September 2019 Open Thread

The Democrats and Republicans. What can you say? There’s the Republicans:

Then there’s the Democrats, as reported in the Onion (more accurate than the “serious” mainstream media news networks):

“EMPORIA, KS—Unveiling the new nationwide messaging strategy after six months of planning and research, the Democratic Party launched its “Listen Up, Hayseeds” campaign Monday to win over rural voters.

“Hey, you redneck simpletons, put down your whittling sticks, drag yourself away from the Cracker Barrel, and let us tell you how it is,” said a team of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on the debut commercial, part of a widespread advertising blitz that will be played at NASCAR races and monster truck rallies across the country.

“We know you can barely read, so we’ll spell this out for you: The Republican tax plan will only benefit the rich. Don’t you dumb hicks get that? Democrats will fight inequality so you and all your inbred cousins don’t have to live in a trailer anymore. Get it?”

Democratic officials have also announced a new “You Think You Can Do Better Than Us?” campaign aimed at increasing turnout among African American and Hispanic voters.”

Then there’s everyone else. This is the place to discuss everyone else, but you can also use it to discuss Democrats and Republicans, or whatever.

If you get really bored, or have really bad insomnia or something, you can also listen to this interview with yours truly.

202 thoughts on “September 2019 Open Thread

  1. Krzysztof Lesiak

    The Onion. God, I love the Onion. All the books produced by The Onion that I could find at my former local library (except for Our Dumb Century) I’ve read.

    The Onion really is America’s Finest News Source. There’s too many good videos they’ve made over the years (I highly recommend the lesser known show Porkin’ Across America), but since the above Onion snippet is about Trump, I’ll just post this Onion video relating to Trump:

    “Trump Voter Feels Betrayed By President After Reading 800 Pages Of Queer Feminist Theory”

    Review: [sic] 1 year ago
    “The reality has surpassed its satire.”

  2. paulie Post author

    http://ballot-access.org/2019/09/02/alabama-libertarian-party-petition-for-special-legislative-election/

    Alabama holds a special election on November 12, 2019, for State House district 42. The Libertarian Party submitted a petition to be included in this race. It needed 448 valid signatures. The party submitted 668 signatures. The Secretary of State then said the petition only has 429 valid signatures, so it is 19 short. However the party has been re-validating the petition, and has already found six more valid signatures that had erroneously been marked “invalid”. The party is only one-fifth of the way through the revalidation process, and is optimistic that it will find enough signatures to make the petition valid.

    The Republican nominee is Van Smith; the Democratic nominee is Kenneth Allison; the Libertarian nominee is Doug Ward.

    comments:

    https://dougward4staterep.nationbuilder.com/donate

    This race is actually winnable.

    The Republicans nominated a candidate who is from Autauga County which makes up a small portion of the district. Most of the district is in Chilton County and the rest of the vote was split among three Chilton County Republicans. The bigger story was the turnout which was barely double digits. Bear in mind the Republican primary is the “real election” in a district which went something like 80-20 for Trump and did not even have a Democrat at all in the last regular election. It does in the special election, but he is a token candidate who is not well known at all. It’s unlikely the Democrats and Republicans together can muster a double digit turnout in November in an odd year election (3,000 voters). We can reach more people than that door to door.

    Alabama Republicans are not very happy with their party right now and they hate and fear Democrats. First they got sideswiped by their own party with a massive fuel tax and vehicle registration hike boondoggle.

    https://lpalabama.org/2019/05/27/iveys-raip-plan-should-be-spelled-rape/

    The the ALGOP powers that be crapped the bed with the Mobile bridge toll proposal …

    https://lpalabama.org/2019/08/25/for-whom-the-bridge-tolls-an-expose-of-big-government-run-amok/

    A few days after that came out the bridge toll proposal was pronounced “dead” and, some of us think not coincidentally, this was immediately followed by the Governor being shamed with a decades long blackface incident, after she replaced another Republican governor who resigned in disgrace over an office affair and financial improprieties.

    As Doug Snow explains “Alabama seems to have plenty of disposable governors. I am convinced that Robert Bentley was deliberately targeted for removal by his own party.Was Bentley a bad guy? Well, campaign finance violations in a corrupt state like Alabama is pretty humorous to say the least. As far as politicians having affairs with advisers and secretaries, I find that almost as laughable as accusing them of financial wrong doings.

    No, I believe Bentley was deliberately ousted by his own party for abigger reason. Bentley was in the way of something big, I honestly don’t think Bentley was even supposed to win the election, just the fact that Kay Ivey bowed out of the Gubernatorial race and switched over to the lieutenant Governor’s race tells me that the whole thing was a setup from the get-go.

    Now we have this mysterious video pop up out of nowhere with Kay Ivey telling us about playing a black face character in a skit back in the1960’s. It’s pretty obvious someone was sitting on this audio track with plans on using it at just the right time. With close to 55,000 people in the block the toll group, along with God knows how many other south Alabamians adamantly against Kay Ivey, it’s hard for me to believe that this YouTube video was just lingering out there waiting for somebody to just stumble accross it. With all the research that I’ve done, plus the research of countless others, this video would have been found a long time ago.

    I believe somebody out there has it in for ole Kay. I get a gut feeling that this damning video was deliberately released to distract us from the real players in this toll and port story. I’m pretty sure that they are counting on us to scream for her impeachment. Like I said in my previous story, Kay Ivey is the Kamikaze governor. I honestly believe she was set up from the get go, to go down in flames. Now that the toll project is by her own words “dead”, she has outlived her usefulness. She has got to go.

    This kind of thing has got to stop. We need to seriously look into all the political activities and players that have led us to this point in Alabama history. Our elected governors or not pawns to sacrifice as scapegoats. I know damn well Kay Ivey is not the mastermind behind all this. Whoever is pulling her strings, has an agenda. This toll group threw a big wrench into thier gears.

    Is this bridge deal dead? Not by a long shot. They are in way too deep to just walk away from it. Rest assure, they are back at the drawing board planning thier next move. I fear they will use this Kay controversy to distract us from thier activities. They are banking on this group to fade away now that the bridge project has failed. That’s were we come in once again to save ourselves. It is imperative we keep this group together. In fact, we need to keep it growing. We need to give Dean Young and his group all the support they need to permanently stop this nightmare from happening again. Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend…”

    Chilton County has its own slew of similar local corruption which is why none of the three Chilton Republicans running for this vacancy could manage any decent level of turnout as they are all complicit and pretty much everyone in Chilton knows it.

    I found 5 voters they missed in the first 100 sigs out of 668 and that’s *without* the updated list. The one we have is about 2 years out of date.

    As far as I have been able to determine this is the first special election for the LP of Alabama EVER in any race. That’s especially important since we are one of only 8 states left with a straight ticket, which is a lot less of an issue in a special election.

    Since the last time we had state ballot access in 2002 we have only been able to participate in 3 state legislative races – one in 2006, two in 2018. One of the two in 2018 Elijah Boyd was only on the ballot after a signature review like the one we are doing now.

    If Doug wins it’s the first LP state legislative win outright in a non-fusion, non switch in office election since the 90s and the biggest state/district ever (the others were in Alaska, NH and VT)

    https://www.facebook.com/Doug-Ward-For-Alabama-House-of-Representatives-District-42-341278496554343/

    update: Went ahead and spent the 326.28 (300 was an estimate) and we are receiving offsetting contributions (much appreciated everyone).

    It was an even worse ripoff than I expected since the file they sent no longer includes the most important data we need, date of birth, instead giving us voter age but not the month and day. We have months and days on the petition but now we have to sit there and calculate years from ages on top of everything else. Pretty annoying.

    Anyway the good news is that we have a campaign that could be winnable so please keep those donations coming at

    https://dougward4staterep.nationbuilder.com/donate

    Thanks to everyone who has already donated and those who will donate going forward!

  3. robert capozzi

    pf,

    I see that the Prohibition Party has been around for 150 years. Since you often trumpet the fact that the LP has had staying power because of its NAP foundation, I wonder if your hope is that the LP remains intact for another 100 years or so as a fringe party like the Prohibitionists.

  4. dL

    I wonder if your hope is that the LP remains intact for another 100 years or so as a fringe party like the Prohibitionists.

    If the definition of fringe is being at the fore of constitutional amendment passages, I’m guessing the LP will happily take it. The Prohibition party accomplished what it set out to do, and after the passage of the 18th amendment, it more or less faded away. That alcohol prohibition didn’t deliver on its promise is why the Prohibition party never reassembled into its former glory, but the spirit of the temperance movement lives on with the drug war.

  5. paulie Post author

    I wonder if your hope is that the LP remains intact for another 100 years or so as a fringe party like the Prohibitionists.

    No, my hope and expectation is that once we start making cracks in the dam that is the cult of the omnipotent state, smaller changes will lead to bigger changes until the whole facade collapses. Then freedom will flow freely and the LP will fade away because there will no monopoly government left to fight and we will all live happily ever after in the Frankel singularity.

    But if it falls short of my hopes and expectations I’ll take getting the essence of the LP Statement of Principles passed as a constitutional amendment, even if only for 14 years, as a huge accomplishment for the LP. And let’s not forget that many alcohol laws remain locally as legacies of prohibition from hours of operation to bottle size and beer strength limits to homebrewing limits to who can sell hard liquor and who can sell beer and wine etc etc etc. Or that one of the impetuses for prohibition of cannabis and other drugs was that prohibition agents needed new jobs. So if we somehow extend that analogy to the LP yes, I would take that as a consolation prize.

  6. paulie Post author

    Prohibition Party took 50 years to achieve prohibition (1869-1919). So if the LP gets the statement of principles into law by 2021 I won’t be too mad about that either.

  7. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Surely you recognize that a single-issue success is not same thing as an extreme across-the-board downsizing of ~90% of all government are quite different matters. The degree of difficulty makes the Prohibition vs the L agenda something like a walk in the park vs. intergalactic travel.

  8. dL

    Surely you recognize that a single-issue success is not same thing as an extreme across-the-board downsizing of ~90% of all government are quite different matters.

    Shirley, you undoubtedly remember comparing the two just the other day with a like simile.

  9. paulie Post author

    And yet neither one is impossible. Humans have already been in space so intergalactic is quite plausible. Ending monopoly government, like ending slavery and theocracy, is not an easy or quick path, but it is a worthwhile one. And you already know I’m happy with incremental steps along the way so once again there is nothing to argue about.

  10. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Yes, humans have been in space, but NOT intergalactic space. Humans do walk in the park on a daily basis. It’s commonplace. Space travel is not commonplace. Intergalactic space travel has yet to have been achieved.

    You’d need to have a single-issue L party for, say, relegalizing machine guns and no other issue to be similar to the longstanding Prohibition Party. The current LP, with its dedication to the NAP, stacks a wide range of extreme positions, any one of which might be adopted in 50 years. Achieving 100 such issues makes the degree of difficulty profoundly greater and diffuses the potential effectiveness of the single-issue advocacy.

  11. paulie Post author

    Yes, humans have been in space, but NOT intergalactic space.

    Yes, I know. And at one time it was hard to imagine living without absolute monarchy mixed with theocracy and the practice of chattel slavery. Grim public executions, corporal punishment and mutilation were common and everywhere, women and children had no rights, and so on. Social evolution is possible.

    Achieving 100 such issues makes the degree of difficulty profoundly greater and diffuses the potential effectiveness of the single-issue advocacy.

    There are plenty of organizations working on single issue advocacy. We advocate for the non-initiation of force principle as embodied in our Statement of Principles. It’s not an easy sell to a lot of people but the movement is growing by leaps and bounds and will continue to grow. I believe it will achieve critical mass. You can choose to believe otherwise; I’m OK with that.

  12. Jim

    The Prohibition Party had alcohol prohibition as its signature issue, but it had a full platform and a lot of it became law. Support for women’s suffrage, guaranteeing that racial and religious minorities could vote and hold office, support for the income tax, support for anti-trust legislation, support for an 8 hour work day with at least 1 day off per week, support for unemployment insurance, support for increased worker safety laws and provisions for paying injured workers, support for the direct election of US Senators (and President), mandatory education, outlawing child labor, outlawing gambling and prostitution, etc. All of that can be found in Prohibition Party platforms between 1872 and 1928.

    The biggest thing supported by the first 56 years of Prohibition Party platforms which was never enacted was the 1916 platform which supported the global abolition of all armies and navies, with international disputes to be resolved at a world court. Support for a World Court and later the League of Nations was repeated a few times, but that call for the global abolition of all armies and navies was a one-off.

  13. dL

    All of that can be found in Prohibition Party platforms between 1872 and 1928.

    Yes, it was a knee jerk analogy by Capozzi.

  14. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Well, thanks, I’m OK with the existence of NAP Fundamentalism; I just don’t like the odds of its being successful, and I notice its many flaws.

    It’s quite true that social norms have markedly moved over the centuries. It strikes me that, for the most part, the progress that’s been achieved was not due to the wholesale adoption of an entirely new thought system. There were and are many thought systems that edged away from slavery, public beatings, etc., due to concerted persuasion campaigns.

    Marxism qualifies as a new thought system that has been adopted widely, and its flaws became readily apparent as it was enacted.

  15. paulie Post author

    That’s actually a good example of a radical thought system change which did in fact come to power in many countries and is incrementally making changes in others. I believe that same model of change can work for radical libertarianism, but I think it will work out a lot better because I believe our ideas are sound unlike those of Marxism. We shall see.

