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Ask Libertarian Presidential Candidate Michael Badnarik 1478

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the make-your-voice-heard dept.
Our first interview subject for politics.slashdot.org is the Libertarian Party candidate for US President, Michael Badnarik. You can read his blog to learn more about him. Standard Slashdot interview rules apply: Post your questions today in this discussion. Moderators do your thing. We'll select ~10 questions, and hopefully get answers later this week.
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Ask Libertarian Presidential Candidate Michael Badnarik

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  • by goldspider (445116) <ardrake79NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:08PM (#10237046) Homepage
    What obstacles do third party candidates have to overcome to get on a state ballot? How do they differ from how Democrats and Republicans get on the ballot?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:13PM (#10237113)
    Are you going to do something about compulsory schooling ? Are you going to free our children from the government's iron fist ?

    (cf. John Taylor Gatto, as seen earlier on /.)
  • Re:Libertarians (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:13PM (#10237122)
    Because you've been duped by the Republicrats into believing that in the political world there are Democrats and Republicans and nothing else.

    Democrats and Republicans are ideologically different, but they agree on one thing: third parties must never be allowed to gain significant power in government.
  • by lucabrasi999 (585141) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:15PM (#10237142) Journal

    I think the original poster was thinking more along these lines: Fraud may still be illegal, but under a "perfect" libertarian government, would an entity like the SEC even exist? After all, it is the job of the SEC to regulate the markets. Doesn't that very job contradict the libertarian ideals? If the there isn't an entity regulating the markets, how do you catch the Enron's, the WorldCom's, the CNBC talking heads that are hyping a company that they have money invested in, etc?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:16PM (#10237153)
    Which leads to a valid interview question: why does the LP insist on associating itself with kooks?

    One Lyndon LaRouche is enough, already.
  • Voting (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Munden (681257) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:18PM (#10237181)
    Because you are such an underdog why should the American public vote for you? It seems to me like it would be throwing a vote away. I would never want Bush back in office and I do not care much for Kerry but if John Kerry has the best chance of taking Bush out why would I vote for you?
  • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lucabrasi999 (585141) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:18PM (#10237185) Journal
    Honestly, it's not a good idea to have a multi-party system.

    I think the US is the only democracy in the world that does not ahve a multi-party system. In most other democracies, if the winning party has less than a majority of the vote, they have to form a governing coalition in their Parliament.

    I am not advocating the idea of switching the US to a parliamentary democracy, I'm just saying that most democracies appear to do well under a multi-party system.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:18PM (#10237187)
    You'd have multiple private SEC's the companies would voluntarily choose to be audited & regulated by. Whichever private SEC was the most trusted would be the one most investors would have confidence in.

    If any one of them ever let an Enron happen, they'd lose their reputation and thier customers would abandon them, leaving their more trustworthy competitors to survive..

  • by Sanity (1431) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:20PM (#10237211) Homepage Journal
    Do you believe that someone should have the right to gamble with their bodily organs, and that the government should enforce the result?

    This may seem like a crazy question, but I know people that call themselves Libertarians who would argue that you should.

    If you agree with them - aren't you putting your ideology before the common sense realisation that people aren't always perfectly rational?

  • by sdjunky (586961) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:21PM (#10237225)
    "If the there isn't an entity regulating the markets, how do you catch the Enron's, the WorldCom's, the CNBC talking heads that are hyping a company that they have money invested in, etc?"

    You mean like they did with Enron and WorldCom? It was the government that was helping to prop Enron up. Although an interesting question I think a better one would be this.

    The market is supposed to be moderated by the consumers. How do we give the consumers the knowledge they need to moderate the market intelligently?
  • by TheWickedKingJeremy (578077) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:22PM (#10237242) Homepage
    What an unfortunate point of view. Don't you realize that your party need not win for your vote to matter? Besides, the Libertarians need not win for them to affect elections/policies. Suppose the Libertarians started getting 10% of the popular vote - don't you think the two major parties would begin to listen to what they have to say?

    It really depresses me when I hear people say things like this... they have it completely wrong, and are truly the barriers to change.
  • Re:Regulation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sanity (1431) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:23PM (#10237259) Homepage Journal
    I'm not Badnarik, nor am I a Libertarian, but if I might guess at his answer, it would likely be "no". Libertarians hate antitrust law, they blame all abusive monopolies on government interference, and think that if the government would just stay out of it it would all work out.

    Unless you want to argue that government interferes in the software market by enforcing copyright law, I think Microsoft is a pretty good counter-example to this Libertarian argument.

  • Re:timing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vhold (175219) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:28PM (#10237318)
    I guess you have the freedom of advocating a pretty extremist platform when you have no real chance of being elected. I figure such grandoise plans are there to just grab attention. A really moderate realistic plan probably would be too 'ho hum' to get any air time, which is probably the #1 problem I have with politcs in general. Nobody cares to hear a drawn out, complex, and realistic plan...

    Although it would really be interesting to hear each one of those really extreme ideas explained in detail, like, what do you expect to happen to the citizens of Iraq when you suddenly pull out? Don't you think that the rebels will take over and create an even worse, more oppressive and totally choatic 'government' then they had in the first place?
  • Campaign (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bgackle (597616) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:30PM (#10237344)
    Let me preface this question by saying I plan to vote for you at this point.

    Realistically, though, you must know that your odds of defeated one of the two major parties are (sadly) quite low. Given that, what other goals do you hope to accomplish with this campaign? What positive influence do you hope to effect upon the country by doing what you are doing?

  • by Compuser (14899) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:31PM (#10237346)
    He's got my vote now. That is an awesome program.

    That said, even if you feel the Libertarians are
    kooks, vote for them if you want smaller government...
    precisely because they won't win. If a substantial
    number of people vote this way the "mainstream"
    parties will shift to get that demographic.
    Although I don't know if I'll ever forgive the
    Republicans for bailing out on the contract with
    America. Where is my balanced budget Amendment?
    Not done yet? Well fuck you, you don't get my
    vote, it's libertarian from now on.
  • by starphish (256015) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:31PM (#10237348) Homepage
    Michael,

    I notice that when I quiz people on their beliefs on many issues, a large portion of them have views that are in line with the Libertarian Party. It's my belief that many people are Libertarians and don't know it.

    Has the Libertarian Party considered spending more money on mainstream advertising to inform people what the party beliefs are? It seems that especially in the geek culture, Libertarian views are very prevalent. Have you thought about a way to target this group?

    It would be in the Libertarian Party's best interest to target geeks. Here's why. When we don't like something, we have a great knack to make it seem evil, like say, Microsoft and SCO. This attitude bleeds over to our friends, family, and mainstream media. If we love something, like say, Linux and Google, The opposite effect happens. People seem to trust us when we are for, or against something.

    With us geeks, the Libertarian Party has the opportunity to change public perception on how the public views Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians. We're VERY good at making something seem good or evil.

    Any thoughts on this?
  • Human nature. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:38PM (#10237421) Journal
    Why does the LP ignore human nature? IOW, what is to stop people from gaining enough power to keep the rest of the population at a near slave level of existance?

    Before you say I am wrong about human nature please explain the past 3000 years of human history.
  • Re:Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tsa (15680) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:38PM (#10237423) Homepage
    Honestly, it's not a good idea to have a multi-party system.

    I am very much opposed to this view. In a two-party system you will automatically get two extreme views, left and right, because the two parties have to exaggerate their differences to get as many voters as they can. I think this is partly responsible for the weird distorted view many Americans have of the world. A multi-party system allows for nuances, which is good because opinions of the voters are better represented in the government (so many % extreme right, so many % extreme left, so many % somewhere in the middle, etc.). The parties participating in an election can not exaggerate too much because they do not want to be too much comparable with other parties that have more (or less) extreme views on certain subjects.
  • Cost of Ownership (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Baldrson (78598) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:38PM (#10237424) Homepage Journal
    In a strictly libertarian society, the costs of protection of rights fall on the owners of those rights -- not on the general public. How does this differ from a net asset tax and how would you move from taxing productivity to charging fees to cover the cost of the protection of rights?
  • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hard_Code (49548) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:45PM (#10237497)
    To elaborate even further, since in a two party system, there is not effective threat from a third party, the parties can collude against the people while using the other party as the eternal "bogeyman". "Hey, you better vote for us or you'll get screwed even HARDER!" It also tends to divide people on irrelevant and superficial things rather than actual policy. For instance, the parties are mostly culturally divisive. I vote for candidate X because he has a southern twang and you vote for candidate Y because he has a new england accent; because, in fact, their effective policies on a vast variety of things are very similar. Total BULLSHIT craven reasons that just serve to divide and distract the country.
  • national relevance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drteknikal (67280) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:45PM (#10237510) Homepage
    I am a member of the Libertarian Party. I am aware of what the party is doing at the local level, and the slow progress being made.

    What can the Libertarian Party, or any third party do to make their candidates more relevant at the national level? Unless/until the national polls put a third-party candidate beyond potential "spoiler" numbers, as happened with Anderson in 1980 and Perot in 1992, the national media provide scant coverage. I think this exposure is critical to achieving relevancy, let alone victory.

    What can be done to coerce the media into covering third-party or independant candidates? Most people are unwilling to vote for a candidate they don't believe can win. Most identify canditates they haven't seen on the news as candidates that cannot win.

