Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Audacity of Reason

Welcome to the inaugural posting of The Audacity of Reason. Its primary purpose is to advocate the reasonable application of economics and law within the public policy arena. As the title implies, I believe that reasonableness is sorely lacking in modern politics. “Reasonable” is, of course, a dangerously ambiguous term, so the integrity of this blog demands that I provide at least a brief ideological synopsis so you understand what I believe “reasonable” is. Although I cannot encapsulate my ideology within a few paragraphs, this should at least give you an idea of where I’m coming from:
  • Politically, I’m a libertarian-leaning Republican based upon the core notion that the primary role of a just government is to protect the people from one another and foreign invaders while restraining itself from meddling in the people’s private affairs. Conversely, I reject the paternalistic view that the government should protect the people from themselves.
  • Economically, I believe supply-side economics is the best path to prosperity and individual liberty. This includes advocacy of low taxes, minimal government, balanced budgets, free trade, and price stability. I believe each of these basic tenets has greater potential to alleviate poverty and promote prosperity than any government program ever could.
  • Legally, I advocate a strict textualist interpretation of the Constitution based upon the original understanding of its provisions, to the degree we can divine such an understanding from the historical record. Consequently, I generally reject the idea of a “living constitution” because a constitution that means whatever we want it to mean really doesn’t mean very much at all. I do, however, keep an open mind for interpreting provisions whose original meaning is unclear.
I hope this elucidates my core political, economic, and legal values. You may be wondering why I don’t have much to say about foreign policy, and that is because I simply don’t know enough about it to discuss it in great detail. My law school education qualifies me to discuss law, and my interest in reading about economics qualifies me to discuss economics. I do have certain ideological predilections when it comes to foreign policy, but I don’t keep up with it as much as I should, so I won’t waste your time by blogging about topics in where I lack a very sophisticated understanding.

With that being said, I’m really looking forward to this opportunity not just to post my views, but to read your comments. I have utmost confidence in the propriety of my opinions, but I recognize that intelligent people can view the same facts very differently, and therefore reach very different conclusions. These topics may lead to heated discussions, but as long as we do our best to maintain a respectful atmosphere, I believe we will all benefit from an ongoing dialogue.

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