Saturday, August 20, 2016

Gary Johnson: Government Has a Role in Equal Opportunity

Gary Johnson is about as libertarian as Chairman Mao was. A day does not pass in his long march toward election day when he doesn't say something that is in direct contradiction to the respect for property rights and the freedom of individuals to interact and exchange on the grounds they choose.

 In the below interview he says that something can be achieved by government in terms of equal opportunity---as if there is an equal opportunity problem.



  1. Is Johnson preferable to Hillary and Trump?

    I agree he is the diet caffein-free crystal pepsi of libertarianism, but to compare him to Mao is just childish and silly. Was New Mexico devastated by famine under Johnson's governorship? How many political dissidents did he have executed?

    Each presidential candidate is going to produce a pile of dead innocent people during his or her presidency. How do you expect Johnson's pile to compare to the piles Trump or Hillary would produce?

    Each presidential candidate is going to lock some number of peaceful people in cages. Do you expect Johnson's number to be larger or smaller than Hillary and Trump's number?

    Whoever the next president is, it is highly unlikely that the result will be anarcho-capitalism. Does that make all of the alternatives equally evil?

    We are not going to reach a stateless society through a widespread and sudden realization that the state is evil. It is magical thinking to expect such an outcome. The state is perpetuated by fear. It is the state's ability to alleviate people's fears that keeps it going. Fear of Muslims. Fear of poverty. Fear of drugs. etc...

    Libertarianism's intellectual and moral arguments are rock solid, and mostly useless. People don't care about those things. Those are just abstractions, whereas their fears are real and inescapable.

    1. Since Johnson is not going to win, why not explain to people how safe and affluent they could be in their own private voluntary communities with their own private school that reflects their values? If you are the object of a discrimination lawsuit for refusing to enter into a contract, you do not have property rights and neither does anyone else. And you are thus not safe.

      These aren't complicated concepts.

    2. Can you explain to me why everyone you've ever explained that too hasn't acted on your advice?

      It's because they're afraid. They can follow your reasoning. They may even be able to understand it. But your explanations do not alleviate their fears. Belief in the state does. You cannot reason people out of positions they were not reasoned into.

    3. I'm the guy that keeps pointing out that no one but us Austrians has even the slightest familiarity with basic Austrian concepts. I think people don't follow the logic. Their brains just flatline and then they run and turn on the E! channel.

    4. The problem is that libertarians jump right into their explanations without taking the time to understand your potential convert's present understanding. You have to start from where they are. You have to stand there with them, understand them and not just tell them they're stupid or evil. It's so easy to just bark Rothbard at people then take their emotional response as further confirmation of their hopelessness and your own rationality. It feels satisfying to confirm your own superiority, but it doesn't change many minds.

    5. I've been a Rothbardian since 1973. I tried to be nice until around 2009. I guess I never realized before then that KEYNESIANS ALWAYS LIE. It finally dawned on me while defending Tom Woods from Yglesias on the Yglesias blog that none of the SJWs attacking me understood the first thing about Austrian analysis or concepts. That remains the case. You cannot shame them into understanding, for example, honest pricing from phony unsustainable funny money pricing. Can you identify a single “progressive” that understands Austrian analysis? Does Krugman? Brad DeLong?

      SJWs create nice posters to celebrate my views:

      They are all a bunch of liars and scoundrels. Why not expose them? I’ll agree to stop calling them liars and scoundrels if you present evidence that that is not the case. Why should a libertarian be afraid of what such people “think”? They obviously think minorities are too stupid to run their own private neighborhoods, earn a living and purchase appropriate educational services for their children. They clearly do not care that Obama and Hillary are slaughtering tens (or hundreds) of thousands of Muslims in Libya and Syria. They insist that we need an endless regime of funny money creation and “stimulus” spending because average people, working people and minorities are too stupid to adjust “sticky” prices and wages without the help of “progressive” experts? And WE ARE THE RACISTS?

      Libertarians are supposed to afraid to confront such people? Are they going to be nice to us if we are nice to them?

  2. Alicia Dearn, LP candidate for VP this year, insists that the NAP is consistent with you being forced to BAKE THE CAKE. And don’t question her because she is an attorney who has litigated discrimination cases for 12 years! This has be read in full to be believe:

    “Libertarians who think that the anti-discrimination laws are against libertarian ethics are wrong and need to re-examine their thinking.

    The core of libertarianism is that you are free to do as you please... so long as you don't hurt others. So let's start from this definitional premise.

    We know empirically that discrimination based on immutable characteristics (race, gender, ethnicity, religion, age, disability) causes harm to the victim. The harm is emotional and physical. We evolved to be social animals and social rejection is a type of assault on the victim.

