The Libertarian Psychologist analyzes the semi-Strategic Corporal

LP First-off, I know you. You bristle at obtuse regulations, rail about tax-forms...

SC --State-business tax forms are the worst!

LP -- I can’t imagine you as a ‘Statist.’

SC -- I’m talking about the Eisenhower Administration; not Russia.

LP Even so. Knowing you as I do, I wonder how you ever managed to stay in the military.

SC It’s true. It was difficult to follow what I thought were stupid orders given by individuals whom I did not respect. LP What about Standard Operating Procedures that came down as memos or rule-sheets?

SC Well, those are often evaded. They’re around only if you screw-up so you can be nailed and the higher-up have covered their asses. You’ll find that everywhere.

LP So, why aren’t you with me as a Libertarian?

SC People go to war even if its just to fight. Often it gets more serious than that. You need to have a military.

LP OK. There are Libertarians who grant that the government may maintain armies and navies but not much else...

SC That’s ridiculous. I don’t even want to imagine a nation so anemic. It’s a complex and unfair world. For instance, FEMA granted tens of thousands of non-fraudulent loans that they later said were made in error and wanted the money paid back in 30 days subject to fines and other penalties... yet 363 tons of hundred dollar bills totalling 12 billion dollars disappeared into Iraq for their ‘banking system’ and was a fraction of what wasn’t accounted for... The Financial Companies of the Western World were pulled back from default in flagrant violation of their own fiduciary responsibilities and there were no investigations or indictments, and all the private fortunes were kept while the public made the corporations whole. How does one live a middle-class life with auto and property insurances, pay for health care, education and housing in a vacuum governed by a market-place with no oversight? The gap in years between collecting Social Security and being turned out of your last job keeps widening. -- A poor finish and a mediocre start... In the 1950s; even in the 1970s you could actually work your way through college. Today a college course at a public university can run you $ 1,400; an entire education about $ 50,000 plus books, meals, commuting or living expenses... Let’s say $ 75,000 Divide that up by the minimum wage after taxes; that’s over 10,000 hours. Try to find a retail company, which is America’s big industry, that will give an employee more than 1,000 hours a year -- they don’t want to pay benefits. Today there are enormous difficulties in living as well as your parents and the bootstrap for the average person is gone: It’s Mommy & Daddy. Then what does one do with their degree? Between automation and off-shore outsourcing what occupations are there? -- Don’t tell me the Health Care field in the United States: Two trillion dollars a year; $ 7,000 per person; 1 out 5 without any coverage. Health care results at the bottom of the industrialized world. That’s a bubble looking to pop. It’s unsustainable... Of course, we are only arguing about how to stop subsidizing the least powerful recipients. We aren’t looking at who’s getting the money!

LP The market-place will take care of it...

SC Market place? Let’s say that you have coronary symptoms and no insurance, and live in the vicinity of three hospitals. Do you think you can call them up and ask their rates; how much 3 days in ICU would cost? Do you think there is such a figure? You would die on hold. This is a business closely held by guilds and corporations in which competition is not valued. Try to make an appointment with a specialist and you don’t have a good friend who is their good friend: The weight could easily be 7 or 8 months, and this was before any federal legislation besides the 2005 ERISA act which removed entire classes of tort liability... Who controls the number of physicians?

LP So let it pop. That’s the beauty of a market.

SC If stupidity and avarice are the measures by which people may disorder their affairs why would they be able to re-order them any better? How would they do it? Let’s go back to Finance for a moment. Most Americans are probably about two paychecks away from dissolution. Let’s say we had let the banks fail. The FDIC could not back 15 Trillion dollars of obligations with less than half a billion dollars in reserve. Under conditions of panic even 20 year notes issued by the Treasury for lost deposits could have no value. This is not 1837 where most people could go back to the farm and pray for rain. Everyone is in the economy every day. Once the system stops and the illusion of money is gone, what have you? That’s how you get socialism or worse. In the United States corruption is tacit: The guy doing oversight for the XYZ contract probably worked there or will end up working there. In Russia corruption is implicit: ‘You want to do ZYX; you pay me this amount.’ That’s why I think Libertarianism is just another extravagance in the area of philosophical bullshit. Sorry. Otto von Bismark didn’t invent the welfare state for 19th Century Germany because he was a Leftist; but because he hated and feared them.  His approach was more realistic than the other reactionaries...

LP I guess you’re not a fan of cutting government spending?

SC Give me a break. It’s a sham. A 30 year set-up. Under Reagan-Bush1 the National debt went from 1 to 4.4 Trillion; under Bush2 it went from 5.8 to 11.9 Trillion. Obama walked into a shit-storm, picked up a bad-hand and like a patsy tried to play through hoping to draw into an inside straight. He should have thrown down the cards, demanded a new-deck and a fresh deal. He should have demanded new players at the table. He should have allowed the tax-cuts to expire. Now, he owns the deficit.

LP So, President Obama...

SC Every setup needs a fall-guy.

LP And what is the setup?

SC The theory-folks think the United States can go back to before the Civil War. The people running the deal are probably less delusional. They’d like to get back to Coolidge. Low taxes, big internationalized business; little concern for the citizen.

LP So Obama will only do one term; by the way this interview is being conducted in the Summer of 2011...

SC He’s actually got a fair chance at re-election. He’s a sitting President who makes few gaffs. After plugging bin Laden he takes over the Security Mantle and will fill the bank... The campaign till will overflow. Trouble is his tool-box is empty. Opinion polls will go up and down, but he’s likely to run against an idiot, and with a lot of money to do so. I don't know that he was ever the person who could push the status quo very far... But, yeah, I’m with you emotionally, government is by necessity; not by demand.

LP We agree on that... -- Are you sure you're not a liberal?

SC Sorry to disappoint.

LP What makes you not a liberal?

SC I watch documentaries over and over on the Military Channel -- About the butchery and rape of China and Europe during the 1930s and 40s. Then watching the pummeling of Germany by the 8th, and 9th Air Force, or of Japan by the 20th Air Force takes on near-religious overtones. Delenda est mal. ... That and I don't care much for bears. Our zoos are already filled with them. New Jersey survived for over 50 years without any. They can be turned into trophies. -- Besides I naively wonder if some of our problems are not due to the loss of aristocrats raised to be virtuous and stoic leaders, and like the philosophers lament about their having been replaced by hungry souls, of average mores, braying for money.

LP An economically-progressive reactionary. Thank you my friend.