The Jack News: ‘Cato Director Jeffrey Miron Has An Impressive Resume For A Potential 2020 Libertarian Candidate’

Excerpt from The Jack News:

Among potential candidates who have not held office, Dr. Jeffrey Miron offers perhaps the most impressive resume. As the head of undergraduate economics at Harvard University, the director of economic policy for the Cato Institute, and the chief economic adviser to Gary Johnson, Miron has a long history of combining both public advocacy and serious academic footwork on behalf of libertarian policies.

Miron piqued some attention and curiosity when he applied for a spot on the party’s platform committee, and was selected by the Libertarian National Committee. He has a unique talent for making a pragmatic, utilitarian case for radical libertarian policies like completely free trade, legalization of hard drugs, and deregulation of labor markets.

He is likely most familiar to libertarians as a result of the “Learn Liberty” video series which were a product of the Institute for Humane Studies. He covers libertarian public policy in a wide range of areas, with a mastery of all the details and nuance of different schools of libertarian thought.

While associated with Cato and the previous Johnson campaigns, Miron himself is a fairly hard-line libertarian on the issues. His advocacy frequently focuses on the case for radical free trade and an end to immigration restrictions, topics that are particularly salient in the era of Donald Trump’s protectionism and nativism.

Read full article

78 thoughts on “The Jack News: ‘Cato Director Jeffrey Miron Has An Impressive Resume For A Potential 2020 Libertarian Candidate’

  1. NewFederalist

    “The Jack” sure is working overtime to accomplish something! (I’m not sure just what but…)

  2. Anthony Dlugos

    They should do one on John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods. He might be my dream candidate, at least insofar as the ability to outreach to the left and shed the image as disaffected republicans only.

  3. NewFederalist

    It sure would be nice for a multi bazillionaire who just happens to be a libertarian to throw his or her hat in the ring. Does such a person exist?

  4. Anthony Dlugos

    John Mackey is that person. He’s an ex-social democrat and current vegan. Member of the Humane Society board and an advocate for social responsibility and environmental stewardship from a free market perspective. I relish the thought of the progressive left being forced to go after such a resume.

    Not sure if he is a multi-bazillionare, but he is rich enough with a high enough profile.

  5. paulie

    They should do one on John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods. He might be my dream candidate, at least insofar as the ability to outreach to the left and shed the image as disaffected republicans only.

    Maybe they will. They have covered 7 of a planned 9 so far: Tom Campbell, Mary Ruwart, Bill Weld, Justin Amash, Adam Kokesh, Jeffrey Miron and Larry Sharpe. I don’t know who the other two will be. I also don’t know if they are eliminating people who have categorically rejected the idea and whether Mackey has done so or not.

  6. Anthony Dlugos

    I don’t know whether Mackey has done so or not either. I do know that he has appeared at Cato and in the pages of Reason magazine, in addition to writing an op-ed in the WSJ opposing Obamacare.

    And to quote Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross: “A person doesn’t come on the lot lest he wants to buy.” Mr. Mackey has come on the lot of politics. He wants to buy.

  7. paulie

    I don’t know whether Mackey has done so or not either. I do know that he has appeared at Cato and in the pages of Reason magazine, in addition to writing an op-ed in the WSJ opposing Obamacare.

    And to quote Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross: “A person doesn’t come on the lot lest he wants to buy.” Mr. Mackey has come on the lot of politics. He wants to buy.

    There’s a huge difference between wanting to opine about politics in public on the one hand, and devoting a year of your life to running all over the country, being ridiculed as a “spoiler,” making the same speeches over and over and over and constantly asking people for donations on the other. A lot of people who have dream candidates don’t really consider it from the would be candidate’s point of view. What are we asking them to give up? What do they get out of it?

  8. Anthony Dlugos

    NewFederalist,

    No, I do not.

    paulie,

    I agree with what you are saying there. Frankly, its possible he just wouldn’t put his business at risk (and it would be at risk, as I am sure you agree), by running for office in a spoiler role to the powers-that-be.

  9. Andy

    Is The Jack News some kind of propaganda arm for the Gary Johnson Republican Lite fake libertarian crowd?

    I have never heard of this guy, but if he was advising Gary Johnson on economic issues, I can’t say that I am impressed. I wonder if he is the one who told Gary to support the Fair Tax, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and Universal Basic Income.

    I have long been leery of the Cato Institute. I don’t want to knock everything Cato puts out, but they are too close to the “beltway” crowd for my tastes. I prefer the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

  10. Anthony Dlugos

    You’ve long been leery of anything that smacks of sanity and rational thinking.

  11. paulie

    I have long been leery of the Cato Institute. I don’t want to knock everything Cato puts out, but they are too close to the “beltway” crowd for my tastes. I prefer the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

    LvMI is too cozy with the far right. I prefer the Center for a Stateless Society, the Molinari Institute, the Moorfield Story Institute, et al.

  12. paulie

    I have never heard of this guy

    That’s sad. You should expand your libertarian reading, viewing and listening beyond just right wing populist paleo”libertarians”.

  13. Andy

    John Mackey sounds like he would be appealing as a candidate. He founded Whole Foods (although I heard they got bought out, by Amazon I believe, so he may not be involved in the company anymore), and I read a few years back that he was worth $100 million, and he is probably worth more than that now.

    I am not convinced that he would be a good candidate. I am sure some here will attack me for this, but consider this before you attack me. Several years back, three Libertarian Party members got a hold of John Mackey to ask him about having petition circulators at Whole Foods. The first to get ahold of him was Wes Benedict. Mr. Mackey turned Mr. Benedict down. Benedict explained the gravity of the situation to Mr. Mackey, and Mackey did not care. Sometime after this, maybe a year or so, another person in the LP got ahold of Mr. Mackey, to inquire about him giving the green light to having petition circulators at Whole Foods (I do not know if this person wants me to mention their name or not, so I am not going to mention it, at least for now), and this person did explain why this is important, and how it does not hurt Whole Foods, and Mr. Mackey acted like he did not care, and he said no. Some time after this, maybe 6 months, or a year or so, I managed to get ahold of Mr. Mackey to inquire about the same thing. I explained the importance of it to ballot access, and I even suggested some common sense rules about petitioners at Whole Foods (like do not block the door, etc…), along with the suggestion that they call the LP if any petition circulator breaks those rules. I even suggested that Whole Foods could put up a sign that says that they do not necessarily support any particular petition, but they do support free speech, and the right to petition the government. Once again, Mr. Mackey acted like he did not care, and he said no.

