The Libertarian Problem of Inequality – Freedom Philosophy

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If someone were to ask me about the issue of inequality 15 years ago I would have dismissed them. Capitalism is eradicating extreme poverty, and with capitalism comes a measure of inequality. If the outcomes were equal, there would be no purpose in producing capital. Since I’m far more interested in eradicating extreme poverty than equality, I prefer capitalism.

However, too much inequality causes political instability. It results in protests, rioting, uprisings, revolts, and revolutions. It would be fruitful for us to acknowledge the frustrations of those underserved by our system and speak to how our economic philosophy addresses inequality.

In 2010, Peter Turchin predicted that, based on previous reactions to inequality, 2020 would be a boiling point to the current divide. Tensions resulting from what is often unearned wealth, there’s an unfairness written into the system that causes instability.

Libertarians aren’t bereft of ideas on reducing these tensions. We have various solutions that I believe have gone undiscussed to our marketing detriment. Given the high level of tension inequality has been caused, giving rise to left-wing and right-wing populism, it’s anxiety we should speak to.

The first is that there is an elite class in our society that needs to be addressed. We have journalist elites, artistic elites, politicians, crony capitalists whose profit margins are minimal but survive off of corporate welfare, government bureaucrats who are given lucrative contracts well above their pay grade but are friendly to a local politician.

This is a system that feeds off of each part. Journalists that give certain politicians coverage receive ratings and rise to prominence, the artists who develop the particular narrative receive grants and adulation from their peers, the crony capitalists make thousand-dollar donations to a politician and in turn receive million-dollar corporate welfare cheques. All derive their wealth from more productive members of society: the private sector. The elites live off of a system that they do not produce.

In turn, we receive journalism that covers non-issues and borderline falsehoods, artless entertainment, politicians who don’t serve their constituents, and businesses that don’t supply a demand. Against this lecherous system of elites is the message of liberty. We shouldn’t work to serve their interests, we should work to serve our interests.

Secondly, we must acknowledge that there are lecherous practices that impoverish people within our current system. Central banking is a system that devalues our currency by increasing the money supply, which reduces the purchasing power of those who aren’t the recipients of the newly printed money but benefits those who are the beneficiaries, and those who collect interest off of the money they didn’t earn.

This is a practice that borders on theft. The numerical value of a paycheque remains the same but the purchasing power, the real wage rather than the numerical wage, is diminishing to enrich others.

Our opposition to fiat currency ought to play a pivotal role in our public discourse given the current rising tensions against the unproductive elites. We do have answers to inequality and we ought to showcase them.

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Brandon Kirby

Brandon Kirby has a philosophy degree with the University of New Brunswick. He works for a Cayman Island hedge fund service firm, owns a real estate company, and has been in the financial industry since 2004. He is the director of Being Libertarian - Canada. He is a member of the People’s Party of Canada and the Libertarian Party of Canada.

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