Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Very Heart and Soul of Conservatism is Libertarianism

"If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism." ~ Ronald Reagan

Read more of Ronald Reagan's views on Libertarianism from this interview he did in 1975. At that time, Reagan used the term "libertarian-conservative" to describe his political philosophy. Reagan’s record, while generally conservative, was not particularly libertarian, but one’s administrative decisions, constrained as they are by existing laws, institutions, and politics, do not necessarily mirror one’s underlying philosophy (consider Mitt Romney when governing the very liberal state of Massachusetts). This interview gives an interesting glimpse into the real Ronald Reagan.

It's good to get to know where a candidate comes form, where their true roots lie and what their underlying philosophy is. Elections have a way of pulling candidates to the center as they pander for votes, so if you want to know what will actually drive a politician once they're in office, look to their core values and beliefs, and not just what they say months before an election.

Ronald Reagan was, in my opinion, a great President, because deep down he believed in the libertarian ideals of smaller government and more personal responsibility. Barack Obama is one hundred and eighty degrees from Ronald Reagan in that belief. Obama may be pulling to the center to win your vote, but if you look at what he has said and done in years prior, you'll see someone who can't wait to raise taxes and let government step in and start solving your problems.

It's hard to find many things government does right, so why would anyone want to turn to government to solve more of their problems? This would be like choosing the worst shooter on your basketball team to shoot the technical free throws. It makes no sense.

Another good quote from Ronald Reagan, "I don’t believe in a government that protects us from ourselves."

I couldn't agree more. If I need protecting from myself, I hope friends, family, church, neighbors, and community support groups will be there for me, not the Federal Government.



Anonymous said...

Kevin, Would you put Mitt in the Regan republican camp?

Kevin Carmony said...

Yes. No Republican is 100% pure Libertarian, but they tend to come much closer than most Democrats. One of the reasons I liked Romney, is he felt like a "Reagan" Republican to me.


Anonymous said...

Kevin, I have a hypothetical for you. If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were on the verge of total collapse, should the government do whatever is needed to keep them solvent?


Kevin Carmony said...

It already has. When you create a beast, sometimes you can't afford to let that beast die.

I'm not saying Government shouldn't try to take care of the messes it creates, I'm saying we should not be having government get too involved to begin with, then there will be less messes to clean up.

This is why we should never turn our health care system over to government.

The federal government has been completely irresponsible in how it has managed social security. What makes anyone think they'll magically start doing things better with health care?


Mark said...

Kevin, as for health care, how do we ensure all Americans get adequate medical care? The private sector isn't willing or in many cases (small business) it isn't capable of providing health care coverage.


Kevin Carmony said...


I think all the government should be "ensuring" is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Food, shelter, clothing, health care, college education, transportation, etc. needs to be a personal, family, friend, church, community, etc. concern, NOT the federal governments.

If you asked most Americans, "What could you live without more easily, your car or health insurance?" They'd say a car. (This is why most people who don't have health insurance DO have a car, TV, PC, etc.) They need that to get to work, etc. So, if most Americans feel a car is more important to them than health care, shouldn't the Federal government first be passing out cars to everyone who can't afford one? What about food? Water? A place to live? Those are more important to our survival, why not let the Fed. Gov. pass those out to those who can't afford it.

I don't work for anyone, and my small business is much to small to provide health insurance. I pay $163 a month to Aetna for my health insurance. Granted, I'm single, but if I couldn't afford insurance for a family, maybe I shouldn't get married and start having children?

Why should other people (tax payers) be forced to be responsible for MY health care???

If the gov. ever does start paying for everyone's health care, I plan on telling every person I see eating a big mac or smoking a cigarette to stop, since I'M now paying for THEIR health care, I should have a say in how they run their life. Right? (See the slippery slope?)

Where does personal responsibility end and the fed. gov begin? As for me, and knowing how terrible the gov does things, I'll rely on myself, friends, family, church, etc. before I'd trust the fed. gov. to get it right.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying as a society we shouldn't try to help those who can't help themselves. Quite the contrary. I'm saying we SHOULD be helping them, but handing that help off to the fed gov, which has a tough time getting anything right, is like tossing a drowning person a tennis ball instead of a life preserver.