    Some may say, “Well Whole Foods is a private business, they can do what they want.” After Mr. Mackey told me no, I told him that I had done some research into Whole Foods, and I had found out that some of their stores were built on land that had been seized via Emminent Domain, which is supposed to be for public use, and that Whole Foods, and some of the shopping centers where they were located, had received various tax subsidies. He acted like that was just doing business, and he did not care. I also brought up that I had found out that there were government investment funds that had purchased stock in Whole Foods, so Whole Foods was partially owned by government entities, and was therefore not a completely privately owed company. Mackey said it was not his fault that government entities had bought stock in Whole Foods (never mind that if he wanted the company to stay private, he could have not offered shares of it on the publicly traded stock market). I then brought up that there were a few store chains where the managers let us gather petition signatures, and these people did not even claim to be libertarians. He did not care, and he said something like we should go to those stores. I told him that those stores were not in every place we needed to get signatures for ballot access, and that Whole Foods did have stores in some of these places. He did not care. I told Mr. Mackey that there were a few states where to courts had ruled that people had a right to ask people to sign petitions, or to register to vote, any place the public had access (like Washington, California, and Massachusetts), and that the US Supreme had ruled in favor of free speech on any public sidewalk in the country, so long as a person is not blocking pedestrian traffic, and that I had gathered petition signatures at Whole Foods stores in Washington, California, and Massachusetts, as well as at a Whole Foods whose door is directly on a city sidewalk in Washington DC, and he said that we could only gather signatures in the states where the law mandates it, or at any Whole Foods that had a door that was directly off of a city sidewalk (which most of them are not).

    Gee, thanks John Mackey, with bold “freedom fighters” like you as an ally, who needs enemies?

  14. Andy

    There are lots of people involved in politics, and more specifically, involved in the libertarian movement. Do you expect me, or anyone, to know everybody involved in politics, or who are somehow connected to the libertarian movement? That is ridiculous. I could rattle off names that people here have never heard. So what?

  15. Maurice Kane

    Jeffrey Miron or John Mackey would make fine candidates. I would avoid anyone who is a nativist or xenophobic ignoranus on the pivotal issues of immigration and trade which are very central to the national discourse right now. Anyone who stands against free immigration and free trade should be eliminated from consideration immediately. I would also be highly opposed to an anti-abortion zealot being seriously considered for the ticket.

  16. paulie

    Do you expect me, or anyone, to know everybody involved in politics, or who are somehow connected to the libertarian movement?

    Of course not. That’s not what I said at all. Try reading it again.

  17. Andy

    Hey, “Maurice Kane,” I see that you decided to use the same fake name today.

    Since I bet your comments are veiled attacks against me, I am not anti-immigrant, and never have been. I am anti-invader. I make a distinction between an immigrant (a peaceful person), and an invader (a non-peaceful person, which I define as people with hostile ideologies, like Marxists and theocrats, welfare leeches, common criminals, etc…). Present day immigration is not reflective of how immigration would work in an actual free market, anarcho-capitalist society. What we have today is statist migration, not free market migration. There are certainly some good immigrants in the mix of modern day migrants, and I applaud these people, but unfortunately, a disturbingly high percentage of modern day migrants are socialists or communists or theocrats or non-ideological welfare leeches or criminals, and they are being brought in to destroy what is left of freedom in this country, and in other European based nations. The ruling puppet masters know that they can use these foreigners to push their welfare statist, gun grabbing, global government agenda.

    The situation is similar with trade. I am all in favor of actual free trade, but this is not what multi-thousand page agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership are really about. These are government managed trade agreements, that are set up to empower globalist beauracrats.

    I used to be pro-abortion, but around the mid 2000’s after I started hearing and pondering the libertarian case against abortion (I first started hearing some of these arguments in the early 2000’s), I shifted in the pro-life direction, but I am not an antiabortion zealot. I think that abortion is a negative thing that ideally should not happen, with the only exception being in cases of rape. Given the reality in which we live, I think that the public is too divided on the issue of abortion in order for it to be outlawed. I am a jury nullification guy (this is one of my biggest issues), and it would be close to impossible for a randomly selected jury, where all jurors knew about their right to nullify laws, to convict people for abortion (ie-killing a fetus), since odds are that one or more jurors would support abortion. So given this reality, the only thing that can be done is use persuasion to change cultural attitudes on the issue. There are already lots of people (including lots of women), who oppose abortion, as the public is about evenly divided on the issue. Public will have to shift to super-majority support for the pro-life side for anything to change. I would bet that improving the economy would reduce the demand for abortion, since economic concerns are a big reason that lead to abortion (as in a stronger economy would mean more jobs and business opportunities, and more money available for charities).

    I do not consider abortion to be a definitional issue for libertarians, and neither did the primary founder of the LP, David Nolan (who was pro-choice) So I am willing to work with and/or support candidates regardless of where they stand on abortion, as I believe that we have more pressing issues facing us.

  18. Maurice Kane

    “Since I bet your comments are veiled attacks against me…”

    LOL. I did not even know you were considering running for president. But that would make sense, since you are crazier than a shithouse rat and running for president is something a lot of certifiable loons like to do.

    “blah blah blah blah blah…..blah blah blah….blah blah”

    TL; DR

  19. Just Some Random Guy

    @ NewFederalist

    It sure would be nice for a multi bazillionaire who just happens to be a libertarian to throw his or her hat in the ring. Does such a person exist?

    David Koch?

  20. Andy

    The koch brothers abandoned the Libertarian Party a long time ago, and I do not consider him to be a legitimate libertarian. There is also a lot of negative baggage attached to the Koch name now, because they are so identified with the Republican Party. It would be great if they were legitimate libertarians, and if the came back to the LP, but I do not see it happening.

  21. NewFederalist

    Just Some Random Guy… I have to agree with Andy. The Koch brothers rather left the libertarian movement some time ago to become players in the GOP. They did set up the Cato Institute as a libertarian think tank and then tried to take back control over it a few years ago. They failed but at least the compromise got rid of Ed Crane.