    The harm cannot be mitigated by the victim because the characteristic is intrinsic, so you are fundamentally dehumanizing them when you discriminate in this manner. The emotional harm manifests in real ways, including physical symptoms. Discrimination is not victimless. This is a key fact that libertarians who are against the civil rights acts fail to perceive.

    Libertarianism understands that you can't commit torts. No battery. No false imprisonment. No trespass. And no infliction of emotional distress. Discrimination is so similar to infliction of emotional distress that most discrimination suits include it as an additional legal claim.
    Some discrimination is harmless. Not all of it is tortious. For example, a business owner may legitimately choose only to serve people who can pay on demand. That's a victimless and reasonable discrimination. But categorically refusing to serve a black man or a Jew or a gay man is NOT harmless. Therefore, it violates the NAP and the core ethic of libertarian philosophy.

    By the way, some situations are not that cut and dry. That is why the law allows for balancing between rights. So, for example, amusement parks may refuse to allow pregnant women to ride their roller coasters. It's a discrimination created by an immutable physical characteristic, but has a basis that is not harmful or evil at heart. Further the amusement park has a right to not be forced to endure foreseeable liabilities. So when rights compete, you must balance. Not everything has an easy answer.
    The law accounts for freedom of association and religion already. If your religion thinks that homosexual relationships are immoral, you still don't have to participate. Have an employee bake the cake so you don't have to, if you're that sensitive. (The Federal Civil Rights laws don't kick in until you have at least 15 employees.) So you actually don't have to participate personally.

    But I'd like to also point out that baking someone a cake is not the same as condoning or participating in gay sex. You aren't going to Hell for baking a cake for someone who may be a sinner. You probably already do that every day.

    And to Gary Johnson's point, that apparently people keep missing, religion is sometimes used as a smoke screen for harmful bigotry. It wasn't that long ago that the KKK cited the Bible as proof that it was OK to be violent towards black people. A real Christian would bake cakes for lepers and prostitutes. Don't be a jerk.”

  3. Wow that is unreal. So who gets to decide who is being a jerk? And why don't people have the right to be a jerk?
    Hurting someone's "feelings" isn't a violation of the NAP.
    It not our fault some little pansies get their butt hurt over their feelings

  4. Johnson was clearly talking about eliminated cronyism when he described the government's role in equal opportunity.

    Here's the full quote:

    "Keep government out of my bedroom, keep government out of my pocketbook, let's stop dropping bombs...crony capitalism is alive and well. Government can positively impact that. The President of the United States can positively impact that to create more equal opportunity. Can the president of the US create income equality? I don't think govt can do that. I don't think govt should be in the role of redistributing wealth. Govt can be in the business though of making sure you have as much opportunity to wealth as the next person."

    Government can do that by eliminating/reducing regulations, fees, crnonyism, taxation and spending.

    1. First, you are not quoting from the section I am referencing where Johnson says government can "achieve" something in the area of equal opportunity.

      Second the term "equal opportunity" is not used to suggest in a ny significant fashion eliminating cronyism or just cronyism. From Wikipedia:

      "Equal opportunity is a stipulation that all people should be treated similarly, unhampered by artificial barriers or prejudices or preferences, except when particular distinctions can be explicitly justified.[1] The aim according to this often complex and contested concept[2] is that important jobs should go to those “most qualified” – persons most likely to perform ably in a given task – and not go to persons for arbitrary or irrelevant reasons, such as circumstances of birth, upbringing, having well-connected relatives or friends,[3] religion, sex,[4] ethnicity,[4] race, caste,[5] or involuntary personal attributes such as disability, age, gender, or sexual orientation."

      It's positively bizarre to think that the concept "equal opportunity" is today thought of as eliminating cronyism.

    2. I have asked several times in several threads and I've yet to get an answer. I'll try again.

      Is Johnson preferable to Hillary or Trump?

  5. Who knows if Johnson is preferable? He hasn't gained the power of the president yet.
    Wasn't Obama the "anti-war" guy on the dem side in 2008? That worked out great.
    And maybe Johnson is "better" short term, but I don't see him being better long term, not for Libertarians. Weld sure the heck isn't a Libertarian. And Johnson is just a center right democrat. Or a center left republican. You want Johnson to be the banner carrier of the Libertarian party for the next 4 years just because he might be, might be, a little better than the other 2 in those 4 years? It would take Libertarians years to swim out of his watered down version of can't we all get along Libertarianism. And remember the cake? We don't know how much of a totalitarian he would be.

    1. We don't know how much of a totalitarian he would be, but do you expect him to be more or less of one than Trump or Hillary?

      What's the body count on this cake baking issue? Take your time and count carefully, you don't want to miss anyone.

      I'm concerned about the innocent lives that will be destroyed over the next 4 or 8 years.

      The next president is going to produce a pile of dead innocent people during his or her presidency. How do you expect the size Johnson's pile to compare with that of Trump's or Hillary's?

