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Welcome to LibertarianDebates!

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Improve Communication & Cooperation This subreddit is intended specifically for improving cooperation, education, and clear communication between various schools of political ideology with libertarian ideology.

Debates between libertarians and non-libertarians tend to run hot on reddit, between downvote brigades and name-calling. None of that is allowed here. This is a neutral ground to actually gain an understanding of both sides of the argument. Both sides often claim that the other side would support their view if they were only informed -- this is where you can find out if that's true.

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3,968 Subscribers


Definition of fascism bu Jason Stanley

17:23 UTC


Would a Libertarian Society have Civil Courts?

If so, what cases would it take?

03:56 UTC


"Nazism" and "fascism" or the attempt to explain the announced war in Europe.

1 Comment
02:52 UTC


Western "democracy" in questions and answers

13:40 UTC


Should GNU Linux be profit driven?

First things first, I am not sure if this subreddit is the adequate one for this question, as this question may be a fairly technical. If that's the case, please tell me more suitable places to post this.

There's a meme that users of open source operating systems believe that this type of software is better than paid alternatives and that a lot of people would be better off using them instead of proprietary OSs (Windows and Mac). If we assume that's the case for the sake of argument, maybe the reason why that doesn't happen is because there is no market incentive for making these systems more widespread?

I am relatively new to this subject, so excuse me if I said something too ignorant.

02:54 UTC

11:15 UTC


Free Speech and Universities, Part III [What Would Hayek Say?]

08:45 UTC

12:26 UTC


As far as I can tell, the libertarian political position is rooted on a certain conception of human rights. I'm looking for some of the arguments/sources for why libertarians hold these positions


As the title says, I'm looking for the basis for the libertarian conception of rights. Namely, the idea of life, liberty and (importantly) property as fundamental human rights in society. Why do libertarians hold this position, particularly in regards to property, but also in general? Why do you regard a person's property as a fundamental right and things like taxation as essentially a form of theft (as opposed to a more leftist perspective that sees property as ultimately communal and private property as just a sort of license to use communal property by the community)?

I have a feeling it's rooted in a certain conception of the nature of humanity and rights, and the idea of labor and resources, but would like to hear it from a libertarian and not speculate myself.


17:28 UTC


If we…?

If we effectively discourage hate and violence then do we have to be vigilant about people saying 'person of colour' instead of 'coloured person'?

21:34 UTC


Why do you think capitalism is freer than socialism?

A socialist system is one in which the people who work control their own workplaces through democratic decision-making. It means that there is no "private property - property that is owned by one person but worked by other people. (There would still be individual things that individuals own, like your personal car or house, obviously.)

What I don't understand is how capitalism could be seen as more liberating than socialism. Aren't I freer if I'm not subject to a boss? Over the course of the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, we slowly transitioned away from aristocracy and monarchy towards political democracy. Why can't we do the same for the business world?

15:46 UTC


Lack of ethics and morals ingrained or embedded in a libertarian framework

Assume a Pro-choice group of libertarians,

What exactly would stop them from selling the aborted/ medically terminated fetuses to a party that's interested in eating them, this is a victimless act/crime (provided abortion is overrided) what would stop this?

Consent is all that matters between two parties, This would mean incest is ok now, there's literally nothing in principle stopping father marrying his daughter. (If you didn't know in some state of america, some dude anonymously asked court the permission for very same or something)

Animals are killed (death is the worst thing upon any being), so sex with animals would be normalised.

If money can buy consent, then you may rape anyone and retroactively nullify it by paying the victim, there is always a price.

Child labour/exploitation exists in a libertarian society, it has infact, I've searched reddit with this keyword and the comments were full of in favour of child labour, I mean wtf?

Eugenics is permissible in this too,

also, if sex is work, and child can labour, what's gonna stop from child sex? huh? Or is child labour exclusive of sex-labour? why? does this imply sex is different from other sort of work that people generally say is undiscernable?

