Category: Politics
Religion and Libertarianism
| 5 October 2016 | 19:26 | Politics, Religion | No comments

There is antagonism between some religious people and some libertarians due to generalizations.  The religious people of this mindset see libertarians as immoral or at least amoral, and disrespectful (libertines who have the attitude that I will do what I want and you can’t stop me). The generalizing libertarians see religious people as wanting for force everyone to live according to their standards. The short answer to this is to not get into the fallacy of generalization. For those who think their generalization is reality, let me try to give a different point of view.

Libertarianism is a political philosophy about how people can get along with each other; it is not a philosophy of life like a religion. In a libertarian society, if someone were to violate the property right of another (some kind of assault or theft), then they would be held accountable to compensate the victim as far as possible. Holding someone accountable for violating a property right is for the protection of property rights, not to make the criminal moral. Libertarianism is amoral, but there is more to life than politics, so libertarians can have a life style that is moral and even religious. Also note that libertarianism requires that people have respect and consideration for the person and possessions of others.  People cannot just do whatever they want without considering the possible violation of someone’s property right. The politics of a peaceful and prosperous society requires no more and no less than law that protects property right.

In speaking to my fellow libertarians, I would note that the major religions of the world all have some form of the golden rule: do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Most religious people try to abide by the golden rule in their personal interactions with others.  Granted, many of these same people do not understand that supporting government taxation and regulation is contrary to the golden rule, but then you could say the same for non-religious people too. Most religious people are committed to their values. Once they see the value of the libertarian position, they will be strong supporters. Something that libertarians do that might cause religious people to shy away, is to express support for certain special interest groups. This can give the impression that support of these special interests is the libertarian cause. Although this is not true, it can still be the perception that turns people away. It is better to promote the whole reality that the libertarian cause is beneficial for everyone.

For the religious side, I can only speak from a Christian perspective. Taking other people’s property (stealing, robbery, embezzlement, fraud, taxation, etc.) is immoral, is not Christian, and is not libertarian.  There is nothing in the teachings of Jesus nor in His treatment of other people that would justify trying to force Christianity on anyone which force is in itself immoral.  Faith in Jesus Christ, following His teachings, and choosing moral behaviour must come from within as a person’s own choice to be valid.  It is immoral to try to force someone to be moral.  So from a Christian perspective, taxes and regulation are immoral and libertarianism is the only political philosophy that is compatible with Christianity.

Now my particular Christian view is that of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And let me say to my fellow Latter-Day Saints that libertarianism is nothing more nor less than the principle of agency which we consider fundamental to the gospel of Christ. Agency means that everyone has the privilege and responsibility to choose for themselves what they will believe and how they will live. The section of Doctrine and Covenants on government, 134, verse 2 states: “We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.”  This is as good a succinct description of libertarianism as you will find anywhere.  The righteous Nephite kings and judges in the Book of Mormon did not tax their people nor force any beliefs on them.  Mosiah 2:14 “And even I (King Benjamin), myself, have laboured with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, ….”  Alma 1:17 “…..; and now the law could have no power on any man for his belief.”  Tax and regulate government goes against everything that Latter-Day Saints are taught about good government.  Libertarianism is the only political philosophy that is consistent with the principle of agency.

I believe libertarian groups can attract support from religious people by presenting their group in a professional manner.  Besides being courteous and considerate, this would mean avoiding the marketing error of appearing to cater to special interest groups.  I encourage religious people to look past the amorality of libertarianism to the fact that it is the only moral political choice.  Libertarians will protect religious liberty along with every other liberty.  Libertarianism will help those on the low end of the economic scale as opposed to the failed do-gooder policies of other political parties.   The libertarian philosophy is a subset of religious philosophy so the basic political philosophy is the same.  Libertarians and religious people should expect to share the same political views.

 

The Spirit of Liberty
| 15 June 2016 | 21:00 | Politics | No comments

Libertarians are often missing the “spirit of the law” of liberty which is showing respect and consideration for others. When a libertarian is disrespectful, there is not going to be a court case to determine damages.  What is going to happen is others are going to think of that person as a hypocrite and untrustworthy for upholding the principle of liberty. The libertarian may be thinking “who cares” or “suck it up”.  Such a dismissive attitude is not going to win friends and influence people.  The libertarian may think that they are going to live their life of liberty on their own, but that is not possible in our society with the current pervasive taxes and regulations.

