Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Congressional Issues 2012

Congress should:
  • embrace the principles of classical liberalism
  • reject the principles of modern "liberalism"

The theme of this campaign is "Liberty Under God."

"Liberals" used to support liberty, though some did not support God.

Today, "liberals" hate both liberty and God.

 What it used to mean, what it means today.

What Should Liberals Liberalize?
by Daniel B. Klein

Do "liberals" generally favor liberalization? Do they favor greater freedom to choose? Liberalization is the loosening of restrictions on individual liberty.

Or do "liberals" generally oppose liberalization?

The Democrats have done well at all levels nationwide. Are the Democrats liberals? Do they favor liberalization?

If the Democrats are liberals and care about the poor, here are some things they should move to liberalize —

School choice. Giving parents the purchasing power to choose schools for their children improves education. Sweden has vouchers and it works well. Evidence increasingly shows that choice works and top-down government control doesn't.

Immigration. Let more in, including the low-skilled. Most Mexicans who come are much poorer than poor Americans, and they send part of their earnings to family members abroad. Their experience in the United States imparts liberal norms and they spread those norms abroad. Why should concern for the poor end at the border?

International trade. When two people engage in voluntary exchange, they both expect to gain, even when they live in different countries. When Americans trade with Brazilians or Indians, there are mutual gains. The trading partner abroad is often poorer than the American. As Paul Krugman and many before him have explained, free trade allows firms anywhere in the world to take advantage of scale economies, producing more for humanity while consuming fewer resources. Everyone wins. Economists overwhelmingly support freer trade.

Agricultural subsidies and protectionism. Prices of certain agricultural products are propped up by an array of governmental restrictions and cartel measures. Everyone pays the price at the grocery store, and the impact is regressive. Most economists support liberalization and the reduction of farm subsidies.

Drug prohibition. Most of the hundreds of thousands caged in prison cells on drug violations are poor. The illegal drug trade especially ravages poor neighborhoods. Those who suffer from impure, ill-labeled black-market drugs are poor. Most of those injured in black-market violence are poor. Most economists who publish judgments on the issue favor liberalization.

Occupational licensing. Licensing requirements restrict the supply and variety of services and raise prices. They also prevent poorer people from entering trades. Economists who write on the subject say that voluntary certifications, reputation, and other assurances work well, and they favor liberalization. Morris Kleiner of the University of Minnesota and Alan Krueger of Princeton University find that occupational licensing affects upwards of 25 percent of the workforce. Both have published judgments favoring liberalization.

The minimum wage. Unskilled workers have to compete against higher-skilled workers, machines, and anything else employers might do with their money. The minimum wage law strips unskilled workers of their primary means of competing: Lowering their price. Even when the minimum wage does not put them out of work, it affects the non-wage job attributes. It stands to reason that unskilled workers who get jobs at the minimum wage tend to face higher work demands, less flexibility, less on-the-job training, less non-wage benefits, and less recognition and consideration. In a depressed economy it is important that labor markets remain fluid and flexible.

The Food and Drug Administration control of pharmaceuticals. All drugs and devices are banned until individually permitted by the FDA. The costs, delays, and uncertainties suppress the development of drugs that would have saved lives. Economists who publish judgments on the matter resoundingly support liberalization.

Urban transit. State and local laws prevent market forms of transit — shuttles, jitneys, mini-buses, share-ride taxis, and smart carpools. Free-market forces have been largely forsaken to protect and serve governmentally run or planned systems that ill-serve the goals of mobility and efficiency. Economists who write on rail transit largely agree that most rail transit projects are ill conceived.

Rent control. Roughly 200 localities still have rent control. Economists who publish on the matter largely agree that it reduces the supply and the quality of rental-housing and generates conflicts. It increases prices of housing outside the rent-controlled sector. Very likely in the long-run it increases rents even in the controlled sector.

Do we think the Democrats will move to liberalize any of these?

What will they liberalize?

Why again do we call them "liberals"?

Daniel Klein is an Adjunct Scholar for the Cato Institute, professor of economics at George Mason University, and editor of Econ Journal Watch.

