By the Left Coast Rebel
I'm currently a third of the way through a very interesting business law course and loving the chance to engage in just a bit of friendly philosophical sparring with my professor and classmates.
The course work this week delves into usury laws, so-called payday loans and statewide statutes involving gambling. We've been given the option to argue either side of each issue and conclude if we think usury laws and the "disproportionate" state legislation regarding gambling loans (rather, taking out loans to gamble) should be targeted by the feral government.
Unfortunately most of my classmates travel the road of government essentially doing everything it can to protect people form themselves (which I, of course couldn't disagree with more) but a few of my compatriots have a middle-of-the-road take.
For example, a student named Michael -- who happens to be a really smart chap and is quite younger than me -- is leery of the government micromanaging every aspect of what can be considered victimless crimes...
Here's how I responded to him:
Hi Michael, I agree that we shouldn't outlaw gambling (even on credit) or high interest rate loans but it can be reasonably argued that these things should be limited (as I argued in my post).
And I also agree with you that there is no such thing as a victimless crime. What it really comes down to what we think should be criminalized or targeted via regulation from a societal standpoint -- and the essence of this is philosophical, i.e. what we think the proper role of government should be in a free society.
Every single "vice" or choice in our complex modern society -- from eating too much fast food, drinking in excess, not exercising, driving a fast car (or a hybrid that is dangerously inadequate in an accident with a large truck) -- can produce a victim.
Should the government then attempt to legislate the risk out of every single area in life? Or should it let free people freely choose (for good, or bad, or worse) what to do and how to live life? Something in between? I'm interested in what other people here think.
This little exchange enlightened me to a much Bigger Idea: Small nuggets of wisdom will change our nation - not fighting in the political streets.
It's effortless to scream, "liberals and Democrats suck!!" at the top of our lungs a million times on Facebook but infinitely more challenging to actually reason with our fellow citizens and change hearts and minds for liberty, one heart and mind at a time.
What do you think?