Conversation with some cannabis community folks (examples of trying to spread libertarian ideas to people on the left)

Thanks, glad you enjoyed... 8) I must confess I don't support government social programs myself however. The problems with them are several:

(1) First and foremost, they are based on aggression (money taken from taxpayers by force). Even when it is for a good cause, I do not believe in the initiation of force. Coercion invites resistance and distaste for what you are coercing people to support, and results in a lot of time and effort wasted in enforcement, as well as the victims trying to avoid it (check out the IRS budget, and the amount of time people spend on their taxes, and trying to avoid them -- all those wasted resources and loss of productivity). Americans voluntarily give billions a year to charity, and would undoubtedly give much more in the absence of a coercive system that took so much from them by force.

(2) They create dependency and assault the dignity of the human spirit. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eats for life. Government bureaucracies are in the business of giving fish to down-and-out folks fish -- generally old, fatty ones -- not teaching them to fish. As for dignity, I invite you to observe how the personnel at an agency like the Immigration & Customs Enforcement office, or the Social Security office, or a jail (not only the inmates, but family and friends who come to visit them), or a government-run shelter or clinic in a poor area like the Tenderloin tend to deal with their clientele, to see how bureaucracies tend to treat poor people who want something from them.

(3) They are cold, distant, inflexible, alienating, and aesthetically and artistically numbing and lifeless. They build no sense of community; they do nothing to elevate the human spirit. Compare them, for instance, with a group such as Habitat With Humanity or Doctors Without Borders to get a sense of what I'm talking about here.

(4) They are institutionally corrupt. By that I do not mean that there are lots of individual government employees cheating and abusing the system, at the expense of the taxpayers and those they supposedly serve, although I think there's plenty of that too. What I mean is that an unacceptably large percentage of the money flowing through these agencies is sucked up by agency personnel, both directly in the form of salaries, benefits, and pensions, and also indirectly in the form of rules, procedures, and amenities to make their jobs easier and more comfortable, for example keeping people waiting in line or for various official actions for inordinate amounts of time, being open primarily during hours when most people working full time are on the job, being years behind the times in letting people get information and conduct transactions by phone and on the Internet. Meanwhile, as if the taxpayers weren't being soaked enough on the front end, those being "served" often have to pay outrageous charges for things like photocopies, filing fees, officially certified documents, and the like.

(5) They don't work. From education (e.g. urban schools) to health care (e.g. the Veterans administration) to housing (e.g. the SF Housing Authority), these programs are failing miserably at their basic missions to help people needing these various services. In many cases they are arguably making problems worse (e.g. drug treatment programs with higher rates of recidivism among participants than among those who didn't serve in the programs.

  I think government social programs should be replaced with strong, voluntary, community-based self-reliance efforts, along the lines of things like the Black Panthers' soup kitchens and community self-reliance efforts. If the poor weren't being soaked by things like sales taxes, telephone usage taxes, gas taxes, energy taxes, parking and moving violation tickets, drivers license fees, licensing fees, outrageous hospital costs that subsidize the government-lawyer-cartel-driven expense of malpractice insurance and restriction of ability to practice medicine, state lotteries, "sin" taxes, Social Security and unemployment taxes, withholding, etc., and of course the huge, government-created tax of INFLATION, and then the real hidden killer, LOSS OF OPPORTUNITY created by all the regulations and restrictions on the free market that could be helping them out of poverty, many more of them would be in a position to make it on their own, or get by with a less exhaustive level of assistance from voluntary, community-based organizations. They get ripped off in all these hidden ways, and then get the money trickled back to them mostly in the form of low-quality and demeaning goods and services. Talk about trickle-down! And here you were told "trickle-down" was something to do with Reagan and capitalism!

  It's hard for me to see how anyone who takes an honest, caring look at what's going on could do otherwise than conclude that the status quo of Big Government is helping the wealthy and hurting the poor, and that social justice requires making massive, radical, systemic changes to empower individuals and disempower bureaucrats and bureaucracies.

Love & liberty,
        <<< starchild >>>

roflmao! to both of you. stop! you're hurting me! lol The far right is full of hypocrisy. My favorite example is in respect to the so-called respect for life issue. Well, they want to stop abortion, but they also want to stop all the social programs. It's like saying, "We will protect you as long as you are in your mother's womb, but after that you're on you're own sucker!" :slight_smile: Just my humble opinion....have been hypocritical myself a time or too :smiley: Peace, Stuart