  22. Just Some Random Guy

    I never said he would be a great candidate, and I’m not that fond of the guy myself. But, they asked for a multi bazillionaire who was a libertarian and he does seem to be the obvious answer.

  23. Chuck Moulton

    Jeffrey Miron and John Mackey could both be fine candidates . The devil is in the details though… I don’t support candidates based purely on resumes (shiney badge caucus). I look forward to hearing them speak and seeing what their top 3 issues are. If Miron is going to campaign on the “Fair” Tax, no thanks.

  24. Andy

    It would be rather ironic to see John Mackey run for office as a Libertarian Party candidate being that he would never allow us to have Libertarian Party petition circulators in front of Whole Foods.

    Note that petition circulators in front of grocery stores is a very common thing in some states, like California, Washington, and Massachusetts.

  25. Anthony Dlugos

    If I owned Whole Foods, I wouldn’t want anyone petitioning in front of my business either. Especially a business like Whole Foods.

  26. Anthony Dlugos

    “I don’t support candidates based purely on resumes (shiney badge caucus).”

    Do they need a resume at all?

    I don’t support candidates based purely on resume either. I wish the LP had multiple qualified candidates running for each public office all over the country right up to the presidency.

    But when only one candidate actually has a resume with relevant experience, it kind of makes the decision easy. I don’t need to listen to tin man from “I don’t support candidates based purely on resumes (shiney badge caucus).”

    Do they need a resume at all?

    I don’t support candidates based purely on resume either. I wish the LP had multiple qualified candidates running for each public office all over the country right up to the presidency.

    But when only one candidate actually has a resume with relevant experience, it kind of makes the decision easy. I don’t have to listen to tin man from FAO Schwarz expound on what tax policy he would propose. I might as well listen to him tell me how he would handle being quarterback for the New York Jets.

  27. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    August 11, 2017 at 21:34
    If I owned Whole Foods, I wouldn’t want anyone petitioning in front of my business either. Especially a business like Whole Foods.”

    Yes, but if you read what I posted above, Whole Foods was not a completely privately owned business at the time myself and others spoke to John Mackey. Various government entities had purchased stock in Whole Foods. If government owns something, it is no longer private. Also, during this same time period, I had found out that there were Whole Foods stores that were built on land that was seized by government through Eminent Domain, and given to Whole Foods, and/or to shopping centers where Whole Foods stores were located. Eminent Domain is supposed to be for public use. Then, as if this was not enough, I also found out that Whole Foods, and shopping centers where they were located, had in fact received taxpayer subsidies.

    So Whole Foods was not as private as one would think on the surface, and John Mackey did not even deny any of this stuff when I brought it up to him.

    Another argument in our favor is that courts have already ruled that you don’t give up your rights when you enter corporate property that is opened to the public. Whole Foods employees can’t ransack your car when you park in the Whole Foods parking lot. There are states where it is legal to carry a gun, most require a permit, but a few do not (none would require a permit if the Constitution were actually followed). People can carry guns in stores/shopping centers in these states, including inside Whole Foods. There have been multiple court rulings that have said that a person does not give up their free speech rights when they walk on to corporate property that is open to the public to come and go.

    So John Mackey was not the head of some private business that received no hand outs from the government. He was the head of a corporation that was owned in part by various government entities, and that did receive tax subsidies, and some of their stores are on land that was seized via Eminent Domain. Plus, courts had already ruled that corporate property opened to the public cannot prohibit free speech.

    So it should not have mattered what John Mackey thought, as he was just some rich guy who was using state power to enrich himself, and to inhibit political speech, which in this case, was keeping the Libertarian Party off of the ballot, since we needed to be able to talk to people in order to fulfill the state’s ballot access laws.

    Petition circulators need places to go where they can talk to people in order for them to be able to ask them to sign the petition for which they are gathering signatures, which, in this case, was to place the Libertarian Party and/or Libertarian Party candidates on the ballot. There are lots of people out there who do want to sign these petitions, but of course not everyone does, but even out of those who do not want to sign, merely asking someone to sign in no way damages them. The people who complain about petition circulators almost always fall into one of the following categories:

    1) They do not like the petition, so they invent a complaint with the hope of getting the petition circulator run out of a location, so they can’t get any signatures, which they hope will lead to the petition failing (which, in this case, would have meant no Libertarian Party candidates on the ballot).

    2) They think that the petition circulator is trying to sign them up for a credit card, of a cell phone, or magazine subscriptions, or that they are engaging in identity theft (there are a grand total of zero documented cases of a person having their identity stolen because they signed a petition or filled out a voter registration form, but some people are too stupid and/or too ignorant to know this).

    3) They are mentally ill people who don’t like anyone talking to them.

    So by giving in to the complainers, one is defacto deciding in favor of tyrants, and/or people who are just flat out stupid or ignorant or mentally unstable.

    Only a jackass would think that this is an OK or cool thing to do.

  28. Maurice Kane

    More TL; DR as is typical from Andy but Anthony Dlugos is of course correct. I have had these hobos with clipboards badger me every single day for months at a time in multiple locations, and few things in life are more annoying. I would consider it retaliatory force under the NAP to smack them upside the head and break their clipboards, but unfortunately the current laws would not back me up on that. Half of them look and smell like bums and obviously either have drug habits or are off their psych meds, much as I picture Andy the raving loon Jacobs.

  29. Andy

    If it was not for people with clip boards and pens and petition sheets, a lot of candidates/parties and issues would not qualify for the ballot.

  30. Andy

    paulie
    August 11, 2017 at 12:37
    ;I have long been leery of the Cato Institute. I don’t want to knock everything Cato puts out, but they are too close to the ‘beltway’ crowd for my tastes. I prefer the Ludwig von Mises Institute.’
    LvMI is too cozy with the far right. I prefer the Center for a Stateless Society, the Molinari Institute, the Moorfield Story Institute, et al.”

    “paulie
    August 11, 2017 at 12:46
    ‘I have never heard of this guy’
    That’s sad. You should expand your libertarian reading, viewing and listening beyond just right wing populist paleo’libertarians’.”

    I have read, or listened to, plenty of people and organizations in the liberty movement. I was familiar with the Cato Institute years before I had even heard of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. I became aware of the Cato Institute not long after I joined the Libertarian Party back in 1996.