  16. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Seems to me the big difference is that Marxism has the “advantage” that it “offers” the masses “something for nothing” and plays on the guilt of the Haves. NAP Fundamentalism is far more abstract in its appeal, and is a more stoic offering. “We’ll all be MUCH richer if only the State was non-existent to near non-existent.” I don’t like the odds that such moralistic stoicism will be widely adopted; yes, the thousands of Fundamentalists have grown to the low millions, but my sense is the ceiling is fast approaching. I’m just not seeing the notion of abolishing the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service having mass appeal with soccer Moms.

    Do you? (Short of the Frankel Singularity, of course.)

  17. Eric Sundwall

    I’ve known a lot of soccer moms over the last ten years and they are not a universal lot. Some point to the European model of healthcare and see a vehicle for increased leisure activity based on that free ride. Others are immigrants that avoid the sidelines packed with PTA prima donna Division I tongue wagging suburbacunts staking out there next AirBnB getaway. MOre are decent hard working folks who grudgingly engage in any political discourse because that one day transaction is ultimately meaningless in the day to day pursuit of survival and happiness. Still others are single moms doing a great job, with a great kid who just loves the sport. That mom has a thousand other interests and ideas other than this one supposed stupid demographic box . . . . that just doesn’t exist. *ahem* But never has the USDA abolition come up, in any conversation, far and wide. But Aleppo, they heard that. So yeah, RC is right about that USDA and soccer moms. The Dad’s frequently vote for the LP because the R’s and D’s are clowns looking to loot their wallet because travel soccer costs 5 grand this year.

  18. dL

    Seems to me the big difference is that Marxism has the “advantage” that it “offers” the masses “something for nothing” and plays on the guilt of the Haves. NAP Fundamentalism is far more abstract in its appeal

    Seems to me Bob doesn’t have a clue what Marxism is. “Something for nothing,” which is how conservatives describe marxism, is actually a better descriptor for conservative economics, which has shown a reliable dependency on massively running up the public debt; i.e, big government on a credit card.

  19. dL

    Marxism qualifies as a new thought system that has been adopted widely

    Marxist-Leninism was adopted by some in the early to middle part of the 20th century and largely ended in repudiation by the late 20th century.

  20. dL

    I’ve known a lot of soccer moms

    “Soccer mom” is played. It’s a Clinton 90s term that the Bushies replaced with “security mom” in 2004. We are talking about middle-aged white women in the suburbs. I imagine the prospect of a more libertarian economy producing $30 botox and $100 fillers might hold some appeal for that demographic. lol

  21. dL

    but I think it will work out a lot better because I believe our ideas are sound unlike those of Marxism. We shall see.

    One would do well to take seriously why Marxism has made a comeback after it was seemingly relegated to the dust bin of history after the Soviet Union dissolved and China went capitalist. If Marxist-Leninism discredited socialism at the conclusion of the 20th century, one is now faced with the prospect that the Washington Consensus(US Capitalism) has similarly discredited capitalism a mere generation later. Capitalism was supposed to nudge China toward liberal democracy within a generation. Instead, a mere generation later, capitalist states have now adopted the security organs of the old Marxist-Leninist states. Who saw that coming in 1992? Well, libertarians should have seen it coming.

  22. paulie Post author

    Seems to me the big difference is that Marxism has the “advantage” that it “offers” the masses “something for nothing”

    We offer a much improved lifestyle for everyone, far more prosperous, peaceful and free.

    and plays on the guilt of the Haves.

    Got that covered too. Libertarianism properly explained tells the haves that they have benefited unfairly from the tilting of the playing field by corporate-government collusion and the unequal effects of red tape among other things.

    We’ll all be MUCH richer if only the State was non-existent to near non-existent.”

    Exactly.

    I don’t like the odds that such moralistic stoicism will be widely adopted

    How is that stoicism? It doesn’t come close to fitting any definition of stoicism I have ever seen.

    he thousands of Fundamentalists have grown to the low millions, but my sense is the ceiling is fast approaching.

    My sense is that we’re just beginning to scratch the surface. The vast majority of people have not even really heard our ideas yet. If they have it was likely either isolated snippets which did not connect the dots for them or some socially awkward libertarian somewhere on the autistic spectrum making a terrible case for libertarianism to them. Perhaps they have argued with a libertarian troll or several online, someone who is meek and mild in person and lets all the aggression out in condescending internet arguments. Whatever it is, the ideas have not really penetrated their mental sphere yet. Or they don’t connect the ideas with a name, or the name with any kind of action plan, or the party preference with any personal need or want to get actively involved.

    Far be it from the ceiling, we are barely off the floor, if that. But we’re getting there. The pace is frustrating, but the movement is happening.

    I’m just not seeing the notion of abolishing the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service having mass appeal with soccer Moms.

    Do you?

    Yes, I do. Ron Paul began to connect with a bunch of them. But then got short circuited by the newsletter crap. Johnson got a few million votes, and could have had a few million more, but stuck his foot in his mouth too much. Harry Browne had his great libertarian offer, but it was before we had the platforms we have had since then such as much more widespread internet usage and Ron Paul on the national debate stage with leading candidates for a duopoly party nomination. The next Harry Browne can make that offer to a lot more eyes and ears.

    I remain long term optimistic. Short term there may be some pain, maybe even very severe, which will probably involve setbacks, perhaps very significant ones. And I don’t know what the timeframe will be. But that’s my overall analysis, still.

  23. robert capozzi

    es,

    Dads don’t “frequently” vote L. Very few do. Same with Moms.

    pf,

    NAP Fundamentalism is “stoic” in the sense that it’s all about delayed gratification. The message is something like: “Let’s abolish all or most government as quickly as possible and, while that might lead to some dislocations, we’ll all come out the other end much better off.

    “Abstract” might be a better word than “stoic.” Such moralistic abstractions ask A LOT of voters. Single-constraintist Fundamentalism tends to force Ls to advocate that all government must be rolled back, at least.

    Whatever the current equivalent is for “soccer Moms” (I hear “suburban women” more recently) will translate that as “Oh, now, my mother-in-law will come live with us when her SS benefits are cut.”

    Bumper or VS or whomever is the next Browne might be inspirational to impressionable extremists, but I’m highly skeptical that they can convert large numbers. RP1 (as a Shiny Badge R) is the high water mark for applied NAP Fundamentalism. Even without Newslettergate 1.0 and 2.0, his agenda lacked mass appeal. It was still a sub-10% offering.

  24. The Prohibitionist

    Can we all just agree that Capozzi is the smartest person to have ever lived and just move on? Milnes and PLAS got moved. Why not Capozzi and NAP? This just gets boring. Hell, bring on Ogle and his fantasy parliament BS. We haven’t heard that crap in a while. Geez Louise!

  25. paulie Post author

    But who would we talk to then? All the people who kept saying they were not here because of Andy are…still not here. At this point, maybe we really should let Ogle, Milnes and the rest spam IPR comments again. The place is so dead, I don’t see what we have to lose. Well besides me ever posting under my recognizable pseudonym ever again, or if I manage to have more discipline than I have thus far, under any name.

  26. robert capozzi

    TP,

    I’m certainly not the smartest person ever, but thanks. Nor am I the wisest, which for my money is the more important character trait.

    I simply share the idea that NAP Fundamentalism doesn’t work, and why, from the perspective of a NAP Fundamentalist in recovery.

  27. paulie Post author

    I simply share the idea that NAP Fundamentalism doesn’t work, and why, from the perspective of a NAP Fundamentalist in recovery.

    Do you know any other cool tricks?

  28. dL

    I simply share the idea that NAP Fundamentalism doesn’t work

    What problem was this Bob Capozzi straw man supposed to solve?

  29. robert capozzi

    Jim: Rhe Prohibition Party had alcohol prohibition as its signature issue, but it had a full platform and a lot of it became law.

    me: Interesting. Did the Prohibitionists have a singular ideological stance like the NAP? Any insight as to how they assembled such an eclectic platform? Were those all just (in their minds) “good ideas”? Were those just applied Christian ethics?

    Some Ls take a bow for gay marriage and weed legalization. I see no evidence that Ls deserve much, if any, credit for either.

    Otherwise, it seems that the PP MIGHT have been far more effective than the LP in their respective first 50 years. The PP seems like an important force in Prohibition itself, but perhaps their other issues were just after thoughts. Or maybe not. Maybe they were they folcrums of change in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

    What was the PP doing right and the LP wrong for half a century?

  30. paulie Post author

    It was far easier to organize then. Ballot access barriers just did not exist, or were nowhere as bad. Those mostly came in as a reaction to some limited Communist and Socialist success in the 1930s. For the first couple of decades of the Prohibition Party there were no government printed ballots. Politics was not the massive money pit it is today, so it was much more possible for alternative parties to raise money and volunteers to become competitive than it is now in the era of mass advertising. In fact, national media did not really exist during that era, before the rise of national radio and later TV networks and syndication. Newspapers were often explicitly, not implicitly, partisan, and as such a non-duopoly party had a relatively more level playing field than now.

    Since the federal government did a lot less back then, far fewer people were beholden to it, although local political machines were prevalent. Nevertheless this left a lot of people who were much less constrained in being associated with a non-duopoly party. In fact, at that point, it had been much less time since the membership of the duopoly club changed; it had changed more than once in the 19th century, so it seemed much more plausible that it could change again. Now that’s it’s been the better part of two centuries it seems harder to see it happening.

    The non-prohibition parts of the early Prohibition Party agenda sound a lot like the overall Progressive agenda of that era, which had other parties pushing it and proponents within the duopoly. They were hardly the only ones carrying the torch on those issues. I don’t know how much emphasis they put on them, but it made sense that their name was the Prohibition Party, not the Progressive Party or the Other Progressive Party etc.

    I think the LP has a lot to do with cannabis decrim and legal gay marriage. It was a relatively lone voice in the wilderness for decades. The issues became more popular at the end, and others jumped in to lead the parade, but it would have never reached that stage without the early and largely thankless toil for many years before.

    For that matter deregulation is another idea we can posit was spurred by the rise of the LP. Rather than ask what we are doing wrong, it would be good to ask what we are doing right. In the past half century many alternative parties of all sorts of ideologies have come and gone; some remain tiny, with ballot access in only one or a small handful of states. Some made a big splash around an individual and didn’t last long. Some have made a dent in state politics, usually involving fusion, while not focusing on national politics. Only a couple have really risen to challenge the LP in the non-duopoly national party space in any sustained manner. None as successfully as the LP.

    These have included one issue parties, far right parties, far left parties, moderate/centrist parties, libertarianish parties… yet the LP has among a wide range of indicators and the course of several decades done better than they have. Rather than comparing us against a standard no other party has achieved in over 150 years – joining the ranks of the major parties – and none have ever achieved without one of the establishment parties collapsing in US history, or against the achievements of parties which faced a much different ballot access, funding, media and campaign climate a century ago, let’s judge what the LP has been able to do against what others who have been trying to do something similar have within the same time frame. By that more realistic standard we have done and continue to do incredibly well.

  31. paulie Post author

    NAP Fundamentalism is “stoic” in the sense that it’s all about delayed gratification.

    Agorism, countereconomics and volunteerism fills in that gap. Our gratification does not have to be delayed. We can and are starting to replace failing government services now. Apps and gigs are doing the same thing. The shift to a many-to-many information flow means we can get out information about fully informed juries and make victimless crime laws unenforceable; that actually played a huge role in the end of alcohol prohibition.

    “will translate that as “Oh, now, my mother-in-law will come live with us when her SS benefits are cut.”

    Fewer will do so when they learn that they will also get to keep the money they pay in taxes and cut the red tape which makes other housing and care options unaffordable for most.

    I’m highly skeptical that they can convert large numbers.

    It’s OK to be skeptical, I understand. I am much more optimistic in that regard.

    RP1 (as a Shiny Badge R) is the high water mark for applied NAP Fundamentalism.

    I disagree, but then you already knew that.

    Even without Newslettergate 1.0 and 2.0, his agenda lacked mass appeal. It was still a sub-10% offering.

    I saw plenty of mass appeal in my travels. A breakout in early primaries was very close. Newslettergates were well timed. Likewise Johnson 2016 had a lot of potential early on which was killed by gaffes and lack of inspiring performance in interviews. We were about half way to the level of support needed for national debate stage inclusion with Trump and Clinton. It’s very plausible that another LP ticket could hit that level of support. If the Democrats and Republicans actually agree to the debate, and if the Libertarian does a decent job in it, that would bring libertarian ideas to far more people than Paul, Johnson and Browne combined in all their campaigns put together ever could. Even if those libertarian ideas are in a watered down form it will lead a lot of people to discover more hardcore libertarian views as they dig deeper.

    Or, perhaps a street performer like Vermin will catch enough people’s attention, even without debate inclusion, for a critical mass to look into the ideas more seriously.

    There are a lot of ways for us to reach people. Only some of them involve elections. If you go to FreedomFest or LibertyCon or PorcFest etc, the libertarian movement as a whole is growing. I think it will keep growing and is very far from any point approaching any kind of ceiling. If anything I think our momentum will increase.

  32. NewFederalist

    Paulie’s post on Sep 9 at 8:02 is absolutely right on! Paulie, this is really insightful and extremely well thought out and written. This is the reason I keep coming back to this site. Kudos!

