Nanny Staters Should Mind Their Own Business

Nanny State

In the midst of the debates about banning firearms with certain features, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s failed attempt to ban New Yorkers from drinking soft drinks he felt were too large, and the debate over whether or not same sex couples should have the ability to enter into a legal contract to have the same legal rights and responsibilities as married heterosexual couples, a thought occurred to me: “Gee there are a lot of people out there who just want to ban things!”

Why is this impulse so prevalent in our society? It seems that nearly everyone wants to be free to live their lives as they see fit. I haven’t met too many people who favor any notion of limiting their freedom because elected officials passed a law or majority of fellow citizens took a vote. When it comes to one’s own personal liberties, everyone is a libertarian! Consider that the Gadsen flag underneath the coiled rattlesnake reads: “Don’t Tread on Me.”

But far too many of these same people who jealously defend their own liberties are more than eager to limit someone else’s when that someone else engages in an activity that, for whatever reason, offends them. No, when it comes to other people, these people who don’t want their liberties tread on are not libertarian but majoritarian (i.e. political might makes right).

George Will’s Libertarian Evolution: Q&A on Obama, Syria, & the Power of Choice

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Nick Gillespie and Reason TV chat with George Will, a conservative journalist, about his transformation to libertarianism.

It’s time to reform Social Security

Social Security

In a new video from Reason TV, Nick Gillespie explains that it’s time for Congress to get serious about Social Security reform.

Gillespie cites three strong reasons to tackle this problem now. First, Social Security is financially broke and will the surpluses it has amassed will be gone by 2033. That point was recently driven home by a report from the program’s trustees showing $23.1 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

Secondly, Gillespie explains that Social Security is a bad investment because Americans will receive less in benefits than they pay in taxes. And lastly, Americans don’t have any control over their contributions, which is especially unfair to younger workers. This means that they can’t invest their money in retirement account that better suits their needs, nor can they leave what they’ve put in the system to their loved ones.

Check out the two-minute video below:

Reason: Tap It: The NSA Slow Jam

Remy and Reason TV have teamed up to bring us this hilarious take on the NSA surveillance scandal. What better way to a very serious issue than a little comedy, right?

H/T: Ron Paul Problems

Sequester Shocker: It Feels Like Nothing’s Changed

See Video The Best and Worst Christmas Films (Libertarian Edition)

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Via Reason, Kennedy gives a rundown of the best and worst Christmas films from a libertarian perspective.

3 Reasons to Kill The Dept. of Homeland Security: It’s Unnecessary, Inefficient, & Expensive

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The Joy of Hate, Liberal Speech Police, & Conservative Punks

From Reason.TV, Nick Gillespie- the “Fonzie of Freedom” interviews Greg Gutfeld on his new book, The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage, why liberals can’t stand punk rockers with conservative politics, and deep-vein thrombosis in Melville’s Moby-Dick.

A long title, and a hilarious guy: What Writer Most Turned You on to Freedom?

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Shades of Nixon

Written by Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.

Reason magazine has a characteristically excellent video about the gas shortages in New York and New Jersey. Which is to say, the video is really about the insane responses of officials in those states to the scarcity of gas. Reason‘s Jim Epstein writes: “Govs. Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo…threatened to prosecute any station owners caught raising prices, thus removing any incentive to truck more gas in from other parts of the country.” Here’s the video:

The Washington Post reports Christie responded with an age-old government-rationing scheme:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered…drivers with even-numbered license plates being allowed to fill up on even-numbered dates and odd-numbered cars on the other days. But several motorists said they hadn’t heard the news because they had no power at home, and gas station managers said they didn’t bother to look at the plates.

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