Our rights do not originate with government, but they are to be "secured" by government.
Formerly: Libertarian Party of Citrus county

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Intentions vs. Results

By Tom Rhodes, 4/11/12

Over my expressed liberal views I’ve been accused of being heartless, uncaring, hateful, stupid, and even evil. Yes liberal views, but today they must be named libertarian views, because statists, communists, socialists, progressives, and leftists of all sorts have so distorted the definition of liberal that it no longer means what it once did. The reason statists, those who believe government is the solution to economic and social problems, so hate libertarians, is that they believe libertarians are evil. The reason they do so is based on very emotional criteria not based on anything factual. The reason they so hate those who don’t agree with them is that they have nothing but the best of good intentions in their hearts. The trouble is that the old cliché is true; The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions.

Statists of all type, especially American Democrats, have nothing but the best intentions. They want the best for everybody. They firmly believe that if the people would simply allow the ruling elite, to put the right centrally controlled policies in place that they could alleviate suffering, and everybody would have good shelter, food, healthcare, education, and a quality life. Because in their hearts they know that what they want is good, they believe that anybody who disagrees with must be evil. With no basis in fact, they vilify and disparage those who oppose their methods. Obama has nothing but the best intentions for America at heart; however he is more than willing to use socialistic and fascist methods to achieve what he thinks is best for America.

American Democrats at heart hate those who oppose them to such an extent that they cannot and will not engage in reasoned conversations. Consider Van Jones recent rant claiming that Libertarians hate "the brown folk, and the gays, and the lesbians, the people with all these piercings." He obviously hasn’t been to PorcFest. No political party has been more supportive of the LGBT community than the Libertarians. His diatribe is not based on actual evidence of bigotry, it is based simply on the fact that he feels in his heart that his intentions are good, and the libertarians managed to cost him his job under Obama, and since his intentions are good the Libertarians must be evil.

The Pilgrims who first settled North America at Plymouth Rock had the best of intentions, setting up a community where everybody was equal and everybody had equal access to all that the community produced. Despite their good intentions, the actual result was starvation and massive death. After experiencing the failure of communal property, the colony established private property rights, and everybody was allowed to keep all the product of their labor and land, abundance followed and we celebrate it every year with our national holiday, Thanksgiving. With the best of intentions the first pilgrims implementing the idea, that everybody should have equal access to the assets of the community and that everybody receive what they “needed” regardless of their effort or status in the community. The results of the actual implementation were the near annihilation of the first colony at Plymouth. Protecting private property rights, and allowing every individual (or family) to work for their own best interests lead to abundance and charity which could provide for those unable to provide for themselves.

Evidence of the implementation of central planned economies failure including the massive millions of people killed by their own governments, deprivation, and overall poor quality of life available to those living in communist countries, like the failed USSR, or Cuba are proof that the good intentions of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” in reality do not work. Libertarians look at the historic reality of implementing the rule of law, equal protection under the law, and protection of private property rights. This historic evidence is clear; those societies which protect economic freedom have the overall highest standards of living for more people than other societies. Although not as emotionally satisfying as taking care of everybody, the results of free enterprise with individual responsibility to provide for yourself or suffer the consequences is a better quality of life for everybody, just compare economic freedom to standard of living and the evidence is overwhelming.

It is with the best of intentions that libertarians want individual freedom, and liberty. Although it may appear cruel to hold individuals responsible for their own well being, and allow them to suffer the consequences of making bad life choices, the results are far from cruel. When individuals are allowed to prosper or perish based on the decisions they make in life, and when government is established to protect each individuals rights from force of fraud of others, overall more people have a better quality of life. The results are manifest and self evident. Tribalism, feudalism, communism, socialism, and fascism, regardless of the intentions of those who implement those policies all have the same results, results that have been the historic norm for mankind throughout all of history; relative richness and luxury for the ruling elite, and poverty and toil and oppression for the masses.

How about this, for every law created include a sunset clause based on time and actual results of all laws compared to their intended purpose. This way whether the law is liberal or libertarian if it fails to achieve the desired results it is automatically ended. Let’s say we create a federal law that makes texting while driving illegal, but we include a provision that says if after 5 years the number of auto accidents hasn’t decreased by 5% then we accept this law limiting peoples voluntary action did not achieve the desired results so is null and void. This way laws could be enacted with the caveat that if they failed to reach the intended results would be automatically rescinded. This would allow easier passage of many laws and would clearly reduce laws and regulations that prove to be ineffective.

Apply this logic to Obamacare. The good intentions of Obamacare are that nobody be destroyed financially because of a medical problem, and that all people have the ability to pay for quality medical care. These are good and noble intentions. How would you feel if the following were added to the Obamacare legislation? “If after 10 years, the number of uninsured people in the USA has not been reduced by 50% and overall health care costs have not been reduced by 5% the Affordable Patient Care Act will not have reached its minimum desired results and proven to be ineffective legislation thus is null and void.” If the statists and Obama are right and Obamacare is good legislation, then the results would prove its efficacy, and it would remain law. However if Obamacare proves to be ineffective, this would require Congress to then look at what worked and didn’t work in Obamacare and either craft new legislation or abandon it, both of which would be good things if Obamacare fails to reach its stated and desired results. This would allow the good intentions of Obamacare to be considered, and if proven effective retained, but dismissed if the actual results are not realized.

Let’s back-fit this idea to an older law, specifically handgun law in Washington DC. If in 1976 when handgun ownership in DC was made effectively illegal, the following provision was included, “The purpose of this law is to reduce violent crime associated with handguns. If after 7 years the murder rate and violent crime committed with hand guns hasn’t been reduced by 25% this law will have shown not to reach its intended results and is therefore null and void.” in 1983 the DC handgun ban would have automatically been rescinded, and there would have been no reason for the Heller case to even exist. Now whether liberals like it or not, there is Supreme Court precedence that clearly states that owning a handgun for self defense is a constitutionally protected individual right. The ability of the left to pass “reasonable” handgun legislation is now seriously curtailed. If automatic sunset provisions that retire all laws, including firearm laws, were enacted based on achieving actual results, both sides of the isle would have an easier time passing laws, and the people would more readily accept laws as those which are proven ineffective would automatically go away.

If the true intentions of statists are as they claim, and they believe that the laws they want will work, then this idea should pose no problem and have no opposition. If however the goal is not as they claim, but the goal is to expand government increase central control over all people, then they will fight this idea.

Statists and the left, cannot accept that those who oppose them have good intentions. They however refuse to look at actual results, to them intentions and emotions trump facts. Results not intentions should be the measure of what is acceptable, especially when it comes to laws. Libertarians want economic and social freedom with the best of intentions, the difference is that we look at and consider actual results not just the emotional feeling of doing something good. Claiming those that oppose you are filled with hate, or have evil, bad, or greedy intentions only shows that someone is narrow minded and closed to reasoned debate.

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