Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Monday, July 18, 2005

more conservative?

One of my friends and blog readers asked me if I was become more conservative. Here's my reply:
I'm becoming more of a realist. Whether that's conservative, I don't know. Most libertarians seem to ignore reality, at least on foreign policy and immigration issues. On domestic issues, I think we can move steadily in a libertarian direction although we will probably have to deal with foreign policy and immigration first.

The terrorists are terrorists, not because we are in Iraq, but because they are religious extremists who support a theocratic state and would cheerfully murder each and every one of us, if they could, simply because we do not believe as they do. Until we learn that, we are in denial.

On immigration, I pointed out on my blog that there are huge discrepancies between the US and Mexico in factors that measure the ability to foster economic growth and liberty. Until that gap narrows, we will have an immigration problem. This gap can only be closed by one of two ways, making the US less free or Mexico more free. I much prefer the latter. If that means regime change, so be it. Maybe talking about it will encourage them to change. Staying with the status quo doesn't help. What's your choice? Are you willing to be less free?

If we're not willing to deal with current events in a realistic way, instead of as an idealist, people will think we're naive. As a political party, we have to be realists if we want to be credible, and elected.


Blogger Sean Haugh said...

I agree about the Liberty gap between the US and Mexico, but I'd suggest the way to solve it is to make the US more free. Problems associated with immigration would mostly vanish if we eliminated welfare (at least for non-citizens), got out of so-called "free trade" agreements like NAFTA and GATT, and reduced the regulatory burden on American business. That way, the only incentive people would come here would be to work and be productive, and American business could compete in the international marketplace while offering higher paying jobs at home.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Adam said...

I agree that we need to address the Liberty gap between the US and friends and the rest of the world. The few problems immigration actually causes would be eliminated if we scaled back welfare. I think Sean Haugh is right on.

However, I also think that forcible regime change without the sanction of the UN should be a last resort, since that goes afoul of international law, and its hard enought to keep any semblance of an international legal system as it is.

And yes, many terorists are terrorists because they are theocrats, especially among Al-Qaeda members. But the insurgents in Iraq are targeting US troops and government stations with their bombs in Iraq for the express stated purpose of the US pulling out.

1:14 PM  
Blogger David Aitken said...

Sean: Thanks for the reminder on scaling back welfare, etc. Those are necessary steps but they may not be enough. We need to encourage reforms with measurable goals for the feds as well as our trading partners. We could do things like performance based aid for improvements in measurable reductions in bureauocracy (like weeks to license a business, capital required as a percentage of income, etc), see DeSoto's book, The Mystery of Capital.

7:37 PM  

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