Tag: sanders

Democracy: Perpetually at Odds with Unmolested Capitalism

Tu Lee | United States

America was birthed not just as a reaction to expensive tea, but as part of a more bedrock fight to preserve unfettered capitalism. As such, it should be expected that any notion to undermine this with socialist ideals would deeply offend even the most flimsily rooted patriots. As to not offend these types, welfare was initially pitched as “the opportunity to live in decency and dignity” by LBJ or even adherent to a more adequate “second Bill of Rights” by FDR. As a stale Democratic Party struggles to maintain their hold on an American public which increasingly views Revolutionary era capitalism as a decorative fantasy we are merely obligated to include in high school history textbooks, these niceties have been quickly abandoned. Just recently Democratic Senator Kamala Harris introduced $6,000 lump-sum checks to the poor and Democratic Senator Cory Booker flashed plumper $50,000 cash prizes to those who elect to prop up him and his regime. Our political discourse has reached a tipping point; politicians have ditched the previous sensitivity to blatantly bribe the remaining non-voting poor on the taxpayer’s dime. The politicians offer these bribes out in the open with their backs turned to those still expecting better acting on the American Playhouse stage. Disappointed as we may be as spectators, this new jump from our politicians erodes away a crucial truth about the relationship between Democracy and Capitalism.

Seemingly out of a Bernie Sanders daydream, the Pareto principle describes a widely present phenomenon where a small section of a population controls a vast majority of a resource. More commonly this is called the 80/20 rule, and it can apply to anything from wealth to consumption of healthcare resources. Essentially, most people are more or less mediocre producers, and those who happen to be good producers are exponentially amazing producers (think the Bill Gates or Trumps of the world). Interestingly, this general distribution occurs in wealth-generating economies regardless of historical or geographical context. If Democracy is equally representative, the Pareto principle tells us it will advocate for the worst 80% of contributors to the economy in disregard to the exceptionally great top 20% of contributors. While the advocation for the lazy majority could be peaceful, it’s often too effective for politicians to resist energizing the lower class against the upper class to maximize voter turnout. Jealously is stirred up and the democratic mass easily swallows the narrative of a rigged playing field or even the scapegoating of unrelated everyday problems. So long as historically inevitable Pareto distributions continue to exist in society, then Democracy, if truly representative of the masses, will fundamentally serve to throttle the economy’s greatest producers and therefore the fuel of the economy itself.

Why should the genius working day and night for the bettering of the society, his only roadblocks the laws vomited out of his country’s legislative belly have no recourse against the bum and his mindless kin? What is usually pitched as a loophole in our Democracy is actually one of it’s greatest unintended features. It makes sense that someone intelligent enough to sit on the peak of a Pareto distribution would be smart enough to tweak the governmental game when unfairly pressed. Whether it be through Super PACs, lobbying, or revolving doors, the nudging is not boundless and must happen within a degree reasonable enough to stay under the public radar. The natural tendency of those at the top to weasel into power over politics is a healthy restraint of Democracy, even if this assertion occurs in largely unsavory ways. Regardless of this, in Democracy’s immutable quest to serve the unconstrained will of the masses there will always be inherent toxicity, economic asphyxiation, and demonization of those who serve the country most by the very same masses who are simultaneously surrendering their own wealth voluntarily to those demonized.


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Libertarians Should Support Ted Cruz

Indri Schaelicke | United States

Perhaps the tightest race of the 2018 midterms, Ted Cruz vs Beto O’Rourke has caught the attention of pundits and ordinary pundits across the US alike. Recent polls show conflicting conclusions, with some putting Cruz ahead by wide margins, and others portraying the race as close. At this point, it is impossible to accurately predict the outcome of this election. Considering how uncertain the result of Texas’s Senate election is at this point, it is important that libertarians rally their support behind the incumbent, Republican Junior Senator Cruz to ensure that up-and-coming Democrat Beto does not achieve election to US Senate. If he is elected, liberty will be much more at risk than it is now. 

At first glance, neither Cruz or Beto appears to be an attractive option for libertarians. Both support big government in some form or other, whether it be Cruz’s support of police, the chief enforcers of tyrannical policy, or Beto’s calls for universal healthcare. Both candidates have shown that they each have a “big government” bone, but who’s is bigger? When it comes down to it. Ted Cruz is much more likely to push for reductions in the size of government than his opponent Beto O’Rourke. 

