Where Libertarians Can Make A “Difference”!

Where can we make a difference? Objectively in order to win support we need to express ideas that will attract support from those who currently support (or vote for) either the Democrats or the Republicans. Ideas that will “win” the support of people who would not normally be considered “libertarians”, but who can “understand” that supporting these ideas will benefit “them”. That they will in fact pay less for certain services once changes are made so that these services are no longer monopolies exempt from the cost reducing power of free competition in an increasingly freer economic market. For the consumer “competition” is a good thing in that it holds down prices and gives you a greater choice.

Those however who provide these services are well aware of the benefits of monopoly in allowing them to charge a higher price for their services. A good way to do this is to involve the government in the role of “consumer protection”. Of course no one dares to mention that the consumer is going to have to pay more both for the service under consideration and the cost of the regulation, most likely in the form of both higher prices and higher taxes. In effect “government protection” comes in the form of higher prices along with more taxation with often the “added benefit” of poorer service than what would have otherwise been the case had the “free market” now been allowed to operate without interference. Another aspect of this is that we are not given any “choice” in the matter. To an increasing amount government “regulation” is now driven by “special interest groups” who likely do not represent the viewpoints of a majority of Americans. Additionally these “special interest groups” do everything in their power to prevent the rest of us from having a “say”. Laws are passed that offer little benefit to most of us, but do require that we pay the costs of these regulations even if they are of no value to most of us. Our drug laws fall into this classification. We now spend something in the neighborhood of a hundred billion dollars a year enforcing laws against “illicit drugs”, prosecuting violators, and then paying the cost of imprisoning them. There is also the negative aspect that our police forces are becoming more and more like the military with an “us versus them” attitude now more commonplace. They are even now starting to look like members of the armed forces!

One reason our health care costs are so high is due to “regulation”. A true “free market” in health care would cost far less than what we have now. Calculating from my own personal experience if we didn’t have prescription laws my wife and I would now save about three thousand dollars a year! (we’re both on Medicare) And Medicare coverage would also cost much less if we had an actual “free market” in health care. Too, with a lower cost of living, all 321 million of us would be better off. Taxes could be lower, there would be little if any need for the massive amounts of health insurance we now have to pay for. Social Security checks would buy “more”, there would be more jobs, etc.  Paying almost three trillion dollars a year for health care is a terrible drain on our economy! Especially as it has been calculated that about 30% of that three trillion dollars is “waste”, “fraud”, along with various forms of “rent seeking” that accompany such large portions of our economy.

Our poorly thought out environmental regulations also add a lot of “dead weight” to our economy. They make everything more “expensive” as the cost of compliance has to be added into the cost of everything we make or buy. There is also the issue of “diminishing returns” in that trying to make things “cleaner” gets more and more expensive with more strict regulation. Eventually you reach the point where further improvement is so costly that it can no longer be produced here in the USA. So businesses move their production to other countries that aren’t so “fussy” about such things. This is one of the reasons why we have so much unemployment today. Why most working people today effectively earn just about the same amount of money as they did decades ago. “Regulatory overhead” also makes it harder to compete with foreign businesses who don’t have to pay such costs.  People may complaint about “taxes”, but dealing with all the various regulations that a business has to deal with today is also a reason why many people give up on the idea of starting their own business. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to start a business here today…

It appears that we also have organized groups who seek to benefit themselves at the expense of everyone else. The “licensed professions and occupations” are the same as the “guild” of the Middle Ages where private monopolies were established with the objective of creating a “closed market” where they can charge higher prices to the consumer. Rather similar in many aspects to labor unions which operated on the basis of restriction of the supply of “available” labor with the result of pushing up wages and salaries above “free market” levels. We also have this same sort of thing with “price supports” on some agricultural products. Which means that everyone else has to pay more in turn!

These all appear to be things where a relatively small minority benefits at the cost of everyone else. Where it is easy to show people how they are being forced to pay more for the goods and services they buy because of government regulations that favor one group of people over everyone else. That in truth “Government Is The Problem” in that “special interests” have managed to get legislation passed in their favor. Legislation that forces everyone else to pay more for everything they buy than what they’d be paying without such regulations. That without these regulations, our cost of living would be much lower than it is today…




About muskegonlibertarian

77 year old retired owner of a security guard agency. Member of the Libertarian Party.
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