by Joshua D. Glawson
LPNC Strategic Communications Adviser
“The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster.” -Ludwig von Mises
Liberty in North Carolina is under constant threat from the political left, right, and everyone in between. There are a plethora of issues plaguing freedom, and human rights, in the state that claims “First in Freedom.” The good news is that there is a Libertarian solution.
North Carolina is widely considered a purple-voting state, meaning there is greater active political crossover between the Democratic blue and the Republican red, with more registered Independents than other political parties. Where we find agreement and disagreement between Democrats and Republicans, where issues are painted purple, we can likely find Libertarian gold.
There are four key areas of concern we can hyperfocus on to help protect Liberty while promoting the North Carolina Libertarian Party's solutions to common problems in the state of North Carolina.
In this article, I will go over the following:
An opportunity for promoting Liberty and solutions by the Libertarian Party throughout North Carolina.
This applies to anyone moving to or already living in North Carolina, and those that wish to conduct business in North Carolina or with North Carolinians.
I’ll explain what Liberty means, why Liberty is an important measure for economic and social prosperity, explain how to find Liberty-winning solutions, and provide 4 suggestions for improving Liberty in North Carolina.
What is Liberty, and Why Does it Matter in North Carolina?
Depending on a person’s philosophy, you can generally expect slightly different definitions of what Liberty means. Without being overly philosophical, the North Carolina Libertarian Party offers a general definition.
Liberty is the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views; freedom from arbitrary and unreasonable restraint upon an individual; the quality or state of being free; state of freedom; the absence of obstacles, barriers, or constraints to act freely; the state of being free from unfair rules and restrictions imposed by government or other authority on one's way of life; and, the freedom to live as you wish and go where you want.
Without Liberty, people are subjected to the arbitrary directions of other people. In a heterogeneous society, with more people moving from other states, regions, and countries, people have mixed ideas as to how to live.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to a top-down approach. In a mixed culture, people need the freedom to act independently in their pursuits. Without Liberty, everyone is put into a restricted box telling them how to act, what to think, how to conduct business, and how to live their peaceful lives.
A centralized, rigid, government approach to problem-solving creates new problems at higher costs with restricted elasticity and slower mobility for workarounds.
If North Carolinians do not protect Liberty, not only will we be living in perpetual contradiction with our North Carolina license plate slogan and the state motto, but we are also at risk of higher prices, restricted market options, less affordable housing, costly and limited healthcare, fewer jobs, and reduced happiness or flourishing overall.
How to Find Liberty-Winning Solutions
North Carolina has more registered independent voters than registered Democrat or Republican voters. Some of this has been a generational transition from yesteryear when almost everyone was registered as Democrat in North Carolina and now find themselves agreeing more with Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians than the DNC.
Independent voting is also seeing an increase since the Covid-19 era (2019-2022), and people’s frustrations with government “solutions.” Tons of businesses and people were harmed because of the real problems caused by government intervention, mandates, laws, and restrictions. Neither of the mainstream parties did much to help protect Liberty in that period, and this incited people to leave their party affiliations.
North Carolina is now considered a purple voting state, with the crossing of colors red and blue. This creates an opportunity for Libertarians to find common ground with those that have frustratedly abandoned their Democrat or Republican status. Seek the gold lining in a mine of purple amethyst; find the commonality, and use the art of persuasion to find a solution that promotes each person’s individual liberty to act without encroaching on the freedom of others.
Find the problem
Find common ground
Creatively cooperate to find private or volunteer-based solutions
Now, let’s take a look at 4 problems threatening Liberty in North Carolina.
North Carolina is going through record growth with people moving from other states and countries. Raleigh, Durham, and Charlotte (NC) have especially seen significant growth over the past few years. With more people arriving and fewer leaving, there are quickly becoming housing issues. Some of those housing issues include affordable housing options, zoning restrictions, building codes, and state and county development/building regulations.
Democrats are concerned with low-income families not having the appropriate housing they need. Republicans are concerned with retirees needing affordable housing options to not become reliant on the state. These each impact employment, business development, tax revenues, and population density.
Libertarians want reduced red tape and fewer regulations for housing. By showing successful models of reduced government intervention in housing and development around the country such as that in Houston, Texas, are a great step in the right direction. Also offering solutions such as private communities or cities, Special Economic Zones (SEZ), and forward-thinking construction options can really help bridge the political gaps while offering a Libertarian solution in North Carolina.
