Friday, May 21, 2010

Rand Paul....Again

Once more Rand Paul has opened his contradictory mouth. Speaking in an interview about the comments he made on the Civil Rights Act 1964, he claimed that the way Obama is treating BP is Un-American...full article from the associated press can be found here...

Two things. First, in my reading on the subject, Rand Paul is lambasting President Obama because the Administration is actually suggesting that the laws be changed so that BP is liable for ALL the financial damages that their oil well leak has caused. Paul on the other hand claims that this is un-american, and that companies make mistakes and sometimes there are accidents So....The "libertarian" is claiming that the government should not force BP to fully pay for the accident that that company is responsible for and instead he expects the GOVERNMENT to pick up the tab. Can someone say BP government bailout? Is this libertarianism? If it is, I dont know where I have been getting the information about libertarianism that I have been reading from. It is becoming clear, that Paul is not a libertarian at all...though he might like to disguise himself in that guise. He instead seems to be a sort of Conservative Corporatist, the definition of which can be found here...

Second, it is because of this supposed "libertarian" view of no government intervention that we have the mess in the Gulf today. True libertarians do not advocate no government, but instead limited government. In my point of view, it is acceptable for the government to enact "regulations", such as regulations that could have PREVENTED the disaster that we see in the gulf right now, because of the notion of externalities. The main flaw of the free market capitalist system is that it believes we exist in a "bubble". Yet do we? or does our actions naturally have consequences, sometimes negative consequences? Of course the answer is yes!! It is the governments job to eliminate these externalities through such avenues as regulations and taxes. Some libertarians claim that the free market will deal with these issues, because people will not purchase from an unethical company. But as pointed out, the free market fails to take into account the externalities of doing example of which is playing out in the Gulf.

Finally I just wish that Rand Paul would get his ideas in line...either he is a true libertarian or he is a politician pandering to the oft times reactionary and not thought out positions of the tea party. I just wish that he would make up his mind and recognize that we live in something called the real world and not the simple ideological world that exists in his theoretical realm.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rand Paul and Libertarianism

I am most likely one of the last bloggers to address the issue that erupted last night over the whole Rand Paul civil rights fiasco. Rand Paul, on the Rachel Maddow show asked Paul whether he would support the Civil Rights act of 1964. Though Paul said that he was in favor of most of the bill, he had hesitation and would have not supported title 2 of the act, which forces private businesses to not discriminate when giving services based upon sex, race, religion, and national origin. Paul said that the government does not have the right to tell private institutions who they can and cannot serve.

Here is a good article from the Montreal Gazette dealing with the issue...

What Paul fails to realize, is that private business owners do not live in a bubble. Yes they are a private business, yet they serve the public. They exist within the public sphere. Under TRUE libertarian philosophy, not the pseudo-libertarian tea bagger philosophy that both Ron and Rand Paul espouse, government is allowed to intervene when there is harm directly caused though the governments inaction on an issue. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was implemented because there WAS direct harm to African American individuals by private business owners. Blacks were being denied service, sometimes even being physically assaulted by whites, thus the government had the responsibility to intervene and pass an act forcing private businesses that act within the public sphere to eliminate discrimination.

Though I count myself as a libertarian...there are limits to libertarianism, limits that many libertarians themselves do not recognize. Libertarians should not espouse no government intervention at all, but instead must allow for intervention when there is direct harm to society when the private sector is allowed to reign supreme. Hopefully Rand Paul recognizes the flawed thinking that has caused such a strong controversy and starts singing a different tune.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hypocrisy and Gay Rights

The following post will be the last one that I make on the subject of gay rights for a few I will be turning my attention towards more thought provoking issues like immigration reform and healthcare reform. But this post is more of a response to the recent developments in Minnesota and Hawaii that I believe highlight some key issues in the gay marriage debate.

What I have noticed over the past few weeks is that this issue is not about "protecting" marriage, and is instead more pure distaste and hatred toward homosexuals. The contradictions and illogicality of those who want "traditional" marriage I will show fails when the actual evidence is looked at.

First, lets discuss Hawaii. A few weeks ago the Hawaii legislature approved a Civil-Unions bill that would give Hawaii same sex couples all the same rights as married couples. The legislature compromised by NOT calling these Unions marriages, because for years those who have fought for one man one woman marriages have said that the "institution" is only allowed for straight people. Fine, said Hawaii's Legislature, we will give all the civil, legal benefits to same-sex couples, those rights that the government currently arbitrarily gives heterosexual married couples, but we will respect your religious views and not say "marriage". Is this acceptable? Not to Hawaii conservatives, who claim that this is just a sneak attempt at gay marriage. Umm...the legislature is allowing you to keep the word that you want and yet allow same sex couples to have equal rights...totally sneak attempting gay marriage. This shows that the rights fight is not truly about the word "marriage" but is instead directly aimed at denying gay and lesbian couples the normal rights that other couples have.

Next example, the recent decision by the Governor of Minnesota to veto a bill giving same sex partners the right to make end of life decisions...basically a form of domestic partnership. The Governor says that this law was needless because partners can already do what the bill stipulates. He says this ignoring the evidence to the contrary...that wills and other non-enshrined in law statutes are often time overruled by other factors such as the deceased family and such. The Governor then states that this bill was just another step toward gay marriage. So because something "might" lead to something it should automatically be outlawed? This is pure discrimination on the part of the Governor.

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