We would like to offer the Libertarian view concerning subjects that affect us all, such as education, interference with free markets, social mores, individual rights. Please read the summary of our views, as well as artilces on various issues, following the summary.
Crime and Violence: We suggest the following: 1) Address the root causes of crime, such as mediocre schools, lack of economic opportunities, dependence on government, and misguided policies like the War on Drugs. 2) Require that criminals pay victims restitution for medical expenses, loss of property, and pain and suffering. 3) Focus on real crimes that harm the innocent.
Education of children: Monopolies are generally viewed as inefficient means of delivering products or services. In the absence of competition, monopolies have no incentive to produce the best possible goods. Government schools are no exception. Therefore, we support diverse systems which offer families the greatest choice, encourage highest parental involvement, and force competing systems to deliver their best efforts. Poor children often suffer the most under the current educational system, since those that want to learn, lacking choices, are grouped with those who choose to be uninvolved and disruptive. We encourage families in poorly-performing school districts to explore alternatives such as, charter schools, voucher programs, and parent-managed co-ops, including home schooling co-ops
Environment: Individuals bear primary responsibility for their own well being as well as that of Mother Earth. The free market responds to consumers’ demands. If consumers keep themselves informed and demand products and services that do the least environmental harm, the need for government’s vast array of costly environmental regulation disappears.
Foreign Policy: "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations -- entangling alliances with none." (Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address). Build positive relationships, with emphasis on free trade. Avoid negative relationships, with emphasis on military non-intervention.
Gun Laws: Prohibition did not stop liquor use. The War on Drugs did not stop drug use. Gun prohibition will not stop criminals from owning guns. The Bill of Rights is intended to protect people from a government wanting to go rogue, and the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights gives people the ultimate means to do so.
Health Care: Regulation increases the cost of any product, including healthcare. Transparency, competition, and an informed citizenry keep costs more affordable than healthcare supported by a vast, resource-wasting bureaucracy.
Immigration: Whenever laws conflict with how people actually live and sectors of the economy actually work, problems arise. No amount of “immigration reform” will change these contradictory facts: 1) Sectors of the U.S. economy need low-skilled workers, while everybody’s aspiration is to go to college. 2) Sectors of the economy need highly-skilled technicians who are flexible in their demands, while everybody’s aspiration is a highly-paid position with all kinds of benefits. We need to remove barriers that interfere with how people actually live.
Personal Liberty: Libertarians are guided by the principle of non-aggression. Guided thus, individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. If government is held to the limited responsibilities spelled out in the Constitution, it will not intrude in individuals’ privacy, preferences, or choices.
Poverty and Welfare: Government has the habit of first creating a problem, then passing vast amounts of legislation in attempts to solve it. Policies such as taxation and regulation discourage entrepreneurism that creates jobs. “Solutions” have done nothing but make more people dependent on government and less able to fend for themselves. A better approach is to remove barriers to entrepreneurial activity, and institute a dollar for dollar tax credit for donations to charities that help those who truly need assistance.
Taxes: Government's role needs to be limited to its Constitutional function of protecting life, property, and individual rights, as well as defending us from foreign attack. Those functions can be funded by minimal taxation, as was the original intent of our Constitution. It should be evident that the unchecked growth of government at all levels requires more taxation, which removes money from the free market economy that provides livelihoods.
Libertarians view progressive government policies such as the minimum wage, subsidized student loans, and subsidized housing as the equivalent of trying to put out a fire by dousing it with lighter fluid.
When there is a rise in the mandatory minimum wage, businesses can either raise the price of their goods or lay off workers. To think that businesses will absorb the extra cost without taking action is naïve.
The workplace used to be a lot more professionally diverse thanks to different types of instruction, such as vocational institutions, apprentice shops, and inexpensive certificate classes. Then government decided everybody needs to go to college, and poured money into subsidized student loans. Now we have sky-high tuition and college graduates taking orders at McDonalds. To think colleges will not raise tuition to capture the large amounts of government money available is naïve.
Up until the 1960s, owning a little house in which to raise a family was possible for members of a thriving middle class. There was help from the GI Bill and Fannie Mae, but most homes were privately built and privately owned. Then government decided that if a little subsidy was good, lots of subsidy would be even better. So we have a lot more people competing for housing where the subsidies are the most generous. To think that housing subsidies do not contribute to high housing prices is naïve.
Pricing mayhem is not the only result of subsidies. They grow and grow and grow, as government programs are likely to do, crowding out other investments and producing great opportunity costs. Taxpayer money that flows into government coffers to support subsidies is not available for private investments, such establishing new businesses or hiring employees.
Resolution Passed at the Libertarian Party of San Francisco Business Meeting of July 11, 2015
Market Rate Moratorium in The Mission
Whereas: restrictive land development policies like zoning and rules allowing any special interest party to delay or prevent a project for any reason have led to the highest housing prices in the nation.
Therefore be it resolved that: The Libertarian Party of San Francisco urges city officials to ease up on zoning restrictions and reduce the opportunities for interference of property rights.
