The Problem is Critical Thinking (and partisanship)

Accept the proposition that we have too many laws and Americans should be free and we won’t need this discussion. Immigration, GMOs, The Patriot Act, Pipelines, Environmentalism, illegal drugs, traffic laws, compulsory insurances, sex, and gambling…. These things should be so simple to decide based on freedom, reason, simplicity, education, economy, and a dismantling of the Kafkaesque legal system and expensive justice industry. Instead we decide based on an illogical combination of pop philosophy and tradition, and fiercely defend our opinions with partisanship.

By international reckoning we are not as free a country as we think. The Wiki lists the USA as 17 to 10 in the most recent economic freedom lists by libertarian organizations like the Fraser Institute of Canada and the Cato Institute of Washington DC. People in Hong Kong and New Zealand are much freer economically than those of us in the USA these days. Even on lists of freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution, like religion or speech, we are down to about fifth on most indices.

I could jump around here with how illogical so many well accepted arguments, but you don’t believe me.  I need a reputation and a voice in order for anyone to even hear what I say. As it is whatever I say will be heard as an insult to your personal, partisan views. You accept the premise but you only listen to your own partisans.

Too Many Laws. The Environmental Protection Agency is out of control.  If I give you examples and you are Republican you will say Damn Straight.  But if you are Democrat you will be insulted. Both sides are equally wrong, and equally deaf to reason. Examples are not difficult to find but each side insults the other with straw arguments and mischaracterizations. Start the discussion with an acceptance of the fact that Americans are free and our laws are often ridiculous and we can make some headway.

Our immigration system is broken in so many ways.  If you are Democrat you will jump on my bandwagon, but if you are Republican you will say “illegal means illegal” when just a cursory view of the problems involved make it abundantly clear our immigration system is hopeless broken and ridiculously expensive.

It is a good idea to label products, but if you don’t like how the product is labeled don’t buy it. Don’t force me to pay for new laws that will give totalitarian power to a government agency to put people in prison if they call food by the wrong name, and make my food more expensive because you want me to read a label I don’t care about.

Pipelines, Gun Control, Prisons, Drugs, Sex, Rock and Roll….  I mean, where is the basis for our laws?  Evidently our laws are inspired by pop philosophy.  The Puritans had an idea of how life should be and we are still following many of their ideals without re-examining them.

No recreational drugs, well, except alcohol. Why? Explain your view in one paragraph. Did your paragraph mention the fact that some people can use drugs unsupervised without causing irreparable harm to society? So we are left with removing the freedom for all because some need supervision. Like the Patriot Act. Like speeding on the highway. Like laws against certain kinds of consensual sex, gambling, bad language, dancing… These things can be safe but we have outlawed them to some extent and empowered government agencies to imprison, fine, restrict and otherwise punish people who have not harmed anyone at all. We have built a huge industry based on protecting us from things that may harm some of us sometime, but may not.

And when we start talking about the specifics then you will sign off and be angry. Your side says something different from what I say.  Unless and until I get a reputation you will not listen. Then you will just side with me not matter what I say, and that too is wrong.


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