Libertarians offer prescription for the disease of big government

There is a disease spreading in North Carolina and the country and health care reform is not the cure but one of the symptoms, the chair of the North Carolina Libertarian Party told delegates gathered for the party’s annual state convention in Burlington April 10.

“If I had to name the disease, I’d have to say we have a fast-spreading cancer called big government,” said Barbara Howe in her state of the party address. She said the prescription for the disease is the Libertarian Party and its message of more freedom and less government.

“Probably most libertarians agree that heath care has some serious problems,” Howe said. “But as Mike Munger is fond of saying, there’s no problem so great that government cant make it greater.”

Munger is chair of the Duke University political science department and was the 2008 Libertarian candidate for governor.

Howe said that some of the symptoms are “clueless elected officials, power-seeking elected officials and unelected bureaucrats.”

“Other symptoms include bank bailouts, seemingly endless wars, a continuation of the failed war on drugs, the mountains and mountains of rules and regulations on business, an education system with too much central control, and taxes that require most tax-paying Americans to work exclusively for the government for more than a quarter of the year,” Howe said.

“The prescription for this disease is the Libertarian Party and the people in this room,” Howe told the delegates.

In keeping with the Libertarian belief in limited government, the convention passed a resolution encouraging recipients of the 2010 U.S. Census to refuse to answer most of the questions.

The resolution said question one on the census form, which asks the number of persons living at the address, “is the only question needed to serve the Constitutionality-stated purposes of the census of apportioning federal, representation and direct taxes.”

The main order of business was the revision and amendment of the party’s platform.

The convention adopted a new Criminal Justice plank advocating the concept of restitution. It says, “The proper focus of a system of criminal justice is to require criminals to provide restitution to the victims of their crime. We recognize the right of the victim to pardon or come to a private settlement with the criminal.”

The existing Crime plank was replaced with two planks. The first, entitled The Law, says, “The LPNC advocates a code of law the defines crime only for acts that result in specific harm to a person or property.” The plank calls for the repeal of all statutes criminalizing acts where there is no specific victim or property damage identified.

Anyone convicted of such crimes should be pardoned and their criminal records expunged, even if they have already served a sentence.

In the second plank, The Law Knows No Exception, Libertarians took the position that public officials who commit crimes, even in performance of their official duties, should not be immune from prosecution.

Delegates elected at-large members of the state executive committee. They are David Grimm of Burlington, Tom Hohmann of Monroe, Michael Shanklin of Erwin, and Aaron Yeargan of Hampstead. The also selected delegates to the Libertarian National Convention to be held in St. Louis May 29 to 31.

Text of New or Revised LPNC Platform

Note: This in unofficial. It is based on my notes from the convention. Refer the original platform here.

Preamble (revised)

We hold that every person has a natural right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that economic freedom and property rights are essential to personal liberty; and that individual liberty, personal responsibility, and a free-market economy form the basis for a peaceful, prosperous society.

While individuals have a duty to respect the rights of one another, governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Governments must not violate individual rights. Therefore, we oppose attempts by governments to either manipulate the economy or interfere in the private moral decisions of individuals.

When private businesses, charitable organizations, and other voluntary associations are allowed to provide services in a truly free market, they do so more economically than a government monopoly while allowing freedom of choice and the exercise of true compassion. We envision an increased role for voluntary associations to accompany a dramatic reduction in the role of compulsory government.

Our goal is a freer and more prosperous society based on respect for individual rights, acknowledgment of the creative potential of a free market, and optimism for a future in which voluntary associations provide many of the services currently provided by the state.

In this platform, we demonstrate how our libertarian principles apply to public policy and briefly present our positions on the issues with an emphasis on state and local concerns that are not necessarily addressed in the national Libertarian Party platform.

I. Justice

The Law (replace Crime)

The LPNC advocates a code of law that defines crime only for acts that result in specific harm to a person or property. The LPNC calls for repeal of all statutes that assert a crime has been committed in cases where no specific victim nor damage to property can be identified. We also call for the immediate pardon and expungement of charges made under such laws from all criminal records, regardless of whether the individual actually served or is serving a sentence.

Crime Knows No Exception (replace Crime)

No person should have to endure victimization without recourse. No government official, even when acting in pursuance of his official duties, should have immunity from the law.

Criminal Justice (new)

The proper focus of a system of criminal justice is to require criminals to provide restitution to the victims of their crime. We recognize the right of the victim to pardon or come to a private settlement with the criminal.

End the War on Drugs (revised)

The LPNC calls for the immediate end to the policy of drug prohibition. While we do not advocate the use of drugs, we have learned that drug prohibition is worse than the drugs themselves. We call for the legalization of all drugs and the immediate pardon of individuals convicted solely of nonviolent drug charges.

III. The Free Market

Local Government Monopolies (revised Privatization)

The LPNC challenges local and county governments to seek private solutions for basic needs. We call for free and open competition in all areas which have been previously reserved to government-granted monopolies, including but not limited to public transportation, utilities, and police and fire protection.

Resolution on 2010 Census

Whereas question 1 on the 2010 U.S. Census — number of persons living at the address — is the only question needed to serve the constitutionality-stated purposes of the census of apportioning federal, representation and direct taxes;

Whereas the the LPNC supports limiting government having no more power than constitutionally stated, therefore;

The LPNC encourages all recipients of the 2010 U.S. Census to refuse to answer questions 2-10.

2 comments

Comments are closed.