Friday, May 25, 2007

A Libertarian Challenge

Ron Paul's running for president and Nick Gillespie's interview on Bill Moyer's Journal got me thinking about libertarianism again.

My (perhaps naive) belief is that libertarians are naive in their belief that a libertarian system of government would keep large corporations from polluting the environment and abusing workers.

If we look back over history we can see innumerable cases of corporations doing horrible things to the working class. Monsanto spewing PCBs into the local environment and coal mining companies trapping workers in peonage/truck systems (e.g. follow this link and search for "Colorado miners") .

The historical correction for these abuses has been government regulation (e.g. EPA regulations, labor laws). Sure, the current system is riddled problems but nobody can deny that corporations get away with much less than they did 100-150 years ago.

My challenge to libertarians is for you to explain how libertarian policies would do a better job of preventing these corporate crimes against the public than the traditional approach of government regulation.

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