Sunday, May 22, 2011

Who Speaks for the Libertarians? (Letter to the Editor)

Current mood: predatory

Who Speaks for the Libertarians?

Apparently Kenneth M. Brown, former Board member of the Rio Grande Foundation (the same one headed by Paul Gessing), seems to think that he's a mind-reader where libertarians are concerned. I'm citing his recent op-ed piece in the Albuquerque Journal ("Incentives Can Work, If Doled Out Wisely," p. A7).

Here's the comment that leads me to believe this:

"Libertarians hate this governmental intrusion."

While we (libertarians, that is) might object passionately to such governmental intrusions into the economy, I hardly think that the word "hate" applies. We simply look to the historical record and note that when government stays out of the way, the average person "in the street" prospers more than when government is active in "running" the economy. As is often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, "That which governs best governs least."

In fact, we as Libertarians are often divided over how fast to cut the State, how much to cut, and what should get cut first. I like to say that as a minimum, we shouldn't advocate any more growth of government – the State should not expand in power, expense or intrusiveness. We'll let everyone else argue over how much to grow the State.

Brown goes on to say, "A well-designed incentive will create more jobs per dollar of lost tax revenue than would a reduction of, say, two percentage points of a state's top tax rate. The reason is that the incentive could be targeted to one firm and made to be worth much more to that firm than a statewide tax cut, and at a small fraction of the lost revenue."

The fact remains that such incentives have often ended up as boondoggles here in New Mexico. After all of the back-room deals from 2003 to 2011, New Mexicans have every right to be skeptical of any sort of such "targeted incentives."

My question for Brown is simply this: Why should I trust his judgment over what is and isn't a "wise" choice where these "targeted incentives" are concerned? Thus I prefer making the tax and regulatory environment a level playing field, as opposed to Brown's idea of mercantilist preferences.

Mike Blessing
State Chair, Libertarian Party of New Mexico
Phone – 505-515-7015 / Yahoo IM – mikewb1971

Who owns you? Who runs your life? Who should – you or someone else?
Freedom is the answer – what's the question?

Copyright © 2011 Libertarian Party of New Mexico. All rights reserved.

Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises. Webmaster Mike Blessing.
This blog entry created with Notepad++

No comments: