Six False Political Myths

Democracy assures that people will be free.

Wrong! First of all, a government of any kind is a controller of the people. Nearly all government laws take away a freedom from some or all of the people, depending on how narrow or broad it is. So actually, when it comes to freedom, all governments are to varying degrees, its enemy. Many people around the world believe that democracy will bring them freedom and prosperity. Our country’s founders were wise enough to realize that a pure democracy would let a majority of voters pass laws that take freedom from those who differ in some way from the norm – a process called “Tyranny of the Majority”. So they reconvened after writing the Constitution, to amend it with the Bill of Rights to forestall any laws which would infringe the freedom of minority religions, news media, and of individuals to own firearms, speak publicly, and own property. And to forestall federal laws against other freedoms, they wrote the 10th amendment. This did not prevent the states from passing laws which interfere with other personal freedoms and the free market economy and prosperity, but at least it lets people avoid states with overly oppressive laws.

A big government assures that everyone will be economically secure.

Wrong!This certainly hasn’t held true for the biggest governments of them all – the communist governments of the Soviet Union, China, Korea, Cuba, etc.. Benjamin Franklin said “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”. Evidence shows that big governments grow inexorably by taking from the productive and giving to the unproductive until few are motivated to think and work hard, and everyone eventually becomes equally poor, except the government officials and their friends.

Libertarians believe in violence against government.

Wrong! Media stories about people like the Ruby Ridge victims, the Freeman in Montana, and Timothy McVeigh, often mistakenly call these people “Libertarians”. Libertarians (with a capital L) are members of the Libertarian Party, and to be such must have signed a pledge against the initiation of force. The Libertarian Party is the only party that expressly advocates honest negotiations to settle business dealings and differences and not forcing people to associate with others against their will, and that expressly forbids the use of force except in self defence against physical attack.

Big goverment fosters and protects family values.

Wrong! Big government is costly, and therefore it takes away substantial income, and sometimes property, from its families to pay the government’s bills. For many poor and middle income families, this loss of income to taxes eliminates any surplus after paying for necessities, and makes it impossible for the parents to help their children get a college or trade school education, start up a business, or help them out in other ways. As a result, the economic cohesion between poor and middle income parents and their children that once existed in this country has been largely destroyed, and with it respect for parents and ties with the family in other realms, including spiritual and moral, has also diminished.

Voting for a Libertarian candidate is a wasted vote.

Wrong! Half the people don’t vote because they either forget on election day, or are apathetic, believing it a waste of their time and energy because a Democrat or Republican is sure to win, resulting in no appreciable reform of government, or they realize the election is very unlikely to be decided by their one vote. And others who do vote don’t vote for what they want, but for someone they think has a chance to beat someone they don’t want to get into power. With the exception of those who forget to vote, all of these citizens would be right in their voting or nonvoting strategies if the purpose of voting is to affect the outcome of an election that won’t be decided by a single vote. But if their purpose in voting would be to send a message to the politicians that they want more personal freedom with responsibility and less costly and intrusive government with correspondingly less taxes, voting for a losing Libertarian candidate would be highly meaningful. It would influence the winners by telling them how many people they are thwarting. And most importantly, it would tell those who are like minded that they are not alone, and thereby would encourage them to vote Libertarian at the next election.

Government creates jobs.

Wrong! Massive tax and regulatory burdens obstruct the creation of useful jobs, if “useful” jobs are defined as jobs which produce goods or services that people buy voluntarily from a free, competitive market. Although government does create service “jobs” when it expands its bureaucracy, these services either are forced on users, often to their detriment (e.g., IRS, EPA), or if used voluntarily often do not permit full competition (e.g., U.S.P.O., roads). The way government has “created” jobs on a very few occasions in history, is not to actully hire people, but to get out of the way of the private sector by restraining growth of government spending and cutting taxes (e.g., Kennedy tax cut in 1961). The historical evidence leads to the logical conclusion that government can’t create jobs, but it certainly can destroy them if allowed to grow!