    Short of spending 30 years building a national party infrastructure from scratch to rival the Democrats or Republicans, what can be done? Does relevancy require infrastructure?

  • by Enry (630) <`enry' `at' `wayga.net'> on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:53PM (#10237620) Journal
    If one exchange got a reputation for listing untrustworthy companies, they would lose credibility.

    Once a company gets large enough (MSFT, Wal-Mart, IBM, Monsanto, RIAA/MPAA members, etc.), there's no reason for said company to be good. If one division gets the company in PR trouble, its losses can be propped up by other divisions.

    Want to boycott a company? Fine. They're better off without you as a customer calling them to complain than they make as a profit for having you as a customer. Even people who boycotted Disney for their pro-gay HR policies admitted it is really hard to tell a child that they can't go to Disneyworld or get the latest Mickey Mouse DVD. The RIAA/MPAA can easily spin sales numbers to say that their losses are not from boycotts, but from piracy.

    In a world where a company relies on YOU as a customer, then image would matter. It doesn't anymore. And while I like many of the ideals that libertarians have, I don't think they have completely thought through the consequenses of their platform.
  • by ChristTrekker (91442) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:54PM (#10237638)

    My experience with 3rd party politics is often that they are great on rhetoric, but short on plans for implementing change. If 3rd parties are to be anything more than polite debate societies, they must come up with real plans for implementing their goals. How do you...

    • Privatize Social Security and Medicare without leaving the millions that currently depend on it completely in the lurch?
    • Get the states to rely on their own resources rather than eating at the federal trough?
    • Restore state sovereignty in general? What does that look like in the modern world?
    • Eliminate income tax and still fund the legitimate functions of the federal government? What about the period as unconstitutional functions are transitioning back to the states or the private sector?
    • Ease the fears of the rest of the world when you pull the US out of the UN?
    • Transition from paper fiat currenty back to hard money?
    • Eliminate executive departments (e.g. Education) that Congress has authorized?
    • Really think you can stand up to pressure from Congress, the Supreme Court, the media, and the public when you act like no president has in the last century?

    These are just a few. Please forgive and correct me if these points are not part of the Libertarian agenda. From my reading, they seem to be goals that you would strive toward. They might all sound good in theory, but the process of actually getting there is going to be rocky. How are you going to guide the nation through it?

  • by Senjutsu (614542) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:56PM (#10237661)
    Given that you claim in your biography that you:

    "Became interested in the U.S. Constitution in 1983 and began a life-long journey in self-study of this founding document of the country he is so proud to call his home."

    how do you reconcile your belief that the federal income tax has no basis in law with the fact that the 16th amendment clearly states: "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."?

    Similarly, you have outlined a plan for confining prisoners to their beds for the first month of their incarcaration, in order to atrophy their muscles, thereby reducing their ability to make trouble. How do you reconcile this proposal with the 8th amenment: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted"?

    Given that these two proposals of yours (among others) seem to stand at odds with the constitution itself, how do you expect the average informed voter to come to any conclusion other than that you have no more respect (and possibly less) for the constitution of this country than the current administration does? Are you in fact another "I'm for the parts of the constitution that I agree with" politician, or do you believe in the authority of the entirity of that document? And if you do agree with it's authority, will you now either renounce these ideas or provide a detailed argument for their compatibility with the constitution as it stands?
  • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ghostlibrary (450718) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:58PM (#10237689) Homepage Journal
    > In a two-party system you will automatically get two extreme views, left and right, because the two parties have to exaggerate their differences to get as many voters as they can.

    Actually, I think we're getting the opposite effect. We're getting 2 candidates pretty close overall, because they fear distancing themselves too much from the middle states.

    It's as if they realize all the far-right and far-left will vote along party lines even if a monkey was running, so they focus their campaignins and platforms to convert the swayable middle.

    Cynically, both are rich Yale grads who favor big government, albeit in different ways. While their social agendas are very different, that (surprisingly) hasn't been the major focus lately.

    As a friend from England said, 'you keep saying you have a liberal and conservative party. We see it as you have a conservative and a more-conservative party.'

    Not stating my own party view, just pointing out that parties seem to drift to center.
  • Re:Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by killjoe (766577) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:01PM (#10237744)
    JUst have a instant runoff type of election and you'll take care of the whole thing. There are lots of alternatives to winner take all all of them are possible to implement TODAY. It's just that the major parties will never agree to them.

    The solution goes like this.

    1) An independent party selects a really popular celebrity so they can win an election in a state.
    2) The new governor institutes an alternative voting system for all state ballots and maybe even national ones if he can get away with it.
    3) Once the people get empowered they will scream at the feds till get the same thing.
    4) Rinse and repeat in each state.
  • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:04PM (#10237791) Journal
    it's not a good idea to have a multi-party system
    Why? Just about every other democracy in the world has one. The beauty of multi-party systems is that is the biggest party gets less than an overall majority, they have to form a coalition. The reason this would be difficult to implement in the USA is that a lot of the power lies in the hands of the President who has to be elected directly, and electoral systems like Single Transferable Voting [wikipedia.org] (aka Proportional Representation) don't lend themselves to elections where a single post is open. Preferential voting [wikipedia.org] is probably the answer there, then there'll be no votes wasted.
  • by lothar97 (768215) * <<gro.ikslegims> <ta> <newo>> on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:05PM (#10237806) Homepage Journal
    In general, when votes go to a particular party, they get more power. In Europe, we see majority coalitions in parliaments formed in this manner.

    For example, the Socialists will have the most members elected in parliament, but not enough to rule. They will ally with the Greens, who will vote with the Socialists- thus giving the Socialists a de facto majority. In exchange, the Greens will get some of their ideas through, and the Socialists will support them on them. The Greens might even get a minister position or two.

    That said, that does not work in the US. When a 3rd party get votes, and thus aids another party, they do not get help from the party they assisted. The Reform party helped get Clinton elected, by drawing votes in 1992 from Bush to Perot. Did the Reform party get any laws pushed through Congress? Did they get a position in the Cabinet? No. Same thing happened with the Green party, which drew votes away from Gore to Nader. Let's just say Bush has been awful with regards to the environment.

    In a "winner take all" system like the US, we will never really have strong 3rd parties- too much of a barrier to entry. The 3rd parties lack access to debates, federal dollars, media focus, fundraising dollars, etc. Sure a few idealists support them, and they get a percentage point or two, but it's been a long time since a viable 3rd party was a national player over a period of time. I myself am a Green party member, and vote for a Green candidate if there is one, then I vote Libertarian, then Democrat as a 3rd choice.

  • by ratamacue (593855) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:07PM (#10237828)
    Charities only do so much

    Charity only does so much because our means to donate is severely hampered by government -- both financially and psychologically. Did you know that the average US citizen is forced to pay nearly 50% of their yearly earnings to government through federal, state, and local taxes combined? It's no surprise that the typical citizen is unwilling to donate, after government assumes both the means and the responsibility.

    I don't know about you, but I'd be a hell of a lot more willing to donate if I wasn't so busy making ends meet on what little of my earnings government "allows" me to keep.

  • Re:Wacky Policies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel Boisvert (143499) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:10PM (#10237849)
    I've found that many of the wacky beliefs I once thought Libertarians held were really distortions, whose origins I won't speculate upon.

    Most Libertarians I've spoken with do NOT think citizens should be able to have their own nuclear weapons, as such weapons are not defensive in nature. Rifles, pistols, even artillery or armor are generally believed to be maintainable and acceptable for private ownership, and can be used for defending one's land or property. Nuclear weapons have no such redeeming value, and are good only as a deterrent, and therefore should be confined to the professional military's purview.

    My question is this:

    What attempts is the Libertarian Party making to reach out to the less-extreme, or perhaps less-informed citizens in our country, to help them understand that Libertarians aren't all raving loons?
  • Re:Morality (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:10PM (#10237850)
    What sorts of regulations and rules if any do libertarians believe are necessary to prevent the descent into "survival of the fittest"?

    This one's easy. Basically, what defines libertarianism is the idea that government is there to secure negative rights, and as little else as possible. Negative rights are things like your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (notice it's the pursuit of happiness, not happiness itself). Basically it boils down to property rights and preventing other people from taking your stuff or your freedoms away from you. Contrast this with certain (relatively) recently suggested legal rights such as the right to food and shelter, which someone has to actively provide. Most libertarians have no problem with government creating or enforcing laws in general; they just think government interference in private citizens' lives should be kept to the minimum amount possible. (Of course, what's "possible" is always the subject of heated debates even among fellow libertarians.)

    Mike
  • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by demachina (71715) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:12PM (#10237865)
    I don't think you quite hit the nail on the head though yes a candidate should win only if they get 50+% of the vote.

    What you really need:

    1) A constitutional amendment is required to dispose of the god awful electoral college. It all by itself discourages voting and is disenfranchising millions of voters in the Presidential election. If you are a blue in a very red state or a red in a very blue state you are wasting your vote thanks to the electoral college. It also results in the incumbent bestowing, and candidates promising, disproportionate pork to the battleground states, and they know it and milk it for all its worth. The candidates also don't campaign in any uncontested state further cutting many people out of the process.