Libertarians will find it easy to align with Cruz’s gun policy; he adamantly supports the 2nd Amendment and owns guns himself. Cruz has received an A+ rating from the NRA for his unwavering defense of the people’s right to own firearms. In the past, he has opposed legislation that would criminalize the private transfer of firearms between friends and family members. He is also a supporter of Concealed Carry Reciprocity, which would allow those with concealed carry permits to carry across state lines.  Conversely, Beto has made a name for himself among Democrats for his aggressive attacks on gun rights. Beto’s positions could not be any farther from Cruz’s; he is against Concealed Carry Reciprocity, calls firearms “weapons of war”, and supports Chuck Schumer style “universal background checks”. Cruz is the more likely of the two to defend gun rights from his position on the hill. Those who find that their position on gun ownership aligns with Ted Cruz should back him in the 2018 Senate Election. 

When it comes to the economy, Cruz appears to have a much greater understanding of its true nature. He supports massive deregulation and privatization, as well as decreasing the federal income tax, recognizing that doing so increases the wealth left in private citizens’ and business’ hands, which is used to bring prosperity to many. Cruz is also a fiscal conservative, believing that the current US Debt is unsustainable and dangerous. A core tenet of libertarian philosophy is that the people can best make decisions concerning their lives, not the government, and Cruz’s view on the economy furthers this belief. In stark contrast to Cruz’s wealth of economic understanding, Beto appears to have very little; his official platform on the economy listed on his website consists of 4 wishy-washy, befuddling statements that layout few clear economic policy proposals. What can be understood, however, is that Beto does not understand basic economics. He pushes for more regulations in the belief that they will promote competition, when in fact, regulations actually impede the growth of the economy by increasing production costs for businesses. Beto also calls for lowering the barrier of entry for small businesses, while simultaneously pushing for increased regulation and taxation, which would make operating a business much more costly. Cruz is clearly the candidate seeking to create a truly free market, and libertarians can count on him to continue to further this goal. 

“Universal Healthcare”, a proposal viewed as radical, even for Democrats, just 15 years ago has become a firmly rooted staple of the Democratic Party. As such, Beto O’Rourke is a firm believer in a system where government shoulders the burden of the healthcare market they helped to destroy. Beto calls health care a “basic human right“, a term sure to rub most libertarians the wrong way. Libertarians recognize that when a good or service is declared a right of the people, it must be procured to them at all costs, or else the government is infringing upon their rights. This ultimately is a form of conscription for those who are forced to provide the good or service at the threat of violence. Cruz abhors Universal Healthcare systems as much as libertarians, participating in a debate with quasi-socialist Bernie Sanders on CNN and being a leading figure in the campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Ted Cruz’s very first piece of legislation he introduced as a Senator was to repeal Obamacare, and has introduced countless bills since, which attempt to free the healthcare market from disastrous government intervention.

Senator Cruz can be a valuable ally for libertarians in their fight to free the economy of the weight of government intervention dragging it down, and a vital supporter of 2nd Amendment rights at a time when they are under direct fire. Libertarians must vote for Ted Cruz in the 2018 Texas Senate election to ensure that at the very least, liberty does not elude them further. 


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The Democratic Party Doesn’t Care about America’s Youth

By John Keller | United States

In the current day, a critical midterm election is rapidly approaching. With this, a segment of the Democratic Party is claiming that only they care about the nation’s youth. This segment of the party is campaigning with their alleged care for the youth. But their promises of free college, free healthcare, and more only prove how little they really care.

Promises of billions, even trillions, in new spending for the youth beg a simple question. Just where will all of this money come from? Currently, the United States Treasury is bankrupt, with a debt of over $21 trillion. “Free” education and healthcare is only remotely possible in a stable economy, and holding a debt greater than our GDP is a guarantee at an economy that is too weak and too unstable for such programs.

Furthermore, the money for “free” programs must come from somewhere, meaning it comes from government revenue. Ultimately, this is a fancy term for the taxpayer’s back pocket. Currently, the United States has some of the highest tax rates in the world when factoring in city, county, state, and federal taxes.

In order for the Democratic Party’s “free” programs to work, the current entitlements, such as Medicare and Medicaid, require major revisions. As they hurtle towards bankruptcy, there is not much more room to tax people to fund them. In order to avoid this, it is necessary for the government to look at its wasted spending. Several members of Congress, such as Senator Rand Paul, have spoken out against it. In order to improve the United States Treasury and make any of the Democratic Party’s policies attainable, ending waste is a must.

