Thursday, June 3, 2010

Libertarians vs. Liberals

Thought of the day:

Liberals only see the "good" that can result from proposed legislation, and discount bad or unintended consequences.

Libertarians see only the "bad" results, and discount the good or intended consequences.



TJIC said...

As an extreme libertarian, I can see SOME good coming from proposed legislation - it's just that I see far more bad.

Also, in my experience, liberals tend to judge policy proposals by INTENTION, while libertarians tend to (a) know far more history; (b) be utilitarians in matters of public policy (even if they have a deeper streak of deontological ethics).

A liberal proposes higher wages for public school teachers. The INTENTION is to ... I don't know ... somehow magically make the schools better. I respond "I've never seen any evidence that higher wages improve outcomes in teaching, police work, fire departments, etc.".

...and the conversation ends there.

Freedom said...

When it comes to government legislation good intentions are worthless (the road to hell....), but good consequences are real. They tend to be annoying, though, because they give the liberals something to hold up as an example when crying out for even more legislation.

The main problem is while there is the occasional good consequence it is usually accompanied by a whole host of bad unintended consequences, that those same liberals become blind to when touting their good intentions and small collections of good results.