Libertarian solutions to today’s problems.

We seem to be beset with problems that our present political administration appears to be incapable of resolving. Nor do “solutions” like “Obamacare” appear to be “real solutions” to our incredibly expensive utterly monopolistic health care system where for all practical purposes we end up paying twice as much as others do for health care. Our aggressive foreign policies and eagerness to use military force also create additional problems for us. We are creating more enemies, people who hate us for what we’ve done to them, or to their families, their relatives, friends, companions. Sometimes simply because we saw people gathered and a decision was made to launch an attack from one of our drones, often high enough in the sky that only the most careful watch could have detected them up there.

Then we have our problems at home. A divided administration of a Democratic President and a Republican controlled Congress along with an increasingly “conservative” Supreme Court. Higher education that leaves even successful students in debt for years to come, while others, who left college without a degree, are burdened down with tens of thousands of dollars of debt while earning little more in many cases than the minimum wage. And while we have recovered economically to some degree from the “Great Recession”, we still have millions of former workers who have effectively “given up” searching for paid work. Some of them have either “retired” (if old enough) or have eventually qualified for disability payments under Social Security. Creating future added costs for the taxpayers. We tend to have forgotten that our skilled trades people are getting older and retiring without enough young people taking their places. Have you seen what a plumber charges?

Why do we have all these problems? Part of the problem is due to actions in past years and decades by the federal government. We tax our businesses at a higher rate than is the case in virtually all the rest of the developed world. While at the same time the percentage of federal revenue received from the federal corporate income tax continues to fall when compared with the percentage of revenue that we used to collect. Obviously something is seriously wrong here! Another problem is because we have the world’s most expensive health care, employers are paying increasingly high premiums for health insurance for their employees. This of course means that there is less money to pay for everything else!

Additionally, to compound our problems we have a public infrastructure that is frankly “falling apart”. We apparently can no longer afford to maintain it properly. We used to pay for our roads (and their repair) through taxes upon fuel. However today we have more fuel efficient vehicles, so there is less tax money now flowing in to repair and keep up our infrastructure. Here in Michigan it is proposed that we raise the state sales tax from 6% to 7%, with the largest portion of the money collected to be spent upon the roads. However this idea is not all that likely to pass when the people of Michigan vote upon it here in May. One reason of course being that while everyone will have to pay the higher sales tax, part of the money collected won’t go towards the roads or infrastructure, but will go to the public school system which is constantly seeking more money despite little results from what is already spent. It would make more sense to tax those who drive upon a per mile basis instead of passing the burden on to everyone, regardless of if they drive or not. Which makes more sense, not that it is likely to happen given our present politics…

Oddly enough, we now support our state parks here in Michigan by a “user pays” system. Those who wish to use the state parks pay $10 additional registration fees and have a sticker on their license plate that shows that they have paid to use the state parks. So the idea of a “user fee” system certainly is viable. Also, the stress on roads depends upon weight. 40 tons of truck puts a lot more stress on a road than a car weighing at most one twentieth of the same weight. So it would be quite practical to tax road users on weight and mileage. As a libertarian, I see lots of sense in imposing “user fees” than imposing a tax on everyone to pay for solving a problem that is proportionally mostly caused by a few.

I’ve repeatedly given my “solution” to the problem of health care and how to pay for it, so I’ll skip repeating myself on that issue except to say that far too much of our health care dollars is now being spent upon things that have little actual benefit for most people. At one time a doctor’s office only had the doctor and an “office nurse”. Now the same sort of office will have several more people just to do billing, check insurances, and so forth here. Needless to say, this is one of the reasons why our health care is so costly today. Along with the invention of “malpractice” by the legal profession that greatly adds to our costs.

For some reason the government of the United States of America has decided that we should be the “world’s policeman”. That we should use military force to resolve problems on a world wide basis. We have also engaged in “preventive wars” against nations and their national leaders simply because some of our “leaders” have decided that the head of some such countries is a “threat to us” (or “world peace”). We tore Iraq apart in disposing of Saddam Hussein. The “consequences” of this have been the political destabilisation of the Middle East. Then the revolt by some groups in Syria against its dictator with weapons supplied by “interested parties” has led to the creation of an extremist Islamic organization that performs acts so barbaric that the entire world is appalled by them! This organization (ISIS) also has a good supply of US military arms that we left there in Iraq when we left…

Here on the North American continent, we have destabilised Mexico because of our drug laws that have “encouraged” the development of “drug cartels” to supply US addicts. This has also caused “illegal” immigration by Mexicans seeking to flee the terrors of their own country caused by these drug cartels. Add to this the “militarization” of our own police in their increasing futile attempts to control the flow of “illegal” drugs to the point that the police are now becoming more “an army of occupation” than a normal police force. Our drug laws are misguided in that they increase the problem, not decrease it. We also are paying a great deal of money in the form of taxes to support all this. Especially since now due to our drug laws, we now hold more people in total in prison than any other country on Earth! We are 5% of the world’s population, but we hold 25% of total prisoners world wide. Needless to say, since the states pay for most of the cost of prisons, the cost of all this is coming out of your pocket in the form of higher taxes. Too, our civil forfeiture laws are another consequence of our “War on Drugs”. These laws also “encourage” law enforcement to take money from people on mere suspicion that they are “dealing in drugs” without any need for legal proof that this is the case. Especially as the police get to keep the money until the actual owner is able to prove in court that they are innocent of any wrong doing! A few states have acted to resolve this issue, and hopefully more will follow their path.

All in all, we seem to be worse off than we were half a century ago because of the growth of government and its increasing intrusion into more and more of our lives. Unfortunately neither of our two major political parties appears to actually want to “shrink” government. Republicans may claim that they wish to do so, but their own actions are the opposite in that they want more and more regulation of our lives. And of course Democrats now worship the idea of the “nanny state” with “Big Sister” watching over us all…

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About muskegonlibertarian

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