© Libertarian Party of Hawaii

2015 PLATFORM OPEN DISCUSSION

 

 

1984 Libertarian Party of Hawaii Platform

 

PREAMBLE

 

As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which individuals are sovereign over their own lives, and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the sake of others.

 

We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized. 

 

Consequently, we defend each person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings.  The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from any government or any authoritarian power.

 

TR NOTES. This is okay as far as I can see. I might delete the word any before “authoritarian” in the last sentence for flow.

 

Ken Schoolland suggested language:

As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which individuals are sovereign over their own lives, and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the sake of others.

We believe that respect for individual rights and that peace and prosperity be realized through freedom. 

We defend each person’s right to engage in activity that is peaceful and honest, and we welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference.

PLATFORM PLANK NUMBER 1: PROPERTY RIGHTS

 

Property rights are the rights of individuals with respect to property, and, as such, are entitled to the same respect and protection as are other rights of individuals.

 

Where original title to ownership can be established, the taking of property by anyone by force or fraud is unjustifiable.  This applies to official actions (such as the exercise of the “right” of eminent domain) as well as the acts of individuals, for example:

  • The confiscation of property of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

  • The Hawaii State Plan, functional plans, the general plan, development plans, and the comprehensive zoning code.

 

Where evidence exists that any individual or agency, public or private, has violated an individual’s right to property, the property should be restored to its rightful owner.  However, libertarians recognize the right of property owners to join together in voluntary organizations to set rules and regulations governing themselves.

 

TR NOTES. There is a difference in taking property and limiting its usage as given in the two examples.  We might explain our objections a little better and offer our ideas on how cities might develop without these rules.  Hawaii is much more conscious of protecting rural and scenic areas than many other places might be.

 

Ken Schoolland suggested language:

People own themselves, the product of their labor and of voluntary exchange. These are property rights that deserve respect and protection. The only proper role of government is the protection of these rights from force and fraud, not the forceful aggressor against these rights.

Thus we oppose the government practice of forcefully taking property as if it was the superior owner of everything, known by the latin expression: eminent domain.

PLATFORM PLANK NUMBER 2: REGULATION

We oppose government regulations which dictate to consumers, impose prices, define standards, or otherwise restrict risk-taking and free choice by individuals.

 

Government agencies frequently serve to stifle competition, fix prices, protect special interests, and increase the tax burden, for example by:

  • Occupational licensing for concessionaires and professionals.

  • Interference with inter-state commerce as in the case of milk and alcoholic beverages.

  • Regulation of public utilities, transportation, and energy.

  • Government charters and/or franchises which award monopolies.

 

Libertarians advocate freedom of action and the personal responsibility that accompanies that freedom. Therefore, we oppose government action which absolves individuals of liability.

 

TR NOTES. I am not sure that the restatements of our principles at the end of this section is useful.  Also there is no explanation or guidance as to the practical benefits to many voters who don’t care about the personal freedom of others.  This problem recurs throughout the platform in my opinion…lots of “lets abolish something” and not much of how society will be improved.

 

Ken Schoolland suggested language:

The conduct of individuals in respect to their rights should be conducted in voluntary, mutual agreements, contracts, and covenants. The only proper role of government is the enforcement of these voluntary arrangements, not a forceful interference with voluntary action.

Thus we oppose government action that grants monopoly privileges to favored cronies and commercial activity at the expense of freedom of competition in the marketplace. All individuals, both inside and outside of government, should be personally liable for the harmful consequences of their behavior.

PLATFORM PLANK NUMBER 3: TAXATION

 

All individuals are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor.  We oppose all government activity hat forcibly deprives an individual of their property.

 

We oppose the use of taxation as a means of achieving social goals.   We advocate the maximum extension of the concept of user’s fees until all services are provided by private suppliers, and the fees collected should be applied exclusively to the complete provision of the services (i.e. no “General Fund”).

 

Libertarians advocate, as an immediate step, the repeal of the excise taxes, such as those on medical services and medications.

 

Until taxation is eliminated, all taxes collected should be used only to provide for the operation of minimal government for the protection of persons and the rights of individuals.

 

TR NOTES.  I think this section should be reoriented with the last idea coming first. That is to say we should suggest that taxes should only be used for the few basic functions of government and lead from that to a principle of ultimately having none of them.  Also the use of the word “immediate” throughout the platform is an expression of an uncompromising attitude.  Its addition does not change our positions in any way, but only makes us seem to be more extreme and angry than we need to be. 

