OMT One Man's Trash...from Norman Leahy

Monday, March 06, 2006 :::

Consequential Libertarian

One the topics that came up repeatedly at the first Sorensen session was what side of the political fence I called home. For lack of a more descriptive term, I chose (and choose) libertarian. But the ill-defined nature of the term only brings up more, I'm not one of those anarcho-libertarians who believes taxation is theft (not anymore, at least). Nor am I one of those non-interventionist libertarians who tend to believe American interests begin and end at the water's edge.

So what am I?

Well, Jon Henke has a post in which he links to a new blog called The Case for Small Government, written by Jeffrey Miron. In his introductory post, Miron says:

By libertarian, I mean consequential libertarian, not philosophical libertarian. Thus, my arguments are based on assessments of costs and benefits, not on assertions about rights. My claim is that most government policies do more harm than good, even when the policies have good intentions and even when private arrangements work imperfectly.

He also adds his three main themes:

The first is that consequential libertarianism is consistent in its approach to the issues. Modern liberalism and conservatism are not.

The second theme is that both liberals and conservatives advocate massive amounts of government intervention. The two perspectives disagree about precise policy choices, but overall they are far more similar than different. The libertarian perspective, however, is truly distinct from either mainstream view.

The third theme is that most economic and social problems are best addressed by eliminating the government interventions that caused or exacerbated the problem in the first place. Creating even more government is never a sensible approach.

Now we're getting somewhere. This will be a blog I'll follow closely.

::: posted by Norman Leahy at 3/06/2006 5 comments


"You know what the fellow said: In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they also produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love -- they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." -- Orson Welles, The Third Man

"The graveyards are full of indespensable men" -- Charles de Gaulle

"Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favor? Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys. Nature started the fight for survival and now she wants to quit because she's losing. Well I say, hard cheese!" -- Montgomery Burns

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