      The next president is going to lock some number of peaceful people in cages. Do you expect Johnson's number to be larger or smaller than Hillary and Trump's number?

      Whoever the next president is, it is highly unlikely that the result will be anarcho-capitalism. Does that make all of the alternatives equally evil?

      How many people are you prepared to watch die because Johnson might, God forbid, force someone to bake a cake? Asking people educated in state run schools by statists to understand all the finer points of the NAP is a tall order. Maybe start with more modest tasks like convincing them to stop incinerating innocent, impoverished children.

      Why do Hillary and Trump get measured against each other when Johnson gets measured against perfection?

      Neither Ron Paul nor Jesus Christ are on the ballot. We've got psychopath Hillary and megalomaniac Trump. I'll settle for pothead Johnson.

      If Johnson can jam up the War on Drugs and the War on Terror, but leaves the cake issue as is, has liberty moved forward or backwards?

      Any real Christian worth Jesus's sacrifice would bake a cake for a gay wedding to save an innocent child's life, or did I miss the part in the Gospel where Jesus raises the primitive tribal hygiene standards codified in Leviticus above our obligations to love our neighbors and not murder children? Do these baker's eat pork chops? Do they send their wives to the menstrual shed every month? How do these wannabe Hebrews decide which part of The Law they abide by and which they don't? If someone baking a cake when they don't want to is the price we pay for impeding the abject and monstrous evil of the empire, tough shit for the baker, who is most likely a War mongering Republican who has voted for and contributed to the very politicians who run around dropping bombs on little kids... you know... for Jesus.

    2. Gary Johnson is not going to be president. He is engaged in a purely educational endeavor. While doing that, he is claiming that the most trivial example of a lack of business etiquette must be the subject of a cause of action which can be filed by a stranger against another person for refusing to enter into a contract with the stranger. The essence of a civil cause of action is to seek a judgment for money against the defendant/stranger in government court. If a judgment is awarded, the plaintiff then enlists the aid of the local police who will seize the property of the defendant to satisfy the judgment. A defendant who resists the seizure of his property will face a SWAT team. One could easily lose their home and life savings as such a defendant.

      Once it is established that a stranger may sue another stranger for money for refusing to enter into a contract, there is no conceivable way to define a limitation upon this type of action. It is the end of private property and the local gang of thugs which is presently the democratic majority can inflict this type of torment upon any defenseless group of potential defendants. The precedent could even be used by social conservatives against “progressives”, as Johnson admitted, insisting that Nazi could sue a Jew for refusing to bake a Nazi cake.

      It’s beyond outrageous. If libertarians will not insist that there can be no lawsuits by strangers against strangers for the refusal to enter into contracts, what’s the point of doing anything?

    3. Oh grow up. Beyond outrageous? How about the wholesale murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people? Is that outrageous? How many people died in cake related SWAT raids last year? How many people did the American War Machine kill last year? Do you suck at math or something? Can't you count?

      Will a Trump or Hillary presidency produce a different result regarding cakes and bakers? If not, what is the point in not voting for Johnson? What is accomplished?

      Private property ended in 1913 with the Income Tax. Whatever harm may result from over-eager cake-based lawsuits is a drop in the bucket compared to what the state does everyday with the property it steals from the people. Why turn your back on an opportunity to make a dramatic reduction in the scope of state power over a wide swath of things just because we can't clear up the confusion over cakes first?

      It is either insane or evil to say that the state's policies regarding bakeries is somehow the harbinger of The End of Everything Good, but the state's penchant for dropping bombs on innocent children is just a minor detail to be sorted out after we get this all-important cake disaster taken care of.

      You're essentially saying that any and all reductions in state authority MUST begin with sorting out this cake business, otherwise all is lost!!! War on Drugs?? No, Cakes! Bombing kids? Who cares! Cakes!! FDA killing people? Fed money printing? CPS child molesters? Provoking WW3 with Russia? NO!! CAKES!!! Everything must wait for the cake! Desert First!

      You sound like you think the entire edifice of federal authority would come tumbling down if we just get the cake thing sorted out. That's just stupid. You're being stupid. But hey, doesn't cost you anything. They're not dropping bombs on your kids, so who cares? CAKES!!!

    4. 1. You’re the one who wants to blow a 35 foot hole in the libertarian edifice with CAKE LAWSUITS which, BTW, are just a precursor and test case for shutting down religious institutions who “discriminate”. The social conservatives know this.

      2. I agree that fighting the drug war and real war are vitally important. It would be nice to get the social conservatives and evangelicals on board by explaining to them that they could form their own socially conservative neighborhoods with their own schools and never lay eyes on a “progressive” or a doper. But instead, AS AN ALLEGED MARKETING MOVE, let’s attached to the libertarian brand the ability to sue social conservatives for not baking a cake which is a false and fraudulent representation of libertarianism in any event and which is guaranteed to drive off the social conservatives from libertarianism for the next 25 years. Good move.

