Judge Gray Addresses Jim Webb Speculation

Jim Webb official 110th Congress photo.jpg

I contacted Judge Jim Gray, the Libertarian Party’s 2012 Vice Presidential nominee, about an article published here on December 25 announcing that Gray planned to attend the January 3 Democratic Liberty Caucus event in South Carolina.  The event reportedly planned to feature former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, who last month opened an exploratory committee to decide whether to seek the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.  However, according to Gray, Webb will likely not attend the event.  His name no longer appears on the program.

This development has disappointed Gray, who acknowledged Webb’s presidential intentions, but had no information on whether Webb might seek the Libertarian Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

“From the limited information I have about [Webb],” says Gray, “he would be an attractive candidate.”

Webb served as Secretary of the Navy during the Reagan administration and served one term in the Senate following the 2006 Democratic sweep.  He was named as a potential running mate for Barack Obama in 2008, but pulled his name from consideration.

“Time will tell!” says Gray on the prospect of Webb running for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination.

98 thoughts on “Judge Gray Addresses Jim Webb Speculation

  1. paulie

    “This development has disappointed Gray, who acknowledged Webb’s presidential intentions, but had no knowledge of the rumor that Webb may seek the Libertarian Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.”

    As far as I know there’s no rumor that Webb https://comedyhype.com/nissan-case-study-analysis/ cheapest viagra soft 100 mg http://jarmac.com/2019/health-care-paper/4/ https://jesuswired.com/writing/college-research-essay-help/12/ Cialis no rx https://geneseelandlordassoc.org/category/algebra-homework-helper/44/ here viagra side effects gout what is viagra used for men http://flahertyseminar.org/graduate/i-need-help-with-my-homework-online/28/ cheapest cialis on the net see https://scholes.alfred.edu/ask.php?who=education-essay-gp how to make a case study analysis http://floatinglotus.com/prescription/viagra-and-coke/50/ follow link graduate admission resume viagra egypt price follow site go canadian pharmacy that use paypal dissertation proposal topics international business http://www.nationalnewstoday.com/medical/viagra-femenina/2/ thesis statement definition for dummies https://stageone.org/essay-about-obesity/ best dissertation services viagra boat ad generic viagra for sale online thesis statement on death penalty 10mg generic cialis cheap sphinx homework help which is best viagra or cialis will do that, just speculation I and a few other people on the thread had that he conceivably could. Just to be clear, I had not heard anywhere that he had any such intentions, nor have I heard anyone speculate that it was going to happen – we were engaging in a “what if” scenario.

    Have you heard something like that aside from what was said on the prior thread?

  2. Mike Kane

    Judge Gray is awful. I’m a big tent Libertarian but there are people who at times really appear to want to destroy the LP from within.

  3. Andy Craig

    While it’s good to follow up on a story, and I’d love to see more responses from the subjects of IPR coverage, a more enlightening question would have been to ask him about his own commitment to running for VP again, and/or his feelings about other, more likely, potential replacements. Sounds like his answer was pretty much “I dunno, maybe?”, which is all to really be said about it. Webb isn’t even really on the list of Democrats who have been on libertarian’s radar for the most part, the opinions of this one libertarian-Democrat group aside. My guess, if I had to hazard one, is he withdrew from this event because somebody whispered in his ear all the crazy things he opposes that these “libertarians” believe in, and pointed out that affiliating himself with the label is a lot more likely to hurt than help in a Dem. primary.

    Like paulie said, we were just using Webb as a useful hypothetical example to discuss the limits and merits of having a candidate with experience in high office from another party. It was, for the most part, a thinly-veiled and eventually explicit proxy for the same old debate about Johnson, Gray himself, and to a lesser degree Paul, Barr, and Gravel. Using a Democrat instead of a Republican as the example allows the question to be examined somewhat more dispassionately, in part because it’s so unlikely.

  4. Jill Pyeatt

    I saw Gray in September, and asked him whether he was interested in being the VP candidate again. I’ve forgotten the exact words, but basically said he was interested, if asked by Johnson.

  5. paulie

    I’m pretty sure that was not a secret 🙂

    The speculation William asked Judge Gray about was actually a scenario I invented about Jim Webb switching from running from the Democratic nomination to running for the Libertarian nomination, a la Mike Gravel, close to nomination time.

    Even if I guessed correctly, it’s unlikely Judge Gray would know anything about it, nor would Jim Webb confirm such a thing now, since at this point the Democrats haven’t started voting and he’s still running for their nomination, not ours.

    And I had no basis for the speculation other than what iffing. No one at all told me that Jim Webb is or would actually consider it.

  6. langa

    Judge Gray is awful. I’m a big tent Libertarian but there are people who at times really appear to want to destroy the LP from within.

    I have to agree. I’m guessing that Webb is one of these “functional libertarians” that Gray loves to talk about. He seems to affix the label to anyone who displays even the slightest libertarian tendencies. I would imagine that if Gray had been part of the LP back in 1980, he would have urged the party to endorse the “functional libertarian” Ronald Reagan!

  7. Mike Kane

    “Police as noble servants” “Regulate marijuana like wine” “Teddy Roosevelt was a good president” ……… This debacle. Not radical enough, believes in watering down the message (for what reason I don’t know). Misrepresents the LP on the big stage. Doesn’t do much to grow the party. ETC.

  8. Gene Berkman

    In regard to Mike Kane’s criticisms, saying anything positive about Teddy Roosevelt is definitely outside the libertarian mainstream, and repugnant to any libertarian who knows the history of statism.

    Regulating Marijuana like Wine is an actual campaign tactic for the legalization movement. Since I have been arrested for possession, I am favorable to tactics that move toward the unregulated market we want for marijuana, and regulating marijuana like wine is a potentially successful slogan for a legalization campaign.

    If Regulate Marijuana Like Wine actually passes, then we can point out that in Europe wine is pretty much unregulated, except for the French AOC controlling labels on wine.

  9. Mark Axinn

    Mike–

    I was with Jim Gray when he spoke at the Marijuana Policy Project 2012 fundraiser in New York, and he was warmly received by everyone in the drug legalization movement.

    I don’t agree with Jim on the police or TR (or Ed Snowden whom I consider to be hero), but one cannot rationally fault his great work and achievements in the marijuana movement.

  10. Mike Kane

    If someone could show me that Judge Jim Gray (as a paid Judge for the State) found people innocent, dismissed cases, etc, for victimless crimes, I might give some sympathy.

    Meanwhile, the “Regulate Marijuana like Wine” argument goes out the window when you read articles like this : http://www.decanter.com/news/wine-news/587669/us-officials-set-to-destroy-200-000-wine-cellar

    If you’re like me, you would see that while regulating and taxing marijuana is a marginal step in the right direction towards total freedom, it’s still not optimal and it in fact EXPAND government.

