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Wisconsin’s racial inequality has consistently been ranked as worst in the country. Year after year, the racial disparity of income has been so vast, it’s difficult not to notice. Why is that?
Well first off, Wisconsin incarcerates more minorities than any other state in the union. That should be alarming. When anyone gets incarcerated, the first thing it does is ruin that person’s chance of better employment, because employers are less likely to hire convicted felons; or those with a string of misdemeanors on their record. Once you get into the state system, it’s difficult to get out. Those who serve jail time are often due restitution after their time served; so even if the state claims they “paid their debt to society,” they haven’t yet paid their debt to society; they may have $20,000-$30,000 in debt pay off; keeping them poor and keeping convicts away from any opportunity of recovery.
What offenses are minorities being convicted for? In 2013 an article, NPR broke down some hard numbers. The numbers are skewered by the city of Milwaukee - a city that is known to be the most segregated city in America. Milwaukee, a city that grew from its heavy German socialist roots, can be seen on maps as a place where you can draw a line right on the highway to show exactly where minorities live vs where whites live. Also, roughly a third of these are considered to be non-violent offenses. While non-violent offenses include theft and vandalism, it also includes things such as unpaid parking tickets, driving with expired tabs or un-registered vehicles, speeding, etc. In 2011, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel analyzed 46,000 traffic stops and found that minorities get stopped more than whites do inside city limits. The result was staggering, in fact - a black person is seven times more likely to get pulled over than a white person. This was an even greater disparity than southern cities like in Charlotte North Carolina.
Lastly to note, the other lion’s share of these convictions, per NPR’s analysis, shows the offenses are drug-related offenses.
Does this mean that minorities are using drugs more often than whites, though? Not at all. This can simply mean that minorities are being convicted more of drug offenses, while turning a softer eye towards whites. In fact, a recent study by Duke University, published in Archives of General Psychiatry, discovered that whites abuse drugs more than minorities, not less. Despite controlled variables of socioeconomic status, substance abuse rates turned out to be 9.0% for whites, 7.7% for Hispanics, 5% for African Americans and 3.5% for Asians and Pacific Islanders. And seeing that whites are a majority, 9% of whites are millions more than 5% of blacks. A 2010 study by the ACLU actually confirms that blacks are multiple times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana. This arrest rate is higher in Waukesha county nearby. The conclusion of the study is a heavy recommendation to legalize marijuana to alleviate this disparity.
These are telling statistics that paint a rather disturbing picture of our state. It means police could very well be racial profiling, while also exploiting the war on drugs to keep minorities both in prison and poor.
What can be done, then?
Two clear, simple things that can be done is both end the war on drugs and end racial profiling within the police force. Incarceration cripples anyone’s chances of both opportunity and growing wealth over time. Police need to stop spending their time jailing people that may or may not have addiction issues and spend more time actually tracking down murderers, rapists, thieves, vandals and con artists - people who are actual criminals.
But one element not often talked about is how the police are using traffic stops to both invade our privacy and become revenue generators for the state. Along with additional training of our police force to educate annually (or even twice a year) about the importance of racial harmony between the police and the community, we need to see a sea change in how the police patrols our roads. Thankfully, Milwaukee has taken steps in that route, issuing less than half the tickets they did ten years ago. But that hasn’t alleviated where they enforce those tickets - according to Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn, police are conducting more traffic stops in “high crime neighborhoods” but issuing less tickets. High crime neighborhoods are, right now, those neighborhoods where they issue more arrests for drugs, which is de facto going off of older historical data pointing at racial profiling data. And even if they are issuing less traffic tickets, they can use these stops to search for drugs and arrest for drugs instead.
Remove the drug war, remove the crime. Less crime, less incentive to stop more people in traffic, less people in jail, less arrests, less people in the system, less debt, and we see that racial gap close up rather quickly.
