If you read some doctrinaire libertarian writings, you may have come to the conclusion that libertarianism is a philosophy that belongs back somewhere in the 19th Century. This is unfortunate as libertarianism has much more to offer, but the problem is that most of those who call themselves “libertarians” have never thought the concept through to the point that it is likely to be accepted by the majority of people anywhere I know of… There is way too much of the sort of discussions that parallel those of the Middle Ages when it was argued as to the number of angels who could dance on the head of a pin. Practical, concrete solutions to present day problems appear to far too few. For example, we have slashed government revenues to the point that our infrastructure is falling apart. Here in Muskegon county some roads are being converted back to gravel because there is no longer enough money to keep them up. We are reverting back to being a “Third World” country! Part of the reason is that the taxes on gasoline that are used to maintain the roads are no longer adequate since modern automobiles have lower fuel consumption. Thus there is less tax money available to keep up the roads. People need to understand that if they do want to live in a society with good roads, safe infrastructure, that they are going to have to pay for it. Users fees have been considered, but are not likely to be really that “practical”. The upkeep of infrastructure benefits everyone, not just those who happen to being using it. Those who decide not to own an automobile still require good infrastructure regardless. This is a “social cost” and it should be met as one. This is the 21st Century, not the 19th. The automated financial transaction tax is probably the best means to raise the money…
It does appear however that many people would be just as well off without having to own a private automobile. The taxicab monopolies exist only because of political corruption on a local level. Ending political corruption ends these sort of monopolies. Additionally, not all people need a vehicle of the sort generally considered as an “automobile”. An electrically assisted bicycle would do for some, especially where the climate is favorable. The moped, the small motor scooter have been European staples now for decades. The design too of European cities where residential and commercial is mixed together makes for a much more “livable” society than ours. The development of electrical propulsion has reached the point where small urban electrics make a great deal of sense if they can produced cheaply enough. Mass transit is actually most effective over long distances where everyone is going to the same destination. In this field perhaps the electric railroad is the most “efficient” means of moving large numbers of people to the same destination if not the fastest. I do believe we are going to have to find alternatives to fossil fuels because the supply is limited. Wind and solar will undoubtedly play a part in things, but neither of them I believe can be a complete solution. Nuclear power using thorium instead of uranium appears to be a safe and usable solution to the problem. There is also “geothermic”, which can play a role too.
Our educational systems do a poor job of preparing people to be productive citizens as a great deal of time is wasted upon things that have little if any bearing upon holding a job. As a former employer, I will state that the “soft skills” of being on time for work, doing the job as you are told to do it, and behaving in ways that are becoming to your employer are an important part of life. I worked in the security guard industry, but I believe much the same things apply everywhere. Far too much time is spent on topics that have little if any application to the world of work. We should, I believe, support a strong public library system where those interests in gaining additional knowledge can be cheaply supplied. From my own experience I find the public library system extremely useful in learning. Superior in detail to what can be obtained at present from Internet sources for the most part. The Internet is a good source for picking up details that have been forgotten, but I feel that the library is superior if you need to go into depth upon the subject of your choice. It is also a good means of educating yourself on any subject you wish to study at virtually no cost. In a society that “certifies” people instead of relying upon “credentials”, having a good public library system can be an excellent means of “extending” the educational system. Which is important for those who lack the time or money for more formal education. Then too, with less regulations and restrictions upon what people are allowed to do, being “self educated” has more advantages than it does in our “credentialist” society.
One major aspect I believe that shows the superiority of the philosophy of libertarianism is the concept of “minding your own business” and allowing others to do the same in return. We definitely do have far too many people who consider it their right to intrude in the affairs of everyone else. People who insist that everyone should live their lives according to what they consider the “correct” way. And that anyone who differs with them is “wrong”. This is likely the biggest problem societies have today. And the source of endless conflict!