I Fundamentally Don’t Understand Libertarianism

You would think that private companies choosing to not employ smokers would be a non-issue to libertarians. The only comment I expected to see was basically “It’s a private company, they should be allowed to pick who they hire.” I was wrong:

In any case, these objections, however sincere, strike me as fundamentally misplaced. Employers may well have sound financial reasons for declining to hire smokers. Although smokers seem to have lower lifetime medical expenses than nonsmokers do because they tend to die sooner, they may be more costly to insure during their working careers and more likely to take sick days. In addition, medical businesses such as hospitals may see modeling healthy behavior as part of their missions and therefore may want to avoid hiring nurses or orderlies who smoke. Whatever their reasons, they should be free to apply the criteria they consider appropriate; freedom of contract means people should not be forced to hire smokers, any more than they should be forced to hire nonsmokers.

The real slippery slope threat comes not from increasingly nosy employers but from an increasingly intrusive government that considers promoting “public health” part of its mission and interprets that concept broadly enough to encompass everything people do that might increase their own risk of disease or injury. That totalitarian tendency is reinforced by the government’s ever-expanding role in health care, which transforms a moralistic, pseudo-medical argument into a fiscal imperative by giving every taxpayer a stake in his neighbor’s lifestyle. A smoker or fat guy turned away by one employer can always look for work elsewhere, but citizens subject to the state’s coercive health-oriented interventions cannot easily pick a different government.

To understand the essence of libertarianism, you have to be able to see what you consider and by your own admission is a non-existent issue (private companies deciding to not hire smokers) to some unrelated slippery slope argument about neighborhood vigilantes picking on fat neighbors who smoke because the “totalitarian” government has given them a financial incentive.

*** Update ***

I denounce Stalin and the broccoli mandate.






158 replies
  1. 1
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Why are you trying to bait the great minds of libertarian thought with your petty juvenile bullshit? I’ve already given this post a far more reasonable response than it deserves.

    /League of Ordinary Gentlemen

  2. 2
    slag says:

    Who needs a totalitarian government giving them financial incentives to pick on smokers? I will happily pick on smokers free of charge.

    Step up, smokers, for a good on-picking! I’m here for you.

  3. 3
    Calouste says:

    If you stop assuming that libertarians are honest in their arguments and instead work out that they start from the conclusion and work back from there, you’ll start to understand them. And the conclusion they start from is always IGMFY.

  4. 4
    Krypik says:

    But remember, the Civil Rights Act isn’t really necessary, and thus private companies should be able to disregard applicants and employees by their skin color, since the free market and society would punish them properly for such racism by lack of business.

    But we can’t have companies discriminating against smokers. That would be soshulism and that’s bad.

  5. 5
    Dave says:

    So…an employer telling me what to and not to do, even in my private time, even if it affects no one but me, is freedom. But the government providing a basic level of care for all Americans in order to lower health care costs, improve health and lower the deficit, with the added bonus of freeing me from being tied to an employer for health care so I can pursue a job that best suits my talents…that’s tyranny.

    I’ve decided that libertarians are pretty fucking stupid.

  6. 6
    Redshift says:

    It’s particularly idiotic because of the willful blindness of libertarians to infringement on “freedoms” by any force other than government. If the “slippery slope” argument had any validity, decades of employer-based group health insurance have already given “every taxpayer a stake in his neighbor’s lifestyle.”

    It also highlights their thorough ignorance of economics and human behavior. People who mock calls for energy-efficient light bulbs or correct tire pressure nonetheless believe that people will pressure their neighbors to stop smoking because it will obviously have an effect on their insurance rates.

  7. 7
    inkadu says:

    I too do not understand.

    The real slippery slope threat comes not from increasingly nosy employers but from an increasingly intrusive government that considers promoting “public health” part of its mission and interprets that concept broadly enough to encompass everything people do that might increase their own risk of disease or injury.

    I wonder how libertarians think we’re supposed to define “public health.”

  8. 8
    Kryptik says:

    But remember, the Civil Rights Act isn’t really necessary, and thus private companies should be able to disregard applicants and employees by their skin color, as the free market and society would punish them properly for such racism by lack of business.

    But we can’t have companies discriminating against smokers. That would be soshulism and that’s bad.

  9. 9
    JC says:

    Well, companies shouldn’t discriminate against smokers. That ban should be illegal.

  10. 10
    JPL says:

    Don’t we have a resident libertarian to answer all these questions? Where’s Kain?

  11. 11
    Zifnab says:

    A smoker or fat guy turned away by one employer can always look for work elsewhere, but citizens subject to the state’s coercive health-oriented interventions cannot easily pick a different government.

    What this is really boiling down to is private health insurance companies versus public health insurance companies. If a private company turns away a smoker, the smoker can “always die sooner go smoke somewhere else”. But a public insurance company – particularly one mandated to accept all applicants – can’t just shoe away the smoker. The public health insurance company has to accept the smoker. That raises the rates of all the non-smokers.

    If the public health insurance company attempts to control costs by discouraging smokers through social pressure, then the public health insurance company has devolved into tyranny.

    This is why private enterprise is best. People are allowed to make mistakes and die, rather than being discouraged from making mistakes by an at-large public that has a stake in seeing the community healthy as a whole.

  12. 12
    Bulworth says:

    Wait a minute, what’s my stake in my neighbor’s lifestyle?

  13. 13
    suzanne says:

    I must giggle at their use of scare quotes around the term “public health”. What do they think germs only move from one host to another when contracted by a private infection company?

    I would fart in their general direction, but given the topic at hand, I think it would be funnier to go cough and sneeze on their doorknobs.

  14. 14
    matt says:

    That’s because Libertarianism is really just about giving strained, preposterous, pretentious, philosophy-student justifications for traditional conservative viewpoints, not about having an actual philosophy or belief system that has anything to do with the real world. And everyone knows liberals are oppressing smokers.

  15. 15
    Jager says:

    Friend of mine: I really like that Libertarian Ron Paul.
    Me: He isn’t a Libertarian
    Friend: What? He is too!
    Me: Nope, he is anti-abortion.
    Friend: What’s that got to do with it?
    Me: Think about it, you asshole.

  16. 16
    evinfuilt says:

    @Kryptik:
    Don’t you mean “white people smoke”.

    Really, thats what that comes down to. It’s okay for private companies to not hire black people, but not okay for them to not hire fat smoking white folks..