If you really want to help your fellow man, look to work with families, churches, private organizations, and communities, NOT to government.


Mark said...

"but if I couldn't afford insurance for a family, maybe I shouldn't get married and start having children?"

Or maybe some of us with families shouldn't have gone to work for greedy, blood-sucking savings & loan bankers or Enron executives who left us to rot on the street in the 80's and 90's with nothing. No pension, no 401k, no job, no severance, and no health insurance. Better government oversight may have prevented those catastrophes. Fortunately, government regulation required insurers to continue medical coverage for a period of six months after those collapses.

I think most people are happy to pay their way, but the cost of health care is prohibitively expensive. As an independent contractor my premium is 10 times yours for a family of 5. Myself and many others can deal with that cost. But what about the rest?

I look at government health care like our nation's infrastructure. Most of it wouldn't exist without government at all levels. No private entity could even begin to fund and construct the federal highway system. But we all enjoy it and don't complain about the government taking on that burden. Likewise, the cost of health care is too great to be shouldered by any private or community entity. My taxes pay for the roads I need to do business, why not have a few more dollars of those taxes go toward taking care my less fortunate neighbor as well as myself.

Any government solution for providing health care to every American is sure to be imperfect. However, I'd be willing to bet there is no organization, public or private, that can create a perfect system.

Despite your lack of confidence, our federal government does many things very well. The fact that you and I are able to have this conversation without interference from the government or threat of imprisonment is good evidence. Living without fear of foreign invasion is further proof. Large, rich, influential nation...the list could go on.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans, not just the ones that can afford to pay for it.

Kevin Carmony said...

I lived in Europe for a few years and saw first hand what socialized medicine looks like. No thanks.

Our Fed. Gov. can't even take care of the social security program it started, or run a post office, what makes you think they can possibly take over 18% of our GNP?

Healthcare in America is expensive because it's the best in the world. We have more ways of saving your life today than ever before, and those treatments are expensive.

Again, I'm not saying there aren't challenges, I'm saying, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS THE WORST MONOPOLY IN THE WORLD AND SUCKS AT PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING IT DOES, so I don't want to turn to it to solve problems.

You obviously have more faith in politicians than I do. I can count the ones I respect on one hand have still have several fingers left over.

No, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for EVERYONE, but college degrees, housing, clothing, food, and health care for those who can afford it, and for those who can't, if they have HALF A BRAIN, will want their friends, family, community, churches, etc. to help, NOT THE FED GOV!

I grew up the youngest of five children. My father passed away when I was 2 years old. I watched my mother raise 5 kids on her own and NEVER turn to the welfare state for help. She worked hard and turned to family, church, etc. for assistance when needed, and then repaid that assistance when others needed it. EVERY DIME a friend, uncle, etc. gave her to help went right to helping her, NOT to some ridiculous bureaucracy of waste.

That's great you want to help. I want to help. I've contributed LOTS to help others over the years, but I prefer to help in USEFUL ways, not via wasteful government.


Kevin Carmony said...

PS: What does Enron have to do with this? Because someone breaks laws, the federal government should give everyone health care?!? That makes no sense. That's like saying because Joe murdered Sally, then everyone in her city should now get government provided health care. Huh?

If laws are broken (fraud, etc.), then that IS a role of government to step in and enforce those laws, but giving health care to everyone isn't enforcing laws.

Anyone who wants the fed gov to take care of their health deserves what they get!


Mark said...

Sorry, Kevin. Didn't mean to confuse the issue. Enron was just a response to your comment about not having a family if you can't afford it. Sometimes things happen beyond our control and we need help. Many times it's help beyond what an uncle or church can provide. And it may have also been a little jab at the corporate greed that drives up the cost of everything, including health care.

I hear people complain that they don't want the government taking over health care. As far as I know, nobody is proposing that; it's just providing more coverage for those that choose it. For anyone with the means, private options would be available. Given the choice I'd rather pay to have the best service possible, but if my choice were between government paid health care and none, I would choose government.

I know how you feel about government, but why not fix the things that are wrong with it and let it do what it's capable of doing for the good of the country rather than dismiss it. By your reasoning we shouldn't even trust the government to protect life, liberty, and the rest.

