Is Gary Johnson Considering the Libertarian Party?

An LP “insider” has told Lew Rockwell that he is.

An old LP insider tells me that Gary has reached out to the Libertarian Party to see if he would be welcome as a 2012 presidential candidate.

164 thoughts on “Is Gary Johnson Considering the Libertarian Party?

  1. NewFederalist

    He is sure a better fit than was Bob Barr. I lived in New Mexico the entire time he was governor and it is really quite difficult to find much fault with his record. I am sorry his marriage broke up but other than that he seems like a straight up kind of guy to me.

  2. Gene Berkman

    Gary Johnson is widely known among people active in the campaign to legalize marijuana – a group that includes few active Republicans.

    His campaign for the Republican nomination is getting nowhere, while Ron Paul represents the antiwar libertarian perspective in the Republican primaries.

    While Gary Johnson needs to improve his debating skills, and while he sometimes takes “pragmatic” stands that make libertarians uncomfortable, he would bring visibility and campaign experience as a candidate to represent The Libertarian Party in 2012.

  3. Austin Battenberg

    If Ron Paul got the nomination then I would vote Ron Paul, otherwise I am totally for a Johnson ticket. Not to mention he has experience governing. I agree he needs to improve his debating skills as well, but its hard to do when he isn’t aloud in any of the debates. Probably because he is pro-choice. Thats my guess.

  4. Chuck Moulton

    I’m all for Gary Johnson running LP!!

    However, I’m skeptical of this article. Lew Rockwell wants the Republican field cleared for Ron Paul. Everything I’ve seen from Rockwell so far about Johnson has been a criticism.

  5. Will the LNC Ever Honor the JudComm Decision?

    Assuredly, a member of the Johnson staff — who may also be the Johnson senior staff member who is a recent past LNC member — contacted a current LNC member to inquire as to the response if Johnson were hypothetically to change parties, and the LNC member in question plans to be polling recent NatCon delegates about his. The pool of people who attend many NatCons is small, but polling past delegates may give a tone on future delegates.

    Johnson has thusfar raised $180,236.

  6. Austin Battenberg

    Just cause it was on Rockwells site doesn’t mean it was written by him. The short piece was neither an endorsement, nor anything else other than the possibility exists that Johnson may run Libertarian.

    Rockwell disses Johnson just like the Koch Brothers and Cato diss Ron Paul. Libertarians all seem to hate each other.

  7. Andy

    “Chuck Moulton // Sep 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I’m all for Gary Johnson running LP!!”

    I’m still skeptical of Gary Johnson. Gary Johnson has said that he does NOT favor pardoning non-violent drug offenders (even for marijuana) and that he does not believe in pardoning anyone who broke any “law” even if it is a bad law. He thinks that people should work with the legislature to get laws changed. This is an extremely weak approach in my opinion and it flies in the face of the reason why Presidents and Governors were given the power to grant pardons in the first place. Also, while Gary Johnson supports decriminalizing marijuana, he does NOT favor decriminalizing other drugs. He also supports the Fair Tax (ie-the national sales tax plan as promoted by Neal Boortz and John Linder) which I consider to be a fraud and a Trojan Horse (as in it could easily be just as bad if not worse than the current income tax) issue which I’d suggest that all libertarians avoid like the plague.

    I think that some Libertarians get too enamored with the idea of having former elected officials who were Republicans or Democrats run as Libertarian Party candidates. Look at the Bob Barr campaign of 2008. Bob Barr was supposedly going to break the Libertarian Party into the next level because he was a former Republican Congressman and his campaign turned out to be a big disaster which set the Libertarian Party back if anything.

    Don’t get me wrong here, I’m still interested in what Gary Johnson has to say and I’m still willing to give him a chance, but I’m still skeptical, and I believe that there are good reasons for this.

  8. Richard Winger

    Bob Barr got the second highest presidential vote total any Libertarian Party presidential nominee has ever received. Granted, it wasn’t the 2nd highest percentage, because the U.S. is gaining in population so generally the number of voters increases with time.

    Nevertheless, his 523,715 votes was a very good showing, even exceeding the 465,650 Nader total from 2004. And Barr’s total was 32% higher than Michael Badnarik’s 2004 total. Barr’s percentage in Indiana and North Carolina in 2008 was the best presidential percentage for the LP ever in those two states.

  9. Austin Battenberg

    Andy,
    “Reason: If you feel that smoking pot—or even selling it— does not make a person a criminal, why not pardon people in New Mexico who are doing time for simple possession?

    Johnson: It’s complex. Nobody is in jail on the basis of use. They are in jail on the basis of possession of large amounts of drugs that qualify as trafficking. They are in jail for selling drugs. And it is often attached to property crime. That is where I do draw a line. I have a chance here to change the law. I think that it is OK to launch the discussion and have the debate. But I don’t think it’s right to take it upon myself to pardon convicted criminals based on laws that the population has supported by electing the people that they have elected.”

    If that was what you were referring to, it is clear that he isn’t totally against pardoning marijuana usage, it just has to be determined beforehand if another crime was taken place in addition to marijuana. Most people in jail today for marijuana isn’t in for just use.

    You are wrong that he doesn’t want to decriminalize marijuana, he wants to LEGALIZE marijuana. Big difference. Your wrong saying that he doesn’t want to decriminalize other drugs. He doesn’t use that language, but he says he wants to make it a medical issue rather than a criminal justice issue, which is a step towards legalization.

    As for the Fair Tax, well I don’t support it, but I would favor it over the current income tax. I mean…if a federal government has to have SOME revenue to pay for it, they can take it from our income, our property, our imports (which is the constitutional way), or our consumption. Property and income taxes are always the worst and most invasive, but tariffs and sales taxes are a little more fair. Considering he doesn’t want ANY tariffs to promote free trade, the only way to fund a small government is through a sales tax. Besides, it eliminates the IRS.

  10. Gene Berkman

    Nominating a former (or current) elected officeholder is not a guarantee of great success. But nominating a candidate for President who has never been elected to something else shows a complete lack of seriousness in a political organization.

    If someone has no record in office, why would you believe any of their promises, with no record to check against?

    The problem with Bob Barr as a Libertarian candidate was that his record in office was often at odds with the Libertarian position. It was just hard to get enthusiastic about him as a candidate.

  11. Austin Battenberg

    Exactly. Gary Johnson’s record as governor was VERY libertarian. Obviously he couldn’t abolish whole departments, but he was able to work with the Democratic Congress to get things done, get a surplus, privatize some things, begin a conversation on charter schools and legalization, and other things. Could it have been better? Sure, but his record is just as good as Ron Paul’s, except that he was Governor, and most Presidents were former Governors.

    If Ron Paul were to run as the Libertarian nominee, it would be a LOT different than Bob Barr because Barr, while decent, came off as a conservative and not authentic because of the reversal of some of his positions. Libertarians constantly had to defend his record on things like the PATRIOT Act and the Defense of Marriage Act.

  12. Ted Brown

    This is a similar situation to Mike Gravel in 2008. He was seeking the Democratic nomination, but when it became apparent he wasn’t going anywhere with that, he tried to win the LP nomination. Some of his positions were non-libertarian, but he seemed like an earnest and competent candidate. Gary Johnson is much more libertarian and is much more qualified than Gravel. It’s possible that if he runs as a Libertarian instead of a Republican, he would take more radical stances. And of course he will be grilled mercilessly by Libertarian activists on a number of his positions. I hope he seeks our nomination. I’m not endorsing anyone yet at this point in the LP. Of course, I am for Ron Paul no matter what party he is in.

  13. Melty

    I’m generally thumbs-up on Gary Johnson, but when I heard him say in an interview that he was against shutting down Guantanamo, I didn’t know what to think.

  14. Jill Pyeatt

    I hear he’s an unquestioning Israel supporter also, which causes me some concern. However, I think it would very good for our party to have a candidate with the background he has. I hope he does throw his hat in the ring.

  15. Toward a Lower Standard

    The sad truth is that he is more than libertarian enough for today’s LP. Gone are the days when the LP allowed for a minarchist state of only police, courts and defense, or no state at all. Now, the party line tolerates a wide range of diversity on numerous matters of intervention.

  16. Melty

    “I am for Ron Paul no matter what party he is in.”
    I feel the same. Generally speaking, I think it’s best to be a party nonloyalist.

  17. Melty

    How far back in time do ya hafta go to get to da golden age o de pure anarcholibertatian party? …pre Ed Clark I’m sposin

  18. Brian Holtz

    It would be great to have Gary Johnson seek the LP nomination.

    Johnson on drugs: “Abuse of hard drugs is a health problem that should be dealt with by health experts, not a problem that should be clogging up our courts, jails, and prisons with addicts. Instead of continuing to arrest and incarcerate drug users, we should seriously consider the examples of countries such as Portugal and the Netherlands”.

    @12 The least unfair and least intrusive tax is a tax on the unimproved value of land. Details at http://knowinghumans.net/2010/02/why-tax-land-value.html. This form of tax has been defended by many economists (e.g. Milton Friedman) and many Libertarians (e.g. David Nolan). See a list at http://earthfreedom.net/lvt-advocates.

    @18 What’s the worst form of state intervention that is tolerated by the LP’s current Platform? Let PlatCom know and we’ll try to fix it.

  19. Austin Battenberg

    Brian, its a good argument, and I’m not saying I disagree that it is the least invasive tax, but as libertarians don’t we have the belief in private property rights? If so, then if we own property, why should we be taxed for it? I mean…I understand the logistics for it, but from a libertarian point of view it seems more immoral than a consumption tax, because with consumption, you don’t own said item yet…its the transaction that is getting taxed. Whereas with a property tax, you have to pay the government just for owning land. I don’t have to pay taxes on my Playstation 3 or my computer, or my furniture that I already own. And then who controls the rates? And how will they be applied? Not everyone owns land so many people won’t pay taxes and others will dislike them for it. I dunno I guess its a conundrum for us libertarians.

  20. Thomas L. Knapp

    RW @11,

    You seem to be responding to Andy @10, specifically:

    “Barr was supposedly going to break the Libertarian Party into the next level because he was a former Republican Congressman and his campaign turned out to be a big disaster which set the Libertarian Party back if anything.”

    But your response isn’t especially responsive.

    The LP could probably break a million votes with a Charles Manson/Roseanne Barr ticket, but that doesn’t mean that doing so would be good for the party.

  21. Austin Battenberg

    Root seems like a phony. Barr at least seemed libertarian. Root just sounds like a Tea Party conservative. “U. S. A. U. S. A.!”

  22. Jill Pyeatt

    Brian @ 24: I don’t think we’ll end up with WAR. In fact, if Gary Johnson runs, I’d be surprised if Wayne did. He couldn’t stand to lose.

    I think that’s why he hasn’t officially announced–he wants to be sure he’ll win.

  23. Melty

    Actually, I wasn’t looking that far ahead. I’d like to see Johnson get into the debates this September, and if he just gets shut out, I’d like to see him endorse Paul.

  24. Melty

    I think Root’d be a longshot for LP prez candidate against current announced candidates, say nothing of who else might step in, owing to the merits of the Elimination Runoff method.

  25. Rich Vanier

    Gary Johnson is far more Libertarian than Bob Barr or Wayne Root. Gary Johnson does not need to apologize for his past legislation like the former LP nominee. Gary Johnson has an impressive track record of executive experience in the private and public sector. His resume is more impressive than any other Republican running for their nomination.

    He supports legalization of marijuana and ending The War on Drugs. He wants to end the disastrous foreign policy of nation building. Gary Johnson wants to bring home our troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and The Middle East. GJ wants cut size of The Federal Government and balance the Federal budget now and not 10 years from now.

    The LP Convention is in early May 2012. We should know by then if Ron Paul has any chance to win The Republican Nomination. If in May 2012, The GOP looks poised to nominate another Neo-Con like Rick Perry or Mitt Romney, then The Libertarian can and should nominate Gary Johnson.

