Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Rand Paul

Radio guy Larry Elder redefined himself some years ago from Libertarian to Libertarian-Republican, as "Republitarian." Likewise, Rand Paul will look for votes among those who want liberty returned to U.S. political discourse but who also fear the consequences of isolationism abroad. We have come a long way and people like Elder and Paul and many others deserve credit for mainstreaming views that had been missing from political discourse for too long.

I have often mentioned Arnold Kling's useful three-axes model. Republicans look at a civilization-barbarism axis; progressives use oppressor-oppressed; libertarians prefer freedom-coercion. Understanding the views of others is always desirable.

"Mainstream" opinion follows the progressive view -- and loves to evoke "fairness." The complexity of "fair" is ignored -- as are the baleful consequences of the embraced (default) policitical allocations.

This morning's LA Times includes, "Some charities fear L.A. wage could hurt their own efforts for workers." Complicated! Mandated wage hikes were supposed to be funded by fat cats -- and that is that. Oppressors pay and oppressed benefit. Labor demand elasticities do not exist and life is simple. But if you are confined to viewing the world along the progressive axis, then struggle -- as the people in the Times story seem to.

Paul gets all this. There is plenty of high ground for him to claim. Politicized allocations are most "fair" to cronies. Freedom makes upward mobility possible; 50 years of "war on poverty" policies have failed that test -- witness the chorus of complaints about increasing inequality.