Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I've got mine

Many pundits have said that with such high unfavorable ratings of both major candidates this is a good year for the alternatives, such as the Libertarian and Green party candidates. I'm pleased that Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party seems stuck at under 9%, though it would be good if he pulled a few more votes from Trump.

The editors of Shareblue take a look at four parts of the Libertarian platform, though it can be summed up rather easily: I've got mine. Too bad you don't have yours.

Taxes: Johnson is saying we should eliminate all income, property, and business taxes and fund the government with a consumption (sales) tax. But the consumption tax is the most regressive tax – the poor have to spend (and be taxed) on a much higher percent of their income than the rich for daily living. For a poor person, about 100% of their income would be taxed. For a rich person that might be 1% of their income.

Minimum wage: Johnson doesn't support it. Want more money? Switch jobs or become an entrepreneur! But some people don't have the education to switch jobs (see below) and there aren't enough higher paying jobs for everyone who wants one. As for being your own boss, because of racism and classism many people can't get a business loan.

Education: Johnson says college should not be free (something Sanders pushed, and Clinton has taken up). As for public schools, Johnson wants to abolish the federal Dept. of Education. Too bad if you're in a state that routinely underfunds its schools and refuses to teach sound science (such as evolution) or demands teaching abstinence-only sex ed.

Healthcare: Johnson has said there is no way a government can have a system that manages health care. He must not have tangled with an insurance company denying coverage. Johnson insists a, "market-based approach should be the foundation of any solution." But it is easy to show that proper health care is incompatible with the profit motive. (Several other things incompatible with the profit motive are here).

The Libertarian Party platform doesn't work for marginalized people – and not even for the young of the well-to-do who are just starting out on their own.

The Libertarians say they are fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I'm sure they mean they approve (or at least don't disapprove) of same-sex marriage. But socially liberal means more than that. Just one example: it means everyone gets a good K-12 education and doesn't have huge college debts weighing them down. So fiscally conservative and socially liberal can't mix.

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