  17. 17
    Turgidson says:

    Sweet merciful crap. Is there any rock in the entire universe these clowns can’t find a government conspiracy under? Jeeeeezus.

    Private company choosing not to hire smokers —-> totalitarianism? Wow. Also, too.

  18. 18
    Morbo says:

    Yes, and it should be up to states to decide whether businesses should be allowed to discriminate against people based on their skin color, not the federal government. That thought and the sentiment in the OP are not contradictory in the least, and you’re uncivil if you claim otherwise.

  19. 19
    matoko_chan says:

    To understand the essence of libertarianism,

    you just haz to follow the cash.
    Big Tobacco is part of Clann Bankstah, thus worthy of glibertarian support, and undying love.
    fapfapfap markets!

  20. 20
    Silver Owl says:

    hehehe let’s see if we can’t get more companies to not hire people not breaking any laws.

    Anyone that eats canned foods, sodium is far too high, no jobs for you!

    Anyone that drinks any kind of alcohol, damages the liver, no jobs for you! Beef eater, red meat is too high in fat, no jobs for you!

    In fact about the only people safe to hire would be non-drinking Vegans.

  21. 21
    inkadu says:

    @JC: We were told at my work that our health insurance costs were the highest of any in the agency because of smokers. This was said in the context of several cuts that had to take place to stay solvent. Take home: blame the smokers for your insurance rate increases.

  22. 22
    p.a. says:

    time for this classic again

  23. 23
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    When the fascists fired the pot smokers, I remained silent; I was not a pot smoker. When they refused to hire the tobacco smokers, I remained silent; I was not a tobacco smoker. When they discriminated against overweight people; I did not speak out; I am not fat. When they blackballed the alcohol drinkers, I remained silent; I do not drink alcohol. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

  24. 24
    SteveinSC says:

    The only society it seems to me in which liberterianism can work is a society of one. Any organized society of more than one with pure freedom is an oxymoron. Someone is always imposing on someone else for something. It is the nature of “society” in which we agree to live by a set of rules abridging more or less of our freedom so that we can, well, have a society. Otherwise it’s just a cage full of monkeys.

  25. 25
    El Cid says:

    Smoking for the right in general is a symbol of liberal-defying, pansy-insulting in-your-face defiance.

    It’s not just about freedom in general.

  26. 26
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    Libertarianism 101.
    Money = incentive
    Incentive (good or bad) = freedom restriction
    Government is involved in Money through policy (tax/credits/fines)
    Therefore, any government policy is a loss of freedom.

  27. 27
    Brachiator says:

    So let’s see. On the one hand, we have

    The Times concedes there are “no reliable data on how many businesses have adopted such policies,” so the evidence of a trend is thin.

    And on the other hand, we have,

    Reinforcing Maltby’s slippery slope argument, the head of the Cleveland Clinic, which pioneered the “no smokers need apply” trend (assuming it really is a trend!)

    Libertarians may want to indulge in the intellectual masturbation of outrage sparked by hypothetical arguments, but it is a waste of everybody else’s time.

    I do note other posters’ point that these goons indulge in speculative arguments about hypothetical discrimination but are blind to real discrimination against real people in the real world.

    And so it goes.

  28. 28
    elm says:

    I hope they’ll fight for my freedom to get so drunk that I forget I ever read that abomination.

  29. 29
    rickstersherpa says:

    The Tea Party, so-called Libertarian majority in the Montana State Legislature is voting to repeal a Voter approved referendum that allowed medical marijuana. Apparently, they prefer the illegal black market trade like they have with the cowboy meth labs. http://billingsgazette.com/new.....75dab.html

    “It’s time to take back the state and its culture,” (Rep. Milburn) said.

    Apparently, there was to much Freedom and not enough Government for the Tea Partiers when it comes to the Weed.

  30. 30
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @El Cid: I would encourage those brave anti-establishment types on the right to smoke as often as possible, because it REALLY pisses us liberals off when they do that. Especially smoking unfiltered cigarettes. We can’t fucking stand it when they do that. And when they’re not smoking, they should be chewing tobacco. Anything involving their consumption of tobacco drives us up a fucking wall.

  31. 31
    Turgidson says:

    Oh, oh, I almost forgot:

    I denounce Stalin!

  32. 32
    cleek says:

    @Brachiator:

    Libertarians may want to indulge in the intellectual masturbation of outrage sparked by hypothetical arguments

    it would be odd to find people who don’t enjoy intellectual masturbation subscribing to an implausible and largely theoretical political philosophy.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    Chris says:

    @Dave:

    So…an employer telling me what to and not to do, even in my private time, even if it affects no one but me, is freedom. But the government providing a basic level of care for all Americans in order to lower health care costs, improve health and lower the deficit, with the added bonus of freeing me from being tied to an employer for health care so I can pursue a job that best suits my talents…that’s tyranny.

    Libertarianism largely only cares about the freedom of amorphous, impersonal entities. The “freedom” of states to own slaves is sacred, as is the “freedom” of businesses to treat their workers like shit.

    The one thing they don’t give a rip about is personal freedom, e.g. the slave’s right not to be enslaved and the worker’s right not to be oppressed.

  35. 35
    jpe says:

    Reason’s argument seems to be: as a private company they can hire or not hire whomever they want, but they’re jagoffs for not hiring smokers.

    I don’t see how that’s self-contradictory.

  36. 36
    aimai says:

    @inkadu:

    My sister in law, who works for a small private college, was told that the reason the health care rates were so high was because “everyone at the college is very well educated and goes and sees the doctor when necessary.”

    aimai

  37. 37

    @Dave: Well, it’s well known that Libertarianism Makes You Stupid. After quoting the Libertarian Party’s platform (“we oppose any government attempts to regulate private discrimination, including choices and preferences, in employment, housing, and privately owned businesses. The right to trade includes the right not to trade — for any reasons whatsoever; the right of association includes the right not to associate, for exercise of the right depends upon mutual consent.”), the author points out:

    That’s “rights” according to Libertarianism. Whites-only lunch counters, “No Jews or dogs” hotels, “we don’t serve your kind here”, “No Irish need apply”, “This is man’s job”, etc. All this is a “right of association” in Libertarian theology.

  38. 38
    eemom says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    meh, I can live with the tobacco use — but I can’t freaking STAND it when wingnuts inhale raw asbestos just because Big Ass Nanny State told them not to.

