November 14, 2011

My Problems with Libertarians

#1) They offer no realistic way of safeguarding the environment.  In other words, the tragedy of the commons.  If the government isn’t there to protect the environment, then I see no way to prevent the environment from being trashed.  Although it’s become a conservative-libertarian talking point to endlessly bash the EPA, I’m grateful for the EPA, as will be future generations.  I only wish it had more power.

#2) They have no sense of priority.  Most libertarians believe that we should cut back government wherever and however we can.  Whatever we can get on the chopping block—military spending or social spending, it makes no difference—we need to hack.  But this seems utterly cruel to me. 

If we cut corporate welfare, especially the military industrial complex (which soaks up nearly half of all discretionary spending) and then go about cutting social programs, I wouldn’t be so worried.  For cutting corporate welfare would free up an enormous amount of money that those in the private sector could use to help those in need.  But if we cut social welfare first, as most libertarians would gladly do, then society’s most vulnerable citizens will be devastated, for millions of Americans depending upon government programs for their very survival.

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