    If anyone wants to help, you can join the “Recruit Gary Johnson for LP nomination 2012” Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/RecruitGaryJohnsonLP2012/

  26. George Phillies

    Johnson should be asked key questions:

    What is your campaign organization?

    What are your *new* fundraising plans?

    What are your ideas for building your new party, as opposed to your old party?

    What are your plans for volunteer mobilization?

    One what issues do you plan to pound on the Republicans and the Democrats, or both at once, not to mention America Elects?

    What are your electronic outreach plans?

  27. Robert Capozzi

    17 jp, given the choice between being a “supporter” of Israel and NOT being a supporter, I choose supporter. I support Lichtenstein, too.

    20 m, MacBride and Hospers? Nope, not as I recall. Funny how memories get distorted.

    31 gp, those are great questions, but IMO they are premature questions. First, he sends out feelers. Next, informal talks start. Then, the talks get serious. Then a decision is made. Then nuts and bolts matters are pulled together.

  28. Robert Capozzi

    22 ab: …as libertarians don’t we have the belief in private property rights? If so, then if we own property, why should we be taxed for it?

    me: As a L, I believe in questioning everything. Unlike some Ls who think L theory is “settled,” the neo-Georgists question the settled law. Some can’t go there, but I am open to their reframing of “property.” A radical inquirer should be willing to do so, so this moth is drawn to that flame.

    Put aside your programming and read the neo-Georgist argument with an open mind. If it’s incorrect on its face, please to share why you think so.

  29. Ralph Swanson

    We’re seeing people like Johnson show interest because of the efforts to engage people like them by the LNC a decade and more ago, invite them to speak at our conventions, etc.

    I would support the LNC in systematic outreach to such and better politicians so we have a growing number every decade.

  30. Brian Holtz

    Austin, a consumption tax is just as immoral as an income tax, because it’s a tax on an exchange of something you completely own for something that someone else completely owns.

    The basic geolibertarian idea is “keep what you make, pay for what you take”. You deserve to keep 100% of what you earn, build, grow, produce, create, or trade. But you should compensate the rest of us when you deplete or pollute or congest or monopolize the unowned natural commons that we share — like water, air, spectrum, wildlife, minerals, and land. You can’t make those things, you can only take them. When you interfere with the ability of others to enjoy them, you are committing injustice. That’s why Locke stipulated that for homesteading from the natural commons to be just, you have to leave “as much and as good” for others.

    Your question about rates can be applied to your own consumption tax. But note that a land value tax is is naturally decentralized, so the rates can vary according to the level of public services that each locality desires. It’s easier to vote with your feet against high land taxes than against high consumption or income taxes.

    Yes, not everyone owns land, but landowners are the primary beneficiaries of a minimal state’s tax-financed public services. Roads, water pipes, sewage pipes, electrical grids, levees, police, parks — all these local tax-financed services increase the value of the land they benefit. The more of that land you hold, the more you should pay to finance the services. And if services are financed only out of the extra land value they create, then wasteful or special-interest services will tend to get de-funded.

  31. Jan

    That Gary Johnson supports a “fair tax” means he is ineligible for the LP nomination and the presidency.

    If he renounces any tax on labor and sales then we can talk.

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    Melty @ 20, RC @32,

    While I wasn’t around as a party member to observe campaigns prior to 1996, my impression is that Bergland’s 1984 campaign was the first that came anywhere close to a “purist libertarian” LP presidential campaign.

  33. Jose C

    An old LP insider tells me that Gary has reached out to the Libertarian Party to see if he would be welcome as a 2012 presidential candidate.

    That is fine but Gary I suggest you go to Nordstrom’s buy a business suit, tie, and business shoes. You are running for President. You want the voters to take you seriously. Get rid of the cowboy act. It will not work!

  34. Pingback: Will Gary Johnson dump GOP to run as Libertarian Party presidential candidate? | The Volunteer

  35. Jose C

    @ 31 George,

    Add these questions:

    Do you solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will faithfully support the Libertarian Party to the best of your ability? And do you solemnly swear to now and forever more renounce and sever any allegiance to the Republican Party or any candidate of the Republican Party seeking the office of President or other partisan public office?

  36. Brian Holtz

    @36 A candidate’s position on spending matters more than his position on what tax to currently collect. Spending is how you measure current taxes plus future taxes plus future inflation tax.

    Johnson is very solid on cutting spending. He says he would slash Medicare spending by 43% and hand it to states as a block grant. Not even Ron Paul has had the guts to talk about explicit Medicare cuts.

    Bob Barr explains it well:

    Ron Paul admits that the Fair Tax would be an improvement on the income tax:

    However, when Ron Paul talks about the impact on federal finances of repealing the income tax, his numbers always assume that SS/Medicare payroll taxes remain untouched. That would be great for high-income people like me, but such a regressive plan is a non-starter. (The media sees Paul as such a non-threat that they’ve apparently never challenged him on this point.)

    Here’s what happened the last time the media challenged Paul to stick to his radical guns:

  37. Daniel Surman

    @11, it is worth noting that Barr’s exceptional performances in Indiana and North Carolina also has something to do with the organizational growth of the LP state affiliates in those two states.

  38. eric sundwall

    To get my support the LP nominee must agree with at least two of the three following positions;

    1. Withdraw US forces from abroad
    2. End the Drug War
    3. Open immigration

    Recognizing the last as the most difficult for every strata of libertarian to accept.

    All else is needless needling bout nothin.

  39. Thane Eichenauer

    @31
    Those are all good questions but all largely irrelevant IMO. It isn’t as if we have a candidate who already outclasses Johnson now (?Root).

    @38
    As a resident of a western state (Arizona) I’ll tell you that I think the occasional cowboy hat and belt buckle is appropriate. Johnson wears the standard suit outfit 98%+ of the time but it is nice and entirely appropriate that we wear western wear on occasion. We are after all in “The West”.

  40. Guy McLendon

    Everyone,

    One exciting prospect about a Johnson 2012 LP nomination is this: in the words of the wise Brian Holtz, “everyone gets a pony”. Mr. Johnson’s positions are pure enough, so even the hardest-core member of our “purist” faction is satisfied. For our “pragmatist” branch/faction, the fact that Johnson was “Gov Veto” and a two term Governor speaks for itself. IMHO, THE most exciting feature about Gary is that he has the capacity to bring our factions together into a metastable harmony … at least for one election.

    Second, the LP has nominated former congressmen in the past, but never/ever have we been blessed with having a Libertarian former-Governor. This is hot!

    The exact quote that was confirmed could be quoted is this:
    “Undisclosed senior staff from the Gary Johnson Campaign expressed interest in what level of support exists within LP for a Gary Johnson candidacy.”

    No more … no less.

    In addition, I’m sure it’s ok to share this: the GJ campaign needs to see a “groundswell” of support. Sadly, it’s currently unknown to me what that means numerically. For my part, I’m going to go at this “balls to the wall” … making sure that we’ve got the most robust & positive environment possible, so that Mr. Johnson may decide to join our ranks as a long term member.

    Certainly, the GOP has demonstrated a chilling reception to the good “Gov Veto”. The LP needs to demonstrate the opposite … a warm reception for a new major contender.

    We need some quantifiable data to show Mr. Johnson’s senior campaign staff member. Please vote in the poll … and, join the “Recruit Gary Johnson” Facebook page. Former 2008/2010 delegates, please respond to the hardcopy poll that you should be receiving within a week or so.

    Respectfully yours,
    Guy McLendon
    Chair Harris County LP
    Member Texas SLEC – SD13
    Member LNC Region 1 Alternate
    Houston, Texas

  41. Thomas L. Knapp

    BH @ 41,

    “Ron Paul admits that the Fair Tax would be an improvement on the income tax”

    The word “admit” implies that what’s being “admitted” is true.

    It is most manifestly not true that a 30% tax (minimum) on all new goods, combined with a new federal welfare program that puts every man, woman and child in the US on the dole, and accompanied by the creation of 50 new IRSes, would be an “improvement.”

  42. Ayn R. Key

    I seriously hope that Johnson sticks through it this time around and parlays his lower performance in the 2012 season into higher standing in the future.

    It worked for Ron Paul.

    Although a Johnson candidacy would be far better than a Root candidacy.

    Now if Paul does win the Republican nomination, the LP should nominate Root to make sure the LP doesn’t take any votes from Paul.

  43. Andy

    “Richard Winger // Sep 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Bob Barr got the second highest presidential vote total any Libertarian Party presidential nominee has ever received. Granted, it wasn’t the 2nd highest percentage, because the U.S. is gaining in population so generally the number of voters increases with time.

    Nevertheless, his 523,715 votes was a very good showing, even exceeding the 465,650 Nader total from 2004. And Barr’s total was 32% higher than Michael Badnarik’s 2004 total. Barr’s percentage in Indiana and North Carolina in 2008 was the best presidential percentage for the LP ever in those two states.”

    I don’t think that Barr’s vote total was all that impressive. When one looks at percent of the vote received, Barr’s vote percentage fell behind the vote percentages received by Ed Clark in 1980, Harry Browne in 1996, and Ron Paul in 1980.

    Also, each election has a different set of circumstances. I think that the circumstances for a Libertarian Party Presidential candidate were actually pretty good in 2008 given the support for libertarian ideas that Ron Paul’s run for the Republican nomination created. This was a year where the Libertarian Party could have tapped into that wave for liberty that Ron Paul created and had a record setting vote total for the Libertarian Party. However, Bob Barr’s campaign squandered this. Barr TURNED OFF a lot of potential supporters, people who should have been ripe picking for the Libertarian Party.

  44. Michael H. Wilson

    I’m supposed to be writing a letter this weekend to use in an outreach campaign and I think it is worth pointing out to people that there is no Hail Mary pass that is going to put us in the end zone. This is a slow process that is one of grinding it out yard by yard. So much for football.

  45. Brian Holtz

    TK@41, by “admits” I meant only something like “concedes to FairTax supporters”. I too am against any new machinery by which the Federal government cuts even more entitlement checks.

    However, I would in a heartbeat accept a rewrite of the 16th amendment that replaces the federal income tax with contributions from the states, apportioned by population (or better yet, the value of unimproved land). Wouldn’t you trade the federal IRS for 50 different tax agencies against which you could vote with your feet?

  46. Brian Holtz

    I.e., replace the 16th Amendment with something like Article 8 from the Articles of Confederation:

    “All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several States in proportion to the value of all land within each State, granted or surveyed for any person, as such land and the buildings and improvements thereon shall be estimated according to such mode as the United States in Congress assembled, shall from time to time direct and appoint. The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and levied by the authority and direction of the legislatures of the several States within the time agreed upon by the United States in Congress assembled.”

  47. paulie

    Assuredly, a member of the Johnson staff — who may also be the Johnson senior staff member who is a recent past LNC member

    Please put me in touch

  48. Bill Wood

    Interesting, Gary Johnson has stated as recently as Aug. 21, 2011 that he would not run as a Candidate for the Libertarian Party. I recall in the only debate he was allowed to participate in he stated he is happy with the Republican Party. I can’t believe this rumor that he is thinking about leaving the Republican Party.

  49. paulie

    Interesting, Gary Johnson has stated as recently as Aug. 21, 2011 that he would not run as a Candidate for the Libertarian Party. I recall in the only debate he was allowed to participate in he stated he is happy with the Republican Party. I can’t believe this rumor that he is thinking about leaving the Republican Party.

    I’m surprised as well.

  50. paulie

    And Barr’s total was 32% higher than Michael Badnarik’s 2004 total.

    That is not the same thing as taking the party to the next level. The LP has received 0.4% +/- 0.1% for president every election since 1984. Barr got 0.4%, square in the middle of that. Anything that is a fraction of 1% is not taking us to the next level.

  51. Chuck Moulton

    Considering the source (Rockwell), I tend to think this rumor is bovine scatology.