There's a reason libertarians are mocked as pedophiles, low age of consent wanters and child/cheap labour advocates in various forms, including r/pcm

These are just instances of hell unleased in a libertarian society, this is leading to degeneracy. A degenerate society,

How would you stop ANY of this?

edited to ass:

There were instances of libertarians justifying some dude hoarding masks and upselling at 700% i mean wtf?

hypothetically i could hoard all the shit i want and people would die for my greediness, rip

This is as toxic as r/AmItheAsshole

all they care about is, "You are not the asshole, you did not break the law" all people ridicule that sub, "you were not obliged OP, you didnt do wrong" libertarian fails to incentivise caring for other people, it does not regulate greed, now this is sad

15:13 UTC



This section counters the common fiction that the New Deal was a failure or, at best, a well-intentioned but ineffective approach to the catastrophe of the Great Depression. Below you will find short summaries & statistics on key dimensions of economic recovery and social welfare in the 1930s, plus the role of New Deal programs in addressing each problem and the longer-term implications of the New Deal’s beneficial policies.

(Note: This is an ongoing project to which new topics will be added over time)

The Great Depression had brought the country to its economic knees by the time Franklin Roosevelt entered the White House in March 1933. FDR and his team launched the New Deal to help get the country back on its feet. They succeeded, yet the myth persists that the New Deal had little effect on economic recovery and only World War II ended the Depression. 

The proximate cause of the Great Depression was the financial meltdown that began in October 1929. Stock prices nosedived, millions defaulted on mortgage payments, thousands of firms and banks were shuttered. The scariest moments were the Wall Street panic of late 1929 and the bank implosion of early 1933. 

The real economy was going into recession well before Black Friday, but after that shock all hell broke loose. Investment shrank, wages were slashed, layoffs multiplied and consumer demand shriveled, propelling the economy into a downward spiral.  By early 1933, GDP had fallen by half, industrial output by a third, and employment by one-quarter. 

When President Roosevelt took office, the first order of business was to get the country’s financial house in order. The next order of priority was to provide relief and employment was the working people of the country. Along with these material strategies, FDR knew he had to provide a traumatized nation with hope that its problems could be solved and to give the American people a helping hand in getting back on their feet.

As the New Deal took hold, the economy took off, with growth reaching double-digit rates in 1934 and 1936.  By 1937, the Great Recovery had pushed output, income and manufacturing back to 1929 levels.  Then, recession hit in 1937-38, dropping output by a third and driving unemployment back up – in part due to FDR’s wish to return to a balanced budget and the Fed’s desire to tighten up on the money supply (both were mistakes).  After growth resumed in 1939, however, the economy made it all the way back to its long-term trajectory by 1942 (i.e., as if the Depression had not happened). In short, national output and income had fully recovered before the United States entered the Second World War.   https://livingnewdeal.org/the-new-deal-worked/

14:12 UTC


Alabama Juror summons

My time to shine. How long do you think I will last if I openly talk about Jury Nullification?

00:16 UTC


The role of a government

should be whatever a majority of people believe that it should be, and democracy is the only fair way to decide what that is. I think, yeah?

03:45 UTC


In favor of Direct Democracy

You should have the right to have a say in any rule that is enforced upon you and if that rule is going to be decided on by a minority group because they ‘know better’ you should at least be able to cast a vote in favor of vetoing the decision if you believe the decision to be unjust.

Thoughts? If anyone agrees, do you believe that your government actually allows this or are we just complacent and accepting to the fact that there are rules enforced on us that we don't have any say in?

Edit: edited for clarity

07:07 UTC


Anarchy v. Democracy v. Tyranny

When we, as a society, are trying to decide on what rules we should create and how they should be enforced, it seems like there are only 4 possibilities:

  1. We universally agree on the rules

  2. The majority decides the rules

  3. A minority decides the rules

  4. There are no rules

Which do you think we should do? Obviously the first would be ideal, but it doesn't seem like we can come to a universal agreement about anything.

07:11 UTC


What should happen to churches that openly call for the election to be overturned?

It's my understanding that tax-exempt churches are limited to discussing/promoting political issues that pertain to their faith (i.e. abortion, gay marriage, outlawing masturbation, etc) prohibited from engaging in political campaign activity. However, it seems like there were a lot of churches that openly called for the election to be overturned.

I don't understand how this could be seen as anything other than an attempt to influence the election (campaigning?), given that the results had not yet been certified. I personally think the IRS should start taking this sort of thing seriously, but maybe they have their hands full with the never-ending Trump audit, idk.