    2) There needs to be legislation or a constitution amendment that prevents the two major parties from passing laws that prevent new parties from starting or gaining access to the ballot. Indiana for example requires you get 3% in every election. As soon as a party falls below that as the Green's did in 2002 they are disbanded by the tyranny of the state and have to petition to get on the ballot and win 3 percent again to be recognized as a party. It is blatantly undemocratic and not something you would think could happen in this nation which is a supposed pillar of Democracy.

    3) I really doubt you are going to make any ranking system work. It would be chaos considering this country has trouble just counting a simple vote for a candidate. Stick with the system proven in every other country in the world everyone gets on the first ballot and a run off between the top two candidates if no one wins 50% in the first ballot.

    4) I dearly love to see the major parties have to form coalitions to control the House and Senate. Its often chaotic in Isreal, Italy etc. but its the only way people with minority views have any influence on government. As it is one of the two major parties wins control of the House, Senate and White House and they go off the deep end as the Republican's are doing and the Dem's have done in the past. Gridlock really is the best situation even though many bad mouth it, because no new laws are better than a bunch of whacked in the head laws that are opposed by a big percentage of American's like the Patriot Act.

    If you want to see the last really successful 3rd party I think it was Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive/Bull Moose party. Interestingly enough it sprung out of an era where the very wealthy and corporate monopolies were massively abusing the majority of Americans and the tax system was taxing working people in to the ground while and encouraging wealth concentration in the hands of the lucky few, a situation very similar to the one we have today.
  • by Randolpho (628485) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:14PM (#10237899) Homepage Journal
    One of the reasons 3rd parties often fail to obtain a significant portion of the vote is that they tend to take on extremist views. Your own party, for example, recommends extreme policies such as turning environmental protection over to corporations [lp.org], and legalizing drugs [lp.org].

    The problem is that most Americans fall somewhere in the middle on the policital spectrum (or near the origin of your own two-axis spectrum [theadvocates.org]), and both of the major parties cater to those Centrists by doing their best to appear Moderate/Centrist regardless of their actual agenda.

    How do you plan to lead your party toward a more Moderate viewpoint, and thus toward political power?
  • by Coryoth (254751) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:15PM (#10237906) Homepage Journal
    I have voeted Libertarian the last 3 elections but this year the stakes are too high.

    The stakes are too high? Isn't that just another way of saying that you've bought into the scaremongering of one side or the other?

    As long as people keep voting to stop what they (think they) hate rather that voting for what they want, the negative attack campaigns scaremongering on either side of the fence and always threatening how it will be "So much worse under the other guy" will continue.

    The really sad thing is that most of the scaremongering is crap. They take positions, and they sput rhetoric, but very little actually gets enacted (of the scaremongering claims - plenty of bad stauff gets enacted, but both sides tend to share equally in that).

    Get out of this silly "Us v. Them" mentality.

    Jedidiah.
  • Financial alchemy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:17PM (#10237934) Journal
    From your website, on healthcare reform:
    Lower costs, along with the savings from downsizing regulatory bureaucracy, will fund tax credits for those who establish Health Savings Accounts for themselves, their families, Medicare/Medicaid recipients, and the needy
    I see this a lot on your website, how downsizing regulatory bureaucracy will bring all these savings. There's just one problem. Cutting red tape and reducing bureaucracy is something that all governments attempt all the time as part of the day-to-day order of business. Do you not think that proclaiming this magic wand solution as the answer to all our problems only marks you out as another political wannabe?

    Every aspiring and inexperienced politician has thought of that one at some stage. Just look at Arnie down here in Kali-foonya. Despite his promise to solve the state's fiscal problems by 'cutting bureaucracy,' we're still in a mess. The former Conservative leader William Hague thought he could topple Tony Blair in the last British general election with that promise, but the educated electorate knew better than to swallow that one.

    What makes you think you'll be any different?

  • Foreign policy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stonent1 (594886) <stonent@NOsPAm.stonent.pointclark.net> on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:18PM (#10237950) Journal
    I know of a few people that would love to vote for you but are voting for Bush because they see a lack of a foreign policy in the libertarian party. How can you show America that if another 9/11 style attack occurs that we will be able to respond? Also over the years nearly everyone I've talked to that said they were voting for a Libertarian gave the reason "Because they want to legalize weed" but had nothing more to say than that and knew nothing of the other policies. Do you feel that takes credibility away from the party?
  • by haxor.dk (463614) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:19PM (#10237959) Homepage
    "If Libertarians believe in efficient government that allows the rights of people to be expressed -- through Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness -- why is it that they don't support a right to health care in the form of a single payer system that is demonstrably cheaper and more effective than the current or a deregulated system?"

    1) You do not have a right to good health.

    2) Experience shows that anything the state touches, it corrupts.
  • Is Trippi right? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KyleFreeman (444195) <kyle,a,freeman&gmail,com> on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:19PM (#10237970) Homepage
    A recent Wired cover story [wired.com] said "A typical person might be a fiscally conservative, socially liberal, free marketeer. That doesn't line up with either party". It sounds to me that the 'typical person' has libertarian tendancies. What is the Libertarian Party in general, and your campaign specifically, doing to tap the un-represented masses? What has Howard Dean's success, both in popularity and in fundraising, shown the potential internet has in undercutting "politics as usual"?
  • by tafinucane (776537) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:19PM (#10237972)
    How can we prevent the propagation of Multinational corporations without resorting to government regulation?
    Asking a liberterian this question is like asking a member of the NRA "You say the right to bear arms will not be infringed; if they aren't infringed, how can we prevent gun ownership?"
  • by Yonder Way (603108) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:23PM (#10238059)
    Why are Libertarian-minded people so fixated on winning the executive branch when really that cannot happen until the party is accepted as mainstream by the public at large? Wouldn't it make more sense to stay focused on the legislature? The legislature, after all, presents hundreds of opportunities every couple of years for Libertarians to win a chance at influencing policy. The legislature controls what bills the president gets to sign. And the legislature controls spending.

    I didn't know until today that there was a Libertarian running for senate in my state (Pennsylvania) and only then I found out because I looked hard for her. I've yet to see a single sign outside or a single campaign button or bumper sticker. This, in my opinion, is where the party needs to really focus its limited resources.
  • by akgunkel (567825) * on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:29PM (#10238139) Homepage Journal
    I'm voting Libertarian because I want neither Bush nor Kerry to be President. I can't make a "lesser of two evils" vote because I honestly can't decide which of them is more vile. Not voting would just send the message that I don't care.
  • Re:First Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rei (128717) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:31PM (#10238173) Homepage
    I think questions should focus on the party's policy - that's the most important thing, really. For example:

    "Much can be said for leaving business choices to businesses. However, in humanity's last big experiments with unregulated commerce (during the industrial revolution), we saw 60 hour work weeks, miniscule pay, inhumane working conditions, child labor, extensive investor fraud, and an appalling divide between the poor and wealthy. Does your party have any plans for trying to prevent such abuses in its quest for corporate deregulation, or is that not something that the government should concern itself with?"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:34PM (#10238214)
    Just like a Democrat need not support lifetime welfare and not all Republicans are Bible-thumpers, moderate Libertarians are the norm.

    A majority of Libertarians -- even those actively involved with the party -- support government services and financial disclosure regulations.

    Should the government require union membership in order to mop a floor, or owning a $150,000 taxi medallion to drive a cab? Just about all Libertarians will agree it should not. Most Libertarians fall in the huge gray area between that and a privately-run society.

    It's probably worth noting that the Libertarian economic perspective is more grounded in current science than any other party's policy. Logic is the common trait among Libertarians I know, and I suspect their views would evolve based on real-world results.
  • by hey (83763) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:40PM (#10238281) Journal
    More Americans have died because of no health care insurance than terrorism. Where the war on lack of health insurance?
  • by MustardMan (52102) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:44PM (#10238332)
    One thing people seem to forget when they blast the electoral college is how population is distributed in this country. A little googling showed that as of a few years ago, in "developed nations" on average 76+% of the population resided in "urban" areas. Ask yourself, if our presidential elections were based solely on number of votes, what happens when someone campaigns solely for the needs of the urban population and utterly neglects the rural? My guess is, unless the other candidate does the same, he will be pretty much guaranteed a victory. Think about that for a second. If a massive majority of your population fits a certain demographic, your best bet is to appeal solely to that majority. The electoral college, while IMHO fairly broken, does at least guarantee that the votes of large expanses of farm country might have a chance of making a difference. The electoral college helps ensure majority rule with some consideration for minority rights. I don't know that it's the best solution, but I definitely don't believe a flat out majority is the way to go.
  • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Phleg (523632) <stephen&touset,org> on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:49PM (#10238386)

    This one is fairly easy, I posted my reply [touset.org] to similar sentiments in my weblog not long ago. I'll paste the contents below, to avoid blatant whoring.

    As I see it, a vote for a third party carries far more weight than a vote for one of the primary parties. When you vote, for instance, Libertarian, your vote gives them proportionally more media coverage, funding, and ballot access than either of the established parties receive. As recent example, both Greens and Libertarians received enormously disproportional amounts of coverage (the Greens in particular) after the 2000 election. Why? The percentage of their votes, in many states, was well above the margin between the two primary candidates. Most political analysts believed that the Green Party significantly swung the outcome of the 2000 presidential election, and as a result, they gained more media coverage than anyone could have predicted.