    The way I see it, human beings have ultimate ownership over their own bodies and no one has a right to license or regulate (or TAX) a substance they may want to ingest.

  11. Andy

    “Mike Kane

    December 30, 2014 at 1:41 am

    If someone could show me that Judge Jim Gray (as a paid Judge for the State) found people innocent, dismissed cases, etc, for victimless crimes, I might give some sympathy.”

    Judge Gray was a Family Law judge at the time that he switched to Libertarian. I’m not sure how long he was a Family Law judge, and I do not know which other types of court he presided over if any.

  12. Mark Axinn

    California Superior Court Judge.

    Perhaps someone in California can explain its jurisdiction to us Easterners.

  13. Thane "Goldie" Eichenauer

    Until people start promoting and explaining NOTA2016 I have a hard time being motivated to spend 60 seconds critiquing Judge Gray. He and I ain’t perfect but unless and until the Libertarian Party decides to publicly revamp itself as a educational supper club I just don’t see the point. Gray and Gary Johnson both have a couple of angles that some (including I) find quite irritating. If I don’t like position X or Y it is up to me to either run myself of find another candidate that will promote only positions I agree with. I lean towards putting up myself rather than completely shutting up. I am all for critiquing but in a political movement in the end the party runs candidates and some of those candidates may not have positions that each and every Libertarian will be happy with. Tough. http://nota2016.org

  14. paulie

    Meanwhile, the “Regulate Marijuana like Wine” argument goes out the window when you read articles like this : http://www.decanter.com/news/wine-news/587669/us-officials-set-to-destroy-200-000-wine-cellar

    Not really. For every article like that which you can find about wine how many can we find about pot? If it was pot they would have already destroyed it by now. How many people are languishing in jails and prisons because of wine? How many are saddled with a criminal record, resulting in problems with everything from getting and keeping jobs to finding housing to taking out loans, getting an education, child custody/adoption, and on and on? How many for pot?

    If you’re like me, you would see that while regulating and taxing marijuana is a marginal step in the right direction towards total freedom, it’s still not optimal

    I don’t know who you think said it is optimal, but it’s a *huge* step in the right direction, hardly marginal. Ask any of the millions of people I described in the last response section how “marginal” those things are in their lives.

    and it in fact EXPAND government.

    Please explain how. We already have a huge bureaucracy aimed at regulating pot – probably bigger than the one tasked with regulating wine, I would think. It’s just that the regulation they try to enforce is a lot harsher. People already pay a lot of fines over pot, and jail is a massive de facto tax, as is the destruction of future earning potential over having a criminal record. The black market prices of any contraband good, including pot, include a huge markup – that is a de facto tax from the user’s perspective – to make up for the risk of bringing the good to market. So how does easing the level of regulation to that of wine expand government?

  15. paulie

    unless and until the Libertarian Party decides to publicly revamp itself as a educational supper club

    I’m not clear whether you are in favor of that, but if you are, what would be the point of calling it a political party or putting up with all the legal restrictions on political parties?

  16. paulie

    If someone could show me that Judge Jim Gray (as a paid Judge for the State) found people innocent, dismissed cases, etc, for victimless crimes, I might give some sympathy.

    So any retired judge or politician is off the table unless they were always a libertarian and always acted on it?

  17. paulie

    I don’t agree with Jim on the police or TR (or Ed Snowden whom I consider to be hero), but one cannot rationally fault his great work and achievements in the marijuana movement.

    Exactly!

  18. paulie

    Gene–

    What kind of wine were you possessing?

    LOL. I’m guessing the green kind. Personally, I drink red wine, but for some odd reason every time I get busted it’s always for the white.

  19. Mark Axinn

    Thanks Martin.

    I thought JG had criminal jurisdiction and that’s what led him to support decriminalization of marijuana.

  20. Gene Berkman

    The Pennsylvania story about the confiscation of a wine collection is a real travesty, but it reflects the fact that the Pennsylvania state government claims a monopoly on sales of alcoholic beverages. In most states, wine is sold through private stores, subject to taxes and regulation.

    Certainly as a libertarian I oppose taxes, but currently, if you are suspected of selling marijuana – it does not even have to be proved – you can have cash and other assets seized under asset forfeiture laws, as it can be claimed the assets were the fruit of illegal sales or facilitated illegal sales. Allowing regulated legal sales of marijuana would provide protection against asset forfeiture. Even a 20% tax on marijuana is less onerous than having all your cash seized because you are suspected of dealing.

  21. Robert Capozzi

    mk: regulating and taxing marijuana is a marginal step in the right direction towards total freedom, it’s still not optimal and it in fact EXPAND government.

    me: Seems contradictory. How can it be a step in the right direction AND an expansion of government at the same time?

  22. Mike Kane

    In the past, I’ve refrained from even responding to you Robert Capozzi because you are an armchair Libertarian who didn’t come to any of our meetings in VA. However I will say, if one could set up a board (at a small cost) to find ways to shrink government, such as an inspectors general’s office, it would be beneficial. In this particular situation, it would increase freedom, despite growing government. Regardless, individuals calling themselves government have no moral claim on people’s bodies.

    It’s marginal Paul because guess what, government still controls it. It’s really a revenue generator for the state. Albeit a voluntary one – most of us won’t purchase the drug legally (or not). But still, it supports a coercive group of people who don’t produce anything meaningful that couldn’t otherwise be produced in the free market.

  23. paulie

    All change is at the margin, and government regulates and taxes all legal products, but it’s a huge step forward from outlawing them and treating people as criminals for buying, selling, or possessing them. Anyone who thinks it’s better for marijuana to be illegal than taxed and regulated should be in favor of alcohol prohibition…and caffeine prohibition…and in fact, how about making buying, selling or possessing anything illegal? Everything would be on the black market and government could put you in jail for any type of commerce or owning anything at all at random and destroy your life with a criminal record. I’m sure that government would be smaller then, correct? And it would just be a small marginal change?

  24. langa

    So any retired judge or politician is off the table unless they were always a libertarian and always acted on it?

    I wouldn’t go that far, but the cynic in me is curious why all these recent LP candidates (Barr, Gray, to a lesser extent Johnson) have waited until after they left office, and in some cases, all the way until they sought the LP nomination, to have these “Road to Damascus” epiphanies. It reminds me a bit of how Romney changed his mind on so many issues after deciding to seek the GOP presidential nomination.

