July 31, 2011
Dear Mr. Will,
Your column titled "America becomes Libertarian" is way off
base. I live in East Lansing, Michigan and the snow is plowed
quickly, power outages are dealt with quickly by a local publically
owned public utility, and the parks are maintained. I receive
my state tax refunds within two weeks, and I register my car and
renew my license on line. My Social Security check is deposited in
my account on time each month, my Medicare issues are dealt with
quickly and politely, the mail is delivered six times a week
without incident, and I have never had any problems with the
I spent half my career in the private sector and half in the
public sector and public sector workers were just as dedicated and
competent as private sector workers.
Almost all my unpleasant experiences have been with the private
sector. Double billing by restaurants and others, being signed up
and charged for services I don't want, furniture delivered weeks
late, warranties not honored due to fine print, and surly,
uninformed store clerks.
We had a Libertarian society at the turn of the last century.
The average life expectancy was 47, the workplace death rate was 37
times the current rate, the air and water were polluted, poison
drugs were sold that killed hundreds, young children worked in
factories and mines, women could not vote, Jim Crow laws keep
African-Americans virtually enslaved, as late as the 1950s 40% of
seniors lived below the poverty line, the average wage in today's
dollars was $5, 1% of the population controlled 50% of the wealth,
and free enterprise did not result in more competition as
businesses colluded, fixed prices, and established monopolies. The
only people doing well were white, rich men.
I do not look forward to a country controlled by people like
Bernie Madoff, Dennis Kozlowski, Richard Fuld, Angelo Mozilla
and companies like Enron and Worldcom, to mention only a few.
Unlike you, most Americans do not want to repeal the