Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Taxation is NOT the same as charity.

by, Meghan Beverly

I have seen a lot of memes and implications from the left that seem to make those in favor of limiting welfare and other entitlements look like uncaring, greedy pigs. Somehow having money stolen from their pay and redistributed amongst those less fortunate makes those same people feel somehow superior. Morally righteous even. What these people don't understand is that forced distribution is not the same as being charitable.

The ridiculous logic that taxation is the answer, makes it difficult to use the rational argument that if allowed to keep their own money and spend as they will, the population will give to those who are needy because they can. To have the means to actually maintain a standard of living as well as having the freedom to give as one sees fit is a beautiful thing. I believe there is a general good in the world and that the majority of Americans want to help. If you pay attention, you can see it everywhere. It can be as simple as buying a coffee for the next person in line or giving a coat to a homeless person all the way up to running fundraisers and volunteering time. Look at how many pages of crowd funding have been fulfilled for cancer patients and surgeries are out there. In general people are good and do good.

Taxation =/= Charity.

But if one was to believe the liberal rhetoric, it would seem that we were really quite the opposite. The American people can't be trusted to "do the right thing" so therefore, need to be forced to. It's important that the government intervenes to make sure that everyone gets their "fair share". It makes them feel righteous to know that the feds are taking money from hard working people every week to fuel whatever that agenda may be.

It's time to wake the hell up!

Charity is voluntary. That's the part that makes a good person. One actively seeks out a cause and participates thus making a difference. A good person doesn't hesitate to give money, food, or clothing to someone who needs it. They also do it for zero praise and want nothing in return. What makes someone inherently good is the drive to make the world a better place without the threat of force.

Once more for those in the back: Taxation =/= Charity.

This is the problem with the left-wing agenda and socialism as a whole (and likely why so many are running away screaming from the party) decent and potentially generous people are being taxed to the point where taking care of themselves and their families is becoming difficult. They find themselves will little to no room to help in the way they like. In the meantime, the pious, self-serving tax mongers are patting themselves on the back for a job well done, when all they've done is take money from hard working people. It's not the mega rich that's hurting, it's your neighbor.

There is also the point that the government hurts and inhibits far more than it helps. Stories come out regularly in the news about a cosmetology student offering free haircuts to the homeless. The guy is being investigated for practicing without a license. Or how about the BBQ competition in Kansas City that had the donation food bleached by the health department. 3000 people went hungry because of this.

Frankly, there are too many instances where government on every level shut down acts of decency and kindness. Churches get fined, volunteers are arrested; I guess it isn't truly help unless the government does it. Until the self righteous pull their heads from their collective asses and stop vilifying those who are actually decent, we will never really know the true potential of the American people.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Florida's Red Light Cameras Face Repeal This Year

If Florida repeals it's Red Light Camera law it will be a major win for Liberty! As crashes at intersections with Red Light cams rise, lawmakers may repeal the state's red-light camera law entirely. On January 11th  House members sitting on the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee heard an overview of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles report that found crashes at intersections with red-light cameras rose 10 percent in 2015. This could be the first step in repealing a law I consider to be unconstitutional. The report on increased crashes also found pedestrian-involved accidents dropped nearly 20 percent, and state representatives were unsure how to take the overall results.

However, the next time they discuss the law should be whether to repeal it. State Rep. Bryan Avila, R-Hialeah, has proposed repealing the law, and state Sen. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, has filed a similar measure.

The legality of the law itself has been in question for a while now. There have been conflicting rulings in state appeals courts requiring a review by the Florida Supreme Court. A federal class-action suit demanded the return of fines paid by motorists under the potentially illegal law and is on hold pending that review. With all the legal uncertainty, more and more cities are choosing to end their red-light camera programs once and for all.

The number of cameras in use in Florida has already dropped to 688 in 2015, down more than a hundred cameras from the year before. Despite the decrease in cameras, the number of citations has actually risen. Artiles and other critics call this evidence that the cameras are a revenue-generating system, not a public safety issue.

"The purpose of red-light cameras is not about safety. It's about money," Artiles said. "We finally have the proof we need."

Friday, February 17, 2017

Hi! My Name Is...

What is up, everybody? I'm Meghan B, contributor and newest Lady of Liberty. I'm a married mother of two, hairstylist, and reformed republican (silence the judging). I'm also frugal, friendly, and fluent in sarcasm. My obsessions include: Outlander, movies, Hard Rock, and Doctor Who. If it's nerdy, I'm in.