  33. robert capozzi

    pf,

    I stipulate that the election-law challenges were tougher in the 1970s til now vs in the 19th century. Jim was implying that they were pivotal in a range of issues, and it seems you don’t go along with his assessment. On those they were probably along for the ride. They probably were an important factor in enacting Prohibition, I suspect we all agree. OTOH, iirc, the Methodists get a lot of “credit” for that “achievement.”

    I’d also stipulate that the LP was early-on advocates of both gay marriage and weed legalization, although it seems to me that most of the heavy lifting was done by the Supremes. Some states brought the issue to a head, but I’ve never heard of the key LPer in, say, VT, that could claim fatherhood. I do note that a significant fraction of the NAP Fundamentalist community opposes gay marriage on the grounds that they oppose ALL state-sanctioned marriages.

    As I recall, the LP was more about legalizing ALL drugs, not just weed, and it still is. It seemed to be more precisely pushed by High Times. Of course, attributing causality for such a thing is (I’d say) impossible.

    I agree that RP1 08 and GJ 16 were encouraging. To gain traction, we’d need to break into the double digits first. Amash/Chafee 20 might do the trick. Supreme/Vohra 20?…I suppose anything’s possible, Donald Trump is president.

    Anyway, do you think there’s anything to be learned from the PP experience, or do you discount their longevity since Prohibition’s adoption and then repeal as just a hollow shell of a political party? Put another way, was their relative success of a single-issue focus (vs the LP’s NAP-ideology focus) was due to the fact that they made progress in a different time, when election law was far less burdensome? And that the husk of what remains is irrelevant to the LP’s experience?

  34. Chuck Moulton

    Robert Capozzi wrote:

    Some states brought the issue to a head, but I’ve never heard of the key LPer in, say, VT, that could claim fatherhood.

    Is this a joke? Steve Kubby, an LP activist and presidential candidate, was largely responsible for California’s medical marijuana initiatives. Rob Kampia, an LP activist, founded MPP and got legalization rolling state by state across the country. State LP activists championed marijuana initiatives in many states. LP groups were used to network early marijuana interest groups and identify early donors. Would all of this have happened without the LP? Maybe… but I think it would be a conservative estimate to say the LP moved marijuana legalization up by a decade.

  35. dL

    Some Ls take a bow for gay marriage and weed legalization. I see no evidence that Ls deserve much, if any, credit for either.

    Libertarian ideas were the driving force behind both. Whether the LP itself can take any credit is debatable, but it’s not debatable RE: so-called lessarchy receiving any credit.

  36. dL

    although it seems to me that most of the heavy lifting was done by the Supremes.

    Bob, your memory of contemporary history is faulty. Pot legalization got its start with medical marijuana legalization(i.e, prescription pot) in Cali in 1996. That set off a steady momentum to recreational pot legalization in Colorado in 2012. SCOTUS has yet to rule on recreational pot. The only pertinent SCOTUS ruling on the matter was in 2005 Gonzales v. Raich, wherein the court decided the federal government could seize the home grown plants of medical marijuana users under the pretext that the controlled substances act does not recognize medical marijuana.

    Pot, medical or recreational, is still illegal under federal law, and the federal government could at any time crack down on the entire industry. If you recall, Sessions’ Justice Department intimated that it would do exactly that, but it never followed through.

    Gay marriage began with civil unions in Hawaii, Massachusetts and Cali in the early 90s, and if you recall, this prompted DOMA passage in 1996. But that didn’t stop anything. By the time SCOTUS got around to nullifying DOMA in 2015, the heavy lifting had long been completed. Textbook example of paving the cowpaths.

    In 1996, the year DOMA passed(which was signed by Clinton) and the year Cali first legalized prescription pot, public opinion on both issues was at least 2/3 against. 10 years later, public opinion had shifted dramatically to 2/3 for. A Bob Capozzi LP would have a sorry track record of old CSPAN clips on Youtube documenting opposition to pot legalization and gay marriage on the grounds of both being an affront to the sensibilities of suburban white women. The only bright side to that, of course, is that we would have been spared a Barr/Root LP ticket in 2008…because there would have been no LP in 2008.

  37. robert capozzi

    cm,

    Sorry, I was referring to gay marriage with that sentence.

    And, yes, of course, individual Ls were involved in critical ways on the weed issue. Whether the party itself was pivotal is what I question.

  38. Jim

    robert capozzi “Did the Prohibitionists have a singular ideological stance like the NAP? Any insight as to how they assembled such an eclectic platform? Were those all just (in their minds) “good ideas”? Were those just applied Christian ethics?”

    As Paulie said, they were progressives. Wikipedia has a great one-sentence definition of progressivism:

    > Contemporary progressives promote public policies that they believe will lead to positive social change.

    The Prohibition Party’s progressivism was informed by Christian morality, as well as the more generic progressive policies popular at the time. They believed that society would be better off if everyone behaved like a Christian, and wanted the government to make sure that happened. Oddly, they were very careful to call for a separation of church and state. They wanted Christian behavior, but wanted to officially keep God and established churches away from politics. They opposed government funding of religious schools and supported the rights of adherents of minority religions to vote and hold office.

    robert capozzi “Jim was implying that they were pivotal in a range of issues, and it seems you don’t go along with his assessment.”

    Pivotal on those other issues may be giving them too much credit. What I meant was, the reason single-issue organizations can be more popular is that people can imagine that the rest of the agenda matches their values. One issue means people can have 100% agreement, which means a 100% positive impression. So if a candidate runs on opposition to internet censorship and nothing else, many people will take that positive impression and just fill in the blank spots with their own ideas. They can assume that, if the candidate is like them on one issue, he will be like them on other issues as well. But people couldn’t do that with the Prohibition Party because the Prohibition Party actually did have a full platform behind it. Because the Prohibition Party made it clear that prohibition was their prime issue, maybe people were willing to overlook any other disagreements. But it’s not quite the same as being a one-issue organization.

  39. Jim

    Johnson 2016 exceeded the peak presidential performance of the Prohibition Party. But the Prohibition Party had a string of 9 presidential elections in a row where they got 1.0% – 2.3% leading up to the passage of the 18th amendment.

  40. Carl Milsted

    I have recently built a new tool that is useful for anyone who wants to see more third party success.

    https://quiz2d.com/p2020

    It’s a voting system demo based on the 2020 primaries. It is not meant to promote any particular third party. The main people it should interest would be Democrats this year, since they are the ones faced with too many candidates to make Plurality Voting work.

    Point your Democratic friends and acquaintances to the demo. Get them familiar with better voting systems.

  41. robert capozzi

    Jim,

    PF’s contention has been that the LP’s staying power is due to its NAP foundation. What I’m trying to understand is why longevity is so important for him. The PP has been around longer and it appears they “peaked” in their 50th year, where their effectiveness was demonstrated with the enactment of Prohibition.

    PF seems to conflate any L influences on public policies with the LP itself. He’s now added to the list with “deregulation,” which seems like an even bigger stretch to me.

    Perhaps the more effective tack would be for Ls to found single-issue parties…The Cannabis Party, The Machine Guns for Tots Party, etc. Like the Prohibition Party, maybe they could have some other L-flavored planks to make themselves seem less one-dimensional.

  42. Eric Sundwall

    Perhaps “Minding the NAP” might help.

    The NAP community is now recruiting and proselytizing exclusively to the skateboarders of Austin, TX. The hope is that this robust crew of characters can influence that locality to expand the “muh parks” effort. Re-defining a public good is not for the feint-hearted. Every boarder knows that a kick-flip takes time to learn. Boarders have been utilizing training from the executive community, a webinar based on Doug Stanhope addressing the Bisbee city council.

    So far reaction has been warm. Boarders in Austin are urging their elected officials to tear down 70’s era skate parks and selling them to successful companies that have transformed the 5 billion dollar industry. One member, Anthony Balk, says, “this type of transformation in the public’s thinking will transform society into a voluntary one.”

    Of course critics like J. Galbraith are barking, “What about tax payers?” “Who will fund boondoggles based on the concept that “the” public good is conflated with “a” public good?”

    Experts are in agreement that reducing the risk or war, economic collapse and global bleeding can only be done on an incremental basis and are recommending supporting these unique skaters in considering that taxation is indeed theft.

    We’ve come a long way since the vice-principal has confiscated a board.

  43. Chuck Moulton

    Bylaws committee application email:

    We’re sending this email only to active members of the LP to tell you that the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) is seeking applicants to serve on the Bylaws and Rules Committee for the May 21-25, 2020 national convention in Austin, Texas. The LNC expects to make the appointments in an electronic meeting near the end of October.

    The LNC appoints all 10 of the Bylaws and Rules Committee members. The committee proposes changes to the party’s bylaws/rules and the convention delegates vote on whether to approve those proposals.

    This committee typically has in-person meetings at least once, several months in advance of the national convention, and then a final meeting on the day before the national convention begins. In the interim, there is likely to be a large volume of email discussions and several electronic meetings.

    Committee members will be expected to invest an appreciable amount of their time into doing their jobs including a high tolerance for heavy email traffic. Any travel costs incurred will be at personal expense.

    If you are interested in serving in one of these LNC-appointed seats, apply by completing the form at

    https://www.lp.org/bylaws-and-rules-committee-application/

    no later than October 15th 2019.

    *Please note that these applications (excluding street address and phone number) will be publicly viewable. Please do not include any information that would be considered private.

  44. paulie Post author

    Interesting…

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-09-10/majority-americans-hate-both-parties

    That’s been the case for some time. But a combination of hating and fearing one more than the other, cynicism, apathy, paranoia, fatalism, disinterest, voter suppression, widespread disagreement on what a better alternative would actually be, and unrealistic expectations that lots of other people will build a better alternative without personally helping do so – or trying, and walking away in disgust at the infighting and lack of success – have prevented an actual real world challenger from rising to their level of performance or coming close.

  45. paulie Post author

    What I’m trying to understand is why longevity is so important for him.

    Takes a while to build something. LP has taken this long to get this far. Prohibitionists took 50 years to get prohibition. Socialists, progressives and populists worked for decades before getting major policy changes adopted by duopoly politicians to head them off at the pass. None of it was quick or easy. They were ignored, laughed at, attacked. And eventually, in many important respects – albeit not in the sense of winning the presidency or a large share of major offices – they won.

    conflate any L influences on public policies with the LP itself.

    The party has been a key part of the growth of the movement. Many people who later left the LP, or are no longer active in the party, or are much more involved in other aspects of the movement, came in to the movement through the LP.

    “deregulation,” which seems like an even bigger stretch to me.

    I think it’s significant that it began to happen right after major resources came into the LP and the party began to get on a lot of state ballots. It may have seemed like a real threat it would grow much bigger and faster than it subsequently has to some establishment politicians back then.

    Perhaps the more effective tack would be for Ls to found single-issue parties

    Feel free, but personally I like what we are doing and I think it is paying off, not always as visibly or as fast as I would like by any means, but slowly building over time, albeit with many missteps.

  46. paulie Post author

    There’s an article pending (Not Mine).

    Looks like it got approved.

    You know what I’ll ask, Can we get more publishers so people’s articles can be published faster (I’ll volunteer)

    I’ll bump you up one level and see if that lets you do it. But there’s a bunch of format fixing I have to do on everything from categories to headline issues to you name it; so make sure to read the rules and keep them in mind, and fix stuff that need to be fixed, if you want to do that.

    Also, it helps when the authors communicate that they have a pending draft to our email list as well as here.

  47. paulie Post author

    But the Prohibition Party had a string of 9 presidential elections in a row where they got 1.0% – 2.3% leading up to the passage of the 18th amendment.

    I’ve read Richard Winger explain that they also were credited/blamed with swinging the presidential race twice, and prohibition passed right after the second time.

  48. paulie Post author

    I have recently built a new tool that is useful for anyone who wants to see more third party success.

    Thank you, and thanks for stopping by and letting us know about it.

  49. paulie Post author

    Whether the LP itself can take any credit is debatable

    It’s too bad more people don’t have a fuller appreciation for system/ripple effects.

  50. paulie Post author

    most of the heavy lifting was done by the Supremes.

    Putting the final nail in and most of the heavy lifting are two different things.

    I’ve never heard of the key LPer in, say, VT, that could claim fatherhood.

    Real change is not nearly that simplified.

    opposes gay marriage on the grounds that they oppose ALL state-sanctioned marriages.

    Pretty much the same people who oppose allowing black people on government buses because they don’t support government buses. Well, granted, I don’t think government should run bus systems either, but they do, and while they do I don’t think they should discriminate.

    As I recall, the LP was more about legalizing ALL drugs, not just weed,

    And, lo and behold, some jurisdictions are starting to decriminalize natural grown psychedelics, while acceptance of the harm reduction model over the enforcement model is growing in regards to other drugs as well, albeit still with a lot of room for growth.

    Anyway, do you think there’s anything to be learned from the PP experience

    Persistence eventually can pay off.

    or do you discount their longevity since Prohibition’s adoption and then repeal as just a hollow shell of a political party?

    Their greatest achievement more recently has been in the field of ballot access litigation, which has helped other parties besides their own.

    Put another way, was their relative success of a single-issue focus (vs the LP’s NAP-ideology focus) was due to the fact that they made progress in a different time, when election law was far less burdensome? And that the husk of what remains is irrelevant to the LP’s experience?

    Election law did make a big difference, but that does not mean that nothing can be learned or applied, just that the differences need to be kept in mind.

