Close But No Cigar

Barney Frank is a tricky one. Between watching the banking industry, including Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac, fail and then finding anyone and everyone else to blame but himself on one hand and seemingly espousing libertarian ideals on the other, it makes a liberty minded individual scratch their heads. Unfortunately, it seems that, indeed, words are seldom as important as deeds.

So we see in this recent quote by Senator Frank:

“I would let people gamble on the Internet,” Frank said. “I would let adults smoke marijuana; I would let adults do a lot of things, if they choose.”

He added: “But allowing them total freedom to take on economic obligations that spill over into the broader society? The individual is not the only one impacted here, when bad decisions get made in the economic sphere, it causes problems.”

ooo, almost. It’s the failure that many people have when talking about liberty, it’s a great idea but I know people and people are idiots, we can’t let just ANYONE have real freedom…

First, he says he would let people gamble on the internet. Yet, I don’t recall him ever voting against such a law when it came up. It seemingly went by under his watch and his attempt to repeal it after the fact languished with little support. Then he would let adults smoke marijuana. Again, we see how this administration is treating legal marijuana sellers in California and no one is daring to think about lifting the federal ban, even though in a times of recession the cost/benefit analysis clearly supports it.

You see, saying you would allow freedom and liberty while doing little to actually promote it, unless it affects you directly, is what we call hypocrisy. And the defense that people can’t be trusted with that kind of power? Well, we entrust people with decision making power all day long, with or without the laws, it is just how we treat those who make those decisions that is important. People are going to gamble online. People are going to smoke marijuana. People are going to make their own economic decisions. All we have now is a system where we criminalize those individuals, remove them from society and losing their productivity into our system, and then tell others who do similar things (like gamble in a legal casino, smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol and go to check cashing facilities and use high interest credit cards to purchase groceries) that they are worthy of their liberty.

We allow people to drink, knowing that there actions spill out into the economic and social spheres. We allow people to gamble in casinos, knowing that their actions spill out into the economic and social spheres. Yet, we just can’t actually pull the trigger and allow everyone to have the right to liberty over their own bodies and the fruits of their own labor, can we?

No, our politicians know better, we can’t be trusted with that kind of power on our own, we need their guidance and direction in our personal lives. I mean, how would we function effectively without our king and his court? It would surely mean the end of all humanity.

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