portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts global

corporate dominance | government

Three Things That Make Libertarian Heads Explode

The inequality problem, the public goods problem and the regulation problem make libertarian heads explode.
to read the article by Lynn Stuart Parramore published on www.alternet.orgMarch 10, 2014. click on


Libertarians are proponents of a philosophy that embraces free-market ideology, limited government, and a certain form of individual liberty. They would like to take the government and drown it in the proverbial bathtub. Unfortunately, libertarians tend to ride on theoretical unicorns that don't take them too far in the real world.

Next time you find yourself in the company of one of these quizzical beings, try bringing up one of the following topics and watch them start galloping off in 10 directions at once.

1. The inequality problem: Why do some people end up with most of the toys? The fact that in a capitalist system, money seems to flow into the hands of the few is a source of big headaches for many libertarians, though not all—some seem to regard any market outcome as the hand of God herself.

Irrefutably, America's income distribution has become ridiculous, ranked #4 in the world [3] out of 141 countries for inequality, behind Russia, Ukraine and Lebanon, and this rattles many libertarians.

Libertarians usually start by insisting that how much money you have boils down to the choices you make as an individual. Bad, stupid choices = poverty. Good, smart choices = wealth (those clever Russian oligarchs!).

homepage: homepage: http://www.freembtranslations.net
address: address: http://www.alternativetrademandate.org

" fact that in a capitalist system " 16.Mar.2014 19:18

it __ISN'T__ 'capitalist'

We are in a Multinational CORPORATIST


(as evidenced for example by TPP, etc.)

and actually ____in the USA____ itself, we are far closer to FASCISM (merger of government and corporate) than anything else; as well, the Elites who essentially control and run this system are Plutocrats.

so some sort (?) of Corporate Capitalo-Fascist Plutocracy is more precise,

in describing the present day USA system of wash-each-other's-hands economics and government.

See also for example :

- 2008 bank bailouts

- ACA (aka "Obamacare") = gravy train for Wall Street Big Insurance

- December 23, 1913 Federal Reserve Act
(fiat money system implemented; this has a corrosive top-down effect on __ALL__ economic exchange-interactions, and was ABSOLUTELY __NOT__ accounted for by the Marx-Engels analyses of economics)

but 'pure' and as-described/defined-by-19th-Century-Marx-and-Engels "capitalism" simply no longer exists.

Your argument is therefore inadequate, outdated and invalid.

Libertarians & Free Markets 26.Mar.2014 17:49

A Social Libertarian

1) Just as there are a wide variety of Republicans and Democrats, so too for Libertarians. As a former Green and Democrat, I've found that the "Market is God" Libertarians are actually a small minority.

2) The wealth inequality comes down to one thing: Libertarians believe it is the role of government to maintain a level playing field so that competition may enter and exit the market. Libertarians also believe that this does not apply to all markets. Few libertarians believe in privatizing things like public infrastructure, because you're basically giving away a monopoly.

I would counter this post by asking, "Where were Dems and various liberals when it came to Clinton allowing bank consolidations in the 90s, or Bush allowing big oil companies to merge in the 00s?" Monopolies and oligopolies are not free markets. Libertarians would also argue that the big banks like B of A should have been allowed to fail several years ago when their predatory lending and risky investments backfired on them. The system wouldn't have collapsed, it would have done exactly what it was supposed to do. Average folk would have got their FDIC insured deposits back and new banks would have started again. Instead we made the problem worse by bailing them out. There you had Dem Pelosi right along with Rep Bush leading the charge for corporate welfare. That is exactly the opposite of what Libertarians believe.