Libertarian ideas in Bridgewater

In a thread that had gotten long, Old Timer asked: “Libertarian– what do you mean by “The government would only enforce their contracts.”? Aside from this comment, your points seem fairly anarchist in nature, that is, advocating the abolishment of government.”

In libertarian thought, the government is limited to certain very basic functions — you know, kind of like those radicals Thomas Jefferson and James Madison had in mind. Enforcing contracts is one of those functions. If a business employs a worker and then doesn’t pay, the government enforces the contract. The interactions of free men and women then determine pay and working conditions.

This is no more anarchistic than is the idea of having for-profit grocery stores be the primary way that food gets to people. Think about the Bridgewater IGA. There is no government authority that requires it to be there or oversee how much food it orders. Anarchy! and yet it works, and is friendly.

Ask yourself this: Do you think the residents of Bridgewater would be better off if we had a government Ministry of Food responsible for getting groceries to us — instead of IGA vs. 7-11 vs. Dayton Walmart vs. Food Lion?

3 thoughts on “Libertarian ideas in Bridgewater”

  1. I think I’m going to enjoy this discussion. An opinion that would severely limit government authority and a opinion that government needs to provide for us all. The libertarian beliefs and the Socialist agenda are both extremes however both have points that have merit.
    A limited government would go a long way to protect our freedoms but government largess would provide a safety net for the truly needy.
    We now have a freely (tongue in cheek) elected socialist leaning government. Our Congressmen and women are typically socialist in nature with the Republicans being a little less so. True conservatives are needed to keep the them in check.
    That said, I’ll just sit back and listen. I’ll probably learn something.

  2. It must be remembered that the original ideas of the founding fathers was to protect its citizens. Two hot issues were- who were to be considered citizens and how were they to be protected? Certainly as people began to view slaves as people it became obvious that many of the states were not providing for their liberties which culminated in frictions that led to the Civil War. Of course there were other issues besides slavery that produced the Civil War, I hasten to add, to nip that discussion in the bud. One of these was the trust Jefferson had in the landed aristocracy, that is those who owned plantations. Many, especially those in the South, viewed these as proper citizens who were learned enough to vote properly as opposed to the large number of city dwellers in the large Northern cities who owned no appreciable property, as well as poor whites in the South I suppose.
    Once the citizenship issue was more or less resolved by the Civil War, the issue then became and still is, what protection does the federal and state governments need to give its citizens?
    Here is where Libertarians, Conservatives, Neo-conservative (I make a distinction between them and true conservative- of which there are not many left), and Liberals, and Progressives. Libertarian espouses the protection of workers contracts. I agree. Libertarian believes our country is engaged in unnecessary wars. I agree. The Neo-cons’ obsession with taking American “freedom” to the rest of world has led to some very unfortunate consequences to our country in terms of economics and world wide respect.
    The question remains, what other protections do we need from the government (federal and state)? Do we need protection regarding our food sources? From the contamination of our environment from industry and other contaminating sources? Do our workers need protection from more than just work contracts? Do we need child protective laws? Do we need licensing statutes to insure adequate care by health professionals, educators, etc.? Do we need our government to provide assistance/aid to its citizens in the case of natural disasters? I say yes. What say you Libertarian or anybody else who wants to chime in? It seems these are the issues that need to be debated and no political or philosophical position automatically offers the final answer to these debatable issues, IMHO. Too long we have relied on elected politicians to find the answers to these important issues rather than to look to each other via dialogue for the answers. Sorry about the length of this.

  3. You ask in part, “what protection does the federal and state governments need to give its citizens?” and as soon as you ask that question, the debate is over. The big-government nanny-staters have won, because the existence of a government that “gives” things to citizens is assumed. But the government cannot give anything unless it first takes it away. So the question is, “What do we as free men and women want the government to do for us, always as a servant to us and never as our master?” From that, reasonable people will derive different lists. My short list includes providing for the common defense, maintaining order, enforcing contracts and preventing people from taking the property of others without consent. Our problem right now, however, is not to design an ultimate libertarian state — instead, the problem is to stop the erosion of liberty enough to have the debate. If the government controls our health care cradle to grave, and runs up financial obligations so big that confiscatory taxation is necessary, it has become our master no matter what rights our Constitution may say we have.

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