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Libertarians - The New Majority?
According to most of the mainstream media's reporting on issues like CISPA, libertarians are now being touted as civil liberties experts when it comes to what's beneficial to our freedoms and what isn't. I'm particularly interested in this news, being that I've consider myself a Right-leaning Libertarian, and the fact that the party has come so far after being dead in the water for a very long time.
Which is why I've decided to make a HubReport about the current change of heart from the media and other noteworthy authorities.
D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Janice Rogers Brown Demands More Respect for Democratic Liberties
In a heralding and very interesting bit of news floating around google, you might find it interesting to hear that one of DC's very own Court of Appeals Judges has made it clear that she is not happy with our current fascist schedule and draconian laws. In a case called " Hettinga v. United States", the court ruled that our federal government has a right to demand that small town store owners charge at least 9 cents per quart of milk, and because a small town man was offering 2 whole quarts of milk with a loaf of bread for only 18 cents, he was charged guilty for selling milk to cheap and is now being forced to sell his milk for more or close his store. He was charged with a crime (which one I have yet to find out) under the precedent of "rational-basis" or the Big Rubber Stamp of the FeDs.
Now, the story itself is just crazy, but the silver lining is that if attitude keep drifting into the realms of Libertarianism, we might start seeing positive changes, especially in the region of economic freedoms. Just watch for more libertarian declarations like the one D.C.'s Court of Appeals Judge Janice Rogers Brown made this month after the majority of the court ruled against cheap milk:
“The practical effect of rational basis review of economic regulation is the absence of any check on the group interests that all too often control the democratic process,” Brown wrote. “It allows the legislature free rein to subjugate the common good and individual liberty to the electoral calculus of politicians, the whim of majorities, or the self-interest of factions.” Indeed, she concluded, “Rational basis review means property is at the mercy of the pillagers. The constitutional guarantee of liberty deserves more respect—a lot more.”
Her statements won't be able to help Hettinga, but they will be a part of a larger impact as the future rolls by.
In a post on the Washington Posts OpEd section, it appears that the not-so distant polls are in and most Americans are currently Pro-Second Amendment, Pro-Gay Equalization, For Small-Government and 'other' libertarian view points. According to the post;
"Overall the findings are consistent with the conclusion that the small government, more libertarian brand of conservatism has made headway over recent years. Overall the findings are consistent with the conclusion that the small government, more libertarian brand of conservatism has made headway over recent years. Whether it is Obamacare, the Tea Party movement, or gay and Second Amendment rights Americans are expressing the view that government is too big, too intrusive and too incompetent. That most Americans want to live in a country that allows gays to marry whomever they want and citizens to own firearms says something compelling of the public’s determination to push back against nanny statism, whether it comes from the right or the left."
Yahoo News Reports the Libertarian Views on Current Class Warefare
In an interview with social policy expert Charles Murray, yahoo news claims that the current progressive thought patterns are only becoming obsolete because people are gaining their senses back. He says:
"Liberals can throw all the money they want at the problem, but the lack of stigma associated with laziness and a rapidly dissipating sense of personal responsibility will thwart even the largest spending spree. Sadly, a growing number of Americans look not to themselves but to the government to provide their basic needs.
Progressives who claim Republicans want to turn the clock back to the 1950s are partially correct. Fiscal conservatives do not seek to return to an era where minorities and women were deprived of equal rights or access to birth control. Nostalgia for great jazz music and cool fashion aside, the people of the 1950s were independent, hard-working and felt a great deal of shame when faced with failure."
I couldn't say it better myself, and seriously, I've been trying. I am a boostrap climbing entrepreneur who feels there is more freedom and 'equal' opportunity with less regulation.
Obama Rules In Favor of Freedom Over Security By Removing Child Labor Laws for Farms
Now, we all know that subject of child labor laws are ripe with controversy, opinions and propaganda. Some feel that a child's parents should be able to decide what amount or type of work their children should be able to take part in, while others feel there is just to much potential for abuse and too much danger involved.
The interesting thing, is that America is one of the selective few countries that do not have some for of commonplace child labor. Around the world, kids are expected to take part in the business of running a family, as much as the parents. Now, some of those other countries also have sweat shops and labor camps that rival some of the worst horror scenes. So it's a fine line that the world dances in terms of child labor. In my own view, a certain amount of participation from EVERYONE in the family including the kids, is not only warranted and logical, it's beneficial to the kids. Though I am completely against the abuse of children in the work place or in terms of labor, especially if it takes priority over education and time for play.
Now, my opinion aside, I find myself rather sympathetic for Obama in his handling of the issue of Child Labor on family owned farms. Traditionally, farms have always been owned and operated by the WHOLE family. I have relatives who own farms, and my ancestors owned farms as well and many stories are still told about them. It takes a small village to run a farm the right way, and if you don't include the kids, it just won't work. Not only that, but farm work is very character building and so long as proper safety is taken care of, there is really no reason the kids should not take part in the work to. And yes, a child could become the victim of a deadly accident while operating a piece of heavy machinery on his families rural farm, or working around one. Though the chances of that happening are actually less likely than a child being hit by a car while they walk to school every day in urban areas.
Though even with all that tradition and character involved, even I can't get past the notion that some regulations might be in order for at least basic protections. That side of me heavily clashes with the Libertarian side of me that does feel the choice is best left to the families in question. We already have child abuse, neglect and mistreatment laws that encompass farms as well as all other habitats of families, so do we really need extra laws?
And even if some laws were reasonable, federal laws are sweeping and generalizing, which never ends up working out because each farm and each family works in different ways. What might be abusive for one, is exciting for another. What might be dangerous in one situation, could be educational skill building in another. The list can go on, and it's always the same - even if it seems like the "right thing to do" in theory, it doesn't work out that way in practice and usually harms more than it helps.
On top of all the general controversy over farm child labor, this particular issue was particularly tricky because the laws that were in place, not only prevent children from operating dangerous machinery, it made it illegal for a child to use such things as a motorized screw driver or a riding lawn mower - two tools that many farm children use regularly when they are helping with simple things such as replacing a fence post or mowing the lawn to earn their allowance. Those are two items that urban children also regularly use, and so provisions like that clearly had to go. Though was it worth the risk to clear away all of the provisions for child protection in the bill in order to allow for common sense to preside? Who knows for sure.
So with all that confounding controversy, I am surprised in this particular situation, that Obama chose the less popular answer. In opposition to this article, I have seen much more evidence that the larger majority of voters were non-farm owners and anti-child labor organizations, and they did NOT want to see the child labor laws ended. It was the minority, the farming families themselves who cried foul. Not only is it tradition for kids to work on their families farm (so traditional that even urban schools are still on an agricultural schedule that was designed to allow for children to be free from school during harvest and selling season), but it shouldn't be up to the federal government to decide what is appropriate and what isn't.
Yet, even under the tremendous pressure of some serious groups, Obama voided out the child labor laws and vowed never to touch the topic from a federal level again. Though the administration did say that they would form partnerships with local advocacy groups to help fund safety and awareness classes to help educate both parents and kids about the potential dangers of farm life (as if they don't already know!).
The truly interesting part about this story, is that Obama chose the option that allowed for the most freedom, even if that freedom was neither perfect, easy or risk free - all viewpoints that most libertarians hold about all laws. The right answer isn't always popular, but that doesn't make it any less right, and if Obama chosen the right answer over what the corps wanted, then it's either a sign of the times or he's doing an awfully good job at flip-flopping to gain voter attention.