  51. paulie Post author

    Paulie’s post on Sep 9 at 8:02 is absolutely right on! Paulie, this is really insightful and extremely well thought out and written. This is the reason I keep coming back to this site. Kudos!

    Thanks! Glad to be of service.

  52. Jim

    paulie “I’ve read Richard Winger explain that they also were credited/blamed with swinging the presidential race twice, and prohibition passed right after the second time.”

    Maybe the Prohibition Party swung an election in a particular and relevant state. But looking at the national vote totals, no.

    The Prohibition Party finished 4th, being beaten by the Socialist Party each time, in 1916, 1908, and 1904.

    In 1912 they finished 5th, behind both the Socialist Party and Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party.

    3rd parties did cover the difference between the top two finishers in 1912 and 1916, but it was by the Socialists and Progressives, not the Prohibition Party.

    The Prohibition Party did cover the difference and finished in 3rd place in 1888 and 1884. And they also had a 3rd place finish in 1900, but they were no where close to making a difference.

  53. robert capozzi

    pf: Real change is not nearly that simplified.

    me: For sure. The influence of theorists is very difficult to “prove,” I’d say more like IMPOSSIBLE. The LP positions itself as a guerilla force, throwing out extreme theories in an electoral context, some of which MIGHT stick in some form.

    Whether that helps to increase individual liberty decades later is unclear. To me, I suspect that a more applied approach is more likely to be impactful, given that most laymen tend to think in more concrete vs theoretical ways.

  54. paulie Post author

    For sure. The influence of theorists is very difficult to “prove,” I’d say more like IMPOSSIBLE. The LP positions itself as a guerilla force, throwing out extreme theories in an electoral context, some of which MIGHT stick in some form.

    We aren’t just theorists. We’re a long term funnel for the libertarian movement and its ideas taken in whole, in part or one by one.

    Whether that helps to increase individual liberty decades later is unclear.

    It’s not unclear to me, as I’ve observed the chain reactions in way too many cases and ways to recount or impart the full impact of.

    To me, I suspect that a more applied approach is more likely to be impactful, given that most laymen tend to think in more concrete vs theoretical ways.

    There are lots of approaches and they can all coexist. What works best for some people is not what works best for others. I’m going to do it the way that works for me. I’d suggest getting in where you fit in and helping pull, push or grease the skids for the freedom train somehow, some way. But you’re set in your ways so it’s all good, do what works for you and the rest will do what works for them/us/whatever.

  55. paulie Post author

    Jim, Richard comment in question was

    The LP doesn’t need to become a major party in order to influence policy.

    The Prohibition Party costs the Republicans the presidency in 1884 and again in 1916. The first time it happened, the Prohibition Party presidential nominee, John P. St. John, was burned or hung in effigy in Republican towns across the nation, after the election results were known. But the second time it happened, in 1916, the Republicans in Congress decided to end the threat posed by the Prohibition Party for good. They did that by passing the 18th amendment in Congress early in 1917. It had been sitting in every session of congress since 1875 and had never made any headway until 1917.

  56. robert capozzi

    pf: But you’re set in your ways

    me: Curious. Recall that I was once a NAP Fundamentalist, then a Cosmotarian, then an L Reformist,now a semi-Georgist, kinda-greenish lessarchist independent, occasional LP voter. I’m open to going back to my Fundamentalist roots, but I find that approach is self-defeating and often incoherent.

  57. Tony From Long Island

    The 18th Amendment was probably the dumbest piece of legislation passed since the Alien and Sedition acts . . . . so if that’s the example you want to give of how a minor party can influence policy, I sure hope it doesn’t turn out like the 18th Amendment.

  58. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Yes, thanks. What works for others is impossible to know, aside from very accurate mind readers.

    When something appears to NOT be working, it can be helpful and useful to ask someone who sees it otherwise how they see it differently. When they dodge and deflect, however, it’s often a sign of denial.

    TfLI,

    Yes, the PP may well have been effective in their first 50 years, although their goal was an unpeaceful one. The reason I brought them up was that PF often cites the LP’s longevity as evidence of its virtues. He believes it core commitment to the NAP as the secret to their success.

    The PP’s been around 3x longer, and appears to have been pivotal in bringing about a major change to the social fabric, in their case, a dysfunctional one. We may or may not gleen insight from why a 3rd party’s longevity might indicate that a 3rd party is doing something “right.”

    Personally, I’m unimpressed with longevity as a metric for virtue. Intentions are more important than effectiveness, but being both effective and having virtuous intentions seems to be obviously better.

    For PF, a few states legalizing weed and Denver decriminalizing psilocybin is attributable to decisions made by the LP’s Founders in 1971. Really not seeing it….

  59. paulie Post author

    . Really not seeing it….

    That’s OK. We’ll keep growing and getting more accomplished, and we’ll pick up the pace. There will be more setbacks ahead, but we are on the right path.

  60. Jim

    paulie “The Prohibition Party costs the Republicans the presidency in 1884 and again in 1916. The first time it happened, the Prohibition Party presidential nominee, John P. St. John, was burned or hung in effigy in Republican towns across the nation, after the election results were known. But the second time it happened, in 1916, the Republicans in Congress decided to end the threat posed by the Prohibition Party for good. They did that by passing the 18th amendment in Congress early in 1917. It had been sitting in every session of congress since 1875 and had never made any headway until 1917.”

    1884 seems to be because New York switched from Republican to Democrat. But Cleveland had just been elected Governor of New York in 1882 with 58.5%.. It isn’t obvious to me that he wouldn’t have won New York without the Prohibition Party drawing votes from the Republicans.

    1916 seems to be because of California. That’s the only state where the Prohibition Party covered the difference between the Rs and Ds, where the R lost, and it made enough of a difference in the electoral college. But the Republicans didn’t lose California because the Prohibition Party took votes from them. They lost California because the Democrats took votes from them. Wilson did 5% better in California in 1916 than he did in 1912, 14% better than William Jennings Bryan had in 1908, and 20% better than Alton Parker did in 1904. The Prohibition Party got less than 3% in 1916. Yes, that 3% covered the spread between the Republican and the Democrat. But Democrats won because the Democrats did better, not because the Prohibition Party took away votes. The Prohibition Party did worse in California in 1916 than it had in 1912 or 1908.

    Democratic percentage in California:

    1920 24.3% (James Cox)
    1916 46.7% (Wilson)
    1912 41.8% (Wilson)
    1908 33.0% (Alton Parker)
    1904 26.9% (William Jennings Bryan)

  61. paulie Post author

    I was just quoting Richard Winger. I think maybe the point was that the Republicans blamed Prohibitionists for taking California and thus the election from them, even if that was not what happened. The evidence doesn’t back up the common belief that Perot got Clinton elected either but still people believe it. It was the belief that Prohibition had again cost them a presidential election which spurred them to enact prohibition, even if that belief was not factually correct.

  62. robert capozzi

    The Smith/Sarwark Soho Forum debate is pretty good, reflecting the dialog we have here on IPR! Nick was generally correct, but Dave made the great point that the LP is not the prime mover of weed legalization and marriage equality.

  63. dL

    Is it just me or is the traffic to this site W A A Y down?

    Comments on the open thread are down this month due to a reprieve in the lessarchist v libertarian confab vis a vis the LP. Other than that, it’s about normal regarding posts. Howie Hawkins just isn’t much of a traffic magnet.

  64. dL

    The Smith/Sarwark Soho Forum debate is pretty good, reflecting the dialog we have here on IPR!

    Dave the Bordertarian comic? Didn’t watch, won’t watch, but debating a choice between republican retreads and hans hoppe acolytes is a false dilemma.

  65. NewFederalist

    Perhaps unbanning Bob Milnes, James Ogle and Andy would help the numbers. I know they can be laborious and somewhat tedious and repetitive but other than that what harm do they really do? If they can help this site survive I say it’s worth a shot. Just my $0.02 worth. BTW, none of them are as bad as the poster known as Demo Rep over at BAN. He or she is really bonkers!

  66. dL

    Perhaps unbanning Bob Milnes, James Ogle and Andy would help the numbers.

    Yeah, it would add 3 and subtract at least one. The reticence to ban them in the first place is what drove a lot of people away. But ultimately the culprit is social media(i.e, facebook) and inattentive ownership.

  67. paulie Post author

    There are actually several things we can do to boost it up by quite a bit actually. One would be if someone wanted to buy it. I think Warren wants 10k. A less dramatic step would be if someone were willing to pay to put it back on a better server or hosting package. The problems with cache not updating automatically in real time started when we moved to a cheaper hosting package, and that has decreased people’s interest in commenting, which decreases my interest in posting articles.

    We also just really need one or several people to post several articles a day every day. I don’t want to keep doing that myself, although I did for years, especially if I am the only one doing it most of the time. If several people each posted every day or almost every day I might want to at some point. But I need to feel like it would be there with or without me. I have no problem feeding story leads. I do it all the time on our list, and could do more there, but most of the suggestions are routinely ignored so I don’t bother as much there anymore either.

    I could do it full time again if someone paid me to do it as a job, but that has not happened so I’ve shifted my attention elsewhere. We could really also use a few volunteers or a paid person if we had the money to spread our story links around on social media, and maybe a better plugin to incorporate facebook comments in with our regular comments which appear on the site.
    The system which used to post our articles automatically to our fb page also needs to be fixed, as it has once again stopped working in the last several months. I’ve fixed it before but I don’t remember exactly how and it was a big pain.

    I’d really love to get rid of the google ads. I did on my end by using ad block but for a lot of people who don’t use it they are still annoying and detract from the site experience. If we had banner ads or contributors/sponsors we could do that and move to a better server, maybe at least have some minimal pay for writers/editors.

  68. paulie Post author

    Comments on the open thread are down this month due to a reprieve in the lessarchist v libertarian confab vis a vis the LP. Other than that, it’s about normal regarding posts. Howie Hawkins just isn’t much of a traffic magnet.

    It depends on what your baseline for normal is. It’s been a slow decline so if you are not looking at long term weekly and monthly traffic comparisons it may not be easy to notice. The formatting will probably be lost but see if you can figure this out:

    Average per Day
    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Overall
    2012 1,792 1,380 1,531
    2013 1,735 1,610 1,691 2,067 1,879 2,373 1,628 1,369 1,286 1,452 1,572 1,439 1,674
    2014 1,585 1,276 1,240 1,155 1,284 1,191 1,247 1,013 885 1,281 1,643 1,607 1,285
    2015 2,459 2,919 2,026 3,563 2,407 2,550 2,444 2,492 2,491 3,117 3,286 3,536 2,771
    2016 2,640 2,342 3,035 2,920 4,195 1,446 3,551 3,365 2,882 3,275 3,164 1,510 2,866
    2017 2,427 1,318 1,205 2,017 1,552 633 875 1,672 822 776 860 585 1,229
    2018 761 679 660 794 630 650 832 585 830 776 973 1,578 813
    2019 1,491 489 570 699 419 582 416 312 364 602

  69. paulie Post author

    The last number in each column is the average for the year. 2012 has fewer numbers because we switched from a different stats package that year (November). 2019 has fewer numbers because we don’t have October-December yet.

  70. paulie Post author

    Didn’t watch, won’t watch, but debating a choice between republican retreads and hans hoppe acolytes is a false dilemma.

    Exactly.

  71. paulie Post author

    Perhaps unbanning Bob Milnes, James Ogle and Andy would help the numbers.

    Feel free, but I will leave.

    I know they can be laborious and somewhat tedious and repetitive but other than that what harm do they really do?

    They drive away a bunch of people by being here and a bunch more by being banned.

    BTW, none of them are as bad as the poster known as Demo Rep over at BAN. He or she is really bonkers!

    Agreed with the second part but not the first. Milnes and Ogle at least are just as bad or worse. And Andy is really going off the deep end as well.

  72. paulie Post author

    I personally only write articles that interest me. Which is why I volunteered to publish.

    That’s totally fine, and more than welcomed. Please keep doing it. I was responding to NF asking what would boost the site, not trying to guilt anyone in particular. I can’t really fault other people for not wanting to or having time to do what I don’t want to or don’t have time to do myself.

  73. NewFederalist

    Perhaps a “go fund me” campaign to raise the $$$ for improvements? I am NOT a technically oriented person so I don’t know how to do a lot of things. Just a suggestion… perhaps a few folks would contribute enough to accomplish some improvements at least.

  74. Jared

    I watched or listened to most of the Soho Forum debate. Both sides made some good points. I’d say it was more about party “win votes” libertarianism vs. movement “win hearts and minds” libertarianism than a Johnson/Weld apologist debating a Ron Paul, Murray Rothbard, or HHH proxy. (That certainly would be a false dichotomy.) Sarwark’s top priority is criminal justice reform and ending the Drug War. Smith’s is militarism and foreign interventionism. I don’t recall immigration or national borders being discussed at all.

  75. robert capozzi

    NS stepped in it when he said he’d support Cheney for prez as an L if he were to adopt an anti-drug war stance as his marque issue. That’s a bizarre thought experiment to me, since a) Cheney is permanently toxic and b) picking drug-war opposition as a marque issue is extremely unripe.

  76. C. Al Currier

    “Howie Hawkins just isn’t much of a traffic magnet.” …dL September 22
    Sometimes its hard to find anything green in the Green Party. If Mr. Hawkins would delve into environmental problems then there might be some interest.

