Thursday, November 24, 2005

LibDems move leftward?

Trawling links on other blogs, I find this observation from Doctorvee on the LibDems new tax policy
Isn’t proposing higher taxes for the rich and lower taxes for the poor actually a move to the left? Or have the meaningless labels of ‘left’ and ‘right’ just become even more useless?
He's right of course, a proposal to cut taxes for the poor and increase them for the rich is something that appeals to the left, so why it would annoy the activists on the left is beyond me.

It's almost enough to make me want to renew the membership. Except I decided to give up on partizan politics and instead concentrate on the stuff I believe in. Especially when their Shadow Health bloke says things like:
During the election people often asked what new law would I like to introduce. My answer was to ban smoking in all public places, as this would have the most significant impact on improving people's health.
Well, maybe it would. But not very liberal is it Stephen? The whole point about believing in personal liberties is to let people be stupid. The correct answer is to use the market and tax regimes and encourage bars and similar to push smoking out without actually banning it.

I don't smoke, have never smoked, and don't plan to start anytime soon. But I have friends that do. I also have friends with heavy asthma who need smoke free environments. If you encourage pubs to ban it through breaks, etc, then many will, but due to the demand that will exist for premises that allow smoking, not all will. So my smoking friends can go where they wish, my asthmatic friends can go out safely, and I, as a rational actor within a functioning market*, can make my own choices.

Ah well, nobody's perfect.

(*Yes, I do describe myself as a socialist on occasions. Yes, I also strongly support market economic theories. The two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, unless you confuse distribution, exchange and ownership.)


Sebastian25P said...

The smoking ban is a simple thing of personal decisions and the freedom of choice. The LibDems Position is a liberal one, because everyone can decide by his own if to smoke or not after a smoking ban. At the moment a intolerant minority dictates about a majority of guests and staff. People should decide by them selves, and of course toxic indoor smoke is not a market-question.

MatGB said...

everyone can decide by his own if to smoke or not after a smoking ban
How? If it's banned, I have no choice at all.

Intolerant minority? There may be an intolerant minority of smokers who behave like arses, but most don't in my experience.

You contradict yourself utterly, people should decide by themselves, but it should be blanket banned.

I want a market solution; if the majority dislike smoking, then the market should be able to accommodate this, and should be persuaded to. If it is, as you assert, a minority that wish to go to establishments that allow smoking, then only a minority of establishments will allow it.

It's either a ban or it isn't, you can't both let people decide and ban something, mutually exclusive.

BTW, I get a 404 following the link from your profile to your blog?