    Third parties also gain in less inflammatory ways when they receive more votes. It helps them receive campaign funding from the federal government, for one. A few more votes one year, in many cases, will allow the party to run several more candidates the next. All thanks to more funding. Even more importantly, in many states, more votes are the precursor to ballot access, which in turn helps the party concentrate on campaigning rather than petitioning. Today, ballot access is one of the most pressuring obstacles facing third parties; in states like Georgia, only one third party candidate has ever been on the ballot for the United States House of Representatives.

    How does this happen? In Georgia, third parties must submit a petition signed by over 5% of the number of registered voters in the district in order to get on the ballot for any office. When the voter roles haven't been purged in a decade, leaving both dead voters and invalidated voters still listed, the true number in many cases exceeds 10%. Even worse, due to gerrymandering, many third parties have no clue about the final geographical layout of districts, until a month or two prior to the petition deadlines. When the district lines are changed again and again, many petition signatures which were once valid are no longer, since the signatory no longer lives within the correct district. I am digressing substantially from my original purpose, but there is plenty to read regarding ballot access, for those who are interested.

    Back to the original topic. We've covered voting for third parties, but if you look closely, does it really matter if we have a Republican or a Democrat president? It's a toss-up to how much they will suck, and it's usually irrelevant what party they're from. Bush hasn't been the best president ever, but Clinton was pretty poor, too. And now, it seems like the two parties are converging. Republicans are creating bureaucracy and spending like crazy. Democrats are opposing gay marriage and won't stop the drug war. As far as I'm concerned, it's two heads of the same hydra.

    So go ahead, throw away that vote of yours. I insist.

  • Re:Question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:51PM (#10238411) Homepage Journal
    In a sense, informally, the US has a modified version of that system for Presidential races. American voters get to choose the right/left candidates from a cast of tens (in the primaries), and then get to choose which one they want as the actual President.

    It's not perfect, but the notion that the choice is completely between two candidates who have come from nowhere tends to be exaggerated by most who argue that.

  • by GypC (7592) on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:57PM (#10238486) Homepage Journal

    Good point. Although, the true purpose of a strike is usually to intimidate "scabs" and prevent production. Communication with customers can be accomplished much more effectively in other ways.

  • Seriously. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by metalligoth (672285) <metalligoth.gmail@com> on Monday September 13, 2004 @02:58PM (#10238499)
    Mr. Badnarik,

    I am a long time supporter of the Libertarian Party.

    Do you think that the Libertarian Party will ever get taken seriously by the mainstream press?

    Why is it that the Libertarian Party, which has been the 3rd largest party for over a decade, has received nowhere near the serious consideration given to parties like the Green and Reform parties?
  • by Sheepdot (211478) on Monday September 13, 2004 @03:10PM (#10238615) Journal
    1. To engage in "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness", one must have, above all, Life.

    I actually think of it as a tree, with life splitting into the other two. I'm already beginning to enjoy this "logic" game you're playing as it seems to attribute that it is the government's responsibility to keep the citizen's alive.

    Think of the word "responsible". Would you give up your freedom to do whatever you like as long as it didn't harm the rights of others in exchange for never having to be "responsible" for keeping yourself alive? Sounds like a pretty poor tradeoff for me. I'd rather taking on the grueling (pardon my pun) task of keeping myself alive and be able to do what I'd like.

    GOOGLE TERM: "government accountability"

    To adequately sustain one's Life in the modern age, one must visit the doctor, hospital, emergency room, etc. regardless of whether one can afford it, regardless of whether the problems were self-initiated or happened through no fault of one's own, and regardless of one's age

    Couldn't be any more incorrect. I don't go to the doctor every time I cut myself, but you can be rest assured that if I had the time and was a worry-wart, like so many in this "modern age" are, then I'd be going. Hell, I'd go every time after sex to make sure I wasn't infected with something. If it's free, why not?

    It is well known the US health care system is the best in the world. World leaders come *here* for their problems. Canada has lines and piss-poor health care and they aren't even radically socialized.

    GOOGLE TERM: "countries without universal health care" (Very first link, in fact. If I was puking blood and the nurse brushed me off, I'd be pissed. Thank god I don't live in a country with universal health care.)

    More and more healthy people are avoiding expensive health insurance which increases the amount of risk in insurance pools, increasing rates, as well as hospital expenses for more emergency visits by the uninsured

    Insurance is mandatory for many things. I'm not just talking sake of your life, I'm talking like, it is illegal to *not* have it. Is it actually surprising that people are paying the minimums? Also, where are your stats on these increased rates? My insurance provider just created a new bracket specifically for a single male(ie, Me).

    The Cato Institute said on CSPAN last August that in order for private health insurance to work, we must accept as a society that there will be people who die because they cannot afford the care they need

    This just sounds oh, so, horrible until:

    GOOGLE TERM: "age thresholds" (Forget "1984", we want "Logan's Run")

    By definition, a government risk pool would be far wider than any private, competing insurance company

    I'll be honest, I'm not a health care genius. But let me ask you this: At what point in your life did you determine that it was okay for other people to tell you what to do with your property, your body, and your life?

    If Libertarians believe in efficient government that allows the rights of people to be expressed -- through Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness -- why is it that they don't support a right to health care in the form of a single payer system that is demonstrably cheaper and more effective than the current or a deregulated system?

    You have a very misguided view of Libertarians. It's not a government that "allows" you to do things, it's what you allow the government to control in your life. When the Declaration of Independence said, "inalienable", it meant they were rights that were inherently there and a government would have to justify any attempts to encroach upon them.

  • by Brandybuck (704397) on Monday September 13, 2004 @03:40PM (#10238878) Homepage Journal
    I've been a Libertarian ever since the Ron Paul presidential campaign. But the party has never seen another candidate like Ron Paul. Instead it seems like it deliberately chooses candidates from the extreme fringe. Even when they wear suits and ties their views aren't likely to appeal to any but a trivial segment of voters.

    The Libertarian Party needs another mainstream candidate. By "mainstream" I don't mean a Kerry or Bush clone. There's no need to sacrifice your beliefs in order to appeal to the voters. What I mean by "mainstream" is attitude, style and a balance of priorities. Instead of presenting an extremist anarcho-capitalist who is only going to appeal to other extremist anarcho-capitalists, why not field a candidate who actually has a chance of garnering a few percentage points?

    Do you plan to campaign for actual votes, or are you merely running a didactic campaign? Will you appeal to the mainstream libertarian-leaning conservative or liberal, or is your audience just the faithful few crackpots in the LP? Should our hope of a free society rest with the official Libertarian Party, or should we be looking at libertarian caucuses in the Democrat and Republican parties?
  • by jeaton (44965) on Monday September 13, 2004 @03:41PM (#10238887)

    **** Gun Control
    + Bush is letting the Assault Weapons Ban expire (at least not actively trying to extend it)
    + Kerry wants to extend the ban


    Bush has no power to extend the ban. Congress must approve it in order for him to sign it.

    Interestingly, Kerry claims to want to extend it, but I can't find any evidence of him actually introducing a bill in the Senate to do so.
  • by MarkPNeyer (729607) on Monday September 13, 2004 @03:42PM (#10238889)

    I don't get how you can possible see the ability to villifiy or deify an political or corporate institution as a good. The propensity of geeks to claim that they're being opressed by evil entities makes us sound completely absurd. And it sure as hell doesn't help further the nature of political discourse in the country - it just leads to partisan yelling and bickering. There are already too many people who see the republicans as evil and the democrats as good, and vice versa. Is it that hard to beleive that all the political parties want what they feel is best for the country?

    I grew up in a republican family and I used to beleive that the democrats were evil. Why not - everything they did made no sense to my young mind. I immediately disregarded anyone who tried to say that the republicans were doing something bad or stupid - obviously this person didn't know anything. It was only my incredibly strong desire to ask 'why' about everything I observe that led me to the current realization that I've got: The democrats think their way of running the country is the best, while the republicans think their way is best. They both like the country and they both want america to be better off; they just disagree on how to accomplish that.

    Saying that one group is evil and one group is good certaintly isn't going to help the different political groups in america start to rationally consider their differences and debate the benefits of policy- all it does is promote fighting. Do you honeslty think you're going to convince republicans to seiriously consider the libertarian point of view if you go and tell them the republican party is evil? Likewise, saying that the democratic party is evil will only further their desire to prevent the democrats from coming to power, no matter what.

    The libertarian party already has an ill-deserved reputation for being a bunch of kooks. Saying that that the the major parties are 'evil' really isn't going to help matters. I used to consider myself a republican. Now I consider myself a libertarian conservative. I didn't change my stance because of someone convincing me that my former beleifs were evil. I changed my opinions because of rational thought about the implications and effects of government policy. If you want to get more people to seriously consider the libertarian party, you're not going to help yourself by telling them that their current beleifs are just evil. You need to get them to stop and consider the motives and ideals behind the politics and consider the real world ramifications of the ideas of the libertarian party.

  • by bensyverson (732781) on Monday September 13, 2004 @03:46PM (#10238932) Homepage

    Libertarianism places much emphasis on the theory that individuals can pull themselves up by their bootstraps to success. With good enough education, the theory goes, even the poorest members of our society should be able to become wealthy entrepreneurs. Under this model, if you're impoverished, it's simply because you're not trying hard enough. But bootstrapping is a myth; even if it were possible (for many people it is just not), millions of people do not have the desire to start their own business, and simply want to make a fair and livable wage working their 9-5 job.