    5. I am not at all suggesting that libertarians incorporate this cake nonsense into our philosophy. I don't support it at all. I think Johnson is totally mistaken on this matter. Does that mean Johnson is worse than Trump or Hillary? It just strikes me as bizarre and idiotic to completely dismiss the opportunity to make some real progress in diminishing the state in areas where it actively engages in mass-murder and abject evil just because we're not starting by sorting out the cake nonsense. You're asking baby bombing to take a back seat to bakery bullying. That is insane!

      Unless you expect Trump or Hillary to suddenly turn into Rothbard in the next two months, the cake issue is going unresolved for the next four years. Why do so many other, far more pressing matters have to wait for the cake? How many kids have to die horrible violent deaths so you can feel some self-satisfaction from not voting for Johnson over his pastry policy, only to see the exact same pastry policy enforced by the other candidates?

      You've got your head way up your ass. Would you rather watch your child be forced to bake a cake or watch him get incinerated by a cruise missile?

    6. How many of the religious institutions that you fear might get shut down over cakes or whatever have been enthusiastic supporters of the Empire and the War on Drugs? What use are they as spreaders of the Gospel if they are just cheer-leaders for the psychos in DC? When did Christians decide "Thou shalt not kill" needed to take a back seat to a few lines from Leviticus? Why is it that boys kissing boys gets these purported "Christians" so riled up but boys bombing babies gets a round of applause and solemn "Thank you for your service."? Why are you so worried about preserving these institutions that shill for the state just as eagerly as the press and academia? Would you be so upset if the feds started interfering with quasi-commie academic operations that shill for the state? If the state starts shutting down churches full of war-mongers masquerading as Christians, GOOD RIDDANCE! From a libertarian perspective, that would be just as wonderful as when one gov agency jams up another. Our illustrious host has said on many occasions (I'm paraphrasing here) that when statists turn on each other, liberty usually wins.

      It is barbaric, cowardly and unchristian that you are more afraid of having to interact with men who have consensual sex with each other than being forced to pay men who incinerate children. Why, out of all the sins someone might commit, are you so hung up on boys kissing boys? Jesus die for their sins too. How many more innocent people have to die because you won't acknowledge that The Atonement also applies to the sins you find particularly distasteful?

      Do you associate with soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors or cops? Why are you so worried about having to do business with peaceful gay people, but don't bat an eye at associating with people who murder children then abdicate their moral responsibility for their own choices with a flippant, "just following orders"?

      I don't know what you think you are, but you're not a good Christian if this is where you're head is, you are a tool of Satan. It's a trick, and you're falling for it. It's not even a clever trick. It's stupid.

  6. " It would be nice to get the social conservatives and evangelicals on board by explaining to them that they could form their own socially conservative neighborhoods with their own schools and never lay eyes on a “progressive” or a doper. "

    How would explaining private neighborhood associations to conservatives change their minds about bombing muslim kids? I don't see the connection. This is childish,nonsensical magical thinking.

    Why would an alleged Christian be trying to segregate himself from progressives and "dopers" in the first place? I am a devout Christian. I smoke pot. Most of my friends call themselves progressives. Neither interferes with my faith. If anything, it strengthens it and gives it some purpose. "Behold I send you out as sheep amidst the wolves." Why aren't these so called Christians trying to separate themselves from the murderous wrathful war mongers in their ranks? Why is pot and sodomy so frightening to them, while murdering children is cheered on? These people are not Christians. They are self-idolizing, pagans who drape themselves in Christian symbolism and desecrate Scripture by using it to justify their ceaseless cowardly murders of innocent women and children. Their chief sacrament is murder, and their high priest is Death.

    Who taught you about Christianity, and how big were his horns?

  7. On his podcast, Jason Stapleton firmly but fairly exposes Gary Johnson’s nonsense. Yesterday, he noted that whenever he criticizes Johnson, he is inundated with very hostile complaints. He said he had contacted other libertarian podcasters and they all reported a similar response. Maybe there is a paid and concerted effort to undermine the libertarian message.

    1. I've yet to receive a check!

      I disagree with Johnson on many important things, but plainly a better choice than Trump or Hillary. You've yet to explain why he is not. All I've heard from you is that he's not perfect, which I agree with. But, is he preferable to Trump and Clinton? I say yes. I'd rather someone step on my toe than kick me in the nuts. That doesn't mean I'm pro-toe-stomping.

    2. He's probably better than Trump or Hillary. He's not going to be president. Thus, there's no need for the unclosable 50 foot hole in the NAP called "bake the cake". As my late mother would say, "It's the principle of the thing".