    I started following LewRockwell.com sometime back in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s. It was through LewRockwell.com that I found out about the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

    I am well aware of the Cato Institute, Reason Magazine, the Center for a Stateless Society, and the Moorefield Story Institute, and I have heard of the Molinari Institute.

    I am also familiar with the Ayn Rand Institute (though I never really got into it), and a bunch of other organizations.

    Name a person or organization that is somehow attached to the liberty movement, regardless of their merits or demerits, and chances are good that I will have heard of them.

    When it comes to the educational institutes, I just prefer the Ludwig von Mises Institute, but this does not mean that it is the only thing I read or to which I listen.

  31. Andy

    To those who think that the Ludwig von Mises Institute leans too far to the right, here is Mises Media (from a Mises Circle event in Chicago), with Roderick Long, talking about how to reach people on the left with the libertarian message:

    How to Reach the Left | Roderick T. Long

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4hjO1ak4_M

  32. Daemon Sims

    Andy:

    “There are certainly some good immigrants in the mix of modern day migrants, and I applaud these people, but unfortunately, a disturbingly high percentage of modern day migrants are socialists or communists or theocrats or non-ideological welfare leeches or criminals, and they are being brought in to destroy what is left of freedom in this country”

    sounds an awful lot like:

    “The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best …They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

    Interesting

    \

  33. Andy

    There is truth to that statement, and I don’t care if Donald Trump said it (even a broken clock is right two times a day). If all of the people flooding in were so wonderful, super-majorities of them would not be on welfare, none of them would be causing crime rates to go up, and after obtaining citizenship, super-majorities of them would not be voting to increase the welfare state and enacting more gun control laws.

    Interesting.

  34. paulie

    No part of that is true, if you had bothered to read the links I and any number of others have left here, too many times to count, you would already know that…and that the people twisting and plain making up statistics to make you believe that are racist, bigoted pieces of shit. As is the very notion that people are “flooding in.” You should listen to yourself.

  35. paulie

    To those who think that the Ludwig von Mises Institute leans too far to the right, here is Mises Media (from a Mises Circle event in Chicago), with Roderick Long, talking about how to reach people on the left with the libertarian message

    Roderick is about the only one there who does not lean too far to the right. One man does not correct the overall lean.

  36. paulie

    Name a person or organization that is somehow attached to the liberty movement, regardless of their merits or demerits, and chances are good that I will have heard of them.

    In that case I am surprised you were not already familiar with Miron, as he is fairly well known.

  37. langa

    I prefer the Center for a Stateless Society…

    Unfortunately, since TK left, they seem to have largely abandoned libertarianism.

  38. Chuck Moulton

    Anthony Dlugos wrote:

    Do they need a resume at all?

    I don’t support candidates based purely on resume either. I wish the LP had multiple qualified candidates running for each public office all over the country right up to the presidency.

    The qualifications are spelled out in the Constitution. You may have a list of other qualifications beyond that you wish people had, but there is no reason to make them
    mandatory for our nominees… there are no such other shiny badge qualifiactions in our bylaws.

    On the other hand, we are the Libertarian Party. It makes conplete sense to expect our nominees to hold libertarian positions. You seem to think if we can’t scrounge up a governor, then we shouldn’t run a candidate. I think if we can’t scrounge up a libertarian, then we shouldn’t run a candidate.

    I only look at a candidate’s resume after I determine he or she is actually a libertarian and he or she can string a sentence together without looking like an idiot. And given that we’re not going to elect pur candidate anyway, shiney badges are far less important to me than how a candidate carries the message and how a candidate represents the party.

    Your method doesn’t carry much credibility with me given that you don’t seem to accept that the Libertarian Party should first and foremost run libertarian candidates.

  39. Andy

    I agree with Chuck’s point in regard to candidates as well.

    Anthony, if you think that the Libertarian Party should only run candidates who have previously held elected office, what are you doing to help Libertarians get elected to city/town or county offices, or to seats in state legislatures, since these are the only offices that Libertarians have a realistic chance at winning, where, if elected, they can gain the experience you think that they need in order to run for higher level offices?

  40. Anthony Dlugos

    A) “It makes complete sense to expect our nominees to hold libertarian positions.”

    What is sufficiently libertarian to make a candidate worthy of support is up to each individual Libertarian.

    B) “I only look at a candidate’s resume after I determine he or she is actually a libertarian…”

    I do the same. If we are talking about the LP’s presidential nominee, I’ve never supported anyone that wasn’t, in fact, a libertarian.

    C) “…and he or she can string a sentence together without looking like an idiot.”

    That is a matter of opinion. For example, I think Austin Petersen sounded like an idiot during the 2016 campaign. I guess you think Governor Johnson did. On the other hand, charlatans often sound very smooth.

    D) “you don’t seem to accept that the Libertarian Party should first and foremost run libertarian candidates.”

    I do accept that. You don’t seem to accept the fact that we disagree about who is sufficiently libertarian.

    E) The qualifications are spelled out in the Constitution. You may have a list of other qualifications beyond that you wish people had, but there is no reason to make them mandatory for our nominees… there are no such other shiny badge qualifications in our bylaws.

    I never suggested previous experience in executive office (private, but preferably public) is either Constitutionally necessary, or necessary by the party bylaws. Given that there is an actual executive level position on the other end of a presidential election, I kind of figured expecting a candidate to have some previous executive experience, or at least some experience in SOME office before tackling the most powerful public office on the planet, would be a common sense sort of thing.

    But, hey, maybe you think the average M.D., or a 35-year old blogger, or an anarchist radio talk show host, should be allowed to interview for the CEO position at Google or General Motors, since they can fill out an I-9 form and show a copy of a driver’s license and social security card, demonstrating they can legally work in this country. I kind of think there is more to it than that.

    In any event, Chuck and Paulie, the fact that you guys agree with Andy should probably make you stop and reconsider your position.

  41. dL

    Roderick is about the only one there who does not lean too far to the right. One man does not correct the overall lean.

    That video was 6 years ago…I’m not sure he has much to do w/ the Mises Institute anymore

  42. dL

    Unfortunately, since TK left, they seem to have largely abandoned libertarianism.

