February 15, 2016

Utilitarian libertarianism vs. religious libertarianism

There are primary motivations of people who identify as libertarian, and I classify them as utilitarian and religious. The utilitarian libertarianism believes that only good things will come from laissez-faireism and small government. For example, the “gap” between blacks and whites will be closed because without the government coddling of minorities, the minorities will have to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and thereby become self-sufficient and responsible citizens. Because all but a tiny minority actually understands the truth of HBD, everyone else, including liberals, conservatives, and libertarians, believe that their own brand of politics will solve all of our racial problems. Leaving libertarian creationism aside, the utilitarian libertarian believes that we will have the strongest economy and all citizens will benefit if all government regulations were removed and the free market will just do its thing. Now they aren’t 100% wrong, and in fact I agree that the majority of government regulations are bad regulations, designed by religious liberals who want to remake society in a liberal manner and don’t care about the economics of the regulation, or because they simply refuse to do basic cost benefit analysis and see that the cost of compliance with a regulation exceeds its benefit. But there are many examples where the libertarians are wrong. Without regulations on banking, the banks would just lend out all of their money so that they all have dangerously low reserves and a recession would trigger a big collapse of the banking system. Businesses would happily profit off of negative externalities because they only care about making money and not about whether the means in which they make money benefits society. I used to be opposed to the minimum wage in my youth, but now I realize that the minimum wage benefits the class of workers it’s designed to help. Part of the utilitarian aspect of libertarian beliefs is the idea that all money earned in a “free market” is exactly equal to the value created, and therefore Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have created more value than anyone else as demonstrated by their vast wealth. Other top value creators would have to include Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, and Al Gore (who is very rich). The religious libertarian doesn’t care about whether libertarianism causes good things to happen. They see the government as pure evil, and they are opposed to government even when government does good. They are religious like the people who would rather see a mother die than have an abortion that would save her life. But the true religious libertarians are a tiny minority; they need the utilitarian argument behind them for their position to have any support. Pointing out that the rich people didn’t earn their money by creating value, or that a government regulation can occasionally do good, creates anger and cognitive dissonance.