Hope Comes in Letter Form in Big D.

It seems that libertarian voices are being heard in Dallas. Our local paper, the DMN, has printed at least eight libertarian letters in the last week. Today they even ran Wes Benedict’s letter first on the page.

Libertarians are worthy

Re: “Going one-on-one in a free-for-all,” Friday news story.

It appears an editor called in reporter Wayne Slater, told him to do a story on the Texas governor’s race and instructed him not to mention the Libertarian candidate, James Werner.

Is it possible that the thousands of Dallas-Fort Worth residents who will vote Libertarian are deemed not worthy to read about their candidate?

Surely a political writer for your paper knows that Libertarians have had a candidate for governor on every Texas ballot since 1990. If he is paying attention, he also will notice that Texas Libertarians are doing better than ever.

Wes Benedict, exec. director, Libertarian Party of Texas, Austin

And it is not just our state director writing to the News. Debby Barton delivers a very libertarian response to a letter writer’s desire to happily pay taxes.

Re: “I’ll happily pay to play,” by Amanda Stanton, Monday Letters.

When I bemoan excessive taxation, it’s not meanness or greed but on practical and moral grounds.

Practically, anything undertaken with tax money can be achieved more quickly, cheaply and efficiently by the private sector. Morally, each individual has the right to decide what is to be done with the fruits of his labor.

Taxation that funds redistribution of the wealth is an immoral breach of individual rights.

And, yes, the government does owe us. It owes us protection of these individual rights.

Ben Crawford, from my county, writes:

Raising the minimum wage does not help minimum-wage earners; in fact, it hurts them, because when minimum wage goes up, so does the cost of goods.

Example: When a factory employee’s minimum wage goes up, not only does the factory have to pay the worker more but, since other suppliers to the factory also had to pay their minimum-wage workers more, the cost of the product goes up more than the increased wage the worker received.

However, if you strive to make more than minimum wage, an increase in cost of goods, while frustrating, is not life altering.

Minimum-wage jobs should be a temporary stop on one’s career path, not a permanent destination.

It seems that our message is out there and that people identify with it. We just need to let them know that there is a political party that will work to make that message a reality.

I don’t know Mr. Crawford from any county meetings. I guess I have to look him up and let him know that he is not alone. I’ll let you know how it goes.

28 Comments
  1. Debbie Barton got it wrong in the last part of her letter.

    The Supreme Court has ruled time and time again that the state has no obligation to protect.

    I do not expect nor want anything from the state except for it to leave me alone.

  2. I do not have my local paper in front of me, but it had a columnist from Macon, Georgia in it today writing about third parties and ended it by saying he had voted Libertarian 2, or 3 times.
    When I have a moment I’ll look to see if it is on the website and post it here.
    M.W.

  3. Ian B — Well, just because a thing *IS* so doesn’t mean it *ought* to be. Isn’t that the whole point of the LP? :)

    In an ideal situation, the state would do rather little else than protect our individual freedoms and our corpuses from direct assault.

  4. IanC: The government sucks at everything. I don’t want their “protection”. I don’t care if Libertarians are in charge.

    The market will provide better protection, for less.

    Unlike the police who simply protect and serve the state and themselves.

  5. Ian B: with all due honesty, the concept that impartial judiciary can be obtained for a price is absurd.

  6. Nigel thanks for covering for me will I took care of other stuff. It is real nice to see the LP mentioned in the papers.
    M.H.W.

  7. If raising the minimum wage truly caused the price of goods to appreciate significantly, then there would be no real net effect to such increases–and thereby, no grounds to oppose them.

    The federal minimum wage is so low that it is almost as if there is no minimum wage–very few people actually earn so little. Point is, raising the minimum wage to $7.50 would have very little real effect. It’s political posturing.

    If you want to oppose the minimum wage, do so on legitimate grounds: The government has no authority to regulate wages. Economic fallacies do not bolster the libertarian case.

  8. undercover_anarchist: Are you serious that more people are going to listen to a message of “The government shouldn’t be doing this, because it’s unconstitutional, not a decision for them to make, etc.” instead of “The government’s solution actually makes the situation worse, and here’s why…”?

    The national LP platform is full of statements like “The government has no authority” or “The government has no business in setting a policy”. Our candidates seem to receive about 1% of the vote, and you want to continue with the same marketing strategies?

  9. From an economic standpoint, of course the minimum wage doesn’t make sense. Although it’s not really true that the cost of the inputs of production determine the final cost of the product. Those two costs are mutually exclusive of one another. Supply and demand determine price, quite simply all prices are imputed. That is, barring any action on the part of The State (of course), the price of anything is the price that someone is willing to pay.

    Of course, some costs are fixed and margins thin. Some businesses would see slimmer margins, or turn unprofitable if they were to keep their present number of minimum wage workers. To remain in business, the prices of the products, on margin, would have to increase. In order to counteract that, some workers would likely be fired.

    It’s impossible to perfectly determine what would happen – the market is too complex, but I think a minimum wage of $20 an hour would be a good idea to show the folly of central planning and serve as an example.

  10. “Raising the minimum wage does not help minimum-wage earners; in fact, it hurts them, because when minimum wage goes up, so does the cost of goods.”

    This is a really stupid argument against the minimum wage, generally relied upon by right-wingers.

    The minimum wage is so low in the United Stated that it has less effect on our economy as the NEA. Even starting wage at Octopus Car Wash for people who don’t speak English, is more then the minimum wage, plus they get tips.

    If a business needs petty busy-work done for $5.15/hour, they will fork out a whopping $5.75/hour if forced to do so by law.