  77. paulie Post author

    Perhaps a “go fund me” campaign to raise the $$$ for improvements? I am NOT a technically oriented person so I don’t know how to do a lot of things. Just a suggestion… perhaps a few folks would contribute enough to accomplish some improvements at least.

    If anyone wants to set that up feel free but you may want to check with Redlich first.

  78. paulie Post author

    I don’t recall immigration or national borders being discussed at all.

    Perhaps they were not in this debate, but I find it ironic that people who hold extremely unlibertarian opinions on immigration – and often other social issues, sometimes trying to gloss over the difference with a selective states rights or decentralist deflection – have set themselves up as the arbiters of libertarian purity.

    These same suspicious characters often argue vociferously against voting or political participation, then careen wildly towards endorsing or advocating for completely unlibertarian Republicans or the Constitution Party. They’ll even ally with outright fascists or totalitarian Marxist cultists. But it’s not because they think the LP is irrelevant – they’ll frequently denounce it, or try to meddle in it to influence its course, but don’t do anything positive to help the party as a whole for the most part. There are exceptions. Overall, I think they have a negative impact.

    However, I’ll grant and agree with their point that running Republitarians for several presidential cycles in a row has a diminishing or negative value as well.

  79. paulie Post author

    Chris Spangle
    43 mins ·

    Since the beginning of the Trump era, my days have increasingly been spent talking to libertarians online as they try to gauge my opinions about other libertarian thinkers or figures so they can judge if I’m a heretic or a true believer. Ten years ago, it was spent talking ideas. I’m not interested in cults and tribalistic bullshit.

    Some people have asked the We Are Libertarians Podcast to cover the Sarwark/Smith debate. I could care less and I’m not even going to listen to the debate. I cannot stress this enough: 99.99995% of the world doesn’t either. I can’t spend another year of my life covering the intrigues of a movement with 3,000 people that are scratching the eyes out of each other to become the king of the INTJs as they lose the public in the process.

    This is nothing against the debate participants at all, as they both add a lot to the movement. I just don’t care about circle jerks anymore. After ten years, I’m just exhausted with watching the de-evolution of the LP, the think tanks, and activist groups that make up the libertarian movement. I love the ideas and applying them to the news. I just could give two shits about who is popular and unpopular anymore.

    I’d imagine most of the world feels the same way. If you’re one of the hundreds of people reading this status that’s completely clueless about the context of this post, you’re missing nothing.

    The world that matters? The 30 square miles around you and the hundred people you come into contact with every day. Everything else is basically fantasy football.

  80. dL

    I cannot stress this enough: 99.99995% of the world doesn’t either.

    Well, a little more than 350 people out of 300,000,000.

    After ten years, I’m just exhausted with watching the de-evolution of the LP

    1998-2008 was worse…

    the world that matters? The 30 square miles around you and the hundred people you come into contact with every day.

    well, It’s the 21st century, not the 17th.

  81. dL

    Sarwark’s top priority is criminal justice reform and ending the Drug War. Smith’s is militarism and foreign interventionism.

    Why should one exclude the other? All four are important, and you should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

    I don’t recall immigration or national borders being discussed at all.

    Well, it should have been, because, um, that’s the primary point of contention. Sarwark vs Comic is just a proxy for Sarwark vs Woods over the Charlottesville Blood and Soil stink.

  82. dL

    NS stepped in it when he said he’d support Cheney for prez as an L if he were to adopt an anti-drug war stance as his marque issue.

    The neocon drug legalizer is a creature that doesn’t exist. Setting aside the rather salient fact that Cheney is a war criminal, it’s just a bad hypothetical. Reminds me of the old dondero drivel about libertarians supporting giuliani because rudy was pro-choice.

  83. Jim

    dL “Why should one exclude the other? All four are important, and you should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.”

    The debate was over whether or not the LP should ever nominate a ticket like Johnson-Weld again. Dave Smith said that candidates didn’t have to be purists, but that they should at least be antiwar and anti-Fed. Weld was disqualified because he was pro-war and Johnson was disqualified because he supported Weld.

    Sarwark replied that each person had to come up with their own litmus test. If someone’s brother is in jail because of the war on drugs, that issue is more important to them than the war in Afghanistan. And almost no one other than libertarians cares about being anti-Fed. It doesn’t get any additional votes. And if the LP wants to influence policy, it has to run up the score.

    Which led to Sarwark’s weakest moment in the debate – the question of whether he would support Dick Cheney if Cheney opposed the drug war. Overall, though, Sarwark came across as the more rational of the two.

  84. Jim

    “Perhaps unbanning Bob Milnes, James Ogle and Andy would help the numbers.”

    Perhaps IPR should conduct a review of who actually is banned. My primary email address appears to have been banned about 2 months ago. I assume it was banned, anyway. All comments that I made using it just disappeared into the void. It took all of 2 seconds to enter a fake email address and my comments started showing up, again.

  85. robert capozzi

    from FB:

    Me to Nicholas J. Sarwark: btw, generally good job at the Soho Forum. However, you screwed the pooch with your Cheney hypothetical. I suspect you wish you could have that one back.

    NS’s response on FB: It was an error to give my hypothetical a name.

  86. robert capozzi

    J, yes, clearly NS was reasonable and thoughtful for the most part. Personally, being anti-war is a kind of litmus test as well, although HOW the US dismantles the empire and on what timetable, I’m quite flexible.

    As for the Fed, I think NS’s point that few grok what the Fed is or does is spot on. In some ways, abolishing the Fed is more complex than bringing the boys and girls home. I suspect that RP1’s minor national success was not attributable to his anti-Fed message to any significant degree. His constitutional literalism was probably his single biggest winning message.

  87. paulie Post author

    Well, a little more than 350 people out of 300,000,000……..well, It’s the 21st century, not the 17th.

    You’re either being excessively hyperliteral, missing the forest for the trees and unintentionally demonstrating his point or you are ironically providing an illustration by example. Either way, good job. As for the second part, yeah, perhaps you have more influence with your online circle. Although, governments still operate primarily on territorial monopoly. But the larger point is that our reach typically exceeds our grasp. Try as I have for decades my personal influence on statewide, national and international government policy is miniscule to nonexistent, and the same holds true of my influence on the LP or movement at those scales. Perhaps you’ve been more influential.

  88. Jared

    paulie: “Good points Chris. Have not read the comments yet. mix INFP-ENFP myself. I’m kind of Jekyll and Hyde on the introvert-extrovert part but solid on those other three,”

    INTP and Asperger’s, so I’m always the life of the party.

    I agree with Chris about the disproportionate number of smug and cocky INTJs dominating the libertarian conversation. A little MBTI diversity would go a long way.

  89. dL

    You’re either being excessively hyperliteral

    Wouldn’t the excessive hyperliteralist be the one who is going to 5 decimal places?

  90. dL

    As for the second part, yeah, perhaps you have more influence with your online circle.

    It’s just a trivial observation that in a networked connected world, 6 degrees of separation generally has little to do with localized geolocation vicinity.

  91. Gene Berkman

    I support abolition of the Federal Reserve system because I oppose state owned banks. I sell books against the Fed by Ron Paul, Murray Rothbard and others.

    However, I find problems with the obsession with the Fed that Ron Paul and others in his circle have shown.
    (1) In 2008, Ron Paul got Cynthia McKinney to join with Chuck Baldwin and Ralph Nader to sign Ron Paul’s four points of agreement, which included criticism of the Fed. Following that, Cynthia McKinney made speeches attacking the Fed as a private corporation, and calling for nationalization of the Federal Reserve system. I don’t think that is what Ron Paul was going for.

    (2) Recently, when most economists and leaders of various industry groups including the Consumer Technology Association and the National Retail Federation are pointing to Trump’s attacks on free trade and his trade war with China as dangers to the economy, Ron Paul is saying that Trump’s policies are not the problem, the Fed is.

    Opposing bad things is a good thing, to paraphrase Martha Stewart. But obsessions that lead people to bad solutions, or to ignoring very real issues of statism and state power are just another form of neutralization of the Libertarian Movement.

  92. paulie Post author

    Sarwark’s top priority is criminal justice reform and ending the Drug War. Smith’s is militarism and foreign interventionism.

    Why should one exclude the other? All four are important, and you should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

    Also agreed.

    I don’t recall immigration or national borders being discussed at all.

    Well, it should have been, because, um, that’s the primary point of contention. Sarwark vs Comic is just a proxy for Sarwark vs Woods over the Charlottesville Blood and Soil stink.

    Agreed there as well.

  93. paulie Post author

    The neocon drug legalizer is a creature that doesn’t exist. Setting aside the rather salient fact that Cheney is a war criminal, it’s just a bad hypothetical. Reminds me of the old dondero drivel about libertarians supporting giuliani because rudy was pro-choice.

    Yep!

  94. paulie Post author

    Sarwark replied that each person had to come up with their own litmus test.

    Yeah. So tired of the paleos holding themselves up as the paragons of libertarian purity. Total hypocritical bullshit and nonsense.

  95. paulie Post author

    Who gave paleos authority to decree which issues are important and which are unimportant? Why are they such supposedly pure libertarians when many of them are rabidly anti-freedom on many of the top issues in the national conversation right now such as immigration and abortion?

    Many of them pine for a blood and soil ethnostate with various degrees of openness, lots would love to shove LGBT folks into the closet if not off a rooftop and don’t have much problem associating closely with folks who seriously advocate stoning to death, half of them would at the very least cancel the sexual revolution if not take women’s rights back a few centuries. Many fawn over authoritarians from Trump to Putin to Assad and Saddam and many others besides.

    They don’t see much problem with Ron Paul endorsing theocratic Republicans running against Libertarians, Murray Rothbard gushing about David Duke and Strom Thurmond, Lew Rockwell calling for police to beat up suspects and destroy video footage, or Hoppe hobnobbing with nazis and calling for the deportation of anyone whose lifestyle, orientation or beliefs he dislikes (which is a hell of a lot of people).

    If this is “libertarian purity,” no thanks.

  96. paulie Post author

    My primary email address appears to have been banned about 2 months ago. I assume it was banned, anyway.

    I don’t believe so. I think it was some system glitch. Email me your primary address (my contact info is the about IPR tab up top) and I will check it against the banned list.

  97. paulie Post author

    Wouldn’t the excessive hyperliteralist be the one who is going to 5 decimal places?

    No, the one counting the number of decimal places as if it was a literal equation rather than a hyperbolically exaggerated point. I suspect you know that, but just in case you did not.

  98. paulie Post author

    6 degrees of separation generally has little to do with localized geolocation vicinity.

    Yes, but government adminstrative units and therefore policy do have a lot to do with it. They have not evolved as fast as the technology, as can be expected.

  99. paulie Post author

    obsessions that lead people to bad solutions, or to ignoring very real issues of statism and state power are just another form of neutralization of the Libertarian Movement.

    Exactly. That along with the Marxist-like cultish insistence that they are the only true libertarians, the purest of the pure, while having ideological deviations from libertarianism at least as bad or worse than the libertarian lites they deride. It’s topsy turvy past the point of being ridiculous.

  100. paulie Post author

    At least the Johnson-Weld folks don’t claim to be the purest of the pure and the only true libertarians. Hoppe and Molyneux fanbois, half with Invictus/Cantwell fetishes and Alex Jones/”Libertarians for Trump” crap in their closet if not up on their wall, these are the people who are going to lecture anyone else about libertarian purity?

  101. paulie Post author

    Yes, but government adminstrative units and therefore policy do have a lot to do with it. They have not evolved as fast as the technology, as can be expected.

    People also tend to be more civil and polite in person from what I have seen, more willing to consider the person they are talking to as a fellow human being and not just a representation of evil, wrong and stupid. The sorts of misunderstandings of tone which happen routinely online – while they do happen IRL – from what I have seen, less so.

  102. Jim

    I watched the first 45 minutes of the Republican debate between Walsh and Weld before they ran into technical issues. On most issues, other than gay marriage, Weld wasn’t particularly libertarian, supporting carbon taxes and all sorts of things.

    But he maintained an anti-war stance: get out of Afghanistan, stay out of Saudi Arabia, cut military spending. So it appears that his conversion by Johnson on that issue in 2016 may have been genuine. I don’t know where Dave Smith and company would go on Weld at this point. I’m sure they’ll just ignore it. But Weld, at least in that debate, was campaigning as the strongest anti-war candidate and they say that’s their most important issue.

  103. paulie Post author

    They would still disqualify him on guns, taxes, the fed, or whatever. On the issues *they* consider important no deviation is ever allowed nor is states rights even an adequate reply (say on guns), but that or just downright “hey that issue isn’t important/hey look here’s a pretzel argument for why the big government authoritarian-conservative position is actually libertarian” is always an acceptable answer to them when it comes to any sex or drug related issue or, say, immigration or trade.

  104. paulie Post author

    Also the LP is not pure enough for them. But when it comes to Trump all of a sudden lesser evilism is OK – “hey he’s not Hillary Clinton.” As if he’s better. Or as if it would be good enough if he was.

  105. dL

    However, I find problems with the obsession with the Fed that Ron Paul and others in his circle have shown.

    The obvious problem with the Fed being the root of all evil is that the Federal Reserve was only created in 1913. We have 126 years of American history where there was no fed. And my reading of 19th century libertarians informs me they were complaining about the same statist shit back then that people are complaining about now. Yes, the money monopoly is an important libertarian critique, but it is one of four(money, land, tariff, patent). Plus, it is not all that clear if the fed were suddenly abolished that its functions wouldn’t merely be simulated by a state capitalist banking coterie. Someone with no particular affinity for austrian economics might suggest the root of the money monopoly is more along the lines of legal tender laws.