  39. 39
    Guster says:

    @aimai: I was told the reason my heath insurance rates are so high is because.

  40. 40
    gnomedad says:

    @suzanne:

    I must giggle at their use of scare quotes around the term “public health”. What do they think germs only move from one host to another when contracted by a private infection company?

    LOL, excellent!

    I think I’ve realized something. Most libertarians would allow in principle that a government can recapture external costs (the classic being pollution) via taxes or regulation, but when the rubber meets the road there’s never enough evidence to make a case for it. So, yeah, there’s such a thing as public health, but not really.

  41. 41
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    @jpe: You missed the second paragraph apparently. The one where it’s not the buisnesses fault for not hiring smokers, it’s the gubmint’s fault because they create an atmosphere of pseudo-science totalitarianism!

  42. 42
    shortstop says:

    @Kryptik: Certainly. Libertarians are approximately 6.5 trillion times more likely to be smokers than to be black. See Calouste for the acronymic version.

  43. 43
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @eemom: You think that’s bad? I swear to FSM I get a migraine every time I hear about some right winger drinking untreated water in defiance of our Glorious Almighty Leaders. It drives me insane!

  44. 44
    redoubt says:

    we oppose any government attempts to regulate private discrimination, including choices and preferences, in employment, housing, and privately owned businesses.

    Because discrimination will go away of its own accord as not being economically sustainable and other flying unicorns. This is what happens when you live in a world that never heard of Plessy vs. Ferguson.

  45. 45
    ruemara says:

    SATSQ: They’re kinda stupid. Also, I can’t quit broccoli. Stalin, I was never a fan of.

  46. 46
    Erik Vanderhoff says:

    Libertarianism is theology: It starts with taking its conclusion as axiomatic and works from there. You can’t understand it because it’s impossible to refute logically once they do that. You have to step outside of their frame, and then they get to cry foul.

  47. 47
    shortstop says:

    @Chris:

    The one thing they don’t give a rip about is personal freedom, e.g. the slave’s right not to be enslaved and the worker’s right not to be oppressed.

    They care a great deal about personal freedom when they perceive that their own is threatened. Other people’s, not so much.

  48. 48
    brantl says:

    @Bulworth: Your stake in your neighbor’s lifestyle comes when they figure out the average rate for an insurance policy, and either of you is engaged in risky or life-shortening or life-threatening behavior, QED.

  49. 49
    shortstop says:

    @eemom: Ha!

  50. 50
    Elvis Elvisberg says:

    @Redshift:

    It’s particularly idiotic because of the willful blindness of libertarians to infringement on “freedoms” by any force other than government.

    Well, that’s the alpha and the omega of their philosophy, right there: Gubmint bad. So whenever anything happens that provokes negative emotions in them… all roads lead to Gubmint.

    I used to think that libertarianism was an interesting theory, as long as you overlooked the fact that it doesn’t describe how any country, society, organization, or human has ever behaved anywhere ever. But as defended by those paid to do so, I’m not sure it’s quite that useful.

  51. 51
    dollared says:

    Wow. Government has been in the “public health” business since “bring out your dead.”

    Talk about slippery slopes – this slippery slope leads to arguing that vaccination should be privately administered.

    Your freedom ends where my child gets smallpox from your child. (of course, then maybe the argument is that without gun controls, I do have a remedy)(but remedies do not prevent the original harm……)

  52. 52
    pragmatism says:

    mistress ayn said that smoking is symbolic of a fire in the mind and her doofus lackeys thought that smoking was a moral obligation.

  53. 53
    Culture of Truth says:

    @freelancer: LOL

  54. 54
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Government has been in the “public health” business since “bring out your dead.”

    More nanny state soshulism just because some weak government sycophants feared contracting smallpox or plague from the bodies of those who died from them. They lack the inner strength to achieve Libertarian Nerdvana.

  55. 55
    freelancer says:

    @ruemara:

    Oh noes! My office ordered Chinese for lunch, and voluntarily chose the Broccoli Beef!

  56. 56
    Napoleon says:

    Wow. Government has been in the “public health” business since “bring out your dead.”

    . . . and as of 100 and some years ago by installing sewage pipes so you don’t have raw sewage in the swale in the street in front of your flat where germs can breed.

  57. 57
    gnomedad says:

    @Erik Vanderhoff:

    Libertarianism is theology: It starts with taking its conclusion as axiomatic and works from there.

    As I see it, not quite. The axiom is the any voluntary exchange leaves both parties better off than before. As a start, that’s OK. The trouble is stopping there. What’s voluntary? Are the starting conditions fair? What if someone becomes disabled? Etc, etc …

  58. 58
    Martin says:

    @Erik Vanderhoff:

    That’s exactly it. How many times have we seen this:

    A: Gays are bad
    B: Why do you think that?
    [Mad shuffling through some book]
    A: Because if you interpret this interpretation on this page just so, and squint a little, it’s clear that God thought gays were bad.

    That’s libertarianism, but with Atlas Shrugged as the book, and government in place of gays.

  59. 59
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Napoleon:

    . . . and as of 100 and some years ago by installing sewage pipes so you don’t have raw sewage in the swale in the street in front of your flat where germs can breed.

    Bah! The truly self-sufficient Libertarian happily accepts the presence of faeces in his water in order to ensure his basic freedom from government sewage treatment tyranny.

  60. 60
    Napoleon says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    Ah, I see – Turds Against Tyranny.

  61. 61
    gnomedad says:

    I denounce Stalin and the broccoli mandate.

    This would make an excellent tag.

    Stop the Soshulist Snowplows! also, too.

  62. 62

    Good lord, it really is adolescent rebellion, isn’t it? They really think the government is trying to make them clean their rooms and eat their vegetables and sit up straight and they’re just not gonna do it because you’re not the boss of meeeeeeeee!

  63. 63
    Brachiator says:

    @cleek: re: Libertarians may want to indulge in the intellectual masturbation of outrage sparked by hypothetical arguments

    it would be odd to find people who don’t enjoy intellectual masturbation subscribing to an implausible and largely theoretical political philosophy.

    Very true. I used to be amazed at how often libertarians ignored actual history in making their arguments until I realized that it was not a bug, but a feature of libertarianism.

  64. 64
    policomic says:

    No one who refers to any “slippery slope” argument as “real” should be taken seriously. The “slippery slope” is a logical fallacy. It should not be confused with the idea of a precedent.

