Socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Anything else and you're an idiot.

It’s hilarious how in America both of our major parties gets one issue completely wrong.

Abortions - that’s a personal choice between a woman, her partner, and her doctors. The fetus has a great impact on the woman’s health and wellbeing, so she should not be prohibited by the government in having it done. There are a lot of circumstances where they find it to be in their best interest to preserve their wellbeing and contraception isn’t 100% effective. Similarly, doctors can refuse if they do choose for whatever reason. There’s no need for the government to be involved here and disallow it. Respect the individuals’, couples’, and doctors’ choices.

Gay Marriage - a big non-issue. Seriously, if gays want to marry and they’re happy that way, let them. Why the fuck does it matter to everyone else? This doesn’t harm anyone. Expanding on that, for the greater LGBTQ community, similar sentiment. If someone wants to change their sex, let them if they can find a provider willing to facilitate the process. A lot of unnecessary fuss over this.

Guns - Second Amendment and nothing more. First of all, there are already kids of guns out there, and any kind of outlawing of specific types of guns can merely be bypassed through a black market. Furthermore, citizenry should have as close to an unrestricted military capacity available to them so that they can protect themselves against a potentially tyrannical government if needed. Too much of a fuss is made about this as well. Shut up and let people keep their guns. For Democrats to sacrifice on this is a very small price to pay anyway compared to other issues, and they should be willing to because their proposed solutions are unhelpful and potentially dangerous even.

Immigration - Personally, I don’t care and I’m for open borders mostly as it’s both helpful for the economic efficiency and allows people to escape horrible circumstances in other countries. However, I do understand Republicans’ sentiment here, and I don’t think it’s idiotic to be stricter for it. This one can go either way I think and not be dumb. This is actually an issue that I see as being more validly up for debate.

Marijuana - another idiotic restriction. This is one of the most benign recreational drugs. Clearly there are some ulterior motives and general propaganda behind its criminalization. There’s no reason why, if tobacco is permitted, that this shouldn’t. And even if it’s bad, just like with other substance abuse, the answer isn’t criminalization. Their liberty must be protected so that they can seek an organization to rehabilitate rather. This is probably the most trivial and idiotic to have panties in a bunch over.

Prostitution - this is just virtue-signaling morality. If people want to solicit sex services and there are willing providers, we should let them. This one is less idiotic than the others, but still a government overreach. Prohibiting such activity reeks of a many-state for no good reason.

Economics - a big encompassing topic, but it’s clear that capitalism with relatively free markets is what’s going to lead to the most optimal quality of life and living standards on average for everyone. Socialism or social democratic setups may be more “fair”, but are much less efficient and lead to overall worse outcomes for everyone. There’s more inequality in free-market capitalism, but society overall is more prosperous, even much of the lower class. I don’t think there should be zero government involvement here, and it can certainly get involved in the cases of externalities and breaking up monopolies or supporting paths to access of privatized services. But there’s nothing wrong with wealth inequality inherently, especially because wealth can be created. It’s not as if there’s a finite amount of wealth and all the evil corporations are keeping it from you, like some people get butthurt about. Even so, who cares? Do you get mad about the jock that bangs a lot of hot women and demand he share some with you? Some people are just jealous. Others see free-market capitalism as exploitative or unfair, but don’t understand that it leads to far better living standards overall than the alternatives due to the high amount of economic efficiency. Too much government intervention slows down growth and reduces overall prosperity. Socialist and communist societies end up with comparatively poor lifestyles and also become submissive to the government, so everyone is worse off. Economic efficiency also means more efficiency with technological and scientific advancements. The “invisible hand” of the free markets are generally pretty good at optimizing distribution of resources and satisfying people’s subjective wants and needs.

If Republicans would just shut up about gay marriage and LGBTA, abortions, weed, and prostitution and Democrats would shut up about guns and realize that the general structure of free-market capitalism (while not perfect) is overall the best for the average person’s quality of life and prosperity and not get so butthurt about corporate fatcats - so much needless bickering would be over. A lot of these “issues” that get fought over are just idiotically petty and based in emotion and nothing else, and make an attempt to somehow dictate how people want to live their life. Let people do what they want (as long as it doesn’t infringe on others’ rights), make a living however they want, and keep the government out of it.