Hey, it's been great reading your perspective on things. Keep blogging.

Also, good luck with resolving your Linspire issues. I was an early believer and I'm saddened to see the whole enterprise run into the ground.

Good Luck

John said...

Kevin, Great post! While there are some things in the Libertarian camp I don't like there are many good things as well. I'm for Republicans getting back to their roots of being strong conservatives, in all senses of that word.

I especially like your dialog with Mark. I think he would change his tune after several years of having to wait 12 months for an MRI or 2 years for open heart surgery under universal health care.

I think Mark also has a chip on his shoulder for corporate America. Ive never worked for a poor person and I think we all want to make as much money as we can, so bashing the rich, corporate profits, capitalism, etc just doesn't make much sense.

Keep up the good work you are doing! I never really go into Linspire and definitely have thought Michael Robertson was slimy as I have followed him from I think you tried to save the sinking ship as much as you could but things were almost doomed from the start. I say Go Ubuntu!

Anonymous said...

I think that health insurance is one of the 2 biggest reasons we have had such increases in health care costs in the last part of the 20th century (thanks again afl-cio). Just talk to someone in there mid 60's and better. back when they were growing up a Dr might have a nurse that most likely was also the front desk person. now you have at least 1 person at the front desk several nurses and the list goes on. the other big portion of what is making Dr's charge more is malpractice insurance. I think i recall a friend of the family that is a transplant surgeon mention once that his malpractice policy for a transplant operation was crazy expensive.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kevin 100% on the government running our health care.

Ever tried to lower your prescription costs by ordering from a canadian source? You can't, you'll be labeled a drug-dealer, no kidding, this happened to my neighbor, a sweet couple in their 60's, used to order their $200/mo prescriptions from Canada until they were intercepted and told they would be considered drug smugglers.

Why do does this happen, cause our Politicians are FOR SALE to the drug companies. Why do drugs cost 1/2 what they cost here? Because the insurance and health care companies want it to, so eventually it gets billed back to the government.

Government Health Care ? NO THANK YOU.

If someone could point me to a product / system that government does better than any private industry, i'd love to see it.

As far as the Enron comment, companies go belly up all the time, for various reasons. The only thing Enron did for us was Sarbanes-Oxley, another government driven bureaucracy killing every business in the country, thanks to the geniuses in our public office. Did you know, even with SOX in place, Enron would have still gone under the way it did, cause IT BROKE THE LAW. LIke a few more are going to get in it's way?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you have seen european socialised healthcare and want no part in it. Here in the UK whilst we moan about our health service from time to time, whenever we need to use it we thank our lucky stars we don't live in the US.

I'm generally with you on the incompetence of governments and the benefits of liberalism (or libertariansim as you call it over there, 'liberal' being a dirty word :-), but I have to say I prefer the shared-risk health care system we have here to the divising and eye-wateringly expensive one you have there.

Yours is better at the high end, it is true, but it is so much worse at the low end it's embarrasing for a rich country.

What was it you didn't like about the european system? Just the tax rates, or the actual service? I can see that the tax rates here would sting to an American view of the world, but the resulting health service is pretty good, and actually very efficient in pounds per person or % GDP.

Kevin Carmony said...

I had a friend who was in a very bad car accident and got treatment there. I also had friend who used a dentist there.

Old facilities, shared rooms, etc. All seemed very "dark ages" to me. As an American, I'm use to leading edge, top-of-the line buildings, equipment, treatments, etc. I pay $168 a month for that. Well worth it to me. I'd rather have lower taxes and buy my own health coverage. It's cheaper when you take the middle man out of the equation, especially when that middle man is a HUGE MONOPOLY called the Federal Government.

I find it interesting how the same people who HATE AND LOATH Microsoft for their monopoly, tend to LOVE the Federal Government, and act as if their monopoly doesn't also stifle innovation and bring up costs.

Dollar for dollar, I know I get much better health care here than I witnessed in Europe. The lower taxes MORE than pay for TOP OF THE LINE health care here.

As I always say, if you think health care is expensive now, just wait 'till it's "free."