Economies Of Scale Vs. Scope of Government

Take a look at the top of this page and read what we as Libertarians seek prior to reading this.  I’ll repeat it here:

Smaller Government

Lower Taxes

More Freedom

What we  get are the opposites:  Larger Government, More Taxes, Less Freedom.

Why larger governments do not benefit from economies of scale has bothered me.  I think that I am on the brink of resolving that mystery for myself finally. Bear(or bare) with me, as the case may be.

For our example, we will take two municipalities of obviously different size: Johns Creek and Atlanta.  Both have the same state government, operate in the same environmental and economic environments and co-exist 15 miles or so apart.  And without evening providing the numbers that support the statement, we all know that it is much more expensive from a tax perspective to live in Atlanta than Johns Creek.

As a more or less rational thinker, this has left me puzzled more often than not.  What is it that makes it more expensive per capita to provide services to the public, which seem to defy the concept of Economies of Scale that function flawlessly in other aspects of our life?

And then it hit me.  It’s NOT the economies of scale that are at question.  It’s the scope of government services provided.

At this point I am going to add another city to our conversation.  This one is fictional, but we all have a good understanding of how it is defined: Mayberry.

The city of Mayberry provided the most basic of services for the common good.  Court, jail, police, fire and education.

All the residents were potential beneficiaries of these services.

But when a city gets larger, like Johns Creek has, then more services are provided. Wants seem to morph into needs.   And these services may not benefit all citizens but a sub-section.     At first, it might be that a new service benefits 90% of the public. We tax all for the benefit of those 90%.  And 10% pay for services they never use.

Then the City grows larger.  Soon we add additional services, and then more additional services until the new services are not being used by 10% or less of the population and are being subsidized by the 90% that are not using them.

The larger the city the smaller the beneficiary group as a % of the whole needs to be.

Much to the chagrin of dog lovers, I’ll use the example of dog parks.  (and I love the name of the Chattapoochie Dog Park in Gwinnett so I am not a total grump).  Here’s a service provided by municipalities that only benefits dog owners.  More specifically, it only benefits that sub-segment of dog owners that want to take their dogs to a park to roam around.  If 1 in ten residents in Johns Creek have taken their pooch to the park more than 6 times in a year, I’d be shocked.

Were Johns Creek to get large enough, we’d likely have a different park for small dogs, and big dogs.  Even larger and we would have one for medium sized dogs.

We see the same effect with Arts Centers, Aquatic Centers, Nature Centers (insert the others you know are coming here).  We also see it with other services the City decides that they must provide such as bulk recycling.  The list becomes endless as long as there are funds to start the program.  And they never end. Get a few federal or state dollars to start and it’s a certainty to get started.

Which brings us back to my original observation.  There are no economies of scale for bigger and bigger cites because the scope of the services these cities provide expand in such a way that there are fewer users as a % of the population, forcing the majority to subsidize them.

How does one reign in the “service creep” that cities seem to engage in the larger they get?

One answer would be to set a minimal level of actual users that a city expects to see from this service.  Fifty per cent would be a good starting point for discussion’s sake.

Another answer would be to cut the funds flowing into the cities that fund such projects of such a narrow scope.  To do so you will need to be ready to speak up to your local government and say “NO!”.

As a Libertarian, this is exactly why I am for  a smaller government.  Let’s do the things that we need to do for everyone’s benefit, and do them the best we can.

Then we could see economies of scale.  We could lower our taxes, and those with dogs, for instance, could fund their own private dog park with their own dollars.

Otherwise, where does the “Service Creep” end?

As Libertarians, we know this does not have a good conclusion.  Taking the funds of one person for the benefit of others by the force of government is wrong.  Yet it continues unabated.

Our first step to end this is to identify and highlight such drastic imbalances such as taxing the majority for the benefit of the minority.  If we do not, then who will?

Join us today and help us fight to restore government to it’s original scope.

We need you to help win this battle before it’s too late.  The tax dollars we save, after all, will be your own.

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Is Selfishness A Libertarian Virtue?

 

It probably won’t shock you to hear that the majority of friends I made while working on undergraduate and graduate work in philosophy are liberals or socialists. However, libertarians might be shocked to know just how the outside world sees us. While I can’t make absolute claims about everyone’s perspective, I can point to a specific trend my friends have every time we go grab drinks. At least once per outing, someone will undoubtedly say something like this: “I’d love to buy you a drink, but I’m going to be a libertarian tonight and not do anything for anyone except myself!”

Then they laugh.  I attempt to correct their misunderstanding with a one-sentence response while knowing that saying anything more will take the conversation into a dull and irritating direction. Then we go about our night.

So why is it that libertarians are thought of as selfish, callous, and greedy? Well, I certainly can’t account for every reason, but I can say that a good place to start the search for a reason is to look at Ayn Rand and her political philosophy. When a prominent figurehead of the libertarian movement authors a book titled The Virtue of Selfishness, it’s not hard to understand why those outside of the libertarian camp think that the only things libertarians are concerned with are themselves and their money. So, the question must be asked: “Is this admittedly widespread view accurate?”

