Libertarians are Hosed

I cannot find a single opposition statement to the Hobby Lobby decision that does not contain some variant of this:

Today, the Supreme Court ruled against women’s basic access to contraceptive healthcare. This decision opens up the door for for-profit companies to impose their personal beliefs on their employees and deny them basic contraceptive care.

Basic healthcare decisions shouldn't be subject to the whims of bosses and employers. ...

I will continue to fight for the right of every woman to make her own private medical decisions. #notmybossbusiness

It seems that a huge number of Americans, even nominally intelligent ones, cannot parse the difference between banning an activity and some third party simply refusing to pay for you to engage in that activity.  This really does not seem to be a complicated distinction, but yesterday I watched something like 40% of America fail to make it.  How is it possible to make any progress on liberty and individual rights if peoples' thinking is so sloppy?

By the way, the passage above is from the Facebook page of Hanna-Beth Jackson, a California state senator.  The reason I find her faux libertarianism initeresting is that Ms. Jackson is co-sponsor of the bill requiring explicit verbal or written consent for each sex act (and each step of the sex act) in California colleges.  A woman's body may not be her boss's business but it appears it is the California government's business, at least according to Ms. Jackson.  This is typical of the abortion and birth control issues, where supporters use libertarian-ish arguments narrowly to defend abortion and contraception rights, but then go all-in for authoritarianism everywhere else.  Jackson's bedroom regulation bill is co-sponsored by Kevin De Leon, who said yesterday "No boss should have the power to interfere with a worker’s personal health decisions."  Because that's his job, I guess.


  1. Morlock Publishing:

    Libertarians are hosed. Loyalty is impossible. Voice is useless. Exit is the only option left. All praise Elon Musk!

  2. fotini901:

    My liberal-tarian hope is that this might hasten the de-coupling of health insurance from employment. You never know.

  3. JRoss:

    I've raised this exact point with liberal friends. From their point of view, everyone has to pay for things they object to -- it's just a part of living in a democracy -- and it's no fair and even childish for Hobby Lobby to an want exemption.

  4. MNHawk:

    It also continues to point to the complete breakdown in the American journalism profession.

    Exit point. This whole thing is moot if congress overturns the bill Democrats overwhelmingly supported and Bill Clinton signed, The RFRA. I'm sure the number of people who know about that is even less than something like 40%, in a low information America.

  5. Patrick McGuire:

    I've seen this one, you may have as well. It makes the point that either corporations are people on their own or they aren't,

  6. Nosmo King:

    Libertarians are hosed? Warren, we're all hosed. There is too much ignorant and incompetent mass to overcome.

  7. marque2:

    Pro-Abortion isn't exactly a libertarian issue. Even among libertarians there is a debate of the individual right of the child who suffers the ultimate denial of rights and the right of the women to violate the rights of the child.

    Quite a few libertarians are pro life. Just because a super left wing court ruled that unborn babies aren't human doesn't necessarily make it the case.

    Libertarianism isn't about anything goes drivel - but many folks perceive it that way.

  8. Matthew Slyfield:

    1. "It seems that a huge number of Americans, even nominally intelligent
    ones, cannot parse the difference between banning an activity and some
    third party simply refusing to pay for you to engage in that activity." On Volohk Conspiracy, there are a number or commenters arguing that the employer isn't paying for anything, the employee is paying for it because the insurance is part of the employee's compensation package.

    2. "Jackson's bedroom regulation bill is co-sponsored by Kevin De Leon". Interesting, I know a Kevin De Leon in Illinois.

  9. Matthew Slyfield:

    Unfortunately, as things stand, such a decoupling is more likely to go in the direction of government run single-payer than back to individual catastrophic insurance only that existed prior to WWII.

    While post WWII tax incentives and the ACA perpetuate the system of employer provided health care, it exists in the first place due to wage caps enacted during the tight labor market that existed during WWII.

