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September 02, 2008

Comments

My point is that, in spite of being subsidized by government, it’s a lot easier to imagine yourself as an individualist in Alaska than in other states, because you really do have to do a lot more for yourself.

I think this is common in very sparsely populated areas, regardless of the type of government they have. If you wait for help to arrive, you'll die first. You learn to do for yourself. That ethic is certainly common throughout northern New England.

That's sort of a different issue than how basic infrastructure and services are provided. The libertarian ideal, as I understand it, is strongly biased toward very small government, with very limited responsibility. If most of your infrastructure is publicly funded, whether through taxes or through income on publicly owned resources, you're not in a libertarian environment.

The issue is less who plows private walkways when it snows than it is who owns public facilities like roads, and how the construction of roads is funded.

For the record, I live about 15 miles from Boston, there are 20,000 people in my four square mile town, and I shovel my own walk. I do it by hand.

I believe the "public trust" concept originated in the common law and lead to such things as public ownership of waterways and such. Under that concept as I understand it, it is inherent in the people before gov't comes into the picture.

First, allow me to say that I'm all over the concept of the public trust. I'd love to see the enclosure laws overturned. You can fill in the blanks from there.

I guess I find the distinction between "common law" and "government" somewhat hard to see. Common law is a form of government. It occurs to me that what you object to might better be described by the term "bureaucracy".

IMO governments should be exactly large enough to do what the people that are governed by them want them to do. If liberty is what you are after, IMO the issue is not size, it's transparency and responsiveness. There are certainly governments that are (by libertarian standards) quite expansive that are not at all authoritarian or unresponsive. There are also governments that are quite small and limited that are quite fond of terrorizing their population.

I appreciate the point you're making here, but I think what we're talking about is the difference between living in a very rural vs a not very rural setting. If you live in an area with a high population density, it makes NO SENSE AT ALL for everyone to do everything for themselves, particularly in the area of providing basic services. It's far more efficient, effective, and fair for those things to be delegated to common, shared institutions such as government.

And if 80% of your revenue comes from income from resources held collectively by the people, and 1/3 of the residents work for government, I don't care who is clearing the tree out of the road, you're not living in a libertarian environment. You might well be living someplace where the bureaucratic aspects of government don't get in your way that much, but that's not the same thing.

And, as far as I know, in our system of government, sovereignty rests with the people. Honored in the breach, perhaps, but worth remembering.

Thanks -

"My point is that, in spite of being subsidized by government, it’s a lot easier to imagine yourself as an individualist in Alaska than in other states, because you really do have to do a lot more for yourself."

"Imagine" would seem to be the key word there.

"Yes. Like that weird idea that residents of a city the size of Alaska ought to have full voting representation in Congress, and control over their own budget."

A city the size of Alaska would be very impressive.

I expect you mean a city with a population that's the size of the population of Alaska.

If libertarians are good with collective national ownership of resources, there's seems to be a lot of room for libertarian communism.

Nice local perspective by mdl about how harmless the secessioninst AIP really is. Only...if Vogler's "willing to deal" it's a modern day miracle, since he's been dead for 15 years. Kinda calls mdl's expertise on Alaska politics into question, hmmmm?

Granting that Hickel used the party and then ditched it, it seems from their documents that AIP is kind of militia-ish. Its members are urged to infiltrate government in order to weaken it and gun ownership is their badge of resistance. Funny actually, considering Alaska is a socialist state, with Big Oil providing citizens annual royalty checks in return for state sponsorship of their cartel.

McSame's pander to the fundies is the gift that's just gonna keep on giving for the next two months. A close look at Palin is gonna expose how far off track the Christianists have dragged the GOP, shine a light on the corrupt corporate practices of the energy companies, and deflect attention from the fear-and-smear campaign about to be launched against Obama.

Thanks, John!

McSame's pander to the fundies is the gift that's just gonna keep on giving for the next two months

I'm betting on she was nominated to distract media attention from Obama at the end of the DNC, and also from the militarized takeover of St Pauls during the RNC.

She'll be gone September 12th.

Only...if Vogler's "willing to deal" it's a modern day miracle, since he's been dead for 15 years.

He can't be! He was on House MD only four years ago!

Oh, sorry, wrong TV series.

*makes popcorn*

bc,
?? I must have missed something. "Ever?"

Well, I didnt see an answer on that thread, and I was pretty darn curious. 'Timeline' made it sound like Monegan was dismissed before Palin was gov, or that Wooten quit months before etc. And I thought that all that stuff was pretty well ironed out. Thanks for explaining.

This discussion is winding down, but a few follow-up answers:

The issue is less who plows private walkways...

Actually I was talking about shoveling public roads, but yes, you’re right, this is really about rural vs urban and densely populated vs sparsely populated. Not unique to Alaska per se, except that Alaska is sparser than almost anywhere else in the United States.

To the guy who highlighted that Alaskans only “imagine” themselves libertarian, yes, I chose that word intentionally.

Re Vogler: others have brought him up, including Hilzoy, so I responded in kind. Sorry if I confused you by using the present tense. Anyway, I’m not professing “expertise” on Alaska politics. I’m just one guy who lived there (many many years ago) offering my own personal perspective. Others may see it differently.

Actually I was talking about shoveling public roads

Right you are. My bad.

The kind of scenario you describe really is pretty common in northern New England, or in rural New England generally. If you don't live in town, you work things out for yourself.

I'd also like to emphasize that I have NO animus toward Alaska or Alaskans. It's a beautiful, beautiful place, and one of the few places left in our country where anything like real wildness still exists.

I just think it's sufficiently unlike the rest of the country, on a sufficiently large number of counts, that a brief tenure as governor there is not a very strong resume for potential POTUS.

Just my two cents.

Thanks -

one of the few places left in our country where anything like real wildness still exists

Which is why drilling in ANWAR is so mavericky!

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