    Because Libertarianism is even more conservative than Republicanism, impoverished people would be denied many of the resources they need to survive. Libertarians call for the dismantling of welfare, Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, and the reliance on private charities to care for our neediest citizens. Reagan gave us a taste of this logic when he all but dismantled the federal financial aid program for college students. The theory was that the private sector would step up and help our nation's students.

    They didn't.

    Instead, students and their families often face the burden of massive debt upon graduation, limiting their ability to start building their lives. The Libertarians point out that Americans already contribute over $125 billion to charity already. [lp.org] But Social Security alone contributes $535 billion to our citizens. [ssa.gov] That much cannot be generated from charitable contributions, even if the tax benefit is increased.

    If Libertarians such as yourself had their way, our nation's poor would sink even deeper into poverty and debt while our nation's wealthy would grow wealthier and wealthier. Sure, the rich would donate to private charities to lessen their tax burden--but less "sexy" charities would suffer. Would you rather give money to a charity for mentally disabled homeless people (who now receive Social Security), or to Cancer research?

    The role of government is to take care of its citizens, and ensure that we do the right things for society. Private corporations and organizations have no such goals, and cannot be entrusted with such responsibilities. If Libertarians had their way, the government would step back and let people sink or swim. This is short-sighted, cynical and above all, cruel.

    Which brings me to my question, Mr. Badnarik: If the government is there to care for its citizens, why do you want to outsource this responsibility to the private sector, which has no real incentive to work for the public good? In short, where is the compassion?

    Sincerely, Ben Syverson

  • by Brandybuck (704397) on Monday September 13, 2004 @03:48PM (#10238957) Homepage Journal
    The modern public corporation can only exist via the state, because only the state can provide the corporation with an abolition of responsibility and the charter of personhood.

    Libertarians have nothing against businesses or even big businesses. But libertarians who understand the issue should be against the state chartered corporation. There is no need for government laws to control multinational corporations, instead all you need is an *elimination* of laws, specifically the laws of incorporation. Let the corporation compete fairly with the private business on a level playing field without any state granted mulligans.
  • by denissmith (31123) on Monday September 13, 2004 @03:56PM (#10239067)
    The libertarian political philosophy presupposes an equivalence of power among citizens in order to funtion properly ( that is without becoming a tyranny or degenerating into a Darwinian bloodbath). Since the starting point is so obviously unequal, how can society recalibrate to equalize these relationships? And no cheating here, you can't simply wish away the problem, unless, of course you wish to defend the uneven power relationships themselves, and all that flows from that.
  • Re:First Question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by not_a_witch (813149) on Monday September 13, 2004 @03:59PM (#10239105)
    As much as I would also like to have answers for serious issues like the one you mentioned here, I think it is entirely relevant to ask a third party candidate how he hopes to be taken seriously. I discuss the "wasted vote" issue with people on a regular basis. The country's mentality is keeping us locked into a two-party system and until steps are taken to counteract this overwhelming obstacle, the issues I would so love to discuss may have to take a back seat to questions of political practicality.
  • Re:Question (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Monday September 13, 2004 @04:09PM (#10239223) Journal
    I am very much opposed to this view. In a two-party system you will automatically get two extreme views, left and right, because the two parties have to exaggerate their differences to get as many voters as they can.

    Are you kidding? The US has 2 parties, the party on the right, and the party on the far right. The range of political discourse is extremely narrow, even our "liberal" party is farther right than the moderates of european countries.

    The two parties agree on almost everything, with minor differences in gun control, abortion, etc. Social issues the outcome of which won't materially affect the status quo. There's no talk of criminal justice reform (especially drug war reform). The US is the worlds largest incarcerator, if only the people knew! The gap between rich and poor in the US is huge and still growing. But the major parties only want to make us secure in our over worked, under paid positions, there's no talk of democratizing production.
  • Re:How about... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by funk_doc (738861) on Monday September 13, 2004 @04:15PM (#10239286) Homepage
    Libertarians beleive that our government shall not entangle themselves in alliances with other nations.

    I think that we can all agree that supporting the Afghanistan Taliban fighting the Soviets led to 9-11, along with our bases in Saudi. And I also think we can agree that no one could have ever predicted that this would have ever led to 9-11. This is the libertarian premise, foreign affairs are so complicated that engaging in them can *alyaws* lead to unforseen consequences, so you dont engage in them at all. We also have similar premise with regards to free markets, but thats another discussion.

    There are 165 countries in the world, we have troops in 130 of them.
  • Re:The Environment (Score:3, Insightful)

    by funk_doc (738861) on Monday September 13, 2004 @04:26PM (#10239401) Homepage
    I asked him this at a recent speech he gave at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His answer was that our government is the largest polluter in this country. The EPA passes laws that regulate polluters, but all to often coroprations are "grandfathered in" this means they are exempt from these regulations, he would repeal this. He would allow individuals to sue polluters, where for the most part we are not allowed to now. If I live downstream from you and you pollute my water, I would have the right to sue the pants off you. Currently most people don't have this right. This would give polluters more motivation not to pollute then they have now. Right now the government is protecting the polluters. Take away that power from the government and let the people regulate the environment.
  • Re:First Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by operagost (62405) on Monday September 13, 2004 @04:33PM (#10239444) Homepage Journal
    I'm sure you think you're clever, but you're just parading out the same old tired left-wing party line. The assumption made by socialists seems to be that a sort of involuntary charity must be forced onto the "rich" (that is, anyone with a steady job) to keep the poor afloat. There are many, many non-profit orgs out there that could easily do the work of most government programs. In fact, many of them performed these functions for decades before the government foisted its inefficient bulk upon the tax payers.

    You don't need capital to "bootstrap" - you need an education, and a job. These are available, despite the pessimistic wailings of the left. Free scholarships are available to minorities, especially if they are excellent students, and if the left would stop blocking vouchers our "free" public schools could begin to approach the excellence of private schools.

    The position of the libertarian party is simply that GRADUATED TAXES ARE NOT FAIR NOR EQUITABLE.

    There's a preview of how Badnarik is going to smack you down, though I'm sure he'll do it more eloquently than I.

  • by bluprint (557000) on Monday September 13, 2004 @04:36PM (#10239471) Homepage
    In the Libertarian worldview, there is nothing wrong with people making money, or having lots of employees under "normal means" (generally, not violating someone elses private property rights and acting according to contractual agreements). However, in the Libertarian worldview, "Big Corporations" as we know them in modern times, are subsidized and can only exist through "Big Government". That is a problem. The subsidies come in the form of a normal subsidy, cash, as well as things that aren't technically subsidies, but have the same affect, such as (I don't know how to make bullets, and don't care to look it up right now):

    market protection - such as IP rights and trade protections such as tarriffs

    liability protection -- the people in a company are frequently not responsible for the acts of the company itself, which is a bit ridiculous considering the company doesn't have the ability to make any decisions. So, individuals are essentially allowed to make decisions they won't be held responsible for. This is a direct result of government intervention/regulation.

    Big corporations as they are now only exist via government. Without the government giving the blessings they do, corporations would take a much different form (I imagine) at the most, and at the least wouldn't allow individuals involved in those corporations to seperate themselves from the decisions they make.
  • Re:You don't (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, 2004 @04:38PM (#10239487)
    Not that I like drugs laws, but how about applying the same zero tolerance laws to White Colar crime as we do to the kid selling dope?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, 2004 @04:39PM (#10239494)
    from confusing Libertarians with liberals?
  • by Coryoth (254751) on Monday September 13, 2004 @04:42PM (#10239527) Homepage Journal
    The market is supposed to be moderated by the consumers. How do we give the consumers the knowledge they need to moderate the market intelligently?

    Well, the first step is to make sure all the media channels are owned by various large corporate groups with vaguely similar agendas. Breaking news of corporate scandals is only worthwhile if it is a direct competitor - general corporate scandals will only make the consumers more suspicious of what you're up to.

    Oh, I'm sorry, by intelligently you didn't mean for the benefit of large corporations?

    Free markets work well, and are decently self regulating when those involved and making decisions are well informed. To be well informed you need information. As long as we continue down the road toward all information being owned, we are treading down a road where those that have the financial power to own the information also have the power to skew and manipulate the market.

    Note that I an not claiming that all information must be free either - merely that, at the least, a balance needs to be struck, even if that balance is simply the acceptance and wider use of Copyleft style licenses.

    Jedidiah
  • by rleibman (622895) on Monday September 13, 2004 @04:44PM (#10239548) Homepage
    I don't think anyone is fixated on winning the Presidency yet. Running a candidate for presidency is very important: it gives you national coverage, and it gives many local candidates local coverage when the Presidential candidate is in town. It sets the stage for future campaigns. It may seem an unfocused strategy, but you would be mistaken in thinking that the LP is monolithic in its approach. I'm running for State Senate, it cost me nearly nothing (but time) to do so, at every level other Libertarians do the same, the result seems unfocused, but in reality it isn't, it's just focused in a distributed way.
    You are right, every election there's a few local or federal legislative candidates that have a realistic chance, the party also supports them (as exemplified by the constant fundraising letters I get). To date even this has not been enough to make any inroads. Things get much worse every time redistricting takes place and each district is made safer (using computers even!) for the incumbent parties.
  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday September 13, 2004 @04:49PM (#10239606) Journal
    The best way to waste your vote is to cast it for one of the two major parties.
  • Re:First Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rei (128717) on Monday September 13, 2004 @04:55PM (#10239681) Homepage
    >There are many, many non-profit orgs out there that
    > could easily do the work of most government programs.

