We could be doing so much better. When government provides the solutions, innovation is crippled. Variety and choice are problems that raise the cost of administration. Square pegs are hammered into round holes through political correctness, financial penalties and incentives, and force when other methods fail.
Buying votes by promising to do good with other people’s money dominates everything. Power over others, either to gain it or to prevent it, becomes the only thing that can be discussed. As The Eagles observed in Hotel California: “… you can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.”
Years ago when California was a middle class paradise, I traveled there often on business. There was an observation that liberals were waking during the night in a cold sweat with the fear that somewhere somehow somebody was making money. I recently traveled to San Francisco. As I walked around the piles of human excrement the thought hit me that what awakens them today is the fear that somehow somewhere something is unregulated.
Privatization on a large scale is the best solution. Our political leaders should compete to offer privatization plans. The public is ready to listen, but the major parties are trapped in the conflict over power. The liberals for self-serving financial reasons, and the conservatives to outlaw sin.
I have specific privatization proposals on K-12 and Higher Education Funding at http://dickillyes.com/positions.html
Let’s talk them up and look for others. The voters are looking for ideas. 2018 is a uniquely good time to inject these ideas into the public debate.
The two major parties can most simply be described as the Government Jobs Party and the Management Party. The parties view themselves as the Protector of Victims Party and the Common Sense Party. Both parties resist change until something collapses and then the Management Party tries to fix the problem while the Government Jobs Party tries to raise taxes and create as many government jobs as possible. The result is usually some sort of fix, and bigger government. Both parties regard abortion as the most important defining issue.
Third Parties, no matter how appealing their ideas, rarely get out of single digits. Voters fear that voting for them will split the vote and elect someone the voter strongly opposes. That actually happened in recent history.
After Bill Clinton had survived his last bimbo eruption and been nominated, the media suddenly discovered Ross Perot. Perot got the sort of coverage that even his money couldn’t buy. A large number of voters thought there might finally be an opportunity to bring real change to Washington.
The liberal media knew that was very unlikely, but saw an opportunity to elect a Democrat by dividing the opposing vote. The result was Bill Clinton elected with 43% of the vote vs 56.4% for Bush and Perot.
The Australians experienced an even more unpopular Labor Party candidate being elected with a plurality of 34.4% in 1918. They responded with the Commonwealth Electoral Act of 1918, which implemented Instant Runoff Voting. Voters rank the candidates. Second choice votes for voters whose candidate got the lowest first choice votes are then used, with the process continuing until a candidate receives a majority. Most voters only pick a first and second choice, since the remaining candidates are not acceptable to them. However, if Libertarians have their way, the choice of None Of The Above will be on all ballots, providing an acceptable third choice. If None Of The Above wins, the election must be held again with different candidates.
Runoff elections are low turnout events, and are expensive for the candidates and the taxpayers. Local party organizations are often hostile to newcomers, keeping good new blood from getting into the system. Instant Runoff Voting at all levels from primaries through presidential elections would change this in a totally positive way. People should be able to vote for their second choice when they vote for their first. Texas could lead the way. It is time for this reform to be implemented.
If elected I will push for both Instant Runoff Voting and for putting None Of The Above as a choice on all Texas ballots.
California just passed a law forcing so-called “Net Neutrality.” Texas should not.
Net neutrality is not about a specific set of objectives. The push for Net Neutrality was a political invention to create a new class of very wealthy political donors. It was an attempt to bring that part of our world under government control for the purpose of fund raising. If government is involved, the doors are open for endless regulatory tinkering, which must be supported or opposed by politicians, who will listen to their funding sources.
There is no problem with the Internet. It is not a problem that some types of use should be charged differently and have different services. After the so called “Net Neutrality” regulations were scrapped there has been a big expansion of new capacity planned and built. The Internet continues to become faster, cheaper, and more reliable, and there are no problems in sight.
We are reaping the benefits of a free market. Let’s see the demands for Net Neutrality for what they are, the corrupt inventions of a political class obsessed with control and money.
Is there a simple concept that will create the best possible human society? A simple idea that if held by humans would allow them to adapt in the best possible way to anything that might happen? An idea so simple and obvious that children can easily grasp it?
There is such a concept. It is the Non-Aggression Principle. It says that to have the best possible human society, no one can initiate force against another, or deceive them so that they do something they would not otherwise do.
