Info Gluttony

Politically Nowhere

Posted in politics by echan on October 10, 2008

Funny, I think that I’m the world’s most confused (or inconsistent) Libertarian. Slate has a completely non-serious piece on where Conservatives can flee if Obama locks in the presidency. The funny thing is that some of the suggestions, Hong Kong and Switzerland[1], are places where I’ve jokingly threatened to move to if Palin ever becomes president. It’s more of matter of me believing that President Palin would further run this country and its economy into the ground, so I’d rather find shelter on a continent my family left over a hundred years ago.

This really doesn’t jive with what I consider my personal political beliefs. I see myself as a social libertarian. I heart privacy. I heart free speech. I am one of the few San Franciscans who believes in both gay marriage as a human right and in the 2nd Amendment (narrowly interpreted, though, against semis and other “big” guns).

At the same time, I’m not a true economic libertarian. I don’t believe that the free market is the best solution (or rather, I don’t believe markets are actually free). I do agree with the concept of taxes, when spent for the greater good. I believe in a social safety net.

So, I’m confused as to why when presented with a potential president who would further reduce social freedoms, my natural instinct would be to leave for a place like HK, where the free market reigns supreme, but where there are less civil liberties than in the U.S. Deep down, do economics speak to me more?

[1] I always hold Switzerland out there as the all end financial goal; to have sufficient money to retire in anonymity in Montreaux, now that would be the life. Perhaps, Switzerland is the true libertarian’s paradise because wealth combined with anonymity is true freedom.

Addendum (via Stribs): An illustration of why I’m so freaked out by Palin.


6 Responses

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  1. ToastyKen said, on October 15, 2008 at 12:10 am

    See, posts like these are why I have trouble taking seriously your claims of being a Republican or even a libertarian. Let’s see now:

    “social libertarian”… “believe in…taxes”… “social safety net”….

    By the standards of that diagram the Libertarians like to use, socially less control + economically more control = DEMOCRAT.

    Yes, you may differ from the party line on a few litmus tests, but I think that, in principle you are essentially a Democrat, regardless of what you’re registered as. 😛

  2. ToastyKen said, on October 15, 2008 at 12:11 am

    My favorite part of the Palin link is the dinosaur. 🙂

  3. ToastyKen said, on October 15, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Oh, and as we all know, Biden’s got a couple of guns, and Obama better not try to take them from him!


  4. eflan said, on October 20, 2008 at 4:45 am

    Funny, I saw a tee shirt on this guy in the FiDi that matched my views perfectly: “Fiscally Conservative / Socially Liberal / Sexually Libertarian”

    Too bad it also had the Abercrombie logo. Blech.

  5. ToastyKen said, on October 21, 2008 at 10:40 am

    But my point is that if you support all those social services, then you are NOT fiscally conservative!

  6. eflan said, on October 21, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    But, I am, I am.

    I believe in theory, free markets work. However, I think that the market becomes distorted, however, and certain costs become externalized and spread across society (i.e. the primary example is how Walmart wouldn’t provide health insurance, and tried to force the state to step in). The safety net is there to help counter these distortions.

    Also, the Grover Norquist right has hijacked “fiscal conservatism.” Spending for a war that is greater than the medicare budget is not fiscally conservative. Awarding contracts out to KBR when there is no other bidder is not fiscally conservative.

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