    In such a political environment, the result is almost always the same: The poor starve in the street. No "non-profit org" can, and ever will be able to, provide for the healthcare needs of to those too poor to afford it, for example.

    > You don't need capital to "bootstrap" - you need an education, and a job

    LAUGH! Did you even stop and think about what you posted?

    1) A job: *Statistically*, you need an education to get a good job (I don't want to hear special cases, only general cases). It is *possible* to get a good job without an education, but not nearly as likely, for a wide variety of reasons.

    2) An education: *Statistically*, you need *money* to get a good education (again, no special cases). It is *possible* to get a good education when you're poor, but not nearly as likely, for a wide variety of reasons.

    I certainly hope Badnarik does a better job on this than you, and doesn't resort to the "It's possible!" line. Yes, it's possible. It's also not bloody likely, something I've never seen a Libertarian address. They always resort to the same tired-old "possiblility" lines, instead of addressing the general case.
  • by kingpin2k (523489) on Monday September 13, 2004 @05:04PM (#10239773)
    Mod this up. People believe that libertarians are like republicans in that both love big business. Brandybuck hits it on the head. Libertarians believe in real personal responsibility, not in state protection for businesses.
  • by deranged unix nut (20524) on Monday September 13, 2004 @05:05PM (#10239785) Homepage
    Which changes and platform positions do you see as most likely to be implemented? Which are least likely to be implemented?
  • by Telastyn (206146) on Monday September 13, 2004 @05:06PM (#10239805)
    Over time, the American Government has created many commisions, departments, and branches beyond the scope of its original intent. Which areas do you think have gone beyond what government should handle, and which areas do you think provide a valuable public service and should be made as a more formal addition to the original intent?
  • Re:First Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by miltimj (605927) on Monday September 13, 2004 @05:18PM (#10239946)
    The long term capital gains tax rate is 15%, substantially lower than the 25, 28, 33, and 35% tax brackets that affect people making $29,000 and up.

    ...to encourage investing in the long term, something that is not limited to the wealthy (and if it is, how do you think they got that way?)

    The Social Security tax, and the hidden employer contribution, is capped at $87,000 income. The people making over $87,000 a year pay proportionately the least to Social Security, will require its benefits the least, and stand the collect the most in payout.

    Someone who makes $87K/yr will get the same as $300K/yr because they both put in the same amount. If you make over $87K/year, they figure you can figure out how to save for retirement yourself. Social security is security that you'll be able to live, not enjoy retirement. Personally, I'd rather be able to choose not to contribute at all, and handle my own retirement planning (but don't recommend that for The General Public, because the people are instant gratification-following fools.
  • Re:Scaremongering (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Modesitt (551306) on Monday September 13, 2004 @05:50PM (#10240329)
    I'm not going to comment on the others, but I will comment on North Korea.

    There isn't any possible solution to North Korea. You have to understand that even if they don't have WMD's, North Korea has an incredible amount of artillery aimed at South Korea. If we invade, we are signing the death warrants for millions of South Koreans. I'm not exaggerating at all, MILLIONS will die. There are over 10 million people living in the city of Seoul, almost 1/4 of South Koreas entire population. They're sitting ducks.

    Currently, the policy is "Lets wait for Kim Jong to die or for the North Korean people to revolt". There are no other solutions that don't involve millions of people dying. Kim Jong is batshit insane and unlikely to disarm or back down.

    That is why we can attack Iraq but not North Korea.
  • Re:First Question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bonius_rex (170357) on Monday September 13, 2004 @06:11PM (#10240576)
    we saw 60 hour work weeks, miniscule pay, inhumane working conditions, child labor, extensive investor fraud, and an appalling divide between the poor and wealthy


    So, since the industrial revolution, we've gotten rid of child labor and inhumane working conditions...

  • by carlivar (119811) on Monday September 13, 2004 @06:14PM (#10240619)
    Similarly, in the Libertarian worldview, why is "Big Government" bad, while "Big Corporations" are fine. Ideally power shouldn't be centralized, but if it is going to be centralized somewhere, shouldn't it be in an institution that is directly accountable to the people, i.e. the Government?

    Speaking for myself personally, that's easy. If I decide to boycott the government, by refusing to pay Social Security for instance, someone will eventually show up at my house with a gun to make me do it or send me to prison.

    But I am perfectly free to boycott McDonald's, Mitsubishi, Exxon, or whatever company I choose.

    I think it's funny that there will be thousands of people out there in November passionately voting for John Kerry because they think Bush is bad for the environment... then they'll drive away in their Mitsubishi car. Mitsubishi is one of the worst contributors in the world to rain forest destruction.

    Carl

  • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Monday September 13, 2004 @06:14PM (#10240623) Journal
    I'd rather have a stable presidential system than an unstable, ever-collapsing parliamentary one, like the UK or Israel.
    The UK system is pretty stable actually. In general elections there it is effectively a two-party system. The Liberal Democrats are a long way off overtaking the Conservatives as the main opposition party, although with the collapse in conservatism in the UK, maybe they're not far off.

    However, if it's stability you want, there's nothing more stable than a dictatorship. The purpose of parliamentary systems that use proportional representation and hence rely on coalitions (like in the Irish Republic) is that they are inherently unstable and the government has to watch its step. No sooner does a government put a foot wrong than they get turfed out. It's a check / balance on their power.

    However too much instability can also be a bad thing, as the Italian experience shows. There is a happy medium.

  • by rleibman (622895) on Monday September 13, 2004 @06:15PM (#10240628) Homepage
    Good question. If I remember correctly, Harry Browne cheerfully endorsed SDI both in 1996 and 2000, provided it can be made to work, it is a much better use of time/money/people than other methods of defense. The argument has watered down since we lost the excuse of other super powers pointing missiles at us, I don't know what Badnarik thinks about this one, but considering other things we spend our money on, it's a good investment to at least investigate the usefulness of such a system. If we reduced our military to the protection of our country we would have enough left over to fully explore this and other methods of genuine defense.
  • by Maltheus (248271) on Monday September 13, 2004 @06:26PM (#10240760)
    I am so fed up with you people. First off, let me say that I am a staunch conservative and I think Bush is the worst president this nation has ever had. I wouldn't vote for him if I had a gun to my head. Kerry promises to do the same things that Bush is doing. When a candidate promises to do something bad, you can rest assured that those are the only promises they intend to keep.

    To me, there is no difference between Kerry and Bush and I'm sick to death of this "game" of picking the lesser or two evils every election. If you vote for the least of two evils, then you are voting for evil. You are giving your mandate for evil to rule you. So if Kerry gets elected and goes to war with Iran (or whomever he goes to war with because I GUARANTEE you he will), then YOU are partly responsible for those dead soldiers and civilians. YOU become responsible for the reduced security that this nation will then face.

    As for balance of power between the branches, the founders didn't mean it to be balance of power between the republicans and democrats, they meant the actual branches of government. Most of the republicans and democrats (incl. Kerry) threw these balances out the window when they let the president go to war without a congressional declaration (required by constitution). Democrats support measures like the "authorization for force", because they know that their time will come again (because of people like you) and they don't want to be bound by the constitution any more than the republicans do.

    Kerry and Bush share the same beliefs on most major issues. They're both Skull & Bones members (both admitted this on Meet the Press), which is a luciferian society that Hitler belonged to. They're even distant cousins, connected through the British throne. The powers that be set up this system to guarantee that they'll stay in power, while at the same time, giving you the illusion of a choice in how you're ruled. Meanwhile, the true left and right in this country stay divided (and conquered) and those at the top swing the pedulum in such a way as to ensure it lands wherever they want it to. The left becomes satiated when a democrat comes into office and the right becomes satiated when a republican comes into office. It doesn't matter if Clinton dismantles welfare or Bush dramatically inflates government, it's all an illusion for the suckers.

    Here's an idea, don't vote at all unless you truly support who you're voting for. A slut cannot claim to value their virginity when they'll sleep with anyone. Nor can a voter value their privelge but saying, "I'll vote for X because he can't be as bad a Y." THAT'S true voter apathy. However, if enough people stop voting, then our leaders can claim no mandate over us. We then have the right to reject the massive debt they pile upon us. Election monitors deem elections illegitimate if they have something like less than 30% of the potential electorate voting. That is a number we should strive for. Only then can we speak of serious reform.
  • by MustardMan (52102) on Monday September 13, 2004 @06:30PM (#10240795)
    The problem is, most polarizing interests aren't geographical

    I disagree. Ever been to a black neighborhood in a major city? Or maybe to a certain part of midtown Atlanta dubbed the "gayborhood"? Most middle classed people live in the subburbs, not the ghetto. The list goes on and on. I am first to admit the electoral college may not be the best way to handle things, but I do think there are advantages to the geographical approach, basically FORCING campaigns to focus attention on more regions and the various people who inhabit those regions.

    The minority viewpoint, in many cases, is in the minority for a reason.

