Why was ethanol a non-issue for “rigged economy” liberals?


Just before the Iowa caucuses, the Renewable Fuel Standard became a big issue in the Republican race, with Ted Cruz and Rand Paul coming out against it and the rest supporting it. The law essentially mandates that transportation fuel contain a minimum amount of ethanol.

Cruz and Paul took the principled and correct position that the government should not be dictating the contents of fuel and using force to disrupt the voluntary exchange of a good between buyers and sellers. To do this, they had to take on the very powerful ethanol lobby, something which few politicians have done before.

Despite a barrage of misinformation and negative ads, Cruz went on to win the caucus and in doing so, effectively killed the ethanol lobby (or so say the pundits). If ever there was a win for principles over special interests, this was one.

So, coming to the point — why was this almost a non-issue in the Democratic race? Why did Clinton and Sanders end up supporting the mandate? Don’t they go around exciting the masses by talking about how “rigged” the American economy is? Why would they support something that is a quintessential case of rigging the system?

The answer lies in the fact that they (and liberals, in general) do not actually understand what an unrigged economy looks like and what corrupting it entails. A market that consists of voluntary exchange of goods and services between buyers and sellers is not rigged, even if it results in outcomes one doesn’t like.

On the other hand, Sanders’ proposals to force people to pay for “free” college, “free” healthcare or the likes are what can be considered unjust interventions or “rigging.” If people want to help others attend college or get healthcare, they can donate through existing charities or form new private organizations for that purpose.

The system is definitely rigged (think of the various subsidies, private discrimination laws or the laws that interfere with the contract between an employer and her employee), but liberals, if anything, want to rig it even more. Most of them have never spent any time studying political philosophy and thus do not understand that positive rights are not valid (because they are essentially in conflict with someone else’s negative rights), or even the difference between positive and negative rights.

What rigs the system is legislating positive rights, or equivalently, making the state initiate aggression against someone. A prime example would be something Clinton and Sanders both have come out in support of — forcing people to fund abortion†.

Unless liberals undertake the efforts required to understand basic political theory and form coherent thoughts about politics, the rest would have to endure having their negative rights violated and see a clueless man like Sanders be hailed as a savior.

† I cannot imagine people more amoral and depraved than those who support forcing people to fund abortion. In order to do this, you have to simultaneously believe in these two propositions: 1. that a mother has neither an enforceable nor an unenforceable obligation towards the child in her womb, but 2. strangers have an enforceable obligation to pay so that the mother can terminate that child.

One thought on “Why was ethanol a non-issue for “rigged economy” liberals?

  1. Pingback: The rich deserve a tax cut – Lockean Liberal

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