More by Daniel B. Klein
From the Libertarian Party of California:

Libertarian Perspective
Where Have All the Liberals Gone?
by L. K. Samuels
Mon, 1 Oct 2007

Liberalism has been the major ideological underpinning of the American republic, and the driving force of modernity. Coming out of the Enlightenment and John Locke's writings, liberalism promoted individual rights, human rationality, limited government, private property, laissez-faire markets and free trade. The core values of liberalism have always been tolerance, free choice, and open-mindedness. Yet today, liberalism seems to have all but abandoned most of these long-honored virtues.

Many "liberals," ranging from MIT linguistics professor Noam Chomsky to former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta, have endorsed the reinstatement of compulsory military service. Charles Rangel, the liberal congressman from New York, recently introduced a bill to "require all persons in the United States between ages 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security." Even Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards joined the involuntary servitude choir: "One of the things we ought to be thinking about is some level of mandatory service to our country."

What of liberal Hillary Clinton's solutions on improving health care? Her first attempt to monopolize health care under the federal government occurred in 1993. The plan imposed stiff penalties and possible jail time for patients who switched doctors without approval. Anyone refusing to join government-mandated health system would be fined $5,000, and doctors could spend 15 years in jail if they received "anything of value" in exchange for getting their patient quicker medical service. The program also required a national identification card embedded with data about a patient's medical history. Clinton's current proposal also has penalties for those who would refuse to acquire insurance under her universal health care program.

Take Social Security. Established in 1935 by the maestro of modern liberalism, Franklin D. Roosevelt, this program is compulsory, without any general provision to opt out or quit. Nobody is exempt except congressmen and senators who authorized their own very generous retirement programs. The sacred cow of liberalism, Social Security offers jail time to anyone who refuses to participate. Interestingly, this retirement concept did not originate with FDR's administration. New Deal staffers looked to Europe for inspiration, and decided to copy the social retirement program that operated in Hitler's Germany.

What about the Iraq War and civil liberties? Almost every liberal member of Congress voted to invade a nation that had never threatened or attacked America. The same outcome occurred when Congress overwhelmingly passed the USA PATRIOT Act. In 2006, when the USA PATRIOT Act came up for another vote, only nine Democratic senators voted against its reauthorization. Even the gutting of habeas corpus and extending unwarranted wiretapping abuses were assisted by many elected liberal Democrats.

When Berkeley peace activist Cindy Sheehan visited Venezuela, she hugged and lavishly praised President Hugo Chavez for his commitment to "life and peace." But this former military officer sits at the precipice of dictatorship. He acquired the power to "rule by decree," which allows him to make laws without any congressional oversight or discussion. Chavez packed the Venezuelan Supreme Court, confiscated private property, shut down the only major opposition TV station, and is attempting to alter the constitution to allow him to become president for life. His slogans painted on sides of buildings read "Socialism or Death," provoking mischief-makers to substitute "is" for "or."

Sometimes called "laissez-faire liberalism," the original version sought to liberate mankind from the domination of government and religious authorities and allow citizens to run their own lives as they saw fit. But contemporary liberalism changed. Some observers, including Leonard Liggio, research professor of law at George Mason University, believe that "collectivism" captured modern liberalism, morphing it into something that resembles European socialism. If anything, modern liberalism has come to embrace security and control over freedom and spontaneous order. Today's liberals no longer question authority; they have become part of it, degenerating into advocates of parochialism, intolerance and ultimately illiberalism.

Perhaps this explains why the word "liberal" has been demonized by many pundits on the left-right spectrum. But if liberals are no longer liberal, who are? Who still represents the values of Thomas Jefferson and John Locke? As it turns out, an array of academians stepped forward in the latter half of the 20th century and reclaimed liberalism under the terms "classical liberalism" and libertarianism. Under the wing of numerous Nobel Prize winners, including Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, liberalism is just starting to regain its original luster.

© Copyright 2005 by Libertarian Party of California

by Ludwig von Mises (1929)

"The program of liberalism, therefore, if condensed into a single word, would have to read: property, that is, private ownership of the means of production... All the other demands of liberalism result from his fundamental demand."  

