I am the winner of the Libertarian Party of Oregon’s Primary Election for Governor, and will be appearing as their Nominee on the November ballot. This post is to introduce you to my political and economic philosophy, followed by my campaign platforms in brief. In future posts, I will be exploring various aspects of this platform in far greater depth, as well as the initiatives and measures on the November ballot.
As a Libertarian, or Classical Liberal, I would define myself politically as a Jeffersonian Minarchist, or believer in a minimal government. Add to this a strongly pro-individual Capitalism, based on the Austrian School of Economics as championed by Professors Ludwig Mises, Frederic Hayek, and Murray Rothbard, and you have my basic political-economic orientation. Add to this a belief in Jeffersonian Natural Rights being inalienable, especially the Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, the last which as you may recall was termed “property” in earlier documents, and you have my view of Rights. These also include the Right to Contract, the Right to the Fruits of Your Labor, and the Right to the Quiet Enjoyment of One’s Property. Remember that inalienable means: can never be taken away from you, either by an individual or an established government. Government, Jefferson taught us, is a necessary evil. Evil, because it seems to always expand its will to power. Necessary, at least now, because man is still far away from the pure Anarcho-Capitalism of Professor Rothbard, and I think the term “anarcho” tends to make the public think it has something to do with anarchy. Of course, it is just the opposite of anarchy, because anarcho-capitalists refuse to aggress against anyone’s property rights, and that would lead to an orderly, very free society. But frankly, I think a limited small government, that dealt mainly with the gross property rights violations like murder and arson, along with environmental protections of individuals, and probably most of the current OSHA standards and food quality standards, would be the best situation under current circumstances.. Finally, I would use as my political yardstick the Libertarian non-aggression axiom that “no man or group of men my aggress against the person or property of any individual”, and that the enforcement of those property rights (which includes your own body) is the sole legitimate function of government in Jefferson’s view. (Along with a Jeffersonian requirement to teach reading, though not by force.) Thus, the peacetime draft, a national service requirement, filling out more than your name and address on the census, volunteering requirements in government schools, having to fill out income tax forms, etc. are all forms of involutary servitude or slavery, which the government has no right to demand. Perhaps even standing up in court when the judge enters is a form of involuntary servitude, along with most pledges and oaths for U.S. Citizens. (A person becoming a Naturalized U.S. Citizen might fittingly be asked to pledge to not attempt the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government, and to uphold and defend the Constitution, but not a U.S-born Citizen, unless that Citizen had been elected to office and was taking an oath to obey that State’s or the Federal Constitution, and pledge not to attempt the violent overthrow of his own government.)
My gubernatorial platform proposals fall into three catagories. Firstly, those main legislative proposals which I think have a good chance of being enacted into law. Secondly, those which have a very slight chance. And thirdly, those which have the chance of the proverbial snowball in hell. They also fall into three subject catagories: Libertarian economic and social proposals, environmental proposals, and animal cruelty measures.
First, the Libertarian proposals which are my mainstream political goals. In future blogs I will expand many of these proposals, giving my reasons and justifications for my positions.
The core program consists of these proposals:
1) Abolish the Death Penalty, one of the cornerstones of Fascism.
2)Abolish the personal income tax, and corporate income tax on incomes below the average adjusted gross income of all Americans, or all Oregonians. Maintain current level of corporate income tax on incomes $1million to $5 million. Raise level on corporations making $1 billion or more to 9.9%, the current highest rate on Individuals, to replace income lost to abolition of personal income tax, gradually lowering that 9.9% level back to the current rate as government programs were eliminated. We justify this temporary increase in corporate income tax on the largest business concerns in the state, by maintaining that they have long financially benefitted from paying lower income tax rates that individuals pay in Oregon, and thus these corporations have been subsidized by the general working taxpayer for decades. As state government programs are lessened, so will be the tax burden on these giant corporations, and in a few years there will be no need to further discriminate on corporate tax rates based on the net profits of a corporation. If I couldn’t abolish the personal income tax, then I’d try to at least abolish personal capital gains taxes, capital gains being one of the very few ways left in America for a worker to break out of his poverty and drudgery.
3) Abolish all estate and inheritance taxes.
4) Legalize heroin for the terminally ill.
5) Completely legalize cannabis, with no taxes, licences, or registrations. Maintain DUI laws until further studies on effects on driving. Outlaw non-medical delivery to minors. Maintain recreational cannabis ban within a fixed visual distance of government schools (until they are abolished).
6) Pardon anyone in jail solely on cannabis charges, except DUI and delivery to minors. Half of prison costs saved returned to the taxpayer.