  106. Jared

    dL: “Why should one exclude the other? All four are important, and you should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.”

    Sarwark wasn’t excluding troop withdrawals from the LP’s scope, and neither was Smith excluding drug legalization. I didn’t say they were indifferent toward one another’s priorities qua reform policies. Obviously we can walk and chew gum at the same time. (God knows we have to state everything we believe, with appropriate intensity, unless we care to face an inquisition.) Sarwark’s point was that all Libertarians assign different weights to political objectives and disagree with some areas of the platform. Smith’s was that some priorities are objectively weightier than others and should be non-negotiable positions for an LP presidential candidate. In his view, Weld clearly failed to meet the threshold, and Johnson disqualified himself by insisting that Weld be his running mate.

    “Well, it should have been, because, um, that’s the primary point of contention. Sarwark vs Comic is just a proxy for Sarwark vs Woods over the Charlottesville Blood and Soil stink.”

    Border policy wasn’t the primary point of contention in this debate. It didn’t need to be. The forum was about Johnson and Weld–not Sarwark and Smith, their particular policy prescriptions or sources of inspiration. Smith made only passing reference to Sarwark’s awkward Twitter skirmish with Tom Woods, and it didn’t lead anywhere. You might consider listening to the debate before passing judgment. Thankfully not every conversation with an LvMI acolyte devolves into a Rothbardian paleo shitstorm.

  107. dL

    I don’t know where Dave Smith and company would go on Weld at this point. I’m sure they’ll just ignore it.

    Correct. I’m sure they will. Of course, I find Weld’s anti-war bona fides about as convincing as Cheney’s drug legalization hypothetical.

  108. robert capozzi

    J,

    Pollution/Carbon taxes — reasonably properly structured — is an excellent idea. Taxing “bads” that pollute an unownable, vital resource (air) is far preferable to taxing “goods” like labor or capital. I heard that WW also wants to institute carbon taxes with presidential emergency powers. Process matters, and for me, that’s a bridge too far.

  109. dL

    God knows we have to state everything we believe, with appropriate intensity, unless we care to face an inquisition.

    That’s pretty much the way it works in politics. That’s not unique to the LP.

    You might consider listening to the debate before passing judgment.

    chuckle…I’m not wading in this from a vacuum. Dave Smith argues that the LP should only run libertarians but ole Dave himself has some positions that are decidedly un-libertarian, positions that are contrary to the LP platform(immigration and abortion) and is a reliable blood and soil cultural ally on social media. I don’t agree either with Nick’s “baby steps” argument and trying to pretend the likes of Weld are a gateway to full blown libertarianism. But this shit has been playing for two years in the wake of Charlottesville when Tom Woods demurred from condemning Charlottesville on the grounds of analogizing it to condemning cancer and then threw up Bill Weld whataboutism against Sarwark’s twitter attacks. And then we finally end up with some silly debate whether the LP should nominate people like Bill Weld.

    Like I initially said:

    gop moderate retreads vs libruls are the true racists

    is a false dilemma.

  110. paulie Post author

    reasonably properly structured

    Has that ever actually happened? Maybe it’s a much less likely thing than you seem to think?

  111. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Transitioning to pollution taxes will not go perfectly, no. It’s easy for lessarchists of various stripes to focus on relative dysfunctions vs directional improvements or degredations. I’d say there were important paradigm shifts that involved some state action. Ending slavery comes to mind. Women’s suffrage. I’d even suggest civil rights legislation.

    It seems that single-constraint NAP Fundamentalism is even more remotely capable of being widely embraced and adopted than a shift toward taxing pollution more and capital and labor less. And, btw, taxing pollution seems more likely to attract your target audience, the left.

  112. Be Rational

    All taxation is theft – including taxing “bads.” However, fees or fines should be assessed on polluters to clean up their mess and restore what they damage.

    There is no excuse for pollution taxes to fund government operations or social programs.

    All assessments on polluters – including carbon polluters – should be used to remove the pollutant.

    If we assess charges against carbon polluters, those funds should be used exclusively to fund the cost of removing carbon from the air until the climate change threat has passed and the ecological balance has been restored.

  113. robert capozzi

    br,

    Taxation is certainly force. Whether it’s theft depends on how one views property rights and the legal system.

    If you’d rather see the status quo, where taxes and deficits fund government operations, OK. I don’t. Regardless of your or my opinion is, there will be government operations for the foreseeable future.

  114. Tony From Long Island

    Are we REALLY still using the tired and lame (and untrue) “taxation is theft” line? How long will it be regurgitated until you realize that it changes no one’s mind? Mostly because it’s not true

    Government imposes taxes. The people elect representatives. The people are the government.

    Taxation is patriotic is a more accurate slogan. I also prefer “shit costs money”

  115. robert capozzi

    TfLI,

    To say it changes “no one’s mind” is overstatement. It’s a seminal notion that roped many a NAP Fundamentalist into the Church that Challenges the Cult of the Omnipotent State. It’s mostly an infantile macho flash pose that is scoffed at by the vast majority. Some may respond that it’s a necessary use of force.

    Given low voter participation rates coupled with the profound levels of ignorance of or interest in government, I don’t buy your assertion that “the people are the government.”

    Nor do I personally feel patriotic paying taxes. If the government were a lot smaller, doing the few things it was intended to do well, I might feel differently. At these levels and with the massive dysfunction in government, it saddens me, mostly, because if it were a lot smaller most would be better off. And it’d be a far more peaceful world.

  116. Be Rational

    I also prefer “shit costs money”

    Great. You and everyone who likes your favorite dung can pay for it.

    Nearly everything that is done by government and paid for with taxes and deficits is either completely unnecessary or can be done by the private sector without taxation.

    We don’t need local government at all. There is nothing done by local governments that is needed that can’t be done by the private sector cheaper and better. Yes. Nothing.

    The purpose of fines levied on polluters should be to deter pollution – so they don’t continue to do it at all – and to pay for the clean up.

    Of course it isn’t possible to jump from the mess we have today to a tax-free world. But, for now we should eliminate all taxes on income of any kind and on property, especially land which is the most damaging tax of all. There should be only one tax for the time being – a single, level, tax on consumption, shared by the Federal and State governments, flat, across the board, constitutionally capped and set to be gradually reduced over time.

    What is amazing is all the fascist-socialists who want to tax carbon and spend the money on government programs. This means the pollution and greenhouse gasses will continue to accumulate until mankind brings about its own extinction. Thanks to all the greedy fascist-socialists and naive fools looking for another method of taxation, one they have deluded themselves into believing is acceptable.

    Governments already tax “bads” such as smoking, just enough to maximize their revenues without any undue reduction in consumption. We must not allow the same mistake with pollution – especially greenhouse gasses.

  117. NewFederalist

    Where has everyone who used to post here gone? Since it takes forever to get a post actually visible I assume “the gang” has gone elsewhere. Where might that be?

  118. robert capozzi

    br: You and everyone who likes your favorite dung can pay for it.

    me: Nice summary of why Ls get nowhere politically.

    Do you see why that’s the case?

  119. dL

    But, for now we should eliminate all taxes on income of any kind and on property, especially land which is the most damaging tax of all.

    Given that land is an inelastic good, a land tax is actually the least economically damaging of all, given that there is no deadweight loss(assuming that the tax is levied only against the unimproved value).

  120. Jim

    Tony From Long Island “The people are the government.”

    Somehow I don’t see the LP dropping taxation is theft for: I, the state, am the people.

  121. Krzysztof Lesiak

    NF,

    I agree with you. Back in 2013, when I was posting a lot of stuff dealing with intra- CP and LP drama, I was told I was driving a lot of people off with the negativity, but given that the 3 year anniversary of my last post (October 3rd, 2016) is coming up, and I’ve been (with good reason) permanently banned from posting articles to IPR since then, I would of hoped that people would have come back by now, and posts could once again get lively, and interesting conversations could once again happen.

    I mean seriously, I live for IPR comments (emphasis on the word live), and I’ve had to go to B.A.N. more frequently recently because that’s where all the action is nowadays.

  122. robert capozzi

    I’d like to see a ground-rent tax tested in a state or locality first. Could be a game changer.

  123. Be Rational

    Worry about, even mentioning Deadweight Loss is the sign of someone who has no clue about the economy.

    The greatest loss from the various methods of taxation is misallocation of resources.

    The government only consumes. Taxing income and investment causes a huge shift from savings and investment to consumption in the economy, as does the inflation tax. To avoid this misallocation, only consumption should be taxed.

    As to property and land, these taxes – along with the government being the decision maker on what to build and where to build it – have caused a long-term malinvestment in the wrong infrastructure and other structures in the hundreds of trillions of dollars.

    All of our cites have been built completely wrong. 90% of the roads and streets in our cites and towns were never needed, nor were the cars that drive on them. The government has no clue what infrastructure to build nor how to plan, design and layout cities. Economists without an engineering background also have no clue as to how the world works, only an unfettered free market can build the proper infrastructure.

  124. paulie Post author

    https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/trump-says-he-has-been-treated-very-unfairly-by-people-who-wrote-constitution

    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Hinting darkly that “there’s something going on,” Donald J. Trump complained on Friday that he has been treated “very unfairly” by the people who wrote the United States Constitution.

    “If the Constitution prevented me from doing one or two things, I’d chalk that up to bad luck,” he said. “But when literally everything I want to do is magically a violation of the Constitution, that’s very unfair and bad treatment.”

    Lashing out at the document’s authors, Trump said that “America is a great country, but we have maybe the worst constitution writers in the world.”

    “Russia has much better constitution writers than we do,” he said. “I talked to Putin, and he said their constitution never gives him problems.”

    “The situation is very unfair!” he added.

    In an ominous warning, Trump said that, as of Friday, he was putting the writers of the U.S. Constitution “on notice.”

    “I don’t have their names yet, but that’s something I’m looking into,” he said. “These jokers are not going to get away with this.”

  125. paulie Post author

    My comment: This is true. He was also treated very unfairly by the people who wrote the Bible. These people should all take lessons from the guy who wrote the Art of the Deal all by himself with no help whatsoever.

  126. Jared

    Be Rational: “Worry about, even mentioning Deadweight Loss is the sign of someone who has no clue about the economy. The greatest loss from the various methods of taxation is misallocation of resources.”

    You know that deadweight loss IS allocative inefficiency, right?

    “The government only consumes. Taxing income and investment causes a huge shift from savings and investment to consumption in the economy, as does the inflation tax. To avoid this misallocation, only consumption should be taxed.”

    So you’re fine with theft as long as it targets consumption, rather than production, and distorts markets by artificially lowering demand.

    “As to property and land, these taxes – along with the government being the decision maker on what to build and where to build it – have caused a long-term malinvestment in the wrong infrastructure and other structures in the hundreds of trillions of dollars.”

    HUNDREDS of TRILLIONS of dollars in U.S. infrastructure malinvenstment, you say. How much money do you think exists in the world?

    “All of our cites have been built completely wrong. 90% of the roads and streets in our cites and towns were never needed, nor were the cars that drive on them. The government has no clue what infrastructure to build nor how to plan, design and layout cities. Economists without an engineering background also have no clue as to how the world works, only an unfettered free market can build the proper infrastructure.”

    All complaints that have nothing to do with taxing land.

  127. dL

    Worry about, even mentioning Deadweight Loss is the sign of someone who has no clue about the economy.

    Well, if economics has nothing to do with the economy, then I suppose you can try to argue that.

    have caused a long-term malinvestment in the wrong infrastructure and other structures in the hundreds of trillions of dollars.

    You need to knock off 3 orders of magnitude from that purported malinvestment number

  128. paulie Post author

    My comment: This is true. He was also treated very unfairly by the people who wrote the Bible. These people should all take lessons from the guy who wrote the Art of the Deal all by himself with no help whatsoever.

    The Oklahoma caucus has this under consideration. You may have to infiltrate (“join”) their secretive little group to see it or, at least to chime in and add our preferred talking points. https://www.facebook.com/groups/oklahomalibertarians/permalink/10156661156678325/

  129. dL

    I’d like to see a ground-rent tax tested in a state or locality first. Could be a game changer.

    Bob, Georgism is not a new idea. It was quite popular during the latter part of the 19th century in both the United States and the UK. It largely fell out of favor in the 20th century for a number of reasons. Today, Pennsylvania is the only state that enables split-rate property taxation among its local governments.

  130. dL

    He was also treated very unfairly by the people who wrote the Bible.

    Wasn’t it Sheldon Adelson(or his wife) who recently proposed adding a Book of Trump to the Bible?

  131. George Phillies

    “HUNDREDS of TRILLIONS of dollars in U.S. infrastructure malinvenstment, you say. How much money do you think exists in the world?”

    As some readers are aware, if you are paid money, you should spend it, not burn it, in which case it can be spent many times on the same category of things.

  132. Be Rational

    Sorry, DL , but if you understood what it means to be efficient – ie if you had a clue about how the world works – then you’d realize that this is a conservative estimate of the malinvestment. Everything has been built wrong in terms of infrastructure and cities.

    Understanding how the world works is a prerequisite to understanding economics.

    If you can’t understand what efficient means, then you can’t apply economic tools to analyze the economy.

