Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Liberaltarian Vision of Tyler Cowen

The last time I reported on Tyler Cowen, he was pontificating on a necessary split he expected between what he dubbed "Ron Paul-Lew Rockwell libertarianism" and "realistic" libertarianism.

Well, it appears that Cowen has found a group his "realistic" libertarians can align with. Indeed, he has already given the alliance a name, the "liberaltarian alliance".

Cowen sent out two Twitter posts on his thoughts, last night:
Once it is clearer that HSR [By HSR, I believe he means the Hart Scott Rodino Act, possibly he means House Senate Reconciliation on ObamaCare-RW] is permanent, liberaltarian "alliance" will do better, due to agreement on many remaining issues.
HSR also means that liberals should become stronger advocates of free trade and technological progress, due to change in risk-sharing.
I am really, really baffled by this. I just don't see "agreement on many issues".

Liberals (in the modern day sense) appear to be full-time interventionists when it comes to the economy. Does Tyler think they are going to be for less regulation in the financial sector? Does Tyler really think they are going to take a pro-free trade stance that will damage their union support? Are they going to suddenly come out against hikes in minimum wages?

The only place it ever made sense to align with the left was on wars and privacy, but now that they have their man in the White House, with a few exceptions, they remain noticeably silent on our overseas adventures and on privacy encroachments.

Finally, when ObamaCare busts the budget, does Cowen seriously think the liberals are going to call for free markets to halt spiraling costs?

Maybe he sees some narrow nudge in HSR that may push liberal advocacy on some narrow topic of trade toward free trade, but to brand this agreement a "liberaltarian alliance" suggests a baffling method Cowen uses to choose alliances. When one thinks of the many possible areas of agreement between "Ron Paul-Lew Rockwell libertarianism" and Cowen's "realistic" libertarianism, and the few if any possible areas of agreement, at the present time, with liberals, one wonders with just what filter Cowen uses to pick his alliances, and with what agenda..


  1. Couldn't agree more with Wenzel's critique of Cowen. Cowen appears as a confused beggar looking for breadcrumbs from a group of cut-throat politicians. The maassive theft known as the health care bill will only embolden them. Words will not save us! Boycott government now!

  2. "Liberalism" in a lot of cases is nothing more than making-all-the-right-sounds-and-moves-so-I-can-get-hired-by-government-and-make-some-real-money-for-a-change.

    I'll take the principled far left over that...
    most of them are anti-state anyway..

    Principled people can learn economics...

    Unprincipled people are no use, even with the right economics