2018 Platform Committee Report
Pursuant to Article VIII of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin Bylaws, the Platform Committee reports that the following proposals were submitted by members of LPWI and approved by the committee for recommendation to the 2018 State Convention. Appendix A includes one proposal that was not recommended by the committee, but is being moved by its author for consideration by the convention under the terms of Article VIII. For reference, the current text of the Platform is attached as Appendix B.
Andy Craig, Chair
PROPOSAL 1: Adopt amended Education plank
We advocate the elimination of all state and federal involvement in education. We believe that parents should have control over, and responsibility for, the education of their children, including directing any funds for that purpose to the educational options of their choosing. We support private schools, homeschooling, open enrollment, and the expansion of school choice in Wisconsin.
PROPOSAL 2: Adopt amended Welfare plank
We strongly support all private and voluntary charity, including mutual aid and fraternal societies, religious and secular non-profits, and the work of dedicated individuals across Wisconsin who assist those in need. Accordingly, we oppose all laws that limit, hinder, or crowd-out these efforts. We oppose the expansion of taxpayer-funded welfare programs, as unjustified and ineffective. We support efforts to phase out these failed government programs.
PROPOSAL 3: Adopt amended Taxes plank
Because taxation is fundamentally a violation of property rights, we advocate phasing out all state and federal taxes including but not limited to taxes on incomes, personal property, real property, corporations, and businesses, along with corresponding decreases in the size of government.
PROPOSAL 4: Relabel current Preface as Conclusion and move it to the end of Platform
PROPOSAL 5: Create new plank titled Crony Capitalism
We oppose the granting of subsidies, tax credits, special privileges, etc., on private individuals, businesses, corporations, or industries by the government, including in the name of “economic development” or “job creation.” We believe that lower taxes and regulatory costs should be extended across the board to all businesses in Wisconsin, on an equal basis, and that the government picking winners and losers in the market is a recipe for corruption. We advocate the abolition of the government economic development corporations, and oppose the uses of special tax districts to fund private for-profit projects such as stadiums and arenas.
PROPOSAL 6: Create new plank titled Agriculture
We advocate a free, dynamic agriculture market with every possible and desirable crop being produced and sold using any method that meets with the approval of the buying public that does not spread external harm. Private sector labeling must be allowed to replace government-mandated labeling — consumers will be better served with competitive certification and labels and the ability to reject products whose labeling fails to meet their personal standards. Private individuals or corporations must bear full responsibility for damages they inflict on their neighbors with unwanted externalities including pesticides, herbicides, and genetic modifications.
PROPOSAL 7: Create new platform plank titled Military
We oppose the United States acting as a policeman for the world, and seek an end to the foreign policy of military interventionism. The purpose of a military should be limited to defending the borders of the United States from attack. We call for the withdrawal from commitments to engage in war on behalf of other governments. We seek that the United States cease the creation and maintenance of American installations and bases in other countries, and American military troops stationed overseas to be withdrawn.
PROPOSAL 8: Create new platform plank titled Energy
We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, distribution, and production. We oppose all government subsidies for energy research, development, and operation. We support abolition of the Department of Energy. All government-owned energy resources should be returned to private ownership.
PROPOSAL 9: Delete existing plank “Treating Adults As Children”
PROPOSAL 10: Delete existing plank “State Mandates”
The following proposal was not given a positive recommendation by the committee, and so is not included in the above report. Under the LPWI Bylaws Article VIII its author, Adam Markert, has exercised his option to move it himself. Per the Bylaws, this proposal will therefore be considered by the convention after the proposals that received positive recommendations from the committee.
This proposal is to repeal the entirety of the current platform, and replace it in full with the following:
Libertarian Party of Wisconsin Platform
Life, Liberty and Property.
As Libertarians, we defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. We seek a world of liberty, in which all individuals control their own lives and are never forced to compromise their values or sacrifice their property.
We advocate for Life, Liberty and Property.
1. Life. We believe all individuals have the right to control their own lives and live in whatever manner they choose, as long as they do not interfere with the identical rights of others.
2. Liberty. We believe individuals should be free from tyranny, force, violence and coercion from any form of government. If individuals allow a government to exist, it is only to protect the people from actual foreign or domestic threats to their lives and freedom and protection of their unalienable individual rights.
3. Property. We believe the fundamental right of individuals to own property and to enjoy the rewards of their just earnings should not be compromised.
CURRENT LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF WISCONSIN PLATFORM
As Libertarians, we defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest and we welcome the diversity that freedom brings. We seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals control their own lives and are never forced to compromise their values or sacrifice their property. We believe that no conflict exists between civil order and individual rights and that individuals, groups, or governments should not initiate force against other individuals, groups, or governments.
