Saturday, March 31, 2007

I'm not sure we can get there from here...

I saw an interesting analogy over on KNAPPSTER the other day. It touched on the thoughts I’ve had for a long time, that incrementalism isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as things are at least moving in the right direction.

I have a couple of granddaughters that live just north of Noblesville. I know that when I drive out to see them, I’m going to go through New Castle. Now, I don’t mind going through New Castle, because I know I’m getting closer to seeing the girls, and I know if I have to stop there for a little while, at least I’m closer to my goal than I was when I left home. And if something or someone tries to keep me there too long, or turn me in another direction, they’re going to have a fight on their hands.

That’s how I feel about the progress the Libertarian Party is trying to make towards a limited government. I realize the ideal solution would be to do away with property taxes. I also realize that this is a difficult and daunting task that will need to be coupled with decreased government spending, and less reliance of the citizenry on government hand-outs and wealth redistribution. The plan that some Libertarians came up with a few years ago for an equal square footage assessment formula goes a long way towards making the tax at least a little more fair as we continue to work on abolishing it.

I take some flack from some libertarians and Libertarians because I sit on the Hagerstown Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals. I can certainly see their point that government controlled land use and zoning regulations are not in keeping with libertarian thought. But planning and zoning do exist, and until it can be eliminated or modified to fall more in line with property rights protections, we need to fight them where we can. I have consistently voted in favor of property rights and reduced government interference while on these boards. And I know I’ve had more effect on the outcome of events than I did when I simply argued from the gallery.

I’m getting pretty old, but I’m not totally set in my ways. And if someone can convince me there is a quicker way to get to Noblesville than going through New Castle, then hey, I’m all ears. Likewise, if someone can convince me that there is a better way to advance libertarianism than fighting and clawing through one small victory at a time, I’m up for that too.

Meanwhile, I’ve got some work to do.

As soon as I get back from Noblesville.


Blogger Mike Kole said...

I've taken plenty of the same flack, my friend. I look at it like this: The Planning Commission exists, and it's going to be staffed by someone. Is it better for liberty that it is staffed by a Libertarian, or by a socialist?

One step at a time. When we put libertarian ideals into place in small ways and people see that the town didn't go up in flames or result in hog farms next to the church, they'll trust us and give us a shot at the next level, which may well lead to repeals.

Nobody starts at CEO.

10:26 AM  

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