    The difference is, a precedent asks, “if this happens, is not this, also, possible?” A “slippery slope” argument posits a Rube Goldberg reality, where one action inevitably sets off an unstoppable chain reaction which happens to coincide with whatever it is the person making the argument wants you to fear. It is the difference between asking, “If we broaden the definition of marriage, how will we limit the new definition to prevent incest?”–a question which raises a problem that can be addressed, and “If we allow gay marriage, the next thing you know, brothers will be marrying their sisters,” which is bullshit fear-mongering.

    The misuse of historical examples (e.g., “First they came for the Jews…”) merely serves to cloud the issue, since such examples only appear to have the character of a “slippery slope” in retrospect, and ignore the many ways in which the historical example differs from whatever as yet unrealized “slippery slope” series of events the arguer is predicting.

    And yet, I see and hear the phrase “slippery slope” used constantly, as if it has any bearing on reality. It doesn’t–aside from, you know, an actual, ice-covered incline, as in, “don’t try to walk there; it’s a slippery slope.”

    In any other situation, I would encourage you to blow a raspberry in the face of any person using the phrase “slippery slope” in earnest.

  65. 65
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    OT but without an open thread, this needs some serious snarkage (especially in light of Egypt.)

    Wisconsin’s Gov. Walker threatens state employees with National Guard if they don’t cede collective bargaining rights
    http://tinyurl.com/69bg5x9

  66. 66
    grumpy realist says:

    Libertarianism: where as long as you don’t know about the rat turds in your peanut butter, it’s not a problem!

  67. 67

    That totalitarian tendency is reinforced by the government’s ever-expanding role in health care, which transforms a moralistic, pseudo-medical argument into a fiscal imperative by giving every taxpayer a stake in his neighbor’s lifestyle.

    So, let’s say the slippery slope leads us to that ever feared Demolition Man dystopia of forced niceness, no sex, vegan diets, no vice of any kind, and being trapped in a Stalone movie, how many of us are actually going to go out of our way to report a guy lighting up or shoving a Twinkie down his gullet?

    Anyone report speeders on the freeway now? Ever made a citizen’s arrest on someone being a public nuisance or jaywalking? Littering? Hell, lighting up a joint?

    I’m starting to think the ganja might be making my Libertarian brothers a bit paranoid.

  68. 68
    Martin says:

    @gnomedad: No the problem is that they arbitrarily decide how to define ‘better off’ and arbitrarily define who is deserving of that benefit and who isn’t as the conditions suit them. Libertarians can effortlessly switch from defending the individual in John’s example above to defending the corporation, argue with complete conviction that they are absolutely correct and not only dismiss any counterargument or statement of reality that you might put forward, but refuse to even recognize that it might be valid or even real.

    You can’t argue both that 2+3=4 and 4+2=3 and then whine because nobody will take you seriously. It’s bad enough that you’re arguing one or the other – because both are wrong, but when you can’t even recognize that you are arguing contradictory things from the same set of principles, why even bother trying to correct them? They’re arguing which is sexier, unicorns or cthulu? Where do you even begin with that?

  69. 69
    Napoleon says:

    By the way, I have not read the original NY Times story or the link to Reason, but there is another aspect to this that would drive the clowns at Reason off a cliff. Since I live in Cleveland thinks that the Clinic does gets picked up in local news. Well around the time as they started this think with smoking thing they also either kicked the McDonalds off of the campus or forced them to get rid of the crap they serve and made all the food service providers offer more healthy offerings.

  70. 70
    Loneoak says:

    Libertarianism: That which doesn’t kill you only makes you more oppressed by the Nanny State.

  71. 71

    @freelancer: Please report immediately to the nearest Rand Re-education Center, you Communist.

  72. 72
    Ailuridae says:

    @Erik Vanderhoff:

    Libertarianism is theology: It starts with taking its conclusion as axiomatic and works from there. You can’t understand it because it’s impossible to refute logically once they do that. You have to step outside of their frame, and then they get to cry foul.

    This. Arguing with a libertarian is actually very very similar to arguing with a creationist. You keep quoting empirical data and they keep arguing deductively from a first principle they are just sure is true.

  73. 73
    Martin says:

    That totalitarian tendency is reinforced by the government’s ever-expanding role in health care, which transforms a moralistic, pseudo-medical argument into a fiscal imperative by giving every taxpayer a stake in his neighbor’s lifestyle.

    Dennis from Monty Python and the Holy Grail got a writing gig at Reason? That makes sense…

  74. 74
    Gravenstone says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil: /facepalm

    Really, Scotty? You utterly clueless fucking buffoon. Add this to the article in today’s Journal Sentinel wherein the state is talking about paying off some of its existing debt due to the interest payments said debt is accumulating. Admirable goal, until you see their proposed mechanism for accomplishing this, by borrowing more money. Sooo, about those interest payments these new loans will incur, you geniuses planning on borrowing some more money to pay them sometime down the road?

  75. 75
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    Also, the Arizona Shooting was the government’s fault. This is not a new claim for the NRA to make, but it’s still just as baffling

    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/.....overnment/

  76. 76
    Elvis Elvisberg says:

    @Ailuridae:

    Arguing with a libertarian is actually very very similar to arguing with a creationist. You keep quoting empirical data and they keep arguing deductively from a first principle they are just sure is true.

    Yep. Libertarianism is a brainier, but simpler, cousin of biblical literalism. It’s unfalsifiable, because it’s a theory that has nothing to do with facts or history.

  77. 77
    Poopyman says:

    @Gravenstone: Well, in their defense, it worked with their mortgages, didn’t it?

  78. 78
    MaximusNYC says:

    “Pseudo-medical”? So this dude thinks smoking’s ill effects haven’t been proven yet?

    Let me guess, he thinks global warming and evolution are bunk too.

  79. 79
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @fasteddie9318: The truly self-sufficient Libertarian happily accepts the presence of faeces in his water in order to ensure his basic freedom from government sewage treatment tyranny.

    If people really wanted water free of e-coli and cholera, they would pay for private water treatment facilities to be installed in their basement. If they do not pay for such facilities, this is proof that they want their kids to die of explosive diarrhea.

    Similar arguments can be used to prove that workers in low-wage countries want to have their hands crushed in hydraulic presses.

    All Hail The Great God Market, Blessed Be His Invisible Hand.

  80. 80

    @Martin: Unicorn. Especially the ones who sprinkle powder sugar from their horns when you rub them (the horns). What? Why is everyone looking at me like that?

