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Can you be a libertarian and a socialist?

6 Apr

I don’t like restricting people, but I love helping people.  If someone wants to smoke cigarettes, drink a few 40s a day, gamble, smoke pot — whatever they want to do without hurting others, I think they should be able to do it.  Once you reach 18/21 you are an ‘adult’ and are free to screw up your life as much as you’d like (just don’t drive drunk or high).  But if you screw up your life and want to come back into the fray, I’d like the government to help you.  Although “responsible people” probably think this is enabling, I think of it as being compassionate while respecting the right to choose.

Yay to social welfare.  Boo to paternalistic, restrictive policies.  Therefore I’m a socialist and a libertarian — it is possible!  Now I’m trying to figure out if this philosophy exists anywhere or is even possible.  Time to think.

Radicals and centrists on the same bail-out page.

24 Mar

fail-cats-we-shall-decideOnce this is all over – we will be able to point to greed and deregulation as the root of all financial evil.  However, until then we have to think rationally — all of us.

Although I maintain a strong liberal stance, I do keep a mish-mash of political friends.  Kind of like Meghan McCain ;).  Strangely enough, my radical friends, not my conservative friends, bother me the most lately as their anarchistic and libertarian views tend to ignore rationale.

A contentious view held my my politically extreme friends is that we should let the banks fail — get rid of them.  Strangely enough, many centrists seem to think the same lately.  At least about AIG.  Which is just as vital as the huge banks.  Politico reports,

By a ratio of more than 3-to-1, Americans say it would be better for the U.S. economy to let insurance giant American International Group go out of business, and almost eight in 10 say no more money should be given to the struggling firm, according to Rasmussen Reports.

In surveys released over the weekend, 59 percent of those asked said it would be better for the American economy to let AIG go under than to provide federal subsidies to keep it afloat. Eighteen percent said it would be better to provide subsidies, and 24 percent were not sure, the polling company reported.

Unfortunately, this is not rational.  We can’t let AIG fail.  MSNBC Senior Producer, John Schoen, tells us why.

Why not let those banks fail, too? The problem is that the world’s banks are interconnected in a kind of global river of money that we all rely on to keep the economy moving. If too many banks fail, that river starts to dry up. With the economy in a steep decline, we need money flowing through the system faster — not slower.

That isn’t all of it though.  Some of  AIG’s clients just happen to be 20 of our states!

More than $12 billion in federal bailout funds paid to AIG went to more than 20 states that invested money with the company.

So as easy as it might sound to ‘punish’ all those finance guys, let them go jobless, it just doesn’t make sense.  It isn’t rational and we can’t start over until we close this chapter and get our world right again.

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Other annoying radical things to say…

The 2 most common annoying positions I hear from my radical friends are that all politicians are bad people and that voting is stupid.

*Do I think it is insane that we only have 2 main parties — yes!  But I have to work within the modern day power framework to get something accomplished and don’t reject all politicians as crooks.

*Do I think my vote really counts?  Well, yes and no.  I vote because I know I should and it keeps me involved and civic minded, but statistically do I think it counts – no.  (Economists don’t usually vote.)  Do I think we all should vote?  Yes.