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Author Topic: Any other 'bluer' libertarians around here that beleive in some consumer rights?  (Read 3203 times)

mattrwagner

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Good afternoon friends of the FSP;

I'll be honest, what originally turned me off from libertarianism, and I think scares alot of people at first is the gut-it-all, full on anarchy society, 'end the fed' attitudes that get yelled at rallies or on pages like YAL and generally the ones you see in the mainstream media being exploited to purposely make libertarianism seem radical.

Because NH is such a swingy red-blue state, Is the FSP pretty open on individual opinion as far as what is actually considered government obligation vs government overreach? Is there any room for debate on this matter as we change the world? Are there others like me that would probably be considered more of a 'democratic libertarian' by sharing all libertarian stances on personal liberty, gun ownership, right to defense, right to property and freedom or religion, to choose, of marriage, etc, ending the drug war, ending surveillance programs, cutting taxes and etc, but not completely gutting government programs that protect the public from business malpractice? I guess basically the only points I can't seem to agree with is the extreme stance of completely shutting down government agencies that look out for consumer and worker rights. I think things like the FDA obviously needs to be turned inside out and cleaned up abit, and I don't think it should be able to -ban- anything, government shouldn't be able to ban anything period. because it's every persons right to buy or consume whatever they please, however, the FDA should ensure that consumers are getting what they are expecting to get, and that companies are being honest about what is in their foods or products. Fraudulent practices need to be kept in check to keep consumers safe. Because lets face it, companies will do whatever it takes to save a buck, whether its simply lying about being organic, or dangerously, what chemicals they are using. Why wouldn't people want food labeling? Same thing with worker protections. People should have every right to work in any environment they want, under any conditions agreed upon between them and the employer for the rate agreed upon, but the government should at least be checking to make sure companies aren't hiding or lying about how safe conditions are and endangering unwitting workers. Lastly, I think at least some attempts have to be made for conservation and environmental protection, and there should be a crack down on corporations purposely over-polluting and poisoning water supplies and air we all share. Basically I think the government has greatly over-stepped it's boundaries in all these roles, but that doesn't mean a government truly controlled by the public shouldn't be used as a tool to keep corporations in check from abusing the people and the planet we need for future generations to enjoy. But it'll start with reforming these programs back to their core purposes, and not the money-seeking, corporatism sell-out government entities they are today.

Are there others around here that don't necessarily want to see an end of fundamental government obligations to public safety, but instead an overhaul and back to square-roots attitude toward them, if you can put actual caring libertarians in charge of those organizations to keep them pure in their goals of public safety and to stop corporate malpractice and consumer endangerment? It's easy to say "the free market will sort it out" But without any agency actively researching, I fear it could become impossible to figure out exactly what products are dangerous and worth boycotting or not.  It's just personal opinion that we can't be a free choosing public without being a properly informed public.

Just curious if I'm alone or not.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 06:22:40 am by mattrwagner »
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JasonPSorens

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Your positions sound well within the broad libertarian spectrum. You realize that 85% of Americans would consider you a dangerously radical anarchist for wanting to end the FDA's authority to ban pharmaceuticals, let alone for wanting to turn OSHA into a purely informational agency, don't you? ;)
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"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

mattrwagner

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HAHA, I suppose you are right. I don't know why I find that so sad... That the very ideas of allowing adults to make their own decisions on what they want to ingest (Assuming they arn't being lied to about it's safety or ingredients) and how they want to work, between employee and employer, (as long as it isn't putting an non consenting third party at risk) are considered 'extreme' concepts these days.
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mattrwagner

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From what I've gathered reading different opinions on matters, is that my views are certainly libertarian, but don't go as far as people who support "anarcho-capitalisitic" libertarianism. Is that correct? That libertarian doesn't inherently mean no government, but one that has a defined, simplified purpose and doesn't mettle with personal liberties or private property or the free market (other then to ensure moral practices and to settle disputes through courts). Where anarcho-capitalists go further to believe the free-market, and a simple society of everyone in full agreement of only using violence in response to violence would be able to operate perfectly without any central government what-so-ever, Right? That we wouldn't even need a national military even defensively because every person would be militia, and no one would have to keep companies in check because after the first 20k people die from poisoning everyone will just stop buying that product so it's fine. And we would need no central justice system because everything, even in major cities would just 'work itself out' right?  I think I'll need more time before going that route.... as interesting as these clearly intelligent economists and philosophers on these anarchist pod casts sound, and as cool in -theory- the idea is.
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JasonPSorens

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Yes, anarcho-capitalists want to abolish all monopolies, including that on justice provision. "Libertarians" in the classic, Nozickian sense want to abolish taxation and any government activities that don't have to do with protecting rights. Nowadays, though, the term "libertarian" often encompasses everyone who is generally for tolerance in the social sphere and free markets in the economic sphere - what sometimes has been dubbed "classical liberalism" (i.e., pre-Progressive era liberalism).
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"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

Mr. Magniloquent

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The FDA is no guarantee that labels are truthful. The FDA is one of the most heavily infiltrated and corrupt agencies there are. The existence of the FDA does more harm than good by far. If the FDA could be trusted to keep you safe, then so too could the NSA be trusted to monitor your bathroom. Centralization of power is never wise. Anarchism is a frightening idea at first, because we are conditioned to believe that we are all evil and helpless. If you want to remain logically consistent, you'll eventually understand why it is the only moral choice.

Outside of The State, truth in labeling would be handled by third party organizations, both profit and altruistic based. Reputation would become paramount, causing products to take much longer to become widespread. Retailers, such as supermarkets, would also be a powerful check on any merchandise. Nobody wants their store associated with dangerous wares. Most importantly, by dispelling the illusion that The State can help, and/or has any interest in helping you will necessitate the return people actually caring about what their food is and where it came from.
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mattrwagner

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Very fair points mag. I didn't really think about it in that light. It's true though as third party 'approval label' companies take the FDA's place, franken-food companies will actively strive for those labels because consumers will come to trust those labels. The label company won't want to cheat because then their entire business could crumble when they're caught, and companies that decide not to bother going through a healthy approval stamping company would certainly not get my business.

I don't know if this would particularly help ensure the poor have access to safe food though, as presumably the brands with more reputable labeling companies are going to cost more as they pay bigger bucks for the approval costs of the better third party companies, and would obviously tranfer those costs to the customer. Making the un-verified products generally cheaper.
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