A Libertarian Misunderstanding

As with the other political posts, I’m looking for discussion, not a “I’m right, you’re wrong” kind of thing.

The flaw in libertarianism is a misunderstanding of the extent of human interactions.

We can all agree that the authority for sections should be among those who are impacted by them (e.g. “between two consenting adults”).

Libertarians have the hubris to think that others don’t impact them, nor they have an impact on others.


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One Comment

  1. June 2, 2012

    Good point! Classic example is motorcycle helmet laws – libertarians are typically opposed to such paternalistic laws. Yet when there is an accident, they wind up taking space and time in the same emergency rooms, as well as increasing all of our insurance costs.

    Another failing of libertarianism I teach in my business ethics on the more economic side is the second generation problem. Sure, everyone gets what they earn and we don't have redistribution of wealth nonsense. So a hardworking person gets rich, and a lazy person is poor.

    But then they have kids and you can bet the rich kid has many more opportunities, connections, and so on than the poor one. All of the sudden you have someone who needs to struggle just to make it to middle class, and someone who needs less effort to remain middle class or above. So, once you hit a second generation, strict libertarian economics fails. Unless you start taxing the rich to make sure all kids get equal educations to get equal opportunities,, etc…

    There's many other subtler problems and complex responses, but that one seems to contrast nicely with the other theories I discuss.

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