Drugs, Gambling and Sex
Libertarian ideology takes an absurd total unregulated legalization position. But these have enormous externalities having to do with health, crime, family problems and neglect of other responsibilities. These are all economically irrational on a grand scale.
- Alcohol Prohibition (1 link)
- Libertarians generally cite this as a failure, because it was repealed. Yet the actual history shows that prohibition achieved many of its goals, and was repealed because voter priorities changed in the Great Depression.
- Drug Legalization (10 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.
- The Drug Industry (8 links)
- Legal and illegal, medical and alternative, the drug industry is responsible for enormous numbers of deaths and addictions, extortionate prices, not to mention enormous amounts of fraud in alternative medicines. The drug industry is also one of the worst practitioners of regulatory capture.
- Gambling (2 links)
- Gambling is the classic example of economic irrationality. Worse, it has enormous externalities due to crime, family relationships and neglect of other responsibilities. The best solution may be the Public Health Approach.
- Public Health Approach (16 links)
- The public health approach treats problems (such as addictive drugs, gambling, and extramarital sex) with harm reduction, rather than simple moral judgements or prohibition. Libertarians still oppose it because it is a successful government social program and an alternative to their radicalism.
- Sex (5 links)
- Libertarian ideology proposes completely legal and unregulated sex, including prostitution, polyamory (bigamy and polygamy), child sex, child marriage, etc. Regulation for protection from disease, protection of family, exploitation of women, etc. is ruled out. But decriminalizing sex work is hardly a position unique to libertarianism, nor will it necessarily solve more problems than it causes.
Austin Petersen said that it shouldn’t be possible for someone to sell a 5-year-old heroin. He got booed. [2016 Libertarian Party USA Convention]
Grant Thompson, "Drugs, wizards, and trolls: The Libertarian Party"