Saturday, August 23, 2003

Why I Am Not a Libertarian (Reason #491)

This column is opposed to the National Do Not Call registry. The writer doesn't believe that it is a legitimate function of government to give us the means to end most of those calls.

I liked the one commenter's point that joining the registry is like getting a restraining order. That seems like a good analogy. We who do not want to be annoyed have to sign up. It's not like the Feds abolished telemarketing.

This was a neat touch too:

"Do not call" proponents have asked the federal government to save them from themselves. And while conservatives may not see a problem here, it ought to set alarm bells off for libertarians. It isn't the responsibility of the state -- and most certainly not the federal government -- to enact policies that inhibit private contracts. Even contracts we may later wish we had never entered into.

The problem with telemarketing is that it results in a legal contract, but the scripts are very carefully written to disguise that fact. They mimic conversation in order to exploit the good manners of the people they call. The best thing to do is hang up, but that is rude. Telemarketers exploit our desire not to be rude to line their pockets.

And just because i like the quote, i'll close with this:

Nonetheless, people such as Ayn Rand—and the nerds and geeks who cling to her in the naive belief that her rotten novels will turn them into supermen—could never understand the fact that human beings are social animals.

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