Why the Orange Line fears libertarians

How does the Ron Paul candidacy threaten the journalists, think tankers, and academics who live and work along the Orange Line in Washington, D.C.? The answer is straightforward analysis of economic incentives, with some common cultural patterns thrown in.

Familiarize yourself with the main economic plank of Paul’s platform: eliminating the income tax with no replacement. If it succeeded, most of the friends, fellow partiers, sources, and sex partners of the Orange Line journalists and think tankers would be out of work. Even partial success (for example influencing other candidates into advocating deeper tax cuts to win Paul supporters, or motivating more Congressional candidates to run on an anti-tax and anti-war platform and thus creating a libertarian base in Congress) would harm economic interests in their social circles. Furthermore, there would be far fewer spoils for the lobbyists to lobby over, and fewer important articles for the journalists to write about D.C. politics, so they’d suffer personally as well as socially.

There are also “economic preferences” in politics not reflected in money — desires for power, desires to “change the world”, etc. (These two motivations are easily interchangeable near the Orange Line). D.C. attracts people from all over the country with strong preferences along these lines. These, too, would be hurt by a growing success of anti-tax libertarianism. To the extent Ron Paul succeeded, they would be less able to shut down the madrassas and save Muslim women from the dastardly Muslim male. They’d have less control over oil. They couldn’t provide all Americans with health insurance. And (keeping in mind this is only one of many motivations) they couldn’t provide as much protection for Israel. Generally speaking, practically everybody who came D.C. did so to get the federal government to solve various problems they are passionate about. They feel very strongly about these: much more strongly on average than people who do not live near the Orange Line. Success by Ron Paul or his acolytes would start stripping away from them the power they believe they need to solve these problems.

Remember, Paul ranks right up there with McCain, Huckabee and Romney for the 18-29 year old vote. Paul has come very close to winning a plurality of that vote in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Michigan, ranking far ahead of Thompson and Giuliani for the young vote in all three. Paul ranks ahead of _all_ the other Republican candidates in Internet searches and search results. Contrary to myth this represents not “spam” but just the high concentration of Paul supporters on the Internet, comparable to the high concentration of Democrats in the mainstream media (MSM). Both the Internet and MSM are unrepresentative slices of American political opinion.

But the Internet is growing at the expense of the MSM and Paul represents a large chunk of the future of Republican politics. The MSM, including its political bureaus along the Orange Line, finds the Internet threatening. Orange Line bureaucrats think of “radical” libertarians (i.e. those who would eliminate the income tax with no replacement) as maniacs out to destroy their jobs. Ron Paul brings these two fears together.

Moving beyond economic incentives and to human cultural patterns, the Orange Line crowd are a tribe, a monoculture defending itself from an alien tribe that is hostile to them, namely libertarians who don’t like how the federal tribe makes it’s living (via skimming off their paychecks). It’s tribal warfare.

All in all, it would be extremely surprising if the Orange Line did _not_ try to attack Paul. The only surprising thing for me has been to observe how much Orange Line “libertarians” are culturally aligned with the Orange Line rather than with anti-government libertarians.

This analysis has been a straightforward matter of economic incentives with some common human cultural patterns thrown into the mix. This economic analysis gets obscured because, on the one hand, those not privy to the workings of D.C. can only describe it metaphorically in terms of conspiracy theories. The Orange Liners laugh them off the stage. But the economic analyses in their rough form sound a bit like the conspiracy theories, so they too are shouted down by the bullhorns of the Oranger Liners and those who parrot their authoritative opinions. They are laughed off as “conspiracy theory” before the analysis can even start to begin. Most of the MSM when it comes to political issues, and even much of the “alternative media” like Reason Magazine and the Orange Line bloggers, are part of the Orange Line culture. Using these Orange Line bullhorns to make fun of or smear independent thought and independent sources of political power is one of the main levers of federal power.

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11 Responses to “Why the Orange Line fears libertarians”

  1. jomama Says:

    Whether or not the Orange Line supports Ron is irrelevant.

    http://djomama.blogspot.com/2006/12/first-world-government-junk-bonds-on.html

  2. Ron Paul » Blog Archive » Why the Orange Line fears libertarians Says:

    […] Jason wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptHow does the Ron Paul candidacy threaten the journalists, think tankers, and academics who live and work along the Orange Line in Washington, D.C.? The answer is straightforward analysis of economic incentives, with some common cultural patterns thrown in. Familiarize yourself with the main economic plank of Paul’s platform: eliminating the income tax with no replacement. If it succeeded, most of the friends, fellow partiers, sources, and sex partners of the Orange Line journalists and think tankers would be out of work. Even partial success (for example influencing other candidates into advocating deeper tax cuts to win Paul supporters, or motivating more Congressional candidates to run on an anti-tax and anti-war platform and thus creating a libertarian base in Congress) would harm economic interests in their social circles. Furthermore, there would be far fewer spoils for the lobbyists to lobby over, and fewer important articles for the journalists to […] […]

  3. Mencius Says:

    FBW, congratulations on your defection. I’ll bet it feels good, like a really long and solid bowel movement.

    I pump your blog here.

    You might want to consider turning off the snap.com preview – I find it really distracting. I think I’m not alone in this…

  4. formerbeltwaywonk Says:

    Mencius, those are my feelings exactly, and thanks for the blog pump.

