My interest in liberty and economics started through reading the weekly columns of economists Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell in my local paper (Deseret News). From there, I explored the world of economics and have fallen in love with the Austrian School.
Understanding economics helped me see the consequences of bad public policy, usually passed under the best of intentions. I recommend everyone get a basic understanding of economics. As Ludwig von Mises, pioneer of the Austrian School, said, "A citizen who casts his ballot without having to the best of his abilities studied as much economics as he can fails in his civic duties." As well, Murray Rothbard, also a pioneer of the Austrian School, said "It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance." Economics has become a passion of mine.
The free-market, where it has been allowed to flourish, has brought millions upon millions out of poverty. I know this to be true. There is proof all around us. Likewise, any bit of government intervention inevidably leads to more intervention, trying to fix the mistakes that the previous intervention caused (all while denying that the problems arose through government intervention). There is ample proof of this in the current economic crises in the U.S. and the world.
I also believe limited government, so long as men aren't angels, is extremely difficult to preserve. There is strong evidence for this. As a libertarian, I oppose unjust aggression (initiatory). So long as limited government evolves into unlimited government, all government must be opposed. We cannot concede any ground. The Constitution, I believe, is a standard that holds men accountable to how they behave as officers of government. For that, I believe it is inspired of God, but since men are mortal, the Constitutional government hasn't lasted. Until men repent of their sins in imposing their will by force on others through the power of the state, and covenant with God to keep his commandments, the Constitution may as well not exist. In the words of 19th century libertarian-anarchist Lysander Spooner, "But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist." More accurately, men are unfit for the Constitution, I believe.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Posted by Skyler J. Collins
I recently wrote a self-introduction for the LDS Liberty discussion group I thought I'd share here (hyperlinks added):