  10. Matthew Slyfield:

    +10000000000 insightful

  11. FelineCannonball:

    The ruling, of course, doesn't keep Hobby Lobby employees from getting contraceptive coverage. It just lumps Hobby Lobby with religious nonprofits who can refuse to cover these procedures directly. Instead, according to the SCOTUS decision, insurers or tax payers are going to be required to step up and pay for the coverage under ACA.

    I'm not sure how this works for the libertarian psyche, but the net result is everyone but the doctrinal-minded christian employer footing the bill.

  12. Nehemiah:

    Good point. Too many Libertarians seem to hold that Liberty belongs to everyone who happens to escape alive from the womb. But while you are in there the woman's right to, what, "privacy" trumps the unborn's right to Live, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. I have always thought Jefferson was so right on in ordering these unalienable rights. One cannot pursue happiness without some amount of liberty and one certainly cannot enjoy liberty without life itself.

  13. marque2:

    I don't know if libertarians are really hosed. We saw the same biased reporting during the Obamacare debate. Remember Sandra Fluke who "couldn't afford birth control" - the whole press framed it as Republicans denying women both control and the war on women.

    Look that they try to use this war on women line again. I am guessing though that many folks are becoming dubious to this argument. Sometimes you cry it so often the world becomes numb.

  14. steamboatlion:

    "Basic healthcare decisions shouldn't be subject to the whims of bosses and employers. ..."

    The simple way to fix that? Stop trying to force /entice employers to provide health insurance so we can go on pretending that it's somehow free.

    If collecting taxes from A to give to B is morally indistinguishable from theft, what is it when you force A to give the money to B directly so you can pretend that nobody is harmed in the process?

  15. mesocyclone:

    You are right to point out this frequently overlooked point. I don't know how many Libertarians I have run into who have never once considered the possibility that there is a clash of rights in abortion. Note that three individuals have rights in this regard, but the "pro-choice" crowd, including libertarians, only considers that of the woman. The child has the most to lose, and the biological father also has an interest.

  16. mesocyclone:

    "cannot parse the difference between banning an activity and some third party simply refusing to pay" - I think most people recognize the difference, they just choose to ignore it because they already know the solution they want.

    Of course, for those taken in by this sophistry - why the hell do we let them vote? They're too dumb!

  17. ogregeek:

    opens up the door for companies to impose their personal beliefs on their employees
    - in a voluntary, mutually agreed upon relationship, unlike the personal beliefs imposed on property owners by the government

    Basic healthcare decisions shouldn't be subject to the whims of bosses and employers.
    - only the whims of politicians and burrocrats (sic)

    I will continue to fight for the right of every woman to make her own private medical decisions
    - in the ballot box, after that, she's hosed

    I think a lot of people complaining about this decision also support the PPACA, and are therefore non-serious and hypocritical.

  18. mesaeconoguy:

    This is mass ignorance, or the final transformation stage to Idiocracy.

    And as others have pointed out, we’re all screwed.

  19. Gil G:

    The basic Libertarian tenet is that your right to life can't be dependent on someone else to provide it hence according to Rothbard abortion is simply evictionism.

  20. Canvasback:

    Nanny Beth is an appalling creature. She's out grandstanding anywhere she can pander to the common sense of the average, um, voter. I think she wants to take over for Feinstein.

  21. marque2:

    We should kill grandma in the old age home as well - if we follow that reasoning.

  22. Andrew_M_Garland:

    Coyote: "A woman's body may not be her boss's business but it appears it is the California government's business"

    Consent laws control men, not women. The men will be punished and jailed if they can't prove consent when a woman complains. These laws are supposedly even handed, but women will never be punished by them.

    Selective enforcement of current laws mean that the politically connected need not worry about many of them. We already live in a tyranny of selective enforcement. Consider that the police can effectively do anything to you and go unpunished, even kill you.

  23. Nehemiah:

    This would include evicting the newborn baby who is dependent on someone. At what age do you recognize a right to a life? When he/she can make their own peanut butter sandwiches? As margue2 says, lots of old folks not self-sustaining anymore.