On the other hand, the government is not your Daddy and it’s not its job to help you survive. Private organizations and charities can do a more efficient job of helping people in need anyway than the government can. Democrats should adopt this view and understand that for a prosperous and high quality of life society full of liberty, this is the way. On the other hand, Republicans care way too much about what people do in their free time.

It may seem that I’m a libertarian, and that is the case. I’m not a capital “L” libertarian, but “l”, as in I’m not dogmatic about libertarianism as an ideology, but as I said in the title, the basic premise of socially liberal and fiscally conservative is the only sensible one out there, and it amazes me that we have no political party that sees eye-to-eye on this. There’s still room for debate of course, but any other direction and combination (involving socially conservative or fiscally liberal) is ludicrous.

It’s also dumb because Democrats get their panties in a bunch about how we’re just conservatives who “thinks gays should marry but the poor should get fucked” and Republicans get their panties in a bunch about how we don’t want to dictate morality or start needless wars so we’re just “closet liberals” that don’t care about imposing the Judeo-Christian family structure on everyone. Both parties want government needlessly or adversely involved in people’s lives to where in a lot of cases it’s just stupid. I don’t understand how a party that recognizes this common stupidity between the two hasn’t come out on top yet. I’m not even saying a Libertarian per se, but like I said, just someone who leans socially liberal and fiscally conservative even.

As for 2020, Trump as a dumbass and Biden isn’t great, but clearly the better alternative, even from a libertarian perspective, so I’m probably just going to hold my nose and vote for Biden.

I think one major blunder of Biden and a lot of Democrats really is that they won’t drop the gun issue. Like I said, it’s a very small price to pay, and an issue that isn’t really beneficially solved by government anyway. A lot of Democrats are not much more fiscally liberal than their Republican counterparts anyway, if we are talking about the more moderate ones (not Sanders or Warren). I feel like if Democrats would just sacrifice on guns, they would win over a lot more independents and maybe even some moderate Republicans. It’s a relatively trivial problem that’s needlessly gumming up the works as far as their electability goes for little reason. Especially at the federal level.

The argument that widespread guns could be a check on tyranny went bye-bye, technologically, about a hundred years ago. The check against tyranny won’t be civilians with guns, but (hopefully) soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines with guns (and tanks, and submarines, and cruise missiles, and stealth bombers, etc.) refusing to follow tyrannical orders. IMO, anyway.

Furthermore, I apologize, I was typing this on my phone, so there are some silly spelling or grammatical errors up there and there’s only a 5-minute window for correction so I wasn’t able to get to them all.

If free-market capitalism as practiced in the US is so optimal, why are people looting, protesting, and rioting right now? Why do we have the worst income inequality of any developed country? The worst health outcomes? Do you think that a 20% incarceration rate for black men is in any way linked to any of these things?

Let me guess you are white, male, and have a reasonably secure income. If so, you are in a position with so much privilege and power compared to everyone else that you probably have no sense of the reality of our economic system.

The most you can say is that both parties get at least one issue completely wrong. The GOP are not really fiscally conservative: they just want to help out their buddies by cloaking it in supposed fiscal conservativism. If you look at the deficits that both parties have gifted to America when they were in power, it looks like the Democrats are actually more fiscally responsible, which may be misleading, but it certainly puts paid to the idea that it’s obvious that the GOP is more responsible.

Which isn’t to say they never have a good idea: I was initially against “ending welfare are we know it” in the 90s but it turned out a lot better than I had expected. During flush times, that is, when everyone can get a job. During rough times they also say we should cut back on welfare for the poor (while increasing corporate welfare.)

I largely agree with much of OP, but the one-size-fits-all approach to “Economics” is misguided.

@OP — tell us what you think about healthcare financing in the U.S. and whether another system might be more efficient.

Tell us about the “efficiency” of letting companies pollute rivers and groundwaters unhindered.

And, with increasingly larger shares of the economic pie accruing to highly-skilled people and to the owners of capital rather than to ordinary workers, tell us about “efficiency” in the context of families that cannot afford to feed, clothe, educate or provide medicine for their children.

You know, it’s funny. The same people who claim the Second Amendment is there to protect them against “tyrannical government” are the same people who are horrified by mobs throwing bricks and Molotov cocktails at police cars because a cop murdered a Black man.

