Episode-1176- Shawn Hipskind – Libertarian Candidate for Arkansas Governor — 36 Comments

  1. I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, Jack. But in light of the following disclaimer which you included in the show’s written description…

    Note that no one is trying to convince you of anything, frankly no one is trying to tell anyone here how to live their lives. What we are simply asking is that you at least consider some of these concepts in a new light.

    Not interfering with another individuals natural rights does not mean your endorsement of their decision as to how to exercise said rights.

    .. well, thought I’d toss in this Google image for ha-ha’s sake.

    (Perfectly safe for work.)

    Peace out, Libertarians.

  2. I found out today that I’m a Libertarian. We need someone like Shawn in every state.

  3. Jack, I don’t keep track of politics as much as I should. It would be nice for you to do a show that explains what left wing, right wing, republican, democrat, liberal, and anything else I’m forgetting. I would like to know the unsugar coated version of what all of these really mean.

    • lowwattliving,

      The answer to your question doesn’t take a Spirko podcast to answer, but a people to answer. All of these political terms are a way for us to choose to put ourselves in a box where we let others determine what we should think, when what we really want to do is think for ourselves. Jack’s pulling the libertarian ripcord more often than not, but I am encouraged by the fact that he’s slipping the anarchist in with greater frequency. The anarchist says, “fie on all your political religions,” and tries to be a good person.

      I’m relatively new to this blog podcast, but I’ve seen enough to know that Jack is a good person and his guest today as well. I was struck by how often in this podcast they would climb into the libertarian box, end up saying, “Well, I really don’t know,” and have a good mutual laugh about it. Could it be that the box is too constraining for an empathetic person? I’d guess so, since the emphasis on personal liberty and freedom is in some respects right on for individuals, but we are social individuals, and that moves in another direction.

      Nothing is more indicative of this other direction than the flat tax nonsense. It is a false equality if I ever saw one. How any good person could buy into that is beyond me? It simply flies in the face of Jack’s incredibly great and growing permaculture knowledge. If he designs, plants and grows a wonderfully productive and diverse perennial food forest, and as it matures doesn’t maintain it by chopping and dropping more from the most powerful species, he soon ends up with productivity and diversity declining and the design flagging. So it is with America, although mostly from a death of a thousand special interests exemption cuts rather than a change in design. Rigorously progressive income taxation ,with few if any exemptions, weighted heavily to the top tier of the societal forest, is the only rational response to some version of societal equity. You only have to look at America pre 1980 when progressive income taxes were much higher, and America today when they have largely been gutted by tax cuts and plutocratic/corporate exemptions to see the truth here. A flat tax would just complete the gut.

      • Just wondering what the terms mean. It is very difficult to narrow down a specific definition from anyone.

      • @Ron Shook – as I read through your post I’m thinking, yeah, okay, maybe, until your version of the taxing system. Wow, now that is a very interesting point of view. I say “point of view” because from my perspective you are clearly in possession of an opinion that conflicts with my experience with this “human” experiment.

        I believe that rewarding excellence increases abundance, and therefore those “plants” that have greater production, need more nutrients to flourish and continue producing. Pruning or cutting back your most productive crops diminishes the overall harvest.

        What we want in this world is abundance, not limited resources where influence determines allocation of those resources. Therefore, whenever you increase the supply the price declines and becomes more affordable to all, which in and of itself is an “equalizer”. The goal is to encourage the most capable to be as productive as they can, and to teach and encourage the less productive, through example, how to increase their own productivity. That is just what Bill Gates did – increasing the supply of that which the world demanded, and in doing so became the world’s wealthiest man, and justly so. His productivity levered the world’s productivity – by many times more that what his own productivity represented. The Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of this world just need to be allowed to flourish -not to be “pruned back”.

        You may want to continue listening to the podcast, and go back and listen to some past ones, as in time, and with Jack’s help, you may have a different view on freedom, personal liberty, and the tax system.

