I was at the fair today with a friend and there was a booth full of libertarians giving out bumper stickers and using that politcal compass test, although they used a very short one with only 5 questions of economic (should foreign aid be totally private yes/maybe/no with yes = 20 pts, maybe = 10 & no = 0) and 5 questions that were civil (drug laws are bad they should be repealed with yes/maybe/no)
Even though they said ‘there are no right or wrong answers’ I could tell by the looks on their faces that there were when they saw my results. I scored 90/100 on the civil libertarian questions and 0/100 on the economic libertarian questions, answering ‘yes’ to 4 and maybe to 1 of the civil questions, but answering no to all 5 of the economic questions (things like 'subsidies should be ended, foreign aid should be private, minimum wage laws should be repealed, etc).
So the woman says ‘so you support personal freedom but don’t support economic freedom’. Taken aback a little I said ‘I don’t support irresponsible economic decisions. I think the market is too short sighted to be totally relied upon without intervention’. Which is true, it may feel good in the short term to have a little more money in your pocket but if you have to abandon infrastructure at the expense of that extra money (highways, scientific advancement, education, a healthy public, a living wage) it is grossly short sighted.
Anyway, this got me thinking to some conservatives I know who always use the ‘government is not your babysitter’ line of thought and as of yet I don’t have a good retort for that.
What is a good retort for that? In my eyes the only reason government exists is to ‘babysit’ (although that is a loaded word. Provide opportunities is a better term for it) people. The only reasons we have government is to make our lives collectively better than they would be without a government or to be a tool an ogliarchy uses to further their own aggrandizement at the expense of the public.
Would a good retort be ‘the only reason we have a government is to make our lives collectively better than they would be otherwise. It may feel good to have lower taxes, but when infrastructure goes to hell it’ll cost the private sector $2 for every $1 you would’ve saved in taxes. If you don’t like it you can always vote libertarian’.