2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #400
Well, this is the 400th edition of this series, and that’s a lot of Mondays. So I thought I would use this opportunity to attempt to explain why I am a Libertarian. Actually, I was a Republican throughout my adult life until the passage of the so-called “Patriot Act” in 2001. But I could not be a part of any organization that condoned, much less assisted, this direct frontal attack on our civil liberties. So it took about 13 seconds for me to realize that I really am a Libertarian, and I will be for life. But what does that mean? It means that Libertarians believe in freedom for adults to live their lives as much as reasonably possible without interference from government, as long as their doing so does not wrongly interfere with the ability of other adults to do the same. Thus Liberty must be joined with responsibility because, if not, we would have chaos.
This approach goes back to the Founders of our nation’s Constitution! As I learned while doing my research for our musical, Convention: the Birth of America, all 73 delegates to our Constitutional Convention argued, bickered and debated with each other about virtually everything. But, THE one thing that each one agreed upon was that THE most important function of government was to safeguard our liberties and freedoms from the encroachment of government. (The second-most important function was keeping us safe.) And how far away has our country come from that most important function? So here are some of the issues that I believe Libertarians and even the Founders would all agree upon, and which also highlight the old saying that “In politics, reality is irrelevant. It is only the voters’ perception of reality that counts.” As a result, often governments pursue many approaches that, although they are harmful, sound good to the voters and get those politicians re-elected. And how do we combat this problem? Here are some Libertarian thoughts:
- Insist upon Transparency in Government! The actions of Congress, the President and all bureaucratic agencies of government must be taken in the open. Obviously there are some exceptions dealing with security and individual confidentiality matters, but otherwise virtually all Congressional sessions, Supreme Court arguments and agency meetings should be publicly broadcast so that we all can have access to the doings of our governments.
- If officials in government do not know the answer to a question, insist that they say so! For example, throughout this pandemic I do not recall any government officials saying that they didn’t have the answer, even though the “correct answer” would often change just a week or two later.
- Materially reduce the government’s involvement in the Free Market System.
- Every time the governments increase the minimum wages that must be paid to lower-level workers, people lose their jobs. For example, remember when we used to order our Big Macs directly from a cashier? But with the increases in the minimum wages the cashiers have been replaced by computers. Think of it this way: Fundamentally it is healthier for society to have 100 people working for $10 per hour in an entry-level position than 65 people working for $15 per hour. Then once those workers learn that they can better themselves by rolling up their sleeves and being reliable and productive employees, they will either receive promotions and increased pay at their present company, or successfully obtain better jobs elsewhere.
- Stop the government from interfering in the relationship between landlords and tenants! By prohibiting landlords from evicting non-paying tenants, governments have taken away incentives for both sides to work out their problems through negotiations. As a result, many landlords have forfeited on their mortgages, and many tenants have been placed into financial situations from which they never will be able to recover, because their debts someday will come due.
- Call attention to the literal fact that a Culture of Victimization doesn’t work for anybody, except for politicians. As Dr. Milton Friedman once said: “You get more of what you subsidize and less of what you tax.” And today we are subsidizing people being victims, and are taxing their success. And guess what we are getting more of?
So these are just some examples. Many more can be found in my book entitled 2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: Solutions that are Practical, Effective, Responsible, Libertarian (Best Seller Publishing, 2019)
Newspaper Headline: “Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges” (I guess it is stronger than duct tape.)
Finally, and with apologies to no one, my wife and I will be on vacation for ten days starting next Thursday, so there will not be a 2 Paragraphs edition sent out next Monday.
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President
Please listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely ssues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand at https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3883. And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at www.JudgeJImGray.com, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray.wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at Amazon.com., as is my wife Grace’s and my new novel centered about School Choice entitled 2030 KIDS: We are the Rising Heroes of the Planet. Please read and discuss them with your friends, and send in a review.