  25. langa

    All change is at the margin, and government regulates and taxes all legal products, but it’s a huge step forward from outlawing them and treating people as criminals for buying, selling, or possessing them. Anyone who thinks it’s better for marijuana to be illegal than taxed and regulated should be in favor of alcohol prohibition…and caffeine prohibition…and in fact, how about making buying, selling or possessing anything illegal? Everything would be on the black market and government could put you in jail for any type of commerce or owning anything at all at random and destroy your life with a criminal record. I’m sure that government would be smaller then, correct? And it would just be a small marginal change?

    Good points, and I agree with you that “legalized” (i.e. regulated) marijuana is a good first step, although libertarians should not be satisfied, and should continue to push for less regulation, not only for marijuana, but also for alcohol (e.g. moving the drinking age back to 18 would be a great place to start).

    More generally, I think the litmus test for “incremental” changes should be whether the change would make anyone less free, compared to the status quo. If the proposed change would make at least some people more free, and wouldn’t make anyone less free, it’s something that the LP (and libertarians in general) should support. I think legalization of marijuana (or even just medical marijuana) meets that test, and therefore, I’m in favor of it, even though obviously, it’s not ideal. But it’s a good first step.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    mk: In this particular situation, it would increase freedom, despite growing government.

    me: I see. I look at it differently. Yes, aspects of government would increase, but my judgment is that the net effect of legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana is to lessen government.

    Using Langa’s test (which I believe MNR advocated), however, it’s conceivable that some may pay more for marijuana with a tax. (Home growers come to mind, who might shift to legal but taxed weed for quality reasons.)

    Even when I was a big-L, I found MNR’s test a completely unrealistic approach for those who desire positive change. It’s extremely biased toward advocating extremist measures, ones that in my estimation are unlikely to succeed and position Ls way out on the fringes.

    MNR went ballistic over the flat tax concept, for instance, because it broadened the base, meaning that some small sliver of the pop might pay more taxes in the short term. His NAP-ometer dial signaled “evil” for the flat tax, and most net incrementalist measures.

  27. Robert Capozzi

    L: whether the change would make anyone less free, compared to the status quo.

    me: Actually, the more I think of it, those who smoke weed illegally and don’t get caught are made worse off when they buy it legally with a tax.

    So, this incremental change may well fail the Langa/Rothbard test.

  28. paulie

    I wouldn’t go that far, but the cynic in me is curious why all these recent LP candidates (Barr, Gray, to a lesser extent Johnson) have waited until after they left office, and in some cases, all the way until they sought the LP nomination, to have these “Road to Damascus” epiphanies. It reminds me a bit of how Romney changed his mind on so many issues after deciding to seek the GOP presidential nomination.

    Johnson hasn’t had any road to Damascus moment. He was an LP member in the 1980s and 1990s and was for legalizing marijuana as a sitting Governor, and vetoed more bills than the rest of the Governors combined. He was being told he was a libertarian before, during and after being Governor. He’s never been a libertarian purist, and is not one now. He has evolved to become somewhat more of one since he has been openly in the LP as a public figure for the first time, but the changes have been incremental and a very natural result of spending more time talking to Libertarians and less time talking to Republicans.

    Barr always had a mixed record. Even as a Republican politician, he had some inklings of libertarian views on some issues, while being rabidly anti-liberty on others. He claimed to have evolved on those other issues while he was in the LP, but walked a bunch of them back after he had the nomination, and even more after the campaign as he went back to being a Republican. Many of us never really trusted how genuine his conversion was; he continued to raise money for non-libertarian Republicans while sitting on the LNC…supported Plan Colombia in a TV interview, pre-nomination…delayed his announcement until all state conventions were over to avoid debating other candidates for the nomination…avoided all unofficial debates at the convention…had several of us have our press credentials for the convention pulled until it became clear we would not be a threat, and had TPW bought by Viguerie and censored when I published tough questions for him…and told me in a press conference he hoped his campaign would appeal to those who liked the anti-libertarian aspects of his public record as well as those who viewed him as a changed man. Afterwards, a mutual acquaintance told me Barr was put off by the questioning and skepticism by the radical wing of the LP and driven away from the party and movement by it. From my perspective though, most of us never really actively opposed the Barr campaign; many of us just found other things to do than campaign for him, but we didn’t really actively oppose his campaign after the nomination either. Sure, there was the BTP, and a few defectors to Obama, Baldwin, Nader or McKinney, but never any large numbers of any of those.

    I don’t know to what extent Gray has had a Road to Damascus moment. I am a bit sketchy on this, but I think he came out for legalization while he was still on the bench. And he is obviously not a purist libertarian now. So while I know less about the evolution of his views than Barr’s or Johnson’s, my first impression is that it has been gradual as well.

    Speaking more broadly, yes, there are people who feel more comfortable admitting libertarian views after they have already had their career, raised their kids and established them with careers and families of their own, have a comfortable retirement, and thus have less to lose. Their record reflects the pragmatism that it took to get and keep some degree of political power, but while I am always wary of any claimed converts, I am always open to them as well. In many cases the conversions may well be genuine, or even expressions of long repressed beliefs, or some combination thereof, and I do try to give such people a chance while remaining cautious at the same time.

  29. paulie

    I agree with you that “legalized” (i.e. regulated) marijuana is a good first step, although libertarians should not be satisfied, and should continue to push for less regulation, not only for marijuana, but also for alcohol (e.g. moving the drinking age back to 18 would be a great place to start).

    Fully agreed. In fact, I have personally worked on efforts to liberalize alcohol laws in several states, including getting rid of state liquor stores, dry counties and Sunday blue laws, and efforts to legalize stronger content and larger containers for beer and homebrewing in Alabama. I’ve written on behalf of lowering or eliminating drinking age, etc.

  30. paulie

    Using Langa’s test (which I believe MNR advocated), however, it’s conceivable that some may pay more for marijuana with a tax. (Home growers come to mind, who might shift to legal but taxed weed for quality reasons.)

    I don’t see how that would be. If you are buying pot on the black market right now, you are paying a huge markup due to the illegal status of pot. If you are found growing marijuana illegally, you have your marijuana destroyed, the rest of your property seized, fines and jail/prison time. If you are found to grow marijuana and avoid a tax after that becomes an option, you have to pay taxes and penalties, and may have your marijuana destroyed, but it will probably not be enforced as much as marijuana prohibition is now and the penalties will most likely be less severe when they do get enforced. For example, there are still people who make their own alcohol without the required licenses and taxes, and sometimes they do get caught, but the jails and prisons are not filled to the brim with illegal homebrewers and moonshiners the way they are with people who grow, manufacture, transport and sell illegal drugs – or the way they were filled with alcohol law violators during alcohol prohibition. The option to flout the taxes and regulations always existed and still does, but,

    1) Obviously, most people involved in the alcohol business prefer to pay the taxes and deal with the regulations than looking at fines, confiscation, jail and a criminal record,
    2) To the extent some don’t, it’s a lower enforcement priority than the “war on drugs”.

