May 01, 2000
My Answers to the World's Smallest Political Quiz

Here are my answer's to the 10 questions on the famous World's Smallest Political Quiz, created by The Advocates for Self-Government.

My Personal Self-Government Score is 100%.
My Economic Self-Government Score is 100%.

Military service should be voluntary (No draft).

Lance's response: Yes, military service should be voluntary. The government has no right to force you into any activity, unless you first use force on another. Thus, it may not force you to serve in the military. To force a person to engage in the killing of others, especially in this day and age of frivolous wars, is morally perverse.

Government should not control radio, TV, the press or the Internet.

Lance's response: Yes- the government should not control any media. The amount of control that is already exercised through the FCC is far too much. It is just as much of a crime against free speech to smother broadcasters in regulations as it is to prohibit content- our government does both. In addition, the government has taken the airwaves out of the hands of all and given them to a select few- all under the guise of protecting us from audio and visual harm. The Internet will likely suffer the same ultimate fate - presumably to "protect us" from "digital harm." The only harm the government should be protecting against is physical harm- the loss of or damage to life or property.

Repeal regulations on sex for consenting adults.

Lance's response: Yes, absolutely. Any regulations on sexual conduct in America have their foundation in religious doctrines, traditions, and beliefs- claims to the contrary are almost universally a subterfuge. Our inability to truly separate church and state shows most clearly in regulations on sex for consenting adults. Our government should pursue and prosecute acts of physical harm only.

Drug laws do more harm than good. Repeal them.

Lance's response: Yes. The War on Drugs can be linked to almost every negative social trend in our country. Every drug addict has become one, in part, because our government has criminalized drugs. If you look at the massive failure of Prohibition in the 1920's (the "Roaring Twenties"), a clear parallel can be seen in the Drug War. Because use of "illicit drugs" was so low when the War started (in the 1930's), the massive disruptive problems that were seen during alcohol prohibition were not seen for a long time with the Drug War. But clear trends can be seen with EVERY illegal drug: that usage, abuse, and drug-related crime all rise when the drug becomes illegal- and it never goes back down to its pre-War levels.

No matter what the consequences may be, we MUST end the prohibition of drugs if we ever want to solve the "drug problem." The government is hoping that Prohibition will get far enough away in history that they can obscure the fact that their Drug War is nothing more than Prohibition II- and that it is just as much of a failure as its predecessor.

Let peaceful people cross borders freely.

Lance's response: Yes. Immigration is such an essential part of our country's heritage. In a very real way, every American (with the exception of, obviously, Native Americans) is from an immigrant family. My ancestors immigrated here on the Mayflower. Waves of immigrants from various countries have flooded our shores since our country's founding- and the times that we have turned them away are marks of shame on our national history. It is bad enough that we stomped all over the people who originally welcomed us into their country- we can at least show respect to our legacy as a refuge from tyranny. If we are unable or unwilling to accept that historical responsibility, then maybe we should send everyone in America back where they came from. At least then we would be giving it back to a people who knew enough to respect the land they lived upon (again, the Native Americans.)

Businesses and farms should operate without government subsidies.

Lance's response: Yes- the free market, and the laws of nature and human nature, are a far safer bet for economic regulation than the government. The government is inherently going to have to favor one industry, company, or trend over another. This is clearly unfair to the unfavored, and has created our current economy, where consumers (and even most companies) have little control, and Big Industry and Big Government have much control. The inevitable result- higher prices, less choice, less information.

It is important to remember that when government is subsidizing certain industries, projects, and companies, it is automatically punishing certain other industries, projects, and companies. If one day it is favoring your ideals, the next day it may be on the side of your enemy. I call this the "favor your friend/favor your enemy" rule.

People are better off with free trade than with tariffs.

Lance's response: Yes. All of the above arguments apply equally here. If the government wants to take any role in the market at all, it should offer itself as an impartial information clearinghouse- to provide consumers with the information they need, should they choose to use it. Any other role for government initiates the "favor your friend/favor your enemy" rule stated above, and all of its implied problems. Also, government's involvement in the market amounts to it telling us what to buy, which is well beyond its proper role.

Minimum wage laws cause unemployment. Repeal them.

Lance's response: Yes- minimum wage laws should be repealed, regardless of whether they cause unemployment. Businesspeople should be allowed to run their businesses as they choose, as long as they do not initiate the use of force upon anyone. It is not the business of government to be the guiding hand of our economy- more often than not it ends up slowing it down. Minimum wage laws and other government smothering can largely be held responsible for the mass exodus of large manufacturing firms to foreign countries.

End taxes. Pay for services with user fees.

Lance's response: Yes- all current taxation in America is almost inherently "taxation without representation." The process of governance here is so convoluted that there is only a superficial connection between the will of the people and the mandates of government. The news media plays a larger role in lawmaking in America than the people do.

User fees allow for more accurate representation, more efficient government, and much more accountability for government agencies. Agencies which serve little or no public need would, by nature of economics, wither up and fade away. There are plenty of non-profit and charitable entities, with more private funding than ever. If we ever needed vast government programs before, we don't any more. User fees and donations should be plenty to fund government's truly essential activities.

All foreign aid should be privately funded.

Lance's response: Yes- in fact, all aid should be privately funded. The words "aid" and "help" are not in the definition of the word "govern." Nor do the words "govern" or "public" appear in the definitions of "help" or "aid." There is a role for government- to protect us and our country from harm, so that we can pursue life, liberty, and happiness. Anything else can be taken care of by our citizens, public interest groups, churches, families, companies, and charitable foundations. It may be that there was a time when we needed government to "help out." If so, that time has surely passed. Government stifles where it tries to help. This includes "foreign aid," where our government is in pursuit of American-izing the world- setting up developing countries with all of our wonders and toys- and all of our problems.

Posted by Lance Brown at 09:02 PM