    Although I appreciate a lot of the positions held by Libertarians, the fact that many would accept "evictionism" as a rationale for accepting abortion is a bridge too far for me.

  24. CapitalistRoader:

    I don't know of any libertarians who haven't considered the clash of rights in abortion.

  25. mesocyclone:

    Then you have a very narrow circle of Libertarians. I know of few that have considered it.

  26. marque2:

    Rothbard was a bit of a nut. I think modern libertarians pick just bits and pieces from what he actually proposed for their world view.

    As for post natal abortion - progressives have proposed this - supported by some notion that kids don't really think until one year of age (most behavioral scientists do their research before having their own kids - which is why they can believe this junk)

    Here is an article about it from the lefty online slate magazine.

  27. CapitalistRoader:

    I don't know...maybe 25 friends or acquaintances. Some are registered with the Party but most aren't. Regardless, abortion is a really, really difficult issue for anyone to wrap their mind around. I know for a fact that none of the libertarians nor Libertarians I've spoken to about it speaks flippantly about it.

  28. Earl Wertheimer:

    Agreed. When Libertarians say they are against some particular government funded activity, the usual reply is 'So you are against '. Replace with medical care, education, police, space travel, mail delivery, ad nauseum and the results are always the same.

    The solution is to say farming or food production. Now they can't come back with 'So you are against food!'

    This way we can deal with the real issue... government subversion of the market process.

  29. Gil G:

    Libertarians have made it clear that killing is wrong (except in self-defence) but not helping others in their time of need is a right even if the desperate person dies from lack of help.

  30. marque2:

    I don't know if you have ever taken a CPR/first aid or lifesaving course - but the first thing they teach you is that if you feel uncomfortable you don't have to do any lifesaving - anything. And if you are comfortable - they tell you to make sure the situation is safe first. I suppose a phone call is warented - but if the lefty Red Cross says you don't have to save folk - why would you blame libertarians.

    Also the law is on your side. You are under no obligation to save anyone.

  31. marque2:

    Also note: this Rothbard guy thinks it is OK to kill your children or sell them for labor. He may be the father of libertarianism according to some - but I doubt most libertarians would follow a quarter of his nonsense.

  32. Gil G:

    Since the foetus relies on the mother's body it relies on the mother's consent for the duration so should the mother wants to withdraw her consent then tough luck to the foetus.

  33. marque2:

    Then you should be able to kill a child until about the age of 8 - since even post birth the child rrlys on the mother and father. And as I said above as soon as you become old and rely on someone else to survive (even just retiring could count, since you kick back and everyone else must produce for you) then you should be killed as well.

    What a slippery slope.

  34. Gil G:

    When did neglect become a duty to kill? Rothbard has said parent could abandon a baby or young child to its death but not murder it. Certainly if you're too old to take care of yourself yet haven't any plan B then you're in big trouble as you can't force other to take care of you however that doesn't give anyone the right to butcher you.
    A similar topic is eugenics. Positive eugenics (forcing some be sterilised while forcing others to breed) is deemed wrong by pretty much everyone whereas negative eugenics (letting people voluntarily choose their partners as well as hanging around the people they want to hang around) is a-ok.

  35. marque2:

    I am pretty sure if you left your baby to starve to death you would be charged with murder when the baby died.

  36. HFB:

    That's not exactly accurate. If we all pay for it out of the general or ACA fund, the Christian employer is part of "we all". Just not directly responsible anymore and much more spread out.

  37. FelineCannonball:

    Yes, a fraction 1/315,000,000 or whatever. When SCOTUS decides that all taxes are subject to line-item religious or conscientious exemption the whole idea of representative government disappears.

  38. Michael Ejercito:

    And if your boss refuses to purchase a handgun for you, your boss is violating your Second Amendment rights.

  39. Gil G:

    Well Rothbard would believe a Libertarian society would judge otherwise.