First of all, that isn’t completely true. People who say “socialist and communist societies end up with comparatively poor lifestyles” are usually only referring to the USSR, North Korea, and failed states like Venezuela. China has one of the largest and fastest growing economies on the planet and countries like Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, New Zealand, and Belgium don’t seem to be suffering for their socialist policies.

I would also disagree that capitalism “benefits everyone”. There is evidence to support that the benefits of capitalism in America are disproportionately going to a smaller and smaller percent of the population. Evidence such as stagnant working and middle class wages, rising health and education costs, and lack of job opportunities.

lack of government involvement directly led to the 2008 financial crisis and probably contributed significantly to the 2001 financial Perfect Storm of the dot-com crash / Enron / Arthur Andersen failure.

Uh, yeah that literally is the primary function of government, Ayn Rand. Not to be your “Daddy”, but to provide the basic infrastructure and social safety nets required to protect its citizens. Most of us, as a society, believe that people should be afforded certain services regardless of their ability to pay for them (like schools, fire departments and police). Or at the very least, they should be funded by common funds (such as roads and other infrastructure).
But all the social stuff I agree with you that people should just mind their own business.

There’s an awful lot of bald claims begging for a cite - especially noteworthy is the claim that free market capitalism leads to better outcomes when applied to medicine, one of the biggest issues on the ballot today. The fact that every other first world country has socialized medicine and much better outcomes than the US, as well as no concept of ‘medical-related bankruptcy’, and gets all of this at a fraction of what the US pays seems a bit of a problem for someone who claims to be a ‘fiscal conservative’. The idea that the ‘invisible hand’ is good at optimizing distribution of resources similarly falls apart when one actually looks at the actual distribution of resources, income inequality is grossly worse in the US, the ultra rich continue to earn more while regular people earn less even while being more productive, and huge chunks of resources that could go to things like fighting the pandemic just sit hoarded by billionaires - of course, you just declare that billionaires hoarding mountains of money that they can’t even meaningfully use while people die because those same rich people spike insulin prices beyond affordability.

You’re just repeating a bunch of unsupported dogma that’s contradicted by reality and showing a complete lack of basic empathy for your fellow human beings.

Does this well water look yellowish to anyone else?

This sums it up pretty well. It also demonstrates the certainty of youth, with little real world experience or a range of viewpoints.

We definitely do reap the benefits of economic efficiency in America, even over the Nordic countries that are doing pretty well. A lot of Europeans and Americans when moving to the other country have noted the stark difference in prices for everyday goods and fast food, being much lower in America than they are in Europe. Europeans and Canadians also pay a lot more per square foot of housing than do Americans.

The average poor American recently was found to live in a 1,400 square foot home. The average overall European lives in an 857 square foot one.

An excerpt from the link, but there’s even more if you click on it:

And this is what I’m talking about. And this is from around 2010; nowadays these poor households likely have even more gadgets with the progress in technology. Yes there’s a lot of inequality, but our poor are still equalizing with other countries’ middle class, especially in luxuries. This is largely due to America’s superior economic efficiency. Yes, the poor have a very small share comparatively, but the thing is that overall share is so large that even that small share is pretty good. And by maintaining high economic efficiency, we can rapidly grow the overall share even more and more.

With COVID-19, we saw that our hospitals in most areas were very underwhelmed. One reason was because we had a lot more hospital and ICU beds per capita compared to many European countries. Italy has its hospitals quite frequently overwhelmed just during a worse than average flu season, so that combined with a lot of other factors, it makes sense why they got overwhelmed a lot.

Just because there is unrest right now, doesn’t speak to the lack of legitimacy of the free market capitalism. Unrest happened in Italy too, among other places. Even European economies are suffering a lot. That was bound to happen even without a shutdown as we saw even Sweden suffering a severe recession. We had what effectively posed as a natural disaster. And the riots and violence are mostly triggered by the Floyd killing, not because of the economy.

By the way, inelastic demand for healthcare doesn’t rule out free market solutions for it. It’s costly right now because of a lot of the bureaucracy and monopolies that have been reinforced. If we can open things up, stream back regulation, and encourage competition, that’s a way to get healthcare costs down. For example, gas is an inelastic good. You basically need it to make a living or do anything for most people. Yet, we don’t have a problem. In fact, gas is super cheap in America compared to most other countries, especially our European counterparts. The reason is largely unregulated competition. We can apply the same principles to other inelastic goods like healthcare as well.