    Johnson will be all in for New Hampshire. If he keeps getting snubbed from debate invitations and does poorly in New Hampshire, that’s the appropriate time to reach out to him.

    George Phillies (at least, I assume it’s him) (@8):

    Assuredly, a member of the Johnson staff — who may also be the Johnson senior staff member who is a recent past LNC member — contacted a current LNC member to inquire as to the response if Johnson were hypothetically to change parties, and the LNC member in question plans to be polling recent NatCon delegates about his. The pool of people who attend many NatCons is small, but polling past delegates may give a tone on future delegates.

    I think Phillies (@8) is suggesting Hardy Macia contacted Guy McLendon. Hardy is a former LNC member very involved in Johnson’s campaign and Guy is a current LNC member who is very pro-Johnson. I don’t know whether this was the form of reach out Rockwell was alluding to. Even assuming it happened (which is a heroic assumption), I don’t know whether Johnson would have been behind it or instead it would have been an independent inquiry.

    I would very much like to see Governor Gary Johnson run as the LP presidential candidate. Let’s not spook him off though by torpedoing his chances in the Republican primary before he has a chance to try his best in New Hampshire.

  52. paulie

    As for the Fair Tax, well I don’t support it, but I would favor it over the current income tax.

    I would not, for numerous reasons which I have gone into before. It would be much worse. Furthermore, we would probably end up with both. It is much easier to institute a new tax than get rid of an old one. Keep in mind that things don’t get passed exactly as they get proposed. Once you put something out there, you are not in control of what other people do with it.

    And getting the whole country used to the idea of getting a government check all the time is a really, really bad idea.

    Besides, it eliminates the IRS.

    I don’t believe that. No matter what tax is instituted, someone has to be in charge of collection and compliance. You can call it IRS or some other acronym, but the end result is the same.

    It is quite likely that compliance would mean government keeping tracking of all purchases, and perhaps getting rid of paper money and coins.

  53. paulie

    42 do you have his numbers by state? Be nice to look at them. Thanks,

    Check IPR archives from November and December 2008, I’m pretty sure we posted that,

  54. paulie

    How far back in time do ya hafta go to get to da golden age o de pure anarcholibertatian party?

    We’ve never had one.

    As far as candidates, I think Bergland may (have) be(en) anarchist, although he did not push anarchism explicitly as a candidate. I think Harry Browne may have also been one at one time, although that was not his campaign stance. All other presidential candidates have been constitutionalists or hybrid libertarian-conservatives.

  55. paulie

    In your dreams! You know ya’ll are going to end up with WAR. Good luck with that!

    I don’t think Wayne would even run for the LP nomination if Johnson actually runs LP. If he did run, I think he would lose handily to Johnson.

  56. paulie

    given the choice between being a “supporter” of Israel and NOT being a supporter, I choose supporter. I support Lichtenstein, too.

    I oppose nation-state regimes, and I certainly oppose US taxpayers being coerced into paying tribute to other nation states (one is bad enough). I don’t think Israel is the worst regime in the world, or even that part of the world. I’m also glad my uncle talked my dad out of moving there when we left Russia.

  57. Robert Capozzi

    49 a: Barr’s vote percentage fell behind the vote percentages received by Ed Clark in 1980, Harry Browne in 1996, and Ron Paul in 1980.

    me: No, I don’t believe that’s correct, UNLESS you think tenths of a percentage point are significant. I find such analysis foolish, as would most statisticians.

  58. paulie

    That’s why Locke stipulated that for homesteading from the natural commons to be just,

    Did Locke ever address how much labor has to be mixed with how much land to justify homesteading? To my knowledge, no.

    Also, all or almost all land on earth has been stolen multiple times, even if we concede that it was ever legitimately owned.

  59. paulie

    That Gary Johnson supports a “fair tax” means he is ineligible for the LP nomination and the presidency.

    I don’t think that is true of today’s LP. Barr was also for it, for instance. If you mean your personal criteria, that’s a different issue; the way you put leaves that unclear.

  60. paulie

    Mr. Johnson’s positions are pure enough, so even the hardest-core member of our “purist” faction is satisfied

    What do you base that on?

  61. Robert Capozzi

    61 p: I think Bergland may (have) be(en) anarchist, although he did not push anarchism explicitly as a candidate.

    me: At the 83 convention, I witnessed Bergland tell a TV reporter, when asked whether Ls were anarchists, Bergland said, “Yes, some of us are anarchists and some of us are minarchists.”

    Although a true statement, I could see that this was not to be a primetime campaign on any level.

  62. Dave Nalle

    Why does Lew Rockwell spread disinformation like this? Is he so bitter and hostile towards the liberty movement that he needs to undermine a good candidate like Gary Johnson?

    Dave

  63. Brian Holtz

    @66 In the fifth chapter of his Second Treatise On Government, Locke wrote that in addition to the “enough and as good” proviso, one can only homestead as much land as one can use: “As much land as a man tills, plants, improves, cultivates, and can use the product of, so much is his property.”

    That most land has been multiply stolen makes alloidial (absolute) land title even more morally suspect.

    Note that land value taxes can be made voluntary, and thus compatible with alloidial land title. If you as an allodial landholder decline to return to our community the ground rent you appropriate from us, then we could simply disconnect you from our wires and pipes, and while you’re in arrears we could publish your name, address, and photo as someone whose property and person are excluded from the protections of our LVT-financed police and courts. If we catch you using any of our streets, parks, or other LVT-financed public goods, then you would owe the arrears on your parcel’s land value tax, per the terms of the no-trespassing signs prominently marking those public goods.

  64. paulie

    “As much land as a man tills, plants, improves, cultivates, and can use the product of, so much is his property.”

    What if someone wants to buy land for the purpose of preserving it? “Product of” can mean a forest that is relatively devoid of human influence, for the purpose of enjoying it?

    There are many questions that can be raised along this line.

    That most land has been multiply stolen makes alloidial (absolute) land title even more morally suspect.

    Agreed.

    The only responses I can think of are “possession is nine tenths of the law” (which seems to me to be an attempt to morally justify, and perhaps encourage, theft) and “prove it in a court of law” (so, if you rob someone, make sure to destroy their records as well!)….not very satisfying.

  65. Daniel Wiener

    To Bill Wood @ 54:

    As long as Gary Johnson officially remains in the race for the Republican Presidential nomination, he is not going to display any public interest in the LP nomination. Doing otherwise would cost him whatever Republican support he currently has, and be tantamount to withdrawing from the Republican race. Johnson is enough of a politician (having twice been elected governor) to maintain the facade that he could still catch fire and win the Republican nomination.

    But Johnson is also enough of a politician to understand the realities of his situation. He’s been polling at 1% or 2% and isn’t making any headway. That in turn means he can’t raise large amounts of money from Republicans, who don’t believe he’s going to win, so his campaign continues to stagnate.

    Unless something miraculous happens, the time will come when Johnson finally gives up and drops out of the Republican race. At that point he can go back to his private endeavors, or else he can decide that it’s still worth trying to promote his ideas in the political arena. The Libertarian Party offers him a platform to do so.

    In the meantime it makes sense for him to quietly put out feelers as to the level of support he could expect from the LP. A very good case can be made that, all factors considered, he’d be a far better Libertarian Party Presidential candidate than any of the likely alternatives in 2012. To all except those purists who can’t abide the slightest deviation from their standards of libertarian orthodoxy, Johnson holds highly libertarian views and has great real-world credentials.

    My guess is that Gary Johnson will easily win the LP nomination if and when he decides to toss his hat into the ring.

  66. Andy

    Robert Capozzi said: “No, I don’t believe that’s correct, UNLESS you think tenths of a percentage point are significant. I find such analysis foolish, as would most statisticians.”

    Bob Barr was supposedly going to take the Libertarian Party to the “next level,” however, he only came in 4th place when you look at percentage of the vote received by other LP candidates for President. This was NOT taking the party to the next level.

    The Barr campaign was a failure. It failed to take the party to the next level in terms of the number of votes and percent of the vote. It failed to cause any great influx of hardcore libertarian activists to join the LP.

    The Barr campaign showed that “mainstream credentials” don’t necessarily mean anything when it comes to being a minor party or independent candidate.

    I’ve actually received more negative feedback from the public (that is non-Libertarian Party members) about Bob Barr than I have about any other Libertarian Party candidate since I’ve been in the party (since 1996).

    I don’t know if Johnson would be as bad of a candidate as Barr was, but he’s got a lot to prove to me before I’d jump on his bandwagon.

  67. Robert Capozzi

    73 dw: A very good case can be made that, all factors considered, [GJ] ’d be a far better Libertarian Party Presidential candidate than any of the likely alternatives in 2012.

    me: Great analysis. Though I generally prefer GJ’s approach to RP’s, RP has the bigger brand and would even more likely get the nod. Both could stand some improvement in front of the camera.

  68. Robert Capozzi

    74 a: Bob Barr was supposedly going to take the Libertarian Party to the “next level,” however, he only came in 4th place when you look at percentage of the vote received by other LP candidates for President.

    me: You don’t seem to understand my point. Using a microscope to make a distinction between 0.5% and 1.4% is statistically insignificant. It’s all 1%, and even that is insignificant in the big picture. Tiny differences only matter when a contest is contested. You are misapplying statistics, IOW, in ways that are leading you to draw false conclusions, IMO.

    A fool might have believed that there was 100% certainty that Barr WOULD take the LP to the next level. Barr did represent an outside possibility of showing up; he was arguably more qualified than Obama, resume-wise.

    A fool also uses anecdotes to prove a case (in his mind.) Barr didn’t handle the Paul situation well. My guess is if he handles in more optimally, he — best case — might have broke 1MM votes or so.

  69. Brian Holtz

    I too wish Barr hadn’t so egregiously botched his relationship with the Paul campaign. The upside would have been mostly in more synergy/unity between the LP and the broader freedom movement, and not so much in Paul moving the electoral needle for Barr. With Paul’s endorsement, the CP in 2008 only added 50K votes to its total from 2004.

  70. Brian Holtz

    P) What if someone wants to buy land for the purpose of preserving it? (P

    I assume you mean “homestead” instead of “buy”, since Locke’s restriction was on homesteading rather than on purchasing. Locke’s position is that homesteading yields ownership only to the extent that 1) “enough and as good [is] left in common for others”, and 2) labor is productively mixed with the resource and that the product is then used rather than allowed to spoil. Even Rothbard agreed that a resource had to be used to be homesteaded.

  71. Robert Capozzi

    John Locke was not “God.” He had some pretty useful opinions, but they are hardly sacrosanct; if they ARE sacrosanct, I’d love to hear why they are.

    Are “property rights” the “right” to “own,” or the “right” to use? Who grants these “rights”? Who recognizes them? It all gets quite gray for me.

    There are lots and lots of reasons to have institutions that allow for maximum individual freedom and minimum government, even minimum institutions. Making the case that there’s a discernible formula for these things, I’d suggest, is a rather silly notion. Politics is not physics, not even quantum physics.

    Chase your tail at your own peril…

  72. Andy

    “Brian Holtz // Sep 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I too wish Barr hadn’t so egregiously botched his relationship with the Paul campaign. The upside would have been mostly in more synergy/unity between the LP and the broader freedom movement, and not so much in Paul moving the electoral needle for Barr.”

    Yes, this was one of the biggest thing that the Barr campaign did wrong. Also, I think that had things done right in coordinating with the Ron Paul r3VOLution with the LP that the could have received a record breaking vote total. The opportunity was there, it was just squandered (by the Barr campaign and by LP National).

    “With Paul’s endorsement, the CP in 2008 only added 50K votes to its total from 2004.”

