Female? Give libertarian a try.

Author’s note: I am a man and make no claims I fully understand women’s issues or what it is like to be a woman in America. However, I do understand liberty, equal rights, and the concept of gender egalitarianism through private action.

Abortion. Birth control. Equal pay. Prostitution. Sexual violence. Today, these are common issues discussed when it comes to the popular phrase of “women’s issues” in the United States. It is commonly assumed that ‘the left’ wants to make women equal and ‘the right’ wants to keep women where they are at – at best.  This has led to an explosion of Democrat Party popularity among many females since before I was born. While some women still vote Republican – they either do it out of religious reasons, the belief that fiscal freedom is more important than social freedom, or a myriad of other reasons, I want to speak to the women who feel their social freedom is very important to them.

Democrat politicians will tell women that voting Democrat is in their best interest. But, is it really? Let’s examine several issues and consider the evidence more closely to prove that voting for more government is truly the best way to promote women’s equality in our society.

Abortion. It is a libertarian ideal that all women have the right to choose – whenever, however, regardless. Why?  Democrats claim “it’s safe”, but a libertarian believes that it is your own body, and who is the government – or anyone else – to tell you what you should do with it? A libertarian’s primary concern is freedom – your freedom, my freedom and everybody’s freedom.  Your body is your own, end of story. A democrat will impose rules upon your abortions, even if they are relaxed rules – but a libertarian will not. If you value your right to choose – you should consider the libertarian philosophy.

Birth control. On this, libertarians win the freedom battle, hands down. Why? Both libertarians and democrats support birth control (including Plan B), but libertarians take it a step further.  Libertarians would like to remove restrictions on oral contraceptive (the pill).  This would save millions of dollars for millions of women and make it more affordable than ever before. Again, it is your body, why do you have to see a doctor for refilling a prescription again and again? Especially when the statistics for the safety of “the pill” are indisputable.

Equality in the work place. This one is a bit more difficult to address and doing so in a paragraph, when volumes of research exist on the subject (some conflicting), seems absurd. That being said, I believe women are becoming acutely intrinsic to our nation’s future as a superpower as more and more businesses embrace technology and highly-skilled positions within an organization. The problem: the complexities that exist with employment and discrimination law encourage businesses to “hedge their bets” before interviewing women for high skill positions. I firmly believe laws that give special standing to individuals in the work place only lead to furthered inequality. The ‘pay gap’ exists due to legitimate reasons beyond just bigotry: chosen profession, more women in lower paying jobs, fewer women with engineering degrees, fewer hours worked, taking time off for children, and the like. Time has a great article on it: http://ideas.time.com/2013/03/07/the-pay-gap-is-not-as-bad-as-you-and-sheryl-sandberg-think/

Truthfully, preferential treatment of any kind is wrong and leads to women’s economic disenfranchisement. It was wrong with women, it was wrong with blacks – it is always wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.  If we truly wish to embrace the concept of women’s equality in the work place – we need to start treating them as they are equals, not a special protected class.

Libertarian philosophy demands just that: no employment coercion of any kind. When you make it to a prestigious university or get that dream job, no one can tell you it’s due to ‘the system’ giving it to you. You earned it, regardless of the challenges present, and that is how we must begin treating women: as a person worthy of respect and an individual who does not need a patronizing parent to ‘protect’ and treat women as a protected class? Do away with the patriarchal society telling you what you should and should not do: be your own person and let’s start treating each other with respect – that’s the beauty of liberty.

Prostitution.  Prostitution in most places is illegal, and therefore, operated by criminals, pimps, and fueled by human trafficking that entraps women into a life of slavery outside our lawful society. These dark holes that trap these women are dangerous lifestyle – but we can change that. Legalize prostitution. If it is no longer a crime to be a prostitute, it will make pimps and human traffickers obsolete over-night. Now, sex can be bought and sold on an open market with government regulation of the industry. When a prostitute is raped, she can now go to the police without fear of being charged with a crime. If you believe your body is your right and no one else’s, advocate for the legalization of prostitution even if it is something you personally oppose.  Free women (and men, as well) can do with their bodies as they please – is a basic right and one that isn’t supported by the Republican or Democrat platforms: if you want the right to your body, libertarian is the way to go.

Sexual violence. This one is the worst of all the topics I’m going to address. Rape. It is an ugly, terrible word that denotes a violent and evil crime perpetrated by criminals against people. More often than not, it targets women and women represent the majority of victims making. If you are a woman, understand the police cannot stop rape from happening, nor will any amount of ‘sexual violence walks’ or ad campaigning.