    I made the mistake of reading the LOOG link of DougJ’s yesterday, and I was gobsmacked at how full of stupidity it was, all wrapped up in empty rhetoric containing multisyllabic words. Intellectual masturbation, indeed. This is more of the same. I can just see the guy wearing a smoking jacket, puffing on a pipe, stroking his chin elegantly and penning his quaint musings with a quill pen.

  81. 81
    Martin says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Girls always go for the unicorn, but cthulu can do that tentacle porn shit, so I think we have a real battle here.

  82. 82
    Zifnab says:

    @Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac: It’s not baffling at all, if you believe that guns are a gun deterrent.

    If everyone at the rally had a gun, crazy guy wouldn’t have been crazy enough to start shooting. Because everyone would have shot him first. The end.

    :-p Only in Wingnut Fantasy Land.

  83. 83
    DougJ® says:

    @Ailuridae:

    At least the creationists aren’t using phrases like “fiat currency” and “regulatory capture” the whole damn time.

  84. 84
    Brachiator says:

    @dollared:

    Talk about slippery slopes – this slippery slope leads to arguing that vaccination should be privately administered. Your freedom ends where my child gets smallpox from your child. (of course, then maybe the argument is that without gun controls, I do have a remedy)(but remedies do not prevent the original harm……)

    Sadly, this also lands you squarely in the realm of the anti-vaccine people, many of whom are not particularly conservative or libertarian, who foolishly insist that vaccinations are either unnecessary or a Big Pharma conspiracy.

    Not quite the same thing as free market nirvana, but equally foolish and equally dangerous.

  85. 85
    Ailuridae says:

    @DougJ®:

    Or misusing the term monopoly for months and not owning up to it …

  86. 86
    dollared says:

    @Brachiator: Agreed. Over here on the left, I also have a couple of friends in the “state of nature camp.” Those are the ones feeding raw milk to their 3 year olds.

    I have a new tagline for all of these – “you are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own biosphere.”

  87. 87
    scarshapedstar says:

    Although smokers seem to have lower lifetime medical expenses than nonsmokers do because they tend to die sooner

    Yeah, after a few years of chemo, surgery, etc.

  88. 88

    @Martin: You said sexier–not more powerful. OK. I change my answer–vamps and weres and succubi.

  89. 89
    srv says:

    Can we just give these people and Island or South Carolina and be done with it? As long as Real World gets to do a show on the ensuing clusterf**k.

  90. 90
    theconstituent says:

    @freelancer:
    I like this one a lot too.

  91. 91
    Martin says:

    @scarshapedstar: They used to have lower lifetime expenses because we’d just let them die. Now, we can actually justify dump bottomless piles of money into their care in order to extend their lives.

    Things change. Arguments should change with them.

  92. 92
    Morbo says:

    @scarshapedstar: Mandatory smoking: cost of health care problem solved!

  93. 93
    Ruckus says:

    @Napoleon:
    Nice setup for a great punchline

  94. 94
    scarshapedstar says:

    Gee whiz, when I see someone smoking, it totally makes my librul blood boil. If every conservative smoked 5 packs a day until they died, I would have the most massive epic sad of all time.

    Are you guys taking notes?

  95. 95
    agrippa says:

    Libertarianism is an abstraction. An abstraction that no mortal human should attempt to implement.

  96. 96
    Dave S. says:

    @MaximusNYC: Well, if he’s as far behind in watching Mad Men as I am, AND uses that as his only source of information (which I can picture), I can understand his position.

    Libertarianism is whatever I want right now. The rest is commentary.

  97. 97
    MarkJ says:

    Is it really that hard to pick a new government? What’s so difficult about emmigrating to to Somalia? That seems to be the place that most closely approximates the libertarian ideal of limited government.

  98. 98
    wenchacha says:

    Were they ever so concerned and anxious over the meat-and-dairy based food pyramid that clearly promoted the business of ranchers and slaughterhouses and meat-packing, etc. That food pyramid wasn’t values-neutral was it? And yet our precious precious tax dollars were being squandered on those businesses and their bottom lines. Huh.

  99. 99

    @scarshapedstar: When I see someone walk across the road without looking both ways, I practically have a heart attack. I also hate it when someone drives without a seatbelt, goes swimming at night in an unguarded lake/ocean/sea, or goes rock-climbing without the proper equipment.

  100. 100
    Martin says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Well, my point more being that I don’t remember seeing any Japanese unicorn porn, but then that’s not really my thing. And you know cthulu isn’t going to go all ‘I’m sorry, but I’m not comfortable doing that’ – cthulu fucking puts out, you know. Eats your planet afterward, but that’s not relevant, and it’s nothing that the free market and rational self-interest couldn’t solve anyway.

  101. 101
    HyperIon says:

    Haven’t you made this point, oh, about eleventy eleventy times already?

  102. 102
    dollared says:

    @Napoleon: Win! Don’t forget: Floating Feces for Freedom!

  103. 103
    geg6 says:

    If you think about some fantasy world in which people always act in their own best interests, in which businesses’ best interests are always in the best interests of individuals, everyone acts rationally and never from emotion in any way, and individuals never need to cooperate with other individuals to get things done, you would be right there with libertarians and would have no problem understanding them.

    The problem only comes in when you try to apply that fantasy world to the real world.

    I, personally, have decided that libertarians are like the Borg. All the Borg have the same thoughts through the hive mind (dictated by the Borg Queen, Ayn). I especially like this scholarly look into what the Borg represent:

    The Borg represent a significant anxiety of males with respect to their loss of power and increasing obsolescence in “postmodern culture.” Men feel threatened by feminine liquidity and flows, and seek an armored body to fortify themselves against disintegration and contamination. They become hyper-masculine warriors corporeally enhanced with fetishistic high-tech prostheses.

    Pretty much sums up every libertarian I have ever run across, IRL and online.

  104. 104
    Martin says:

    @MarkJ: I say we send them all to Mars and let the free market produce them an atmosphere.

  105. 105
    bemused says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil:
    I just heard about this on the radio. Wow, Walker is pulling a Mubarak. A WI caller said Walker is talking National Guard because the state prison guards are threatening to walk out. Update is that now Walker is denying that he has put National Guard on notice. Sure, you betcha.