7) Lengthen sentences for first- and second-degree rape by 50%. Use half of the money saved on the cannabis pardons to pay for this program. Second-degree rape charges would differ if both persons involved were minors (say a thirteen year-old girl with a nine year-old boy).
8) End the immoral state lottery.
9) End any State farm subsidies, and government loans and subsidies to private business.
10) Abolish SB 132, the Vaccination Law, because it is a form of involuntary servitude.
11) Outlaw second-hand tobacco smoke within 100 yds. of another adult without their consent, or 50 yds. for children under 17. This will be a Class C Misdemeanor with mandatory jail time. (After initial caution, three hours in jail for second incident.)
12) Smoking tobacco within 10 yds. of a child will be a Class A Misdemeanor with mandatory jail time.
13) Implement vegetarian diet in prison cafeterias to save money, now that the AMA has stated that it is a completely healthy diet. Vitamin B12 supplements supplied to prisoners if requested. Prisoners may buy certain dried meats through the mail, like beef jerky..
14) Implement vegetarian menus in all government schools that receive any State funds (until they are abolished). Ban sale of “junk food” in government schools. Ban pesticide and lawn chemical use in government schools (until they are abolished).
15) Prohibit corporate advertising on publicly-owned lands, city, county, and state.
16a) Prohibit use of any drug more addictive than caffeine on the Benowitz Scale of addictions, developed by Dr. Benowitz of the University of California San Francisco, in order to continue to be eligible for the Oregon Health Plan. Drug testing of patients in order to continue to receive services, excluding medical emergencies or critical care.
16b) Legalize all drugs less addictive than caffeine on the Benowitz Scale of Addiction. DUI and delivery to minors still illegal.
17) Legalize prostitution.
18) Require paper ballots that will be videotaped as the results are read aloud by a panel of four election workers, one each from the three most populous parties in the state plus one independent. This will eliminate the possibility of voter fraud by machine.
19) Duplicate the British Dangerous Dogs Act, which outlaws pitbulls and a couple of other breeds, with modifications (no tatoo or chip implantation requirements). Current owners may keep their dogs, but they must be confined at all times. Pitbulls in public would have to always be leashed, and possibly muzzled. Letting a pitbull run loose off-leash would be a Class B Misdemeanor, with jail time. Breeding pitbulls would be a Felony.
20) Ban atrazine, which is illegal in the European Union, and certain other herbicides like 2-4D, etc.
21) The placing of Individual Rights before Corporate Collectivism. Corporations are not Individuals, but collectivist entities which have only a notional existence. The Law must be changed to give Rights only to Individuals, though corporate stock is the real property of the owner, and should not be treated worse than any other form of property.
22) Lobbying can only be done by Individuals in the interest of Individual Rights. Corporate lobbying outlawed.
23) Outlaw fracking.
24) Implement 40-year moratorium on live-tree logging on all state lands. Cutting of dead, diseased, and threats-to-human-safety trees permitted. Moratorium renewable in 40 years depending on the state of the environment. Implement the “Natural Selection Forest Management” System with dead-tree harvesters self-employed and local community distributors.
25) End State’s association with most boards of examiners, except when involving public health and safety.
26) Outlaw Civil Forfeiture. Criminal Forfeiture only to be allowed under law.
27) Legalize all gambling.
28) Provide bulletproof vests to all patrol officers in the State. If legislature rejected this logical, common sense, proposal, then I’d offer a tax credit to any officer who bought his own vest which could be used to offset any State income tax due, up to the amount of the vest.
29) Provide bulletproof vests for all police dogs. Given the cost and effort of training these dogs, this would eventually save the taxpayer money.
30) Increase the penalty for tree theft from three times the value of the wood to 30 times the value.
31) Increase the “smoke free oregon” distance that people have to stand back from a public door from the current risible 10 ft. to a realistic 70-100 ft. Currently, one gust of wind behind a smoker standing the legal distance from a public doorway can fill a hall or county building with tobacco smoke so that a hundred people are assaulted. This situation must not be tolerated any longer.
32) Manage State Forests through the “Natural Selection Forest Management” System. This system provides for a sustainable harvest of dead trees from public lands with virtually no environmental degradation, and would provide entrepreneurial self-employment for those removing the trees as well as for local distribution centers. The effect of this system is that the forest remains in a virtual wilderness state while providing a constant stream of trees and income. And it is far better for the U.S. trade deficit if we burn dead Oregon wood, which is carbon-neutral, instead of Saudi and Gulf oil.
33)Permit a valid but expired driving license from another State to be used as proof of U.S. birth or Citizenship in lieu of a birth certificate.
34) Outlaw fluoridation of municipal water supplies.