The “letter of the law” of liberty (that everyone has property rights to choose what they do with themselves and their possessions (or the non-aggression principle)) is attractive to many people.  Those people will join the cause of liberty if they are not disgusted by libertarians who violate the “spirit of the law” of liberty by their disrespectful and inconsiderate conduct.

If you are a libertarian, please take this idea of the “spirit of the law” of liberty seriously.  Surely you want others to join you in the cause for liberty.

Registering an Alberta Libertarian Party
| 15 June 2016 | 20:53 | Politics | 3 Comments

This website http://albertalibertarian.ca/ is collecting contact information for those who are interested in seeing an Alberta libertarian party formed.

Minimum Wage Laws
| 16 January 2016 | 16:21 | Economics, Politics | No comments

A wage is a price that employers are willing to pay for an employee. Prices are subject to the law of demand. We have all seen the effect of demand where a price goes up and people buy less or a price goes down and people buy more. Setting a minimum wage increases the price to employ a whole group of people which will eventually result in an increase in unemployment including those persons who will now give up on the job market and are not counted in government unemployment numbers. Employers will adjust the way they run their businesses by changing the duties of a fewer number of employees or perhaps by introducing capital assets so a fewer number of employees can be more productive. People work for low wages because their lack of skills and experience puts them at that level of productivity. The way to increase productivity and the associated wage level is to increase skills and experience. The first step to increased productivity is to gain skills and experience in a low paying job, a step that is not available for many due to minimum wage laws. Many politicians and their supporters think the minimum wage is compassionate while in fact it consigns many to despair of being able to work. One does wonder about the sincerity of politicians since they increase the minimum wage a few dollars rather than to something like thirty dollars. Minimum wage laws are a prime example of the untended consequences of government intervention in the economy where those it is supposed to help are actually hurt.

Government does NOT create jobs
| 12 November 2015 | 12:25 | Economics, Politics | No comments

I have noticed in the press that once again government is saying that they are creating jobs.  If government returning tax funds to the private sector creates jobs, then when the taxes are taken out of the private sector, jobs are destroyed. It would be more accurate to say that government is restoring previously destroyed jobs in the private sector while incurring administrative costs in taking the taxes out and then putting them back in. The next worst thing the government does is destroy productive jobs in the private sector and replace them with productive jobs in the public sector which are less effective due to bureaucratic management. The next worst thing the government does is destroy productive jobs in the private sector and replace them with unproductive jobs in the public sector. The next worst thing the government does is destroy productive jobs in the private sector and replace them with bureaucratic waste and inefficiency. Canadian governments take over 40% of the annual private sector income in taxes which is a tremendous loss in potential investment and the associated employment.  Governments ignore the negative effect they have on the economy.  When a government claims to be creating jobs either they are dishonest or they do not understand the impact of taxes on the economy. The truth is that the net effect of governments is to destroy jobs.

Four Reasons to Vote Libertarian
| 17 October 2015 | 10:52 | Politics | No comments

Check this out; especially the fourth reason which both Tim and I think is the most important one. It has to do with integrity in that we are all libertarians in our private lives, but we (the people of Canada) support something entirely different as voters.

Canada’a Culture of Freedom
| 20 December 2014 | 17:41 | Politics | No comments

The word libertarian is derived from liberty which is synonymous with freedom. We were taught and learned as children that the way to get along with others and have fun together was to not hit, or be bossy, or mess with their stuff. The same principle continues to work among adults; we respect the right of others to conduct their lives as they choose, and use their possessions as they choose. We live in a culture of freedom. People work together, buy and sell, attend their various churches or no church, and cooperate in other community organizations. There is peace and prosperity. And when some among us violate the principle of respect for the person and possessions of others, there is less peace and prosperity.

Libertarians get involved in politics because they would like to see the same culture of freedom apply in government as it does in their communities. Governments legislate regulations which dictate what people can and cannot do. Such regulations are illegitimate since the people sending representatives to government, have no authority to make these regulations. Forcing people to abide by government regulations is tyranny and is immoral. Government regulations violate the inalienable right of people to decide for themselves what they will do. Government regulations are illegitimate, immoral, and just plain wrong. Taxation is also something that people have no authority to do among themselves. Consequently, people cannot authorize government representatives to tax. Taxation is taking other people’s property under threat of violence which is immoral. Taxation wrongly violates a person’s inalienable right to property. Taxation is also illegitimate, immoral, and just plain wrong.

Government regulation and taxation stand in stark contrast to the culture of freedom in our private lives. The libertarian objective is to make government operate according to our culture of freedom rather than in opposition to it.