  106. 106
    Brachiator says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    So, let’s say the slippery slope leads us to that ever feared Demolition Man dystopia of forced niceness, no sex, vegan diets, no vice of any kind, and being trapped in a Stalone movie, how many of us are actually going to go out of our way to report a guy lighting up or shoving a Twinkie down his gullet?

    But even though the Reason theoretical is largely pointless, they were not talking about mere reportage or a citizen’s arrest. One supposed slippery slope involved not hiring a smoker, not merely reporting him.

    And I guess this rumination could lead to some semi-interesting sidelines. Many agree that pre-existing medical conditions should be covered by health plans. Under a government plan, for example, would it ever be permissible to kick a person off the plan who was a smoker, or to limit coverage if the person smoked or drank or did drugs? Or to require that people exercise, take care of themselves, limit their weight gain as a condition of coverage? Could you say that a kid could not go out for the football team or ballet (two areas with a history of leaving scads of injuries) in the name of “public health?”

  107. 107
    Steve M. says:

    “Libertarianism” = garden-variety resentment-based Fox/talk radio wingnuttery + legal drugs – sex police.

  108. 108
    Martin says:

    @Brachiator: Fair questions. There dosen’t seem to be any effort to regulate those activities within the health care construct. There never has been in the past, at least. The ER doesn’t turn you away simply because you did something really, really stupid.

    But there is effort to regulate those activities within the public good construct. We don’t stop people from smoking, we instead tax the sale of cigarettes. But there has always, from when the nation was founded, been a distinction between providing services, which was always generous, and collecting revenues to pay for those services by targeting specific populations, industries, etc.

    Only Republicans try to do what you suggest. And abortion and birth control are the prime examples.

  109. 109

    @Martin: Well, true. But they do have the horns, you know. And the broad backs. Still, I’m switching my allegiances to vamps and weres and succubi, oh my!

  110. 110
    Legalize says:

    @fasteddie9318:
    Please consider “Nerdvana” hereby appropriated for my own use. The girl will write you out a receipt.

  111. 111
    Martin says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Meh. You just want to hang out with the cool kids at Hot Topic.

  112. 112

    @Zifnab:

    I give you libertarian SF author L. Neil Smith’s piece on the The Ithaca Auto and Burglar in which he says

    “If John Lennon had been carrying an Ithaca Auto and Burglar under his coat, the Fab Four would be selling live albums of their fifth reunion concert by now.”.

    I shit you not. Go check the article out yourself.

  113. 113
    Brachiator says:

    @geg6:

    The Borg represent a significant anxiety of males with respect to their loss of power and increasing obsolescence in “postmodern culture.” Men feel threatened by feminine liquidity and flows, and seek an armored body to fortify themselves against disintegration and contamination. They become hyper-masculine warriors corporeally enhanced with fetishistic high-tech prostheses.

    Did whoever wrote this ever watch actually watch Star Trek? I mean, three words for Q sake. Seven.of.Nine.

  114. 114
  115. 115
    shortstop says:

    @asiangrrlMN: See, now, I’d go for the incubus over the succubus, but it’s not because I’m uptight or conventional. It’s just how I roll.

  116. 116
    Tone in DC says:

    regarding this “tough guy” Walker in Wisconsin…
    WTF??

    There is no need to bring in the National Guard if the unions don’t agree to his preposterous proposal. If a strike occurs, then it happens.

    The same way there was no need for Blackwater/Xe (nor the shoot to kill order) in New Orleans in 2005.

    Neither the unions of Wisconsin nor the citizens of New Orleans are the enemy. Bellicosity for its own sake only serves to alienate and anger everyone.

  117. 117
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @geg6: Along those lines, the only world where libertarianism might possibly work is one where the replicator has been invented. Even then, people would still have to live far enough apart that they could not interact with each other, or someone would probably get bored.

  118. 118
    Mike E says:

    Libertarian sez, “I Me Mine.”

    To paraphrase Paul Kantner (The Airplane, beeyotches!): If you argue with a libertarian, then you have lost.

    Libertarianism=Free Market of Thought, as in, free from actual thought.

    Engaging in the act of trying to make sense of libertarians actually strips an angel’s wings, making the poor thing crash to Earth. Happy?

  119. 119
    Zifnab says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    I shit you not. Go check the article out yourself.

    I refuse. Ignorance is bliss.

  120. 120
    trollhattan says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Holy sheepshit, somebody hit that guy with a hammer, stat.

    Loved this:

    L. Neil Smith’s award-winning The Probability Broach opens a window onto a Libertarian civilization.

    I thought it was agin’ the law to have libertarian and civilization adjacent.

  121. 121
    Calouste says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Well, besides the small matter of George Harrison being dead for most of the last decade, but when did a libertarian ever let facts get in the way of their bullshit?

  122. 122
    Zifnab says:

    @Wile E. Quixote: Ok, maybe I’ll just take a peak.

    The Ithaca Auto and Burglar was a veritable marvel in its time, a near-perfect blue steel and walnut “magic wand” of self-defense, against strong-arm artists and protection racketeers in the age in which it was introduced, ideal — because of its light weight, moderate caliber, limited range, and short length — for women, the elderly, and children who might require it, not only against house burglars, muggers, and the like, but against an abusive or incestuous parent.

    ACH! MINE EYES! THE STUPID BURNS!

  123. 123
    Zifnab says:

    @Wile E. Quixote: Ok, maybe I’ll just take a peak.

    The Ithaca Auto and Burglar was a veritable marvel in its time, a near-perfect blue steel and walnut “magic wand” of self-defense, against strong-arm artists and protection racketeers in the age in which it was introduced, ideal — because of its light weight, moderate caliber, limited range, and short length — for women, the elderly, and children who might require it, not only against house burglars, muggers, and the like, but against an abusive or ince stuous parent.

    ACH! MINE EYES! THE STUPID BURNS!

  124. 124
    EMV says:

    @redoubt: Plessy was discriminated against due to state law, not by East Louisiana Railroad’s self created policies.

  125. 125
    trollhattan says:

    Also, too. Stalin: hereby denounced for the day. Bonus denouncementing–Che had thick ankles.

    I remain a Friend of cruciferous vegetables, so there.

  126. 126
    Tone in DC says:

    @Martin:
    Good one.

  127. 127
    Lurking Canadian says:

    Everybody should read The Probability Broach. It is a fascinating insight into a diseased mind. It’s like Rand, except without the believability. Borrow it from the library, though, so as to feed the gods of irony.