 

Ken Schoolland suggested language:

The conduct of individuals in respect to their rights should be conducted in voluntary, mutual agreements, contracts, and covenants. The only proper role of government is the enforcement of these voluntary arrangements, not a forceful interference with voluntary action.

Thus we oppose government action that grants monopoly privileges to favored cronies and commercial activity at the expense of freedom of competition in the marketplace. All individuals, both inside and outside of government, should be personally liable for the harmful consequences of their behavior.

PLATFORM PLANK NUMBER 4: EDUCATION

 

We advocate freedom of choice in education to be achieved by the immediate separation of the government and the educational system. This can be implemented by:

  • The abolition of the state board of education.

  • The abolition of the state department of education and the de-centralization of the existing system to the individual counties and localities.

  • The privatization of all schools, including the University of Hawaii, thus de-centralized.

 

The concomitant reduction of taxes will provide the means to finance private education.

 

TR NOTES. I’d prefer some other wording to “abolition”. I think we should focus on replacing coercive paradigms with more voluntary ones and explain the benefits, rather than simply abolishing things on principle. The reduction of taxes benefit won’t explain to people how poor children will be educated.

 

Ken Schoolland suggested language:

We advocate freedom of choice in selection and funding of education, thus the separation of government from the provision of education.

PLATFORM PLANK NUMBER 5: TRANSPORTATION

We advocate an immediate end to government regulation of private transportation systems and the immediate end of government favors to any part of the transportation industry.

 

We support the repeal of all laws restricting transit competition, such as the granting of taxicab licenses, bus monopolies, and the limitation of van pools.  The repeal of these laws will provide relief to taxpayers who are forced to subsidize government transit systems and will further provide a greater choice in transportation.

 

TR NOTES.  The last sentence here is more in the direction of offering a practical reason how things will improve.  This type of closing should accompany all of our platform planks.  We should also be able to stick in a specific harm for the current government coercive models when we suggest replacing them. 

 

Ken Schoolland suggested language:

Transportation and communication needs of the community, as in all areas of commerce, are best served by freedom of choice for both producers and consumers of services. The government should not intervene with protective monopoly, subsidy, or control over alternative forms of transportation.

PLATFORM PLANK NUMBER 6: JUSTICE

 

We support the repeal of any statute or law which makes the acts between consenting and responsible individuals illegal.

 

If there is a proper role for government at all, it is to protect individual’s lives, liberty, and property.  Rights of protection shall not be limited by age, race, religion, sex, or sexual preference.  It is paramount that the government do this with efficiency and justice and without violating individual’s rights that it pretends to protect.

 

In order to promote a society in which individuals develop a greater respect for the rights of others, each individual must develop a sense of responsibility and justice which must come from oneself and not from government.

 

TR NOTES.  I think the last sentence here is useful, but poorly worded. I’d like something clearer which leads to a better understanding of the harms of the old system and the benefits of what we propose.

 

Ken Schoolland suggested language:

In a free society, consenting adults should be left free to make decisions for the conduct of their own lives so long as they do not aggress against the equal rights of others. Thus, people should be free to make their own decisions regarding sex, euphorics, gambling, and other activities. People grow by taking full responsibility for their own actions.

PLATFORM PLANK NUMBER 7: LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

 

We advocate the repeal of all laws, which interfere with the employer-employee relationship. We do, however, advocate protection for contracts between employers and employees (such as those providing job security) which are freely made.

 

We believe in the rights of free association and oppose coercion in any form by any parties.  We endorse voluntary arbitration and insurance as a means for resolving conflicts and reimbursing damages.  We oppose compulsory insurance laws and compulsory collective bargaining.

 

TR NOTES. People understand labor laws as protecting employees from exploitation by employers. We need to explain how these rules hurt employees and why a freer system would benefit them more than the current model.

 

Ken Schoolland suggested language:

In a free society, consenting adults should be left free to make decisions for the conduct of their own lives so long as they do not aggress against the equal rights of others. Thus, people should be free to make their own decisions regarding sex, euphorics, gambling, and other activities. People grow by taking full responsibility for their own actions.

OMMISSIONS

 

Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, regulatory agency, activity, or machination should not be construed as to imply approval.