Don Boudreaux recently shared this video where he described why he is a libertarian. The strange thing is, I could have taken the words right out of his mouth for the things that have shaped my view of the world. The values of his parents seem very similar to the values of my parents, and of course what I've learned about market efficiency has shaped my world view too.
And yet I'm definitely not a libertarian (indeed, it's as I've grown up and put those values to work in my life, and it's as I've learned more economics that I've become less libertarian than I was, say, as a freshman in college). My parents certainly were never libertarians or particularly political either.
Which makes me think whatever it is that makes Don a libertarian is something else entirely. I'm not quite sure what it is though. I think the values he describes and the insights about markets he describes do undergird a worldview, but they undergird a much broader classical liberal worldview than just libertarianism. These sorts of things explain why Don and I (and many others) are in the liberal tradition. But lots of people are in the liberal tradition. What is it that makes Don a libertarian and me a somewhat-left-of-center neoliberal? I'm not quite sure, but I'm guessing very specific life experiences play a pretty big role in how our general structure of values (which Don describes here) get directed into a particular ideology.
For the Fourth of July
5 hours ago