    There's a difference between being a minority viewpoint, and being a minority. The things you listed are things that come from personality quirks. Do you honestly think all people in a big farm community would think we should be protected from UFO's (ok, maybe not the best example depending how redneck they are), or that all people in the ghetto would want free chocolate cake for everyone named Bob? The advantage of a geographical approach is indeed the fact that it allows you to capture minority views of import, such as public works improvements, education, poverty, all that good stuff, while still not focusing on such a small group that it gives undue weight to really crazy ideals.

    arbitrarily giving extra weight to the minorirty views, whether proven or not, is foolish.

    Again, I disagree. A full-on mob mentality is generally going to stomp on the minorities for its own benefit unless it's forced head-on to deal with their concerns. I contend that encouraging a system where special consideration is NOT given to minority rights is foolish.
  • Fiat Currency (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dark_requiem (806308) on Monday September 13, 2004 @06:31PM (#10240799)
    The primary reason the American government is able to engage in such gross deficit spending is due to FDR's elimination of the gold standard as the basis for our currency. If elected, what, if anything, would be your policy as to reigning in the Federal Reserve and eventually restoring the gold standard in an effort to restore fiscal responsibility and once more provide America with a sound economic foundation?
  • Re:First Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jadavis (473492) on Monday September 13, 2004 @06:46PM (#10240950)
    The main point of Libertarianism is to remove these responsibilities from the United States Federal Government.

    We live in a nation of many governments, local, state, and of course one federal government.

    Why must retirement be a federal program? Why must healthcare?

    It would be easy to judge the effectiveness of these social programs if some states are involved and some not.

    I would say that most of the tax dollars should be going to the state, not federal government. The federal government can take care of national defense and that would be the most expensive item at the federal level. Just about everything else should go to the state.

    If your state wants a healthcare program, then they can do it. If it fails, other states hopefully won't adopt it. Same with retirement.
  • Re:Question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hibiki_r (649814) on Monday September 13, 2004 @06:51PM (#10241009)

    From an outsider POV, Bush is a pro-war, pro-christian, pro-rich people kind of candidate. In most of Europe, those are conservative traits. He's also in favor of big government and ignores deficits, but he's good enough at PR to hide those facts from many people. Of course he's not really economically conservative, but it's all about how he appears to be, not about how his policies really go.

  • Re:First Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eventhorizon5 (533026) <ryan@tEINSTEINli ... minus physicist> on Monday September 13, 2004 @06:51PM (#10241010) Homepage
    When I was working at the Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago as a summer intern, tax was not automatically deducted. So, the self-employment tax went into effect because of that. I was only 19, made around $2.5k that summer, and paid almost $900 in taxes total (I'm guessing around 33%). Now I'm 22, and haven't had a job in over a year and a half, and I've been broke for about that long. I went through all the tax forms and found that not even a single dollar out of the thousands I've paid in taxes over the years are returnable. As for social security tax, I don't want social security benefits; but there's no way for me to "opt out". Then, any notion of tax cuts over the decades has lead to the idea that it "benefits the rich". Am I rich?! Right now I make a huge salary of $0/year (but I do little projects here and there for cash).

    If I lived a full year in the "self employed" status, and had to pay 33% in taxes (and had a total income of about $12k/yr), I'd be paying over $4k in taxes.

    One interesting thing is that when taxes are automatically deducted, it's actually the employer who pays for the taxes, the added social security "employer" part, the benefits, etc. So a person making $30k/yr would be making (guessed values) of around maybe $22 after-tax income, and the added benefits would easily bring the yearly salary paid by the employer to over $45k. So, you get $22k/yr, but the employer pays $45k/yr. Is it fair?

    Also relative salary amounts and also the minimum wage principle (which was actually outlined in one of Mussolini's fascist manifesto-like documents) not only cause the less fortunate people to lose jobs (or prevent them from getting jobs), but also place enormous financial burdens on employers (making them want to turn to the federal government establishment for help). For an example, take the minimum wage to the extreme and say it's at $100/hr. With that, most low-end companies (such as restaurants, shops, etc) will all die out. From the employer perspective, if you worked at a restaurant, who would you pay (if anyone at all) $100/hr to work for you? In reality they would only choose the absolute best possible if they could afford it, but normally would not be able to afford such a price/performance ratio. It's kinda like forcing a person to buy 486 computers today for $1,000 each.

    If minimum wage is $15/hr let's say, places that normally pay around 7-8/hr would fire all the less skilled employees, and only hire the best. These minimum wage limits sure bring financial equality, don't they? lol. More like financial racism. And do you know who the minimum wage laws usually rule out? Blacks and Hispanics.

    That's why I'm for a free market; companies that illegally gain should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. Any more thoughts on this?

    -eventhorizon
  • by sybert (192766) on Monday September 13, 2004 @07:44PM (#10241519) Journal
    Why does the Libertarians Party prefer taxes to borrowing? [badnarik.org]

    Families and Businesses collect money from voluntary exchange of money for labor, goods, and services (revenue), or for money in the future (borrowing). Only government has the ability to collect money involuntarily from taxation. The government actually collects very little voluntary revenue, and should stay out and leave business to the private sector. Why should money from involuntary taxation count toward balancing the budget?

    Raising money from selling bonds is voluntary, and is perfectly progressive. Only people who can afford to buy bonds do so, and those who cannot afford to do not. The rich buy most of the bonds, and our children will be more rich than we are, just as we are more rich than our parents were. Taxes are involuntary and regressive. Many people cannot afford their tax bills, and many small businesses cannot afford to both grow and pay taxes. Bonds can be sold and traded in free markets, while taxes require a huge bureaucracy, the IRS, and lots of private tax accountants and lawyers to collect. Interest on government debt is a smaller drag on the economy than reduced growth from high taxes.

    There is a continuous demand for treasury bonds, and this demand will increase as the economy grows. The market cap of treasuries (federal debt) should always be increasing. As long as government debt grows more slowly than the economy (GDP) it is not a problem. We should be able to pay for a "Libertarian dream budget" solely by selling bonds. What could be more liberty-arian than funding the government by voluntarily borrowing the entire budget instead of balancing it by taxes?
  • Why a Third Party? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nwbvt (768631) on Monday September 13, 2004 @08:51PM (#10242136)
    Why insist on running as a third party candidate? Why not run in the primaries with one of the major parties? It seems that holds a much better chance at getting your view out to the public (look at what McCain achieved in 2000, and Dean in 2004). Whats more, doesn't one appearing as a perpetual loser in the general election just make one's platform look more extremist and less credible?
  • by cas2000 (148703) on Monday September 13, 2004 @09:24PM (#10242346)
    > ask yourself, if our presidential elections were
    > based solely on number of votes, what happens
    > when someone campaigns solely for the needs of
    > the urban population and utterly neglects the
    > rural? My guess is, unless the other candidate
    > does the same, he will be pretty much guaranteed
    > a victory.

    actually, it works pretty much the exact opposite in practice.

    any candidate who campaigned strongly for the rural vote, promising them whatever they want, will get most of the rural votes. 24% is way more than enough to win an election, given that the margins are often much less than 5%.

    at the same time, the urban vote is still divided in the usual way because the "needs of the urban community" are for more diverse / divided / fragmented. the end result is that one rural vote is worth far more than one urban vote.

    even winning a significant fraction of the rural vote would be enough to win.

    this is why rural voters have massively disproportional power over the electoral process in a country like Australia than they deserve. it is why rural communities and lobby groups get bribed hundreds of millions of dollars every year in special projects and subsidies and relief funds (e.g. Queensland sugarcane farmers recently got $440 million dollars simply because the AUSFTA contained nothing for them - AUSFTA contains nothing for the rest of us, it's a complete ripoff, but nobody else gets millions of dollars "compensation").

    > If a massive majority of your population fits
    > a certain demographic, your best bet is to
    > appeal solely to that majority.

    actually, you're better off campaigning to reasonably-large minority interest groups / demographics. if you can get most of any given demographic to vote for you then their votes are a bonus on top of what you would get for the general public.....as long as you can manage to avoid pissing off too many in the general population in the process.

    this is why, for example, both major parties in australia aren't bothering to campaign for the general public right now. they are both campaigning for "aspirational" voters in marginal electorates (i.e. those where a swing of a few percent could win the seat) with massive bribes being promised.

    it is also why our votes don't really count because the election will ultimately be decided by a very small number of people.

    > [...] large expanses of farm country might have
    > a chance of making a difference.

    the evidence is that rural areas already have grossly disproportionate influence on the political process. they don't need more, they're already disenfranchising urban voters.

    ps: this is not meant to be any kind of support for the US electoral college system. from an outsider's perspective, it is incredibly undemocratic. it's bizarre and just plain wrong. for all the faults of the australian system (it's good, but not perfect) i am very glad that we have nothing like it here in australia.

  • by j1m+5n0w (749199) on Monday September 13, 2004 @09:34PM (#10242399) Homepage Journal
    Attend a speech from Michael Badnarik and support him

    I am considering voting for him, since I'm not impressed with Kerry (Who seems to promise alot without delving into details, and whom I disagree with on many issues) or Bush (Whom I generally agree with on many issues, but the execution of his ideas leaves a lot to be desired, and he still thinks the patriot act is a good idea). I do have some reservations about Badnarik, though. He seems to have an unrealistic view of the free market as the solution to everything. Capitalism is a very good thing, but if you don't understand the situations in which it fails, you're heading for disaster. For instance:

    • information asymmetry [wikipedia.org] leads to all sorts of problems. That's why we need things like government mandated ingredient lists in the food we buy. The market functions much better when people know what they're buying.
    • Monopolies can potentially be just as destructive as government-run industries (or even more so, since they lack accountability). Choosing between the local phone monopoly and the local cable monopoly for internet access is hardly a "free market".