Money, Banking, and Government
| 24 July 2014 | 16:57 | Economics, Politics | No comments

Money is useful or more correctly, essential, as a medium of exchange in a free enterprise, capitalistic economy. This type of economy has a large number of products and services, and a high degree of specialization. Consequently, people are occupied with their specialized work and don’t have time or means to produce all the products and services that they need and want. People exchange their specialized work for money and then use this money to exchange for the results of other people’s work.

Money represents productive work and it is illegal and illegitimate to make money by non-productive means called counterfeiting. Counterfeit money does not represent productive work so that if it mixes in the money supply, the counterfeit money will dilute the value of the money representing productive work. This is a form of stealing and a violation of the property rights of everyone whose money has been devalued.

Fractional banking is legal and consists of lending more than the bank has on reserve. These loans do not represent productive work since they are simply numbers added to an account balance. These loans enter the money supply and dilute or devalue the money. The difference between devaluation due to fractional banking and counterfeiting by private individuals, is that fractional banking is legal, illegitemate, and the scale is so large as to render the devaluation due to private counterfeiting irrelevant.

Besides legalizing fractional banking, governments also engage in a manipulation of money to monetize debt. In this process, the government incurs an obligation and pays for it by printing money. Once again, this money does not represent productive work, will enter the money supply, and devalue the money. And again this is legal, illegitemate, and on a grand scale.

The devaluation of money by fractional banking and government money manipulation is easy to do with fiat money which has no commodity base. Fiat money is simply paper supported by legal tender laws. The value of fiat money is not tied to anything like a precious metal, so the amount of fiat money can be increased at will.

It is the people doing productive work that lose due to the devaluation of money. People tend to pay more for products and services over time, not because these things are worth more, but rather because the money is worth less. In a truly free enterprise economy, things get cheaper as the capital expands. Consider the difference between digging a hole with your bare hands or using a shovel or using a backhoe. Capital is productive resources and as people accumulate these resources they become more efficient and productive so that the cost of what they are producing decreases and things become cheaper. Computers have come down in price even in the midst of money devaluation. The computers are more dramatic because it is emerging technology. Gasoline priced in gold is cheaper in 2014 than it was in 1960.

We should have stable money that keeps its value and fairly represents the productive work for which people are paid. This is possible if the devaluation of money by fractional banking and government money manipulation is illegal just like counterfeiting by individuals.

Liberty and Property Rights
| 9 June 2014 | 19:34 | Politics | No comments

Liberty is based on property right. Property means a person’s body and their legitimately owned possessions. Right means that a person has the responsibility to choose what they do with themselves and their possessions and be accountable for those choices. Property right also means that a person can defend themselves and their possessions against aggression.

Property right is an inalienable right. Inalienable means that it is part of being a live person and cannot be taken away. It is a God given or natural right. No government has the authority to grant or retract property rights.

Property right does not mean that a person can do whatever they want without respect or consideration for the property rights of others. If a person could choose to assault another and that was acceptable, then property rights would have no value. Property rights can only be useful when most everyone avoids violating the property rights of other people. In a free and just society with property rights, when a person’s property right is violated, the violator loses their property right to the extent that they must compensate for or make whole the property that they violated.

Most people in Canada have experience with property rights. Most Canadians do not fear that they are going to be assaulted or have their possessions stolen. They have been taught as they grew up to respect property rights and that it is wrong to harm others or to steal their things. This is the basis of the freedom we enjoy in Canada. This freedom is the result of how Canadians treat each other. The police can help with those who violate property rights, but there would not be enough police in a society that doesn’t recognize property rights. When the culture of a country does not teach and abide by property rights, the police will be as corrupt as everyone else. Governments cannot coerce people to be free. Freedom and the associated prosperity is the result of a people with a culture of property rights.

Job “Creation”
| 5 August 2013 | 16:50 | Economics, Politics | No comments

In a recent letter to the editor, Leon Benoit, MP Vegreville-Wainwright, was disputing comments about the job situation. Mr. Benoit used the phrase “job creation” several times as in “We’re proud to announce the creation of 36,000 jobs for Canadian youth through the program”. I would like to invite Mr. Benoit to return to his Reform Party principles of small government. The truth and reality regarding jobs and government is that governments destroy jobs. Any money that a government puts into jobs came from the private sector along with more money to run through a wasteful, inefficient bureaucracy. Taxation destroys more jobs than governments can try to replace. Governments cannot compete with the private sector in job creation.