This is what *my* life feels like...

Supracentral

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#1
If I occasionally seem grumpy, gruff, disgusted and annoyed, this is probably why. Hasnas knows exactly how I feel.



http://faculty.msb.edu/hasnasj/GTWebSite/FeelsLike.htm

What It Feels Like To Be A Libertarian
John Hasnas, Associate Professor
McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University
January, 2009

Political analysts frequently consider what it means to be a libertarian. In fact, in 1997, Charles Murray published a short book entitled "What It Means to Be a Libertarian" that does an excellent job of presenting the core principles of libertarian political philosophy. But almost no one ever discusses what it feels like to be a libertarian. How does it actually feel to be someone who holds the principles described in Murray’s book?

I’ll tell you. It feels bad. Being a libertarian means living with a level of frustration that is nearly beyond human endurance. It means being subject to unending scorn and derision despite being inevitably proven correct by events. How does it feel to be a libertarian? Imagine what the internal life of Cassandra must have been and you will have a pretty good idea.

Imagine spending two decades warning that government policy is leading to a major economic collapse, and then, when the collapse comes, watching the world conclude that markets do not work.

Imagine continually explaining that markets function because they have a built in corrective mechanism; that periodic contractions are necessary to weed out unproductive ventures; that continually loosening credit to avoid such corrections just puts off the day of reckoning and inevitably leads to a larger recession; that this is precisely what the government did during the 1920's that led to the great depression; and then, when the recession hits, seeing it offered as proof of the failure of laissez-faire capitalism.

Imagine spending years decrying federal intervention in the home mortgage market; pointing out the dangers associated with legislation such as the Community Reinvestment Act that forces lenders to make more risky loans than they otherwise would; testifying before Congress on the lack of oversight and inevitable insolvency of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to legislators who angrily respond either that one is "exaggerat[ing] a threat of safety and soundness . . . which I do not see" (Barney Frank) or "If it ain’t broke, why do you want to fix it? Have the GSEs [government-sponsored enterprises] ever missed their housing goals" (Maxine Waters) or "The problem that we have and that we are faced with is maybe some individuals who wanted to do away with GSEs in the first place" (Gregory Meeks) or that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are "one of the great success stories of all time" (Christopher Dodd); and arguing that the moral hazard created by the implicit federal backing of such privately-owned government-sponsored enterprises is likely to set off a wave of unjustifiably risky investments, and then, when the housing market implodes under the weight of bad loans, watching the collapse get blamed on the greed and rapaciousness of "Wall Street."

I remember attending a lecture at Georgetown in the mid-1990s given by a member of the libertarian Cato Institute in which he predicted that, unless changed, government policy would trigger an economic crisis by 2006. That prediction was obviously ideologically-motivated alarmism. After all, the crisis did not occur until 2008.

Libertarians spend their lives accurately predicting the future effects of government policy. Their predictions are accurate because they are derived from Hayek’s insights into the limitations of human knowledge, from the recognition that the people who comprise the government respond to incentives just like anyone else and are not magically transformed to selfless agents of the good merely by accepting government employment, from the awareness that for government to provide a benefit to some, it must first take it from others, and from the knowledge that politicians cannot repeal the laws of economics. For the same reason, their predictions are usually negative and utterly inconsistent with the utopian wishful-thinking that lies at the heart of virtually all contemporary political advocacy. And because no one likes to hear that he cannot have his cake and eat it too or be told that his good intentions cannot be translated into reality either by waving a magic wand or by passing legislation, these predictions are greeted not merely with disbelief, but with derision.

It is human nature to want to shoot the messenger bearing unwelcome tidings. And so, for the sin of continually pointing out that the emperor has no clothes, libertarians are attacked as heartless bastards devoid of compassion for the less fortunate, despicable flacks for the rich or for business interests, unthinking dogmatists who place blind faith in the free market, or, at best, members of the lunatic fringe.

Cassandra’s curse was to always tell the truth about the future, but never be believed. If you add to that curse that she would be ridiculed, derided, and shunned for making her predictions, you have a pretty fair approximation of what it feels like to be a libertarian.

If you’d like a taste of what it feels like to be a libertarian, try telling people that the incoming Obama Administration is advocating precisely those aspects of FDR’s New Deal that prolonged the great depression for a decade; that propping up failed and failing ventures with government money in order to save jobs in the present merely shifts resources from relatively more to relatively less productive uses, impedes the corrective process, undermines the economic growth necessary for recovery, and increases unemployment in the long term; and that any "economic" stimulus package will inexorably be made to serve political rather than economic ends, and see what kind of reaction you get. And trust me, it won’t feel any better five or ten years from now when everything you have just said has been proven true and Obama, like FDR, is nonetheless revered as the savior of the country.

----

Edit 4/1/2010: This piece was written in January 2009, just as Obama took office. This was written before the crazy spending spree that Obama went on. Look above and read that last paragraph again. Then compare that prediction to the mess you live in today. If you're even remotely honest with yourself, you're going to have to admit that we libertarians are not crazy. We're correct. History is proving that time and time and time again. The sooner you folks wake up and start dealing with reality, the better the chance is that we may, as a nation, survive this mess.

Edit 4/5/2012: Two years later - 3 years since the original. Disturbing how libertarian predictions are playing out, isn't it? If you're one of those "shoot the messenger" types, you might want to consider listening to the messenger before it's too late.

Edit 5/3/2016: Do I even need to point anything out? No, I didn't think so. I rest my case.

Edit 1/20/2017: So - prophecy or paranoia? Yes, that's rhetorical. Facts are stubborn things.
 
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suprahero

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#2
I don't know what to say. I don't have any answers that will help save us. All I can do is hope for the best and pray for something positive to come out of this past election. I am open to suggestions though if someone knows what I should be doing.
 

simpsons7s

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#3
I am open to suggestions though if someone knows what I should be doing.
Try to reserve your spot on supracentrals Wyoming homestead.......but seriously, the only thing to do is the same thing that all other generations of people have done under the oppressive force of ignorance and politics, and that is to educate yourself as much as possable, for only education with understanding will be your guide through the tidal wave of ignorance. Survival of the fittest does not only apply to stregnth but also to intellegence, train your mind and when the time comes you will already know what to do.....
The Matrix had it right except when you take the red pill you become a libritarian. Open your Mind. The nearly unbearable frustration comes from realizing truths, critical thinking and paying attention.
I find it increasingly hard to live surrounded by stupid. Many, like myself feel that the only way to fix our own lives is to seperate ourselves from the lemming society. Join with others with like minds and find a way through life with as little outside oppression as possable. This is slowly becoming less possable as the governments grip tightens, overpopulation has removed all but a few places to flee to, and technology has made sure to keep everyone in line and accounted for while touting it as "Safety" or "Security". I personally feel that we will see period of great prosperity (about 3-7 years) brought about by the false propping up of markets, bailouts and fixed balance sheets and then a global market collapse with society following shortly behind. I do not think my generation will be around long enough to see the next up after that. I do not see myself as a Doomsayer, but a realist, basing my opinion on history and cyclic theroy (what goes up must come down) Sorry for the long wind but we have been touching on subjects that rub my mind lately. I will close with, don't put all your money on red or all on black instead, instead put the money in your pocket and walk away from a game you can't win.
Keep your gun close and pray to whatever form of God you chose.
P.S. Suprahero.. I really like your avatar... that got me good.
 

jugodegolf

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#4
I would have to say that this does suck watching things unravel and knowing better, but not really being able to effect them. Wyoming? Hummm?

Take a weekend off, take DT for a nice cruise somewhere new. Usually works for me.
 
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#5
Planning on using what time is left before the SHTF (and honestly, the more I deal with the stupidity, the truer I'm seeing that term coming into being) to finish my AA degree here in Florida, and then Laura and I are going to see what opportunities await us in Wyoming.

This rampant stupidity can not be allowed to continue if I am going to be able to raise my kids in the same great country I grew up in.
 

googooflexy

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#7
Don't wait for anything. DO.

Mike and I are going out to Wyoming in the summer to meet some of the other Free Staters out there and check out some land.


http://bigwyomingland.com/rac/list.php

http://www.rmtproperties.com/BTR4.html

(bah, there was another link I need to find.)
I have family in WY...they live in Gillette though (Essentially the desert).

I've seen most of the state...Western WY and Colorado are my favorite places in the world. Untouched nature.

Wouldn't necessarily be a bad place to live...
 

Suprapowaz!(2)

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#8
Ok, I've been living under a rock for a while. What's with living in Wyoming, and the Free Staters? Oh, and it seems like land is really cheap over there.
 

7MGTEsup

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#10
I must be a libertarian as well then as I have been telling people this was coming for about 5 years and everyone called me a pessimist.
 

te72

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#12
Shortly before the 2012 election, in September of that year, I went to see Ron Paul speak at the University of Utah. I had done my very best to try to convince people that he was our best shot at turning this ship away from the iceberg. Some, some listened, and learned. I can now happily count my dad and brother as libertarians, whether or not they would admit it or not... that might be a different story. Also converted a friend or two. I've come to realize that just about anybody that is worth the air they breathe for their contributions to society, is a libertarian. Often, they just don't know the proper term for their beliefs.

One thing that stood out when I saw Ron Paul speak, was when he said, "I know we're right, you know we're right, and history will eventually prove us right. For now, we need to educate those around us, as much as we can."
 

Supracentral

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#13
Welcome to election day 2016, and guess what?

NOTHING HAS CHANGED.
 

te72

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#14
Wait, we had an election? I know the circus was in town, did I miss something?