  133. Be Rational

    Taxing land causes people to build the wrong things in the wrong places. They demand the government build infrastructure to support the wrong things built in the wrong places. For more than 100 years the government has built the wrong infrastructure. This has occurred in numerous nations across the world in addition to the US. The land tax causes more distortion than any other tax. The greater the levy the greater the distortion. Massive urban sprawl, roads, highways, cares, global warming,, climate change, the rise of the sea levels are the result of this malinvestment and the waste and pollution it engendered. After over a century, hunderds of trillions of dollars have been malinvested and it all needs to be reversed, at additional cost of hundreds of trillions more.

    The government has no more idea what infrastructure to build than the Soviets did with their national planning. It failed.

    Land and property taxes have been historically local, and deadly for mankind. Yet local governments produce nothing we need that cannot be provided in a free market without taxation.

    If you don’t understand engineering, you can’t know that your idiotic ideas are wrong. So you assume that you know what to build. The land tax is predicated on ignorance of how the world works. So is the idea that politicians or economists can make rational decisions about what to build, especially when operating as a governmental body.

    Taxes on land and property have caused huge damage to the world. They are the worst of all taxes.

    There are fools in the LP seeking to find an acceptable tax that they can point to that is NOT theft, so they can fund the government spending they desire to keep. But they can’t. They delude themselves with BS nonsense that taxing land or pollution is somehow OK so that they can then have a tax to fund government, but these two are the worst of all taxes.

    Of course, taxing consumption is still theft. It is, however, the least damaging form of taxation. It allows the elimination of all taxes on property and income, and because it would only be levied on sales, the vast majority of the public would no longer face compliance issues. It would also make it possible for anyone who so desires to live tax free.

    Realizing it is still theft, such a single tax, evenly applied would be the least damaging and could be monitored easily by the taxpayer without being hidden and could be gradually reduced if libertarians have any political success.

  134. robert capozzi

    br: There are fools in the LP seeking to find an acceptable tax that they can point to that is NOT theft, so they can fund the government spending they desire to keep. But they can’t. They delude themselves with BS nonsense that taxing land or pollution is somehow OK so that they can then have a tax to fund government, but these two are the worst of all taxes.

    me: I lapsed from the LP, but this doesn’t reflect my view. My view is that I recognize there WILL BE taxes and spending no matter what I find “acceptable” or not. Do you disagree? Frankly, I sure hope not, because it’s quite obviously inevitable.

    Given that there will be taxes and spending and government, the more productive path is to consider least harmful solutions and other considerations. A consumption tax is completely unpalatable, as the tax burden would exceed the working poor’s incomes! That’s why the FAIR Taxers had to come up with the prebate work around.

    I think you need to read up on the Georgist ground rent concept. Sounds like you have it exactly backwards. iirc, it’s on unimproved land values and is therefore quite neutral. It’s not a “property” tax.

  135. dL

    A consumption tax is completely unpalatable, as the tax burden would exceed the working poor’s incomes!

    “Taxation is theft” predates libertarianism, going back to at least the middle ages, and it meant something like “the kingdom w/o justice is legalized robbery.” Bastiat, of course, made legalized plunder the center piece of much of his writings. The Law is the classic essay(a clear and simple essay that nonetheless seems to elude most libertarians). Socialism is the consequence of legalized plunder, not the cause.

    Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter — by peaceful or revolutionary means — into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it.

    Bastiat never used the phrase “taxation is theft.” The problem with its use today by right wing libertarians is that it is usually just an attack against socialism with the almost inevitable conclusion that the rich man’s taxes are the less harmful form of taxation. Consumption taxes are regressive and actually are among the worst.

    Taxation is theft is more of a conclusion than a premise. If you demonstrate the state is the organization of legalized plunder, then taxation of theft follows as a trivial conclusion. If you start w/ taxation is theft as a premise, then you are going to get the social contract rebuttal.

  136. Be Rational

    Actually, consumption taxes are the least regressive of all currently used forms of taxation. While it is possible to institute a purely progressive income tax (unlike SS taxes and property taxes that are deliberately regressive) the income tax has contributed to a myriad of systemic problems including the corruption of the health care system and the disastrous lack of investment, leading to lower wages, low wage jobs and the widening wealth gap.

  137. Be Rational

    RC, you should know better so it’s likely that you didn’t mean what you wrote.

    A consumption tax, being a percentage of the cost of the things you buy, cannot possibly exceed your income for nearly everyone … except in cases of those who are so poor that they have no income so they are spending other people’s money – a different problem – or those who are consuming their accumulated wealth faster than the income earned (if any) from their accumulated wealth – the spendthrift problem.

    A consumption tax offers the greatest opportunity for the poor to advance through life. It is therefore the least regressive of all forms of taxation.

    Every person can choose how much to consume in the cash economy, thereby paying the consumption tax at the level they choose, and and they can choose how much to save and invest – tax free forever.

    This will also help ameliorate the problem of the cost of a university education. Too many students go on to earn useless degrees with massive debt. They could live at home instead, save and invest up to 100% of what they earn, skip college, learn useful skills, and come out way ahead. Tax free – no income tax, no investment taxes, no taxes on land and property. A much better deal for those who skip college. More fair. Less regressive.

    The consumption tax respects individual liberty and free choice. It allows the poor to get ahead. Each individual determines his final tax “rate” based on income. It is quite likely that many working poor would pay a very low tax rate, while many wealthy would pay the maximum.

    Of course, for the foreseeable future there will be government spending and taxation to pay for it. Government borrowing is not a legitimate alternative as everyone should realize. That does not negate the fact that taxation is a form of government theft, so it must be managed and controlled. It needs to be simple, so all persons can see the taxes levied, understand the system and the fairness. The only tax that meets these requirements is a single tax where every item consumed is taxes at the same very low percentage rate.

    The currently level of government spending is far too high for libertarians … some of whom, of course, prefer zero and others who accept a minimal level. Both situations are possible without taxation. However, even if we can drastically reduce government spending, there will still be a high level of spending and taxation going into the future.

    A 10% tax on consumption would be less for nearly everyone than the current Social Security tax on income, so this would be a great improvement. As a single tax with no other taxes, everyone could see it and understand the fairness. A 10% tax on consumption to fund all government operations, shared by the Federal and State governments should be enough, if libertarians can make enough inroads to have any say in the matter.

    A land tax, however, especially if it were raised to a level high enough to fund state and federal expenditures, even at a reduced rate, would be an economic and ecological disaster even worse that the climate change disaster already created by the socialist government and the socialistic land taxes, property taxes and income taxes we have had for more than a century.

    For most people, housing, a place to live, is a major factor in their life choices … where to live at a reasonable cost.

    Since land taxes are far higher in cities vs. suburbs and rural areas, people have been fleeing outward to avoid them for generations … and they continue to do so. Sure, now and then we see some gentrification and other opportunities that bring a small group back into the cities, but this is the exception that proves the rule.

    It is taxes on land and property, plus the high cost of unwanted socialistic “services” that cause the flight.

    Taxing only land would exacerbate the problem, since the high cost of land in high density areas would accelerate the need to escape.

    The roads, streets and city highways is the result of these bad taxes. After fleeing the taxes, the urban sprawl requires vast networks of the most inefficient form of transportation – individual cars. This huge voting block demands free socialistic systems of highways and roads. These are all unnecessary, inefficient and would be eliminated in a free market.

    Eliminating the taxes on land and property would eliminate the need to flee.

    There is no need for local government in any case. It is the most useless, causes the most damage because of property taxes, and being totally unneeded, it is the easiest to eliminate.

    The land tax is not only unfair, it is completely non-transparent. The “values” assigned to land would be quite arbitrary in most cases, with corruption rampant in setting values – there being no recent sale of the property in question as “bare” land in 99% of all cases. No one would think it fair and no one would trust it.

    Economic inefficiency impoverishes the poor and middle classes, and the land tax is the most inefficient of all forms of taxation.

    The idea of a land tax allows some people to escape reality, to acquire tax money to fund government and try to pretend that they are not socialists. Likewise the current flirtation with pollution taxes and carbon taxes to fund government is another fool’s errand for libertarians and a power grab by socialists to get more money for government programs. Indeed, these too are very damaging forms of taxation. The “Fair Tax” was an excuse by those looking to justify welfare systems. It would be a disaster as would be the other various forms of guaranteed incomes.

    No system of taxation is completely fair. All taxation is a form of theft. Socialism in all its forms is the most evil concept of government – including the fascist-socialist Henry George sycophants.

    You are correct that on the long road to the libertarian ideal of little to no government and no taxes, we will obviously have some government and some taxes. The only tax that can be used a simple single tax, easy to understand, easily transparent, applied at a flat rate – no more than 10% – on everything, shared by the Federal and State governments with all other taxes eliminated. Government spending reduced to live within these limits and a balanced budget amendment to prevent future borrowing. Such a tax is the least regressive, it can be reduced to zero through legal, voluntary choice and lets the poor and middle class succeed. It eliminates the economic inefficiencies of all other tax systems, with almost none of its own.

    Finally, a simple, flat consumption tax is easier to explain, to present to the public and to generate support. The benefits go far beyond those already mentioned. It is a way for Libertarians to lead and make positive change.

  138. Jared

    BR,

    Either you’re a troll with dedication, in which case I give you a B+, or completely untethered from reality. Could you have bothered to research the economic and environmental effects of land value taxation before launching your campaign to school others on how uniquely horrible and destructive they are? I believe that’s the first time I’ve ever heard the words “fascist” and “Henry George” in the same sentence. We already pay this tax, by the way, in addition to the rest–but to private landlords. The evils you attribute to LVT are precisely the *opposite* of what would actually happen if it were implemented to the full extent geolibertarians advocate. We could go through them, one by one, but it’s clear you aren’t interested in rational dialogue.

  139. Jim

    Be Rational – I agree with you that a land value tax is socialist-progressive and among the worst forms of taxation, exceeded only by extremely regressive forms of taxation, like head taxes or flat taxes.

    But, vastly reduced compliance burden aside, I find most of your arguments in support of a sales tax to be entirely unpersuasive.

    By claiming ones tax burden “can be reduced to zero through legal, voluntary choice”, along with “skip college”, and redesign roads so that 90% of individual cars aren’t needed, what your argument amounts to is “reduce consumption”. Which is another way of saying “reduce your standard of living.” Yes, theoretically someone could avoid a sales tax on the purchase of a refrigerator by building their own refrigerator from scratch. No one is going to do that, realistically. Even if they had the ability, what you are asking for is the de-civilization of society – the reversal of the division of labor. There is no point to eliminating your tax burden if it comes with a stone age standard of living.

    When arguing with libertarians, I think the better argument is that sales taxes are the easiest taxes to avoid. Most libertarians, and probably most people, have engaged in black market transactions. It might also appeal to a certain kind of lefty, as those most likely to collect taxes would be large corporations while small businesses and individuals are more likely to do cash, tax free transactions.

    Some income can also be hidden from the government. But there is no way to hide from land value taxes or property taxes.

    However, when I had this argument with dL and Jared in January, I did not convince them. They just tried claiming that a land value tax wasn’t really a tax at all. It was merely the confiscation by the government of unrealized gains on your property in order to redistribute the wealth of your property to the have-nots. And since I was equally unconvinced by their arguments, that was the end of that.

  140. robert capozzi

    br,

    Thanks. Fixing my sentence with all caps:

    “A consumption tax is completely unpalatable, as the PER CAPITA tax burden would exceed the working poor’s incomes!”

    The sales tax rate would be incredibly high at current spending levels. Hence, the FAIR Taxers prebate concept.

    It may be “easy” to explain a, say, 25% sales tax, but it’s not at all persuasive.

  141. dL

    However, when I had this argument with dL and Jared in January, I did not convince them. They just tried claiming that a land value tax wasn’t really a tax at all.

    the “single tax” on unimproved land value isn’t a tax. It’s the price one pays to take land out of the commons for private, exclusive use. The price essentially is the opportunity cost of the land use. Of course, the single tax is meant to replace all taxes on labor, capital and consumption.

    It was merely the confiscation by the government of unrealized gains on your property in order to redistribute the wealth of your property to the have-nots.

    The “confiscated” unrealized gains are the price to keep the have-nots(those with no claim to your property, i.e, everyone else) the have-nots.

    And since I was equally unconvinced by their arguments, that was the end of that.

    Socialism follows land injustice like stink on shit. If you want a lockean property rights regime, then progressive taxation and interventionist government invariably is the price you pay(on top of the property taxes). To quote B Rational, “that’s how it works in the real world.”

  142. Be Rational

    Geolibertarian – a confused fascist-socialist who likes some elements of personal freedom but wants to have a tax system so desperately that he is willing to adopt a fascist-socialist tax that is the most damaging of all forms of taxation in order to fund the fascist-socialism he is unwilling to abandon.

    You’ve been duped if you believe charging a tax on land will not drive people out of cities, cause massive waste in the construction of the wrong infrastructure and, having been in place for more than 100 years, this tax on land is one of the major causes of global warming and climate change. Your worry about “rent” shows just how little you understand economics. Your ideas are flawed and your data is wrong, your logic is non-existent … which is why you are so confused and easily duped.

    In fact, had we not built the wrong infrastructure, the Earth could have absorbed the carbon from the other causes – so far – and we would have centuries left to prevent the climate change that is happening now. Without the land tax and other taxes on property, we would not have needed all the free roads and highways and cars that have created climate change and many other dangerous “socialist” problems.

    Social problems are really socialist problems.

