My buddy Neil is a great guy and well entrenched in his opinions as he is in his mid-70’s. One topic which always leads to vigorous, friendly disagreement is politics; as a senior citizen Neil enjoys and takes advantage of many of the programs offered him, like Medicare and Social Security. Overall, he feels entitled to benefits available to someone like him who worked hard all his life. I guess I can’t blame him, but I grew up being told social security would not exist when I needed it. In fact, it is now broke and taking in less money than payouts. Sadly, the government “borrowed” against the Social Security trust fund and there is nothing but journal entries reflecting what should be a solid program.
Meanwhile I, in my mid 40’s, feel like I carry the world on my back to produce and earn income, not only for my own family, but due to taxes for many other people too. Neil and I have conflict on what we see as the role of government. Last week we discussed politics: Obama, Fox News, Democrats and Republicans. In the course of conversation Neil commented he didn’t realize I write this column every week, thinking I was an occasional guest appearance. He challenged me, wondering about my position and I explained I try to hold a middle ground and this earned a respectable smile.
I quickly reminded him I don’t have cable television and therefore the opinions I write are original. He asked how I see the world, “left or right?” I replied I have realized during the last 70 columns I am a libertarian and my friend’s eyes opened wide whilst asking me to define myself further. Suddenly I found myself defending what I would call the anarchists view of libertarian politics. Instead, I explained my definition of libertarianism is quite easy, “we need nothing more than 7 of the 10 commandments and they serve as a guidebook for libertarianism.” In short, in the middle, I believe less government is good; I can make better decisions than anyone else can on my behalf, and we should not legislate against stupidity. As the “Man in the Middle” I try hard weekly to maintain a balance and offer original opinions and insights. By the way I sent Neil my last 70 columns and look forward to debating what he reads.