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    verbatim..., 2010-05-20 00:42:02 | Main | scatology..., 2010-05-24 16:15:29

    more and better libertarians:

    Rand Paul has some problems with Title II of the Civil Rights Act that banned segregation in private businesses that are otherwise open to the public. It's a violation of property and speech rights and blah blah blah, in a free market business must be allowed to refuse to do business. Of course he's being raked over the coals for it. Needlessly I think.

    It should have been really easy for Paul to acknowledge that we don't live in the libertarian world he would like, and that revoking Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act wouldn't bring us any closer to living there. In the free society he envisions there would be remedies to discrimination in the marketplace without the force of law - beyond even the historic achievements of the national boycotts and local sit-ins - he could have argued, but that society never existed and doesn't exist and he was elected to help make it possible. But of all the violations of the principles he holds most dear that occur on a routine basis under the ever expanding octopus of the interventionist state, not allowing a national retail chain - one, mind you, that inordinately benefited from enormous public subsidies through state and federal investment in roads and highways and at incredible expense to black communities - to discriminate against minorities has to be about the least significant and least heinous infraction against private property he could imagine, and would be the last scrap of law he would tear apart when his revolution comes, and then only because his vision for the country is one where Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act would no longer be necessary. No, he could have said, I don't agree with Title II, and here's how we're going to build an America that doesn't need it.

    Then off to the races he could go about his philosophy and his campaign and spend his time answering questions about the less sensitive topic of how to build a freight system on libertarian principles that captures the positive externalities of more efficient trade while minimizing the negative externalities created by razing black communities into the tarmac and - if Rand Paul acknowledged the problem - pumping vast amounts of pollution into the air.

    He even has script writers who could have helped make the point out of 8 second sound bites instead of run on sentences.

    But he didn't. So he deserves what he's getting.

    update: Has anybody grilled Hillary Clinton like this over her far more onerous opposition to the 14th amendment? I mean, she has a more established history of racism than Paul the Younger here, somebody should really take those comments half as seriously.

    update: Well then, "They thought all along that they could call me a libertarian and hang that label around my neck like an albatross, but I'm not a libertarian". I guess that explains that.

:: posted by buermann @ 2010-05-20 19:04:52 CST | link

      The general public talks about the interstate highway system as if it was obviously a great thing with no drawbacks (though a few might preface that by saying it was intended for military purposes), so I always like to hear contrarian view. The linked article notes that the damage has been done, but I wondered if you or anyone else had proposals on how to perhaps ameliorate the situation.

    posted by TGGP @ 2010-05-27 21:14:09 | link

      I don't know - I'm not quite sure what you're asking: the counter-factual? Reparation? Prevention?

      For the sake of pithiness, the amelioration of the exercise of eminent domain against unprivileged underclasses probably involves doing away with the eminence and sorting it out as unprivileged equals, so that we could drive together in the awful traffic of the just.

    posted by buermann @ 2010-05-27 22:52:49 | link

      Not counterfactual, though perhaps ill-founded hope. Something like the proposals in Jacob's "Death and Life" for making cities work for pedestrians again.

    posted by TGGP @ 2010-05-28 21:09:36 | link

      Her proposals would undercut the demand for constructing commuter bypasses through existing communities, so I think you've just answered your own question. The new urbanists, the locavores, hot house tomatoes, perhaps all hope is not ill-founded. I wonder if those concrete slabs would serve as decent bedrock for rail...

    posted by buermann @ 2010-05-29 07:28:41 | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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