Mark Twain vs. The State
Three articles I came across today show the interesting divide between libertarians and statists. I would classify a statist as anyone who believes that the State* rules with consent, justice, and wisdom. I would classify a libertarian as anyone that laughed at that previous sentence.
The first article is about Mark Twain, the great American writer, classical liberal, champion of the working man and free enterprise (yes, you can be both - in fact, you have to be if you wish to be consistent.) Twain was also a vicious critic of the State. In his view, government was nothing more than a den of theives. Twain's opinions on politics mirror those of Ron Paul's mentor, Murray N. Rothbard, who once charactized the State as a gang of criminals writ large.
The second article (hat tip to Drudge):
Both national party committees spend big chunks on fancy meals, hotels, travel
Both the national Democratic and Republican party committees spend about two-thirds of the money they take in on the care and comfort of committee staffs and on efforts to raise more funds, with lavish spending on limousines, expensive hotels, meals and tips, an analysis of the latest financial disclosure data shows.
Third article (my apologies for sending you to NeoCon News):
U.N.'s Ballooning $732 Million Haiti Peacekeeping Budget Goes Mostly to Its Own Personnel
The United Nations has quietly upped this year's peacekeeping budget for earthquake-shattered Haiti to $732.4 million, with two-thirds of that amount going for the salary, perks and upkeep of its own personnel, not residents of the devastated island.
In this argument:
Mark Twain 2, The State 0
In your pocketbook:
The State 2, Taxpayers 0
I don't think the statists want us to keep score.
David in Qatar
* I like the definition of the State as a minority that has a comparitve advantage in force/violence in a given territory.