Whereas: the undermining of property rights by government bureaucrats and neighborhood busybodies has increased the risk of development in The City, so developers demand economic compensation in the form of higher prices.
Therefore be it resolved that: The Libertarian Party of San Francisco encourages city officials to recognize the benefits of property rights to encourage more development, if feasible, so the stock housing increases and prices drop.
Whereas: The City already owns so much vacant and underutilized land that the San Francisco Civil Grand Jury considered the problem important enough to investigate in 2013.
Therefore be it resolved that: The Libertarian Party of San Francisco encourages city officials to work with what they’ve got rather than look for new properties to acquire, which will require costly bonds.
Whereas: The Mission has been home to many different ethnic groups of settlers over the years, and the voluntary movement of residents in and out of that neighborhood has worked well to build a rich and diverse history of that neighborhood.
Therefore be it resolved that: The Libertarian Party of San Francisco encourages the voluntary movement of people to increase their mobility in society and opposes any efforts by governmental officials to protect the current residents of The Mission—or any neighborhood—from a changing world.
Whereas: The Libertarian Party opposes nativist, anti-outsider and anti-immigrant sentiment, and the proposed ballot measure would require builders to discriminate against those who are not current San Francisco residents when making "affordable" housing available.
Therefore be it resolved that: The Libertarian Party of San Francisco rejects the xenophobic bias implicit in this misguided proposal, and affirms its support for treating everyone equally under the law regardless of where they live or how long they have lived there.
Whereas: it is inherently unfair to any business that has already invested significant amounts of time and money going through the convoluted approval process to change the rules midstream by adding yet more hurdles.
Therefore be it resolved that: The Libertarian Party of San Francisco urges city officials and voters to oppose a moratorium on market rate housing and to allow developers who have played by the rules to complete their projects and increase the supply of housing in The City.
On May 12, President Barrack Obama issued a 116-page set of recommendations entitled the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The Department of Justice says “the recommendations provide meaningful solutions to help law enforcement agencies and communities strengthen trust and collaboration, while ushering the nation into the next phase of community-focused policing.”
Given that so much unhappiness has been occurring involving policing, there will be clamor to implement this perceived panacea. But, have other Federal programs been panaceas? Are your children thriving in school with Common Core? Have you seen an end to neighborhood segregation with the Fair Housing Act? Are your kids safer thanks to the War on Drugs? Has the Student Loan Program made college affordable to your children? Did the paramilitary equipment supplied by the Federal government to your local police end unrest?
The Independent Institute’s website is full of informative books, articles, and videos, all of which the Libertarian Party of San Francisco recommends. But one video series is an absolute must see. Here is the Independent Institute’s description of the series:
“Independent Institute's new video series—Love Gov: From First Date to Mandate—is now on YouTube! The series personifies the folly, cost, and intrusiveness of government in the lives of everyone, especially the young.
The 5-part series depicts the federal government as an overbearing boyfriend—Scott "Gov" Govinsky—who foists his "good intentions" on hapless, idealistic college student, Alexis. Each episode follows Alexis's relationship with "Gov" as his intrusions wreck comic havoc on her life, professionally, financially, and socially. "Gov" creates excessive student-loan debt, expensive housing, unemployment, inadequate and expensive healthcare, and personal privacy violations.
Alexis's loyal friend Libby tries to help her see "Gov" for what he really is—a menace. But will Alexis come to her senses in time? Tune in to find out!
'Love Gov is a way to help anyone, especially Millennials, understand the government’s ever-expanding reach into personal lives,' says David J. Theroux, Founder and President of Independent Institute. 'It's a lighthearted approach to reach audiences on a personal level, and inspire them to learn more and take action.'
Love Gov also connects with the newly redesigned MyGovCost mobile app, enabling you to estimate your lifetime federal tax liability and the assets you could have accrued if your taxes were instead privately invested. To see what Washington is costing you, download this FREE mobile app now, or visit MyGovCost.org for the web-based version of the calculator!
Watch Love Gov to find out if Alexis can recover from Gov's folly, and help us spread the word and share this must-see video series with your friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors."
Watch the video. Spread the message.
History puts the present into perspective. Therefore, we are offering this informal and brief history of San Francisco’s Mission District in hopes of adding a little more perspective to the present discussion of “The Mission Moratorium,” which would halt construction of market-rate housing in the district for at least 45 days.
“On June 27th, 1776, a settlement party from Monterey, consisting of soldiers, colonists, their families, Franciscan priests, Christianized natives, and 200 head of cattle, entered the valley through a cleft in the hills bordering the valley to the south, now called the Bernal Gap.”
This is how the story of the Mission District starts. The Spanish colonizers moved in and displaced the Ohlone People who had lived in the valley for 5,000 years.
By the 1830’s Mexican ranchos built on land grants replaced the missions established by the Franciscan friars. After the Treaty of Guadalupe, pioneer settlers and immigrants -- mostly of German, Irish, and Italian descent -- challenged the land ownership of the rancheros with the help of the U.S. federal government and won. The Gold Rush attracted a large number of new settlers who called their ethnically subdivided housing plots in the Mission valley home.