It found its most successful application in the founding of the United States of America, where the concepts of limited government, constitutional restraint, and transparency created a level of personal freedom and success that had never before existed in a human society. Jefferson described it as “... a wise and frugal government, that shall prevent men from injuring one another, and leave them otherwise free.”
It is the core belief of the Libertarian Party. It is the belief that allows libertarians to say: “Not left, not right, libertarian”. It is the concept that guides them when they say that the only proper role of government is preventing force and fraud.
The world is experiencing an explosion of useful technology. It is experiencing a level of material abundance undreamed of just a few decades ago. There is no end in sight. At the same time, governmental solutions are collapsing, with out of control costs, huge unsustainable debt, millions of words of incomprehensible regulations, and amazing mismanagement.
Fortunately, free market solutions are arising to meet the human needs. It is actually a time of great opportunity, possibly a new golden age. Sustenance, shelter, health care, education, and all other human needs can be provided at a fraction of their previous cost by the explosion of technology, operating in the free market. The only thing that can screw it up is big government. It is time to dramatically downsize government and let the future happen.
There is a concept that can guide us, the Non-Aggression Principle. It is time to bring it out of hiding.
The social media providers have become the target of those on all sides of all issues. It is almost universally agreed that they have failed to apply Solomonic Wisdom. Partisans on all sides are demanding action and organizing to fight over the details. The providers are staffing up to try to accommodate the demands.
The current crisis arises from the belief that most people can’t handle information. An elite of clear-minded, right-thinking people must protect them from incorrect or damaging information and ideas.
That idea contradicts the entire American experience.
What if they did nothing. What if they took the position that while users could block commenters or be invitation only, anyone could post anything.
If social media publishers could legally adopt a very simple user agreement that simply stated their policy to not restrict anything, the free market would respond with a number of useful products to handle everything. Apps would proliferate to protect children, provide fact checking, and provide filtering through investigation into the actual backgrounds of those posting (foreign governments, lobbyists of all stripes, religious fanatics, clueless idiots, extortionists, etc.).
An entire new knowledge industry driven by the profit motive and competition would provide the information needed far better than the media companies and government monitoring agencies.
Drug policy needs a total rethink. The way we respond to addiction guarantees the worst possible outcomes. The focus must change from criminalization to harm reduction.
The two major parties react to drug addiction in totally predictable ways.
The GOP says jack up penalties.
The Democrats see the problem as an opportunity to do what they live for, expanding government. More counselors, more prosecutors, more public defenders, more police, more judges, more programs, more huge government funded studies, and who can oppose the tax increases needed to address such a terrible problem.
There is a radically different libertarian approach, harm reduction. Let’s let an addict go to any physician and get a prescription for his drug. The drugs cost next to nothing to produce, and addicts could afford to maintain some semblance of a normal life at no cost to society.
Current policy creates armies of pushers, makes the worst people in our society filthy rich, explodes the cost of government, and destroys those caught up in addiction.
I have personal experience with addicted employees. In the last few years two employees, both high performers, an engineer and a technician, became addicted. In both cases their work didn’t suffer, but their lives went down rapidly.
The engineer left his wife and started living in his car and cheap motels. His unpaid bills became a problem that he was unable to hide. Nobody knew what was going on until he made local headlines when he died from a bad batch.
The technician began stealing equipment to feed his habit. The theft was hard to detect at first since equipment that had not been secured and was used infrequently went missing. As security measures were taken, a company truck full of equipment went missing with the employee. Withdrawal was so intolerable that he destroyed his job and damaged his friend and employer for a fix.
The major argument against harm reduction instead of criminalization and government programs seems to be that drugs are so terrible that no public policy should tolerate them. This overlooks the fact that they are already everywhere, and criminalization is actually promoting addiction by creating armies of pushers.
Where is the fairness in taxing people who stay off them to pay for chasing and locking up those who don’t?
How is it better to destroy those caught in addiction rather than letting them handle their situation as cheaply and safely as possible?
Let’s make it easy and cheap to legally maintain an unfortunate habit. Take the profit out of it, and let addicts live as normal a life as possible until they become so sick of it that they do what it takes to get clean. Harm reduction is the only effective solution.