    But the option to operate illegally and avoid taxes exists regardless of whether the option to operate legally with taxes and regulations exists or not, so it’s not like it gets taken away from people.

  31. paulie

    Actually, the more I think of it, those who smoke weed illegally and don’t get caught are made worse off when they buy it legally with a tax.

    So, this incremental change may well fail the Langa/Rothbard test.

    Really? So why wouldn’t they just continue to smoke illegally by not paying the tax then? What becomes different for that option?

  32. Joshua Katz

    >(Home growers come to mind, who might shift to legal but taxed weed for quality reasons.)

    This seems like a poor example of the point you’re trying to make. The home grower could continue illegally growing at home, at reduced risk most likely. The only reason to choose to switch to legal, taxed weed given here is for quality reasons – meaning the difference in price is less meaningful to them than the increase in quality. So they’re better off. They’re also not made less free because the original, illegal option is still available – and probably comes with a lower penalty.

    I suppose the argument could go through if the penalties for home-growing were increased.

  33. Robert Capozzi

    p, again, the Langa/Rothbard test is:

    “whether the change would make anyone less free, compared to the status quo.”

    The operative word here is ANYONE. And the term “less free” is a close second.

    If ONE person smokes homegrown illegally (but without be apprended) occasionally in the status quo, s/he is freer than s/he would be if s/he can smoke much more frequently by buying taxed, legal weed.

    Yes, there are RISKS in the status quo, but if s/he is never caught, s/he is smoking virtually costlessly, with no tax. Legalized and taxed herb might be better stuff, and now affordable, so s/he is paying more and taxed more, so s/he is less free.

    The state is not taxing him or her in the status quo. It IS under a legalize-and-tax regime.

    Of note, what someone spends in the white or black markets is not something we can judge. How much one spends on weed is not of concern. What only matters from a NAPsolutist perspective is whether the state impedes free choice or not.

  34. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    A tax is a measurable impedance. Prohibition costs are non-measurable, as we can see from this example.

    So, I would think the NAPsolutist would focus on the measurable matter.

  35. langa

    Legalized and taxed herb might be better stuff, and now affordable, so s/he is paying more and taxed more, so s/he is less free.

    I don’t understand your logic. As others have pointed out, the option to buy black market weed would still exist. If the person in question chose to buy legal weed instead, that would be an example of them exercising their freedom.

    The only effect of legalization would be to give smokers more options. I fail to see how giving people more options (while keeping intact the ones they already had) makes them less free.

  36. langa

    Johnson hasn’t had any road to Damascus moment. He was an LP member in the 1980s and 1990s and was for legalizing marijuana as a sitting Governor, and vetoed more bills than the rest of the Governors combined. He was being told he was a libertarian before, during and after being Governor. He’s never been a libertarian purist, and is not one now. He has evolved to become somewhat more of one since he has been openly in the LP as a public figure for the first time, but the changes have been incremental and a very natural result of spending more time talking to Libertarians and less time talking to Republicans.

    I prefaced Johnson’s inclusion on the list with the phrase “to a lesser extent” in recognition of the fact that he did indeed display numerous libertarian instincts as Governor of New Mexico. However, if you are contending that his views then were virtually the same as the ones he now professes, that makes his failure to fully utilize the powers at his disposal (particularly with regard to pardons) even more difficult to justify. It suggests that he knew full well the opportunity that he had to combat injustice and tyranny, and just chose to ignore it, presumably because of his own future political ambition.

  37. Robert Capozzi

    L: As others have pointed out, the option to buy black market weed would still exist.

    me: I find that a mostly heroic assumption, though possible, like loosey cigs.

    Again, homegrown has no cost. Taxed, legalized weed has some cost, AND it is taxed. Some may shift from a no-cost homegrown solution to a taxed, legal option for QUALITY reasons. Coercion goes up in this trade-off, but so does quality.

  38. langa

    I find that a mostly heroic assumption, though possible, like loosey cigs.

    If there were still demand for it (i.e. if a significant number of people preferred it over the new, legal weed) someone would supply it.

    Again, homegrown has no cost. Taxed, legalized weed has some cost, AND it is taxed. Some may shift from a no-cost homegrown solution to a taxed, legal option for QUALITY reasons. Coercion goes up in this trade-off, but so does quality.

    Again, they would be free to continue growing their own. If they CHOOSE to buy the legal weed instead, that’s not an example of coercion. It’s an example of competition.

  39. Robert Capozzi

    L, you sidestep. The legal option is TAXED, which is coercive. Homegrown is untaxed, therefore without coercion.

  40. paulie

    If ONE person smokes homegrown illegally (but without be apprended) occasionally in the status quo, s/he is freer than s/he would be if s/he can smoke much more frequently by buying taxed, legal weed.

    If so, he or she can continue to buy untaxed, illegal weed, so how is anyone less free because other people choose to exercise a new option to buy taxed, legal weed? I still don’t get that.

    Yes, there are RISKS in the status quo, but if s/he is never caught, s/he is smoking virtually costlessly, with no tax.

    There’s a huge de facto tax which is reflected in the price of any black market good and represents the risk of bringing it to market. Besides, that’s irrelevant, because untaxed, illegal marijuana would still remain as an option.

  41. paulie

    I don’t understand your logic. As others have pointed out, the option to buy black market weed would still exist. If the person in question chose to buy legal weed instead, that would be an example of them exercising their freedom.

    The only effect of legalization would be to give smokers more options. I fail to see how giving people more options (while keeping intact the ones they already had) makes them less free.

    Exactly. So how is any one single person made any less free?

  42. paulie

    I prefaced Johnson’s inclusion on the list with the phrase “to a lesser extent” in recognition of the fact that he did indeed display numerous libertarian instincts as Governor of New Mexico. However, if you are contending that his views then were virtually the same as the ones he now professes, that makes his failure to fully utilize the powers at his disposal (particularly with regard to pardons) even more difficult to justify. It suggests that he knew full well the opportunity that he had to combat injustice and tyranny, and just chose to ignore it, presumably because of his own future political ambition.

    I don’t think it was because of his political ambition, or he wouldn’t have openly come out for legalization while still serving as Governor. But I did say his views have evolved, although gradually – he was already pretty libertarian as a Republican politician, is somewhat more libertarian now, but still is not a purist/radical libertarian.

  43. paulie

    I find that a mostly heroic assumption, though possible, like loosey cigs.

    Pot is pretty easy to grow, compared with tobacco. I know plenty of people who have grown it in their back yard or in a house or apartment. I think tobacco is more difficult.

