Let’s be clear – I don’t expect everyone to be a Libertarian. Just because so many of our founding fathers exhibited Libertarian principles that many of us continue to fight for today, I still do not expect everyone to climb on-board the solution-wagon and ride away into the sunset. But, I would at least hope that those who oppose Libertarianism would do the rest of us a favor and actually understand it before criticizing it.
An article published in the “Liberal” section over on NolanChart.com explains to us what the “problem” with Libertarianism is. Specifically, where it fails. Okay, not every political philosophy is perfect, so it seems reasonable that there are problems with Libertarianism. I read on.
Typically, articles that attempt to prove the failures of Libertarianism actually wind up proving how little the author knows of it – and this one was no exception. Unfortunately, the author’s amazing ignorance of the freedom-loving movement in general is quite common.
The author essentially gives us four scenarios in which Libertarianism fails. Let’s address each one in turn:
“Live where you want? Fine, but what happens when the idiot next door decides to populate his own yard with old cars and there’s no town ordinance to deal with it?”
Why do you need government to protect you against your neighbor’s cars? Why is it your business what your neighbor is doing? If you don’t like the number of cars in your neighbor’s yard, move into a community with a Homeowner’s Association to control such devious activity. Exercise your freedom to move by, well, moving.
“I shouldn’t have to move,” you might say. Actually, yes – you should have to move because the government is not here to control your neighbors or enforce your will onto other people. That isn’t freedom. You sound like one of those people who calls 9-1-1 whenever the cable goes out.
“Get really sick? Cancer even? Do you want the person in the next hospital bed be allowed to smoke?”
Surely you jest! Inquiring minds want to know – what hospital in their right mind would allow smoking in rooms with sick patients? You do not need government to tell hospitals not to allow patients to smoke inside. A privately-owned hospital would surely include basic policies that anyone with even a modicum of common sense could figure out.
Any hospital that would allow patients to smoke indoors would not be around very long – it would quickly go out of business. That is how the free market works.
“Driving with your family? How do you feel about sharing a road with cars and trucks that have never undergone mandatory brake inspections?”
How do you feel about sharing the road with drivers who are much more concerned about the text message that they need to send, or the phone conversation that they need to have? Please, brake inspections are the least of our worries. Governments cannot regulate away bad behavior, just like they cannot regulate product safety. They try, but they can’t.
Do you have any idea how many people DIE every year from FDA-approved drugs? We’re talking in the neighborhood of hundreds of thousands (source: American Medical Association). It is laughable to assume that government-run inspections of any kind improves safety one iota. The facts simply do not prove such a lofty presumption. When brakes fail, companies go out of business. Again, free market at work.
“Speaking of those roads, which you want to be privately built, would you mind paying a toll every few miles?”
Libertarians prefer to see a little return on their hard-earned dollar. There are 40,000 accidents on government roads every year, built by those whom most of us wouldn’t trust to be alone with our kids for a day – much less planning high-traffic’ed roadways that so many of us use every day of our lives. How many government bureaucrats do you think lose their jobs whenever an accident happens? Let’s say YOU swerve to avoid a pothole in the road and end up side-swiping another car. Think a bureaucrat loses their job because of poor road maintenance? Yeah, right – think again.
The magic of the free market is a much more powerful incentive towards producing quality, well-maintained roadways that are safe for drivers. How much money is YOUR safety worth to you anyway? Are a bunch of government-built pothole-ridden roads worth another accident? Worse, we all pay mightily for it.
The fact is many private road builders are designing incredibly sophisticated road systems throughout the world. Paris, for example, offers a two-level underground highway system with cameras that monitor traffic control. Accidents are automatically detected within 10 seconds and cleared from the roadways. All privately built. It’s called innovation, and it does not come from government. That’s a fact.
But, facts have no place in the mind of many hardened anti-liberty activists in the United States. They assume a one-to-one connection between government and common sense. Without government, they assume hospitals would allow smoking next to an asthma patient. They assume cars would simply run off the road and burst into flames without government. They assume the free market (you and me) would simply accept cars that don’t stop, foods that are infected with disease (oops! Some foods are), prescription drugs that routinely kill (oops! They already do), apartment buildings ridden with asbestos (oops! Many already are).
How dumb do these people think we are?