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Libertarian unreasonableness Fri, Oct 21, 2016
Libertarianism is something I know relatively little about, but I find its tenets somewhat attractive yet completely unrealistic.  The general idea is a smaller government, with more personal freedoms.  Sounds good so far.  A common talking point is which functions of the federal government a libertarian candidate would remove.  Department of Education, Department of Commerce, that type of thing.  But when you start considering the effects of these policies, things get a little ridiculous.  For one thing, the government employs a lot of people.  So if you removed parts of the government, you'd have a fairly major increase in unemployment.  People generally frown upon that type of policy.  Second, the government does a handful of things that literally no one else wants to or is able to do, such as garbage collection, wastewater treatment, and food safety enforcement.  Yes, there are private companies that do some of those things, but the government pays them.  Either way, we pay for those things.  You can't just get rid of them.  As for food safety, many people think we should just get rid of food and consumer product safety regulations because they're part of a slow, bloated government.  The problem is, there's no profit incentive to make your products safe, or free from bacteria, or medicinally effective.  The government establishes and enforces those guidelines because literally no one else will.  And in fact, you really don't need to dig that deep to find out what the world was like before food safety laws and the FDA existed (hint: meat is a great way to kill people).  The overwhelming fact of the matter is the government is important.  Can it be better?  Yes.  Can it be smaller?  Yes.  But running on a platform of gutting the federal government is just unreasonable. #politics


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