Wednesday, March 4, 2015

We Need Roads, Therefore...?

A lot of people make the argument (or at least promote the meme) "We need roads, therefore we need an overarching, all-encompassing government." or in the alternate, "If you oppose [government program], you oppose roads and police." The argument is facially ridiculous - it's not just missing a step, it's missing an argument. 

The whole difference between Libertarianism as a philosophy and Anarchism is the concession that basic public goods (Roads, Police, Military) as well as laws against coercion and fraud are necessary and justify some level of government. But, the Libertarian position argues, there is a difference between "No stealing" and "Fill out 35 pages of forms based on these thousand pages of regulations that are largely incomprehensible and if you make a mistake or don't fill them out you can't sell trinkets from a table on the sidewalk."

This is a key distinction that is often (maliciously) overlooked - Libertarians believe that we need a government, but that the government should only act when truly necessary, not when "It would be nice", and that the level of government closest to the problem should be the government to act. That's the Libertarian and Constitutional concept behind limited government and local control.

But even three paragraphs are apparently more than some people can handle, when they can post a stupid picture.

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