I believe in progressive libertarianism, I will explain:
I believe that the government should have social safety nets, basic essentials, and not infringe on personal liberties.
Here’s where I diverge from traditional libertarians:
- I don’t believe you can privatize everything simply because some things in societies run at a loss however are necessary as a foundation for a functional society. Everyone here always talks about removing social safety nets yet fails to realize the consequences of that idea. You would end up with societies like that found in Asia and Latin America where there would be millions of people disabled who their family would take care of them or they would die from poverty/lack of care. Having private individuals and charities wouldn’t be able to support the needs of safety nets.
Additionally it is simply more efficient to have a public social safety net because the cost burden is distributed out to society. If we phased out social safety nets in the USA, we would see millions of people out in the streets, slums, families trapped by crippled family to care for, and retirees destitute. Private companies have vested interest in not helping others simply because it affects their bottom lines, there’s a reason why banks and healthcare stink in the USA but the Post Office and fire dept has a high approval rating.
Libertarians often suffer survivorship bias, simply because you’re lucky in life and haven’t had struggles doesn’t mean statistically that struggles won’t happen. Just because you’re making $1 million/year doesn’t mean you will be making that forever. Or just because you’re in good health doesn’t statistically mean you won’t get health problems or have an accident later in life.
I acknowledge that life will never be fair, however in libertarian models, the wealth inequality becomes excessively absurd. Countries such as Russia and India are perfect examples of countries with serious wealth inequality. Even though the markets are hands off, you aren’t addressing the reasons for poverty in society. Without public infrastructure, decent public schools/healthcare, and without social safety nets, society gravitates towards people in dire poverty and those with excessive riches.
A society that offers quality free public schools, public roads, and public services will see a return on investment with their middle class/working class that can build the country up. If you teach children how to fish then they will eat for a lifetime. If you build it, they will come, sometimes government builds infrastructure that private enterprise was too stubborn or unwilling to risk building.
- Basic taxation is a tool that can be used for good in society. I agree that taxation is undemocratic right now. What I would suggest is for local property taxes, have the town vote on what services they want and the majority vote decides what everyone in the town pays for. No more blank checks on property tax, have an itemized list of things to vote to pay for and how much should be paid for it. For income tax, make the income tax brackets be voted on. Sales tax should be voted on as well. Property tax incentivizes the owners to develop, or sell the land. If there were no property taxes, the rich would just buy non stop the land/homes until there was no more for sale. Property taxes in my opinion should be land value taxes, that incentives property development for undeveloped land. If you live on land, you are under control of the government. Likewise, a tenet who is in a condo is under rule of the condo association, if you don’t like the government, don’t live there.
Those are my issues with standard libertarians.
Article from r/Libertarian: For a Free Society