Rape is not committed by misguided male lovers. Rape is a crime of violence and dehumanization, treating the other person as an object, against their will, to satisfy personal lust, or worse, the need to hurt and humiliate someone deeply. Regardless of emotion or intent, the crime is still violent. There is no ‘gentle rape’ or ‘kinda rape’. Rape is rape and these violent criminals must be stopped and persecuted. Women must stop being treated like children after the incident and empowered to seek justice against their assailants. But even more so: we need to empower women to protect themselves.

I’ve heard that women should not fight rape – instead, “go along with the rape”or they will “make it worse”. No. No. NO NO NO! This is absurd and only serves to promote rape culture – fight to the last breath and do everything in your power to resist every step of the way.  Guns give women an advantage against their male assailants.  Unfortunately, many states enforcing strict gun control laws and waiting periods before the lawful purchase of a gun – as if a man who intends on raping his girlfriend will wait until his victim possesses a gun to protect herself.

Want to curb violence against women?  Let’s level the playing field.  Support the right of all women to carry hand guns, tasers, mace, and switch blades.  Did you know that 2/3 of all rapes occur by someone the victim knows? A flick of the wrist from the switch blade in a pocket can make an unwanted assault short-lived, indeed.  If sexual violence against women concerns you, libertarian freedom is the solution.

Vote libertarian for women’s rights; for everyone’s rights.

You might be a Libertarian, if…

Libertarianism is not an exclusive club.  In fact, Libertarians are perhaps the most politically-welcoming group of people left in the United States of America.  The Libertarian philosophy is about giving people the freedom to choose, without exception.  Libertarians do not pick and choose when our freedoms apply.  How much more welcoming can you get?

Even though you may not call yourself a Libertarian, you probably hold very Libertarian beliefs on an increasing number of today’s issues.  As Republicans and Democrats continue their strangle-hold over Washington D.C., you might even find that your Libertarian leanings are strengthening.  As more of our liberties get removed by the long arm of unaccountable politicians, the stronger we need to fight to get them back, and admitting how Libertarian you truly are is a good first step.

How do you know if your belief system has changed enough over the years that you might, just might, be a real flesh-and-blood Libertarian?

  • If you believe that both Republicans and Democrats are equally complicit in the corruption of American government, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you understand that people deserve economic and social freedom at the same time, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you reject the idea that government knows best, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you believe that the rightful owner of a taxpayer’s hard-earned money is the person who earned it, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you believe any two consenting adults deserve to be treated equally under the law, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you believe the War on Drugs has not only enhanced the availability of extremely dangerous drugs, but has also resulted in expensive and wasteful incarcerations of non-violent offenders of “crime”, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you believe that our military has been exploited and used by our own government in questionable wars and “humanitarian” missions, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you have ever cursed and thrown objects against the wall trying to figure out your taxes, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you believe that April 15th (tax day) needs to be recognized as a day of mourning, you might be a Libertarian.

If you believe in true freedom and liberty for every man, woman and child in America, you are a Libertarian.

Ron Paul: We need a free market in education

In addition to shredding civil liberties, launching a utopian global war for democracy, and going on a spending spree that would make LBJ blush, the so-called “conservative” Bush administration dramatically increased federal control over education via the “No Child Left Behind” act. During my time in Congress I heard nothing but complaints about this law from teachers, administrators, and, most importantly, students and parents. Most of the complaints concerned No Child Left Behind’s testing requirements, which encouraged educators to “teach to the test.”

Sadly, but not surprisingly, instead of improving education by repealing No Child Left Behind’s testing and other mandates, the Obama administration is increasing national control over schools via the “Common Core” initiative. Common Core is a new curriculum developed by a panel of so-called education experts. The administration is trying to turn Common Core into a national curriculum by offering states increased federal education funding if they impose Common Core’s curriculum on their public schools. This is yet another example of the government using money stolen from the people to bribe states into obeying federal dictates.

Critics of Common Core say it “dumbs down” education by replacing traditional English literature with “informational texts”. So students will read such inspiring materials as studies by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the EPA’s “Recommended Levels of Insulation,” and “Invasive Plant Inventory” by California’s Invasive Plant Council. It is doubtful that reading federal reports will teach students the habits of critical thinking and skepticism of government that the Founders considered essential to maintaining a free republic.

