Letters to the Editor: August 1, 2003
Repeal the Grocery Tax
This is a reply to Bob Dempsey on the grocery tax issue.
As a person who has been in full support of Frank Atwood and his tri-partisan team (and I have volunteered my time to collect signatures for this effort as well) in an attempt to repeal the Littleton grocery tax, I wanted to at least give my reasons for opposing this tax.
1. All levels of government are too big. Any way we can create an environment that forces any level of government to reduce spending is a worthwhile effort.
2. The grocery tax is a particularly insidious tax as it is on a necessity and affects those with children, and poor people the most (wealthy single people tend to eat out more, than the poor and those with families).
3. In Littleton the tax has had unintended side effects, namely that some grocery stores have located on the outskirts of town (in border communities and unincorporated areas) in order to avoid having to charge their customers this tax. However this causes a situation where people are forced to travel further for groceries.
4. A wide range of people dislike this tax. Republicans who are truly for lower taxes embrace getting rid of it. Democrats find this a regressive tax that unfairly burdens the poor. This gives us more leverage when trying to persuade people to join with libertarians in opposition to this tax.
5. The most important reason is that this is one tax that we have a chance of repealing right now. Libertarians are too often a lot of talk and not much action. This is one way we can put our beliefs in action and effect immediate change.
--Severin Schneider, July 25
Denver Pay Cuts
I know as well as you do that the mayor is vastly over paid, but hell I'm happy to see someone willing to cut his own pay. That alone is rare. When was the last time you can remember a "public servant" actually taking a pay cut as opposed to raising his or hers pay in the middle of the night? Living in Denver this is the best thing I've heard in all the years I've been able to vote. I'd rather see them get paid nothing personally but this is a good start as far as I can tell.
--Russell Robertson, July 25
In no way did I intend to diminish Ari's qualifications. To the contrary, I think he did very well with Liberty News, as he does online. But it was known, by those "deciding," that I had applied for the position (nor did I ask for money - it was offered) and have editorial and other publishing qualifications as well. It just demonstrated a lack of communication and very little concern for those outside "the club."
As to Ari's reply: "However, simply the fact that I produced a high-quality newsletter for two years amply demonstrates my qualifications." This should not give anyone an automatic "pass" in a non-profit, non-private organization, without going through proper channels that would allow many people within, or even outside, the "network" to help out and become a part of the Libertarian Party of Colorado! This is what concerns me, and the methodology by which the board seems to "function". I have no quarrel with Ari, whatsoever... he's an outstanding (L)libertarian, and publisher. And, I am always impressed with Jeff Wright's very intelligent articles.
--Deb Hamm, July 28
Is the LP Effective?
I wrote the letter to the Boulder Weekly a while back -- so my response is a little late in coming -- you stated
"First, electing U.S. congresscritters is not the sole measure of success."
Really? this is where the big boys play -- national issues are discussed and decided upon in Washington -- No libertarians in Washington means that they have no say -- and therefore cannot change the power structure to further their agenda -- Things would be radically different in the Senate if you had 10 Libertarians
"Second, if you run a libertarian as a Democrat or Republican, the libertarian will do well, and if you run a liberal or conservative as a Libertarian, he or she will do poorly"
Once again you have proven my point -- If you have to run a Libertarian as something else then there is a deep flaw in the Libertarian party
"Third, there is at least some evidence that more Americans have libertarian views than liberal or conservative ones."
If you can't turn that in to votes or power it means nothing
--James Thiel, August 1
ARI ARMSTRONG REPLIES: Thiel is responding to something that appeared in the Colorado Freedom Report:
James Thiel writes in a February 20 letter to the Boulder Weekly, "[M]ost third parties are whacked. The Libertarian Party is a prime example. Over 30 years in existence, and to this day they have been unable to elect... a single Congressman or Senator. The reason: They don't represent the views the majority of people hold." I have several responses. First, electing U.S. congresscritters is not the sole measure of success. Second, if you run a libertarian as a Democrat or Republican, the libertarian will do well, and if you run a liberal or conservative as a Libertarian, he or she will do poorly. For instance, Ron Paul is a libertarian who won office as a Republican. Third, there is at least some evidence that more Americans have libertarian views than liberal or conservative ones.
So, following the order of points above, I will expand my repy. First, I did not argue congressional seats are unimportant; I argued they are not the sole measure of success. Second, I didn't argue "you have to run a Libertarian as something else;" I argued that Thiel is incorrect in his conclusion that the reason LP candidates fare poorly because they "don't represent the views the majority of people hold." Third, getting votes is not the only way to be successful (though it's fair to debate whether the LP is an effective strategy for libertarians).