google-site-verification: google2cfa6877cbf464e2.html The Grand Theory of Libertarianism: 2016

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Sympathy for Monsanto?

President Obama will soon be signing a law that will place fewer restrictions for labeling genetically modified organisms.  In an article on it is pointed out how this legislation favours Monsanto a large producer of GMO's.  The article also gives a brief history of the close relationship between Monsanto and the U.S. Government.  The main gist of the article is that it is wrong for the U.S. government to interfere with the labeling requirements set by individual States such as Vermont.

A Libertarian analysis would be quick to point out that it is wrong for any company to use state power to accomplish what they cannot achieve peacefully in the market place.

Behind every tax and regulation is the threat of force.  Fines, imprisonment, or death (if you decide to resist).  Now if a company like Monsanto enters the market and wants to sell products made with GMO's, I think they should be allowed to do so.  It is not the responsibility of the government to protect us from harm.  And just as individuals should not be subject to coercion, neither should companies.

I can hear the objections already, the non-aggression principle states that no-one is allowed to initiate force against another and GMO's are known to be harmful.  But I would reply, then do not buy them.  No one is forcing you to purchase products with GMO's.

The market is fully capable of weeding out bad actors without the help of government.  If a company does not list their products as containing GMO's, then it is likely that they do.  It is a market advantage for a company to voluntarily list their products as non-GMO and people who are concerned can go ahead make their choices based on the presence or absence of a label.

Neither do we need the government to police products as being certified organic or non-GMO.  Third party agencies can easily do this job.  Companies who are not transparent or who break faith with their customers will summarily be judged in the market.  With the availability and instant nature of communication in the modern era, it just makes sense to be up front with your customers.

Our focus should be on breaking the relationship between government and business so that we can punish or reward bad actors directly by withholding our dollars or exchanging them for good products.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Captain Trump

When evaluating Donald Trump it is necessary to look at the current state of the two-party system over the last 20 or so years.  What we have seen is endless wars, record debts and deficits and record levels of cynicism towards politicians due to constant lying and general sense that the economy is getting worse not better.  Political correctness has become stifling and amounts to thought control when people are hectored and badgered as racists and bigots simply for holding dissenting opinion.

Into this milieu we see the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.  Sanders who gave Hillary a good scare in the primaries was seen as an anti-establishment candidate as is Trump on the Republican side.  The thing Libertarians can appreciate about Trump in all this is that he has shaken up a rotten party structure intent on giving us more of the same.  If we never see another war-loving, fiscally conservative (while in practice not being able to say "no" to any new spending) neo-con from the RNC, then the Donald will have done us a great service.

On the negative side, while NAFTA does have a lot of problems, our trade set up could become much worse if we go back to a system of tariffs and trade wars.  What we need is real free trade where the government steps back completely and does not interfere with my dealing with customers and suppliers from other countries.

With regards to war, he has been not as bad as most of the Republican candidates who he demolished, or Hillary the despicable who has so far proven to be above law and did a great job of destabilizing Libya and Syria thereby making the war on terror much worse.

Trump is no Libertarian but he seems to be part of the turning of a massive ship away from the destructive path the Democrats and Republicans have been on for decades.  If we don't do a complete 180 degree turn the Donald's approach will have some good and bad but ultimately may not be able to save from another economic crisis which has been brewing since the 2008.   All the screwy attempts of fighting debt with more debt are doomed to fail.  He represents a 45 or 90 degree turn but we need more.  There are rocks and ice bergs in those directions just a little further off.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Census, Freedom, And More....

In an article today comparing the former Harper government to Justin Trudeau and his Liberals after 100 days in office Michael Den Tandt gives a short list of things the Liberals are doing better.

Not to mention the beginnings of a new law on assisted death, as the Supreme Court has required; restoring the long-form census, the abolition of which was idiotic and misguided from the start; un-gagging federal scientists, public servants and diplomats, whose silencing during the Harper years was outrageous and un-democratic; gender parity in cabinet, which was long overdue, and re-starting federal-provincial relationships that had rotted on the vine for a decade.

I am going to give a quick Libertarian view of each of these points.  Initially I was only going to talk about the census but instead I will foolishly wade into the other points as well.

  1. Assisted Death.  This is a nice anti-septic term for assisted suicide or euthanasia.  While I have not heard or read many libertarians on this issue, I think that this would simply be left up to the individual and their doctor.  The state would have no business interfering in these matters one way or another.  Personally I am not against the idea if all avenues have been attempted to keep a person alive and if they are only being sustained unnaturally.  I think that Libertarianism as a political philosophy comes up short here.  Taking of one's own life cannot be contemplated properly unless it is first seen as sacred.  
  2. The Long-Form Census.  Why does the government need this information?  I only want to give out my information freely to private companies and individuals with whom I am doing business.  While the government may want to use this data to provide better services it can also be used for nefarious purposes.
  3. Un-Gagging Federal Scientists.  Yes they never should have been gagged but then the government doesn't need scientists.  R&D is best left to the private sector.
  4. Gender Parity.  Are we not past this?  If I were a woman I would be insulted if I was given a position just because I was a woman.  Merit is the only reason to give a position to anyone.  Period.
  5. Federal-Provincial Relations.  This can be good or bad.  Bad if provinces try to suck more money out of the Federal government.  Good if the Federal Government gives more independence to the provinces.  Decentralization is better if we are moving closer to the end goal of individual liberty where I am not forced by any majority or minority to do or pay when I have not given my consent.