Politics As Usual
- is it -
? Cooperation or Exploitation?

Abuse Of Power

Rigging the System


What Libertarian Platform?

Just look at these two maps. The first shows population distribution and the other the 2016 election results for President.

Population distribution

Vote distribution

We are continually told goverment serves The Common Good. Yet, it is obvious that population distribution mirrors voting patterns to a great extent. One very clear difference is that urban populations prefer Democrat political platforms. Why? The Urban Public has little in common with the rest of the state. So it is with the country as well.

The majority of New York voters live in urban areas. Therefore, Democrats have historically been the majority in the Assembly. So Democrat majorities have their political agendas enacted into law at the expense of those who vote Republican. Understandably, this has consequences. “As the Republican Party has moved further to the right, it has increasingly become the party of fierce individualism, of ‘I built that’ and you take care of yourself. Cities, on the other hand, are fundamentally about the shared commons.
https://www.citylab.com/equity/2012/11/political-map-weve-been-waiting/3908/

Why is this so?

Non-urban Republican Party voters moved further to the right because urban Democrat Party voters moved to the left. Cooperation becomes more difficult and antagonism more likely as Left and Right diverge. How long can such different interests hold together with one size fits all government? Can diverging interests become un-governable? And at what point?

A Libertarian platform would improve governability. Libertarians must offer an alternative - less Big Government. De-centralize political power. Restore the Social Contract. Redraw boundaries to match laws with political values and align benefts with costs. This will reduce resentment, resistance and un-governability. It will avoid divergence and prevent anarchy.  

One means to achieve similar interests and reduce unwanted laws is to ‘vote with your feet’ to a more acceptable government elsewhere. Boundries stay - People move. For many NY Republicans this is not feasible, desirable or practical for a myriad of possible reasons. Furthermore, Democrat voters can also vote with their feet into Democrat areas, thus widening political divide.

Gerrymandering has a bad reputation as a mechanism to manipulate voting boundaries for political gain. Boundries move - People stay. Local govenments have long resented unfunded state mandates. State mandates force municipalities and schools to pay for otherwise unwanted expenses. In other words, state law forces the obedience boundry on local jurisdictions that don't want it. There is a term for this. Getting favors via laws and regulations instead of free markets is called 'Rent Seeking'.

Laws create and draw boundaries of The Commons. They distribute costs and benefits for some politically favored group but often resisted outside that group. In so doing, they necesarily 'discriminate'. Laws can apply to any purpose or group. But let us use public schools to illustrate. Public school administration and governance was once done by local School Boards. Yet, over decades, the revenue ’commons’ were effectively ‘gerrymandered’ to bigger entities (county, then state and now national) to expropriate more resources and fund growing revenue demands. Policy is issued from outside the local district to favor particular (special) interest.  Such authority (legislative, executive or courts) replaces local authority with mandates, limits and prohibitions opposed locally. What happens in public schools is now deterined far from local school districts by state and even federal law, or favorable interpretation by a friendly court.

Home Rule is now a myth. Yes, local people can vote for local School Boards. But those School Boards decide very little. You can call that whatever you like. But you can't call it democracy. There is no connection between your vote and what actually happens. Your vote is a farce. The power is elsewhere. To state it differently, The Commons has been ‘gerrymandered’ to favor some and exploit others.

There is no Common Public Interest . There are only 'Special Interests' seeking to extenalize costs and internalize benefits. This is Politics As Usual. But it can be changed by aligning bountries so costs are no longer externalized. This avoids resentment. The voting Commons also becomes the policy Commons and the funding Commons. After all, if NYC voters want a 'pre-school' program why should voters in rural Ft. Edward be forced to pay for something they don't want? The answer is: NYC has more voters and more influence and power to legislate their interests. "Power corrupts..."

Political stresses can become un-governable. This is increasingly evident at all levels of government. Don't force special interests of one group on another and make believe differences do not exist. Return to the traditional ideas of ‘local rule’ as much as possible and wherever possible. Repealing all laws that now allow public education decision and policy making outside and away from the school district would be one example. But of course, this is political suicide because it defeats the purpose of politics (exploitation).

A variation of that theme is to decentralize. Reverse past legislation which took power from local governments. Instead, remove state and federal impositions in the form of mandates, limits and prohibitions on local governments. But of course, this is also not politically practical because it defeats the exploitation purpose of politics.

An even more worthy goal is to privatize as much as possible. This gives real power and choice to people. Businesses have to be responsive to customer preferences in order to stay in business. In contrast, unresponsive government monopolies just lead to more unwanted forced impositions and rewards poor results. Again, observe the high cost of public education for examples of counter-productive incentives. You get more of what is subsidized and less of what is taxed.

At present all these options are political suicide. But We, the People may well become so un-governable that small government is preferable to growing anarchy. Eventually this disease must be cured. Libertarians need to begin to propose platforms based on: voluntary compliance around shared values not opposing values; decentralization of power and responsibility (as close to the individual as possible); and privatization. One area to apply these goals is education which is simultaneously the biggest cost and biggest failure.

Government has clearly not been ‘The Solution’. The nation has been legislated to bankruptcy, resentment, decline and division by Democrats and Republicans not Libertarians. As government is the problem perhaps less of it can stop and reverse these consequences. Reversing centralization and growth of political power and shrinking The Commons is a libertarian goal. Let this be the wind to drive our sail.

 

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"I see the liberty of the individual ... as the necessary condition for the flowering of all the other goods that mankind cherishes: moral virtue, civilization, the arts and sciences, economic prosperity. Out of liberty, then, stem the glories of civilized life.” Murray Rothbard

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Libertarian Party

- It's NOT Politics as Usual -

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What is politics as usual?

How does Politics As Usual damage society?

Why is the Libertarian Party NOT Politics As Usual?

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More stuff to look at!

FrogPrince Stop Politics As Usual!