Like Obamacare, Common Core (now dubbed “ObamaCore” by some) has sparked a backlash in the states, leading some to propose legislation forbidding state participation in the scheme. I hope these efforts lead to states not just opting out of Common Core, but out of No Child Left Behind and all other federal education programs as well.

Parents can also effectively “opt out” of programs like Common Core by seeking alternatives to government education. It is no coincidence that, as federal control over education increases, the quality of public education has declined and more parents have chosen to homeschool.

To support these parents, I have established my own homeschool curriculum. Unlike Common Core, we do not dumb down any of our offerings. Instead, the goal is to provide students with a rigorous education in history, math, English, foreign languages, and other core subjects necessary to a well-rounded education. Unlike the top-down model of nationalized education, the homeschool curriculum is deigned to encourage maximum input from parents and students. While the curriculum will reflect my belief, and interest, in Austrian economics, libertarian political theory, and the history of the struggle against state power, the curriculum is being carefully designed to not show bias toward any one religion. I hope all parents of any faith—or no religious beliefs at all—will feel comfortable using the curriculum.

I believe it is important for those of us concerned with education and liberty to fight our battles locally. We must oppose further encroachment on the autonomy of local public schools and work to roll-back existing interference, while encouraging and supporting the growth of homeschooling and other alternative education movements. The key to restoring quality education is to replace the bureaucratic control of education with a free market in education. Parents should have the freedom to select the type of education that best suits their child’s unique needs.

2012 brings big debt and fewer liberties to Americans

rules_1668_1668The year 2012 saw tremendous encroachments into the freedoms and liberties of the American people, and few of our Congressional representatives stood in the way of such abuses of power.  From taxing internet purchases to allowing the government to throw people in jail based on “secret” evidence of terrorism, this year marks another elimination of freedoms and liberties in the United States.

A couple things did increase, though: our national debt and the number of well-paid federal government workers.

The NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) not only gave the government the authority to continue expensive and never-ending wars overseas, but it also gives Washington far reaching powers to imprison American citizens for the mere suspicion of terrorism.

“This bill takes away [the right to a trial] and says that if someone thinks you’re dangerous, we will hold you without a trial. It’s an abomination,” remarked Kentucky Senator Rand Paul who argued fiercely against the inclusion of the indefinite detention provision within the NDAA.  Paul cited Japanese internment camps as historical evidence that government cannot be trusted with powers that rely on behind-closed-doors “secret” evidence against the American people.

The United States’ punitive system of taxation is forcing companies to funnel millions of dollars to overseas bank accounts.  Facebook, in fact, has funneled nearly a half billion to Cayman Island banks.  The U.S. government’s continued insistence to punish success in the United States has once again prompted companies in 2012 to take their financial business elsewhere.

At the state level, an estimated 225,000 wealthy residents have fled California to escape its tax structure.  This year, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown successfully pushed through tax increases that make Californians the highest taxed citizens in the country as the state’s deficits skyrocket to nearly $30 billion.  Taxing the rich never works, and as reported on the Small Government Times before, ends up sending your wealthier taxpayers running for the hills.

How about that U.S. Postal Service?  This year marked the first year that the government distribution service defaulted as the organization continues to leak money.  Daily, the Postal Service is losing about $25 million.  The financial hemorrhaging is preventing the service from paying current and future retiree benefits, roughly $5.5 billion in 2011 and 2012.

The number of federal workers, along with their salaries, have seen dramatic increases in the last several years.  According to public record, over 500,000 federal government workers earn more than $100,000 a year (an increase of 10% since 2006) and average nearly twice the private sector in annual salaries.  In fact, 77,000 federal workers make more than state governors.  Despite economic uncertainty for the majority of the American people, more than half of those in Congress are millionaires.  Several calculate their wealth easily in the hundreds of millions.

More than 40,000 state laws took effect this year, ranging from a higher minimum wage for several states, fining bus and truck drivers for talking on their cell phones while driving and a variety of regulations on concussions suffered while playing sports.  Some states made it a requirement that larger businesses use the E-Verify system to confirm the legality of its workers.  California gave illegals brought to the United States as infants access to the same statewide scholarships that legal students enjoy.  Other states are requiring school and city coaches to bench younger players when they are believed to have suffered a concussion.  Seat belts laws, inclusion of gay and lesbian studies in school curriculum and requiring state licensing to perform abortions all helped to increase the number of laws and regulations offered in this country.

The U.S.’s national debt has skyrocketed passed $16 trillion, an increase of a whopping $5 trillion since Barack Obama took office.

Elections have consequences, ladies and gentlemen.  Stay vigilant.