      • @Ron lots to ponder there.

        On libertarian, understand there are two ways to use that word.

        Libertarian – official party member, what Shawn is running as

        libertarian – a philosophy of life that no other person’s natural rights should be violated and any person should be free to do anything so long as it doesn’t do any harm to another person’s body or property.

        When I say I am a libertarian that is what I mean, I have no loyalty to the LP.

        On some other stuff, is a flat tax on income good? NO ABSOLUTELY NOT. Is a flat tax on income better than a graduated income tax? YES in spades!

        The problem with many libertarians, minarchists, anarchists, etc is they don’t want to understand incrementalism and the path necessary to deconstruct the monstrosity that currently exists.

        If say Portland Maine is anarchism and say San Fransicco is our current neo fascist society one can’t matter energy transport from San Fransisco to anarchism (at least not as a society) one must begin a long journey. Something like a flat tax may only get you just outside of the San Fran city limits but at least you are heading east instead of into the Pacific.

        What would I do if I had the power to do what ever I wanted with taxes? Implement a 10 deconstruction plan dismantling all but the most essential rolls of government. Implement a plan for SSI that paid full benefits to those over 55, paid partial benefits to those over 45 and allowed anyone under 45 to rapidly buy freedom from the failed system and phase out SSI 100% as the failure it is.

        To fund the rest of the government and we do need some (for now) I would institute a small national sales tax, say 5%, tell congress to figure it out because they have only a decade until that is all that is left and rock on.

        Now my path is to slow for many purists, yet it is WAY to fast to be accepted by the current sheeple, so if you want to get the damn car at least in gear we have to start somewhere. I can’t drag society to freedom, they have to want it and frankly to believe it is possible.

        This is why I call myself a personal libertarian and a part time anarchist. I am not waiting for society but I am also aware that I can’t be free if confined to a cell, so I obey the house rules when in “society’s house” but live my way in principle at all times and in practice at all times that are practical to do so.

        But if society is to start that same journey, we need an incremental approach for everyone else. Frankly society has been caged up in a zoo for generations and many seem to just want to open all the doors at one time, sadly that can’t be done and the carnage created if it happens will be massive.

        Worse my fear is the tyrants will hold on so long to this fallacy that they should control others. That they can play games with money and power and get away with it forever. I am telling you that one day the locks on the doors are just going to fail on their own.

        When they do, I just hope people have been listening to me and acting on it.

  4. Great show. As a reformed democrat/liberal, it is really nice to hear someone speak like this. I still have my ‘liberal values’ but I find libertarian/anarchist is more accurate for me. It seems that today only libertarians have true liberal values, and when I look at both parties, only libertarians have true conservative values. The american left & right are only about winning & fighting the ‘other side.’

  5. A border fence is not just about keeping the people out, but just might be used to keep you and your “money” (gold,silver, etc…) IN…

  6. I think the disclaimer, I’m not a doctor…. before starting to give an opinion about vaccines is completely wrong. What the hell do medical doctors know about chemistry and biology aside from a few required courses to get through medical school. The correct disclaimer should start with, I’m not a chemist or a biologist…blah, blah, blah. Those guys would probably now more about the subject matter since they research it for a living.

    I once asked my kids’ doc about the correlation between increased autism cases since the introduction of the MMR vaccine. Her response was dismissive of my concern: Something to the effect of there is no evidence that vaccines cause autism to which I replied, is there evidence that they don’t? Of course, she had no answer, professional or personal.

  7. Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    – Winston Churchill

  8. Absolutely fabulous show! I just forwarded this to everyone that I think will listen including my district superintendent from my church district.
    Can’t say enough good about this one.

  9. I really enjoyed the show and the discussion but if I were one of the herd, I don’t think Shawn would be the person to give me that awakening that America needs. Jack, I think you would be much more suited to do something like this. Nothing against Shawn but he sounded just a little too gee golly and the herd will write him off before he really gets started. But yes, I understand that he is at least doing something and I’m not bashing him at all. I’m just playing devil’s advocate.