The reason is largerly fuel taxes. Fuel tax - Wikipedia

Now imagine how wrong you might be about other things.

I’m a free market guy and even I find the OP’s description of economics weirdly simplistic.

The free market works. Of that there is little doubt; allowing the market to set prices is a critical part of a functioning economy. But holy shit balls, look at this statement:

Well, gosh, ya think? But this is a huge, huge deal; it’s the entire difference between the USA and, say, Canada, which is a capitalist country, just with a few more areas of government intervening in market failures. Is universal medical insurance good policy? Welfare? How much welfare? A carbon tax? Seat belt laws? The devil’s in the details.

That may be the case, but my overall point was that even for an inelastic and necessary good, we have naturally low prices. That’s possible in the first place due to competition, which we don’t have enough of freely in the healthcare sector.

However, land is cheaper in North America because of the lack of population density. The flip side is that there is better public transportation in Europe, which makes a lifestyle of “settling” for a small place in a more densely-populated area more attractive. Whereas in America, there is less to give up by moving out of a flat unless you’re in a large metropolis with an excellent public transport system.

Which isn’t to say that the standard of living isn’t higher in America for other reasons, because like you say things other than housing are cheaper and America has a higher per-capita income. It’s just that housing is more of a wash due to the population density, and more importantly, is not an indication of the success of an economic system but rather more of an indication of the availability of land.

How much cheaper is gas in America compared to our European counterparts, if you eliminate taxes?

It was generous of the OP to take his time and show the rest of us why libertarianism is a joke philosophy that will, fortunately, never appeal to anyone other than a small minority of self-anointed elites.

What is your criticism of it? To be fair, in a lot of areas, I think America is already not too far from being fiscally conservative enough. A free-market healthcare reform would probably help a lot though. But mostly, I think America’s economy in the status quo is pretty well-structured actually, and it was doing well right before COVID-19. Then I’m not sure if you have an issue with my stance on guns or any of the social issues I mentioned.

So mostly leaving America’s economy remain as is, maybe cutting back a little bit more in regulation and liberating on social issues and guns - what do you disagree about that? And COVID-19 wrecking the economy isn’t a good argument against it, because it would wreck any economic structure as shown in a myriad of other countries.

Trying to paint poor households as not that poor (via the scare quotes) because they have some cheap electronics is the kind of bizarre and hateful attitude I expect from Heritage Foundation. The average health insurance premium for one person for one month is $467, and the list price for vial of insulin is $275. I can go to a thrift store and get a microwave, DVD player, PC, and video game system for less than one month of insurance or two vials of insulin, and quite probably less than one vial of insulin.

These are not big-ticket luxury items that show that someone has made it, these are things that are cheap enough that a few hours of odd jobs and a trip to Goodwill can get you. Individually listing out items that can be acquired cheaply (last new DVD player I bought was $20) and last for years (that was more than a decade ago) to try to show that people aren’t really poor just doesn’t stand up to a few moment’s thought.

Just how asinine do you have to be to try to paint ‘having the ability to get to work, the doctor, or grocery store’ as some sort of high end luxury that makes it absurd to be called poor?

All that oft-repeated Heritage Foundation ‘fact’ list shows is that poor families are not completely and utterly destitute to the point of having no material posessions. A $20 microwave or DVD player is just not some amazing luxury, however much Heritage Foundation types want to believe that ‘well, you have some cheap electronics therefore you’re not actually poor’.

And I’ll clarify. Like I said, I’m not dogmatic hardcore Libertarian, but yes, I do lean in that direction favoring a hands-off approach on most social issues (like I discussed in the OP) and a generally free market capitalistic structure quite similar to what we already have.

I’m not however going to the extremes of saying have no roads or stuff like that, like some might. Nothing close to anarcho-capitalist. Like I said in the title, socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

I’m not sure why that would be unpopular. So many people agree with the kind of fiscal conservatism that the GOP puts out already generally, especially among a lot of the blue collar working class. And there are a lot of people who are liberal on social issues. Why can we not blend the two?