Political Stance — Economic Liberty : Platform of Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists
Previously, beginning March 15, 2013 I posted the Platform of the Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists (TLC) political initiative. This is not an official political party as yet. However, it is a series of positions which can unify the nation around sound public policy which a vast number of Americans are craving.
Below, in conjunction with the previous posts, is the first section of the statement of the Political Stance of this initiative.
Platform of Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists (TLC)
2.0 Economic Liberty
All members of society should have abundant opportunities to achieve economic success. The Free Market Capitalism, a free and competitive market, allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others within such a market. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society within a Free Market Capitalism system.
2.1 Property and Contract
Property rights are entitled to the same protection as all other human rights. The owners of property have the full right to control, use, dispose of, or in any manner enjoy, their property without interference, until and unless the exercise of their control infringes the valid rights of others.
Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists oppose all controls on wages, prices, rents, profits, production, and interest rates.
Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists advocate the repeal of all laws banning or restricting the advertising of prices, products, or services.
Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists oppose all violations of the right to private property, liberty of contract, and freedom of trade. The right to trade includes the right not to trade — for any reasons whatsoever. Where property, including land, has been taken from its rightful owners by the government or private action in violation of individual rights, Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists favor restitution to the rightful owners, where possible to return it in like condition as when acquired.
Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists support a clean and healthy environment and sensible use of our natural resources. Private landowners and conservation groups have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources. Pollution and misuse of resources cause damage to our ecosystem. Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights in resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists realize that our planet’s climate is constantly changing, yet environmental advocates and social pressure are the most effective means of changing public behavior, rather than the use of coercive force of government.
2.3 Energy and Resources
While energy is needed to fuel a modern society, government should not be subsidizing any particular form of energy. Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production, other than what is rightfully owned by government in an open competitive marketplace.
Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists endorse government officials encouraging the development of renewable energy sources, without regulatory enforcement, requirement, or funding thereof.
2.4 Government Finance and Spending
All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution. Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists oppose any requirements forcing employers to serve as tax collectors.
Government should not incur debt, which burdens future generations without their consent. Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists oppose the passage of a “Balanced Budget Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution.
Governments at all levels should operate within available revenue, accrued from consumption tax rates approved by the people.
Whereas all federal spending originates in the House of Representatives the budget development process of the Government United States of America should be modified as follows:
- The budget shall be a two-year budget coinciding with the 18 months of the current congress, begin on the first July of said congress. (I.e. the 112th Congress runs from January 3, 2011-January 3, 2013. The 112th Congress would adopt a budget encompassing two years beginning July 1, 2011.)
- All funding for federal programs shall be by a general consumption tax, or special program revenue fee-for-service.
- Once an initial consumption tax rate has been established by Congress, not to exceed 17%, any increase in the rate must be approved by the people at the same time as congressional elections, and by fifty-one percent (51%) of the states.
- A general government reserve must be established and maintained at a rate equivalent to 1/3rd of the approved consumption tax rate. (I.e. if the approved tax rate is 17%, than the reserve rate would be 5.7 %.). [If the budget were 2 trillion dollars, required reserves would be 114 billion dollars].
2.5 Money and Financial Markets
Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists favor free-market banking, with unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types. Individuals engaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use as money the legal tender of the United States.
2.6 Monopolies and Corporations
Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives and other types of companies based on voluntary association. Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists seek to divest government of all functions that can be provided by non-governmental organizations or private individuals. Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists oppose government subsidies to business, labor, or any other special interest. Industries should be governed by free market capitalism.
2.7 Labor Markets
Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists support repeal of all laws which impede the ability of any person to find employment.
Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists oppose government-fostered forced retirement.
Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists support the right of free persons to associate or not associate in labor unions, and an employers should have the right to recognize or refuse to recognize a union.
Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists oppose government interference in bargaining, such as compulsory arbitration or imposing an obligation to bargain.
Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists oppose all forms of unionized government employment, unless specifically approved by a vote of the people of the respective jurisdiction. (I.e. local or state government shall maintain the authority to submit to its respective citizens the right to decide whether such government shall be obligated to unionize any or all of its employees.)
Education, like any other service, is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Schools should be managed locally to achieve greater accountability and parental involvement. Recognizing that the education of children is inextricably linked to moral values, Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists would return authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. In particular, parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children’s education.
2.9 Health Care
Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want, the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions.
People should be free to purchase health insurance across state lines.
2.10 Retirement and Income Security
Retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government. Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists would phase out the current government-sponsored Social Security system and transition to a private system.
Individuals have responsibility, accountability and liberty to manage their own lives. However, we have learned from experience that most individuals, unaware of what future consequences of their life choices may bring, will fail to plan for adequate resources to care for themselves during time of incapacity. Further, although liberty is individual, care for one another is a natural part of life’s experience. Governments in all ages have sought to control and provide for individuals during periods of incapacity. In light of this reality it is proper for governments to require that all members of society prepare for their own eventual incapacity through a self-administered plan for future self-sufficiency. Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists directly oppose any government regulation, control, or management of such self-care programs beyond requiring individuals to select such a plan and adhere to it.
The proper and most effective source of help for the poor is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals. Traditional Libertarian Constitutionalists believe members of society will become more charitable and civil society will be strengthened as government reduces its activity in this realm.