    The endorsement for Baldwin came late in the game and Chuck Baldwin and the Constitution Party were ill prepared. Baldwin did not jump into the race until moments before the Constitution Party’s National Convention and the Constitution Party was way behind where they could have been in terms of ballot access. Baldwin only made the ballot in like 37 states and he was not on the ballot in several high population states such as Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Indiana, Arizona, and California (where his ballot access had been hijacked by a pro-Alan Keyes faction of their party). The Ron Paul endorsement did help Baldwin but the problem for them was that it came too late and their campaign preparation was very weak.

  73. Andy

    Robert Capozzi said: “A fool might have believed that there was 100% certainty that Barr WOULD take the LP to the next level.”

    This is what the Bob Barr campaign – and Bob Barr himself – promised at the LP National Convention in Denver. A lot of the delegates bought into it too. I was skeptical and I turned out to be right.

  74. Brian Holtz

    John Locke was not God; that title is reserved for Fred Foldvary. 🙂

    I agree there’s no single axiomatization of libertarianism that the LP should bless above the others. But competition is good, and that’s why I’m trying to write one down for geolibertarianism here.

  75. Deran

    Not to be crass, but I would be very interested in Johnson’s fundraising abilities. July Quarterly FEC says John raised $180k in that quarter.

  76. Robert Capozzi

    81 A: This is what the Bob Barr campaign – and Bob Barr himself – promised at the LP National Convention in Denver. A lot of the delegates bought into it too. I was skeptical and I turned out to be right.

    me: Yes, you probably were “right,” technically speaking. But surely you’ve noticed that politics often involves overstatement for effect. If Barr literally said “we will take this to the next level,” consider hearing those words as “I believe I can take it to the next level, given my credibility and communication skills.”

  77. Robert Capozzi

    82 bh: I agree there’s no single axiomatization of libertarianism that the LP should bless above the others. But competition is good…

    me: Certainly agree that the LP should not bless any axiomized Lism. I go further, challenging the very notion of axioms, aside from perhaps abstract ones like “love.” 😉 I can’t agree that competition is “good,” because the word implies winners and losers. Your geoLism works pretty well for me, but I’m not Charlie Sheen, so I don’t know what “winning” is.

  78. Melty

    @83 also a near quarter million debt and almost no cash on hand. … ..no matter. LP’d pick him up in a heartbeat.

  79. Robert Capozzi

    I have no reason to believe the GJ is a fundraising machine, but aren’t there some lags in that reportage?

  80. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@87,

    The numbers in question are through June 30th of this year. The campaign’s next quarterly report will cover through September 30th.

    A couple of thoughts on that:

    1) Usually large surges in popularity and large surges in fundraising tend to go together. Not having seen the former during this third quarter, I consider it unlikely that we’ll see the latter when this quarter’s numbers come out.

    2) Anecdotally, $180k so far seems like very weak fundraising for a popular former governor. The conventional wisdom is that voters elect former governors because they want experience. The practical fact is that former governors presumably have built large networks of wealthy supporters on their journey toward the title “former governor.” Johnson’s network appears to either not exist or to have decided to sit this race out on him.

  81. paulie

    My guess is that Gary Johnson will easily win the LP nomination if and when he decides to toss his hat into the ring.

    Agreed.

    The only way he would lose is if Ron Paul or maybe Jesse Ventura ran for it also – and I’m not sure about Ventura.

    However, I’m far less convinced that Johnson would actually want it.

    If he runs LP, it would kill his Republican chances in 2016.

    That year, Ron Paul may be considered too old to run again, and Rand Paul will be up for his first re-election to the Senate, so he probably won’t run for president yet. Johnson may have his best opportunity that year. If he runs LP, that would kill his Republican chances … at least for a couple of decades.

  82. paulie

    With Paul’s endorsement, the CP in 2008 only added 50K votes to its total from 2004.

    The CP had worse ballot access in 2008, from the standpoint of how many voters had the CP on their ballot that year, IIRC.

  83. paulie

    P) What if someone wants to buy land for the purpose of preserving it? (P

    I assume you mean “homestead” instead of “buy”,

    Yes, thanks.

    Even Rothbard agreed that a resource had to be used to be homesteaded.

    Preservation is a form of use. It yields a “product” that is of utility for some people.

    But even if we grant that preservation is not a “use” for the purpose of Locke’s quote above, what about low-intensity uses such as ecotourism, forest plant harvesting, hunting grounds or non-clear cut timber harvesting? To someone wishing to develop the same plot of land for more high-intensity uses – mineral extraction, farming, industry, or home building – it would appear that the plot of land in question is “unused.”

  84. paulie

    John Locke was not “God.” He had some pretty useful opinions, but they are hardly sacrosanct; if they ARE sacrosanct, I’d love to hear why they are.

    Are “property rights” the “right” to “own,” or the “right” to use? Who grants these “rights”? Who recognizes them? It all gets quite gray for me.

    There are lots and lots of reasons to have institutions that allow for maximum individual freedom and minimum government, even minimum institutions. Making the case that there’s a discernible formula for these things, I’d suggest, is a rather silly notion. Politics is not physics, not even quantum physics.

    Chase your tail at your own peril…

    Good point.

  85. Thomas L. Knapp

    BH@77,

    “With Paul’s endorsement, the CP in 2008 only added 50K votes to its total from 2004.”

    That’s true, but it’s not necessarily easy to draw specific conclusions from it (e.g. that if Paul had endorsed Barr, the LP would likewise have added 50k as opposed to some other number).

    Perhaps, as Andy opines, the CP simply didn’t have its ducks in a row to capitalize on Paul’s endorsement.

    Or perhaps Paul’s supporters were less inclined to support a CP candidate on Paul’s endorsement than they would have been to support an LP candidate on Paul’s endorsement.

    Or perhaps the bulk of Paul’s supporters who would have happily voted for him as the GOP’s nominee either stayed home, or were willing to vote for whomever the GOP nominated, although possibly less enthusiastically than they would have for Paul.

    Some of those answers are probably discernible deep in the crosstabs of professional polls, if the right ones were done. Other answers are probably just not going to be discernible from data sets.

  86. paulie

    Getting back to the original topic:

    My best guess is that this is wishful thinking by some Johnson supporters and/or staffers who are also LP members.

  87. Sane LP member

    are you nuts # 44?
    Open Borders?
    Will Mexico open their borders entirely to us?
    I has to work both ways, ONLY have we kill the welfare spicket. We can’t afford to put more people on welfare. It isn’t fair to those of us that are trying to make a living the old-fashioned way.

  88. paulie

    Will Mexico open their borders entirely to us?

    If Mexico’s regime unfairly penalizes its people by preventing free movement of labor, it hardly justifies the US regime doing the same.

    However, in my experience Mexican borders are or were effectively open to Americans.

    Out of numerous times crossing from US into Mexico, I was only stopped by the Mexicans once, and only because the Mexican border pendejo thought the fake bullet holes painted on my ride’s truck were an indication of likely gun smuggling.

    On other occasions, I was harassed by Mexican border pendejos and/or army while already well into Mexico. On none of those occasions did they ever do anything to effectively prevent me from staying had I decided to do so. While there, I met numerous Americans who had in fact made that choice, without any paperwork.

    has to work both ways

    Why?

    kill the welfare spicket. We can’t afford to put more people on welfare. It isn’t fair to those of us that are trying to make a living the old-fashioned way.

    I don’t see a lot of Mexicans moving to the US to go on welfare.

    I did see a lot of Mexicans moving to the US to work harder and for less money than US born citizens. Many started businesses and put other people to work. Others provided Americans with goods and services that were cheaper as a result than they otherwise would have been.

    As the US economy crashed, I noticed many Mexicans moving back to Mexico.

    From what I have seen, lazy people usually do not move to foreign countries. If you have ever moved to another country, you know it requires a lot of effort, even if you don’t have to worry about money.

  89. Robert Capozzi

    89 tk: The practical fact is that former governors presumably have built large networks of wealthy supporters on their journey toward the title “former governor.”

    me: Hmm, I’m not sure that GJ has done much of this. His brand is not especially strong. He is not especially articulate or charismatic, IMO. He is very, very raw meat, but he could — by LP standards — be the closest thing to filet mignon. I don’t get the sense he’s done the work to be a national figure since leaving the guvnership. He’s an asterisk with some potential at this point to be more than that.

  90. Brian Holtz

    Paulie @92, the vagueness of “use” is another reason why I reject the idea that the first to use a site gets eternal title to it. In the geolibertarian framework, the market continually re-evaluates what the best use of a site is, and a landholder with a different opinion has to compensate those excluded from the land in proportion to the site’s market-determined ground rent.

    Michael @93, a geoist Land Value Tax would in fact help reverse the urban sprawl that government policies currently encourages. By taxing both improvements and land value, property taxes currently push development away from urban centers, where property taxes are highest. A land value tax would only tax land value, and so would encourage density and infill by taxing developed sites the same as sites that are underdeveloped or held for speculation.

  91. Wayne Root

    @98 Paulie,

    You know I happen to like you personally. Very much actually.

    And I know you mean well.

    You are a compassionate person and I respect that.

    But…

    You’re just not telling the full story.

    First, I agree with you. No one should ever say Latinos are lazy. You are correct…they are perhaps the hardest working people I’ve ever met.

    But all persons in this country illegally…of any race…are costing us BILLIONS. It’s not a Latino issue. It’s simply “an illegal immigrant in poverty straining the system” issue.

    Let’s just assume we have a hard working Latino family (or any other race) illegally in this country, with 5 children. Which is often the case.

    Progressives are very bad with math…either purposely or because they are naive.

    Let’s forget welfare, aid to dependent children, food stamps, housing allowance, and free breakfasts and lunches…all of which our illegal immigrant family is probably getting.

    In Las Vegas the public schools are now 70% English as second language…and 70% of students get free breakfast and lunch.

    Coincidence? Absolutely not.

    We are in fact paying dearly for illegal immigrants.

    But forget all that.

    Even if a nice illegal immigrant family…or undocumented workers…or whatever politically correct name you choose… refuses all traditional entitlements…

    Let’s assume the husband and wife each make $20K per year…

    If they were on the books paying taxes…

    But 95% of the time they are not…

    Their total taxes might be $3000 for FICA…and even if they spent the other $37K…and paid an average of 6% sales tax…that’s another $2200 in sales taxes.

    That’s $5000 to $5500 in taxes paid.

    But you are forgetting that education is the most expensive part of government spending.

    5 kids at $10,000 each= $50K cost to taxpayers…with $5000 coming in in taxes from that family.

    The reality is that in big urban areas- NY, LA, DC, Chicago- where most illegal immigrants live, we spend $15K per pupil on public school.

    So 5 kids= $75K.

    And the odds they legally paid FICA taxes are close to zero.

    So govt took in $2000+ in sales tax from a family spending their entire $40K income…

    And U.S. government spent $75K in education for that family.

    But wait…

    It’s just starting…

    On $40K per year, this couple has no money for health insurance, or doctors.

    So they spent $5K to $10K per year on hospital emergency rooms. Govt pays for that too.

    But that’s if everyone is healthy. If one kid gets really sick, or gets diabetes, or breaks a leg, or parent gets in bad car accident…it’s a $100,000 bill to taxpayers.

    How about cancer? Maybe it’s a $500,000 bill to taxpayers. Or $1,000,000.

    That’s for a nice law abiding illegal immigrant couple that refuses all other entitlements.

    No such people exist anymore.

    The FACT is almost every illegal immigrant takes food stamps, housing allowance, aid to dependent children, and free school breakfasts and lunches.

    And new study proves undocumented workers grabbed billions…I think it was $4 BB…from IRS last year in earned income tax credits…even though they had no income on the books.

    The reality is a big family …which on average illegal immigrants have…

    Might easily pay into the system $2000 to $3000 per year…

    and take out $50,000, or $100,000 to $150,000 per year.

    Every year, year after year.

    That’s the hidden costs of illegal immigration…even without entitlements.

    Just in education and medical.

    This is a big reason why America is going BK.

    It’s a main reason why California is not only BK, but completely insolvent.

    And most other border states have the same issue.

    So we have an economic disaster on our hands.