    The minimum wage is $10.39/hour in France and their unemployment rate is only 5% higher than the U.S., despite the fact that France is riddled with a plethora of socialistic laws.

    Libertarians are falling into the republicrat minimum wage propaganda trap.

  11. Why are y’all talkin’ about minimum wage? This topic is about Libertarian letters in the news in Dallas. I figure y’all will start debating the use of y’all at this point.

    I had a lot of help with that letter. A pen pal did most of the words except the final 8: “Wes Benedict, exec. director, Libertarian Party of Texas, Austin”

    Y’all ought to be talkin’ about how to get free publicity in the media–maximizing volunteers, titles, etc. Let CATO and other orgs work out the policy research and debates on McD’s emplyees.

    By the way, if any of you own a vacant McMansion in Austin, TX, I’d be happy to house sit for $4 per hour, or even $2 per hour.

    Okay, I’m a pushover, I’ll house sit a McMansion for $0.10 an hour. I won’t report you to the employment commission.

    Call me.

    –Wes 512-442-4910

  12. I understand that Sweden does not have a minimum wage.
    So much for socialism.
    Wes’ has a point we should be listening.
    The LP needs to get more p.r. and one way is thru letters to the editor. Maybe the LP News should run a contest, or print the best ones each month. The Advocates even give you an award if you publish x amount in a year. The LP should do something similar. And MAP, the Media Awareness Project for cannabis repost printed LTE’s for its members to read nationwide as I recall.
    LTEs are easy to do and fun at times. A nice, polite way to stick it to some pompous bigwig. Start with LTE and soon you’ll graduate to op-eds.
    M.H.W.

  13. Cut government spending, cut taxes and increase everyone’s paycheck.

    One way to increase a minimum wage worker’s paycheck would be for them not to pay any federal income tax. Social security would still be taken out but no federal income tax. There is already a tax bracket for people making very little money that do not have to pay federal taxes so why not include minimum wage workers in that bracket. This may also help the employers a bit too.

  14. I actually think that some positive things can come about as a result of raising the minimum wage. However, I remain against it firmly on principle, that being the government restricting the ability of two persons, employee and employer, to come to an agreement of acceptable wage. It’s easy to forget about these people and only see the faceless corporations where wages are set forth by people who never even meet the lower employees.

    Should there be some consideration for those people? Maybe, but you can’t just violate equal protection and treat people differently based on the size of the company they work for. So sticking against minimum wage is best for me, since a free market, even one with a lot of large corporations where employees have little power, still facilitates the most freedom.

  15. In a conversation the other day about minimum wage, I emphasized that I think such laws are mostly a way for politicians to pander to the voters. I had trouble gauging how the person took that: the idea that there are a lot of pandering politicians out there seemed to be new news to her. What kind of responses have you all gotten when bringing up the predominance of pandering politicians? Positive? Negative?

  16. Ben Crawford wrote: “Minimum-wage jobs should be a temporary stop on one’s career path, not a permanent destination.

    That’s silly.

    Some workers earn $5/hour because that’s exactly how much they are, or will ever be worth.

    I know mentally retarded people who should thank their lucky starts anyone is charitable enough to pay them $5/hour.

  17. IanC – I was addressing Ian from FTL

    Ian from FTL – be more clear. Do you believe in any amount of government, or no?

  18. The government has no authority to set wages.

    If that’s not good enough for you, too bad. IT DOESN’T GIVE YOU AN EXCUSE TO TELL LIES TO SUPPORT YOUR POINT.

    The minimum wage at $5.15 per hour absolutely does NOT cause unemployment. A modest raise in the minium wage would NOT cause any real price inflation. It just wouldn’t. In fact, to be perfectly honest, a modest minimum wage hike would do two positive things: 1) Increase employment, as people left welfare to get a job at say, $8 or $9 per hour, and 2) Spur economic growth through increased discretionary spending capabilities of the “working poor.”

    The above would be particularly true if the minium wage increase were phased in by the size of the employer. This would give time for a ripple effect to make its way through the economy; increasing the disposable income of employees of large firms so that they would be able to spend more at smaller firms, and thereby the smaller firms could better afford paying the higher wages.

  19. Admitting to the above doesn’t justify the government setting wages.

    If there were forced military service, the army would be more democratic, with more diverse representation. I think that’s a good thing.

    If every criminal were shot without a trial, there would be less crime.

    To suggest that executing all accused criminals would lead to an INCREASE in crime is the equivalent of saying that a modest raise in the minimum wage would cause inflation or unemployment.

    Don’t lie to tell libertarian “truths.”

    Here’s another one: Tax cuts do not pay for themselves.

    Guns do not make people safer.

    I could go on and on.

    The only libertarian argument that consistently rings true is the one that questions the government’s authority to do ANY thing.

    Who died and made the state God?

  20. Before I comment, I must disclose that my husband is a doc. He and I, while bedmates, do not always share the same opinions.
    That said, what makes people believe that they are entitled to anything except autonomy? It is not anyone’s “right” to live past what their body will allow. It is not a “right” to live as a gender different than that which your genetic code assigned. It is your right to pursue that which will make you happier, but not my obligation to pay for it. It is your right to decide that a life (or mental anguish) saving procedure is worth your investment and savings. Stuart’s article, while extreme, is something to think about. Though, I have to admit that I was most affected by the last statement of the cited article.Marriage is not as important in Cuba as in other more Catholic countries. Here consensual pairing is more important,” she said, “What matters is love.” It seems that Cuba’s dictator is a bit more forgiving than ours.

  21. Shit- too many windows open-that was supposed to be on SR’s post.

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