Progressive Libertarianism: Courting Democrats

Democrat ProgressiveBlogger Philanthropic Patriot, like many traditional libertarians, was a bit non-plussed by Markos “Kos” Moulitsas self-description as a Libertarian Democrat (which we thoroughly fisked the other day) and laid out the more ideal approach for libertarians who want to woo progressives to our side. Here’s just a couple from his lengthy list of libertarian positions that Democrats can agree on:

The Progressive Libertarian understands that it is the hallmark of a truly advanced society that we help take care of those that are less fortunate in this world. They also see, however, that when someone is homeless and starving they don’t go to a government office for a meal, they go to private charities such as the Millionair Club, Bread for the City, and America’s Second Harvest. Therefore, the Progressive Libertarian would fight to get rid of any form of government taxation and would instead use his position to encourage his fellow man to voluntarily give to charitable organizations.

The Progressive Libertarian worries about the amount of power concentrated in the hands of the richest members of our society but realizes that this power is a direct result of their access to the ever expanding power of government. The Progressive Libertarian will fight any expansion of government’s power knowing the age old adage, ‘power corrupts’.

I see Democrats being much more ripe to outreach these days than Republicans simply because more of their social programs are failing the test of time — Social Security being the most obvious ponzi scheme failure. But for many of these programs the issue of choice and competition must be forefront (individual investing for retirement has always been more lucrative than giving it to the government to use at will and then maybe getting it back plus 3% some day).

It would be really cool to see these condensed into smaller television-sized talking points, adding another set for Republicans who are disenfranchised with their own party but are also loathe to consider Democrats.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. Here in Indiana, we are finding that many disaffected Republicans- the kind that voted R and expected smaller government and lower taxes- are very ripe for outreach. It helps our situation here in that we have Rs in the executive and both state House & Senate to mirror the federal situation, amplifying the fact that even given majorities, Rs won’t deliver on these things. Good business for us!

  2. Therefore, the Progressive Libertarian would fight to get rid of any form of government taxation

    You just lost me. Any libertarian fighting to get rid of any form of governmnt taxation is fighting a losing battle and hurting the party.

    Why dont we pick battles we knoq we can at least have a chance at winning and growing the party as a result, instead of always always announcing to everyone outside the LP how fucking revolutionary we all are?

    Do you want a freer society in actual practice, or another 25+ years of being ignored and passed over?

  3. Just call me Mr. Fisk.

    Anyway, it’s absolutely vital that we fight every single incremental battle to retain what liberty we have left, and perhaps even get some back. At the same time, without a long term strategy to point the way, we’re going to wind up doing nothing but fighting brush fires, as it were, and make little or no progress.

    So why not get rid of any form of government taxation? There was a battle to get rid of the estate tax this week, and we lost. This is libertarian?

  4. “We” werent even close to being in the fucking game, Michael.

    As long as “we” keep immolating ourselves with stating we desire things that the average voter finds ludicrous, we’ll stay that way. And yeah, I know they’re all sheeple.

    I dont give a shit. Until we get a majority of philosophical libertarians in the majority of electoral disticts in America, we have to appeal to them, like it or not.

  5. Mr. Hampton writes;”There was a battle to get rid of the estate tax this week, and we lost. This is libertarian?”
    I never understood why we thought “we” should even get involved with this little issue that Joe Seehausen was selling as the top dog in the LP office.
    The estate tax is small potatoes compared to what we spend on maintaining 280,000 troops abroad and the LP has said almost nothing about cutting that cost. Instead of getting on an issue which no one else dares to touch we tried to ride in on someone else’s coat tails and claim a bit of the “big” prize. Reminded me of a chihauhau.

  6. Now that I have had my sarcasm here are a few suggestions we might bring to the debate.
    1. in the early 1900’s the average family spent about 23% of its income on housing. Today the average is 33% thanks to gov. regs. Reduce the regulations.
    2. while the national average spent on transportation is about 18% low income people spend as much as 40% of their income on transportation. Libs wish to open the transportation market so that people have more choices and get to reduce their costs.
    3. occupational licensing laws restrict people’s access to adequate legal help that might be obtained from paralegals instead of lawyers. This is especially important for the poor and elderly on fixed incomes.
    4. nurses and midwives are prevented by laws from providing services in some states that might benefit low income people. Libs wish to end these laws.
    I’ll let you guys add a few.

  7. Mr. Wilson: re your point 1. Is that extra ten percent attributable solely to government regulation?
    2. re point 3: don’t be so quick to write off “occupational licensing laws”. There are plenty of situations where even the best qualified paralegal would not be able to offer adequate legal help because of lack of training (and therefore lack of knowledge of the possible alternatives) and lack of ability to go into court to represent the client. Half the potency of an attorney’s demand letter lies in the fact that said attorney can turn around on a dime and file suit.

  8. Mr. Smith I think I can show that government regulation add significantly to the cost of housing. It has been suggested that doing away with the mortgage interest deduction alone would have a big impact, add to that zoning laws, building codes, environmental overlays, etc.
    As for occupational licensing. We did not have them for years and we can develop other ways of providing consumer protection. Besides we are missing one BIG POINT.
    Occupational licensing laws were part of the post Civil War Black Codes that were meant to keep the newly freed slaves out of the marketplace and they did exactly that.
    I think the debate can be framed in such a way as to argue that these are the last of the Jim Crow Laws.
    Michael H. Wilson

  9. Timothy West, If we try to appease to the mob then the LP won’t be any different from the RP or the DP. The LP is a party of principle and rightfully so. Why would we want another liar that only expands the size of government while partially clinging to their ideal? Don’t you understand?

    It is really scary how America has become. It would be nuts to say the US is anywhere near laizze-faire capitalism. As far as government control over the means of production and government regulation we are basiclly no different than Canada and becoming very similar to Europe. Although Canada has government controlled health care, at least they don’t have a social security tax (to my knowledge). While we may not have public health care we are no less socialist with our forced social security system.

    There is no way the LP (third largest political party) should become like the other two parties. In time people will look for a party of principle and when they do the LP will have many more voters.