A very in depth piece.
Libertarian Dan Barber is finishing up an extended tour in Southwest Georgia and heading back to the ATL even as we post this. Be sure to check out his facebook page or website for details of his schedule for the next few days and if you can hear him in person, you'll vote for him on 2 NOV 10.
Vote for Libertarian Dan Barber for Lt Governor!
An Interview with Dan Barber by Corey Parson
Q: How can you as Lieutenant Governor help dig Georgia out of the hole it is in? What solutions can you provide to help boost our small businesses and create jobs?
A: The old context would believe the solution to our debt problem in Georgia is to increase the tax burden on businesses and business owners to close the gap. The old context would change the rules and regulations for businesses, making it harder for them to operate.
The nature of the hole as I see it is that we are running jobs, companies and opportunities out of Georgia because of the amount of burden on the middle class. The harder it is for a business to start up or move to Georgia, the less competition there is in the market which leads to higher prices which hurts the wallets of the middle class. This makes the middle class less likely to spend their money, time, and effort on investments in local businesses. It is a vicious cycle that we can break free of.
The new context takes a different approach. To get out of the hole, we have to promote freedom in the market. Keep the rules the same so that entrepreneurs know how to play the game. The rules are changing so fast that the business owners cannot keep up. Government needs to get out of the way of the free market. Ideally, I would love to go to a fair tax system, get rid of property taxes and the like. This in and of itself would bring people and businesses to Georgia. The politicians then wouldn’t have the cut deals like they did under the old context. They won’t have to beg for companies to come to Georgia. They will flock here. I won’t stand in your way. You have the right to earn money and keep it. The government must provide simpler rules and regulations and let businesses do what they do best, create jobs and make money.
Q: You mentioned on your website that Georgia needs to cut spending. Where do you propose we should make those cuts?
A: There are plenty of items in Georgia’s budget that can be cut. Examples of this are all of the projects the government wants to spend money on to bring businesses to Georgia, construction projects like building centers and Hall of Fames, etc. Why are we spending money to bring businesses to Georgia? It is unnecessary. It is counter-productive. We can cut these projects and bring more businesses to Georgia by lessening their tax burdens, creating clear regulations, and getting out of their way. This plan not only cuts spending, it also creates local jobs and increases competition which helps the middle class.
Q: On your website, you have mentioned the use of vouchers and charter schools to help our students succeed. How does that work?
A: The way it is now, we have the public school system which is divided into districts. We also have the private school system which is under strict regulation from the government. Parents who send their children to public school have no choice which school their children go to. It depends on where they live. The State must ensure an education system exists, but it doesn’t have to run it. Vouchers and charter schools give parents the opportunity to choose where their kids go to school based on what their values are. The options should be endless. It is in our children’s best interest to mold the school system in the form of the free market. As it is now, there are too many regulations on private schools; they are unable to compete with the public school system. If the unnecessary red tape was eliminated, private schools would be able to compete and the competition would drive down cost. If both public and private schools had to compete with each other for students, they would have to raise the bar in regards to the education they provide. The student success rate would skyrocket.
Q: How will eliminating the IRS help Georgians? How will you as Lieutenant Governor put this plan into motion?
A: A fair tax is a tax you choose to pay. With the system we have now, you make a certain amount of money and you are charged an income tax. When the government prints more money, the value of every dollar in the system goes down. That is one more tax on every dollar you have that you have already paid taxes for! A fair tax system does not use force like our current system.
Force has no place under the trade system we have. I can’t force you to work for me or buy from me. I can’t prevent you from competing with me. It is the government’s job to keep force out of the free market. With a fair tax, you can buy goods that are not tax-imbedded. The only tax you pay is for what you decide to buy. The force is taken out of taxes. I believe people are ready for this kind of change. They are tired of working for the government for months before they are able to keep the money they make. One option we have at the state level that can set this into motion would be to eliminate the state income tax.
Q: There will be new legislation passed that will set state standards for noncompete clauses where it had previously been judged on a case-by-case basis. What are your thoughts on this? What would that mean for Georgia’s free market?
A: This kind of legislation says “You can’t quit your job without dire consequences. You cannot go out into the market and try to find better opportunities.” This will attract the wrong kind of businesses to Georgia, those who use force. Those kinds of businesses need lots of regulations and find loopholes to take advantage of the system. This is the kind of legislation we must fight to ensure what is best for Georgians and the free market in our state. This is also an example of why we must have simple, straight-forward rules in place to attract the right kind of businesses and ensure competition.
Q: How can Georgians get more involved to help improve Georgia?
A: The current government is creating a nanny state. It doesn’t allow people to progress. This gives politicians and the government power over the people. Georgians must remember they are the source of all the values. They are not the recipient. Values come from the bottom up not the top down. Proper leadership can shift the context. These leaders can give the power back to the people. You can solve this problem. You are where all the answers come from. You provide the solutions. Freedom requires responsibility. Responsibility requires thinking. Thinking requires freedom to think. I want to help Georgians better themselves and be able to take care of themselves with as little government intervention as possible.
It is my hope to shed some light on these problems we are facing. We have been in the dark for so long, simply accepting what we are given. It is time we open our eyes and take back our power.
I admire our young people who are breaking away and really researching the options in front of them in politics and business. The highlight of my campaign was when I had the opportunity to speak to a class of high school students. When I came in, a quarter of the students were sleeping with their heads on their desks. I started talking about freedom and how their minds are the most important things in the room, but they only work when they are free. When enslaved, the mind only works on the level of survival. A mind must be free to think, to have ideas, to create, to make life and society better. The students woke up and started asking some of the most amazing questions. They opened their eyes. They realized they are not a collective, but a group of independents, each offering their own skills and talents.
The movement from the old way of government to the new context may appear intimidating. But, there is something there for everyone. We just have to open our eyes to see it.