    Again, homegrown has no cost.

    And would still exist. Please explain the issue. I don’t get it.

  44. paulie

    you sidestep. The legal option is TAXED, which is coercive. Homegrown is untaxed, therefore without coercion.

    So grow your own and don’t pay the tax. I still don’t see the problem.

  45. Robert Capozzi

    P, homegrowers in places where weed isn’t legal often do it because the cost of growing is near zero. Where it’s legal and taxed, the price would be MUCH lower, such that many homegrowers would no longer bother to grow.

    For ex: No idea what street prices are these days, but say $200/oz in illegal states. Say in CO it’s fallen to $50, with $10 of it being taxes. Many homegrowers might say, Gee, that $50/oz weed is reasonably priced and better than what I can grow at home.

    Former homegrowers are paying $10 in coerced taxes, because they think it’s a better solution for their heads than the time and resources it takes to grow (inferior) weed.

  46. Gene Berkman

    The coercion involved in prohibition of marijuana can be measured in the prison sentences imposed on growers and dealers, and those who possess enough, even if for personal use, to be prosecuted as dealers. It can be measured in the cash and other assets seized under asset forfeiture laws. It can be measured in the number of people who are arrested, and have a criminal record for the rest of their life. It can be seen in the indignity of providing a urine sample to a probation officer or wearing an ankle monitor while on parole.

    Seriously, paying a sales tax on the purchase of legal marijuana does not even come close in terms of coercive impact on the individual.

    And, of course, under current law, even being illegal does not protect you from the tax man. If you are arrested on suspicion of possession for sale, they can estimate your income and bill you for back taxes. And under federal law, you cannot deduct ordinary business expenses – the cost of your scale, your baggies, or the grow lights needed to grow indoors. Federal law specifically prohibits deducting expenses for engaging in an illegal business.

  47. langa

    The legal option is TAXED, which is coercive.

    So what? You seem to be ignoring the key component of my litmus test, which is “compared to the status quo.” I said, in my initial comment, that legal, taxed and regulated weed wouldn’t be ideal. The ideal would be no taxation or regulation of any drug. But just because taxed and regulated weed isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean it’s worse than the status quo.

    I think most smokers would probably find it to be superior to the status quo. However, those who preferred the old ways (growing their own, or going to the trouble of obtaining it on the black market) would still have those options. You still haven’t explained how more options = less freedom.

  48. Robert Capozzi

    L: I think most smokers would probably find it to be superior to the status quo.

    Me: I completely agree with this. MOST would. I am simply calling attention to the Langa/Rothbard rule: “whether the change would make anyone less free, compared to the status quo.”

    The homegrower in my example would be “less free,” but would still prefer to buy the taxed, legal weed. It’s like a toll road…yes, one could drive 30 miles more to avoid the tolls, but most opt to pay the toll.

    My point is that L/R standard sets the bar absurdly high. Of course legalizing and taxing weed is a massive step in the right direction, just as a flat tax at a very low rate with a much broader base would be MUCH better than the current regime, even if a few pay higher taxes.

    Again, the L/R rule is anyONE. It implies that if EVERYONE in America pays a lower tax EXCEPT Warren Buffet pays a dollar more, THAT would be “immoral.”

  49. paulie

    P, homegrowers in places where weed isn’t legal often do it because the cost of growing is near zero. Where it’s legal and taxed, the price would be MUCH lower, such that many homegrowers would no longer bother to grow.

    But this would only be true if legalization (even with taxes) lowers the price below what it is under prohibition, i.e., if the tax rate of legal pot compared to illegal pot is substantially negative.

    For ex: No idea what street prices are these days, but say $200/oz in illegal states. Say in CO it’s fallen to $50, with $10 of it being taxes. Many homegrowers might say, Gee, that $50/oz weed is reasonably priced and better than what I can grow at home.

    Former homegrowers are paying $10 in coerced taxes, because they think it’s a better solution for their heads than the time and resources it takes to grow (inferior) weed.

    Right. So they now have all the options they had before with illegal pot, plus a new alternative that has to be much better than the still existing illegal alternative, or they would go with the illegal one. Please explain how anyone is worse off as a result?

  50. paulie

    The coercion involved in prohibition of marijuana can be measured in the prison sentences imposed on growers and dealers, and those who possess enough, even if for personal use, to be prosecuted as dealers. It can be measured in the cash and other assets seized under asset forfeiture laws. It can be measured in the number of people who are arrested, and have a criminal record for the rest of their life. It can be seen in the indignity of providing a urine sample to a probation officer or wearing an ankle monitor while on parole.

    Seriously, paying a sales tax on the purchase of legal marijuana does not even come close in terms of coercive impact on the individual.

    Exactly.

    And just in case anyone disagrees – no problem, keep growing illegal pot. Nothing’s changed if that is your choice.

  51. langa

    It’s like a toll road…yes, one could drive 30 miles more to avoid the tolls, but most opt to pay the toll.

    So, under which of the following scenarios would people be most free: a world where both the toll road and the free* road exist, one in which only the toll road exists, or one in which only the free* road exists?

    *Of course, there’s no such thing as a “free” road. It’s simply a question of who pays for it.

  52. paulie

    As a separate question….

    Add the following to the above scenario posted by langa:

    Suppose that on the toll road, if you drive between 50 and 80 MPH without swerving or any other kind of obvious recklessness, you will almost never get pulled over, and if you do, you will usually get a warning or a fairly low fine. Meanwhile on the “free” road that takes more time and gas, there are a bunch of twists and turns, varying speed limits, potholes, dangerous curves, drunk drivers swerving all over the road, and speed traps, so a pretty large percentage of people who take this “free” road get into accidents or get hefty moving violation fines. What’s more, a bunch of the speed traps are corrupt little towns where the tickets are given out even if you follow every driving regulation by corrupt cops, and what’s more, they will take you to jail and hold you there until you see the judge and pay your way out or get put on a sheriff’s work gang if you can’t or won’t come up with the money. The “free” road goes through several towns where it takes a bunch of turns that are not well marked, so you could easily end up getting lost and getting on an even worse road.

    Now, who (other than the speed trap towns, tow truck drivers, gravediggers, etc) is better off if the toll road is eliminated and the “free” road becomes the only option?

  53. Robert Capozzi

    p: Please explain how anyone is worse off as a result?

    me: I didn’t say “worse off.” I am applying the Langa Rule literally: “whether the change would make anyone less free, compared to the status quo.”

    One person is LESS FREE since s/he pays taxes that were previously not paid. The evil State has revenues it didn’t previously have to further coerce and damage others.