However, the Democratic Party has no plan to lower the debt or rework spending in order to make their promises possible. Thus, any tangible Blue Wave will only put America’s treasury deeper in the red. A bigger debt with consistent votes for more spending simply pushes the issues down the road. This, of course, deepens the severity of issues that America’s youth must tackle. As taxes increase and services decay, America’s youth will take on the responsibility of this nation’s debt. But the cycle can end, in fact quite simply, by stopping this fall’s Blue Wave.


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Libertarians and Neo-Progressives Aren’t That Different (Part 2)

By Francis Folz | United States

Last week, I examined how libertarians and neo-progressives share common roots that run as deep as the anti-war movement in the 1960’s. Considering how libertarians and progressives have found common ground in the past, is it any wonder that libertarians and progressives find themselves together on so many present issues? After all, former Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson once stated he found common ground with unabashed social democrat Bernie Sanders close to 70% of the time.

I believe one reason why it is quite prevalent to find common ground between libertarians and “democratic socialists” is because both sides share similar sentiments. At their cores, there is a sincere passion to uplift as many fellow citizens as possible and to achieve peace. It is often the means by which both sides believe it is best to achieve their underlying, intended goals that diverges the ideologies.

Although progressives advocate for a single-payer, authoritarian health care system, libertarians and progressives tend to agree that health care is too expensive and there are some common sense, capitalist ways to make health care more affordable. Both sides tend to agree on removing some of our costly, crony regulations, like the prohibition on purchasing drugs from other countries or the inability to buy insurance plans across state lines.

Progressives and libertarians also find themselves sharing opposition to America’s neocon foreign policy. Both sides acknowledge America’s foreign policy is often made up of expensive mistakes that only benefit the military industrial complex. Although progressives favor participation in multi-national organizations like NATO and the U.N. to achieve peace, both groups prefer a more humble approach to American interventions. 

Both groups also champion civil liberties and civil rights, although how they are addressed sometimes differs. In regards to civil rights, neo-progressives tend to have collectivist mindsets and indulge in identity politics. This contrasts tremendously with libertarians who believe in liberalism and in empowering everyone via individualism. Bernie’s supporters, however, join forces with libertarians in defense of civil liberties. This includes our universal right to privacy and the defense of human rights activists like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.

The size and scope of government is often where libertarians and Sanders-democrats digress from each other the most. Although both groups promote personal freedom and responsibility, especially in regards to reproductive care and drug usage, neo-progressives contradict those sentiments by bolstering gun control. In some cases, they even limit free speech. Whereas libertarians view government as a necessary evil that must be limited and restrained, neo-progressives believe the government’s role must be very robust in order to accomplish all desired outcomes.

I genuinely believe the hearts of today’s “democratic socialists” are in the right place. However, the majority of their “solutions” require a large, controlling state which makes countless decisions for the citizenry via regulations. I don’t question the intentions of those who fight for $15 an hour. After all, with the high costs of living, in part the fault of poor monetary policy, who can live off of $7.25 (less after taxes) an hour? However, neo-progressives fail to see how large corporations laud the prospects of running locally owned companies out of business through the consequential high prices and labor costs. 

Socialism means well. After all, the intended goal of democratic socialists is to elevate the poor and the middle class. However, in practice, socialism never succeeds because humans are inherently greedy, especially when entrusted with resources, influence, and power. Our founding fathers recognized that corrupt attribute of humanity. Therefore, they constituted a liberal government, limited by the citizenry, the states, and the judicial system. It is time we find common ground with one another and work together towards restoring liberty and prosperity.


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Progressive Commentator Praises Rand Paul, Criticizes Bernie Sanders on Russian Collusion

Kenneth Casey | United States

Last Thursday, Independent Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders introduced a resolution in the Senate that would according to him “accept the assessment of the United States intelligence community with regard to interference by the Russian Federation in our election”, “protect the election systems of the United States from interference by the Russian Federation”, “demand that the Sanctions enacted against the Russian Federation be fully implemented”, “will not accept interference with the ongoing investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller”, and “declares that the president must cooperate with the investigation”.

Rand Paul declared enthusiastic opposition to the resolution on the Senate floor, declaring “The hatred for the president is so intense, that partisans would rather risk war than give diplomacy a chance”, citing President Reagan sitting down with Gorbachev to lessen nuclear tensions as a prime example. He made it clear he was not defending Russia’s involvement in our elections, but he would “rather that we still have open channels of discussion with the Russians”. Rand is echoing the position his father Ron Paul shares on sanctions and has been vocal on for many years: Sanctions are an act of war, and diplomacy is always much preferred.

