Category Archives: Election 2012

Profits to be Harvested

. . . Bain Capital wasn’t in the business of creating jobs. It was in the business of creating profits.

For years, higher corporate profits have come at the expense of fewer jobs and lower wages. Business leaders and financiers have been “harvesting” like mad, leaving most Americans behind in the dirt.

. . . we need someone [in the White House] who doesn’t see the economy as profits to be harvested, but as people who need more and better jobs.


Civil vs. Individual Liberties

The Slacktivist with more thoughts on Ron Paul’s view of liberties, in which a distinction is made between individual and civil liberties.

If you believe in civil liberties, then you will believe that things like the Civil Rights Act, DADT repeal, marriage equality, hate-crime protections, Ledbetter, etc., are necessary and vital to ensure than non-majority individuals will experience some measure of the freedoms that the powerful enjoy. If you believe only in individual liberties, then you’ll oppose all such measures as Big Government meddling that restricts individual freedom (including the freedom to discriminate).

If you believe only in individual liberty, you can even find yourself in the absurd position of defending the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision as some kind of principled defense of the freedom of speech. If you believe in civil liberties, then in your view that decision is clearly one that gives free rein to the powerful to exercise their rights against the powerless, and thus you will believe that government action is justified to protect the rights of the powerless from being trampled by the powerful.

The basic distinction is that an advocate of individual liberty mainly perceives of the government as a potential threat to individual liberty, whereas an advocate of civil liberty also sees a vital role for the government in constraining the liberty of the powerful to inhibit the liberty of the powerless. The two perspectives overlap quite a bit — both would agree, for example, that torture and indefinite detention by the government are utterly unacceptable — but they also diverge far too dramatically to be used as interchangeable terms.

via slacktivist » Civil liberties for (powerful) individuals.

Abandoned to Face These Risks Alone

Harold Pollack on Libertarianism’s laser focus on government power:

Libertarians deserve credit for noting abuses of government power and for criticizing oversteps such as the drug war. Of course, there’s nothing distinctively libertarian about these specific concerns, which are standard fare among liberal Democrats. The federal government indeed poses worrisome threats to individual liberty. Libertarians err if they presume that federal power is the only or always the most concerning of these threats. Local governments, corporations, intolerant majorities can pose equally worrisome threats, too. There’s just more to fear in this world than are dreamt of in libertarian philosophy.

There is something else, too. Each of us faces risks that would easily crush any one of us, if we were abandoned to face these risks alone. We need to take care of each other. If you don’t believe that, you don’t belong on the stage in American politics.

via Ron Paul’s other 1964 (okay 1965) problem « The Reality-Based Community.