Thursday, March 30, 2006

All Sold out, but En Vogue: Even Democrats Rush to Christen Themselves "Libertarians"

Michael Lind takes a skewering glance, over at the Coffee Shop at the Democratic Party, which he calls a "socially-liberal, pro-business party." Looks like, without some kind of broad crisis in job availability or total political transformation, we may never see another public workfare program again, even if the Dems reclaim control of the federal government. What happens when welfare programs can no longer be reformed Republican-style and when cheap labor markets are super-saturated? What happens when America becomes overrun with sweatshops for both citizens and illegal immigrants, thanks to the Earned Income Tax Credit (which Lind rightly calls "corporate welfare, a massive redistribution of wealth to the very employers that treat their workers the worst")? What happens when we no longer have clear choices between political parties come election time?


  1. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I'm not sure), libertarianism doesn't jive with modern liberalism.

    While modern liberals like the idea of the government staying out of their lives, the ironic part is that they want the government to do more on the "what can the government do for me" side which goes completely against any libertarian ideals. In essence, it only creates a larger government which can't help but get into people's unfortunate side-effect of creating a bigger government.

    Leaving the war out of the subject, with Bush and the big spender Republicans, we already have the problem of not having a clear choice between political parties. On one hand, you have Bush being a liberal when it comes to spending money on social programs that uses the classic liberal ploy of throwing more money at the problem (no child left behind, education reform with Kennedy, prescription drug plan, etc etc etc). What would a Democrat offer? Pretty much more of the same. While complaining about Bush's programs, they would only create bigger programs that cost even more.

    As to the war...would Democrats do much different? Who knows. They can talk that way while they are out of power, but didn't Nixon promise to get us out of Nam when he came to power? It ended up becoming his war despite the fact that it was made into a quagmire by Johnson.

    Anyway...we're already at the point of not having a choice. They're all the same.

  2. Blake beat me to it. Essentially I'd agree with him. Especially when it comes to the curtailment of our choices.

  3. I think the link between Democrats and Libertarians is important. Really, the only things libs & conservatives have in common are guns & taxes. (and even the latter changes when you get to geolibs).

    The above commenters of course are correct, the 'socialize everything' wing of the democrats are never going to gel with libertarians, but liberals and libertarians who are each center/moderate on fiscal issues can find a lot of common ground to work on recovering our civil liberties.

    In other words if the libertarians can agree not to privitize the roads & the liberals can agree not to socialize health care, then maybe we can all work together on some of the more pressing issues of the day. Ya know, like well basically reversing everything that the war party has done in the last 6 years or so.

    See Also: Freedom Democrats, Democratic Freedom Caucus

  4. Whenever someone says, "Oh the parties are all the same," you can be reasonably sure that person is rationalizing, because the differences could not be more clear.

    Bill Clinton: 8 years of peace
    George W. Bush: A mismanaged war in Afghanistan (i.e., we didn't eliminate our enemy and the state we "liberated" has about 4 square liberated blocks) and an utter failure of a three-year war in Iraq.

    Bill Clinton: Budget surpluses of $5 trillion and we paid down more than $360 billion off our long-term debt
    George Bush: Budget deficits of $3.4 trillion and a $9 trillion long-term debt

    Bill Clinton: 100,000 new police officers and crime drops
    George Bush: Do away with the police officers, crime rises

    Bill Clinton: 22 million new jobs
    George Bush: 2 milion new jobs and a net job LOSS for his first term--first president since Hoover

    Now, are the times different? Yes. 911, I know, I know. But with the exception of massive government expenditures--always kept off-budget--for a war that is going virtually nowhere, the Bush Administration hasn't changed. It's still tax cuts and government handouts for the wealthy, zippo for the rest of you.

    Finally, ask yourself this question. If Al Gore had been president the last 6 years, do you seriously think we'd have lost 2,300 kids in Iraq and started a civil war in the Mideast?