Harry Browne on Families & Children

2000 Libertarian Nominee for President


You know what’s best for your family better than politicians

I don’t know what’s right for you. I don’t know how you should raise your children or how to run your child’s school or how your family should approach any of the complicated challenges you face.

But I respect your intelligence and your ability to choose and act on your own values, to work with other families and your community to achieve the goals you set for yourselves. I respect your ability to handle these tasks because the only alternative is to let politicians handle them for you, and they will never care as much about your future as you do yourself.

Politicians claim moral authority by implying that their decisions are dictated by moral principle-and by assuming that we can’t let everyone decide for himself what is moral and what isn’t. That leaves only the politicians to decide what is right and what is wrong. So they claim a license to use government to compel us to do everything that’s right and to forbid us to do everything that’s wrong.

Source: The Great Libertarian Offer, p.214 , Sep 9, 2000

“Family Values” means politicians decide for your family

None of the politicians believes you’re capable of deciding for yourself what’s best for your family. If they really trusted you, they’d repeal the income tax-so you’d have the wherewithal to make your own family decisions, so you could afford to send your children to schools that teach what you want your children to learn, and so you could afford to have one parent at home to supervise your children according to your values.
Source: The Great Libertarian Offer, p.214-215 , Sep 9, 2000

Gay adoption OK; all adoptions are private contracts

Q: How about adoption rights for gay and lesbian people?

A: I have no opposition to it. But I believe that any time the government controls adoption, you’re going to have a problem with people who are advancing their own agenda when they make decision about who can adopt and who can’t. So you have, in effect, welfare workers who see their mission as making a brave new world. And that may include gays adopting, and it may include a ban on gay adoptions. But it also applies just as much to heterosexual couples; they are subject to the whims of those welfare workers. So I would like to see adoption get as much as possible out of the hands of government. Then if you’re a gay couple who wants to adopt, your job is not to convince a welfare worker, but rather to find an unwed mother who would be willing to give her child to you. And if that’s agreeable to all parties, that’s it. But as long as the government is controlling these things, then you’re subject to whatever whims individual people have.

Source: PlanetOut interview (planetout.com) , Jul 7, 2000

Families are the first dept. of Housing, Education & Welfare

Q: What should be done (if anything) to encourage stronger families? A: The most important thing we can do is end the destructive intrusion of government into family life. Few, if any, functions of life have escaped intrusion by the government.
Most notably, our tax structure is quite hard on families. We need to end the Income Tax. Then, people will get back a portion of their income that exceeds food, clothing and housing - and by so doing, families will be empowered to save, to spend, to invest as they see fit for their children and the future.
Families are the first Department of Housing, Education and Welfare. Any attempt by government to co-opt these functions in place of loving parents will at best be a failure and at worst be a destroyer of the very children it was designed to help.
Source: Email correspondence from the candidate with OnTheIssues.org , Jan 27, 2000

Repeal income tax so parents can afford education

Repeal the federal income tax immediately, so parents can afford to send their children to private & church schools that support the parents’ values, and so one parent can afford to stay home to raise the children, if desired. Get the federal government out of education, so that schools no longer teach ‘values’ imposed by Washington politicians and bureaucrats.
Source: 1996 National Political Awareness Test , May 1, 1996

Less govt & lower taxes means better child raising

If you can imagine how much repealing the income tax would do for your family, imagine as well what it would do for other families-how much it would help children everywhere to grow up to be decent, peace-loving citizens.
Source: Why Government Doesn’t Work, by Harry Browne, p.190 , Jul 2, 1995

Enforcing “responsible entertainment” is censorship

Do we really want government to protect family values? Politicians lash out at movies, TV and popular music. But they say they don’t want to censor anyone. They just want entertainers to be more responsible.
But what does a politician mean by “responsibility”? And why must entertainers worry about it? If entertainers aren’t breaking the law, and if people want to listen or watch, who cares what the politician-critic thinks?
Politicians rail against the entertainment industry because they know that millions of people deplore the social decay of the past 40 years; and politicians don’t understand what caused this and they don’t know what to do to correct it. So they rail against entertainers-hoping to impress the voters who care about these things.
When their policies produce no positive change, they may “reluctantly” turn to the only weapon they have-censorship. Censorship isn’t the answer. Government doesn’t work, and so censorship doesn’t work.
Source: Why Government Doesn’t Work, by H. Browne, p.187-8 , Jul 2, 1995

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