What Libertarians Offer America

By Bob Sullentrup
October, 2006

It's a pity for Missourians the D's and R's did not allow Libertarian candidate for US Senate, Frank Gilmour, to participate in more debates. Gilmour would have introduced solid Libertarian ideas for creating greater wealth for the rich and poor alike and would have proposed measures that would lead to longer, healthier, happier lives for all Missourians.

If this campaign has left you yearning to hear some fresh, responsible, sensible ideas, read on.

First of all, the Libertarian Party has a simple approach to your property. The commonsense principle is this: If you earn it, you keep it. Libertarians are outraged at eminent domain and would not have given a dime to the Cardinals. If the Cards wanted a new stadium, they could have sold stock and let fans and investors voluntarily provide the cash and reap the rewards.

Libertarians would have dramatically less regulation. Each government regulator kills 150 American jobs. Regulators would find useful, productive jobs in the private sector that add, not detract, from the economy. This market-focused mix of activities would help prices drop and make American goods and services more competitive world-wide.

Libertarians would privatize the Food and Drug Administration and other agencies that retard innovation and choice. The FDA would not approve aspirin if it were introduced today. If Libertarians were in charge, there would be no red tape between you, perhaps on your deathbed, and access to potentially life-saving but as yet unapproved medicine.

Licensure requirements would be dramatically reduced. Milton Friedman noted the practice of defining medicine to a particular group and conforming to a prevailing orthodoxy is certain to reduce the amount of experimentation and growth of knowledge. This impedes improvements in medicine that might otherwise emerge from another source. Were government regulation not in place, such discoveries might be saving lives today.

In addition to corporate welfare, Libertarians take issue with the welfare state. Three quarters of every welfare dollar goes to middle class government bureaucrats -- only a quarter goes to the poor. The result of government welfare has been the destruction of generations of American families. The percentage of Americans at the poverty level, which had been declining for decades, has remained the same since the beginning of the Great Society programs 40 years ago.

These ideas would not only produce a bigger national market basket, but would change the mix from less government work to more marketable activity. There would be more freedom leading to more innovation, thereby making American jobs more abundant and secure. And side-benefits would emerge such as reduced crime rates. With more prosperity and opportunity, there would be less idle time and more industriousness.

The freedoms Libertarian ideas engender would once again unleash Yankee ingenuity that brought us the Wright brothers, computer technology and cures for infectious diseases. The opportunities Libertarian ideas engender would raise all boats.

Libertarians do not subscribe to losing bromides of the D's and R's. Since the economy is interrelated, notions of "taxing the rich" end up hurting the poor. New England discovered this when luxury taxes on yachts caused line workers to lose their jobs due to the lagging demand the luxury tax had induced.

Missourians would enjoy more personal freedom, more choice and enjoy the satisfaction of self-reliance. Libertarians treat citizens as adults and don't think they are too stupid or irresponsible to take care of themselves or make their own decisions.

All of the above is certain to leave Missourians with more 'stuff'. While money can't buy happiness, it usually takes the edge off of poverty.

In short, Libertarian ideas would make a better America for you, me and for our children.

While our candidate may not have been allowed to participate in the debates, someone will emerge victorious. The next Congress should feel free to adopt the Libertarian notions of freedom and personal responsibility. Nothing but freedom and personal responsibility can save America.

Bob Sullentrup is the National Secretary of the Libertarian party who lives in St. Charles.

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Michael R. Pakko
"The Economics of Smoking Bans: Peering Through The Haze"[html]  [pdf] - July 2005

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