Friday, March 24, 2006

Consequentialism and Libertarianism

Miron makes an excellent case for pragmatic libertarianism. Here's an excerpt:

To begin, the consequential approach allows one to distinguish moderately bad policies from really bad policies. Drug prohibition is a terrible policy from the consequential perspective because it generates a black market and all the attendant negatives. Moderate sin taxation, however, does not create a black market This does not mean sin taxation is a good idea; it harms responsible drug users by raising drug prices. But the ratio of benefits to costs from moderate sin taxation is likely better than for prohibition. Thus consequential libertarians can feel comfortable encouraging sin taxation over prohibition, even if they have reservations about sin taxation itself.