What do you think should be done?

(If your interested, the link is a compilation of some of the craziness that occurred at my family's church on 01/03/2020)


04:52 UTC


Is Conscription justified if the consequence of defeat is genocide or severe loss of life?

Before people say that this is an unrealistic scenario think about the USSR or China during WW2. If these nations were defeated in a war there is no doubt they would experience ethnic cleansing with a vast majority of their population dying out.

This is not an unrealistic scenario in the modern world and there are still countries like Israel that could experience genocide if they lose an armed conflict.

So do you support it?

16:20 UTC


Am I the only libertarian who doesn't hate masks?

I think that in the case of a real and dangerous pandemic, requiring mask use in public places within a certain proximity of other people is something that is within the authority of the state. I think not wearing a mask during a pandemic in proximity of people who have not consented is putting them in unnecessary danger that could be trivially reduced or averted and a violation of NAP.

Now before I get crucified, a few clarifications:

  1. No, I do not support the other restrictions put down by governments through this.
  2. Whether COVID qualifies as real enough or dangerous enough is a separate debate. Let's imagine for a moment an uncontroversially real and dangerous hypothetical pandemic.
  3. Whether masks work is another separate debate, let's keep this to the philosophical question of whether the state has the authority to require them, supposing they do work.
11:08 UTC


6 Decades of the American Right failing America, our Constitution & citizens.

Every Patriot who is elected to office or volunteers to serve our nation in any capacity promises to do one thing that no Republican has done in nearly 60-years.

No Republican, from President to street sweeper has kept their word, honor or Oath to America or God in nearly 60-years.

Per the Oath, the Republican Party & American Right are Domestic Enemies of America since the litmus question on abortion where the GOP chose to lie to America rather than keep their word to it.

Anti-Constitution+Anti-Rights/Vote; Blacks, Women, LGBTQ+ Latinos, Asians, Muslims, et all, all Americans.=Being An American Domestic Enemy

The one requirement to be a Patriot, as set forth by our Founders on May 5, 1789 the Senate passed it's first act, the "Oath Act""I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States."


  1. a solemn promise, often invoking a divine witness, regarding one's future action or behavior.• Synonyms: vow, sworn statement, promise, pledge, avowal, affirmation, attestation, guarantee, bond, word, word of honor

Oath of OfficeAn official promise by a person who has been elected to a public office to fulfill the duties of the office according to law & Constitution

Public TrustKnown as a purpose trust. It might or might not be charitable. It is created to promote public welfare and not for the needs of any single individual or group.

“Public Trust” relates back to the origins of democratic government & its seminal idea that within the public lies the true power and future of a society, therefore, whatever trust the public places in its officials must be respected.

Politics of the United States of America: What is the duty of the opposition party in America?

The Christian Church & American Right Are America's Domestic Enemies.• Since the litmus question on abortion.

16:19 UTC


Why is it so many Libertarian's have no idea what a Libertarian is in America?

If you don't know the history of American Libertarianism, you aren't a Libertarian.

James Holden's answer to Would a Libertarian explain why Republican Senator Barry Goldwater voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act?

I’m 66, a 50-year Goldwater Libertarian Conservative, I started following Goldwater ~1968.

2020 Democrats are the 1964 Republican Party of Libertarian & Republican Presidential Nominee Republican Senator from Arizona, Barry Goldwater.

Are you talking to a Libertarian, not likely.
• If they can't answer basic history questions, how can they be a Libertarian? They can't.

  1. What is the first duty of a Libertarian?

A: To defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign & domestic.

  1. What spawned American Libertarianism?

A: The Constitution did.

  1. Who is the most accomplished & highly acclaimed Libertarian in American history?

A: Libertarian & Republican Senator From Arizona, Barry Goldwater.

  1. How do Libertarians save America & American tax dollars?

A: Same way any business does to stay afloat, buy buying low.

  1. Why did Barry Goldwater vote against the 1967 Civil Rights Act?

A: Because he was a Libertarian & Constitutionalist, explained below.

  1. Did you support the ACA/Obamacare, if so or no, why?

A: Yes, it saved America & American billions of tax dollars.

How can Libertarians claim to be Libertarian when none of them know the history of American Libertarianism? They can't.

