Monday, April 23, 2012

Why Anarchists and Libertarians Need to Work Together.

In today’s media circus, It is a common that pundits call the Libertarian philosophy of limited government an “anarchist message,” because they cannot wrap their heads around the differences in philosophy. Unbeknownst to mainstream pundits, there is a difference between the libertarian philosophy and anarchist philosophy.

Those knowledgeable in political philosophies know that there it is a difference between the two philosophies. The Anarchist philosophy is the belief in no government; with believers want to see the state eliminated completely as soon as possible. The libertarian philosophy is to limit the size and power government has over the individual, without eliminating it completely.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a rift between Libertarians and Anarchists because of the differences in philosophy. Both sides believe in the non-aggression principle so arguments rarely escalate to violence, but even so both groups need to come together more in order to scale government down to the point where both sides can determine if or when to kill it off completely.

One argument I have heard from anarchists is that if enough people stop paying taxes, while stating their sovereignty, they will somehow be safe from the current state of world affairs.

Logically they are far from correct course of action. With the United States growing its totalitarian power anyone refusing to pay for the growing police state is bound to be thrown in prison for the rest of their lives without question. The private prison system would love to have a few more residents in their cells.

I understand that Anarchists believe government is evil, which it is, and hate doing anything involving government including voting. Here’s the thing, if you avoid all government interaction at this stage of the game, your fight to reduce and eliminate it is pointless. We need to scale government down at all levels; local; state; and federal. The only way to do this is if we run for election, and/or vote candidates that at minimum believe in limited government. The more libertarian and anarchist candidates scale government back the sooner the option to keep or eliminate government will come up.

Of course, educating the populace to understand the benefits of limited or stateless societies needs to happen while we scale government back. We need to educate as many people as we can so society matures to the point where it can manage on its own and survive when/if the thin wire of governance is snipped.

Let us work together, Libertarian and Anarchist, to tame the beast of government. Let us temporarily forget our differences, and bring liberty and prosperity back to this land once again.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A quick view on political philosophy

The federalist belief was to chain government mischief down with the constitution. The libertarian belief is to chain it down and break its legs. The philosophy of anarcho-libertarianism goes a bit farther and works to dismember the body of the beast of government a little at a time till society is mature enough to kill it completely. - Matt Schnackenberg

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tax Incentives and Energy by Matthew Schnackenberg

                Here in Florida a bill numbered HR 7117 is currently sitting on Gov. Rick Scott's desk. The bill is to provide tax incentives for companies and farmers in Florida to build renewable energy plants.  As a libertarian I do take issue to the idea of handing out money to any company as a subsidy or tax break. You want to do business within our state; you pay taxes like the rest of the companies in the state.

                Tax incentives for energy of any kind are not new. According to the firm Earth Track, the US federal government gives incentives to oil, coal, and nuclear companies ranging for an absurd $41 billion to much lower yet still unnecessary $6 billion. Compare this to the incentives of all renewable sources - which include wind, solar, hydro, and other sources - receive a modest $6 billion combined.  These numbers also do not include state and local subsidies.

                Now, I believe all incentives need to end completely, but unlike the wishes of those following the libertarian philosophy of limited government and free-market economies, there is no way this will happen anytime soon. As many people know, many Democrats will never back off their pushes for green energy subsidies as long as there are fossil fuel subsidies, and many Republicans tend to be knee deep in oil lobbyists' pockets so we will never see a push from their side to end oil subsidies.

                As a libertarian myself, I will be overjoyed if HR 7117 is vetoed as it will save taxpayers more of their hard-earned money. Of course, I never like to simply view situations like this from one prospective. A person can never truly be able to judge how things might play out if you hide yourself inside your philosophy and never look from the prospective of those affected by this bill.

                With the massive incentives stated above for oil and nuclear resources, there is an obvious display of favoritism when it comes to which resource our elected officials have chosen for us to use. This creates unbalance within the energy market and tilts it unfairly towards a select few energy sources artificially priced lower. This reduced competition and removed the consumer from the marketplace. 

                The most logical solution is of course the one that cannot currently happen; which is ending all subsidies so that the free-market decides which energy sources become the more prominent in society. This would allow for the most unsafe and costly sources of energy to either be revised to become more efficient or disappear from the market completely.

                Ultimately, the only solutions left is either allow the continued disparity in the energy market continued by favoritism caused by both the state and federal government or allow the state to at least allow a bit more balance to the energy market within the state of Florida. This is a very tough call to make as the taxpayers have already lost no matter which way Gov. Rick Scott goes. 

                While I personally dislike Rick Scott for his shady operation as governor of this state, I think I am willing to support his decision no matter which way he goes with this bill. Vetoing the bill eliminates additional taxpayer burdens, but does not allow for a fairer marketplace within our state that could easily create some much-needed jobs. Signing the bill into law will create more opportunities for job creation with new businesses opening, current businesses expanding operations, and more consumer choice, but at the cost of increased tax-burdens on the people. Both are fairly equal when weighing the positives and negatives revolving around this bill.

                From a libertarian's prospective, increased taxation is increased theft, but I have also seen how the government is already creating a huge disproportioned mess that disallows fair competition. Taxpayers are already burdened by the debt created by pre-existing subsidies that are bound to rise as oil prices raise due the dying Federal Reserve note aka the dollar. We should support a fairer market until we can eliminate all subsidies whether it is by slowly removing them one by one starting with the most burdensome or removing all federal subsidies at once by the elimination of the DOE. We should never support the government giving a wad of money to one market of companies and ignoring their competition. 

                History dictates that any internal improvement project and tax incentives at any level of government tend to end in dismal failure leading to massive debt. Sadly, we are at the age were internal improvements and tax incentives are everywhere. As libertarians and like-minded constitutionalists, we have a duty to be shepherds to lead this nation back to its roots. Along the way, we will have hard decisions to make, like supporting or disapproving bills like HR 7117. Our overall goal is a society and market free from government influence. As we battle towards our goal, we should consider ways to temporarily balance areas of the market until we can remove government completely. For Florida's energy market, HR 7117 could be that temporary answer until we can eliminate federal overreach.