comment by [deleted] ·
2011-05-05T06:46:49.953Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
a lot of people who describe themselves either as libertarian, conservative, or pro-small government are opposed to welfare with near-religious fervor, but are likely unaware of the issue of occupational licensing
First, you're no longer talking about libertarians but about a much, much larger group of people, the vast majority of whom neither are, nor consider themselves to be, libertarian. So, already, you've essentially changed the subject.
Second, lack of awareness is not irrational. On the contrary, ignorance is rational, for reasons explained by James Buchanan.
It's just the interesting observation that even though there are numerous types of bad government interference, it's one specific one that generates ire.
As a blanket statement this is simply false. The standard libertarian publications are Reason Magazine and Liberty Magazine. Both magazines are very wide-ranging in their critique of the government from a standpoint of liberty. Your statement is only "true" if you qualify it - but once you qualify it, the statement becomes meaningless. Qualified, it's something like, "if you consider only people who are single-issue, those people are single-issue". It's an empty tautology.
I would like to point out, by the way, that your "evidence" for your claims amounts to your own unverifiable eyewitness accounts. In contrast, in my previous comment I offered evidence pulled from the linked article, and here in this comment I offer evidence in the form of the two major libertarian publications. If you want I can add blogs. Check out Econlog. Also check out Cafe Hayek.
Ideologically, libertarians should oppose all of these things, probably in proportion to the inefficiencies they represent. As that's often not the case, it indicates irrationality.
First of all, I would like to point out that the word "often" is a weasel word, because it is virtually unfalsifiable. It gives us no quantity, nothing even approximating a quantity. It's virtually meaningless.
Second, I would like to point out that earlier in your comment you already massively increased the population you're talking about from just libertarians to libertarians and conservatives and anybody who wants to shrink government. You can't draw conclusions about libertarians based on your earlier assertions about a very different population.
Third, your argument is based on the claim that it is irrational for a person to have beliefs which are inconsistent with his own ideology. But in order to establish that anybody has beliefs inconsistent with their ideology, you need to establish what their ideology is. You have done the opposite - you have drawn in such a diverse group of people into your generalization that there is no common ideology to establish.
Fourth, I seriously doubt the truth of your claims. I'm not saying you're lying. I'm saying that I think you've probably misunderstood. For starters, if somebody tells me that they're a libertarian, I will infer that they might be what I consider a libertarian but are probably something quite different - what I would call somebody with vaguely libertarian-ish views on some but not all topics. In contrast, what I see you've done here is to jump from the fact that some people call themselves libertarian all the way to the conclusion that they must subscribe to the hard core libertarian belief system. Only once you've done this can you then accuse them of being inconsistent. I personally think that that jump is unwarranted.
comment by Tyrrell_McAllister ·
2011-05-05T18:03:02.464Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Also, didn't Hayek support some amount of government provided welfare? My understanding is that he basically said, "Hey, in the right doses, it probably makes some peoples' lives better who would otherwise be miserable, and our society is rich enough to afford the harm that it causes at the social level (e.g., economic inefficiencies), so why not?"
I heard this second- or third-hand, though, so I may be mischaracterizing his views.