German edition, 1927; latest English edition Copyright 1985 The Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington, NY. Translation by Ralph Raico. Online edition Copyright The Mises Institute, 2000.
Download entire text, portrait


Preface, 1985 by Bettina B. Greaves, p. v
Foreword by Louis M. Spadaro, p. ix
Preface, English-Language Edition,p xvi


1.  Liberalism, p. 1
2.  Material Welfare p. 4
3.  Rationalism p. 5
4.  The Aim of Liberalism p. 7
5.  Liberalism and Capitalism p. 10
6.  The Psychological Roots of Antiliberalism p. 13


1.  Property p. 18
2.  Freedom p. 20
3.  Peace  p. 23
4.  Equality  p. 27
5.  The Inequality of Wealth and Income  p. 30
6.  Private Property and Ethics  p. 33
7.  State and Government  p. 34
8.  Democracy  p. 39
9.  Critique of the Doctrine of Force  p. 42
10.  The Argument of Fascism  p. 47
11.  The Limits of Governmental Activity  p. 52
12.  Tolerance  p. 55
13.  The State and Antisocial Conduct  p. 57


1.  The Organization of the Economy p. 60
2.  Private Property and Its Critics p. 63
3.  Private Property and the Government  p. 67
4.  The Impracticability of Socialism  p. 70
5.  Interventionism  p. 75
6.  Capitalism: The Only Possible System of Social Organization  p. 85
7.  Cartels, Monopolies, and Liberalism p. 90
8.  Bureaucratization p. 95


1.  The Boundaries of the State  p. 105
2.  The Right of Self-Determination  p. 108
3.  The Political Foundations of Peace  p. 110
4.  Nationalism  p. 118
5.  Imperialism  p 121
6.  Colonial Policy  p. 124
7.  Free Trade  p. 130
8.  Freedom of Movement  p. 136
9.  The United States of Europe  p. 142
10.  The League of Nations  p. 147
11.  Russia  p. 151


1.  The "Doctrinairism" of the Liberals p. 155
2.  Political Parties  p. 158
3.  The Crisis of Parliamentarism and the Idea of a Diet Representing Special Groups  p. 170
4.  Liberalism and the Parties of Special Interests  p. 175
5.  Party Propaganda and Party Organization  p. 179
6.  Liberalism as the "Party of Capital" p. 183


1.  On the Literature of Liberalism  p. 194
2.  On the Term "Liberalism"  p. 198

Glossary by Percy Greaves 


If it sounds like "classical liberalism" is just "right-wing libertarianism," there may be more than meets the eye. The common "left-right" "blue-red" dichotomy may not be helpful in making real social progress.

According to author Barry Clark, "Leftists... claim that human development flourishes when individuals engage in cooperative, mutually respectful relations that can thrive only when excessive differences in status, power, and wealth are eliminated."
Clark, B., Political economy: A Comparative Approach, Westport, CT: Praeger Press (1998).
Left-wing politics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This campaign supports the flourishing of human development and "cooperative, mutually respectful relations." There are five words that need explication:

  • excessive
  • status
  • power
  • wealth
  • eliminated

How much is "excessive?" "Who decides?"

Michael Jordan held the status of a great basketball player. I don't begrudge him that status. He earned it and I can't beat him at it. The difference in status between us is immense. Is the difference "excessive?" Why should it be "eliminated?"
Anne Elizabeth Alice Louis is known as "Anne, Princess Royal, KG KT GCVO GCStJ QSO GCL." The abbreviations signify, "Royal Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter," "Knight Companion of the Order of the Thistle," "Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order," "Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order of St John," "Companion of the Queen's Service Order," and "Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu." I'd be willing to bet that Anne did not have to work as hard to gain the status of "Princess Royal" as Michael Jordan had to work to gain the status of "basketball legend."

Wikipedia lists the following forms of "power" in the social/political realm:

Good Power

Bad Power

Matthew 28:18
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Luke 4:6
And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
Luke 4:32
And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.
Luke 20:20
And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.
Luke 24:49
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
John 19:10
Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
John 1:12
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Romans 13:1
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

When "power" means "initiation of force or threats of violence" -- "legally" or without negative social consequences -- it is contrary to the commands of Christ, even though said to be "legal."

I don't feel like a "Leftist" for saying that.

Income inequality is not a problem. Even if "excessive."

By whom? Using what force? Using unChristlike "power?"

Here are some other pages on this website which may open new doors:

next: Campaign Finance, Corruption and the Oath of Office