Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
John writes: I think I’m well grounded in my understanding of many matters. The left and right both trying to assert that their way is the right way. Maybe climate change is not man made, but there is some change happening. Yes, I know some may take the opportunity to take what is happening naturally to gain something, but we should be trying to figure out how to make our current resources last as long as they can, I do think about my kids. It seems business just what to turn a quarterly profit to get the bonus and is not always looking to the future. Our company recently installed solar panels; yes, I know it takes oil to make panels. I get it. But there is something to be said about using oil to make the panels that will in the long run save us energy. We should try to conserve and think about the future. We should applaud California trying to get 50 MPG and would love to see everyone seeing the saving in energy that we are seeing.
My reply: You say “we” – but really mean you – and those who believe as you do. What if we don’t share your beliefs?
Libertarians – that’s me – differ from the left and right in that we believe “the right way” is fundamentally an individual determination and every individual has the same right as any other to make his own decisions, in the absence of a demonstrable (objective) harm to others (actual people, not “society,” as that is a rhetorical device and not flesh and blood people).
I’m not opposed to either solar panels or 50 MPG cars. I am, however, opposed to mandates requiring them – and punishing people for not sharing the same view about the merits of either.
There’s an old – and I think wise – saying: Good ideas don’t require force. If solar panels make sense – if they save people money vs. paying for grid power – then people will buy solar panels, no need to force them to do so.
And there are already 50 MPG cars on the market. The people who want them are free to buy them.
I just oppose forcing everyone to buy them – and to pay extra for them – which is what California is hoping to do.
. . .
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