Libertarianism is a political philosophy that holds that a person should be free to do whatever he wants in life, as long as his conduct is peaceful. Thus, as long a person doesn’t murder, rape, burglarize, defraud, trespass, steal, or inflict any other act of violence against another person’s life, liberty, or property, libertarians hold that the government should leave him alone. In fact, libertarians believe that one primary purpose of government is to prosecute and punish anti-social individuals who initiate force (or fraud) against others.
With the tragic exception of slavery and several other minor exceptions, the philosophy on which the United States was founded was, by and large, founded on libertarianism, especially with the ideas in the Declaration of Independence and the limitation on government powers in the Constitution.
What are some policy ramifications of what has become known as the libertarian "non-aggression principle"?
People should be free to engage in any economic enterprise without permission or interference from the state. Thus libertarians oppose all economic regulation of business activity, including occupational licensure. Libertarians also believe that people have the right to keep whatever they earn and decide for themselves what to do with their own money–spend it, invest it, save it, hoard it, or donate it.
This then means, necessarily, that libertarians are ardent advocates of laissez-faire capitalism and the free market, which is simply a natural process by which people interact peacefully with each other for mutual gain.
Solutions to today's greatest challenges
EducationToday: Given the state of education, both in the Nation, and specifically in Kentucky, The Libertarian Party of Kentucky calls for a voucher system, to open the school systems to the free market. This will quickly improve the quality of education in the state of Kentucky.
Tomorrow: In the long-term, libertarians call for the complete separation of school and state, which means the repeal of school compulsory-attendance laws and school taxes –- that is, the complete end of all governmental involvement in education. This would mean a completely free market in education, in which consumers decide the best educational vehicles for their children and entrepreneurs (both for-profit and charitable) are meeting the demands of the consumers. Government education, especially in Kentucky, has destroyed the education for the current generation.
Social SecurityToday: The Libertarian Party of Kentucky calls for an immediate end to taxation on Social Security payments. Social Security was promised as a retirement plan, and has delivered barely enough for our seniors to survive. This should also be an important lesson for all who believe that government-provided benefits are the best solution.
Tomorrow: Libertarians believe that it is morally wrong for a person to use the state to take what doesn’t belong to them, and therefore seek a repeal of Social Security. Harry Browne outlined a workable solution in his 2000 Presidential Campaign. Allow those over 40 to remain in the program, if they so choose. Those who remain in the program would have social security paid for through the sale of Federal Land. Those under 40 would be removed from the program and the associated taxes, as the average return in a high-yield saving account, even starting at age 40, would return more than Social Security would return.
WelfareToday: The Libertarian Party of Kentucky recognizes that multiple generations have grown up in the welfare system, and have no actual concept of a life outside of that system. Therefore, we propose that all basic civil service jobs that require minimal education or skill be given to those on welfare roles, as a term of their continued receipt of welfare. Additionally, welfare should not pay more than minimum wage, as this provides a disincentive for those on welfare to exit the welfare system.
Tomorrow: Libertarians seek a repeal of all welfare primarily on moral grounds but also on the terribly destructive aspects of government welfare programs. Government welfare creates a sense of hopeless dependency on the welfare recipient -- no one is made a better person because the state is taking money from one person in order to give it to another person. . People have a right to their own earnings and no one has the right to take money from someone else against their will.
Drugs and alcoholToday: Jails are bursting at the their seams with non-violent drug offenders. With limited space for incarceration, and state and local budgets in jeopardy due to economic concerns, it makes sense to allow non-violent drug offenders out of jail first, followed by those who commit property crimes. Those who do physical harm to others should never be released early, in lieu of a non-violent drug offender.
Tomorrow: The decades-long war on drugs has proven to be highly injurious to a free society. People have a natural right to engage in peaceful, even self-destructive behavior as long as their conduct harms no others, even if some disapprove. Addiction should be viewed as a social, medical, and/or psychological problem; not a criminal one. Legalizing drugs would put an end to drug lords, street gangs, corruption, and the violence associated with the drug war–that is, the burglaries, robberies, thefts, etc. associated with the exorbitant black-market prices that drug users must pay to finance their habits.
The Income TaxToday: The majority of Americans know that there is waste, fraud, and abuse of our tax dollars. These crimes are enabled and/or committed every single day by elected and appointed officials in Washington D.C., as well as in Kentucky and in many of our counties. We must fight to end all wasteful spending immediately. We must end the practices of deficit spending and bonding, which serves only to make our children pay for projects that only benefit us today. Some libertarians call for adoption of the so-called "Fair Tax", as it makes every individual painfully aware of the cost of government with every single purchase.
Tomorrow: Libertarians believe in the repeal of the income tax, and the elimination of the IRS, leaving people free to keep the fruits of their earnings and decide for themselves how to dispose of their wealth.
Gun ControlToday and Tomorrow: People have a right to resist the tyranny of their own government and to protect themselves from the violent acts of private criminals. The second amendment is about protection of self from all who would do harm, including government. We call for a repeal of all laws which violate our right to bears arms. This does not, contrary to those who often argue against this freedom, include munitions (such as nuclear weapons).
EnvironmentToday: No person has the right to pollute the property of another. Therefore, we support the use of courts to sue those who destroy the property of another.
Tomorrow: Governments are the largest destroyers of the environment. In fact, most environmental problems can be traced to public, not private, ownership of resources. The solution is to reduce the scope of government, and privatize public property to the maximum extent possible.
Health CareToday and tomorrow: The crisis in health care, especially with respect to ever-rising prices, is due to heavy government involvement in health care. Medicare, Medicaid, and licensure laws directly increase the cost to the consumer. The federal government created the now-problematic HMOs in the 1970s–why would new government regulation or nationalized health-care do any better today? These laws and programs should be repealed in favor of a totally free market in health care.
ImmigrationToday: Those who have entered the country illegally should not receive any benefits currently afforded to those who are legal residents of the country.
Tomorrow: We prefer to have free and open trade of goods, services, and peaceful people. People have the right to move and to improve their lives.
Foreign PolicyToday: We should begin to bring home any and all military operations not currently engaged in any direct war-time operations. We should continue to encourage a timely exit from those countries in which we are currently engaged militarily. No country, including the United States, has the responsibility, nor do they have the right, to impose their way of thinking on another country. It would have cost less to bring the peace-loving people of Iraq and Afghanistan to the United States than to "liberate" their country; both in dollars and in lives.
Tomorrow: Libertarians oppose involvement in all foreign wars as well as all foreign aid. The U.S. government should be limited to only protecting itself from direct invasion. We should learn the lessons of Vietnam and Iraq, and not involve ourselves in the affairs of other nations.
Civil LibertiesToday, and Tomorrow: Libertarians are firm defenders of all of your civil liberties. As long as you do not force or fraudulently coerce someone else to participate, you have the right to do anything you want.