Notorious Failures and Mistakes of Libertarianism

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This section description needs to be reworked to deal with the hard problems as well as with the false claims.


Privatizing Social Security will bring higher returns.

Returns from Wall Street have been sharply negative over the past decade. We shouldn't want to trade a reliable and predictable generational transfer system for what is essentially gambling.

Keynes versus Hayek

Keynes resoundingly defeated Hayek, despite recent libertarian historical revisionism.

You Can't Legislate Morality

Libertarians opposed legislation aimed at ending bigotry and discrimination. 40 years later, US discrimination has been successfully reduced an amazing amount by legislation.

Rejection Of Government Provision Of Positive Liberty

People want and need positive liberty. Some libertarians, such as Tyler Cowen, and just about everybody else think it is a major mistake to say government shouldn't create positive liberty.

Ending Communism Will Usher In a Capitalist Paradise

After the fall of communism in Russia, corrupt oligarchs essentially stole most of the productive resources. In turn, those were stolen by kleptocrats. This resulted in an enormous decline in well-being of the citizenry. Libertarians have little understanding of the social institutions required to make capitalism function well.

Slavery Is Government's Fault

Markets Can Regulate Themselves

Capitalism Produces Middle Classes

Big Government Is Responsible For Mass Murder And Other Atrocities

This is a common slander by libertarians, especially by crank academic Rummel, who has coined the unused term democide. The genocides of the Soviets, Red Chinese, Nazis, conquistadors, and pretty much anybody else through history all share one thing in common: private ownership of government by dictators, parties, kings, etc. Modern government is publicly controlled, and power is distributed to multiple branches, states, and other entities with a system of checks and balances.

DDT Bans Resulted in Millions of Deaths

The pesticide industry is attempting to blame Rachel Carson and her green followers for millions of malarial deaths because of "DDT bans". But in reality, that industry is responsible for the deaths because they have fostered pesticide resistance in mosquitos through indiscriminant sales of their pesticides. DDT has NOT been banned for public health use, only agricultural use.

Privatized health care will be cheaper.

Defense cannot be achieved by the market.

Infrastructure will not be produced by the market.

Diseases will not be eradicated by the market.

Markets do not solve environmental problems.

Credit Snobs.

Libertarians such as Alex Tabarrok opposed regulation of credit by calling opponents credit snobs. Until "financial innovation" crashed and burned in the mortgage meltdown.