Tuesday, September 18, 2012

No one represents you in election

No one represents you in election

(My Clovis News Journal column for August 17, 2012)

Obama or Romney. Or, should that be "Obamney"?

It is amusing to watch the election promoters trying to make the anointed presidential candidates look different from one another. Especially when it means they are now promoting a candidate they had vigorously opposed mere months ago. Every time election season oozes across the landscape I feel sorry for voters; especially in a case where there is no substantive difference between the candidates they will be allowed to choose from. I empathize with their desperation.

Most voters will try to justify their new-found support for Candidate X. The honest voters will say "Sure it's a bad choice, but what else can I do? Just give up?"

Well, sure, you could do that, but it's not necessary.

In my opinion as a libertarian, a vote for a Democrat or Republican is always a wasted vote. For that matter, any vote is probably always a wasted vote, since no one can ever truly "represent" another person, other than on a one-to-one basis. Even then it's iffy and you can easily be betrayed. Almost no aspect of life should be subject to majority opinion or control, anyway. Society can't be "run".

However, if you still feel the need to vote, only vote for a third party candidate. You are still legitimizing an illegitimate and completely broken "system", but at least your vote won't go toward the person/party that the mainstream media and the government want you to believe to be your only option.

Another choice you always have is to refuse to play a rigged game. Withdraw consent and walk away. That's not "giving up". If you are playing cards against someone who has mirrors arranged so that he can see the cards you hold, who has a stash of aces (or whatever he might need) in his lap, and who gets to have final say in any dispute you might have concerning the outcome of the game, why would you keep sitting there and placing bets? The situation in politics is even less honest.

This realization can free you to spend your time and energy elsewhere. Instead of waiting for some politician to do things you feel are important, start the ball rolling yourself. Instead of waiting for tax money to be allocated to your cause, publicize your cause and get voluntary donations. Instead of advocating a "law" to force people to act as though they agree with your or your cause, convince them. And if all that fails go on without their help- leaving them free to go their own way. It's how decent people operate. Let's bring decency back to life.


Roads? Where we're going, we don't need ... roads!

Building onto the "eminent domain" theme has me thinking about roads.

I am frequently asked how we will have roads if there is no government road program or fuel taxes.

Note that this isn't "the only way" roads might work in a free society, but only a possible solution. The reality would probably be different than I can even imagine.

I think that all roads should be private property. Everyone would own the road that runs through their property. Or if it runs along a boundary, they would own the half of the road that is on their side of the property line.

Now, If I owned half of the road in front of my property, would I want the bother of maintaining it, and the liability if someone were driving on it and was in an accident? No, I wouldn't. Would I close off the road to travelers? I wouldn't, but I am sure some folks would. That would be their choice. Would there be any profit in keeping the road open? Yes. (Plus, businesses have a vested interest in keeping roads open so that customers can get to them.)

No one, including me, wants a stupid toll-booth every hundred feet or so. So what would happen?

I think that the market would soon find a workable solution. My hunch is that companies would form which would buy or lease roads from land-owners, taking on all costs and liabilities, but also most of the profits. These companies (not "corporations", which are a government creation) would probably sell a form of travel insurance or something of the sort that would permit travel upon their roadways and also guarantee against road hazards, and maybe even mechanical problems.

They could also sell or lease out business locations along the shoulders.

There would probably not be enforcers and roadblocks along the road. If a road's owner allowed this to happen, competitors could profit by offering an alternative. Bad traffic problems would be a cause to find a real solution, and "one size fits all" wouldn't be the name of the game. Traffic signals could be dispensed with by those who are aware of the problems they cause.

If you think this sounds unreasonable, go back to the title of this post. If this solution didn't make everyone happy, what would happen? What would stop inventors from creating vehicles that don't use roads? It has already been done. The biggest stumbling block along this line has been (for over 50 years) the government regulations which cripple innovation with red tape and inertia. Does the FAA sound familiar?

So you will have a choice: use the roads and pay a fee (or have the fee absorbed into the cost of doing business) which would undoubtedly be less than the fuel taxes you pay now, or leave the surface entirely.

The sky is no limit when you have liberty.

(From the archives. Originally posted September 5, 2006. Updated.)