I have a lot of friends who claim to be Libertarians. There is even a wing of the Republican Party, called the libertarian wing, or Tea Party. I’ll admit, I even flirted with libertarianism back in my younger days.
But after years of study and years of observation, it has been proven to my satisfaction that it is an unworkable concept.
My libertarian friends explain to me over and over how just making laws doesn’t stop people from disobeying them. They cite drug laws, speeding laws, prostitution laws, gun laws, and others, as proof that they are right and I am wrong. People break them every day, so why make another law that people will just go on to break.
We need fewer laws and fewer regulations, because people will do the moral thing regardless of what the law says. It is always the few deranged people who shoot up a school. It is always someone with some sort of flaw, physical or emotional who uses addictive drugs, or become child predators. They will do what they do no matter how many laws you pass. The good moral people will not do that.
History shows us that it simply not true and there are dozens of example to prove it, particularly in a laissez faire capitalist system. People will do what benefits them and their family, often at the expense of others and the environment without a single pang of conscience.
Libertarianism and libertarians say that I am wrong.
For years Duke Energy stored their coal ash in pits and lagoons. There were other ways to dispose of it, but these pits were the cheapest way to do it and it was reflected in larger returns for their stock holders. In other words Duke Energy and their stock holders profited from using the cheap way out.
After several leaks and spills form these pits and lagoons, Duke Energy was forced to pay fines and to clean up all these pits. Duke is now asking that their customers pay for the cleanup. Duke’s management, along with their Board, made the original decision to store the ash the way they did. They did that in order to show quarterly increases in stock prices or dividends.
Who did that benefit? The stock holders, the Board Members who saw their stock value rise, and Management, who receive bonuses based upon stock performance. Now they want to insure that those perks keep coming, so they want the customer to pay.
Now I am sure that most if not all of the people involved in these companies whose photos you see on here are good, moral, people. However when their own good or well-being was involved, they looked out for themselves. Not for the rest of us.
These are just a few of the environmental problems caused by lax regulations or enforcement, or letting businesses operate as they will, while we hoped that they would do the right thing.
I could go on about other things like minimum wages, sweatshops, and general corporate serfdom, but I think you get the point.
Maybe I’ll do another post about that or even gun regulations, or food and drug safety.