Harms Of Libertarian Policies
From Critiques Of Libertarianism
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Libertarian policies can be harmful both as public policies and as private sector practices within corporations.
- Capitalist Harms (90 links)
- Capitalism doesn't shy from harming people if it is profitable. Capitalism creates slavery, pollution, disease, fraud, inequality, exploitation, black markets, organized crime and other harms. Even worse, it subverts efforts to regulate these harms by government. The overall theme is privatization of profits and socialization of costs. Capitalism largely operates through corporations, which need to be reined in.
- Drug Legalization (15 links)
- Long before libertarians advocated legalizing drugs, liberals advocated legalizing drugs. The difference is how they would be legalized: libertarians want unregulated drugs, and liberals want drugs regulated from a Public Health Approach by organizations such as the FDA.
- It is not just government: How insane hedge fund Objectivist libertarianism is destroying Sears [More...]
- "Just look at what has happened to Sears after it hired insane free market hedge fund libertarian Eddie Lampert to run their company [...] We're dealing with a full-fledged cult that is just as willing to destroy business as it is to destroy government."
- Markets do it better and cheaper than government. Not. (1 link)
- A common propaganda claim from Milton Friedman. Patently untrue for a number of market failures. An additional problem is that the products would be different, sometimes in undesirable ways, because markets have no incentive to create positive externalities
- Millian Liberalism and the Irish Famine [More...]
- Tyler Cowen wrote that progressivism needed a dose of Millian liberalism because it endorsed eugenics. Henry Farrell points out that Millian liberalism was guilty of much greater actual crimes during the Irish Famine.
- Obstructing Regulation And Regulatory Capture (32 links)
- Libertarians side with capitalist obstruction of harm-reducing regulations, including deregulation. Addictive drugs (such as tobacco), clean air, workplace safety, pollution reduction, prohibition of lead and mercury contamination, food safety, global warming, etc. They seem unaware that reducing some harmful freedoms can result in huge benefits (including freedoms) for others.
- Retirement Privatization (4 links)
- Privatization of retirement has failed to benefit retirees everywhere it has been tried. Programs such as 401k savings plans have been colossal failures that fleece investors to benefit the financial industry.
- So I invented a new law the other day [More...]
- "In any discussion about libertarians, the comments by libertarians will invariably make the stupidity of libertarianism clear." A variant on Lewis’ Law.
- Socialized Medicine (7 links)
- The proven method to the most economical and broadest provision of health benefits to a nation's populace. Rejected by libertarians because it is a government program; that is more important to them than the life and health of people.
- The Free-Market Al-Qaeda: Neoliberal Think Tanks and the Harm They Do [More...]
- How a a small group of “free-market” ideologues consciously set out 40 years ago to marketize everything public. Includes a list of 12 right-wing philanthropic foundations that set out in the 1960’s to overturn a century’s accumulation of progressive public policy.
- The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (book) (2 links)
- The Shock Doctrine advances a truly unnerving argument: historically, while people were reeling from natural disasters, wars and economic upheavals, savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times.
- Under Neoliberalism, You Can Be Your Own Tyrannical Boss [More...]
- Perfectionism makes us scornful of each other, afraid of each other, and unsure of ourselves at best. It prohibits the types of solidaristic bonds and collective action necessary to take on neoliberal capitalism, the very thing that generates it. The only possible antidote to atomizing, alienating perfectionism to reject absolute individualism and reintroduce collective values back into our society.
- Unregulated Market (7 links)
- Includes black markets. In an unregulated market, you have the freedom to buy and sell whatever you want, no matter how noxious, no matter how fraudulently. Drugs, fake drugs, poisons, child prostitutes, slaves, beatings, torture, executions, military force, mass murder: all these are sold in unregulated markets. Libertarians generally oppose market regulation, and thus would produce these ills. Unregulated markets cannot correspond to the free market model because there is not perfect competition (assumptions of perfect information and rationality fail.)
- Why Blacks Aren't Libertarians [More...]
- "As long as leaving America’s most vulnerable unprotected remains a core piece of libertarianism, it is unlikely that the libertarian movement will find many allies in communities of color."
Jim Crow laws were not the primary cause of segregation in the South. In many places few laws, if any, explicitly restricted blacks from entry into desirable social positions, from purchasing property in white neighborhoods, from entering private schools and colleges, or from using hospitals, restaurants, hotels, and other private businesses frequented by whites. Still, these events rarely occurred due to tacit (often explicit) agreement among whites. Because of privately imposed restrictive covenants, discriminatory business practices, and blacks' abject economic status, there was little need for laws imposing segregation and discrimination. It could be left up to the invisible hand.
Samuel Freeman, "Illiberal Libertarians: Why Libertarianism Is Not a Liberal View" pg. 135
"Let them eat liberty and secure property rights" is not an efficacious program for immediate famine relief, whatever its abstract and/or long term merits.
Henry Farrell, "Millian Liberalism and the Irish Famine"
There are also many positive acts for the benefit of others, which he may rightfully be compelled to perform; such as, to give evidence in a court of justice; to bear his fair share in the common defense, or in any other joint work necessary to the interest of the society of which he enjoys the protection; and to perform certain acts of individual beneficence, such as saving a fellow-creature's life, or interposing to protect the defenseless against ill-usage, things which whenever it is obviously a man's duty to do, he may rightfully be made responsible to society for not doing.
John Stuart Mill, "On Liberty"
In the particular circumstances of a given age or nation, there is scarcely anything really important to the general interest, which it may not be desirable, or even necessary, that the government should take upon itself, not because private individuals cannot effectually perform it, but because they will not.
John Stuart Mill, "Principles of Political Economy with Some of their Applications to Social Philosophy (7 ed.) Book V Chapter XI" pg. 606.
To use one of Ayn Rand’s favorite words, this country is infested with looters: only they’re not the poor, they’re not the mythical “welfare queens”, they’re bankers and obscenely overpaid executives and corporations that demand the right to buy elections. And there stand the libertarians, the useful idiots who cheer them on.
PZ Myers, "So I invented a new law the other day"
The market fundamentalists of Technology Liberation Front and Silicon Valley would love you to believe that “permissionless innovation” is somehow organic to “the internet,” but in fact it is an experiment we conducted for a long time in the US, and the experiment proved that it does not work. From the EPA to the FDA to OSHA, nearly every Federal (and State) regulatory agency exists because of significant, usually deadly failures of industry to restrain itself.
David Golumbia, "“Permissionless Innovation”: Using Technology to Dismantle the Republic"