Proposed Planks for Libertarian Party of Minnesota Platform
By Mike Holly, Americans Against Monopolies
In order to reduce outrageous medical costs that are indebting Americans, companies and the nation, and to improve quality, we seek to increase competition in the monopolistic industry through deregulation. Regulations drive up prices by restricting the supply of doctors, nurses, technicians, hospitals and insurance, and by increasing demand with tax support of insurance plans. We support elimination of occupation licensing in states, including lifting more restrictions on nurses and other mid-level practitioners. We oppose state regulation of medical education that accredits and limits enrollments at schools and training programs. We oppose state certificate-of-need and similar laws that restrict the supply of medical facilities. As competition reduces prices, we support eliminating tax-supported insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. We oppose the regulation of insurance, including compulsory plans that force the healthy to subsidize the sick like the Affordable Care Act and restrictions on pre-existing conditions.
We recognize the government grants protections from competition to pharmaceutical companies developing prescription drugs so they can recover development costs, most of which are from clinical trials whose costs should be reduced by increasing competition in the health care industry. In order to reduce unreasonable prescription drug prices demanded by the already highly-profitable global pharmaceutical industry especially as the cost of clinical trials decreases, we seek to eliminate monopoly protections. We support reducing patent lifetimes and extensions, the discriminatory awarding of patents favoring synthetic drugs, non-patent protections, research grants, and preferential enforcement of regulations by the Food and Drug Administration.
In order to reduce skyrocketing costs for K-12 and higher education that are squeezing taxpayers and families, and achieve the best possible opportunity of education, we advocate bringing the positive benefits of competition to the monopolistic public and non-profit private schools. Therefore we call for the privatization and deregulation of schools. We call for the repeal of compulsory education laws, truancy laws, school and teacher certification and licensing laws, and taxpayer financing of education." We recognize the potential need for alternative financing for students if families and charity prove insufficient. In the interim, we oppose state K-12 competition programs that produce higher test scores from students attending public schools by regulating and providing less funding to non-profit and especially for-profit private schools.
We advocate bringing the benefits of competition to utilities; accordingly we call for privatization and deregulation of government monopolies, such as fire, water and sewer departments; deregulation of government-granted monopolies, such as private companies involved in garbage collection, electric, gas, and communication; and deregulation to eliminate regulatory agencies such as the Public Utilities Commission, Minnesota’s energy agency, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
We recognize states have failed to foster competition with partial deregulation of electricity, natural gas, telephone, cable and internet, including efforts that force cooperative use of the constrained networks of regulated monopolies, and Minnesota’s discriminatory bidding of electricity and natural gas. We support deregulation efforts that remove government barriers to building alternative distribution networks.
We recognize government is blocking the development of many alternative energy, bio-chemical, vehicle and other technologies with policies that require the use and/or reduce the costs of favored sources and technologies, such as fracking of oil and natural gas, wind and solar energy, and electric vehicles. We oppose policies that pick winners and losers, including mandates and subsidies, regulations that don’t account for and thus overvalue unreliable generation like intermittent wind energy, and preferential environmental regulation including those restricting coal while exempting oil and gas and favoring nuclear power under the Price Anderson Act. In addition, we oppose immunity from antitrust lawsuits granted to OPEC and other government oil monopolies that manipulate global oil prices to alternatively drive out competitors developing other sources and technologies, and then drive-up prices.
We recognize the intellectual property (IP) protections from competition that government awards to the tech industry are excessive, especially considering the technology is advancing rapidly. We seek to eliminate the monopoly power of tech companies by shortening the lifetimes of copyright and patents. In addition to providing economic and technological benefits, increased competition will reduce the ability of tech companies to violate privacy, censor information, computerize discrimination, favor political interests and facilitate authoritarianism.
In order to achieve rapid and sustainable economic growth with competitive and stable prices, we support a free-market economy and oppose the manipulation of interest rates. We advocate for free banking that requires repeal of the Federal Reserve central bank system, legal tender laws, and banking, monetary and securities regulations. We oppose federal and state regulations requiring privately-owned banks to secure charters, which has been used by regulators to restrict entry and competition in the industry in favor of nationally-chartered banks of which some have been considered “too big to fail” and also cartels of state-chartered banks.