Marijuana economic potentials aside, it’s evident the drug war along with racial profiling is keeping Wisconsin as an incarceration machine for minorities - and keeping them poor. The Libertarian Party of Wisconsin endorses the state to end the war on drugs entirely; and end racial profiling entirely from our police force. It’s an embarrassment to our great state to have our state government to perpetuate racial tensions and racial disparity. Let’s stop putting minorities in jail, shall we?
In July, the headline read, Gov. Scott Walker Signs 11 Bills Investing Millions In Drug Treatment Programs.
Libertarians believe Wisconsin government, once again, chose the wrong solution for a growing problem. The Libertarian solution is “More Freedom, Less Government.” We should try it.
Mark Thornton of the Ludwig von Mises Institute attributes the crisis to the following four causes.
- Drug Prohibition
- The Iron Law of Prohibition
- Government intervention in the economy
- Aggressive marketing of opioid painkillers to doctors
Thornton recommends two simple, inexpensive acts which would solve the problem.
- End prohibition of hard drugs
- Re-legalize cannabis
“The Opioid epidemic is killing more than 30,000 Americans a year. For most experts, the epidemic is a mystery with regard to its cause and solution. A little progress has been made, but to really eliminate the problem we need to legalize drugs, reduce the size of government, and increase freedom in our lives.”
By Nichols Sarwark, LP National Committee Chair
After toppling the Afghan government almost sixteen years ago, the United States entered into nation building thinking that it would help improve corners of the world that terrorists find inviting. Our country has spent hundreds of billions of dollars and lost thousands of lives in these futile efforts.
According to Forbes: "Since [the initial] intervention in the aftermath of 9/11, roughly 2,400 American military personnel have died and more than 20,000 been wounded attempting to bring democracy to Central Asia. Some 3,500 military contractors have been killed, along with more than 1,100 allied personnel. Overall the US has poured more than $800 billion into the war. Set aside the costs of combat. The US has spent $117.3 billion on relief and 'reconstruction,' that is, attempting to create a functioning state in Afghanistan."
Despite all of this sacrifice and hard work, nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan has been a failure. No matter how sophisticated our military is and no matter how much we sacrifice, nation building is far more difficult than our politicians believed. Not only that, it may create more terrorists than it quells.Read more
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Government of the United States should immediately begin a transition to a foreign policy that includes:
- Rejecting the role of “policeman of the world,” ceasing military and covert intervention in the affairs of foreign countries, and using military force only when absolutely necessary to protect U.S. sovereignty, territory, and vital interests, narrowly defined;
- Substantially reducing the more than 700 U.S. military installations around the world;
- Curtailing the bloated military budget, allowing resources to be redirected towards cutting the deficit, cutting taxes, investing in America, or any other use as Americans see fit;
- Reducing the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal to a minimum deterrent level, and fully supporting the implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty;
- Emphasizing diplomacy, law, and cooperation in international relations and dispute resolution;
- Upholding civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution; and
- Reining in executive military action.
Can an industry infected with group think be trusted to police the marketplace of ideas?
Patrick Baird libertarianfederalist.com
In the wake of violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, sparked by the “Unite the Right” rally, there were the usual calls to redefine free speech. A New York Times piece, “The ACLU Needs to Rethink Free Speech,” written by housing attorney K-Sue Park, was typical. Park repeats the progressive notion that historically oppressed groups lack access to an equal playing field when it comes to expression, therefore defending the free speech rights of others outside these groups are inherently biased. Most hilariously, Park uses the example of cowed and terrified left-wing college professors suffering at the hands of the vast right-wing conspiracy.
That wasn’t enough for some, however. Within days, numerous participants in the “Unite the Right” had been publicly identified and were subjected to attempts to go after their employment. Many did wind up losing their jobs. Progressives defend this practice by stating that public shaming is a relatively benign means of expressing community norms and eliminating noxious views from society.Read more
“The most effective way to destroy a people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” George Orwell
For over a century, we have been able to honor Americans who fought each other in America’s most tragic and deadliest war. Now, Madison’s Mayor Soglin, using war rhetoric from a century and a half ago, said he didn’t want to give “reverence for the Confederate insurrection and treason against the United States,” while ordering the vandalism of markers for dead Confederate soldiers at a Madison cemetery.
