Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bleeding Hearts: Thanks for Nothing

Recently I commented on the proposal posted at the Bleeding Heart Libertarians site regarding the advocacy of a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG).  To make a long story short, a proposal advocating a $10,000 per person income guarantee instead of the various federal welfare programs.  The Bleeding Hearts view this as a libertarian position.

Like clockwork, here comes Krugman, bashing the “libertarian” position on BIG:

…the currently trendy idea among libertarians that we can make things much better by replacing the welfare state with a basic guaranteed income. As Mike says, this notion rests on the belief that the welfare state is a crazily complicated mess of inefficient programs, and that simplification would save enough money to pay for universal grants that are neither means-tested nor conditional on misfortune.

Point, counterpoint – nothing is left but a political debate of inconsequential details.  This is the nonsense to which the Bleeding Hearts and pragmatic libertarians expose the philosophy.

Guess who is complaining about Krugman’s attack?  None other than one of the cornerstones of the Bleeding Hearts, Matt Zwolinski:

A few days ago, Paul Krugman displayed his masterful knowledge of the sociology of the libertarian movement by complaining about all the Ayn Randians running around advocating for a Basic Income Guarantee.

Matt, if you don’t want Krugman to be confused about Libertarianism, perhaps you should stop confusing him.

Or stop pretending that you had nothing to do with it.


  1. Krugman would've confused the point regardless; however, I see your point as an extension of the on-going confusion surrounding Tucker's "thick & thin."

    The people who read Krugman, et al are just doing the Bohemian ostrich sand dance anyway: it doesn't matter what's said; so long as your head is snugly inside the sand all you hear are the voices of grown ups from the Peanuts.

  2. I take it as a sign of Libertarianism's growing importance that so many are claiming to be libertarians who aren't and that propagandists like Krugman have to make up stories to further mislead his well-educated (and thus well-confused) readers.

    1. I think this is correct; it is some sort of validation/recognition when the establishment works so hard to co-opt a movement.

  3. Saying that some government welfare programs are more libertarian than others is like saying that punching someone in the face is more libertarian than shooting someone in the head.

  4. this is not a libertarian proposal, unless, of course, libertarianism has dropped the NAP as its core, which, to my knowledge, has not taken place.

    on the other hand, this is another statist proposal offered by statists masquerading as libertarians.

  5. Quite frankly, all this does is prove that there is no point in pretending that such a thing as "minarchism" can exist.
    Even libertarians of the bleeding heart persuasion often don't want to be associated with "anarchists". So by all means, let's drop the libertarian facade and call a spade a spade. The only logical position to hold is that of a free market anarchist. There is no way anyway to be a "social justice warrior" AND a libertarian, if you don't have the state to help you enforce your "tolerant" views.