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Just One Gun

The No Guns Allowed

The No Guns Allowed sign protected only the shooter Chattanooga, TN

The Few.  The Proud.  The Disarmed. The Target.  The Marines.

It’s hard to believe that it has been more than seven years since I posted a blog called “Just One Gun”.   Nothing has changed.   Here is a brief portion:

 

In Dekalb, Illinois a gunman kills five in a lecture hall before he takes his own life. Last week there was a shooting at a school in Louisiana. Last year it happened on the campus of Virginia Tech, where 23 were killed.

George Bush had a press conference this morning, February 15th, 2008. After a few brief remarks on the shooting in Illinois, he moves right to his diatribe on the War on Terror and that we still face the threat and we need Congress to act.

Mr. President, I am not sure if you are counting the losses. But the body count is climbing higher by the week on our college campuses. I wish you were willing to act decisively and act now to help turn this around.

Mr. President, law abiding citizens are not allowed to carry weapons on college campuses. They are “gun-free” zones. Penalties for having a gun are higher if you are caught violating gun laws in “gun-free” zones. The only problem is that suicidal maniacs do not worry themeselves about such details. They will not be around to suffer the consequences.

https://www.nolanchart.com/article2740-just-one-gun-html

Yet here we are and it is still happening.  Governments create a gun free zone and killers target the gun free zones as their objective.  The left is quick to find ways to divert attention to the fact that it was a gun-free zone (It was the fault of the Confederate Flag, for instance) at the church shooting in South Carolina, but we can see through that ruse.

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Every Vote Counts*

How often have you heard this statement?

*Every vote Counts(if you are willing to cast your vote for a democrat or a republican).

That’s just a bit closer to the truth.  Why?  Because the state of Georgia’s restrictive ballot access laws prohibit(as in stop) Libertarian Candidates from getting their name on the ballot.

You cannot get your votes to count if you write in your candidate of choice unless that candidate has also registered as an official write-in candidate.  So when you write in someone’s name against an unopposed candidate, the act is meaningless.  But they want to give you the idea that it counted(yet they do not even count write-ins).

Why would they do such a thing?  In this day and age where everything is about choice, why would they deny you the choice of the option of casting a vote for a Libertarian candidate?  Because they can.  That’s right -they can.

Unless you do something about it.  We need you to begin to contact your State Representatives and Senators.  We need you to let them know. that if every vote counts, then every candidate that meets the legal requirements for the office be allowed to run for the office.

Earlier in the year HB 58 was introduced,   Read about it here:

http://ballot-access.org/2015/01/23/georgia-ballot-access-bill-introduced-3/

This Bill would have lowered the number of signatures needed from 5% to 2% to get a Libeertarian Party Candidate on the ballot.  Better, but certainly not good enough.  We should demand more.  We might settle for less the first time around but we need to demand more.

Here’s where you can do something to help us help you make your vote count.  Because your vote does not count when there is no candidate running against an incumbent.  You know that.  I know that.  The media knows that.

And if you know that most of the positions that you will cast votes for are unopposed, odds are you might just choose to stay home.  Many voters do.

So I am asking you to write your State Representatives and State Senators.  Learn what their position is on this issue,  Voice your support to more choice at the ballot box, rather than less.  When you hear back from them, let us know what they have said. Send me a note at Ernest.Moosa@lpgeorgiadotcom(you know how to change that dot).

You can find their names and contact info with the link below.

http://www.senate.ga.gov/senators/en-US/FindyourLegislator.aspx

Help us help you to begin tackling this issue now, before the next start of the legislative session.

We want your votes to count.  Really count.  Not the charade we have today.

And while you are at it, if you are not a member of the Georgia Libertarian Party, consider joining us today.  The more members we have the more the legislators will be willing to listen to us.

It’s your freedom we are fighting for.  Help us help you.

Click here to join us today: Make My Vote Count!

Together we can make that happen!

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We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

Our membership drive last week was tied to the founding of our nation.  On July 8th, 1776, the public heard the reading of the Declaration of Independence for the first time at what is now named Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA.

There are three counties in Georgia named for our own signers of the Declaration of Independence. Can you name them? Scroll to the bottom to see if you were correct.

These efforts were just the beginning.  It would take more that a decade to produce the US Constitution and win the war for Freedom.

Today the Libertarian Party is working diligently  not only to protect what freedoms we have, but to restore our lost freedoms.  But that is not easy and we need you to not only join us in this effort, but to patiently help us push forward for years to come. We can do this with your help and time.

Read through the Declaration below.  Do you think this would even make it out of committee with our current leadership?  What statements would be removed?

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall and George Walton were our signers from the State of Georgia.  Gwinnett, Hall and Walton counties are named in their honor.  Join us today and we can make the difference.
http://www.lpgeorgia.com/get-involved/join/

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