    This seemed bad, but perhaps doable when the economy was humming along…and lots of money was coming in…but all of that has changed…dramatically…for the worse.

    Wait until tomorrow (Tuesday) when stock market opens down another 250 + points.

    We are headed into a Great Depression. Worldwide.

    Industrial nations are broke for just this reason…too many poor mouths to feed and educate and medicate.

    We are all out of money.

    The reality is we never had it. We went $14 trillion in debt in good times making believe we had it.

    Now we have $14 trillion in debt…headed to $20 trillion within 5 years…a bankrupt U.S. govt…a bankrupt postal service…$80+ trillion in unfunded liabilities…an economy grounding to a halt under our marxist comrade Obama…

    We owe all this OLD debt…yet we now owe the same gigantic, bloated bills this year…and next year…and the year after. New bills for education and medical and food stamps.

    Plus the interest on the old debt.

    It’s all over. “Compassionate or progressive Libertarianism” sounds nice. But it’s a colossal failure in the real world.

    Even rich people are broke. Million dollar houses are worth $250,000. One half of America’s homes will soon be in foreclosure. Unemployment is really about 20%…maybe even 22%. Now the stock market is crashing. BofA is insolvent.

    And you want upper middle class Americans who might lose their job…whose houses are worthless…whose retirement accounts are down 50%…who haven’t paid off their old college bills yet…and now have 2 of their own kids about to go to college and build up another $100K in debt…

    You want all of us to be “nice” and “fair” and “compassionate” and keep paying for each illegal family’s 5 kids $75,000 per year public school bill…and medical bills…and free meals…and housing allowances…and food stamps…

    While I pay for my kids’ meals…and I have to pay for my housing…and I have to pay for my medical bills.

    The jig is up. The horse has left the barn. The progressive dream is over. Yesterday’s news. You better hope normal Americans who have done everything legal their whole lives, can even survive.

    But asking them to pay for “open borders” so 25 million more poverty stricken foreigners…or maybe 100 million…or how about if half of China and India gets sick of complete utter poverty in their countries and decide to move to USA?

    With “open borders” we’d have 500 million more Americans? It’s unlimited. It’s like Monte Hall saying “COME ON IN.” Everyone is welcome.

    And Libertarians think this leads to smaller government?

    Libertarians think they can sell this?

    I’m LOL.

    100 million new Americans…or 500 million…anyone who wants to come…all of them poverty stricken. All of them needing free breakfasts and lunches. All of them with 3 kids, or 4 kids, or 6 kids each needing $15K per year for public school. All needing free dental and medical.

    Your arguments are sweet and nice and compassionate and wonderful.

    And they are so foolish and naive and wrong to every right-thinking American as to embarrass the LP and ruin any chance of ever getting their votes.

    “Open borders” is the ultimate “turn every voter off for life” idea.

    And sadly, now your argument is so moot. It’s survival that is on every middle class American’s mind. The spigot will be closing soon.

    Forget the extreme idea of open borders.

    Their isn’t enough money in the whole world for open borders.

    Sadly, there isn’t enough money to save the banks of Europe.

    Soon there may not be money to pay for grandma’s social security and medicare.

    There is absolutely no money for illegal immigrants. Or for millions more with open borders.

    Forget the old status quo.

    That just ended.

    All entitlements are soon to be off the table.

    Now it’s survival of the U.S. economy at stake.

    It’s a new world out there entering a Great Depression.

    Ideas of open borders are laughable.

    Ideas of giving $75K a year just in education to an illegal family are going to be challenged.

    We are broke.

    Bankrupt squared.

    Forget all the compassionate progressive ideas.

    They have now fallen by the wayside.

    But yes many illegal and undocumented workers are very nice people…and hard working…and family oriented.

    But they…and you who mean well… have no clue what they are costing society. See above.

    And now sadly…it is completely unaffordable.

    Wayne

  92. Andy

    I think that Wayne in post #102 and Paulie both brought up legitimate points.

    I think that in order for a libertarian society to “work” (as in not fall to pieces and move back towards big government) the libertarian society has to have a population that is very pro-liberty and is also highly vigilant of their liberty. Having people who do not accept the concept of individual liberty – be they natural born into that society or immigrants to that society – is like having cancer cells attacking the body. Too many cancer cells attacking the body means that the body dies, and too many people who do not understand, accept, and defend the concept of individual liberty in a society means that liberty will die.

    This is what is wrong with the land territory we call the United States of America today. There are too many people who do not believe in the concept of individual liberty, and even among people who do grasp and believe in the concept of individual liberty, many would prefer to roll over and play dead rather than stand up and defend individual liberty.

    Immigration is perceived as a problem for two primary reasons:

    1) The government has created a big socialist welfare state that acts as a magnet for the wrong type of people to want to come to the USA, and in addition to this, the government has waged a “War on Drugs” which has increased crime by creating a black market drug trade in which there are immigrant gangs who take part in shipping drugs into the USA due to the high profit created from the black market.

    2) Not all of the people immigrating to this country are pro-liberty. If one does not advocate individual liberty then by definition, one is not a peaceful person (and I’d include the average natural born American citizen who is a typical Democrat or Republican in with not being a peaceful person).

    Personally, I’m all in favor of immigrants who “get it,” that is that they understand and agree with the concept of individual liberty. However, on the flip side I do not support immigrants who do not understand and agree with the concept of individual liberty (just as I do not support the typical Democrat or Republican who is a natural born American).

    I’ve talked politics with a lot of immigrants. A few weeks ago I talked to an Iranian guy and he sounded pro-liberty so I gave him The World’s Smallest Political Quiz and he came out as a Libertarian. He was so happy about finding out about the Libertarian Party that he registered to vote as a Libertarian (he had become an American citizen about 3 years before this) and he thanked me for letting him know about the Libertarian Party and philosophy.

    I’ve also encountered quite a few immigrants who don’t “get it” when it comes to the concept of individual liberty. I’ve run into some who support socialist welfare programs, gun control, Affirmative Action, tax payer funded foreign aid to the country from where they came, censorship, the drug war, laws against other vices (gambling, prostitution), US military intervention (especially if they perceive it benefiting their home country), as well as other things that do not fall in line with the concept of individual liberty.

    Some will respond, “Yes, but there are natural born American citizens who support the same things.” My response to this is that whoever points this out is right.

    So what’s the solution? I think that in order to obtain and maintain a libertarian society, there’d probably have to be some kind of non-initiation of force and fraud contract. Sign the contract and you can come in and be a part of the libertarian society, however, if you initiate force and/or fraud you’d have to be ejected from the libertarian society. This would probably have to be after some kind of jury trial, unless the person in question engaged in force and/or fraud and the would be victim of this acted in self defense and pulled out a gun and put a bullet in their head (or used some other type of lethal force).

    The bottom line is that you can’t have a libertarian society when the bulk of the population does not support individual liberty.

  93. Chuck Moulton

    Wayne Root wrote (@102):

    You’re just not telling the full story.

    But all persons in this country illegally…of any race…are costing us BILLIONS. It’s not a Latino issue. It’s simply “an illegal immigrant in poverty straining the system” issue.

    Let’s just assume we have a hard working Latino family (or any other race) illegally in this country, with 5 children. Which is often the case.

    Progressives are very bad with math…either purposely or because they are naive.

    I’m teaching a class on International Economics this semester. If a student wrote an exam essay like your comment I would give him an F.

    Your rhetoric is both populist and wrong. You talk in scary parables with reckless disregard for the facts.

    As far as I can tell, you are trying to highlight findings from the FAIR publication The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers. Except instead of providing citations that can be discussed on the merits you just appeal to emotion and fear in the form of an amorphous made up hypothetical.

    The FAIR study was rebutted 2 years before it was published by the Perryman Group, which published An Analysis of the Economic Impact of Undocumented Workers on Business Activity in the US with Estimated Effects by State and by Industry (there are many, many studies showing that illegal immigration is a net positive… this is just one example). The FAIR study makes the classic cost/benefit analysis mistake of only looking at the costs (government services) while completely ignoring the benefits (increased jobs for others, lowered costs of goods and services).

    Economists virtually across the board agree that immigration (in general and illegal immigration specifically) is a net positive for the country. The Independent Institute highlights a few of those surveys in this article. Politicians, the lay public, and others not educated on the benefits take a dimmer view.

    Most populist rhetoric on immigration tries to portray the issue as black or white where you either must accept all the costs associated with illegal immigration or you must prevent all illegal immigration. In fact there is a third solution, which is to address the actual problem (the welfare state) rather than just the symptom of that problem (a small minority of illegal immigrants feeding off the welfare state). We ought to strive for the least restrictive way of solving a perceived problem rather than looking toward the nuclear solution: stopping immigration (legal or illegal). It would be a far more moral compromise to let people in on the condition that they don’t use these government services.

    But if we are left with the black or white, in or out choice of keeping the illegal immigration we have or shutting it down, the choice is clear: our current level of illegal immigration is a huge net positive for the economy. It’s not even close.

    Bryan Caplan gave an excellent talk on open borders immigration last year. Anyone who purports to intelligently discuss the issue ought to view it.

    http://www.fff.org/comment/com1009f.asp

    I see immigration as the classic line of demarcation between conservatives and libertarians on economic liberties. Every candidate forum I go to, immigration is the first question I ask about. It’s not that immigration is the most important issue for me or that I’m a single issue litmus test libertarian, but rather that it saves a lot of time separating the wheat from the chaff as a rule of thumb presumption sorting mechanism. Any candidate who tells me he is against having more legal immigration and/or wants to stop illegal immigration faces an uphill battle convincing me he’s a libertarian rather than a conservative.

  94. Jeremy C. Young

    You know I tend to be pretty level-headed on this forum. Generally speaking, I support the efforts of all third-party candidates to undermine the two-party duopoly. But I want to make sure you all realize the move Wayne Root has made when he says @102:

    No one should ever say Latinos are lazy. You are correct…they are perhaps the hardest working people I’ve ever met.

    That’s one of the most racist things I’ve ever seen posted on this board, and by a presidential candidate no less. “I know you’re hard working because your skin is brown.” People are people, Wayne. You seem to have forgotten that, and come to the conclusion you can judge an entire group of them based on what they look like and where they were born. Judging people based on their skin color is the very definition of racism.

    I’m disappointed to see any presidential candidate, outside of Daniel Imperato or some neo-Nazi, make a statement like the one above. Illegal immigration is a complex issue without an easy solution, but one thing about it that isn’t complicated at all is that whether an illegal immigrant is good or bad has nothing, nothing to do with his race or ethnicity. I would hope Wayne Root would be more careful when stating, or even thinking, such things in the future.

  95. Wayne Root

    @104

    I complimented and praised Hispanics and you want to turn that into racism? LOL.

    Not even worth having a discussion with you. Sad. You’re so politically correct that a person can’t state the truth- good or bad- without being called names.

    The definition of “racism” is anyone that is winning an argument with a liberal.

    You sir are a politically correct, pathetic example of a liberal gone way too far.

    A person can’t even have an intelligent conversation with you without name calling.

  96. Wayne Root

    @104 Chuck

    Chuck you are an intelligent person worth having a debate or conversation. You simply are jumping to wild conclusions. Where did I say I’m against legal immigration? I’m for more legal immigration.

    I clearly made the case why common sense middle class Americans are:

    A) Disgusted with illegal immigration

    B) Will never even entertain “open borders.”

    And they won’t. And purist Libertarians get angry when faced with reality in the real voting world.

    But as far as solutions, I can list many of them in a commentary. This wasn’t the forum for that. I merely listed the reasons why in a bankrupt nation illegal immigration is a travesty. We are broke and there is no “net” if you count education and medical, let alone the costs of entitlements. You are kidding yourselves.

    But I am a huge fan of LEGAL immigration. We should be making legal immigration easier and more open. Period. We should dramatically raise legal immigration for foreigners with specialized skills (like high tech companies so desperately want and need), farm workers, and foreign students.