North Carolina is one of the most expensive states when it comes to healthcare costs. This is caused by several reasons including Direct Primary Care, Certificate of Need laws, limitations on nurse practitioners, and more. As more people come to NC, it is extremely important that their diverse medical needs are met.
Democrats are concerned with low-cost healthcare options to the point that they will force everyone to pay for it or share the cost through taxes. Republicans want doctors and healthcare providers to benefit without pushing them out of the state.
Libertarians want to provide unhampered market solutions to healthcare and insurance. By demonstrating that fewer healthcare regulations do not necessitate a lack of humanity or governance, Libertarians have a chance to offer a win-win solution. With a freer market approach to healthcare, people can receive lower-cost healthcare while providing a market that entices doctors and healthcare providers to come and stay in North Carolina.
North Carolina has continued to fall in ranking on polls and surveys across the country when it comes to occupational licensing issues. With occupational licensing, the state creates a monopolistic barrier to entry for people of lower income, necessarily restricts market competition, and effectively reduces the happiness and flourishing of peaceful people in North Carolina.
Democrats claim to be worried about the poor and destitute, yet there are active restrictions in place preventing people from getting themselves out of the harms of poverty. Republicans claim a freer market approach enables individuals to enrich their lives and “pick themselves up by their bootstraps,” yet occupational licensing with its fees and bureaucratic red tape stifles growth and wounds individuals, families, and communities all for the privilege of a relative few.
Libertarians want reduced government interference in markets and the private lives of people. Libertarians tend to hold entrepreneurship as one of the noblest achievements a person can do for themselves, as entrepreneurship is an act of freedom and creates a sense of freedom in and of itself. Libertarians also believe an unhampered market approach will enable people to make more money, improves lives, and creates more happiness and flourishing for the aggregate. North Carolina needs a Libertarian solution to occupational licensing to allow less barrier to entry, improve market competition, and improve happiness and flourishing for the state and region.
North Carolina is one of only 17 states that have strict laws on alcoholic beverages in the United States (U.S.), which is known as being an alcohol control state or an alcoholic beverage control state. In NC, this is controlled top-down by the state government in the form of nepotism and cronyism under the guise of state protectionism. This department is known as the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, locally known as The ABC or The ABC Control System. This horde of plunderers controls the manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, and sales of all alcoholic beverages to varying degrees in the state of North Carolina.
Democrats tend to want people to enjoy their personal lives as they see fit, no matter the substance or preference, as long as it does not harm others. Republicans are usually laissez-faire these days when it comes to personal consumption of alcoholic beverages, especially if a successful business model can be created representing North Carolina in the state and Southern region.
Libertarians want an unhampered market approach to alcoholic beverages that allows individuals the opportunity to responsibly consume what they wish while also freeing people to create business models that serve public demand and needs. A Liberty-based solution enables people to act autonomously while holding them accountable for wrongs. Allowing the private market to compete in alcohol will reduce prices, and create more product variety, while also spurring economic growth via manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, and sales of alcoholic beverages. Libertarians understand that a divergence between state ethics and the public’s ethics creates unnecessary tension while it also restricts Liberty, happiness, and growth.
Liberty in North Carolina
If we desire to protect Liberty and promote Liberty in North Carolina, we must be actively searching for solutions that bring people together as opposed to merely telling everyone they are wrong. We cannot win in the short or long term if our only response to government infringement on Liberty is our mere objection to every suggested intervention.
Libertarians are philosophical skeptics, not cynics. A skeptic questions things, while a cynic always says, “No.” We can universally reject government intervention, but our wins will only come when we also offer viable free-market solutions to very real problems in North Carolina.
Our solutions can involve Democrats and Republicans, we can help create Liberty-based solutions while answering their respective concerns in the purple state. The Libertarian Party of North Carolina (LPNC) has a golden opportunity to protect Liberty in North Carolina while increasing the number of people who register as Libertarian in NC.
Joshua D. Glawson is a writer and speaker in the Liberty Movement. He has been active with the Libertarian Party of California since 2015. He now resides in his home state of North Carolina. Check him out at Home - Joshua D. Glawson (joshuadglawson.com)