    The mission has changed somewhat…the site’s original tagline was something like: “building awareness of the market anarchist alternative” to what is today: “A left market anarchist think tank and media center.” The target audience is not the traditional american libertarian demo. I don’t always agree with what is published over there, but at least I’ve never found any politician or party suck up being masqueraded as “anarchist.”

  43. paulie

    In any event, Chuck and Paulie, the fact that you guys agree with Andy should probably make you stop and reconsider your position.

    Not really. He does make sense on any number of issues, just as there are any number of issues on which he does not.

  44. Andy

    Anthony is attempting to demonize me to the point where I say that the sky is blue, or that water is wet, if anyone agrees with me, they are wrong because I said it.

    2 + 2 = 4, but you’d better not agree with me, or else anything will have something nasty to say about it.

  45. langa

    But, hey, maybe you think the average M.D., or a 35-year old blogger, or an anarchist radio talk show host, should be allowed to interview for the CEO position at Google or General Motors, since they can fill out an I-9 form and show a copy of a driver’s license and social security card, demonstrating they can legally work in this country. I kind of think there is more to it than that.

    The fact that you constantly make these analogies between business and government tells me that you probably don’t understand the first thing about economics or politics. Try reading David Friedman. In one of the chapters of “The Machinery of Freedom” (I forget which one), he does an excellent job of explaining why businesses and governments aren’t the least bit similar.

  46. robert capozzi

    L, actually, it’s a different analogy. Business and government ARE different. CEO of a large corporation takes a range of skill sets. So does President of the US.

    Pretty much anyone would be “qualified” to do either job. But if one was going to be effective as CEO of GM, the person would need to understand automaking, marketing channels, technological innovation, finance, and accounting, etc.

    Now it is true that I, for ex., when I’m feeling especially dreamy, imagine that I would be a better president than Trump or Obama. I think that because my political philosophy and analysis suggest that those two have misdiagnosed the problem…bigly. The problem is the government is too big and does too much. It governs mostly by force, with elements of tacit consent.

    Many who call themselves “L” probably have a similar attitude.

    Still, that’s a different matter. Being President is different from getting elected President. Getting elected generally requires a different resume, and it requires high-level communication skills.

    The election of Trump does represent a kind of experiment in presidential requirements. So far, I’d say the experiment has gone quite poorly.

  47. Anthony Dlugos

    “The fact that you constantly make these analogies between business and government tells me that you probably don’t understand the first thing about economics or politics.”

    The fact that you can’t see that there is some value to the analogy, that it is a good idea to probably have SOME leadership experience before tackling a job like President, preferably executive experience in the public sector, tells me you don’t understand the first thing about how ACTUAL politics operates (which requires some of the same administrative, time management, and people-leading abilities that a CEO would possess). Or how actual business operates, for that matter. (which, especially at large corporations, requires some political skill.)

    The realization that business and politics are different surely does not mean that having NO previous experience in office is okay for a presidential run. There must be SOME skills necessary to be president, even if its in an attempt to dismantle leviathan. ESPECIALLY if its in an attempt to dismantle leviathan. In fact, that’s exactly why I suggest I prefer public sector experience to the private sector when considering Libertarian nominees for president.

    The fact that you suggest reading a chapter out of “The Machinery of Freedom,” (which I have read, by the way), tells me that your understanding of real-world politics is completely overshadowed by esoteric ivory tower wishful thinking. FIrst, Robert C is absolutely correct that, leaving aside any necessary skills aside, voters are going to expect some sort of previous experience. Second, the job of president is not chief wizard of Hogwarts, able to re-write from scratch the relationship between state and citizen merely by speaking the words once taking office.

    I guess if a Libertarian were elected President, you are of the belief that he/she, with zero previous experience in office, could simply tell people, “I hereby void social security because I read about it in The Machinery of Freedom,” and the people will rise up as one and say, “oh, okay, sounds good.”

    Welp, good discussion, guys! I must take leave, however. I have won my fantasy football league championship three years running, so rather than bore myself with an attempt at a four-peat, I’m headed down to the offices of the Cleveland Browns, whereupon I will explain to them and the fans of Cleveland that I am ready to assume the position of general manager. Think they’ll buy it? I’ve read a lot about how to win at fantasy football, after all!

  48. langa

    OK, if the average voter evaluates candidates based primarily on experience and other “qualifications” similar to those on a resume, then why have their been so many cases of the “less qualified” candidate winning? Trump is the most obvious example, but he’s certainly not the only one. For example, Obama beat the much more experienced and “qualified” McCain, George W. Bush beat the much more experienced and “qualified” Al Gore, Bill Clinton beat the much more experienced and “qualified” George H.W. Bush, and so forth. If experience and formal “qualifications” mean so much to voters, why do they so frequently ignore them?

    I would suggest that the primary quality that distinguishes winning candidates from losing candidates (aside from money, media exposure and other extrinsic factors) would be persuasiveness/salesmanship. A good salesman (or con man, to be honest) stands a much better chance of getting elected than a poor salesman. That distinction far overwhelms experience, or any other formal “qualifications” for the job.

  49. Anthony Dlugos

    Despite our party’s spotty record of success, we’ve managed to hold onto a particular enchilada made of pure gold: 50 state or close to 50 state ballot access for the highest profile office in the known universe.

    While it appears that we are a long way from contending for the presidency (and maybe we are), given the constant shedding of support and stratospherically high negative ratings that the Democrat and Republican parties are contending with, I do think its within the realm of possibility that a “butterfly flaps their wings in Battleground State USA and its suddenly a three-candidate race” scenario could occur and our candidate would be thrust into the limelights of all limelights.

    In 2008, we had a candidate almost win the nomination who seemed to tacitly approve of child pornography. In 2016, the second place finisher was a childish 35-year old blogger with tin man at a toy store on his resume.

    You can suggest that Johnson’s couple of gaffes and seeming lack of preparedness on occasion cost the party a shot at an even higher vote total than the record he set, but his gaffes were gaffes within the realm of the acceptable to rank and file voters. Ruwart’s or Petersen’s performances…or someone similarly bereft of previous elective office experience…are not just potential gaffes, they are the sorts of things than can sink a party permanently. Very few if any voters are gonna remember Johnson’s gaffes in 2020. Implying child pornography should be legalized because its illegality keeps the price up? That’s an atom bomb that makes a party radioactive for a generation.