    One point to note: among the leading political figures of the alternate-US history are Presidents J. Calhoun and J. Davis. Smith is strongly pro-Confederate, but he swears it’s not because he’s a racist. It’s about freedom, you see.

  128. 128
    jpe says:

    You missed the second paragraph apparently. The one where it’s not the buisnesses fault for not hiring smokers, it’s the gubmint’s fault because they create an atmosphere of pseudo-science totalitarianism!

    That’s not what they’re saying, though. They’re saying that the more government takes over space previously left to markets, it has more legitimacy to penalize vices that would otherwise be considered private conduct and beyond the reach of the state.

  129. 129
    EMV says:

    @inkadu: They would not define it to include actions that affect only one’s self – what we eat, what we drink, what we smoke, if we wear a seat belt, etc.

  130. 130
    Brachiator says:

    @Martin:

    Fair questions. There dosen’t seem to be any effort to regulate those activities within the health care construct. There never has been in the past, at least. The ER doesn’t turn you away simply because you did something really, really stupid.

    But here I’m not talking about an ER or even an actual health care plan. We are not even talking much about actual health care reform, only indulging in theoreticals based on a dumbass libertarian theoretical.

    That said, we don’t just tax cigarettes. My company’s health plan imposes extra charges on smokers (and also offer anti-smoking programs).

    And the idea that this nation has “always provided generous services” is historically incorrect. But even if it were true, you cannot have a cornucopia of medical care with the government absorbing an infinite amount of costs without imposing some controls. And ironically, during debates on a California health care plan, activists (not the plan itself) were arguing about all manner of rationing, based on very flawed premises and arbitrary guidelines. And I recall a couple of Balloon Juicers strongly suggesting that health care at end of life or for older people in general should be less generous than that offered to younger people.

  131. 131
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Lurking Canadian: I just read the Wikipedia page about the book and I feel like I shaved off about 50 IQ points just from that. Reading the whole book would probably leave me unable to feed myself.

  132. 132
    suzanne says:

    Oh. Yeah. Stalin. I forgot.

    Fuck you, Stalin.

    There. Time for a sammich.

  133. 133
    fasteddie9318 says:

    GO FUCK YOURSELF STALIN, YOU FAT BEARDED BITCH!

    I just had to get that out there. Only 8 more days until I do my annual Stalin ice sculpture carving and smashing event.

  134. 134
    Mike in NC says:

    I Fundamentally Don’t Understand Libertarianism

    Another way of saying, “Libertarianism. How the fuck does it work?”

  135. 135
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @fasteddie9318: I love the fact that the only award the book won was created by the author.

  136. 136
    Citizen Alan says:

    As I have said for many years now, I will vote for a Republican before I ever vote Libertarian. And I will commit suicide before I ever vote Republican.

  137. 137

    @Calouste:

    Well, besides the small matter of George Harrison being dead for most of the last decade, but when did a libertarian ever let facts get in the way of their bullshit?

    Well to be fair to Smith he wrote the article in 1997.

  138. 138
    NonyNony says:

    @Brachiator:

    Many agree that pre-existing medical conditions should be covered by health plans. Under a government plan, for example, would it ever be permissible to kick a person off the plan who was a smoker, or to limit coverage if the person smoked or drank or did drugs?

    Honestly this could easily be solved if we had a public health care system funded by taxes. Because the obvious answer here is that you enact a Federal tax on tobacco, alcohol and other things that lead to health problems (sodas, for example) and put that money into the health care system. That way the people who are killing themselves with their addictions are funding the health care system that takes care of them – as are the people who are feeding those addictions.

    Hell you don’t even need a public health care system to take care of this – just enact a Federal tax on these things and then use it to offset health claims by companies whose employees have the specific problems. You’d need to be careful about implementing it so you didn’t create a tax incentive for employers to hire smokers, but it could be done if we wanted to do it even within the bounds of our current system.

    It’s harder in the case of illegal drugs, but then it might provide some incentive for the government to take a look at the current roster of illegal drugs and rethink which ones need to be illegal and which ones just need to be “sin taxed” to pay for their own treatment.

  139. 139
    Ash Can says:

    Shorter Jacob Sullum: LEAVE OUR CORPORATE BANKROLLERS ALOOOOOONE!

  140. 140
    trollhattan says:

    What can cause freemarket fappers to tie themselves in knots? How about a proposed tax that targets DFHs?

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....ar08m.html

  141. 141
    Morbo says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Another way of saying, “Libertarianism. How the fuck does it work?”

    A: [spoilers] It doesn’t

  142. 142
    trollhattan says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    I thought Lenin and Marx were the bearded bitches and Stalin was the mustachiod mauler? Or something?

    I get’s confused. They should all be lucha libre characters.

  143. 143
    jl says:

    Tobacco companies have a lot of walking around money, and cash, and are ruthless. So I guess libertarians identify with that type.

    I work in public health economics and my own two cents is that this kind of policy may make financial sense for a private company, but is not ‘socially optimal’ (which is considered a totalitarian death panel concept in some quarters).

    The discriminated against smokers will still smoke, and as long as there are state and federal laws providing uncompensated care for dangerously ill people who can get to an emergency room or hospital, some one will pick up the tab for the smoking.

    Survey data shows that the majority of smokers, something like 70 to 90 per cent would like to quit, or regret ever starting. Or at least that is what they say.

    The best policy would be to find more effective and cheaper ways to help smokers who want to quit smoking to quit smoking, or at least cut down on consumption dramatically.

  144. 144
    Brachiator says:

    @NonyNony: RE: Many agree that pre-existing medical conditions should be covered by health plans. Under a government plan, for example, would it ever be permissible to kick a person off the plan who was a smoker, or to limit coverage if the person smoked or drank or did drugs?

    Honestly this could easily be solved if we had a public health care system funded by taxes. Because the obvious answer here is that you enact a Federal tax on tobacco, alcohol and other things that lead to health problems (sodas, for example) and put that money into the health care system. That way the people who are killing themselves with their addictions are funding the health care system that takes care of them – as are the people who are feeding those addictions.

    Aren’t there already federal taxes on tobacco and alcohol? And sodas don’t ineluctably lead to health problems, nor are they killing people.

    It’s harder in the case of illegal drugs, but then it might provide some incentive for the government to take a look at the current roster of illegal drugs and rethink which ones need to be illegal and which ones just need to be “sin taxed” to pay for their own treatment.

    Do you also want an extra tax for the benefit of people who abuse legal drugs?