    Economically, OF COURSE the person is better off even though s/he is less free. All would be better off. Mine is a critique of Langa’s (and Rothbard’s) standard, which I find unworkable.

    Again, if everyone’s taxes go down but Buffett’s increase by $1, that fails the Langa Rule.

  54. Robert Capozzi

    L: So, under which of the following scenarios would people be most free: a world where both the toll road and the free* road exist, one in which only the toll road exists, or one in which only the free* road exists?

    Me: Technically, neither. Freedom is not about outcomes, per se. It is about the ABSENCE of coercive obstacles.

    Think of it this way: Say heroin was legalized and untaxed. We would all be freer than we are now. However, if we all or most became addicts and very lazy, we might become poorer. Freer, but poorer.

    I would think any good Rothbardian would say this is the preferable outcome, yes? Heck, I would think any L would say so.

  55. Robert Capozzi

    p: Now, who (other than the speed trap towns, tow truck drivers, gravediggers, etc) is better off if the toll road is eliminated and the “free” road becomes the only option?

    me: Again, better/worse off is not necessarily the same as more/less free FOR EACH AND EVERY PERSON.

    Again, looked at from another angle: Langa gets elected to Congress. A flat tax bill that lowers everyone’s taxes EXCEPT Warren Buffett, whose taxes increase $1, Langa cannot vote for this in good conscience. One person is less free.

    It’s a principled stand, to be sure. Whether it’s a wise stance, I’d have to say No.

  56. paulie

    One person is LESS FREE since s/he pays taxes that were previously not paid.

    Nope. That person can still choose not to pay taxes, but pay more in de facto black market tax instead, if they wish. Not one person is less free. No one is less free because alcohol is taxed and regulated as opposed to prohibited – you can still drink illegal moonshine if you want to (I have, a bunch of times). So who is less free? Who is that person?

    One person is LESS FREE since s/he pays taxes that were previously not paid. The evil State has revenues it didn’t previously have to further coerce and damage others.

    Civil asset forfeitures come to mind. And prison labor. The state does get revenues off prohibited substances.

    Economically, OF COURSE the person is better off even though s/he is less free. All would be better off. Mine is a critique of Langa’s (and Rothbard’s) standard, which I find unworkable.

    I understand your distinction, but it fails on its own terms, since the black market does not cease to exist and remains as an option when a taxed and regulated legal market is added as an option. So anyone who feels less free because of the taxes involved can very easily avoid them.

    Now, who (other than the speed trap towns, tow truck drivers, gravediggers, etc) is better off if the toll road is eliminated and the “free” road becomes the only option?

    Again, better/worse off is not necessarily the same as more/less free FOR EACH AND EVERY PERSON.

    OK, I am sorry, you are correct. Please allow me to rephrase that.

    Now, who is less free if the toll road is eliminated and the “free” road becomes the only option? [repeat same scenario above]. Keep in mind that anyone can take the crappy, dangerous “free” road already any time they want to.

  57. Robert Capozzi

    pf: Nope. That person can still choose not to pay taxes, but pay more in de facto black market tax instead, if they wish.

    me: Yes, that is an option. I guess we disagree with the semantics, since there is de jure taxes paid which the State gets to do with what they will.

    If there is no more toll, then the State gets less revenue. Therefore, from my interpretation of Rothbardianism, everyone is freer in your scenario. Anyone in that area, however, has fewer choices, which is different from freedom.

    Again, I use freedom in the negative liberty sense…if there are no state-imposed obstacles and no State revenues, my Inner Rothbard would say that is a better outcome.

    To be clear, I don’t prefer that outcome, and I generally support the idea of tolls for roads, whether they are public or private.

  58. paulie

    If there is no more toll, then the State gets less revenue.

    Except that they actually get more revenue from civil asset forfeiture, and also from a public scared by exaggerated fears of drugs and crime to support larger drug war budgets with other taxes and/or more deficit spending.

    Or in the case of the crappy non-toll road in my analogy, they get more revenues from more and larger moving violation fines, tow fees, and sheriffs work gangs performing slave labor (that they may have to pay for otherwise).

    Therefore, from my interpretation of Rothbardianism, everyone is freer in your scenario. Anyone in that area, however, has fewer choices, which is different from freedom.

    I guess we disagree in our interpretation then. We’ve been over it enough different ways and times that I guess we are just not going to see it the same way, though.

    if there are no state-imposed obstacles and no State revenues, my Inner Rothbard would say that is a better outcome.

    Except there are state-imposed obstacles and state revenues on the crappier “free” road; more of them in fact.

  59. Robert Capozzi

    pf: Except that they actually get more revenue from civil asset forfeiture

    me: Gee, no, not if the ONE person we are talking about does not get caught. Again, review the Langa Rule. In aggregate, perhaps that’s true, although we only have about a year of observation thus far in a few states.

    pf: Or in the case of the crappy non-toll road in my analogy, they get more revenues from more and larger moving violation fines, tow fees, and sheriffs work gangs performing slave labor (that they may have to pay for otherwise).

    me: Again, no, not from the person who doesn’t get caught on the non-toll road. You are not thinking like a Rothbardian here, you are looking at the big picture, and I support your doing so!

  60. langa

    Question for RC: Under your interpretation, is the level of freedom determined by the presence of state-imposed obstacles, or the ability to evade them?

    In other words, are people less free when there are many coercive laws, but they are poorly enforced, or when there are few coercive laws, but those few laws are effectively enforced?

  61. Robert Capozzi

    L, good question. Truly. My general preference is for the latter…few laws effectively enforced.

    I believe that domestic tranquility is in many ways more important than liberty. Having a sense of fairness about how laws are enforced to me enhances domestic tranquility. An unfair legal system breeds a dysfunctional, sick society, where the slick and the connected game the system.

    This is why I bring up the flat tax as a way to illustrate how Rothbard’s hyper-individualism leads to a course place. If someone can game the system and evade taxes, that was good, iirc, according to Mr. Libertarian.

    I see why he said that, but I disagree.

  62. langa

    Yes, but I wasn’t asking which you prefer. Rather, I was asking which of those situations results in more freedom (in the Rothbardian, “NAPsolutist” sense of the word)?

  63. Robert Capozzi

    As a hyper individualist, I’d think MNR would say having skirtable laws is freedom maximizing. If one person can evade the law, then many can.

    I think MNR saw this as the Yellow Brick Road to Nonarchy.

    What’s your take, L?

  64. paulie

    Enforcement seems to be more consequential than what’s on the books. There are all sorts of archaic laws still on the books that no one enforces.

