Sunday, September 16, 2012

I'll be Introducing the Libertarian Candidate for President

I will have the privilege of introducing the Libertarian candidate for President of the United States, Gary Johnson, at his campaign rally at the University of California Berkeley's Sproul Plaza on Sep 25. Meet and greet is 11:00 to noon. Speeches are from 12:00 to 1:00.  300 to 1,000 people are expected to attend.

Regular readers of this blog know I'm not a pure libertarian. I believe government has important roles. But I do believe that, for most things, the private sector does a better job than does government. Also, I believe government should have no role in people's personal decisions: a woman's right to choose, the rights of gays and lesbians to marry, and a person's right to die.

I'm particularly pleased to be introducing Gary Johnson. Twice elected in a landslide as Governor in a Democrat-dominated state, he moved New Mexico from deficit to surplus.  He was term-limited and thus could not run for a third term. In a presidential debate, Johnson delivered what the Los Angeles Times and Time called the best line of the night: "My next-door neighbor's two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this administration."[60][61]

Johnson, who by the way, climbed Mt. Everest in 2003, has called for major cuts in government spending, anchored by an immediate end to the War in Afghanistan. America's military adventurism in the Middle East has not only been a failure (Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, etc) and a wildly profligate waste of taxpayer money, it shows an utter ignoring of history. From Alexander the Great through Churchill's time (Remember the Dardanelles) through today, western efforts to change the Middle East have yielded failure. A President Gary Johnson would not have demonstrated such hubris.

I was asked to introduce Johnson because my core expertise is jobs, which these days is, of course, Job One, for America  I believe that Johnson's core values: smaller government, less burden on the backs of employers (e.g. ObamaCare), and encouragement of entrepreneurship is the most likely route to creating more jobs or at least to slowing America's decline and fall.

In addition to attempting to give Johnson the inspiring introduction he deserves, I will try to do my part to make the case for why, at this point in American history, the most beneficial, if not sexy, thing our leaders could do is to pull on ropes of restrain and to replace hubris and profligate spending with responsible money management and stewardship, yes, for ourselves but also for our children and grandchildren.

I hope to see you there.


Anonymous said...

Gary Johnson believes that Romney is out to get him. It is interesting that he doesn't believe that Obama is out to get him.

He could be the Ralph Nadar of 2012.

Anonymous said...

Romney is attempting to have Johnson removed from the ballot in a number of states, Obama is not.

Michael R. Edelstein

Marty Nemko said...

Of course Obama is not. More would-be Johnson voters are Republicans than Democrats.

Anonymous said...

I think this upcoming election is extremely important, especially with regards to the financial stability of the country. I know that its common to hear "this election is important", but there are serious, real consequences with where this county is headed- a gigantic financial crisis.

I live in Illinois, and while being a Republican, voted libertarian in 2008 as I figured 1. Obama wasn't going to lose Illinois and 2. Obama wasn't going to lose period.

This time around though, I feel its critical that Romney gets as many votes as possible. And plus, I like the man and think he could save us.

Regardless of all that, that's exciting for you Marty to be introducing Johnson. Marty, I'm interested in what you think of capital gains taxes. Your expertise on careers and productivity would lend to an thoughtful dissection of it, I imagine. I could see you being on the same side of Warren Buffet who thinks they should be 100%. Johnson is opposed to that. What do you think and why?

Marty Nemko said...

Dear Anonymous,

My response re cap gains shouldn't be taken too seriously. I don't have any real expertise in the area. I'm forced to merely parrot the liberal and conservative arguments and argue for a moderate approach.

The liberal argument is the gap between rich and poor is too great and the rich pay most of the capital gains tax so let's increase it, even though it disincents capital investment.

The conservative argument is that the liberal argument is short-sighted. Tax capital gains heavily and you reduce capital available for companies to create new products and services and, in turn, create jobs. Also, should not the rich not be punished for their wealth--in the aggregate, they attained their wealth because people were willing to pay them for what the provided--worthy goods and services. If we keep punishing the Haves and rewarding the Have Nots, we'll, sooner or later, have a worse nation.

So, I end up calling for a capital gains rate that is moderate relative to the rest of the world, so we don't get too many companies and investors leaving the US.

Robert Richards said...

You may want to check out the good folks at LIO

The hyper-genius at the center of it basically started modern Libertarianism and its pretty fascinating stuff what the LIO fans and fellows do some amazing work.

Marty Nemko said...

Alas, America's and perhaps the world's move leftward makes libertarianism merely a theoretical rather than practical goal. I do fear that even if it were practical--a la the Seasteads--the intellectual or financial have-nots would rot. Private, voluntary charity would not be enough. That feels like a big price to pay for liberty. But I'm not sure if it's too big a price.