    There is not always some easy one-to-one correlation between the taxes imposed on a substance or behavior and the cost of treatment. And for some stuff, any proposed taxes seem to have more to do with public disapproval than any real harm done to anyone.

  145. 145
    morzer says:

    Libertarianism is not meant to be understood. It must simply be obeyed, because the Borg must assimilate, and you must be assimilated. That is all.

    /Jason Kuznicki the LOOGatic.

  146. 146
    Captain C says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    I remember reading The Probability Broach in high school; at the time, I didn’t think it was that terrible (basically 2nd- or 3rd-rate Heinlein wannabe mixed with watered-down Ayn Rand), though it’s premise was basically along the lines of ‘libertarianism will make us all rich and free via Applied Phlebotinum*’ and it set up a ton of strawman to beat up rather than deal with real issues. Of course, as I got older, I realized it was more technolibertarian wank fantasy than anything else.

    His later works are more like novel-length author filibusters and are almost unreadable even without the characters breaking into multi-page libertarian agitprop speeches several times per chapter; his essays often veer off into total bugf*ck territory (as per the linked essay on pocket sawed-off shotguns).

    Also, a lot of his solutions are completely unworkable, especially if there’s no one other than the interested parties to enforce contracts and deeds and to administer criminal justice; and they don’t appear to have been thought through beyond “how can I make this fit my principles?”. For example: the plaintiff and defendant choose (and pay for) their judge in a lawsuit? And there’s no way to enforce the judgement beyond public shaming? Yeah, that’ll work really well with, say, a sociopath like Dick Cheney or George Bush; especially when he’s rich and you’re not.

    And the sex scenes are beyond terrible (and in one of the increasingly incoherent sequals include a quasi-rape; the only reason it’s ‘quasi-‘ is after the fact, she says something along the lines of ‘what took you so long, baby?’).

    Still, his earlier works are probably easier to get through than Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead. That’s really not saying much.

    *=Warning: link is to TV Tropes. Go there at your own risk, and don’t blame me if we never hear from you again.

  147. 147
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brachiator:

    You have to remember that these are the same assclowns who thought BSG was great until the episodes where the humans are chafing under Cylon rule, and resort to suicide bombings to take out as may collaborators as possible.

  148. 148
    morzer says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Sounds like an eloquent argument for more assassinations to me.

  149. 149
    someone says:

    Shorter Libertarianism: no one should be able to discriminate against me or my friends.

    How many people have seen a black Libertarian? Hence, Libertarian opposition to the Civil Rights Act.

    How many people have met a Libertarian who smokes (or, is fat)? Hence, no business should be able to discriminate against fat smoking douchebags.

    QED

  150. 150
    Brachiator says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    You have to remember that these are the same assclowns who thought BSG was great until the episodes where the humans are chafing under Cylon rule, and resort to suicide bombings to take out as may collaborators as possible.

    Hah! Good one.

    On the other hand, I always thought that the Ferengi in Star Trek: Next Generation and DS9 were a plausible vision of libertarians, before the show made them more comical and the butt of jokes. Wait a minute. Maybe that was an even better parody of libertarians.

  151. 151
    jl says:

    I thought a Ferengi was some kind of high class Italian fashion accessory. Purse or something.

  152. 152
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Napoleon: “. . . and as of 100 and some years ago by installing sewage pipes so you don’t have raw sewage in the swale in the street in front of your flat where germs can breed. “

    This is yet another fine example of something that could be turned over to private enterprise because they could do it ‘better’. Privatize sewage systems and let the innovative capitalists turn them into a profit machine!

    Imagine the results…

  153. 153
    Brachiator says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    This is yet another fine example of something that could be turned over to private enterprise because they could do it ‘better’. Privatize sewage systems and let the innovative capitalists turn them into a profit machine!

    We already have an example from history of a public works project correcting a mess made by hundred of little municipalities doing their independent thing.

    In the summer of 1858, the smell of untreated sewage overwhelmed central London to such an extent that government ground to a halt and MPs considered fleeing the capital. The unbearable stench of that summer is now forever known as the Great Stink.
    __
    For the politicians, having to endure the horror and filth of the capital’s sanitation was the final straw. The Great Stink became a catalyst for the creation of a modern sewage system in London.

  154. 154
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Brachiator:

    It’s clear that you have let your love of soshulizm cloud reality. That happened under a monarchy in some furrin country, it would never happen under a gloriously glibertarian capitalistic form of government.

    Imagine the possibilities. Your cable provider could take over sewer services and be able to charge you for pumping shit in and out of your home, allowing you to eliminate one bill a month!

    Just be sure to pay your bill and everything will be just peachy.

  155. 155
    jonas says:

    Look, until the GOVERNMENT started making all this fuss in the 60s and 70s about smoking being unhealthy, millions of Americans were enjoying a pack or two of filter kings a day without any problems. As soon as the government gets involved, all kinds of things — guns, fat, etc. — that didn’t used to be deadly become so and you get what we have here — private companies now thinking that smokers are a liability. Thanks a lot government health authorities!

  156. 156
    Badger3k says:

    Hey now – I like the Probability Broach (and the sequel, although I haven’t read anything else by him). I liked the society, even if I (as, oh, a young teenager, IIRC) realized that it would never work in real life. People just ain’t evolved that way! I guess he went the way of Orson Scott Card. Pity.

    That said, how come Libertarians are all for “personal” freedom (which includes corporations but not a lot of other people different then themselves), and against government, except for State Government, which is apparently A-OK? The idea that someone hundreds of miles away (as opposed to a thousand or more, perhaps?) would seriously know or care about local conditions? Hell, we have city governments that can’t or won’t take care of their own cities, and states like the above-mentioned Wisconsin, or my own Pope/Traitor Perry in the secessionist Theocracy of Texas – f’ing dirtbags, who routinely work against their own citizens. Why aren’t Libertarians arguing against anything beyond City governments, if that?

    edit – sorry, I forgot, Stalin wore women’s undies, and I hate broccoli. I do love Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza, though.

  157. 157
  158. 158
    300baud says:

    @zuzu (not that one, the other one):

    Good lord, it really is adolescent rebellion, isn’t it? They really think the government is trying to make them clean their rooms and eat their vegetables and sit up straight and they’re just not gonna do it because you’re not the boss of meeeeeeeee!

    That is the best description of the current strain of libertarianism I have ever heard.

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