    His ideas on free trade seem a little weird:

    "We need to get the government out of regulating trade, so that American workers can do what they do best and that is to create wealth."

    Maybe we shouldn't regulate trade as much as we do, but dropping all our trade rules would encourage other countries to take advantage of our relaxed policies, and tax trade heavily on their end instead of ours. Free trade requires mutual cooperation between countries, just like peace.

    Badnarik opposes government regulation of the energy industry, instead arguing that the free market is more effective in controlling prices and maintaining stability. "All you need to know about economics is the law of supply and demand. When the supply of something goes down, the price of it will go up. And as the price of gasoline goes up, the consumerist at the pump is going to provide the incentive for finding alternative sources."

    In terms of electricity, this is nonsense. If one entity controls the power lines coming into my house, and can charge whatever it likes, my power bills would certainly increase. PUDs exist for a reason. Having multiple electricity providers is expensive and unnecessary, but a single provider with no rules restricting its behavior would overcharge its customers and provide terrible service. Regulation of industry is sometimes a necessary evil.

    As president, Badnarik would avoid "entangling alliances" and would initiate "a rapid recall of our troops from around the world. Other countries will be less likely to attack us when we are trading goods that are necessary for their survival." He supports the reduction and eventual elimination of government-funded foreign aid programs

    Does he think that a terrorist group planning an attack on the United States might stop and say "Hey, maybe we should leave the US alone, because I like Pepsi and Macdonalds"? That seems a little naive. Has any country ever not attacked a neighbor because they're a convenient source of some useful product? (Not a rhetorical question, I'm actually curious.) Certainly the reverse happens quite alot - countries are attacked because the aggressor wants to take their resources. And what's wrong with foreign aid? Can't we do something nice for people once in awhile? We certainly could use a better reputation as a country.

    The quotes come from a wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]. I agree with Badnarik on most other issues, but he still seems to take an extreme stance sometimes that appears to be the product of an overly simplistic view of the way the world works (something almost everyone is guilty of at times). Maybe I'm taking his statements out of context. If so, someone please correct me.

    -jim

  • Re:Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by killjoe (766577) on Monday September 13, 2004 @09:34PM (#10242400)
    "We need less policy and more freedom. Libertarian."

    This is the primary delusion of the liberterian. They believe that less policy means more freedom. Less policy may mean more liberty (that is freedom from government) but it means less freedom when other powerful organization can run amok without oversight or bounds. Sure the government won't be able to tell you what to do but when the neighborhood thugs come by your house to demand protection money or when your children are sick from salmonella or when the corporations have denied you the right to own anything it's not going to help you much.
  • by rd_syringe (793064) on Monday September 13, 2004 @09:46PM (#10242467) Journal
    The Dems are ASKING him not to run and ASKING voters not to sign petitions for Nader so that he does not make it on the ballot.

    No, they're not. They're suing Nader across the nation in an attempt to keep him off the ballots, claiming his signatures are invalid. Already, their claims have been tossed out in Florida and Nader will be on the ballot:

    http://news.myway.com/top/article/id/413583|top|09 -13-2004::18:47|reuters.html [myway.com]

    Naturally, they claim a Bush conspiracy, but it's just sour grapes that *gasp* someone other than a Democrat and Republican might be taking votes away from the big guys on the playground. What about free speech? What about the idea of anybody being able to run for President?
  • by euclid manatee (69368) on Monday September 13, 2004 @10:14PM (#10242652) Homepage
    In a Libertarian world . . . you would only be limited by how much the banks were willing to give you. Since, in this world, the banks would see you as an investment, they would be willing to loan money sufficient to get through school to those they deemed the most likely to repay it (eg--those who were going into the highes paying jobs).

    . . . which then would cause a dramatic drop in the number of people who are able to attend college and better themselves. Which is why the student loan program was developed in the first place.

    So the poor would still be able to go to college, and they would have to earn it (grades would matter!).

    What grades? From what school?

    In an ideal Libertarian world, there are no free public schools for the poor. There are then no scholarships to earn, no magical loans from banks to take out, and -- in short -- no future in higher education.

    For the rest: how many people would realistically qualify for full books/tuitions/room/board loans to private universities?

    The world you've described is just a description of the US before public schools, public universities, public libraries, public roads, public anything, where there were fewer opportunities for the lower classes.

    I'm not saying private investment is a bad thing, just that in a country of 265 million people, there need to be systems with the sole purposes of serving the greater good, not making profit. Otherwise, the US will turn into South America.
  • by russeljns (806466) on Monday September 13, 2004 @10:44PM (#10242830)
    Where does Badnarik stand on "defense" spending (not just the amount spent, but how it is spent)? Much of the current system contradicts Libertarian ideology. Several companies that could never survive without government contracts do all their business manufacturing for the military. Barring legalization of patriot missiles for private use, these companies would fall apart.
    How would Badnarik deal with this - how does he propose to arm the military?
  • by Boawk (525582) on Monday September 13, 2004 @10:58PM (#10242914)
    For better or worse, we have a two-party system. And party trumps person. Either a Republican, George W. Bush, or a Democrat, John Kerry, is going to be elected president in November. No one else has a chance.

    Not Ralph Nader, not the Libertarian candidate, nor the Communist, nor the Green. Minor party candidates are sometimes spoilers - like Nader costing Gore the presidency in 2000 - but they don't win presidential elections. Ross Perot got 20 million popular votes in 1992, and exactly zero Electoral College votes.

    (From: http://rockymountainnews.com/drmn/news_columnists/ article/0,1299,DRMN_86_3106846,00.html [rockymountainnews.com])

    My question is: Ross Perot got 20 million votes in 1992 but zero Electoral College votes. Assuming my interests are libertarian, please explain how my vote for you in a presidential election will further my libertarian agenda?

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 14, 2004 @12:20AM (#10243328)
    "How about we make the taxes 100%?"

    That is absurd.

    "Or maybe we could just have a tax system where you get taxed exactly enough to leave you with the same amount of money as everyone else?"

    That is also absurd.

    And I notice that you completely skipped over graduated taxes or flat rate taxes. Why?

    "It's a fact that when you tax investments more, people invest less."

    Incorrect.

    The largest investment that 90% of the US population will make is buying a home. Even if the capital gains taxes on this is raised, those people will NOT stop buying homes.

    "My point is that there's a balance. You don't want taxes to be 100%, and you don't want them to be 0%."

    Great, you advocate a balance between two absurd situations. And that is "insightful"?

    "Time and time again, tax rates are reduced and tax revenue is increased."

    Check the current economic stats. Taxes are down, but tax revenue is NOT up.

    "You accounted for none of these factors, so your implication that taxes should not be reduced in some brackets carries no weight at all."

    You have given two absurd situations (0% taxes and 100% taxes) AND you are mistaken about the investments of 90% of the US citizens AND you are wrong about lower taxes equating to higher tax revenue. I don't believe you are qualified to say what has weight and what does not.

    "Your post contains one other major logical flaw. If everone in the country benefits from a tax decrease (hypothetically), does it matter at all if the wealth disparity increases? Only to those who prefer to kill the neighbor's cow (so to speak)."

    Yes it does matter. This country needs a strong middle-class to drive the economy. It is possible to give a token "cut" to the middle class while giving the majority of the cut to the rich.

    How does that help the average person?

    Rather, the BULK of the tax cuts should go to the BULK of the population.

    Someone saving $1 million because of a tax cut will NOT spend it the same as 1,000 people saving $1,000 because of a tax cut.

    To drive the economy, give the money to those who are most likely to spend all of it over the widest possible selection of goods and services.
  • Re:First Question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mycroft_VIII (572950) on Tuesday September 14, 2004 @12:43AM (#10243407) Journal
    Really? Thier plan is to get into the debates that is an odd thing considering what was done to them in 92. The libertarians had the target to get into the debates moved at least three times IIRC, each time they met the new goals the two parties moved then, the last time refusing to tell them the goals. I still remember going to the protest outside Wash U. here in St. Louis after hearing about that. I figured any party the two majors feared that much was worth finding out about.

    What I'd like to know what has changed to make them believe the two majors would let them into the debates and not play shell games with the rules like they did in 1992 to shut them out of the debates.

    The above paragraph is my suggested question.
  • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Tuesday September 14, 2004 @01:29AM (#10243615) Journal
    I disagree. I know many Republicans who wanted to vote for Tom McClintock (who was arguably the better republican candidate from an experience and knowledge point of view) but voted for Swartzenegger so as not to waste their votes. The masses voted for the movie star, the more educated conservatives had to just watch the polls and go with the flow against their batter judgement.
  • by sjanich (431789) on Tuesday September 14, 2004 @01:20PM (#10247661)
    As president, what will your foreign policy grand strategy be?
  • by OB Loco (813576) on Tuesday September 14, 2004 @10:34PM (#10252433)
    My question is this: As a strict Constitutionalist, if the Congress were to Declare War on another Nation, would you as Commander-in-Chief support and pursue that war to the best of your and our abilities? Or are you philisophically opposed to all war?

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