals freely
- Drawn by an impartial mathematical system that’s given to all to see, basically this; http://bdistricting.com/2010/ or this http://rangevoting.org/SplitLR.html
- Districts can be no larger than a set number of people (about 50k people per district)
- The president will now be only one term for 6 years. However, if a significant portion of the people want the president for further terms, then it can be overridden (say 75% approval rating or so justifies running again).
- Congressional Reform:
- Term limits: Senate will be 2 terms of 3 years and House has a term limit of 3 terms of 2 years. The idea is to cap how much people can be in government so we get fresh ideas coming in and out. However, same exception applies to the presidency term limit too. If the vast majority of the people want their candidate to go beyond the term limit, then they can vote it so.
That’s just some ideas I have for reforming our government to make it more beholden to the people and to get people more active/involved. It’s just rough ideas, not details, definitely would need to work out costs for some things, but I think if we can waste TRILLIONS on our military, we can cut that and invest it in our own system/people to improve the nation politically.
But it will take time to get there.
Regardless, my point is, government should be more local if can be, regulations are good when they are written/created to benefit society as a whole and consider the burdens of the businesses (but too many are written cause of corruption from money to just be cronyism), and there’s a way to make government work better (look at how Americans thought of Government in the 60s and 70s, even with Vietnam people had a 70% approval rating, look at how it has dipped until now, as low as 6% at its lowest and currently like 9%). But the idea libertarians have of cutting the vast majority of government? That’s just naive and too much blind trust in corporations who are set up in such a way to abuse society for self interest/gains and the naive belief of the market being a real free market in all areas.