Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Quick Thought on Libertarians

Is there any group that seems more confused than Libertarians? I get the feeling that people who call themselves Libertarians rarely know what the term and the ideology really are. It seems that many of them just like to hate the government and they've hit on a few ideas they heard somewhere and decided to say "Hey, I'm a Libertarian." I mean, these are the people who, along with the Tea Party, do things like plan huge rallies in DC to protest taxes and government services and then complain that the city didn't ramp up metro service to accommodate them.

Now here's the thing. I don't know much about being a Libertarian either. And I'm not super motivated to find out. I looked up Ron Paul and it seems like he has some interesting ideas that would never ever work in a million years. They wouldn't work for the same reason communism doesn't work on a national level, they're predicated on people doing the right thing. In the case of communism the reliance on people giving an honest effort and then taking only what they need ignores the fact that people are complete assholes. Ron Paul's ideas hinge on things like corporate stewardship and the belief that companies will take care of their employees and only charge what they need to for goods and services. Basically he ignores 2011 years of world history. My friend who suggested I look up Ron Paul works as a government contractor. I asked him about Paul wanting to cut most government services possibly including the one that employs this friend and his answer was, "Well hopefully not all of them."

Now, how did I get on this? I've recently made a couple of acquaintances who call themselves Libertarians and they say thing that confuse me vis a vis their supposed political stance. The one that got me thinking involved my taxes. I was telling someone that I got a tax break last year because I'm renting my house in California for less than what the mortgage and property taxes cost. The result is that it became a business loss. So instead of having to pay taxes on the rental income as I feared, I got a huge credit. Yay me!

The response from one of my new Libertarian friends was basically, "Great see, this is what's wrong with this country. The government is paying people to fail." Well thanks pal. But come on, if they'll do it for Wall Street why not for me? I never could tell if he had been for or against the Wall Street bailout but he was certainly against my tax break.

It wasn't until later that I realized how non-Libertarian his little freak out was. First of all, he should be happy I wasn't taxed on my income. Second it wouldn't make sense for me to be taxed since there really wasn't any income. My "business" lost a ton of money. I didn't "get paid to fail" all I got was not taxed to death while also losing money. If the feds came along and said "Hey, give us $3,000 on top of not making a profit." it would just be piling on. After all, it's income tax. You can't really tax income that isn't there. So shouldn't Libertarians be happy for me? The government is basically leaving me alone to fail or succeed on my own without either helping me or dipping into my pockets. Isn't that what the Libertarians want?

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