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[Table] IAmA: I am Matt Kibbe - author of "Don't Hurt People and Don't Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto." Ask Me Anything!

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Date: 2014-04-08
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Questions Answers
People seem to assume that libertarians don't care about helping people who have fallen on hard times, or handicapped people, or whatever the case may be. How can I explain to people that we don't just give people who need help the cold shoulder? Robust communities and compassion come from people working together on a voluntary basis. You cant force someone to care at the point of a gun. freedom is a responsibility, but if you outsource it to government, they just might not step up to help a neighbor in need.
Not an answer. Actually it is, because your real and imagined critiques of market failure ignore the ubiquitous problem of government failure. Politicians and bureaucrats are just as self interested as the rest of us are, but they have lots of power and your money. If you want to redesign social outcomes from the top down, you have to naively assume that you can find only super intelligent and perfectly selfless people to make the trains run on time. Won't happen. Why not step up and do your share, in your community, instead of asking someone else to foot your burden?
Can you explain your position on campaign finance reform? Should the super-wealthy be able to donate as much money as they want to political candidates? I like the First Amendment and I think unfettered political speech is the best protection against tyranny. The current system favors all of the lobbyists that feed off their relations (and expected favors) with incumbents for life. We need to break up the cartel.
What, in your opinion, are the top three issues facing the United States today? Abuse of executive power and the trampling of our civil liberties.
Monetizing the national debt with the Fed's funny money and credit.
The power of the political class in Washington -- politicians, bureaucrats, and the special interests that game the system.
Hi Matt! Who is your favorite economist? Ludwig von Mises.
Will FreedomWorks endorse a presidential candidate in 2016? We have never endorsed a candidate for President in the Republican Primary. I doubt we will. If Jeb Bush gets traction, we will surely reconsider, and endorse someone else. For sure.
Mr. Kibbe, thank you for endorsing Dr. Greg Brannon in North Carolina. Is there any chance FreedomWorks would back Dr. Paul Broun in Georgia and/or State Senator Lee Bright in South Carolina? We are looking at all of these, but we have to make the best choices with our scarce resources to maximize the number of liberty candidates that win in November.
Real talk. How many Grateful Dead concerts have you actually been to?? About 100, but the details are not totally clear.
Okay serious question: would you rather have Thad Cochran get reelected or Mitch McConnell? How come? Which incumbent winning would be worse for liberty and the GOP in your opinion? Mitch McConnell has got to go.
Thank you Mr Kibbe for your time today! To get a better idea of what is in the book what are your best public policy solutions to your earlier mentioned major concerns? All responses are appreciated! 1 Abuse of executive power and the trampling of our civil liberties. What is the solution? How do we get the three branches of government and the overall justice system to arrest itself when it breaks the constitution? What leverage do citizens have to hold our politicians accountable to our original contract? 2 Monetizing the national debt with the Fed's funny money and credit. Whats the solution? Is it the politically unsellable cod liver oil of recession? Is there a way we can get the nominal income shock needed to honor our debts? Is it default? What would you like to see in 2 years? 6 years? 10 years? 3 The power of the political class in Washington -- politicians, bureaucrats, and the special interests that game the system. Whats the solution? Deflate the Tax code? How about shrinking the tax code from 72,00+ pages to 1-3? Easy enough for everyone to understand? This is a predictable answer, but, you have to buy the book to find out.
Do you see the Libertarian movement gaining traction as a third party? If not, how do you see Libertarian ideas becoming mainstream? Ronal Reagan said that the heart and soul of conservatism was libertarianism. The next year he primaried a sitting Republican president. Today, I think the best strategy is to take over the Republican party. Regardless, we need to build a community for liberty that is completely independent of political loyalties based on ideas.
Does Freedomworks have a position or are they involved in the movement for an Article V Convention of States? If we choose to go that route, we had better build a winning community for liberty first, otherwise we will open up a can of worms. Im one-note Jonny on this: want to pass a good piece of legislation? Build a community. Want to elect Greg Brannon? Build a community. Want to amend the Constitution to limit the out of control nature of government today? Build a community.
How do you reach out to others to spread liberty without sacrificing your personal values? In my book, I talk about the common values of liberty. 1. Don't hurt people. 2. Don't take their stuff. 3. Take responsibility. 4. Work for it. 5. Mind your own business. 6. Fight the power.
I think when you strip away the partisan rhetoric, these are common values that can attract a lot of people that haven't bothered to read thousand page tomes from dead Austrian economists. We need to speak in English and stop chasing other people out of the room with our purity.
Will FreedomWorks include the Patriot Act reauthorization and the 2015 NDAA amendments on their scorecard? We may, no final decision.
Since you "borrowed" your book's tagline from Murray Rothbard's "For a New Liberty", I assume that Murray's work has had some influence on your current ideological leanings. Can you reflect on whether you are familiar with Murray's work, and whether his work may have inspired you? I am. I actually got to drink pitchers of Anchor Steam with Murray in 1987. Candidly, I like Hayek's work better, but Don't Hurt People and Don't Take Their Stuff is influenced by Mises, Hayek, and Rothbard.
Why don't you have an option to pay/donate with bitcoin on the freedom works web page?! We're working on it.
Jack Nicholson 1974 or Jack Nicholson now? Great question. Please clarify. Are we talking "The Shining" Jack or "Bucket List" Jack?
I recently finished reading Atlas Shrugged, do you think that any of Rand's philosophies are applicable in the real world, if so, which ones? Her innate understanding of the collusion between government interests and crony capitalists in Atlas anticipates the great work of public choice economics, and makes her novel eerily familiar today.
I also get from her moral code of individualism the burden of responsibility underpinning the philosophy of freedom. Her heroes go to extraordinary lengths to defend a system where all men can prosper. The burden of saving a company or an idea that can make things better.
Do you feel many libertarians spend too much time attacking one another and like-minded conservatives and not enough attacking progressive authoritarians in both parties? Absolutely. Now that we have interest and momentum we need to reach out beyond our own community to sell the upside of individual freedom to people now searching for an alternative to the broken promises of progressivism.
What's your favorite Rush song? A Farewell to Kings: "the hypocrites are slandering the sacred halls of truth. Ancient nobles showering their bitterness on youth."
Matt- I went to a Freedomworks event in Houston Texas a while back to discuss Freedomworks initiative to block the "turn Texas blue movement." Obviously the latino vote is what the Democrats are going after to turn Texas blue. I asked Katrina Peterson at the event what Freedomworks was doing to target the latino vote instead. I added that latinos tend to favor many libertarian philosophies like entrepreneurship, personal responsibility, ect. Peterson's response was that Freedom works was targeting all individuals, not just latinos. I took this to mean Freedomworks was not targeting the latino vote specifically. Has Freedomworks changed their position on this issue? Any chance of joining forces with The Libre Initiative? We support the Libre movement.
Jackie is the worst. So not Jackie, maybe Julie?
Last updated: 2014-04-12 21:37 UTC
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