Thursday, December 3, 2015

Do Libertarians Really Hate the Poor?

Dear Bob,

I participated in the December 1, 2015 “Libertarian Angle,” webinar sponsored by the Future of Freedom Foundation, with the Foundation’s president, Jacob G. Hornberger, on the topic: “Do Libertarians Really Hate the Poor?.”

This week’s discussion revolved around the issue of how too many on “the left” confuse the free market advocate’s disagreement with the welfare state as a method for ameliorating the condition of the poor as meaning a disagreement with the end or goal of reducing or eliminating poverty.

All people of good will and benevolence desire a world in which poverty has been radically reduced or eliminated. The issue is which economic policies and social institutions are most conducive to achieving that goal.

The friend of individual liberty, free markets and constitutionally limited government advocates open competitive markets, low taxes and unregulated private enterprise precisely because they consider that the framework most likely to create the incentives and opportunities for work, savings, investment, and mutual gains from trade to improve the material and general social circumstances of all, over time.

At the same time, the friend of freedom argues that the fundamental principle is that every individual should be respected and treated with the dignity of having the right to peacefully and honestly live his own life as he chooses to give his live a meaning and a purpose that gives him fulfillment and happiness.

The advocate of the welfare state ends up being a “social engineer” who has a arrogance and a hubris that he knows better than people themselves how they should live their lives, and what their “real” and “true” needs are, and how they should be provided for.

The ultimate way to help the poor is through that system of individual rights, private property, free enterprise and limited government.

The webinar runs for about 30 minutes.



  1. the best way to help the poor is to wipe out Ayn Rand fans and other hypocrites who pretend they want small government while supporting the biggest war mongering government that ever existed. Wankers.

  2. The words "nuance," "implication" and "consequence" are not in the liberal's lexicon. Liberals form a "cult of the obvious." To think beyond the most immediately obvious and self-gratifying action hurts their brain.

  3. Sorry for the trivial question, but is Dr. Ebeling in the Navy?

    1. I had the same question, about the uniform that understanding is that Dr. Ebeling teaches at the Citadel, so the following from the Citadel web site might prove useful...:

      Q: What's it like teaching in a military college?

      A: The two most noticeable differences are that Citadel faculty wear military uniforms (not the cadet uniform) to teach undergraduate day classes, and they return salutes from cadets.

      For this reason, faculty are expected to follow military guidelines governing hair length and style. Men may wear mustaches but not beards.

  4. I was convinced immediately prior to becoming a libertarian in 1973 that left “progressives” hate the poor, working people and minorities. It was that and their refusal to differentiate voluntary transactions from those transactions subject to violent intervention that opened my mind to libertarian analysis. Nothing has changed in almost 43 years.

    Think about the leftist’s ideas about gun control and Austrian economics. Leftists support gun control because they think AVERAGE NON-CRIMINAL people are too stupid and incompetent to be allowed to own and use firearms in a responsible manner AND that society can be properly managed only by way of a government controlled and managed by the leftists themselves. You can anticipate exactly what leftist response will be to any situation if you understand those two motivations.

    Similarly, leftists cannot bear to even think about the concept of economic calculation because it requires a society where average people must be allowed free reign to buy and sell as they please AND that the leftist’s violent intervention in that process (upon which the leftist’s entire self-image is based) is the cause of most of society’s problems, especially those of the poor and powerless.

    So why do leftists hate us again?