    Students is a great area for changing the rules. If you come to America and get a college degree, I want to encourage you to stay. It’s insane to make college educated young adults leave. We should welcome them with open arms.

    And any need for business should be recogized and filled. If workers (low or high income) can be shown to be needed, dramatically raise quotas for immigration.

    In general, the process must be strwamlined.

    Also my plan is to let in millions of new immigrants by allowing INSTANT CITIZENSHIP for anyone in world who brings $250,000 to either buy a home, or open a business within 6 months of arrival. With my plan we turn immigration into an economic boom. We turn immigrants who are educated, successful, ambitious and family-oriented into the new founation for economic rebound.

    We welcome millions of new immigrants with talent, skills, education and assets. They bring their talents and assets to USA. Great! They will end the foreclosure crisis by buying homes. They will end the banking crisis by bringing money. They will end the jobs crisis by opening businesses. They will end the Social Security crisis by paying into the system for many years to come.

    Allowing “open borders” is the wrong answer…and it will never happen in your lifetime…or any lifetime.

    But my plan is reasonable and works. It turns immigration into the lifeblood of America.

    So please never assume a Libertarian that wants increased immigration, streamlined process, more HB Visas, more work permits, more foreign students to stay, and a program to allow millions of the wealthiest, most ambitious immigrants from every country in the world to gain instant citizenship, to be called “anti-immigration.”

    I also have a creative compromise plan for those already illegally in the USa that neither political party has ever come up with.

    My ideas would be welcomed by the majority of voters and especially conservative and right-center voters who would suddenly see a way to turn immigration into a positive.

    Everything I do is to take a step in the right direction.

    That’s how you achieve progress.

    “open borders” has to be dropped from our vocabulary. It’s poisonous to LP. The mention is like waving a red cape in front of a bull. It enrages millions of voters who mock the LP forever more.

    I am explaining reality and fact, not “hoping upon hope in an idealistic world.”

    By the way, please stop defining what Libertarian is. You are insulting me and millions of others. Ron Paul is certainly by ALL standards the definition of Libertarian. Almost to a fault. But to almost everyone in politics he describes the word “Libertarian.” Yet he is for sealing the borders, stopping illegal immigration, and ending birthright citizenship.

    I have gone beyond all that with my proposals above.

    But I have also described the anxieties of middle class Americans losing their homes and jobs. It is NOT compassionate for Libertarians to ignore that group, or not feel their pain.

    Their pain and anger towards illegal immigrants must be addressed to win elections.

  97. Jeremy C. Young

    Wayne Root @106, I’m pretty sure you were referring to my comment, not to Chuck’s. So much wrong with your comment. First of all, I did not engage in “name-calling.” I did not say you were racist, only that your comment was. I prefer to evaluate people’s actions and statements, not the people themselves.

    Second of all, you say, “The definition of ‘racism’ is anyone that is winning an argument with a liberal.” Funny, I thought the definition of racism was “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities — that’s exactly what you displayed when you suggested that all people of a particular race were hard workers, or that people of that race were more likely to be hard workers.

    I know you were trying to compliment people of Hispanic origin. That’s exactly what’s to telling about what you said. It is not, under any circumstances, a compliment to judge people by their race. Yes, it’s better than if you said, “Hispanics are the laziest people I’ve ever met.” But it’s really not all that much better. Your compliment is backhanded and racist because you continue to judge Hispanics as a race and not as individual, uncategorizable people. If you said “fat people are the nicest people I’ve ever met,” would that be a compliment?

    It’s also telling, I think, that you as a presidential candidate would defend that sort of statement. Anyone can make a mistake or say something they shouldn’t. A good president — or a good party standard-bearer — should be able to admit when he has made such a mistake, and correct it. Your stubborn attachment to that statement, even when it has been pointed out to you that it is racist, does you no favors.

  98. Paulie

    Only got a few minutes so I’ll defer to Chuck on the bulk of my response to Wayne for now. I think Chuck covered most of what I would have said, and better than I would have.

    I don’t think it’s necessary or proper to treat Wayne’s comment as an academic paper to be graded or chide him for lack of citations, however. Most IPR comments, including most of mine, don’t go to that degree in tracing down the sources of their arguments.

    Jeremy, I’d also like to give Wayne the benefit of the doubt on the issue you cite. There are cultural factors, not necessarily genetic, in some ethnic groups being more predisposed to certain forms of behavior. That in no way means that all individuals within that group conform to that tendency, regardless of whether it is good or bad.

    Those cultural factors can change over time. Thus, I’m more inclined to believe that they are not genetic in basis.

    However, that being said, I would say it is more accurate to state that immigrants, not Latinos per se, tend to be harder working than native born citizens of any country that remain in their home country their whole life. That is because the act of immigration itself is a lot of work, and tends to select against lazy people as a result.

    Wayne, I don’t think it is correct to say that the definition of “racism” is anyone that is winning an argument with a liberal. For example, nazis and the KKK are racist. Sure, some of them may win some arguments with some liberals, but that is besides the point of the fact that they are racists.

  99. Paulie

    By the way, I would like to continue with the tangents, but before we get too completely far off course, would anyone like to agree or disagree with my analysis of the original topic @90 and explain why they agree or disagree?

  100. paulie

    BH

    Paulie @92, the vagueness of “use” is another reason why I reject the idea that the first to use a site gets eternal title to it. In the geolibertarian framework, the market continually re-evaluates what the best use of a site is, and a landholder with a different opinion has to compensate those excluded from the land in proportion to the site’s market-determined ground rent.

    Michael @93, a geoist Land Value Tax would in fact help reverse the urban sprawl that government policies currently encourages. By taxing both improvements and land value, property taxes currently push development away from urban centers, where property taxes are highest. A land value tax would only tax land value, and so would encourage density and infill by taxing developed sites the same as sites that are underdeveloped or held for speculation.

    How would this work in practice?

    Let’s say Sanford and Son and their neighbors, Deliverance Hunting Grounds, etc, are occupying a patch of land which Acme Development Corporation would like to put to a higher intensity and/or higher value use. The existing users of that land don’t want to leave. Does this mean that ADC can bounce S&S, DHG et al out and build their shopping malls, condos and office parks or not? And when you say that ADC has to compensate those excluded from the land, does that mean that Fred Sanford gets a check, or that Uncle Sam gets a check, a portion of which may or may not go to Fred and Lamont?

    Obviously, any given acre of Deliverance Hunting Grounds property would be worth a lot less than that same acre if it were developed by ADC. Sure, ADC would have to pay some compensation (not sure yet whether they would have to pay it to DHG, though), but presumably ADC would make more than enough money to make it worthwhile for them, or at least they are betting that they would.

    Also, how would home equity or property equity work under this system? Right now, many small businesses can start or expand by trading on the owner’s home equity (and later on the worth of the home as well as the business) as collateral. But, if they can be bounced out of their home and/or store by whoever can put that same property to a higher value or more profitable use, would such a loan be too risky to make?

    Maybe I haven’t understood your proposed system well enough?

  101. paulie

    And the odds they legally paid FICA taxes are close to zero.

    Actually the odds are pretty high.

    Many undocumented workers obtain fake SSNs and use them to get jobs. They then get FICA taxes withheld, but they can never claim the benefits because the numbers are fake (or do not belong to them).

  102. Thomas L. Knapp

    Chuck @ 104,

    Thanks for trying to talk sense to Wayne. Sorry he came back to tell you you’re wasting your time doing that.

    The only quibble I’d have with any of your points is that there’s no such thing as illegal immigration — the Constitution not only enumerates no such federal power, but specifically forbade one at its ratification and has never subsequently been amended to provide for one.

    It should always be made clear that any candidate who favors immigration restrictions without a constitutional amendment to legalize them is running as an opponent of the US Constitution.

  103. George Phillies

    “By the way, please stop defining what Libertarian is. You are insulting me and millions of others. Ron Paul is certainly by ALL standards the definition of Libertarian. ”

    He’s an antiabortionist. Your lies disgrace our national party.

  104. George Phillies

    “I’m teaching a class on International Economics this semester. If a student wrote an exam essay like your comment I would give him an F.”

    We need to invent some lower failing grades, now that we have a working example.

  105. Brian Holtz

    Paulie @111, my Land Value Tax would work the way David Nolan proposed: “a single tax on land, with landholders doing their own valuation; you’d state the price at which you’d be willing to sell your land, and pay taxes on that amount. Anyone (including the tax collector) who wanted to buy it at that price could do so.” For illiquid landholders, taxes could accumulate as a lien against the property, capped at its market value, so nobody need ever be taxed off the land they hold.

    Equity loans would work pretty much the same way they do now. The “bouncing” only happens when the landholder is paid more than the value which he says the site is worth. The main difference would be that it would be harder to get a mortgage for an immovable idiosyncratic improvement (e.g. a dolphin tank) that the next owner is unlikely to value. So if you want to build weird stuff, do it out in the boonies and not in the middle of downtown.

  106. Sane LP member

    Yes, lets go back to 1888 Arizona and have a wild west “libertarian” society. Got to love it with 300+ million people in the USA. It would be fun wouldn’t it? Or maybe a nightmare.
    How do you think the major players would spin the pure libertarian message? Do you really think in our lifetimes that Americans want to accept that message or go back to 1888 Arizona?
    Better get your guns and build a bunker if that happens.

  107. Brian Holtz

    Migration of persons should be without constraints, provided that migrants 1) do not trespass, 2) pay for how much they pollute, congest, or deplete the commons, and 3) are sponsored by someone (perhaps themselves) who can afford to assume the same responsibility for their subsistence as parents do for native children.

  108. Michael H. Wilson

    Some where along the line Wayne wrote;“I clearly made the case why common sense middle class Americans are:

    A) Disgusted with illegal immigration

    B) Will never even entertain “open borders.”

    For the record Wayne prior to 9/11/2001 there were towns on the border with Canada where you could walk across without anyone even batting an eye. Work in the U.S. and have lunch in Canada with your Canadian cousin. The southern border was also much the same.

    And for what my blue collar opinion is worth once you stop the free flow of labor you no longer have a free market.

  109. Michael H. Wilson

    re Paulie @ 90 I think it depends on what Johnson’s goals are and how we thinks they can be best achieved. Does he want to be President or does he want to solve a problem? And how to go about it.

  110. Michael H. Wilson

    Here are a couple of interesting articles on the issue.

    The McClatchy syndicate has this article on NAFTA and how is displace Mexican farm workers http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/02/01/107871/free-trade-us-corn-flows-south.html

    “In the middle of the decade,” Passel says, “when the U.S. economy was relatively strong, unauthorized immigrants actually had lower unemployment rates than U.S. natives or legal immigrants.” http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129578179

  111. Jill Pyeatt

    Thank you to Chuck Moulton, Jeremy C Young, Paulie, George Phillies, Brian Holz, Michael H. Wilson and Thomas L Knapp : Thank you for your responses to Mr. Root. I do no have the time nor the inclination to answer him, so I thank all of you for your eloquent words.

    I will, however, say this: Seriously, Wayne, you sound like a Tea-Partier. Why don’t you stop arguing with everyone, as you try to make over the LP in your own image? The Tea-Party needs good leaders–really–I think that’s where you belong.

  112. Adrian Galysh

    Perhaps the LP should just announce its endorsement of Ron Paul for president? It would make some serious news, not conflict with everyone’s no. 1 choice, and give the LP Chair a chance to talk on national television.

  113. Racism is as Racism Does

    Brown people (the slave class that gathers our food, cleans our homes, fixes our cars and mows our lawns) are NOT responsible for government spending.

    To project this patently false picture, is racist at its core the same way taxes are violent at theirs.

    BTW Jill, it feels to me like you are inappropriately hung up on Israel. I might understand your motivations and cynicism, but your practice is as bad as Mr. Roots.