  5. Joe Allen Says:

    Americans as a people are a group so diverse that it is hard to say what it is we have in common.
    We don’t all live near each other. We don’t all have the same skin tones, we don’t all share the same religion. So what is it exactly that makes us Americans? It’s not where we are born or who our parents are, or even what language we speak. I believe that what makes us American is our mutual love, desire for, and defense of freedom.

    There’s not a whole lot of America left in the United Staes. There’s not even much unity unless you call conformity “unity”. In these times it has become controversial to say that, as long as we are not harming others, we should have the right to be left alone. The establishment thought police would have us believe that endless meddling in the lives of everybody everywhere is not only permissable by government, but obligatory. The state would also have us believe that the numerous and increasing encroachments on personal and national sovereignty visited upon us are in our best interest. I disagree.

    I take the position that the jungle of Liberty, messy as it is, is preferable to guilded cage of the State. I agree with Thomas Paine when he said “government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.” History rightfully treats Paine as a hero and a patriot , but today those same sentiments get one labled a “radical” or a “kook.” So be it. I will not surrender to ! God help you if you forgot your seatbelt or motorcycle helmet. So after you clock in, you work until about 11:00 to pay your income and social security taxes, buy a lunch and pay a sales tax on it, work until five or six to pay for your other obligations, get back in your car that you paid a registration tax on, burn gasoline you paid a fuel tax on, get to your house that you pay property tax on, go inside, turn on the TV and watch news coverage of the war your tax dollars pay for.

    And …now for the best part…Bush comes on andthe bovine conformity of the herd just to avoid the whips and cattle prods of those who think themselves our masters.

    Ponder this: just a few years ago, a person could wakeup, turn on the light, use the john and go to work before ever even considering the government’s role in his life. But now come back to the present and you are in a different world entirely. What if the stimulant you use to help you wake up is controlled or prohibited? What if the light you turn on is incandescent and not a compact flourescent? What if the toilet is five gallon flush? What if your job (such as nail painting or fortune telling) requires a licence that you don’t have? You could be guilty of four crimes before ever punching the timeclock tells us those people that we are bombing hate us for our freedom!

    freeatlast2008.com

  6. Joe Allen Says:

    Sorry, that last post was kind of jumbled. Let’s try again:

    Americans as a people are a group so diverse that it is hard to say what it is we have in common.
    We don’t all live near each other. We don’t all have the same skin tones, we don’t all share the same religion. So what is it exactly that makes us Americans? It’s not where we are born or who our parents are, or even what language we speak. I believe that what makes us American is our mutual love, desire for, and defense of freedom.

    There’s not a whole lot of America left in the United Staes. There’s not even much unity unless you call conformity “unity”. In these times it has become controversial to say that, as long as we are not harming others, we should have the right to be left alone. The establishment thought police would have us believe that endless meddling in the lives of everybody everywhere is not only permissable by government, but obligatory. The state would also have us believe that the numerous and increasing encroachments on personal and national sovereignty visited upon us are in our best interest. I disagree.

    I take the position that the jungle of Liberty, messy as it is, is preferable to guilded cage of the State. I agree with Thomas Paine when he said “government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.” History rightfully treats Paine as a hero and a patriot , but today those same sentiments get one labled a “radical” or a “kook.” So be it. I will not surrender to the bovine conformity of the herd just to avoid the whips and cattle prods of those who think themselves our masters.

    Ponder this: just a few years ago, a person could wakeup, turn on the light, use the john and go to work before ever even considering the government’s role in his life. But now come back to the present and you are in a different world entirely. What if the stimulant you use to help you wake up is controlled or prohibited? What if the light you turn on is incandescent and not a compact flourescent? What if the toilet is five gallon flush? What if your job (such as nail painting or fortune telling) requires a licence that you don’t have? You could be guilty of four crimes before ever punching the timeclock ! God help you if you forgot your seatbelt or motorcycle helmet. So after you clock in, you work until about 11:00 to pay your income and social security taxes, buy a lunch and pay a sales tax on it, work until five or six to pay for your other obligations, get back in your car that you paid a registration tax on, burn gasoline you paid a fuel tax on, get to your house that you pay property tax on, go inside, turn on the TV and watch news coverage of the war your tax dollars pay for.

    And …now for the best part…Bush comes on andtells us those people that we are bombing hate us for our freedom!

    freeatlast2008.com

  7. scraped Says:

    Jesus Christ, do I know you? I’m still living this shit. You definitely know your praxeology.

  8. frmad Says:

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  9. Scott Nolan Smith Says:

    Ironically Ron Paul’s campaign HQ was in Virginia on the Orange line, near the VA Square station.

  10. Sitting aside history, shitting our pants « Foseti Says:

    […] we look at the homepage of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, which will be on the Orange Line just as soon as the Metro extends out to Alabama, we can see the difference. The purpose of LvMI is […]

  11. reakcionar Says:

    I am a few years too late to this post (my young age is a good excuse, though).

    While hanging with some pro-market activists and politicians and meeting some libertarians here in Europe, I couldn’t stop feeling the stench of what you call “The Orange Line”… their sneering attitude, gay right talk, pro-immigration talk, and making friends with the worst socialist scum. I felt it was wrong, but couldn’t figure it out completely.

    You bring a very simple and logical explanation to this phenomenon. Thank you.

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