    If you have no experience and want to run for any other office in this country under the LP label, I say have at it. But for the presidency….you better come with some previous public office experience of some kind, otherwise I am tuning you out, period. The position is just too high profile, and announcing to the world that its theoretically possible to win our nomination for President without previous experience in office is like putting up a sign for every wackadoodle in the country to show up and try and sell a bottle of snake oil to us.

    In other words, you gotta be either nuts or a con artist to believe the Presidency can be your first public office ever held.

    One man’s opinion.

  50. Andy

    The Libertarian Party should not be looking for somebody who wants to run the big machine of government, it should be looking for somebody who wants to shut it down, or at least roll it back as much as realistically possible.

    I have no experience in holding elected office, and I have no fancy titles or credentials, but from a libertarian perspective, if I were somehow to become President (unlikely scenario, but it is also unlikely that anyone who the Libertarian Party would run, even if it were say Rand Paul or David Koch, would become President), I would be the best President that this country ever had. If elected, the first thing I would do would be to grant pardons to anyone who has been convicted, or who is facing prosecution, for a victimless crime. The first three people I would pardon would be Edward Snowden (who I would invite to the White House so I could give him a medal), Ross Ulbritch, and Schaeffer Cox. After this, I would pardon anyone who has been convicted, or who is facing prosecution, for a non-violent drug offense, a non-violent gun control offense, tax evasion, or anything else that should not be a crime.

    This alone would make me the greatest President ever.

    Really, all of this discussion over who the Libertarian Party should run for President, as if whoever it is stands anything resembling a realistic chance of winning, is pretty absurd. The Libertarian Party does not control even one local government board anywhere in the country. We have zero county Sheriffs. We only have four state legislators (three in New Hampshire, and one in Nebraska), and none of them were elected as Libertarians (let’s see if we can re-elect them as Libertarians), we have not elected anyone to a seat in a state legislature in 17 years, and we have not elected anyone to a seat in a state legislature who actually served out their term as a Libertarian in 19-21 years. We have elected a grand total of zero people to the US House as Libertraians. We have elected zero US Senators and zero people to the office of Governor.

    Given this reality, acting like whoever it is that that the Libertarian Party will run on its presidential ticket is a “serious player” who stands any chance of occupying the Oval Office is delusional.

    Until the situation I mentioned above changes, the LP presidential ticket is nothing more than a brand ambassador and recruiting tool for the Libertarian Party and movement who can help the Libertarian Party get ballot access in the few states where presidential vote totals can gain ballot access.

    If you are serious about the Libertarian Party electing people to office, focus on taking over city/town or county government boards, or electing a county Sheriff (who can appoint Libertarians as deputies), in places where to population is low enough for this to be achievable. Focus on electing Libertarians to seats in state legislatures.

    If one claims to be serious, but they are not focusing on any realistically achievable goals, then I would say that said person is not serious.

  51. Andy

    Running a business and running the government are not the same thing, especially from a libertarian perspective. The goal of running a business is to make a profit, which entails growing the business. The goal of running the government, at least from a libertarian perspective, is to reduce the size of government, and, ideally, to completely shut it down.

  52. robert capozzi

    L: Trump is the most obvious example, but he’s certainly not the only one. For example, Obama beat the much more experienced and “qualified” McCain….

    me: Yes, as I said earlier, Trump is not conventionally qualified. Voters seemed fed up enough last year and were impressed enough that Trump’s business skills could port to government that he was able to insult his way into the White House.

    Trump, of course, was also a TV personality for many seasons, making him the very rare businessperson/celebrity.

    And, yes, “more experienced” is not what voters consider historically. “Qualified” is, with rare exception, someone with a track record in government, which means governors, senators, the very rare congressperson, and the rarer still general.

    Now I’m sensing that L’s obvious misread of standard politics is more because s/he doesn’t care for the LP nominees like BB and GJ. Yes, they were somewhat conventionally qualified, but they were not “real” Ls, i.e., non-NAPsters. Worse, they were NAP violators.

    This is an entirely fair point. If purity is non-negotiable, then the LP should only nominate NAPsters, period. If “credibility” is a much lower consideration, perhaps the Badnarik/Browne model should be the only acceptable candidate.

    In a sense, that would make my life easier every 4 years, as I won’t bother to vote.

  53. Tony From Long Island

    Andy:

    Running a business and running the government are not the same thing, especially from a libertarian perspective. The goal of running a business is to make a profit, which entails growing the business. The goal of running the government, at least from a libertarian perspective, is to reduce the size of government, and, ideally, to completely shut it down.

    Mark this day down! I agree with Andy. . . . . Although I do not believe that government should be “shut down,” he did use the qualifier “from a libertarian perspective,” so It still allows me to agree with him.

    However, the “libertarian perspective” he cites is the perspective of the fringe anarchist wing of the party. I would say that the overwhelming majority of libertarians just want government to be much much smaller, but still exist.

  54. Anthony Dlugos

    Tony,

    I don’t disagree with you, nor do I disagree with Andy, actually.

    Somewhere along the way, the anarchist/purist/Radical seems to make the argument that, since the ideal libertarian society requires no more than a night watchman state, a libertarian nominee for president requires little in the way of political skill.

    But we have a leviathan state NOW. Beginning the process of dismantling it will require immense political skill and institutional knowledge. More than any Libertarian has.

    The paradox, thus, is that we’re gonna need help, and we’re gonna need help from statists, IF we have any genuine interests in reducing the size and scope of government. We’re gonna have to go to the William Welds of the world and plead with them that we need their help. Not help with ushering in a stateless society, but help with more mundane reductions in state power. If these mundane accomplishments don’t interest you, then politics isn’t the arena for you.

    Even IF we as a party are, by some small chance, able to convince voters to accept some more radical change in some policy area, it does not follow in any way that such a change can be accomplished by a politician with less of a political resume, i.e., a more radical libertarian.. In fact, it makes it even more necessary that we’re gonna need help from those with institutional knowledge. No Libertarian, no matter how radical, would have the faintest clue how to dismantle the DEA and end the drug war. You know who will? Some of the statists prosecuting the war now.

    If we just want to grandstand about “a world set free in our lifetime,” then, yes, we can nominate anyone.

