Libertarian commentary on the news, #14-32C: Politics 2014

by Nathan Barton

Government is, we agree, stupid.  People are often stupid, especially en mass. All this factors into politics, where politicians, bureaucrats, and voters all vie for the title of “most stupid.”  It makes life miserable for most of us.

Is the Tax Code Driving Taxpayers from Wisconsin? Wisconsin loses $136 million each year as its residents leave Wisconsin for other states… Or so says the Maciver Institute in an article published by the National Center for Policy Analysis.  My first thought was “ONLY $136 million?”  Wisconsin is, of course one of the eight Scandinavian nations (I count Greenland as one), well known for socialism (although I admit that they often do a good job of hiding it) as it has been since the original European-American settlement and the creation of the Republican Party in 1854 or so.  Since they pretend to be a free-market state, of COURSE their tax code is a mess, a series of seething contradictions and ways to steal money “sneaky-like.”  Even Minnesota is not as bad.

The Texas Attorney General proposes lifting licensing requirements, Greg Abbott has proposed getting rid of occupational licensing in jobs unrelated to health or safety…  Which of course, all the “professions” that have this wonderful protection against competition, claim are absolutely essential for public health and safety.  After all, hair dyes are poisonous, and the same tools used to clip toe nails and fingernails and cuticles can be used to dismember bodies and torture small animals to death. Dog trainers of course, can be inhumane to animals and train dogs to kill and EAT humans.  Crummy interior design can drive occupants to drink, or even to suicide.  And barbers are allowed STRAIGHT razors, just perfect for slitting throats! He is the Texas GOP Gubernatorial Candidate, and would  allow small businesses to have “an easier entry point.”  The proposal, if adopted, would put an end to State licensure requirements that currently govern such small-business occupations as cosmetology, coaching, dog training and interior design.  Of course, first he has to win, second, he needs a better memory than the Fuehrer, third, he needs to get the Legislature AND the lobbyists to go along… Ain’t gonna happen.  And of course, what is really needed is a TOTAL end to government regulation of ANY professions.  Well, no, (and I hope that no one will think too harshly of me for taking such a radical, statist approach), there ARE a few professions I’d like to see a state regulate: lawyers, for one.  Although a total BAN on them should be the goal.  Actually, maybe we don’t need to ban them, just regulate the hunting of them so that more people get a chance to pop one and stuff them and mount them over the mantle.

Mama’s Note: Now, now, Nathan… let’s not get too hasty there. Did you know that only about 15% of doctors remain members of the AMA – and that number shrinks every year. I just learned that the same is true of lawyers. Only a few of those who don’t already work for government are still members of the “bar association,” and a growing number are adamantly against it. We can’t tar them all with the same brush. I’d suggest open season on all politicians and bureaucrats, whether they were also lawyers or not, but I can’t see anyone actually wanting one as part of their home decorating scheme.

Online K-12 programs grow in popularity There are currently 2.5 million children, from kindergarten through twelfth grade, being educated at home or through an online academy…  Both of my boys spent much of their time getting an education through on-line programs, and they are both in their mid-twenties, now.  There WERE many fewer on-line students then, but they missed SO MUCH by home-schooling on-line:  bullying, school lunches, bus rides, bomb threats, so much!

Is there any benefit to Plastic Bag Bans? Obviously, to makers of cloth and paper bags.  But as the article points out, paper and reusable bags use more energy and release more greenhouse gas emissions than plastic bags.  They also contribute to greater microbial growth, speed decay of food, and help spread “germs.”  AND the paper ones take up more room in landfills, even when every effort is made to compost them. And frankly, paper and cloth make LOUSY trash bags.

The Fuehrer now says that pulling all U.S. Troops out of Iraq was Not ‘My Decision’ When he was running for re-election in 2012, this guy repeatedly took credit for ending the war in Iraq and bringing all U.S. troops home from that country. Today, at the White House, however, when talking about the rise of the new Caliphate, he has a strange memory lapse.  Or perhaps he thinks everyone else is so stupid, brain dead and has such memory loss…  Boy, I bet he wishes that American politicians had a “right to be forgotten” like folks in the EU do.  Or at least a SELECTIVE forgetfulness.

The average American has ‘Essentially Zero’ influence over U.S. Policy, according to an academic look into the driving forces behind American Federal policymaking.  The authors conclude that the average citizen in the United States has “essentially zero” influence over the direction of government.  How many tens of thousands of man hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars did THIS research take?  Sounds like a scam to me: everyday life shows the truth of this, doesn’t it?  Seriously, isn’t that the purpose of a “representative democracy” such as we have turned into: another word for tyranny with foam gloves?  Or maybe the Fuehrer is right and we are just that stupid, collectively.  (But then, collectives and mobs are ALWAYS stupid.)

Rand Paul says he’d use Executive Orders If President… But only To revoke previous Executive Orders. Speaking to constituents in Kentucky this week, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that he would use his executive power to reverse the damage done by his predecessors’ propensity for legislating by fiat if he were elected President.  Okay, this is like the guy in Texas (no, not Rand’s dad but the GOP candidate for governor), can we believe him?  Can he remember this when he gets into office?  And more:  government as we know it would collapse without Executive Orders.  (Which IS, of course, a GOOD thing!)

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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