Confederate soldiers were fighting for independence from what the Union had become, just as American revolutionaries fought for independence from Great Britain. In the South, the “Civil War” is known as the War for Southern Independence. It was not an “insurrection.” Confederates didn’t want to take over the Union; they wanted to leave it. That wasn’t “treason.” (The crime of attempting to overthrow the government.) The Union invaded the Confederacy, not the other way around.
[Note: Do those Confederate POWs look like slave owners?]
Libertarian National Committee Executive Director Wes Benedict issued the following statement:
The Libertarian Party condemns bigotry as irrational and repugnant, and offers its condolences to the family of the woman killed in Charlottesville, Va.
There is no room for racists and bigots in the Libertarian Party. If there are white nationalists who — inappropriately — are members of the Libertarian Party, I ask them to submit their resignations today. We don’t want them to associate with the Libertarian Party, and we don’t want their money. I’m not expecting many resignations, because our membership already knows this well.
The Libertarian Party Platform states, “We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Government should neither deny nor abridge any individual’s human right based upon sex, wealth, ethnicity, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference, or sexual orientation.”
The Libertarian Party is tolerant and accepting, supporting civil liberties, gay marriage, and freedom of religion for all, including Jews, Muslims, Christians, and atheists. The Libertarian Party supports open borders, civil liberties, racial diversity, and free trade — things that white nationalists abhor.Read more
“If recurring federal government shutdowns and debt crises teach us anything, it is that the words of career politicians, regardless of party, need to be examined with care: They need to be parsed. Debates among Badger State partisans over Wisconsin job trends and economic health, not to mention state budget and tax policy, have certainly required close examination.” Todd Berry, Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance
Once again we see politicians trying to manipulate Wisconsin’s economy and taxpayers with a scheme to pick winners and losers in the economy.
“The path to jobs that matter is the free market.” Walter Block
Foxconn gets sweet tax deals and a pass on some regulations. What about all the Wisconsin companies, large and small, who have continued to try to make a profit, meet a payroll, pay corporate taxes, and comply with regulations? They don’t get special treatment. Wisconsin has lost employers and jobs because of that.
“In a free market, jobs are created by profit seeking businesses with access to capital. Unfortunately Government taxes and regulation diminish profits, and deficit spending and artificially low interest rates inhibit capital formation.” Peter Schiff
Lately, some Wisconsin communities have announced successful "prostitution stings." Why stings? Because prostitution is a victimless crime so there are no victims to file a police report.
Libertarians hold strong views when it comes to sensitive issues such as drug use and prostitution that may or may not be popular with the rest of the world. They see prostitution as a form of self expression and something that the government and even established religion cannot and should not touch.
Libertarian Views on Prostitution:
The general consensus among libertarians is that prostitution is a victimless crime, an activity between two consenting adults. The act of having sex should not be the subject of regulation, even if the act does not involve love or if it involves the exchange of money. Prostitution is done with consent, and therefore is an activity that signifies a person’s expression of his ownership of his body and the things he or she wants to do with it as long as the act does not infringe on the basic rights of others. In fact, it is strong libertarian beliefs such as these that are fueling the drive to repeal regulations on sex by consenting adults.
Prostitution as Trade:
Libertarians take it another step further by viewing prostitution as the voluntary sale of goods or exchange of services. The concept of self ownership applies here as well, since you cannot sell or offer for rent anything that you do not own. Individuals have the right to offer their own labor services without any interference from the state or from organized religion. As long as the transaction is voluntary, there is no reason why government should intervene. Any interference would constitute a violation of the personal liberties of the persons whose rights are being restricted.Read more