  55. robert capozzi

    ad,

    Well said.

    Of course, NAPsters would likely respond that the LP’s foundational documents require first and foremost adherence to said documents. It is the raison d’etre for the LP. The words 89 20-somethings (+ Hospers) must be agreed to and are the only concern of the LP. Should the GJs and WWs adhere strictly to the 89’s words, and they have specialized skills and knowledge, all the better.

    But, of course, they deviated from the 89ers’s vision, and for that they should be roundly condemned. Never again!, cry the NAPsters. No more R retreads!

    This is the impasse, in a nutshell.

    The non-doctrinaire Ls tend to avoid the NAPster critique, but the problem is: On one level, the doctrinaire NAPsters are correct! The 89ers did in fact crazy-glue NAPsterism into the foundational documents, and they protected it with near-insurmountable “depth charges.” The NAPsters have a strong case, and they show no signs of backing down, since there is no cost to them maintaining their position.

  56. Andy

    I agree that going from where we are today, to a purist libertarian anarcho-capitalist society would not be an easy thing to accomplish, and it is not likely something that could realistically happen over night, buy I think that Anthony is over-stating the “skill” involved in what a Libertarian President could do if elected (which is hypothetical, since it is not likely to happen without major changes taking place beforehand, if it ever happens at all).

    I have no experience holding political office, and I have no fancy titles or credentials. If I were somehow elected President, the first thing I would do would be to start granting pardons to people who were convicted, or face prosecution, for victimless crimes. I would also make sure that everyone in the country knew about jury nullification, and I would have any government official who tried to interfere with jury nullification activists arrested. I would go through the list of Executive Orders given by previous Presidents, and I would repeal all of the ones that violate the US Constitution. I would order the orderly withdraw of US military forces from foreign territory. I would hold a press conference at the White House where I would invite Ron Paul, G. Edward Griffin, Joe Bannister (former IRS agent), Sherry Peal Jackson (former IRS agent), Bob Schulz, Dave Champion, and Larken Rose, to expose the income tax, Federal Reserve System, and Social Security System scam. I would borrow an idea I heard from Harry Browne years ago, which was to disarm the Secret Service members who guard the US Senatos and Representatives, and I would tell them that their guards can get their guns back after they repeal every gun control law that is on the books.

    I could go on, but just doing the few things mentioned above would make me the greatest President ever, and I have no experience, and no fancy credentials or titles.

  57. Tony From Long Island

    You started out so good until you veered into nut-job territory. I guess even one sane post a day is an improvement 🙂

  58. Chuck Moulton

    Anthony Dlugos wrote:

    In 2008, we had a candidate almost win the nomination who seemed to tacitly approve of child pornography. In 2016, the second place finisher was a childish 35-year old blogger with tin man at a toy store on his resume.

    You keep harping on these things. They make no sense to me.

    Everyone has an entry level job. I delivered newspapers when I was 10 years old. Eonald Reagan was a lifeguard and a B movie actor. Gerald Ford played football. Who caree if Austin Petersen worked for a toy store? I keep reading that frequent comment from you, but no matter how many times I read it, I fail to see your point. Have you decided no one who ever held an entry level job can be a candidate for President? CEO from birth or go away? Is there anyone else besides you who thinks that? If so, who?

    As for Ruwart on age of consent, it may have been an inartful comment (from when she wasn’t even a candidate), but she hits on a very important point. Pornography laws in this country are ridiculous. It is absolutely insane that it is a crime to look at pictures. Even if we concede that some pornography is exploitive, our country bans even simulated pornography — as in cartoons and computer animation — if its representations include a child or a particularly vulgar subject matter. Cartoons and animation can’t possibly exploit anyone. Our country also has adopted 18 as a magical number. Below 18 you are incapable of making decisions on your own. Over 18 you are fully able to make your own decisions. The number is completely arbitrary. The notion that someone 18 years old is fundamentally different biologicall and mentally from someone 17 years, 364 days, and 23 hours old is absurd. The 18 year bright line rule may make the law easy to apply, but it leads to countless injustices. Sex offender laws have made people who commit nom-violent harmless acts (like utinating in public or having sex with a significant other 1 month younger) into social pariahs, marked with a scarlet A, unable to get jobs or even live many places. The punishment terms for many non-violent acts are wildly out of proportion to the crime, even granting that they should be crimes in the first place. All of these issues should lead anyone with half a brain to the conclusion that many of our age of consent and pornography laws need a hard look. Unfortunately, they are a third rail… anyone who tries to even open a dialogue on those issues is branded as some sort of pedophile enabler.

    Ruwart and Petersen are not the problem. You and your closed mind are the problem.

  59. Tony From Long Island

    Chuck:

    our country bans even simulated pornography — as in cartoons and computer animation

    That is not so. https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/535/234/case.html

    Our country also has adopted 18 as a magical number

    That is only federal law. Each state had their own and the majority are under 18 http://www.ageofconsent.us/state-laws/

    Sex offender laws have made people who commit nom-violent harmless acts (like utinating in public or having sex with a significant other 1 month younger) into social pariahs, marked with a scarlet A, unable to get jobs or even live many places. The punishment terms for many non-violent acts are wildly out of proportion to the crime, even granting that they should be crimes in the first place. All of these issues should lead anyone with half a brain to the conclusion that many of our age of consent and pornography laws need a hard look. Unfortunately, they are a third rail… anyone who tries to even open a dialogue on those issues is branded as some sort of pedophile enabler.

    On this I agree with you 100%. I did my master’s thesis on this subject. Though you over-exaggerate the number of people who are registered because of “urinating in public,” even one is too many. Most states do not register people who are convicted of “Statutory rape” if they were a minor at the time or the age difference between the two is small.

  60. Libertydave

    Tony From Long Island

    After reading your post were you claim; “Most states do not register people who are convicted of “Statutory rape” if they were a minor at the time or the age difference between the two is small.” I decided to look it up because this is different from what I have heard.

    This is what I found.

    “In at least 29 states—from Alabama to Wisconsin—consensual sex between teenagers is a crime that can lead to sex offender status.”