That is why they aren't Libertarians, they are rebranded & disgruntled Republicans who left the GOP after Bush & corrupted the Libertarian Party as a result.

►Would a Libertarian explain why Republican Senator Barry Goldwater voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act?

Barry Goldwater was a Libertarian Conservative Republican.

►Goldwater was a member of the NAACP & active in the Phoenix Civil Rights Movement. Goldwater integrated the Arizona public schools on his own imitative.

He was above all else a fierce Constitutionalist.

Per the Constitution, public education, at that time, was solely a State Constitutional Rights.

Goldwater voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, with the understanding of his position among the Phoenix community that his objection was of the federal government overstepping its Constitutional boundaries. Goldwater had already integrated the Arizona schools.

Now, I am a 50+year Goldwater Libertarian Conservative and proud of it.

However there are no Libertarians today, they don’t know base history, like that above about Goldwater, they don’t know about Goldwater.

Billionaires control the Libertarians today to use them like the Koch Brothers used their creation the “Tea Party”, to push the ill informed populist idea the rich pay too much taxes, while their taxes have been cut so much that their share of taxes they no longer pay appears as part of our national debt that all of America gets to help pay.

The most popular 2-term Republican President in American history, is Dwight D. Eisenhower.
• The political doppelganger of the 2020 Bernie Sanders campaign.

Search: Eisenhower 1960 and taxes


10:21 UTC


Have there been any other libertarians besides Rainwater and Harrington Jr. in debates this year?

00:03 UTC


What would you say to these ex libertarian capitalists who became libertarian socialists?

So, there's a thread on r/anarchy101 about this, don't brigade it you will get banned. However, I'd like to see how ya'll would respond.


I used to be a culturally progressive "An"-Cap. I was a faithful reader of the Mises Institute's blog, spent hours watching speeches by Milton Friedman and Murray Rothbard, and I even used the term "Keynesian" as an insult. The thing that started my journey to become an An-Com was climate change. After reading report after report about how the climate crisis is causing hundreds of deadly disasters and will only get worse in the future, I realized that this was a force the free market couldn't stop in time. This made me look for other ideologies that would correct this problem without devolving into authoritarianism. So I read some anarchist books and watched some BreadTube, and the authors and youtubers brilliantly countered all the points I had made in capitalism's favor. That's when I became an An-Com.


I first started becoming politically aware in high school. I was suddenly aware of politics happening around me, but didn’t have any real ideology. I was vaguely liberal until about my junior year I started falling hard into the anti SJW rabbit hole. With that, I got introduced to a lot of libertarians, ancaps, and “libertarians”. I picked a lot of it up and identified as a near ancap libertarian. I’d go back and forth between ancap and minarchist. I was pretty young, I never did any deep reading, but got the full support of my Econ teacher and later professor. I watched a lot of that side of YouTube.

Really I think I had always been an anarchist in principle. The thing that drew me to libertarianism was the idea of limiting people’s ability to coerce others, and that people being free would lead to the best outcomes. I simply made the mistake perpetuated by the education system and mainstream thinking that capitalism = freedom and socialism = the government doing stuff. When I was finally introduced to the ideas of libertarian socialism, along with what socialism and capitalism actually are, I switched. I actually first got exposed to those ideas in the comments of an r/PCM post actually, then I got further educated on bread tube. Now I’m reading a lot.


I grew up vaguely conservative libertarian, fell through the Anti-SJW "libertarian" rabbit-hole and became an athiest as a way to rebel against my religious conservative parents in late high school/early university, and was a pretty active poster on the right-wing side of Tumblr (it exists, or at least used to, haven't used Tumblr in years) and became a full AnCap during 2016, seeing government completely as a farce. It was easy for me to see that the state and police were coercive, violent and ultimately wasteful, but I had been programmed by the YouTubers I watched and my entire childhood to hate "SJW's" and leftists even more. I even started dipping my toes into the Hoppean type of borderline fash "the state can only be disolved after all the socialists have been physically removed" apologia and made more than a few Pinochet helicopter jokes. Later I made an exceptionally dumbass post about how the difference between capitalism and communism was that "communism requires violence while capitalism does not" or some shit like that. It unexpectedly blew up, and I got rightfully mocked up and down and also argued with by a decent number of well intentioned and very patient socialists. None of it convinced me, because I was fully bought in.

