Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's confirmed - I'm not a Libertarian

   Unfortunately, but to little surprise, there are Libertarians involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement, and particularly the Occupy Iowa City movement. I was there two weeks ago, and picked up some propaganda.
Have the Republicans and Democrats let you down? You're not alone. Find out if you're a Libertarian.
Following this, they have a quiz with Libertarian positions to which the quiz taker is to respond whether they agree (20 points), disagree (0 points), or are a maybe (10 points). (Apparently, there is even a Wikipedia page for this thing!) The first five are social issues and the second five are economic issues. Following these is a matrix on which the quiz taker can use (see image on right) to determine if they are liberal, statist (in favor of big government), conservative, libertarian, or someone who fits in the centrist middle.

   Below I will post the positions with my answers in curly brackets {}.
How do you stand on PERSONAL issues?
  • Government should not censor speech, press, media or Internet.
    {Agree, for the most part. I'd say hate speech is an exception in certain situations. There may be other exceptions I cannot think of in the time being, too. But give me 20 points.}
  • Military service should be voluntary. There should be no draft.
    {Yep. 20 points.}
  • There should be no laws regarding sex between consenting adults.
    {Chalk me up another 20 points.}
  • Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs.
    {Well, based on the position as written, I suppose they can mark me up for 20 points. However, I am first not in favor of legalizing the selling of many drugs, though I doubt many Libertarians would disagree with this either. Second, I am also in favor of government keeping track of people who have had drug addiction problems and providing, and sometimes requiring, rehab programs for such people. Libertarians may not necessarily agree on this point.}
  • There should be no National ID card.
    {I'll have to put myself down as "Maybe" on this one. I think it is good to be able to easily identify people, but I do understand the concerns, though they push the boundaries of paranoia, of such a system being abused. 10 points.}
That brings me to a 90 on the social scale. This already prevents me from being a centrist, statist, or conservative based on the matrix. That means I can either be a liberal or libertarian at this point. Let's continue.
How do you stand on ECONOMIC issues?
  • End "corporate welfare." No government handouts to business.
    {I think I have to put myself down as a "maybe" for this one. 10 points. I think government should be supportive of businesses that manufacture products that are beneficial to the public, but are otherwise not economically viable. Products that make use of renewable energies like wind and solar is a good example.}
  • End government barriers to international free trade.
    {No, I think I'm going to have to disagree on this one. 0 points. No, free trade is a bad idea. Not to pay service to nationalism, but some other nations just don't treat their citizens very well (I know the USA doesn't always either). I just don't think it's right to trade freely with such nations. I know that is a difficult thing to do, because how is the government supposed to decide which countries haven't earned a right to free trade.}
  • Let people control their own retirement: privatize Social Security.
    {Hell. No. This pretty much defeats the whole concept of Social Security, which is to have a safety net for those who failed to save up for retirement. The idea is to take retirement out of the hands of people. And more so to help out the poor. I'm fine with this system. 0 points.}
  • Replace government welfare with private charity.
    {NO!!! Gosh, Libertarians frustrate the hell out of me on this issue. They want to spend their money how they see fit. And, of course, they donate lots of time and money to charity! Or so they say. Frankly, I often suspect what they do isn't much more than paying lip service. More importantly is what do you do about the people who don't give to charity? How do you make sure they contribute? I am afraid Libertarians probably aren't really worried about such a problem, because that's all part of an individual's freedom. But that's not how a society functions, which is by the individuals making sacrifices, as necessary, to their personal betterment in favor of the betterment of the society. (I often get the feeling, in cases like this, that Libertarians tend to be fairly privileged individuals who are not worried about being on the disadvantaged side of society.) Anyway, 0 points.}
  • Cut taxes and government spending by 50% or more.
    {I'll mark this as "Maybe" only because I wouldn't mind seeing some cuts in spending, especially military spending. Otherwise, as there are areas where I would not cut spending as per some of my answers above, I can't see any possibility for tax cuts, especially when there is a huge deficit to pay off. 10 points.}
Well, I only scored 20 points on the economic issues. I needed 50 or more to be a libertarian. So, turns out I'm a liberal. Who knew!?!

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