I love my country and see amazing potential and goodness in the citizens around me every day. I believe in the NAP, Free Market, Fair Tax, and helping our fellow man. And while i have a hard time identifying with the "F-word" (feminism), I am a woman who stands for equality. I just like mine with a touch of dignity and class.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Libertarian Must Reads

So first I really just need to throw it out there that I've been reading the Thinblade series by David A Wells and if you love fantasy with tons of libertarian philosophy thrown in I highly recommend it, and the first 2 books are free on Kindle so you can't really go wrong there.

Here is a list of a few more standard books I recommend:

The Libertarian Mind by David Boaz

You can also find Libertarianism a Primer by Boaz for free here.

Consider The Law by Frédéric Bastiat.

You can find it free here.

The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism by David Friedman

Find a second addition copy free of charge here.

My road to libertarianism admittedly started with this Dystopian fiction:

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Found free online here.

Also try:

America's Great Depression by Murray Rothbard

The Road to Serfdom by Frederich Hayek

I'm sure I'm missing some on my list. What books do you recommend?

Voluntaryism, it works!

In order for the Libertarian party to truly be the "party of principle" we, as libertarians, must practice what we preach. How do we prove we don't need the government to govern our morality? By being moral without their interference. By giving of ourselves, our time, and our money to better our society WITHOUT the threat of violence looming over our heads. So this is my not so subtle reminder to go out and better your world today.

Whatever is voluntary is ethical. The implementation of force (or the threat thereof) to achieve what we consider to be "right" bastardizes the nature of said "good deed". However, the argument many leftists make against a libertarian society is that we are incapable of governing our own moral actions. The best way to dispute this is to be living, breathing examples of voluntary charity.

Here are just a few ways to get involved in Central Florida, so that the next time someone tells you charity would cease to exist without government involvement you can be a living example of why they are wrong:

Junior Achievement of Central Florida

To Write Love on Her Arms

Hands on Orlando

Consider going to your local VA and asking what they need most right now. Check out a local animal shelter and spend time volunteering there. No matter your income, or talents somewhere there is someone who needs you, and you can find a way to help and change the world. Don't let libertarians be targeted as a "selfish" party. Let's stand together and show them who we are: The Party of Principle.

You can also Go Here to get matched with volunteer opportunities in your area.

You down with NAP? Yeah, you know me.

If you spend any time online amongst Libertarian groups you may see a lot of "TAXATION IS THEFT?" "AM I BEING DETAINED?" and "ABOLISH _______". While all of these things can be/are libertarian principles. They aren't THE basis of what I consider to be all things libertarian. For me libertarianism starts with the Non Aggression Principle, or NAP for short.

The Non Aggression Principle asserts that any act of aggression is inherently illegitimate. Anything that has to be imposed upon people by force is regarded as criminal in nature. This applies to government as well as our personal lives, and can be applied to almost any thing. There are few issues that fall outside the logical repercussions of this singular theory. Most of which, we as libertarians, rarely chime in on.

Aggression in this case refers to any initiation of a coercive relationship. It's easy enough to see how one could follow this theory to insert that taxation is indeed theft, or that many government programs are not legitimate since we, as citizens were not ASKED if we'd like to pay for them. Anything I am forced to participate in at threat of violence is a violation of the NAP.

Libertarians oppose the initiation of force to achieve social or political goals. They reject “first-strike” force, fraud or theft against others; they only use force in self-defense. Those who violate this “non-aggression principle” are expected to make their victims whole as much as possible. This “Good Neighbor Policy” is what most of us were taught as children. We were told not to lie, cheat, steal, not to strike our playmates unless they hit us first. If we broke a friend’s toy, we were expected to replace it.

Most of us still practice what we learned as children with other individuals, but we have grown accustomed to letting government assert aggression against others when we think we benefit. Consequently, our world is full of poverty and strife, instead of the harmony and abundance that freedom (i.e., freedom from aggression) brings.

There are many other ideas and concepts that surround libertarian principle, and it has even been suggested that we move away from the NAP as it is a somewhat limited philosophy, but I for one agree in entirety that it should be the basis of all our principles, and that anything that could be considered a violation of the NAP should not be supported by libertarians. If it can't be supported by this one principle I don't believe it should be a part of our platform. However as libertarians we are allowed to disagree and hold beliefs different than one another.

So what do you think? Should we abandon the NAP and build a more specific platform/philosophy?