Now we come to proposals which I would initiate but which would have little chance of passing. These include:
1) Abolishing the minimum wage laws. This vile, racist usurpation of the inalienable Right to Contract, which predominantly unemploys Black youth, will be assaulted.
2) Remove marriage from all State and local laws. Marriage is a religious institution, and since Jefferson told us to build up “a wall of separation between Church and State”, we will do that by eliminating this religious practice from secular law. Also remove property tax exemption for religious institutions, although the closing of public schools would dramatically lower property tax bills. Property tax is probably not Constitutional, so the effect on religious institutions would eventually be moot. Since marriage would now be outside the realm of the law, polyandry, polygamy, and other forms of cohabitation would in effect be legal.
3) Abolish the State Pension System (PERS). Pensions are not the responsibility of the taxpayer, and there is already the Federal Social Security System.
4) Pay jurors at least the Minimum Wage (if we cannot abolish it) in Corporate Civil cases, and increase auto mileage compensation by 50%. Pay jurors at least minimum wage in criminal cases.
5) Outlaw mechanical noise from air conditioners and leaf blowers that crosses property lines unless consented to. This is a violation of the inalienable Right to the Quiet Enjoyment of Ones Property.
6) Eliminate all State Commissions, and return their salaries to the taxpayers.
7) Remove the State’s funding of the University of Oregon, State Universities, and all State and Community Colleges, except for doctor and medical training programs, which would be phased out over a long period. No longer require teaching credentials to teach in government schools (until we can abolish them). No animal use permitted in medical training programs.
8)Permit Oregonians to opt-out of a possible autopsy in cases of death from natural causes. Override of this provision if law enforcement suspects foul play, or next of kin requests an autopsy.
9)Reform the Sex Offender Registry. Eliminate those persons whose offenses would be legal under Libertarianism because they involve only one person. Remove persons convicted of mooning, public urination, public nudity excluding exposure, persons who were 10 years-old or younger at time of incident, etc
And finally, my animal cruelty measures which have no chance in a society that is 1.5% vegetarian. These snowball in hell measures include
1) Outlaw hunting. Killing an animal that is assaulting you still legal. Killing of animals for food in extreme survival situations (i.e. you’re lost in the mountains with no food) still legal. ( Native Americans would be exempted from this provision within their Tribal Lands, since their Treaty Rights must be scrupulously honored. I would, however, personally plead with the Tribes to give up this practice, as well as fishing.)
2) Outlaw fishing. (Native Americans on Tribal Lands would again be exempted due to their Treaty Rights.)
3) Outlaw vivisection, and using animals in experiments.
4) Institute statewide low-cost spay and neuter program using vets trained at the public’s expense in State universities and colleges. Spay fees not to exceed one hour at the minimum wage. This is about my only “government program”.
5) Outlaw slaughterhouses, and slaughtering of animals, except euthanasia to end suffering. Outlaw transporting of animals in Oregon to slaughterhouses outside of Oregon.
6) Outlaw keeping of killer whales and dolphins.
7) Outlaw rodeos.
8) Outlaw circuses using animals, bull-fighting, and bear-baiting.
9) Outlaw horse racing and greyhound racing.
10) Close the Portland zoo. All animals relocated to sanctuaries or maintained till they expire at current zoo.
Other “snowball in hell” legislation I would propose consists of:
1) Outlaw cultivation of GMO crops.
2) Outlaw the communistic business license requirement throughout the State, as a restriction on Capitalism and Free-Trade.
3) Set aside smoking areas in public parks for tobacco addicts, as a compassionate measure.
4) Require all newly-established townships in Oregon to set aside a “free-market” area, where any citizen within the township or a fixed circumference from the town, could sell their own personal belongings. The only requirement might be to show proof of ownership to law enforcement if requested. I’d urge, but not force, established townships to do likewise. This is a pro-Capitalist measure.
5) Require anyone receiving a certain level of votes (perhaps 3-5, but I’m not sure as to the exact level) to be listed by name and vote total on any official results, rather than as “others” in published voting results. Total number of people receiving less than the established limit also to be listed in election results. This is a transparency issue, so people can see if their votes were really, and correctly, tabulated.
6) Either require, or permit in lieu of working in jail, all Oregon prisoners to read one hour of American History or works by the Founding Fathers (Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Trenchard, Paine, etc) per day, 5 days per week.
Well, that’s about it. I’m sure I’ve alienated almost everybody with at least one of my proposals, but at least you know where I stand. And since I believe in democratic elections, none of my more radical proposals could be implemented without a majority of the People being behind them.
Libertarians, Independents, Democrats, Republicans, Greens, and Communists can vote for me on the November 4 ballot..
I plan to be “a real choice, not an echo”.
Paul Grad, Libertarian, for Governor of Oregon.