The first crack in my ideological armor was actually the people who shared my post that were on my side. Namely, that a lot of open holocaust deniers were loudly agreeing with me. I found that deeply unsettling, as while I was still racist in the mundane way basically all conservatives are, nazism was a bridge quite a bit too far. It wasn't enough to make me really examine the arguments against my post, but it did start the process of disillusion with capitalism and right-wing politics. Not being a nazi, but having nazis on your side, should be a wake up call for anybody with an actual conscience. Unite the Right happened the same year, and seeing so many of my "libertarian" parasocial YouTube connections try to defend what was obviously nazi shit drove me further away.

From there it was a slow process of working my way out of my existing social media and YouTube ecosystem, unsubbing from people like Sargon of Akkad etc, gradually progressing to social democracy, and then being radicalized back into Actual Anarchism by BreadTubers like NonCompete, and podcasts like It Could Happen Here by Robert Evans.

What would you say to these people?

15:23 UTC


The Failure of Water Privatisation in England and Wales

This is copy and pasted from r/CapitalismVSocialism so there might be some errors but it's still readable

Obviously, for capitalists who don't want to privatise water, this post isn't for you.

So, England and Wales are apparently the only two countries in the world with a fully privatised system of water and sewerage, brought to you by Thatcher in 1989. I saw these three news articles the other day. And I would like the open a dialogue with the capitalists who support privatising water. I'll post a link to each article with a summary of key points, then end with some question/debate prompts.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/england-water-supply-run-out-environm ent-defra-a9611656.html

  • "Over three billion litres of water is lost to leakage every day and water companies have made “no progress” in reducing the problem over the last two decades."
  • “Continued inaction by the water industry means we continue to lose one fifth of our daily supply to leaks."
  • MPs said due to the rising demand and falling supply of water, the Environment Agency now estimates England will need an additional 3.6 billion litres of water per day by 2050 to avoid shortages.


  • Water companies in England discharged raw sewage into rivers on more than 200,000 occasions last year, according to data obtained by the Guardian.
  • The figures, obtained via environmental information requests, trace releases of sewage from storm drains in rivers across England by all nine water companies and provide a comprehensive picture of the scale of pollution from what critics say is the routine dumping of untreated sewage. Popular English rivers including the Thames, the Windrush, which runs through the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire, the River Chess, a chalk stream in Buckinghamshire, the Avon in Bristol, the Severn, and the River Wharfe in Ilkley are among the many affected. The data emerges as increasing numbers of people are using England’s rivers to swim, kayak and paddleboard.
  • Countries are legally obliged to treat sewage before it is released into waterways. Discharges of untreated human waste are permitted only in “exceptional circumstances” for example after extreme rainfall, the European court of justice has ruled.
  • A recent study revealed the quantity of E coli coming out of CSOs was between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than that coming from treated sewage from wastewater treatment plants.
  • Water companies were told by the government to install monitoring on the majority of their combined sewer overflows by March 2020. But by June, the Guardian data reveals 3,400 out of about 10,000 inland outflows owned by the nine water companies still had no monitoring installed.
  • Guardian data shows Southern Water released raw sewage into rivers last year 19,977 hours in 3,219 incidents. In March, the company separately pleaded guilty to 51 pollution charges over five years involving breaches of Environment Agency permits at treatment plants, which included 8,400 incidents of sewage escaping. Southern Water said: “Protecting rivers is a key part of [our] mission.”


  • English water companies have handed more than £2bn a year on average to shareholders since they were privatised three decades ago, according to analysis for the Guardian.
  • The payouts in dividends to shareholders of parent companies between 1991 and 2019 amount to £57bn – nearly half the sum they spent on maintaining and improving the country’s pipes and treatment plants in that period.
  • When Margaret Thatcher sold off the water industry in 1989, the government wrote off all debts. But according to the analysis by David Hall and Karol Yearwood of the public services international research unit of Greenwich University, the nine privatised companies in England have amassed debts of £48bn over the past three decades – almost as much as the sum paid out to shareholders. The debt cost them £1.3bn in interest last year.
  • In the past 10 years, the companies have paid out £13.4bn in dividends and directors’ pay has soared. The earnings of the nine water companies’ highest-paid directors rose by 8.8% last year, to a total of £12.9m. The highest paid CEOs were at Severn Trent, with a salary package of £2.4m, and United Utilities, a salary package of £2.3m.
  • Scottish Water, which is publicly owned, has invested nearly 35% more per household in infrastructure since 2002 than the privatised English water companies, according to the analysis. It charges users 14% less and does not pay dividends.
  • Rather than improving, it had deteriorated, with more serious pollution incidents that damaged wildlife, the local environment and in the worst cases public health, she said.


