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It's A Gray Area: Toward a 'functional libertarian' world

September 20, 2013|By James P. Gray

I am happy to say that the "functional libertarian" approach is beginning to attract more people here and around the world. But what does that mean? What would a functional libertarian world really look like?

Generally speaking, functional libertarians strive for a government under which people would happily pay their taxes because they see that the money is being responsibly and effectively spent for their general safety, welfare and quality of life. Obviously, we will never attain that result, but we can strive for it.

We would have strong police and military forces to protect us from foreigners and from each other. But, with few exceptions, we would use our military forces only to counteract threats to our safety, security and national interests. We cannot — and should not — be the world's policeman.

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We would have a strong judiciary to hold people accountable for their actions, safeguard our liberties and freedoms, and enforce our contracts, warranties and other laws.

Because the largest security threat to our country is a weak economy, we would reduce government spending. Government does not produce wealth. But one thing that big government is really good at is increasing its size, power and cost.

There is simply no reason for governments to own bulldozers, earth movers or dump trucks. Instead it should contract with private companies.

We would also get the federal government more out of the business of owning real property. Now don't get excited. The national park system would continue, as would, for the most part, the national forests.

But about 87% of the real property in Nevada is overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. That type of property would be sold at auction. This would, in turn, directly result in the land being better protected and used than is happening today.

If you are not convinced by that statement, simply ask yourself who takes better care of a house, an owner or a renter? And, of course, this would also produce many property taxes that today are being lost.

Today's rampant crony capitalism would be curtailed. That means the government would no longer pay companies to drill for oil or farmers to raise or not raise crops.

Adults would also be able to live their chosen lifestyle without interference or discrimination from the government, as long as their choices didn't wrongly hinder other adults from doing the same thing. That means we would be living in a more socially accepting world.

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