Though I think it is misguided to believe that electoral politics is the primary means of effecting change for the cause of liberty (especially at a national level), local activism is still a valuable tool for gaining visibility and spreading the libertarian message. For the first time ever, I’m running as a Libertarian for State Representative in District 49 in Austin, TX. Today I had the opportunity to submit a questionnaire to the League of Women Voters in their pre-primary/convention issue. I was pretty thrilled considering I know quite a bit about each of the issues in the questionnaire. By golly, they even asked about one of my specialties: transportation pollution!
Just the act of answering questions like this means that somebody, somewhere is probably going to hear the libertarian perspective, perhaps even for the first time. Here is the questionnaire and my answers. See what you think and comment about what you would have said. You can help me improve for next time!
Q1: Since the State financial support for education has decreased over the past two decades, what measures would you support to provide our public schools with adequate funding? (75 words)
A: Public school funding is not a sufficient metric for successful education efforts. Many private schools and homeschooling families operate on extremely low budgets yet educate children at a disproportionately high level relative to public schools. Rather than focus on increasing funding, I would support measures that give back control of educational resources to teachers and parents first. Eliminating systemic problems caused by political control of education should always take precedence over funding.
Q2: Texas is recognized as the highest carbon dioxide polluter among the 50 states. What would you propose to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Texas? (75 words)
A: Carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced using many methods that do not resort to increasing the government’s control over the economy. Clean vehicle purchases can be encouraged by repealing all taxes and tariffs upon high-efficiency vehicles. Tax deductions should exist for efficiency improvements, upgrades, and repairs on older vehicles, and those purchases should be tax-free. Alternative energy subsidies should be eliminated; the free market will determine how to allocate energy resources most efficiently.
Q3: How would you address the major transportation problems in Texas? (75 words)
A: The Trans-Texas Corridor scheme proposed by Rick Perry is a scam, and the government’s general effort to manage transportation in Texas is a failure. If an effective, inexpensive solution is sought, the government should reduce its role in managing the system. By allowing private roads to develop freely and competitively upon the market (not like the pseudo-public-private toll roads that TXDOT has built), transportation problems will invariably begin to solve themselves.
Q4: How should Texas solve the depletion of the unemployment fund? (75 words)
A: Ultimately, the unemployment fund can have no other effect than the perpetuation of unemployment since financial resources are used to allow idleness rather than productive activity. Instead of worrying about the depletion of the unemployment fund, the government should work in every way to reduce its own spending, thereby allowing the free market to adjust resources and capital toward creating new jobs without interference by the government.