    It is easy to pick at the faults of your rival, but racism, prejudice, and unfair classification is something inherent to all men. It is how we are built: Apprehending our world one familiar piece at a time and blind to that which is new or painful.

    To live in a free society requires us to regularly exercise for the hard work of tolerance. I think that we must be vigilant, and try to never pretend that we are not also all judgmental human beings; sadly and permanently unaware of our own filters and bigotry.

  114. Team Player, Winning Individual

    The LP, should it endorse any other party’s candidate, would cease to exist.

  115. Chuck Moulton

    Wayne Root wrote (@107):

    Where did I say I’m against legal immigration? I’m for more legal immigration.

    Good. You’re halfway there then. Legal immigration is good for the economy and so is illegal immigration.

    Wayne Root wrote (@107):

    I clearly made the case why common sense middle class Americans are:

    A) Disgusted with illegal immigration
    B) Will never even entertain “open borders.”

    Yes, many Americans will never entertain “open borders.” The reason is they don’t understand the economics of immigration.

    You’ve shown that you are in tune with polls of Americans and what many Americans perceive to be the immigration issues. What you haven’t shown is an understanding of the actual facts and economics of illegal immigration.

    Wayne Root wrote (@107):

    And they won’t. And purist Libertarians get angry when faced with reality in the real voting world.

    I understand the reality of the voting world. I understand the perception of voters on this issue.

    Where we differ is I am trying to learn and teach the reality of the economics so that I can help move the public perception rather than pretending the public perception is reality and pandering to it.

    I’ve already linked to an excellent video by Bryan Caplan on this issue. I’d suggest you watch it and explain what you see as the flaws in his arguments.

    If I’m having an intelligent debate with someone, it’s important not to argue past each other. If I make a point and you disagree with my point, that’s fine. You should have a logical reason for disagreeing though. Ignoring the argument or pretending it doesn’t exist isn’t an acceptable practice. Here you’re doing the equivalent of repeating the same point over and over again (louder) rather than recognizing your points have already been addressed and rebutted in the literature.

    I heard you say illegal immigrants are a drain on the public finances. That point has already been rebutted in the Caplan video.

    Additionally 50% of Americans pay no income tax. They use government services like military defense. They all drain public finances by taking out more than they put in. That’s not an adequate reason to deport them all.

    Wayne Root wrote (@107):

    But as far as solutions, I can list many of them in a commentary. This wasn’t the forum for that. I merely listed the reasons why in a bankrupt nation illegal immigration is a travesty. We are broke and there is no “net” if you count education and medical, let alone the costs of entitlements. You are kidding yourselves.

    They are counted. Still a huge net.

    Wayne Root wrote (@107):

    But I am a huge fan of LEGAL immigration. We should be making legal immigration easier and more open. Period. We should dramatically raise legal immigration for foreigners with specialized skills (like high tech companies so desperately want and need), farm workers, and foreign students.

    In general, the process must be streamlined.

    Also my plan is to let in millions of new immigrants by allowing INSTANT CITIZENSHIP for anyone in world who brings $250,000 to either buy a home, or open a business within 6 months of arrival.

    Sounds great to me!

    Wayne Root wrote (@107):

    Allowing “open borders” is the wrong answer…and it will never happen in your lifetime…or any lifetime.

    You haven’t shown that at all.

    You’ve listed the costs of illegal immigration without listing the benefits. You’ve said illegal immigration is politically unpopular as if that has anything to do with whether it is economically good.

    Wayne Root wrote (@107):

    But my plan is reasonable and works. It turns immigration into the lifeblood of America.

    So please never assume a Libertarian that wants increased immigration, streamlined process, more HB Visas, more work permits, more foreign students to stay, and a program to allow millions of the wealthiest, most ambitious immigrants from every country in the world to gain instant citizenship, to be called “anti-immigration.”

    You’re anti-illegal immigration.

    Legality is just an arbitrary label government slaps on an activity. If government rules an activity illegal, that doesn’t suddenly make it economically bad. A cost/benefit analysis of an activity’s economic value is completely independent of that government label.

    So the question is if you favor dramatically increasing legal immigration, why isn’t illegal immigration of the same amount similarly beneficial?

    By the way, if you’re worried about tax receipts I assure you Paulie is right: many illegal immigrants use fake social security numbers paying in payroll taxes.

    Wayne Root wrote (@107):

    My ideas would be welcomed by the majority of voters and especially conservative and right-center voters who would suddenly see a way to turn immigration into a positive.

    Everything I do is to take a step in the right direction.

    I welcome steps in the right direction, including greatly expanding legal immigration.

    Obviously political reality can be different from personal views. I’m not saying I expect politicians to have open borders as part of their platform or as a centerpiece of their campaigns.

    But it concerns me when politicians display fundamental misunderstandings of economics. So the question isn’t why open borders isn’t in your platform; the question is why do you personally believe open borders would be a bad thing in an ideal state (in which such a proposal could pass)? And can you back up your position on that with facts and economic theory rather than talking points?

    Wayne Root wrote (@107):

    “open borders” has to be dropped from our vocabulary. It’s poisonous to LP. The mention is like waving a red cape in front of a bull. It enrages millions of voters who mock the LP forever more.

    I disagree.

    Individual candidates can support open borders or support a less drastic step. Some LP candidates are going to take more radical bleeding edge positions. Radical now can become mainstream or a wildly popular minority position in the political landscape within a few years, like legalizing marijuana, gay marriage, and ending the Federal Reserve have. I’d rather have the LP a leading indicator of liberty positions than a lagging indicator. I’d rather lead the charge than look for a mob already charging and try to get in front of it.

    Wayne Root wrote (@107):

    I am explaining reality and fact, not “hoping upon hope in an idealistic world.”

    Part of politics is moving public opinion, not just accepting public opinion as given. For many LP candidates that is their main purpose. Winning elections only takes center stage at lower levels where our resources are more commensurate with those of opponents.

    Wayne Root wrote (@107):

    By the way, please stop defining what Libertarian is. You are insulting me and millions of others.

    Libertarians are for liberty. Liberty for your wallets. Liberty for your bedrooms. Liberty for your business. Liberty of movement. Some libertarians are for less liberty than others — and I’m okay with that.

    Wayne Root wrote (@107):

    Ron Paul is certainly by ALL standards the definition of Libertarian. Almost to a fault. But to almost everyone in politics he describes the word “Libertarian.” Yet he is for sealing the borders, stopping illegal immigration, and ending birthright citizenship.

    No, Ron Paul is not the definition of libertarian. Ron Paul has a lot of libertarian positions, but he’s anti-illegal immigration.

    Wayne Root wrote (@107):

    But I have also described the anxieties of middle class Americans losing their homes and jobs. It is NOT compassionate for Libertarians to ignore that group, or not feel their pain.

    Their pain and anger towards illegal immigrants must be addressed to win elections.

    I don’t believe in pandering to win elections. Their pain and anger is misdirected. Their facts and theories about illegal immigration are wrong.

    Similarly, a lot of Americans have pain and anger about income disparities and about how much CEOs make. Their pain and anger is misdirected there too. Their facts and theories about a fixed pie of wealth and income are wrong. When people say wrong things about that, I correct them. And you do too.

    So the question is why have you chosen to fight public opinion on the income disparity issue but concede to know nothing populism on illegal immigration?

    Just watch the Caplan video and tell me why Caplan is wrong.

  116. Jill Pyeatt

    RIARD @ 126 says: “BTW Jill, it feels to me like you are inappropriately hung up on Israel. I might understand your motivations and cynicism, but your practice is as bad as Mr. Roots.”

    Could you possibly be referring to my remark @ 17? This makes me as bad a racist as Root? Surely, you’re joking.

  117. Paulie

    Sorry to pile on (I try not to do that) but I wrote this last night and lost internet connection….

    The FACT is almost every illegal immigrant takes food stamps, housing allowance, aid to dependent children, and free school breakfasts and lunches.

    Is that actually a fact?

    You want all of us to be “nice” and “fair” and “compassionate”

    Not especially.

    If I had my way, we’d do away with all the government programs you cite, and not just for immigrants.

    It’s just that, as Chuck points out, you are looking at the costs and not counting the other side of the ledger. The work that is done by “illegal” immigrants right now reduces the costs of many goods and services, makes some goods and services available which otherwise would not be available at all, and frees up money, labor and capital to be put to better uses. Per the studies Chuck cites, this net positive outweighs the welfare costs you are referring to. That is according to sources that have added up both the costs and the benefits and weighed them against each other.

    That means that even if we count all those costs, we come out ahead.

    25 million more poverty stricken foreigners…or maybe 100 million…or how about if half of China and India gets sick of complete utter poverty in their countries and decide to move to USA?

    With “open borders” we’d have 500 million more Americans? It’s unlimited.

    Well, for starters, they would have to be able to afford to move. Many people don’t have the resources to get from there to here. They would also have to actually want to move (surprisingly to some, not everyone does – even when the alternative is very bleak).

    Now, let’s say all those people actually had the means and motivation to move to the US…at what point would there be no jobs and no welfare for them? That point may have already passed for many Mexicans and Central Americans who have voluntarily chosen to return home in the last few years. The vast majority of them were not apprehended and deported…they chose to leave out of their own free will.

    Would people coming here for a handout have done that?

  118. Racism is as Racism Does

    Jill, see your opening line @17. I, again, hope you will forgive me using one of your posts as an object for a point. The hidden irony was poignant for me and that is what I really wanted to share.

    Why do I think that your statement is racist in the same way Mr. Root’s is? For instance you might have said: his support for “foreign intervention such as in the case of Israel” or something else that made the subject of derision “policy” rather than a group of people. Mr. Root makes the same mistake blaming a group of people, while really ranting about economic policy.

    We seem to objectify problems as human beings, generalize them and re-project those perceptions on individuals them as a normal process of our minds. In doing so we miss the real problems often times, and do harm to fellows grouped as they do not belong. In my book, controlling hate and all of its sneaky manifestations is an adult life skill akin to needing to control rage and lust.

    I do not think you are any more racist than Mr. Root or myself for that matter. We are all blinded by prejudices and we are blind to them as well.

    BTW Jill, Mr. Root will change on this issue when the love in his heart for his fellow man, overrides the blinding fear that has been beaten into him. At that time, when he talks about people like human beings not conceptual boogeymen no matter their paperwork status, my respect for Mr. Root will increase dramatically.

    I do not think that you are as blinded as he, but I would recommend a little compassion for our still learning ally Mr. Root. He to be shown the same love, compassion and respect that we expect him to exhibit.

  119. paulie

    I will, however, say this: Seriously, Wayne, you sound like a Tea-Partier. Why don’t you stop arguing with everyone, as you try to make over the LP in your own image? The Tea-Party needs good leaders–really–I think that’s where you belong.

    Wayne makes no secret of the fact that he is a tea partier. He also is involved with the LP, as are many other people that think like him.

    I don’t think the answer is to invite him, or them, to leave.

    I think it’s to invite more other, different people from a wider variety of backgrounds to come in.

    Speaking of which, I’d still like to talk to your county char…by phone if possible, since internet keeps going in and out here.

  120. paulie

    re Paulie here is a nice article on Johnson http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/05/leaning_libertarian

    I read that one before. Thanks!

    re Paulie @ 90 I think it depends on what Johnson’s goals are and how we thinks they can be best achieved. Does he want to be President or does he want to solve a problem? And how to go about it.

    Besides possibly one day being president, one of Johnson’s goals is getting maximum exposure for his views. A stronger Republican run in 2016 probably has more potential in that direction than an LP run in 2012. Of course, it’s possible that Johnson could transform the LP’s potential, but better known people running as third party candidates (Barr, McKinney, even Buchanan) did not do so.

    He would do exceptionally well to do as well as Nader did for the Greens in 2000…and that did not help either Nader or the Greens long term.