  10. Hello love this episode. I am one of a few crazy folks that want to stay in an oppressed state like NJ. One of the reasons I want to stay in the heart of Jersey City, NJ is to help change the system from within. I am in process of starting a nonprofit to help people, that were placed in our “for-profit” prison systems, reenter society without having to deal with a stupid nonviolent conviction. I understand the issues that face us here in NJ but believe in EVERY community. I am working with, not against, City Hall to make some changes. I still am preparing for this place to go to sh!t but until it does I am trying to build here in JCNJ what Shawn Hipskind wants to do to in Arkansas.

    • Dennis, I worked in construction for many years, and saw drug laws damage people much more than the drugs. Instead of helping people, they damage them financially by putting them further behind. Fines, jail time, and felony charges are hard to overcome when you are still trying to establish your life.

  11. Hardline libertarian/minarchist from Nor Cal here, belly of the beast. IMO the fine line with personal liberties is fighting off the special interest groups when promoting outside of the current Government borg. Obviously gay marriage is a big issue here on the left coast and I could care less about who marries who, knock yourselves out. The emotionally “mature” gay people I’ve known could benefit from this, marry and go about their lives like everyone else…but it’s the nut-job Tom Amiano types that take these small steps toward freedoms and suddenly manage to pass laws allowing schoolchildren to use the restrooms/showers/locker rooms based on their “sexual identity” not if they have a wang or a hoo-hoo. It is at that point that we come to the scary realization that we depend on the hordes of sheeple to see what is going on and deny such actions, that this is not about equality and kindness, but straight up fucking whack-jobs who somehow were voted into power. …and my faith in my fellow voter is not strong these days…dammit California…

  12. Questions for the zero dollar campaign questionnaire.
    1. Our government has a responsibility to-
    A. Follow the will of the people.
    B. Follow the will of elected officials.
    C. Follow the will of the president.
    D. Protect the rights of the individual.
    I like this question, because I believe there is only one correct answer. The reason why our government was established was to protect the rights of the individual. Natural rights should not be taken away by the majority, the president, or elected officials. My answer is D.

  13. Questions for the zero dollar campaign questionnaire.

    2. Government has a responsibility to protect an individual from themselves. True or False.

    I think this question is to vague. The question would need to be more specific.

    2. Government needs to pass drug laws to protect an individual from themselves. True or False.

    My answer would be false. If a person has a drug problem, we could help them. We should not cause more problems by putting them in jail, giving them fines, and making them felons.

  14. wow this was such a great interview! it flowed so well.

    shawn, even though it sounds like you don’t think you’ll win, i hope you do. i think we need more ‘reluctant’ politicians. then they’ll do what’s right instead of what needs to be done for power.

  15. I have to say, Jack, that I’m a bit disappointed at how you guys both waffled the discussion of smoking bans in restaurants and bars.

    Let me qualify this first by saying that I am a former smoker and my father has health issues related to smoking. I don’t think people should smoke. I also think it’s none of anyone’s damn business what I do or allow anyone else to do on my property.

    I was active in the bar and nightclub scene when Houston passed the ordinance banning smoking in restaurants and bars and I attended one of the hearings prior to them shoving it down everyone’s throat.

    The vast majority of property owners were against a ban, even those who did not like smokers. The reason was primarily, “It’s my property, it should be my choice.”

    The pro-ban contingent was comprised of a few restaurant owners and a whole lot of whiners from MD Anderson Cancer Center who admitted, when asked by a city council member, that they didn’t even frequent bars and nightclubs to begin with. The same council member asked one of the pro-ban nightclub owners if non-smoking was so in-demand, why he didn’t just ban smoking in his own establishment and shouldn’t all the non-smokers come running?

    The answer was that he had tried but nobody came. He couldn’t compete with the bars that allowed smoking.