    This is from the article at http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/08/mapped_sex_offender_registry_laws_on_statutory_rape_public_urination_and.html

  61. Tony From Long Island

    You are probably right. There are nuances in each, particularly as each state sort of defines “statutory rape” in different ways. There has been movement toward removing teens convicted of statutory rape off of registries. Hopefully the pendulum will continue swinging in that direction.

    As is obvious – it is very difficult for get laws passed that actually Help the stigmatized.

  62. langa

    Well said, Chuck.

    I would like to see the LP take a stand against some of the absurd laws you mention. Unfortunately, the “respectability uber alles” crowd would go nuts. “Oh no, how can we win the White House [as if that were even a realistic goal to begin with] if people think we’re a bunch of pervs?”

  63. Anthony Dlugos

    Chuck,

    I sometimes use humor to try and make a point. Perhaps with regard to Petersen’s stint as a toy store tin man (as an adult mind you, not a kid), I was trying to humorously point out that calling his resume, vis a vi a run for the LP nomination for President, threadbare is an insult to the 30-year old raggedy old sweater in the corner of my closet that is half-eaten by moths.

    No offense, but I ignored the comments on Ruwart’s child pornography comments. Not only does her comment make her permanently unelectable, it makes her permanently un-nominate-able. Whether she is right or wrong is quite besides the point when it comes to electoral politics.

    Now, that does not mean that a Libertarian, once elected President, can’t do something about some of the travesties of sex offender laws that you mention. (Something I agree with you on.) It DOES mean that a Libertarian running for President has to understand that making the comment Dr. Ruwart made about child pornography…in the arena of electoral politics…only ensures one thing: that said candidate will NEVER get even close to getting elected in order to, say, nominate the types of judges that CAN do something about it.

  64. robert capozzi

    ad: It DOES mean that a Libertarian running for President has to understand that making the comment Dr. Ruwart made about child pornography…in the arena of electoral politics…only ensures one thing: that said candidate will NEVER get even close to getting elected in order to, say, nominate the types of judges that CAN do something about it.

    me: Here we somewhat disagree. I agree with this assessment, but NAPsters would correctly counter that an L will not be elected under any circumstance. The mistake they make is to maintain a strong preference for advocating fringe ideas with the vague hope that they will some day pay dividends.

    “Electability” is not really the short term objective, I submit. Rather, “appearing plausible and electable” seems the more realistic objective of a L candidacy, especially for prez. The idea would be to attract large numbers of people to hear the L message and to resonate with it. Johnson/Weld did this pretty well, it was a A-/B+ model for future L campaigns. “Those guys make a lot of sense, and I could see them in the Oval,” would be the desired takeaway. Pointing voters toward a third way that’s neither left nor right could work over time to outright challenge in elections or at least build a lessarchist constituency that pulls the Rs and Ds in an L direction.

    Cadre building it is not, which is effectively what the 89er’s model represents.

  65. Anthony Dlugos

    “Electability” is not really the short term objective, I submit. Rather, “appearing plausible and electable” seems the more realistic objective of a L candidacy, especially for prez. The idea would be to attract large numbers of people to hear the L message and to resonate with it.”

    That’s an interesting perspective. I agree.

  66. Andy

    A very large percentage of the votes Johnson/Weld received were protest votes against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

  67. Anthony Dlugos

    “A very large percentage of the votes Johnson/Weld received were protest votes against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.”

    So what? That’s necessarily true about EVERY vote for EVERYONE; its a vote against everyone else in the field. Your statement proves nothing.

  68. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    August 14, 2017 at 21:10
    ‘A very large percentage of the votes Johnson/Weld received were protest votes against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.’

    So what? That’s necessarily true about EVERY vote for EVERYONE; its a vote against everyone else in the field. Your statement proves nothing.”

    It means a lot. What it means is that Johnson/Weld were not really advancing the cause of liberty by promoting the Libertarian Party platform. Most of their votes were protest voters who just voted for them because they weren’t Clinton or Trump. There were some states where Johnson/Weld were the only other option on the ballot.

    Harry Browne, Michael Badnarik, and Ron Paul, radicalized lots of people for the cause of liberty. Johnson/Weld got protest votes because they weren’t Clinton or Trump.

    I’ll take the candidates who radicalize people for the cause of liberty.

    I have been on the streets gathering petition signatures in various states both pre-2016 general election, and post-2016 general election, and the feedback that I, and other petition circulators with whom I have discussed this, have received about Johnson/Weld has been mostly negative, either due to them coming off poorly on TV, or due to their lack of libertarian principles, or both. Even out of the people who aren’t negative, the responses have been mostly lukewarm, as in people voted for them, but their level of enthusiasm was not that great. Some of the people who voted for them just referred to them as “that third party ticket,” or “that independent guy,” as in people knew so little about them, that they did not even know that they were Libertarian Party candidates, or even really know much about them, beyond that they were not Clinton on Trump.

    I don’t believe that running candidates like this really advances the cause of liberty. What it does, is that it makes the Libertarian Party look like unprincipled, not ready for prime time players.

  69. Tony From Long Island

    Andy:

    What it does, is that it makes the Libertarian Party look like unprincipled, not ready for prime time players.

    Don’t worry they already had that covered until 2012. You do your very best to return them to that status with every post.

  70. Andy

    Tony From Long Island said: “Don’t worry they already had that covered until 2012. You do your very best to return them to that status with every post.”

    As if so many people visit this website that my comments could make a difference one way or another. Year, sure.

    Reality is that Johnson/Weld made asses of themselves on national television, and they made asses of the Libertarian Party for having nominated them.

    Most of the votes they received were protest votes, as in people voting for them not because they really believe in them, or really believed in the Libertarian Party, but rather because they were not Hillary Clinton on Donald Trump (and note that in North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, and Oklahoma, Johnson/Weld were the only other choice on the ballot besides Hillary and The Donald).

    Like I have said here before, I have been on the streets gathering petition signatures in multiple states, both pre-2016 general election, and post-2016 general election, and most of the feedback I have gotten from the public about Johnson/Weld has been negative, and even the ones that aren’t negative, most are lukewarm. There was not that much real, enthusiastic support for Johnson/Weld. I have spoken to other petition circulators who have given me similar feedback.

    If anyone out there doubts this, I urge you to get from behind your computer screen, pick up some clipboards, pens, and petition sheets, and/or some voter registration forms, and go out and actually start talking to the public.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *