Hypocrisy thy name is Libertarian

“Hours of interviews in Manassas Park turned up exactly one resident in favor of the bailout, a fellow in a Harvard T-shirt in a big house near the golf course. Richard Bejtlich, 36, who works in computer security for General Electric—its stock jumped dramatically Friday when the government banned short-selling of financial securities—says he’s a libertarian and normally wouldn’t support government intervention. But there’s no other way at this point, he says, because we’re in too deep of a hole and have been too profligate.”
“A Sense of Resentment Amid the ‘For Sale’ Signs”, Washington Post, September 22, 2008

Shorter Libertarian:

“I was for unfettered capitalism before I was against it.”

What’s the point in trying to brainwash them to become mindless conservatives when it seems ignorance and selfishness at our top universities are doing the job for you?

(I’ve been ranting too long about this, so please read Paul Krugman and William Kristol. Newsweek has a summary of the economic philosophies of the two candidates.)

9 thoughts on “Hypocrisy thy name is Libertarian

  1. As a libertarian, I have to say: What a douche! He’s a a corporate socialist. Hypocrite fits him perfectly.

  2. Libertarian my ass. That guy’s no more Libertarian than Karl Marx.

    I say that as a ‘small L’ libertarian who’s quite enraged with the bail-outs in progress. I’m in pretty much the same boat as the first guy in the Washington Post article. Four years ago I chose not to buy a home because I believed the prices are sustainable. Instead, I saved my money so eventually I could have a large down payment and hopefully prices would be lower. Unfortunately, our administration (who is a far cry from fiscally conservative) has chosen to keep pumping up the bubble in the hopes of saving us from a recession.

    In retrospect, I was a gullible saver. I lost money to the real interest rate thanks to inflation, and what little money I was able to make off my savings was taxed as capital gain. What I should have done, apparently, is buy the biggest home I could possibly qualify for and then assume that somebody, somewhere, would bail me out in the future. After all, it’s a national right to own a home!

  3. Summary of why this is using an economic 9/11 to scare us into consolidating larger economic power in the hands of an unchecked executive.

    Because of the outcry from both sides, this won’t fly. But it makes me wonder if the Secretary of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve is actually serious about solving the problem or they just want to muddle things enough so both sides can finger point instead of any side taking blame—when one side clearly deserves the blame.

    Me to Bush (and Herr Paulson: Go fuck yourself, then come back with a plan that doesn’t suck.

  4. Just to reiterate: This is a big political issue!

    @Brian D. I tcould be far worse, you could be facing runaway mortgage rates right before your home buying, but they’ve been held in check by government bailout.

    The problem with small L libertarianism is that libertarianism itself is a very malleable definition. Because of this, I usually attack those who self-identify as libertarian on the consequences statements they make, not the values they identify with—we’re all for more freedoms, after all.

    For instance, for a long time now, libertarians of all sized-L’s have been for smaller government and minimal government actions. But check out this recent column from Thomas Friedman. Remember, his “World is Flat” is practically a manifesto for libertarian economic triumphalism but here he is, now arguing for more government action.

    I agree with a lot of the values and prescriptions he asks of the candidates, but let’s be honest here, what is the cause of this problem—too much progressive policies? or twenty-some years of economic regressive policies? Who was cheerleading it? Certainly not me. Hmm, let’s crack open Tom’s book again…

    Just saying…

  5. As a libertarian, I’m disappointed that this election pits big government vs. big government, as did ’00 and ’04. Capitalism fails if you don’t punish bad business decisions. There can’t be a good market without a bad market, and it’s time to allow the market to do poorly due to this credit crisis. If we let happen what should happen, things will be just fine long-term. This bailout will calm the storm for a few months. Maybe even, if accompanied by similar socialist measures, a couple years. And then the bottom will fall out.

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