We can admire this man
-- at least for some
of his stances.
Last week, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson announced his candidacy for president of the United States.
This was a historic event, because 1) Johnson wants to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and 2) Johnson is a Republican. He also wants to slash the military budget.
Johnson is also opposed to the "war on drugs," which he has called "an expensive bust."
Roger Ebert once asked (re: Johnson): "Why is this man a Republican?"
Actually, he's a libertarian
, which means I can't support him. Neither should Ebert.
Libertarians often say admirable things on non-economic issues, but in times like these, economic concerns trump all other matters. The one thing we do not need right now is more Milton Friedmanism.
Neo-liberal economics created the Iceland disaster. Neo-liberal deregulation created the great Wall Street robbery. Milton Friedman personally ran the horrible economy under Pinochet. The Bushies forced a harsh neo-liberalism on Iraq -- and the Iraqis were none too happy with the results.The Chicago schoolers pretty much ran the Russian economy under Yeltsin
, creating an obscene elite while plunging the rest of the country into the depths of poverty
. This was all forced on the Russian people -- most of whom, shortly after the fall of communism, told pollsters that they wanted their nation to emulate Sweden. Noting these poll results, U.S. News and World Reports said that the Russian people had to be "re-educated." Boy, were they ever!
Neo-liberalism (or libertarianism) is a trick that they keep trying and trying, in country after country, and it keeps failing and failing. Then the bastards have the gall to pretend that the trick has never even been attempted, that unfettered "capitalism" remains the great untried ideal.
Johnson has said that he "wants to balance the budget tomorrow" through serious cuts. Undoubtedly, these words indicate a desire to slash Social Security and Medicare as well as the military.
On the other hand...
I doubt that Barack Obama will touch the military budget, even though he has made noises along those lines. And I worry about the future of Social Security no matter who
wins in 2012.