Libertarians are people who uphold the
absolute right of each individual to control his or her own life and property.
The Libertarian Party is their voice in politics: the party which, only
a few short years after its founding, placed its 1976 presidential candidate
Roger MacBride on the ballot in thirty-two states and garnered more votes
than any other third party. Growing opportunity at the local level
as well testifies to the fact that the Libertarian message of individual
freedom will be heard again and again in the years ahead.
Yet to date Libertarian efforts in local
politics have been hindered by the lack of a single source which marshals
the arguments and information needed to intelligently address the entire
range of community issues. The primary purpose of this book is to
answer that need. Also, non-Libertarian officials who wish to "size
up" Libertarianism's impact may wish to refer to the chapters which follow.
The organization in each is straightforward, first providing a critique
of past and present local government policies, and then outlining Libertarian
proposals. Despite the profusion of attention-getting facts and figures,
the reader is not allowed to lose sight of the fact that Libertarianism's
stand against governmental coercion is a principled one based on the moral
rightness of liberty.
This is the theme which threads its way
through all the following pages: a recognition of the fundamental
opposition between those who wish to live their own lives in peace, and
those who would use government to rule others. It is time to disabuse
ourselves of the notion that local governments are somehow "better" than
the more visibly obnoxious state and federal levels. Coercive local government,
by design and by failure, is responsible for fostering and managing, but
seldom resolving, the conflicts which we perceive as "local problems."
In Local Problems, Libertarian Solutions we put forth free market
solutions--the great virtue of the free market being that it allows people
to construct peaceful solutions to their community problems without resort
to guns, taxes, regulations, force.
The emphasis here is not on "waste in government."
Libertarians know that most "waste" came about for good reasons--because
well-organized interest groups were more successful in putting the heat
upon "their" local representatives than were those who pay the bill.
And Libertarians realistically acknowledge that such pressures will continue.
But the taxpayer is being heard from, too--especially at the local level
where regulation has mushroomed and the increase in the tax burden has
far outpaced inflation. No special favors will stifle this protest
because the citizen is holding out for something much greater: freedom.