    So he could not compete in a free market so he allied himself with people who had nothing to do with that market and got the government to pass a law making everyone else comply with his desires.

    But it smells good? It’s really nice? That’s your opinion on it?

    And as for the employees. Here’s the world’s smallest violin playing “for the waitresses.” They knew what was up when they applied.

    How would you like it if an employee forced you to paint your building because the current color gave her a headache? Even though it was that color when she applied and has been this whole time? But rather than go work somewhere else she goes and gets men with guns to stand there and force you to paint the building?

    Same thing.

    In a world where we recognize property rights, we also recognize that people might do things on that property that we don’t like. It’s not my right to force you to change to suit me.

    Not in a free society anyway.

    • As Shawn pointed out you got it completely wrong, sorry man this isn’t even worth responding to. It is clear you heard what you expected to vs. what was said.

  16. Scarydad I just listened to that section again, and I said it should come down to the employers decision. Then I went on to say that I like going into restaurants that have no smoking. That was not meant to be an endorsement of the law, sorry if it came off that way.

    Directly after that Jack said we need to be careful about restricting people’s rights just because we may like a law. (Paraphrasing)

  17. Ultimately you both did, but what I meant by waffling was how you were both very… Ehhhhhhhhh……. Well…….. You know…….

    I understand how it might be difficult to have to take an opposite position to an ordinance or a tax that you may personally prefer. It just seems to me to be a very clear cut issue that any libertarian would see is government interference in markets and property rights.

    It would, of course, be different now if one were to attempt to repeal these laws. There are employees who have since come on board with the expectation that smoking is not allowed and to allow it again would definitely ruffle some feathers. And rightly so.

    Everything else I was on board with you 100%. That one just seemed to have too much hesitation.

    • The interview was not scripted or rehearsed. I have never heard the argument from the point of view of the employee. That is why there was a moment of hesitation.

      • Gee Shawn so when presented with a new view point and a factual argument that you hadn’t heard before you took time to consider it before responding? That is very unlibertarian of you! LMAO Seriously do we need another politician carefully considering subjects that impact liberty before making a decision. The irony is juicy here, wow, just wow.

  18. Wait. What? I can’t respond directly to Jack?

    I didn’t “hear what I expected” to hear. Quite the opposite. I heard a very influential man, whom I respect very much, and a political candidate hesitate and stutter when an issue came up where the existing laws happen to coincide with their preferences.

    What I expected to hear, after listening to Jack snap so many gaskets over the years, was an immediate and harsh admonition of government overreach and weak citizenry.

    So, no, I didn’t just hear what I “expected” to hear. Because if I had heard what I expected, I would have been content and would not have felt the need to write all that other crap.

    • Yes you did, soon as you didn’t get exactly what you expected you choose to hear what you think that means. I never said laws like that were good, I actually pointed out that just because you like a law doesn’t make it right.

      I also pointed out something most of us libertarians don’t want to discuss and we need to.

      We always say some version of this, “The only laws that should exist should be to prevent the rights of individuals from being violated by others or to prevent one individual from harming another against his will”.

      Likely you will agree with that?

      So why in a public place should I be harmed by you blowing your toxic smoke around my children? Then BOY doesn’t that slope get slippery fast?

      Is a restaurant public? No. Do employees there have rights? Yes. Is the employee required to work for a specific employer? No.

      What I did was drop something on Shawn he never considered and waited to see where he would end up. And where exactly did he end up?

      I believe he said, “well, may be if we just stayed out of that employees that don’t want to work in a smoke filled environment won’t work there and employers who want the best employees or any employees might change that to get them back”.

      Which by the way would be the TEXT BOOK libertarian answer.

    • I believe the Libertarian Party of Arkansas decided not to have a candidate for Governor during their state convention. Many Libertarians are supporting Curtis Coleman.

      • Kenny, the libertarians are going to nominate a candidate for governor during the 2014 convention. Curtis Colman is fiscally conservative, but he is not a libertarian.