Libertarians tend to be pessimistic because we understand the damage that big government does. We hear all of the bad stories around us that others tend to block out or never hear in the first place.
However, libertarians tend to underestimate the power of the free market (or somewhat free market), which is curious. It seems easier to overestimate the bad and underestimate the good. But despite all of the government interventions, our economy still manages to function to a relatively high degree. Sure, there is some false prosperity based on inflation and debt, but the houses we live in and the smartphones we use are real. Our living standards, at least in some areas, still get better.
It is also easy for libertarians to get down on the United States. If there is one negative aspect of a relatively free market, it is that the massive wealth created can eventually be siphoned off and used for bad purposes by the state. The U.S. government would not be so destructive, especially towards other countries, if there were not so much wealth available in the first place.
Despite the out-of-control U.S. government, the U.S. is still a relatively great place to live in many aspects. It is a great place for libertarians to live, despite the many problems. Here is a list of 10 reasons why the United States is a great place to live for libertarians.
- There is a high regard for free speech. Despite the leftists shutting down speakers on college campuses, you can still say almost anything in the U.S. and get away with it, as long as you aren’t threatening anyone directly. Sure, there are always stories out there to the contrary, but the general rule is you can say almost anything. You can call the president or any politician every name in the book, and you can criticize the government.
- Gun ownership is greater in the U.S. than anywhere. Despite some gun regulations, most people can own guns. The gun control advocates have not made much progress in the last several decades. If there were ever a foreign invasion in the southern part of the United States, the invaders wouldn’t last long.
- There is still some degree of federalism, meaning there is a difference between different areas. If you really want to smoke marijuana legally, you can move to Colorado. If you care about low taxes, you can move to New Hampshire. If you want to gamble, you can go to Las Vegas. While not one area is completely free, at least we can choose certain states and cities that favor the things we care about the most.
- Property rights are still held in high regard in general, at least compared to most other places in the world. Sure, taxation is much higher than we would like, but at least there is some predictability in what we can keep.
- Entrepreneurship is respected in the U.S. In some cultures, making money is demonized. This is one of the great advantages of the American culture. Despite some class warfare, most people will respect the entrepreneur who provides a great product or service to others. Americans still appreciate the rags to riches story.
- Homeschooling has become widespread across the United States. It is easier to do in some states as compared to others. But it is legal in most states, and it is becoming more popular. This is not the case in many other parts of the world.
- The U.S. is still by far the richest country in the world. If you think some of the wealth in the U.S. is a fraud, take a look at China where the economy is one giant malinvestment. There are certainly some small countries like Singapore where per capita income is higher than the U.S., but the U.S. is still by far the richest country against all other large countries.
- Despite being overtaxed, Americans are still very charitable. Despite the welfare state, most Americans are generous and willing to help out those who are truly in need. Even when disasters strike in other countries, Americans open their wallets. If government didn’t try to act as a charity, it would be amazing to see how much more Americans would donate to charity.
- Most Americans act as libertarians in their daily life. They work, they buy things, and they enter into contracts. Most people do what they have agreed to do. They enter into mutually beneficial exchanges on a daily basis. They are just inconsistent when they permit the government to do things that they otherwise wouldn’t do (i.e., using force).
- One of the best things about living in the U.S. for libertarians is that there are many other libertarians living in the U.S. Sure, the percentages are still low, but the percentage is near zero in most other countries. A Ron Paul type candidate for president wouldn’t even be possible in most other countries. We should be thankful that we can interact with so many other libertarians, even if it is through Facebook or reading articles or listening to podcasts.
I hope libertarians living in the United States realize the many positive aspects of living in the United States. Despite the problems, there are many things to be thankful for.