  121. paulie

    Chuck,

    Fully agreed except for one point…

    Additionally 50% of Americans pay no income tax. They use government services

    They pay excise taxes, payroll/FICA tax, etc. This is a huge point a lot of conservatives and libertarians often overlook when discussing taxes.

  122. Gene Berkman

    BH @ 116 quotes David Nolan – “a single tax on land, with landholders doing their own valuation; you’d state the price at which you’d be willing to sell your land, and pay taxes on that amount. Anyone (including the tax collector) who wanted to buy it at that price could do so.”

    A rule that requires you to sell your property is not appropriate for a libertarian society.

  123. Gene Berkman

    Team Player @ # 127 says “The LP, should it endorse any other party’s candidate, would cease to exist.”

    Actually, cross-endorsing candidates of other parties has often been a successful strategy for third parties. The high point of success for the People’s Party came in 1896 when they backed William Jennings Bryan – they elected 22 members of Congress and a couple Senators in that election.

    Coalition politics also helped make the American Labor Party into a force in New York City in the 1930s and 1940s.

  124. Jill Pyeatt

    paulie @ 134: The CA ex com should have a quarterly meeting coming up. I’ll see what I can find out about it tonight at home from my husband and send you a message, probably on Facebook.

  125. JT

    Wayne made an economic argument against undocumented workers. Chuck argued that the economic reality of undocumented workers is other than what Wayne thinks it is. Wayne ignored that, saying he wants more legal immigration and most people will never accept open borders. Huh?

    Wayne, if you oppose something because it’s unpopular, then you should just argue on that basis. You shouldn’t make an economic argument, ignore someone’s economic rebuttal, and then point to how the other view is unpopular.

    Chuck: “Where we differ is I am trying to learn and teach the reality of the economics so that I can help move the public perception rather than pretending the public perception is reality and pandering to it.”

    Great line, Chuck.

  126. Michael H. Wilson

    I may have missed a point in this discussion, but wish to point it out here if it has not been covered.

    When immigrants, undocumented or otherwise come into a community they increase demand as Wayne has pointed out for educational and other services provided by the government. At the same time they increase the demand for none government services such as food, shelter, clothing, entertainment, etc. all of which benefits the community because trade increases.

    It would be interesting to look at some of the small towns where ICE has conducted raids and see what the impact has been on the community’s businesses. Is business down, how about housing rentals, etc?

  127. Chuck Moulton

    Paulie wrote (@136):

    Fully agreed except for one point…

    Additionally 50% of Americans pay no income tax. They use government services

    They pay excise taxes, payroll/FICA tax, etc. This is a huge point a lot of conservatives and libertarians often overlook when discussing taxes.

    Yes, I know. That’s why I said “income tax” rather than just “tax.”

  128. Robert Capozzi

    cm, thanks for the Caplan vid. Interesting framing of the issue. I like his alternatives to immigration restrictions…entry fee or surtax on immigrants.

    At some level, all law is arbitrary. Caplan’s thought experiment is interesting, but a US citizen being barred from Club US seems excessively so. Barring some, or having a high bar or a screen of some kind, seems less arbitrary.

    Whether taking the extreme position — open borders — is productive is a matter of opinion. I’d say it’s generally poor positioning, with little upside aside from feeling personally good about being “right.”

    Caplan’s alternatives sound like a win/win to me. The general principle is set and a sellable alternative is put into the thought stream…

  129. Tom Blanton

    Root has been playing the right-wing cracker circuit so long that his perception of reality and what ordinary people think is severely twisted.

    I’m for legal drugs, but that doesn’t mean I want to incite a lynch mob against people using illegal drugs.

    When I hear people say they are for legal immigration, I generally interpret that to mean that they don’t want people to know they are racists.

    But, nobody can say Root isn’t a hoot when thinks it is a compliment to call someone a hard-working welfare freeloader.

  130. Tom Blanton

    It would be interesting to look at some of the small towns where ICE has conducted raids and see what the impact has been on the community’s businesses.

    There were some stories this summer about farmers worried that produce was going to rot because the feds were rounding up farm workers.

    As far as communities go, virtually none impose an income tax. So, even if an illegal immigrant is working under the table, they are paying sales taxes and they are paying rents from which landlords pay real estate taxes.

    Most illegals avoid contact with the government and the police. Because of language and cultural confusion, many have a hard time just getting utilities turned on, much less going through the hurdles to get welfare.

  131. Brian Holtz

    Gene @137: “A rule that requires you to sell your property is not appropriate for a libertarian society.”

    I agree in the case of this rule. That’s why I wrote: “For illiquid landholders, taxes could accumulate as a lien against the property, capped at its market value, so nobody need ever be taxed off the land they hold.”

    So a pauper may keep possession of the land he holds, but he shouldn’t expect to cash in on the ground rent that gets capitalized into the site’s market price due to its proximity to public services.

    But note that if you agree with the existence of any taxation whatsoever, you can conjure scenarios in which an illiquid delinquent taxpayer has to sell assets to pay his taxes.

  132. Gene Berkman

    Brian @ 146 – from your Nolan quote, it appears that a requirement to sell is part of the self-assessment under the land tax idea. That requirement is what I object to.

    If you can self-assess, but are not required to sell at that price, that is a different matter.

  133. Brian Holtz

    When an offer comes in above your self-assessed value, then you have to either 1) sell, 2) use that price as your new tax basis, or 3) let your unpaid tax accumulate as a lien against the site.

  134. Team Player, Winning Individual

    GB @137: “Actually, cross-endorsing candidates of other parties has often been a successful strategy for third parties.

    The high point of success for the People’s Party came in 1896 when they backed William Jennings Bryan – they elected 22 members of Congress and a couple Senators in that election.”

    The death of the People’s Party came in 1896 when it’s membership, disappointed with the results of the fusion elections, almost instantly disintegrated.

    It was a flash in the pan, created on unrest, without idealistic base for continuity. In the beginning and in the end (a span of less than 10 years) it served primarily to feed the Democrats. It is not a model I would call successful.

    The other example, the American Labor Party, was specifically a power brokering party. It was formed by labor parties to give their organizations local bargaining power. Power trading was what they did. Also not what Libertarians are want for.

    The model pursued by the LP for 40 years is paying off. Seeking increasing migration to your philosophy is a far stronger model for the deep changes the LP platform calls for.

    All that being said I like coalition politics as a model for the LP, but not necessarily in endorsing other candidates from the status quo parties. I think that winning an office or two now, is not worth having the liberty movement lose its only electoral portal.

  135. George Phillies

    @125 Endorsing the #4 or 5 or so Republican contender, seems unlikely to advance us, not to mention it makes left outreach impossible.

    The Greens tried a version of this, with respect to the 2004 Democratic candidate, and said they would only campaign for President in states where they could not affect the Democrat.

    Net result: The national Green Party appears to judge from their finances to have totally collapsed.

  136. Robert Capozzi

    150 gp, are you certain the “result” was “caused” by that action? By itself? Were there other factors at play?

  137. Adrian Galysh

    I’m not sure if endorsing Ron Paul would cause a collapse of the LP, as there are still MANY other battles to be fought at every other election/level of politics…. this is one instance where a contender, who has momentum, and more campaign money than the party as a whole, represents our platform, is running for president.

  138. Gene Berkman

    Team Player @ 149 – yes, the People’s Party did collapse by 1902, 6 years after the Bryan fusion campaign. It likely would have declined whatever it did.

    In the brief period it existed, almost all its electoral victories came as a result of coalition with Democrats (in the Midwest & Far West) or with Republicans (North Carolina). And 1896 was the high point, with 22 Congressmen being elected, and several Senators elected or re-elected with Populist support.

  139. An LP Observation

    I watched the GOP Debate tonight.
    WHAT in the wide world of sports is Gary Johnson doing? He’s toast. Is he going to be “nice” to awful GOP and “wait” his turn for 2016? OR, will he jump to the LP in 2012 and go to the November election?

  140. paulie

    not to mention it makes left outreach impossible.

    Paradoxically, I’ve found Ron Paul to have more positive name recognition among people I have talked to who are on the left than the LP has. Rand Paul, not so much.

    However, national parties that stop running their own presidential candidates stop being national parties shortly thereafter. And on the local/state level, alternative parties which cross-endorse duopoly candidates become dominated by those larger parties and lose their independence. For examples, look at political parties in New York State.

  141. paulie

    Is he going to be “nice” to awful GOP and “wait” his turn for 2016?

    As I said earlier, he could possibly be the Ron Paul of 2016, since Ron Paul may be too old to run again by then, and Rand Paul will be busy with his first re-election. Running LP in 2012 would kill that possibility for him.

    If Johnson does run LP, he’s not going to get into general election debates either. If the media can ignore him as a candidate for the Republican nomination, they can also ignore him as an LP candidate.

    What is your prediction on how many votes he will get if he runs as a Libertarian?

    Keep in mind that Americans Elect will get most of the media’s attention for anyone who is not a duopoly candidate.

    My guess: at best, Ed Clark level numbers; at the low end, a Bob Barr LP/Pat Buchanan Reform Party level performance (but with media attention at Barr 2008, not Buchanan 2000, levels).

    A wildly optimistic guess would be Nader 2000 level numbers. In which case, Republicans will be real mad at us post-2012 (not necessarily a bad thing), but neither Nader nor the Greens parlayed 2000 into long term results. Can the LP do better if Johnson can do that well….which I think is not very likely in the first place?

  142. Pingback: George Phillies confirms Lew Rockwell story about Gary Johnson campaign inquiry into switching to Libertarian Party | Independent Political Report

  143. Pingback: Gary vs. Johnson: Compare 2012 Presidential Candidates on the Issues | Independent Political Report

  144. Austin Battenberg

    @95

    I’m a Ron Paul supporter and when it came down to vote, I still voted for Bob Barr despite Ron Paul’s endorsement of Chuck Baldwin.

    Some people actually wrote Ron Paul’s name in, and I know you mentioned that some of them voted for John McCain, but because foreign policy was the big issue at the time, my guess is that more Ron Paul supporters voted for Obama as the lesser of two evils over McCain because of the idea that perhaps he would bring the troops home. (I didn’t vote for Obama, but I certainly thought he was the lesser of two evils over McCain). And of course, many just didn’t vote at all since their man wasn’t on the ballot.

    I agree that had Bob Barr coordinated with Paul more effectively, he could have received more votes. After he snubbed Ron Paul, it was all downhill from there.

    And I think if Gary Johnson were to run for the LP, he will likely wait till after the New Hampshire primary, and he would want the party to be on the ballot on all 50 states. If its not, I don’t see him running because he would likely want to run again in 2016 since Ron Paul won’t run again, and the liberty movement would likely get behind him without Paul in the race.

    Granted, I would still support and vote for him if he did choose to run LP this year. (unless Ron Paul got the RP nomination)

  145. Austin Battenberg

    George at @114

    I’m pro-choice. I understand that Ron Paul is pro-life, but I do not believe that it disqualifies him from being a libertarian.

    He can still call himself a libertarian because protecting the lives of the unborn are just as important to him as protecting the lives of those are are among us. While I disagree with him on this one issue, I understand that he is not hypocritical because he calls out the rest of the conservatives in his party for being pro-life, but favor the death penalty and favor our foreign intervention overseas which has our troops kill thousands of innocents.

    What about Judge Andrew Napolitano? He is certainly a libertarian, and he is pro-life.

  146. Pingback: Wayne Root would welcome Gary Johnson to Libertarian Presidential race | Independent Political Report

  147. Trent Hill

    “With Paul’s endorsement, the CP in 2008 only added 50K votes to its total from 2004.”

    What a dumb comment. They gained 50k while losing ballot access in states that had traditionally performed well for them, like Pennsylvania and California.

  148. paulie

    They gained 50k while losing ballot access in states that had traditionally performed well for them, like Pennsylvania and California.

    True….

  149. Pingback: Gary Johnson has “zero interest in running as an independent or third party candidate,” according to official campaign source | Independent Political Report

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