  143. Jared

    Robert Capozzi: “Perhaps you have not grasped the meaning of the word ‘unimproved’?”

    Along with nearly every other economic term BR has dropped in this thread.

  144. Tony From Long Island

    I’m surprised to see someone on here who tosses the word “socialist” around like a Trumpian Cult member. Socialism is when the government owns the means of production. Period. End of story.

    Government programs that take tax money to benefit the citizenry as a whole are just programs that conservatives and libertarians are not in favor of. They are not “socialism.”

  145. paulie Post author

    Government programs that take tax money to benefit the citizenry as a whole are just programs that conservatives and libertarians are not in favor of. They are not “socialism.”

    Tell that to Bernie Sanders. Also, they don’t benefit the citizenry as a whole; they actually have the opposite effect.

    Socialism is when the government owns the means of production. Period. End of story.

    It’s supposed to be when the workers own the means of production. Government has proven itself as an extremely poor proxy for workers in this regard. In practice, it has evolved to mean democratic socialism and often social democracy, which are closer to the economic aspect of fascism – largely nominally private control of the means of production with heavy government involvement and regulation – without the political/social authoritarian aspects. It can also mean syndicalism or voluntary socialism or communalism with no monopoly government aspect. Like libertarianism, it’s a concept which means different things to different people.

  146. dL

    Geolibertarian – a confused fascist-socialist who likes some elements of personal freedom but wants to have a tax system so desperately that he is willing to adopt a fascist-socialist tax that is the most damaging of all forms of taxation in order to fund the fascist-socialism he is unwilling to abandon.

    I grant that any fascist who was a geolibertarian would indeed be a confused fascist, given that geolibertarianism would be one the worst–if not the worst–systems for fascism to thrive under.

  147. dL

    It’s supposed to be when the workers own the means of production.

    True, but the term is typically used to mean the means of production are under the control of some collective. State socialism, however, is a myth. In practice, all governments run the gambit of some form of state capitalism.

  148. dL

    Government programs that take tax money to benefit the citizenry as a whole

    If that was true, I would think you wouldn’t need any enforcement arm to collect those taxes…

  149. dL

    Along with nearly every other economic term BR has dropped in this thread.

    Yes, Be Rational is using a different dictionary than everyone else.

  150. robert capozzi

    Instead of “geolibertarian,” I prefer the term “commonwealth L.” The idea is that all citizens would share equally the value of UNIMPROVED natural resources. Improvements would NOT be shared. The market would determine who benefits from improvements derived from labor and capital.

    Unfortunately, the construct that most NAP Fundamentalist Ls choose to employ is an interpretation of Lockean titled Lism (LTL). Whomever gets there first and mixes his or her labor with the soil gets a “natural right” to do with the property as s/he sees fit, so long as no harm to others is done.

    The problem with LTL is that it’s enforced by a deeply flawed system of jurisprudence. LTLism often devolves into a dog-eat-dog mentality as well, and it has optics that don’t play well. Ls sound all too often like heartless sociopaths.

    To be clear, commonwealth or geoL is also a construct. Who’s to definitively say what a citizen is, what natural resources are, or why equal distribution of unimproved resources is just? Are these self-evident truths? To be honest, not really.

  151. Be Rational

    Imposing a tax based on the value of “unimproved” land is what makes it the worst tax of all.

    The economic distortions are greater and worse in all respects than the current system where both the value of the bare land and the improvements are taxed.

    Imagine what would happen if the geo-fascist-socialists-henry-george wackos got their way and the land tax had to support the entire Government, raising over 20% of GNP. Individuals and businesses would flee to the worst possible land, demanding massive expenditures for government roads and highways. The pollution, the carbon released … it would be the worst possible scenario.

    A tax on land is the worst, most wasteful form of taxation. Just the relatively low levels of land taxes we have now have already caused massive resource misallocation and climate change.

  152. Jared

    RC: “Who’s to definitively say what a citizen is, what natural resources are, or why equal distribution of unimproved resources is just? Are these self-evident truths? To be honest, not really.”

    What is a citizen? For dividend purposes, permanent residents passed the age of majority. What are natural resources? See the economic definition of “land”. As to your third question, I would ask, what is the alternative? All people need land. To live and produce. No, no answer we could give is self-evidently true, but that’s setting the bar too high. There are good and cogent answers.

  153. Be Rational

    RC, Look at the suburbs. People fleeing taxes on land and property and unwanted government programs for generations created them.

    Without land and property taxes, without the unwanted local government, without the free roads, streets and city highways, the free market would have built efficient cities with better housing and more green space and only 10% of the roads and cars.

    Of course it’s a combination of causes – all socialist causes – but the tax system is a large component.

    Taxes on land and taxes on all resources are major destructive forces of the economy and the environment. When socialist governments become dependent on the revenues generated from either direct ownership or taxation of resources, they overproduce, drive down the price, obviate the conservation inherent in private ownership and pollute the environment leading to ecological disaster, geopolitical conflict, war, and climate change. Government mismanagement drives the net revenues even lower, leading to an increased cycle of overproduction, accelerating all the deleterious effects.

    Private owners manage the resources better, conserve for the future, and operate more efficiently. The profits they make are far less then the waste of government mismanagement. The deleterious effects are avoided and the world is better off. Everyone wins, even if they are jealous of the owners.

    The geo-fascist-socialists, like other socialists, have no understanding of economics, engineering, ecology, or accounting. They understand nothing, but they are greedy and jealous. They want to steal what others have, even if they destroy liberty and bring about the extinction of the human race.

    The geo-fascist-socialists would take the world to the ultimate extreme – a dystopian nightmare come to life.

  154. Jim

    dL “State socialism, however, is a myth. In practice, all governments run the gambit of some form of state capitalism.”

    As far as I have been able to determine, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, or a Workers State, can be either State Socialism or State Capitalism. In either case, the government is running the economy. The only difference between State Socialism and State Capitalism is that State Capitalism reinvests profits in order to expand and develop the economy in order to boost the standard of living of the workers once it transitions to State Socialism, while State Socialism distributes the profits as a form of universal basic income. But wikipedia uses different definitions depending on the page and sometimes uses the terms interchangeably.

    Are you using a different definition of State Socialism and State Capitalism, or is that about how you see it, also?

  155. Jim

    Be Rational “When socialist governments become dependent on the revenues generated from either direct ownership or taxation of resources, they overproduce…”

    Socialist governments aren’t known for overproduction. They are inefficient and wasteful, some strains (particularly the Old Left) have a total disregard for environmental pollution, and some strains are expansionist and want to forcibly convert or kill the world.

    But overproduction and socialism is a rare combination. Underproduction is the norm. That’s why they’re so often starving and living in 2nd or 3rd world conditions.

  156. Chuck Moulton

    Robert Capozzi wrote:

    Taxes are lower in ND and AK, iirc. Are people “fleeing” there from CA and NY?

    Yes — though more often Californians flee to Texas and New Yorkers flee to Florida.

    There are many tables abailable on population changes and state-to-state migration patterns.

  157. Jim

    robert capozzi “Unfortunately, the construct that most NAP Fundamentalist Ls choose to employ is an interpretation of Lockean titled Lism (LTL). Whomever gets there first and mixes his or her labor with the soil gets a “natural right” to do with the property as s/he sees fit, so long as no harm to others is done. The problem with LTL is that it’s enforced by a deeply flawed system of jurisprudence. LTLism often devolves into a dog-eat-dog mentality as well, and it has optics that don’t play well.”

    Optics that don’t play well with whom? Every single person that I’ve ever discussed property taxes with offline has strongly resented them. People are fine with buying property. What they dislike is the idea of renting their own property from the government.

  158. dL

    Look at the suburbs. People fleeing taxes on land and property and unwanted government programs for generations created them.

    It’s sort of hard to blame suburban sprawl on geolibertarianism when virtually no government district in the United States practices geolibertarianism.

  159. dL

    Yes — though more often Californians flee

    I doubt anyone “fleeing” Cali is doing so b/c of property taxes.

    #prop13

  160. dL

    But overproduction and socialism is a rare combination.

    Aggregate production is not the problem w/ central planning. The problem is matching production to consumer tastes(i.e, shit that people actually want). E.g. communist Poland had no problem mass producing domestic cars. But things like chocolate, meat, bread and jeans were another matter.

  161. dL

    Are you using a different definition of State Socialism and State Capitalism, or is that about how you see it, also?

    if we take the socialist calculation problem seriously, then state socialism at scale is impossible. Communist countries were running a planned simulation of a capitalist economy. A facsimile of the capitalist relations between management and labor still remained. So the USSR and China(after the great leap forward) were at one side of the scale. A very authoritarian version of state capitalism. The United States was at the other end of the spectrum, a less authoritarian version of state capitalism. In between, you had the western European countries, e.g, say Sweden.

    Granted, this a “lefty” view of things. In the 20th century, this view was largely only held by marxists(any classical Marxist worth their salt has always claimed the Soviet Union was state capitalist) and left wing anarchists. However, the 21st century has largely borne this view out. If you recall, in the early 1990s, when the Soviet Union fell and China embraced capitalism, the CPC(Chinese Communist party) was not supposed to be long for this world. Capitalism was supposed to liberalize China, forcing the CPC to disband in favor of multi-party democracy. Well, that didn’t happen. The CPC has thrived under capitalism. Indeed, today, the CPC –in a development that would make both Marx and Mises roll over in their graves–is the greatest advocate of global capitalism. Meanwhile, the United States has adopted the security organs of the
    Marxist-Lenist state and is in retreat from the global neoliberal order is pretty much singularly erected.

    So, yeah, a sliding scale of state capitalism across the board is a pretty good way of looking at things…

  162. robert capozzi

    BR,

    Property taxes are on IMPROVED property values, the assessment, iirc.

    NY and CA are high tax places, and people do leave because of them, but only in part. But they don’t go to the lowest tax places. Taxes are one of many considerations. I observed a massive suburbanization in my youth, where people left NYC for LI, NJ, Westchester, and CT in droves. There were many reasons for what was then labeled “white flight.” Crime was a biggie. Degenerating schools another. Highways and commuter trains made the move easier.

    NYC’s population remains roughly the same now as it was in 1960. It was 7.8MM in 60, , over 8.5MM now. Despite its being cramped, expensive, and high tax, some people love the place. Others like to visit. Some steer clear.

    It sounds like you want to shoehorn the Georgist ground-rent concept into your preconceived, simplistic narrative about property taxes. They are different, despite your Rothbardian/Ruwartian-sounding biases.

    It’s a different paradigm, one that you show no signs of understanding. When I first encountered the Georgist approach, I had similar reactions as you are. I’ve not bought it entirely either, mostly for implementation reasons (it’s also unripe), but for me it did expose the weakness of the Lockean-as-commonly-understood model.

    Thought experiment: If there was one ground-rent tax, and the rate was the same for an acre in Manhattan and an acre in ND and every place else, what might happen? Might we see a massive shift toward urbanization, ceteris paribus? (I don’t, to be clear, advocate for this…it’s unripe.)

  163. dL

    Property taxes are on IMPROVED property values, the assessment, iirc.

    Correct. Property taxes are not the single land value tax. Also, the single land tax in urban settings would encourage vertical development, not horizontal sprawl.

    NY and CA are high tax places

    Cali is not a high property tax state. My understanding is that it is one of the lower property tax states, primarily because of prop 13. Anecdotally, businesses might flee Cali b/c of regulatory burdens/hurdles, but wealthy landowners are not the ones fleeing.

  164. Be Rational

    Current property taxes are on both Land and improvements. The land tax is worse than the improvement tax in its effect in driving people out. It’s deleterious effects are a major contributor to the destruction of the economy, the environment and to the threat of the destruction of humanity.

    RC, your idea of a land tax that is flat and equal everywhere would be completely unworkable and is NOT what the geo-fascist-socialists advocate. Their land tax is based on value and is not equal everywhere.

    To raise the funds currently expended by government through a land tax alone would destroy the economy and the environment completely. Of course it is such an outrageously stupid idea that no sane individual could advocate for such a tax change.

    A land tax that was equal everywhere used to fund the entire government would be many times higher than the value of the land in vast areas and intolerably high in most. It would without any doubt lead to total non-compliance and civil war.

    Whether it is flat and equal or based on some arbitrary value, the distortion effects would be catastrophic. The land portion of property taxes today have already contributed to distortion losses of hundreds of trillions of dollars, and these damages are accelerating year by year.

    One has to be clueless about economics, science, history, engineering, farming … about how the world works and about political reality to advocate funding the government exclusively with a tax on land. The idea is insane.

    The land tax at any level is the worst of all taxes. It causes the most damage to the economy. It causes great damage to the environment and is one of the causes of climate change.

    As Libertarians, we must insist on the repeal of all taxes on property of all kinds – especially land – and the repeal of all taxes on income.

    Only a single tax on consumption should be used – and only because it causes the least damage to the economy and causes no environmental damage.

  165. Be Rational

    “But overproduction and socialism is a rare combination.”

    You missed the point entirely.

    Overproduction of commodities – such as oil, for example – by socialist governments is a common reaction to falling prices of commodities owned or controlled by socialist governments dependent on the revenues of taxes from such commodities. This has happened repeatedly over the last several decades and should be common knowledge of anyone who stays current with the daily news.

    No government body should be allowed to own, control or tax the production of any commodity. Governments have perverse incentives the opposite of what is needed for efficient management and environmental protection of any natural resource.

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