  65. langa

    Well, I tend to agree with Rothbard, although it really depends on a number of factors. But, for example, I tend not to get too bent out of shape over laws that, say, make it illegal to have oral sex. Even though such laws are obviously ridiculous and clearly violate the NAP, they tend to be enforced so rarely that it wouldn’t really make sense for the LP to make them a top issue.

    By the way, the reason I asked you about this is that at various times in this thread, you seem to take each position, even though they seem to be mutually exclusive. For example, you say that, assuming that they don’t get caught, homegrowers would be more free under prohibition, which would lead me to believe that you think the mere existence of coercive laws does not make someone less free, as long as that person is able to evade the effects of the law. But then, if that were the case, how would the homegrower be any less free under legalization, given that he could still choose to grow at home, thereby evading the effect of the taxation? So, I am confused as to whether you think the mere existence of coercive laws makes people less free (a priori) or whether it is the effects of the laws that create the loss of freedom.

  66. langa

    To be clear, my comment at 4:38 was directed to RC. I agree with Paulie’s comment at 4:25.

  67. Robert Capozzi

    Well, I agree with PF’s consequential point as well, of course.

    Langa, throughout most of this thread, I’ve been channelling my Inner Rothbard. I was taking the Langa Rule to its extreme.

    You are looking at the economics of the situation. I’m merely stating an obvious fact that there are taxes being paid where none were previously BY THE INDIVIDUAL former homegrower. These are specific revenues the State did not have previously.

    Hope that makes it clearer.

    As I’ve said, I don’t find that approach workable.

    It’s why I switched to the flat tax and Warren Buffett paying $1 more, as it’s a clearer example. Prohibition has other aspects that make it complex as a means to expose the absurdity of the Langa Rule.

  68. paulie

    I’m merely stating an obvious fact that there are taxes being paid where none were previously BY THE INDIVIDUAL former homegrower.

    Unless (s)he doesn’t want to pay, in which case the situation hasn’t changed.

    These are specific revenues the State did not have previously.

    There are other significant revenues, and expenditures, that the state has now and no longer would.

    As for channelling inner Rothbard, you say that Rothbard was more concerned with enforcement than with what was on the books, which means to me that a Rothbardian should favor the option which is less likely to result in fines and jail time for the individual committing a victimless “crime” – adding the option of taxed and regulated legalization while maintaining the status quo option for those who prefer it. Which just so happens to be the same conclusion that consequentialists reach. So, I am still not sure who would support leaving the status quo as the only option until we can get full untaxed, unregulated legalization, and why.

  69. Robert Capozzi

    pf, yes, that’s my understanding of Mr. Libertarian’s view. However, in terms of what transition plans the NAPsolutist might grudgingly accept, the Langa Rule is what MNR said: Not one person can be put in a less-free position.

    It’s an incredibly high hurdle, one I am holding up as one of the many weaknesses of NAPsolutists.

    I’m curious: Frankel in Congress. Flat tax bill up for a vote. Lower rates, broadens the base, almost everyone pays less taxes on Day One. Regulatory burden for taxpayers dramatically eased. Except the Forbes 400 will all pay about $100 more in year one.

    How does Paulie vote on that one?

  70. paulie

    I’d vote yes. I am far from perfectionist as far as transitional measures go. I’m also far from perfect, so in the extremely unlikely event I somehow got in Congress I’d probably vote for a bunch of crap that I wouldn’t if I have the benefit of hindsight. I don’t have much experience as a legislator, but I do remember going to an LNC meeting up your way – late 2012 IIRC – and voting on a budget I hadn’t really even looked at with very little understanding of the most fundamental aspects of what I was looking at as JJM informed me at the last minute he would not be going and the exec comm posted it to the LNC list list very late and with little or no explanation – I think while I was on the Megabus headed up there. It was very confusing, and I made plenty of mistakes. So, I imagine that if I somehow got in Congress, which is not going to happen, it would be sort of like that.

    But the tax thing is a shoehorn here. As far as transitional measures in marijuana legalization I still think they do meet the langa rule and work both from a Rothbardian perspective (as langa presents it) and from other libertarian perspectives (mine, your actual one, etc). From my perspective, your attempt to invent a Rothbardian angle against taking these particular transitional steps continues to fail on its own terms. Perhaps Mike Kane or someone else could explain it better, but no one has been trying to do that here.

  71. Robert Capozzi

    PF, it may fail for you, and it DEFINITELY fails for me, yet the example, put literally, is that on the day before legalization, the homegrower does not fund the State, and on the next day when s/he buys legal, taxed weed, s/he DOES fund the State.

    If Uncle Murray would have been OK with that, good for him! Perhaps my critiques of his thought system are too sharp, but the literalism and absolutism beg to be examined.

    And, Paulie for Congress!

  72. paulie

    “on the day before legalization, the homegrower does not fund the State, and on the next day when s/he buys legal, taxed weed, s/he DOES fund the State.”

    Unless s/he chooses to keep growing at home and not paying taxes, in which case nothing changes. So the shoehorn here fails for me, fails fot you, fails for actual Rothbardians, and just does not work all around.

    “Perhaps my critiques of his thought system are too sharp, but the literalism and absolutism beg to be examined.”

    Yes, except you are way too obsessed with that. Do you want to show us on the doll where Uncle Murray touched you? 🙂

    “And, Paulie for Congress!”

    I’d be an emabarrassment to the party if I ran and would never get elected under any party line. If somehow elected, despite not running, I would be an even bigger embarrassment to myself, my party, my district, my state and the entire congress. It would be a tall order to be more embarrassing than the ass clowns who are already there but I think I could manage to do it. If I stood for re-election I would make history as the first incumbent to receive a small fraction of one percent.

  73. Robert Capozzi

    Actually, P, it would be a hypothetical fact! Yes, there would also be hypothetical options, too. I don’t disagree with that at all.

    Uncle Murray never touched me, but I was once on what was in effect his enemies list. I spoke to him on the phone once, was in his presence twice. Still, I’d like to think that I have absolutely no sense of vengeance, no desire for any sort of retaliation. I just think he was deeply confused although a brilliant fella.

    It’s my job here at IPR, as the only radical, to challenge the cult of the Rothbardian thought system, rife as it with fundamental flaws that somehow STILL dominates the LM, especially the LP.

  74. NewFederalist

    “It’s my job here at IPR, as the only radical, to challenge the cult of the Rothbardian thought system, rife as it with fundamental flaws that somehow STILL dominates the LM, especially the LP.”

    Not to mention the most important poster of all time!

  75. Jill Pyeatt

    RC said: “It’s my job here at IPR, as the only radical, to challenge the cult of the Rothbardian thought system, rife as it with fundamental flaws that somehow STILL dominates the LM, especially the LP.”