You would think that Bernie being the anti-war progressive that he is would take a position similar to Rand’s, to prevent war at all cost with Russia and oppose the sanctions. Instead, he naively stated that his resolution had nothing to do with curtailing relations with Russia, which is factually incorrect considering his resolution calls for enforcement of sanctions against Russia, and sanctions are enacted in order to express displeasure with a country.

Bernie Sanders’s resolution and statements regarding Russia received criticism from well-known, highly-regarded progressive commentator Kyle Kulinski on Tuesday. Kyle, who is the host of Secular Talk on YouTube, an affiliate of the far-left online news organization The Young Turks, made a video on his YouTube channel regarding Paul’s and Sanders’ back and forth on the resolution, asserting “hope you’re sitting for this one, Rand Paul is right and Bernie is wrong.”, and goes on to point out the hypocrisy that Bernie openly admits the resolution increases sanctions, and “acts like that’s not an escalation of tensions”. He goes on to say Rand’s statement that this round of sanctions is “hyperbolic”, but that it’s “definitely the direction that it’s going in”, and criticizes the denseness in Bernie’s statement “Who’s against Diplomacy? Nobody is.” which was a response the Senator gave to Rand Paul when he pointed out the bill damages diplomacy. “Really Bernie? Really? You’re acting like there aren’t people who are against diplomacy when every time Trump sits down with Putin there are screams of he’s doing treason and he’s a traitor?”

Kyle is by no means a libertarian. He endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election, supports Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage, protectionism in trade, and even helped with the founding of a group that was key to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s primary victory in New York. However, he’s been one of the few progressives to point out that Bernie is wrong on the issue of sanctions on Russia and it’s incompatible with the anti-war position held by progressives. He even went at it with The Young Turks founder and host Cenk Uygur on Twitter, stating Cenk was “prodding Trump to be more hawkish on Russia” after Cenk had complained that Trump noticeably used harsh language on Iran but not Russia.

Kyle has been one of the few commentators from the left that has not become convinced that Trump concluded with the Russians in the 2016 election, and thinks that Democrats should focus on actual issues rather than a talking point with zero policy substance. Although I disagree with Kyle on a lot of issues, I admire the fact he’s consistent with his principles and views on policy when so little few others do as such.

There’s no doubt that the “issue” of Russia interference in our election has been one of biggest talking points in the American political landscape ever since President Trump was elected in November of 2016. The dialogue regarding the issue arguably reached its apex in the aftermath of the 2018 Russia–United States summit in which President Trump met with President Putin of Russia, which occurred on July 16th.

Establishment Republicans and neoconservatives shared pretty much the same view as corporatist Democrats regarding Russia. They all want tougher action and less effort towards diplomacy. John McCain called it “One of the most disgraceful performances by an American President in my memory”. You can also take a recent bill introduced by neoconservative Lindsey Graham and corporatist Democrat Bob Menendez on the Senate floor as an example. The proposed bill would slap new sanctions onto Russia, targeting their “debt and energy and financial sectors”. Some notable senators to come out in favor of the bill include Republicans Bob Corker, Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell, and Democrat Chris Van Hollen.

This proposed bill would add onto the U.S. sanctions on Russia that overwhelmingly passed Congress in July of 2017 and was ultimately signed into law by President Trump (although he did send out a tweet in opposition to the sanctions in 2017, but even if he were to veto it, Congress had enough votes in favor to override the president’s veto). The bill only received five Nay votes in the Senate and House combined: 4 from libertarian-leaning Republicans Senator Rand Paul and Representatives Justin Amash, Thomas Massie and John Duncan; and one from an Independent Senator: Bernie Sanders.

Yes, the same Bernie Sanders that introduced a resolution in the Senate that would enforce the previously “overwhelmingly passed sanctions against Russia” was one of 5 Congressmen to vote against the sanctions in the first place. Welcome to Washington, folks.

In Bernie’s defense, he did say at the time of his vote against the sanctions he would support individual sanctions against Russia, but the thing that doesn’t make sense to me is that his reasoning for opposing the sanctions was it included additional sanctions against Iran and North Korea, and he thought that America should play a more “even-handed-approach” in the Middle East and be less reactionary in our policy towards Iran. Why doesn’t he apply the same logic towards Russian sanctions? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

With so little non-interventionist and anti-sanction advocates in Congress, it’s really good to see Rand Paul step up and be a leader on the issues.


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