Life - We believe that all individuals have the right to control their own lives and live in whatever manner they choose, as long as they do not interfere with the identical rights of others.
Liberty - The only proper functions of government are the protection of the people from actual foreign or domestic threats to their lives and freedoms; and the protection of their individual rights, namely -- life, property, and liberty of speech and action.
Property - The only economic system compatible with the protection of individual human rights is the free market; therefore, the fundamental right of individuals to own property and to enjoy the rewards of their just earnings should not be compromised.
While members of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin advocate abolishing laws governing certain voluntary behaviors, this does not necessarily imply endorsement of such behaviors. We only make the statement that in such matters an individual's right to free choice must be recognized and the morality of such choices is not a concern of government. It follows that our silence regarding any other government activity should not be interpreted as implying our approval of such activity.
We advocate phasing out taxes on incomes, personal property, and real property, along with corresponding decreases in the size of government. We advocate phasing out taxes on corporations and businesses.
We advocate limits on the time any elected official may serve in office.
We advocate election law reforms that make it easier for the people to nominate and finance the election of the candidates of their choice.
Treating Adults as Children
We believe laws mandating automobile insurance, use of seat belts and helmets, minimum wage, and curfews hamper individual freedom and the responsibility that must go with it. We further believe that laws restricting such things as cruising and tattoos trivialize the law and breed disrespect for it.
We believe that state mandates, such as the Binding Arbitration Law, are unreasonable burdens on those who must comply with and pay for them. They only represent the desires of special interest groups and their advocates in the legislature. When these mandates are unfunded they become even more unacceptable. This belief also applies to education and the free market.
We believe the right to keep and bear arms should not be infringed. We therefore oppose all laws which tax or otherwise restrict the ownership, open or concealed carry, manufacture, transfer, or sale of firearms or ammunition. We further oppose all laws requiring registration of firearms. We also cannot ignore the clear lessons from history of the suffering which can fall upon a disarmed people.
Children and Family
We believe that children are a special group of citizens possessing fundamental rights involving their life and health. However, until they reach the age of legal responsibility, their other rights are limited and their parents or guardians are responsible for their actions and upbringing. Therefore, the rights and authority that parents or guardians need to fulfill their child raising responsibilities must be respected, but never at the expense of the child's life and health.
Since private education is today outperforming public education at half the cost, we call for the phase out of all state and federal involvement in education. We therefore endorse "School Choice".
Today's confusion between a person's material needs and that person's rights has led to our current system of taxpayer provided, government welfare programs. These programs often invade privacy and have proven to be demeaning and inefficient. Welfare is not charity. Charity must be freely given. More charity needs to be substituted for welfare. It is also good to remember that for people to be truly free they must become responsible for their own welfare and actions. We believe that Wisconsinites are generous and with their taxes returned to them would invest in the health and welfare of their communities and their neighbors.
The federal government often uses the threat of withholding "federal" funds to coerce states into specific actions. We strongly urge elected officials of Wisconsin to resist such pressure and applaud them when they do. We believe that this threat violates the U.S. Constitution and the concept of a Republic.
A clean environment is in everyone's interest. Our legal system should protect public and private property from pollution. The right of property owners to prosecute any polluter under trespass, nuisance, and negligence laws should be reinstated. It follows that bureaucracies should not be allowed to harass alleged environmental violators or restrict their direct access to just treatment under the judicial system.
We support the maximum possible privatization of all publicly owned transportation systems and therefore oppose the creation of any new publicly funded or managed transportation systems.
Because only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed "crimes", we favor the repeal of federal, state, and local laws restricting our fundamental freedom to govern our own lives. In particular, we advocate: The repeal of laws restricting the production, sale, possession, or use of prohibited drugs and medicines. The repeal of laws regarding a minimum drinking age which are in conflict with the legally recognized age for maturity and responsibility. The repeal of laws restricting consensual sexual relations between adults. The repeal of laws regulating or prohibiting gambling. The decriminalization of assisted suicide.
We believe the problems with our current health care system are due to government interference and mandates and that any government program to "provide" health care to some at the expense of others will most certainly reduce the overall quality, responsiveness, and individuality of health care for everyone. It would also reduce the influx of the most talented people our society has to offer into the medical profession and diminish the exemplary worldwide progress and leadership our medical system has demonstrated. For these reasons, we advocate the free enterprise system as the only system capable of making quality, affordable, individualized medical care available to all.
We believe that free individuals may not be compelled to authorize the assignment, collection or dissemination of personal and private information on themselves; nor may any rights and privileges available to others be denied to them for using such discretion.