So, my questions are:

  • Is publicly owned water suppliers better than privately owned water suppliers?
  • Has the privatisation of water failed in England?
  • Why would your system be better than what England's has?
  • Are there any cases of private water companies doing better than public ones?
08:04 UTC


If you guys like Libertarian Debating you might like this. Live conversation and Q&A between Justin Amash and Bret Weinstein at 5pm PT on 9/16

The conversation is on a Unity 2020 Campfire. You'll find a recording on the Unity 2020 youtube afterwards. Do you guys think this may be interesting?


18:56 UTC


Is Rogernomics in New Zealand a valid argument against your positions?

From 1984 to 1993, New Zealand pursued increasingly neoliberal policies dubbed "Rogernomics". Whilst the progressive Labor government did some amazing things (decriminalising homosexuality and criminalising rape within marriage), Rogernomics was more in line with free market capitalist thinking. Some examples of said policies:

  • Floating the New Zealand dollar.
  • Removing all agricultural subsidies.
  • Introducing GST (Goods and Services Tax).
  • New banks were allowed.
  • Reducing income and company tax.
  • Removing controls on foreign exchange.
  • Abolishing or reducing import tariffs.
  • Corporatising many State owned enterprises such as the Post Office, Telecom and Air New Zealand to be more like private businesses. Some of these were later privatised.
  • Disestablishing the NZ Forest Service and sold the forests.
  • Abolishing price controls and interest rate control.
  • Privatised state assets, such as New Zealand Steel.
  • Enabling the Reserve Bank to autonomously pursue an inflation target.
  • Improving the reporting and accountability for government expenditure (Public Finance Act 1989).


New Zealand then saw some serious problems emerge or get worse:

  • The youth suicide rate grew sharply into one of the highest in the developed world
  • The proliferation of food banks increased dramatically to an estimated 365 in 1994
  • Marked increases in violent and other crime were observed
  • The number of New Zealanders estimated to be living in poverty grew by at least 35% between 1989 and 1992 while child poverty doubled from 14% in 1982 to 29% in 1994.
  • Those on low incomes failed to return to the 1984 standard of living until 1996; the lowest 30% did not recover their own 1980s living standards for twenty years.
  • The health of the New Zealand population was also especially hard-hit, leading to a significant deterioration in health standards among working and middle-class people.
  • Between 1985 and 1992, New Zealand's economy grew by 4.7% during the same period in which the average OECD nation grew by 28.2%.
  • From 1984 to 1993 inflation averaged 9% per year, New Zealand's credit rating dropped twice, and foreign debt quadrupled.
  • Between 1986 and 1992, the unemployment rate rose from 3.6% to 11%.


My questions are as follows:

  • Are these claims accurate?
  • Is it fair to blame the increasing social problems in New Zealand on neoliberalism? If not, what other factors are causing it?
  • Was New Zealand in this time an example of neoliberalism? What could the government at the time have practically done to make the country more capitalist and free market?
01:09 UTC


Does anyone else here feel that libertarians could do a better job addressing inequality?

Sure, some of the claims of inequality are far-fetched, but some inequality really does exist, and we shouldn't act like it's not all as bad as people are saying it is.

03:20 UTC


Libertarian unity is easier than supposed "left-right" unity.

If you base your ideological view off of the quadrant model of the political spectrum, then uniting the "libleft" and "libright" would seem to be the easiest quadrants to unite. Their shared values of individual liberty and economic freedom unite them, along with a general disdain for big government. I believe that based on this, it is easier to unite libertarians than other parts of the political spectrum.

05:44 UTC


Why don't people like the federal reserve?

What does it do and why do we need it or not

23:51 UTC

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