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Discussion: To kick things off - Libertarianism. Discuss. ;-)

I believe in the Freedoms set forth in the Bill of Rights. I have two little booklet copies of the Constitution on my desk. One was published by the Libertarian Cato Institute, the other by the ACLU. They are identical!

The Freedoms and Rights I favor are for all people, equally; Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, the Right to trial by Jury.  The Right to an attorney.

Libertarians believe in certain "Rights" that can only be exercised by a certain segment. "Property rights" are of no use to those without property. "Freedom" from government regulation does not help and potentially hurts all but owners of certain businesses.

You cannot enact certain Rights on a society with an  existing substantial disparity.  To have the type of Freedom advocated by Libertarianism you would have to start society from scratch.

"In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread." Anatole France

In a Libertarian society the opposite would be true. The Law would allow those things for both the rich and the poor.(Well maybe not stealing). 

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Discussion: To kick things off - Libertarianism. Discuss. ;-)

DaveSchmidt said:

PVW said:

Are there any groups we can identify in "America up until WIlson" who can make a strong claim to being victims of massive theft, and what were their rights, and the rights of their descendants?

Quite the caveat, aren’t they. Well, he did say that era was far from perfect, even if pretty libertarian and remarkably successful.

 Yes, though my point is still about critiquing this idea that "property rights are an extension of self ownership." I know I'm being rather tedious on this point, but as it seems central to the entire premise of libertarianism, and my critique of it continues going unanswered, I feel compelled to keep bringing it up.

If you inherit property, it can hardly be an "extension of self ownership". You got that from someone else, not yourself. And if you take possession of property stolen from someone else, again that directly contradicts this idea of property as "self ownership." And if you compound that by saying that stolen property can then be passed down to your descendants, and further allow for the inheritability of property but not the inheritabiity of redress for theft of that property, then the whole scheme just strikes me as an elaborate justification for selfishness and greed.

Now as terp noted, there are "various schools of thought that fall within the libertarian umbrella." Perhaps one of those schools is opposed to inheritable wealth and believes reparations are owed to African Americans and Native Americans. If so, that school is much more philosophically consistent than the libertarianism I've come across so far.

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Discussion: The $15 minimum wage

terp said:

PVW said:

I'm pretty much on the same page as ml1 here. The CBO estimate is a pretty conservative one -- not in the political sense, but as in the assumptions it makes around economic growth and job losses -- and so is something a reasonable "worst case" estimate. I don't have a problem with that; in economic matters, I generally prefer using more conservative estimates to set the baseline expectations lower, as opposed to, for instance, the kind of overly optimistic estimates around economic growth that tend to get thrown out to justify tax cuts. Better to assume a worse outcome and be pleasantly surprised than the opposite.

So we're looking at 1.4 million lost jobs, but probably less than that. And half of those aren't permanent losses. So another way of saying this is that our economy has 700,000 jobs that don't allow people to actually earn a living. And my question is, why on earth would we want to save those jobs? Surely the question should be "how do we eliminate these bad jobs and make sure anyone stuck in them gets out" rather than worrying about losing such useless jobs?

 You are playing with people's lives.  Again, not every job is meant to have for 40 years and to raise a family of 4.  Work is not only about your current wage. It is also about skill acquisition.  

In many cases what you are asking for is a failure to launch.  And that is based on the extremely dubious assumption that you are right about the numbers. 

 Well its true I can't know the future, but that's true for you as well, so we're equally open to the charge of "playing with people's lives" and dubious assumptions on being right about the numbers, aren't we? 

As for your other point, I'll just re-quote myself here:

"The kind of counter-argument I'd be open to would be one that proposed a
realistic path up from these terrible jobs into real ones -- one where a
low paying job was truly just a temporary stepping stone. That doesn't
seem like the economy we live in, though, hence my preference to mandate
that anyone working at minimum earns enough to support themselves and
have a shot at economic advancement."

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Discussion: The Uncaged Bird - Winter

Those birds are just so pretty, especially with the bits of snow hanging around the patches of green in your gardens. 
A quick Swan family report (I’m hoping for un blurry pics over the weekend): cygnets have progressed to gawky overconfident teenager stage, but are still mainly fuzzy. However their tails are stubby black-feathered jobs, which look quick funny under that fuzzy body! 

I mainly came here to share a link from another twitcher friend. It’s for a magical hour or so of singing wild birds on YouTube:

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Discussion: To kick things off - Libertarianism. Discuss. ;-)

nohero said:

I think a more precise definition of "libertarian" is needed

Libertarian is the belief that the government should never help anyone other than yourself 

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Discussion: The Rose Garden and White House happenings: “Awoke” in the Land of Nod

I had kind of hoped that we wouldn't feed the troll when she inevitably came back from her hissy fit, whining at the door.

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Discussion: The Uncaged Bird - Winter

Also, anyone fascinated by Australian lyrebirds and their fabled mimicry might be interested in this brilliant bit of research:


It certainly hasn’t been easy studying lyrebirds, let alone their mating behaviours and calls, over the past few years given the terrible fires and droughts and land clearing our wildlife has been battling. These are beloved birds even though younger generations tend not to know much about them, even doubting their factual existence. Until you’ve stood within a couple of yards of a male lyrebird with full tail extension, doing his full vocal performance, I’m not sure you can say you’ve experienced The Bush. 

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Discussion: Dog and Cat videos

jamie said:

 This is the best ever!  Whenever it comes around I can't stop watching.  Admit I've even searched it out once or twice.

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Discussion: The Normalcy of the Biden Presidency . . . .

What’s normal to some can be boring to others. In a society where lies, fantasy tv shows, ridiculousness, casual violence, hate and bigotry are all acceptable as “reality shows” for entertainment, normalcy is not good sources of income and ratings. 
The other guy knew all about feeding the bored minds of people. He was completely abnormal, and he succeeded by keeping himself relevant through shock entertainment. He was drawn to drama his entire life. His one ambition life was to become America’s greatest drama king. He had the power to say and do things the ordinary people couldn’t. It’s no wonder his supporters are just like him. He feeds their boredom. He makes them feel that the way they see life in America is exactly how he sees it. They are essentially “kindred spirits”, who share the same abnormal thoughts. Claim you are being a victim, then demonize the people who you think are victimizing you. 
I have seen people who were on this board years ago, using this same thought process to make their cases as to why they believe the things they do. They acted very much like the other guy does, love to dish it but can’t take it. Sulking and leaving the sand box, only to return with their little buckets. After years of masking how they truly feel about people who are different, after years of faking it to keep their image of “normal” , they finally got the other guy so they could exhale. It was a religious experience so to speak. They could finally be abnormal on Facebook instead of acting like normal members of a community. Some have surprised me, others haven’t. 
Biden might be boring, normal, catholic... just like the people who long  for the entertainment of the other guy. Biden doesn’t feed their minds, he’s actually feeding their souls, but he’s having a hard time seeing down there...

I like normal.

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Discussion: Attention MOL plumbers

joanne said:

I thought this a lovely accolade to NJ plumbers 

It says something that the article was published for UK and international readers, and I’m reading it in Australia. 

 I've seen that article here in Texas. They seem lovely. I'm surprised we're not seeing more out-of-state plumbers here. I guess they've all got solid businesses in their home states and don't need to travel. 

After "normal" disasters (hurricanes), construction workers travel here from all over the country, but those are mostly framers, drywall installers, etc. It's unusual to have such a vast disaster area affecting primarily plumbing. 

We had our plumbing repaired on Wednesday after six days with no water. Best shower ever. 

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