In past elections, we have heard the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Well, Libertarian presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen and her running mate Jeremy “Spike” Cohen understand that liberty must be the basis of any discussion on the economy (“Why so little attention to Libertarian Party candidate for president?” Aug. 12). Our liberty is compromised by special interests that restrict mobility and success. For example, over the years, costs necessary to enter various trades including hair design and braiding have grown exponentially. While the public has been sold the explanation that additional training is necessary for safety purposes, truthfully, it is for protectionist purposes. As costs increase to enter the various trades, the labor pool becomes more secure for those currently in the perspective industries thus leading to higher prices for their services while making it more difficult for people to enter the various fields such as hair design as mentioned. Those hit hardest by these occupational licensing measures are those that struggle the most economically who want to break free from their situation.
Social welfare programs are also an area of concern. While poverty levels had been on the decline up until the late 1960s, this progress stopped once the Great Society was fully implemented in the early 1970s. This ticket sees a vibrant economy as the best way to pull people out of poverty. While at the same time, they address the corruption behind the welfare programs that keep people tied to the system. For example, Mr. Cohen has noted that it is illegal for recipients to have a bank account and if they are caught with one their assets will be seized. Not only that, they are strictly prohibited from owning a business so consequently many will operate underground. Now, if it weren’t for these regulations, recipients would be off the dole much sooner thus relieving taxpayers from a financial burden but, unfortunately, as good as this sounds the challenge comes in dealing with bureaucrats who want to maintain their positions.
A major focus for the two is criminal justice reform which, indeed, has a tie to our economy. Keeping people in prison has become an industry. In fact, private businesses have a major role in managing the prison system. There are people who have longer sentences for marijuana possession than sex offenders. Ms. Jorgensen and Mr. Cohen see other alternatives for people who are caught using and possessing drugs rather than putting them in jail. Putting users in treatment is much more effective than putting them in a jail cell. As for possession, they see this is as a victimless crime. Regardless, those possessing still deserve due process. Making these reforms means that law enforcement will concentrate on the most serious crimes relating to people’s life, liberty and property, thus saving taxpayer dollars.
I encourage you to support this ticket as they will take on the establishment thus allowing us to enjoy our liberty and will mean greater opportunity for all.
Kevin Bruffey, Cockeysville
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