    Perhaps you’re being sarcastic, and I’m missing it, but how in the world can you call yourself a “radical” libertarian?

  76. paulie

    Uncle Murray never touched me,

    Repressed memories and denial. I understand 🙂

    I was once on what was in effect his enemies list.

    I’ve never had that honor, most likely because I was too young and/or not active enough with the LP while he was still alive. I did participate in some campus LP activities in 1992, submitted a notice/letter to LP news, mentioned that I was voting LP in letters to the campus and metro dailies, actually did vote LP and got a membership inquiry packet from LPHQ, but that would have all been below his radar.

    Still, I’d like to think that I have absolutely no sense of vengeance

    And I’d like to think I’m kind, honest, handsome, funny, brilliant and extremely persuasive. Other people may not see it that way, though.

    It’s my job here at IPR, as the only radical,

    Thank you for today’s top LiterallyLOL moment so far.

    to challenge the cult of the Rothbardian thought system, rife as it with fundamental flaws that somehow STILL dominates the LM, especially the LP.

    I don’t think it does, nor do I know anyone (or hardly anyone) besides you who thinks it does.

  77. Robert Capozzi

    p, glad to make you laugh. I’m somewhat kidding of course, although you’ll recall that I don’t find Randian/Rothbardianism to actually be “radical,” just mostly simplistic.

    As for not knowing anyone who doesn’t find NAPsolutism fundamentally flawed, perhaps you don’t communicate with non-Ls. Surely you’ve heard people say things like, “Who would build the roads?” That’s just the tip of the iceberg. A lot of people I’ve encountered when I drank the NAPsolutist Kool-Aid would say things like, “I agree with some of what you say, but your ideas are unrealistic.”

    Hint of the century: They were being kind.

  78. paulie

    Oh, I know plenty of people who believe NAPsolutism is unrealistic, wrongheaded, and even nuts. I communicate a lot with all kinds of people, remember? However, I don’t know too many people that the “cult of the Rothbardian thought system”…”somehow STILL dominates the LM, especially the LP.” I certainly don’t, even if you take the words “cult of” out of it.

  79. Robert Capozzi

    yes, P, I know you to be a mixer.

    Most outside the LM probably don’t get the nuance of the Rothbardian thought system cult, they just think Ls have some good ideas sometimes and are generally sincere, but they go way overboard, or somesuch.

    And, I do take your point in the sense that I probably get a distorted view of just how Rothbardian the LP is (or isn’t) now, based on IPR comments I see. Certainly the foundational documents are still that way, although so much of it was stripped in 06, but that stuff is still there.

    Maybe this is played?

  80. Andy Craig

    Has the Libertarian Party has *ever* nominated a “Rothbardian” anarcho-capitalist for President? Paul being the closest obvious example, but he was never an open anarcho-capitalist, despite his affiliation and personal friendship with Rothbard.

    Hospers wasn’t a Rothbardian. MacBride wasn’t a Rothbardian. Clark sure as hell wasn’t, as Rothbard loudly let everybody know. Bergland wasn’t, to my knowledge. Paul might have been a closet an-cap, but campaigned as a paleo-leaning minarchist. Browne didn’t campaign as an outright anarchist to my knowledge, and if he did it wasn’t as a ‘Rothbardian’ anarchist. Badnarik was a libertarian constitutionalist, very not-Rothbard. And that leaves Barr and Johnson, neither of whom are Rothbardians.

    Murray and his acolytes certainly had, and still do have, a big influence on the party, its message, and its candidates. But if Rothbardians had been in control of the party at some nebulous point prior to 2006, they did a very poor job of showing it by nominating anarcho-capitalists.

  81. Andy Craig

    (forgot to mention Marrou ’92, but I’m not familiar enough with his campaign message to categorize him as Rothbardian or not).

    At best, we have three conventions (’83/4 ’87/8 and ’91/2) where the Rothbardian faction won a nomination fight. And none of those involved nominating a self-proclaimed anarcho-capitalist, so much as they did nominating the candidate who was the personal preference of Rothbard himself, the man not the catechism.

  82. langa

    I’m curious: Frankel in Congress. Flat tax bill up for a vote. Lower rates, broadens the base, almost everyone pays less taxes on Day One. Regulatory burden for taxpayers dramatically eased. Except the Forbes 400 will all pay about $100 more in year one.

    Since you seem to love these preposterous hypotheticals, how about this one: Everyone born between January and April will have their tax rate tripled, while everyone born between May and December will no longer pay any taxes at all.

    Do you think this plan would be one that libertarians should support? After all, it makes two-thirds of the population MUCH freer!

  83. paulie

    AC, not sure about Rothbardian, but I am pretty sure Bergland is an anarchist. I believe Harry Browne probably was as well, although neither of them campaigned explicitly as anarchists.

  84. Robert Capozzi

    Yes, Bergland was fringy, probably Rothbardian. I observed him in the hall at the 83 convention answering a TV reporter’s question, “Are Ls anarchist?” His answer was, “Yes, some of us are anarchists, and some of us are minarchists.”

    Browne and Marrou were pretty fringy, although better at concealing their fringiness.

  85. Robert Capozzi

    Langa, in my judgment, that would not be a fair trade-off. I can support a de minimis increase in nominal taxes for those for whom it would not be a hardship, especially because I believe they would generally benefit from a far less distortive, manipulative, paperwork burdening flat tax.

    Thanks for asking!

  86. langa

    Yes, Bergland was fringy, probably Rothbardian. I observed him in the hall at the 83 convention answering a TV reporter’s question, “Are Ls anarchist?” His answer was, “Yes, some of us are anarchists, and some of us are minarchists.”

    Browne and Marrou were pretty fringy, although better at concealing their fringiness.

    This goes along with my general impression, that the LP started out as a group of disgruntled Republicans (e.g. Hospers, MacBride, etc.), then became much more hardcore libertarian in the ’80s and ’90s, before heading back in the other direction and becoming more “moderate”, especially in the aftermath of 9/11.

  87. Rob Banks

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas_Accord

    “The Dallas Accord was an implicit agreement made at the 1974 Libertarian National Convention to compromise between the larger minarchist and smaller anarcho-capitalist factions by adopting a platform that explicitly did not say whether it was desirable for the state to exist.

    The purpose of the Dallas Accord was to make the Libertarian Party of the United States a “big tent” that would welcome more ideologically diverse groups of people interested in reducing the size of government. Therefore, the 1974 platform focused on statements arguing for getting government out of various activities, and used phrases such as “where governments exist…” It was agreed that the topic of anarchism would not even be on the table for discussion until a limited government were achieved.

    During the following years the number of anarchists in the party dropped by about half and more conservative-oriented and constitutionalist members joined.”

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