|Source: Reason Magazine-|
"Bleeding-Heart Libertarians", to me sort of sounds like a dry martini or a jumbo shrimp, those three words doesn't seem to go together. What Philosopher Matt Zwolonski is talking about is liberalism as it relates to the social safety net. That there should be some role for government to help people out. Who for whatever reasons aren't self-sufficient and can't take care of themselves. As a Liberal myself I believe that we should have a safety net to catch people that fall through the cracks of American capitalism but to help them back up. Not to take care of them indefinitely but to help them become self-sufficient.
So when Matt Zwolonski talks about "Bleeding Heart Libertarianism" and the need for a social safety net, he's talking about liberalism as it relates to helping the poor help themselves. So they can have individual liberty like the rest of the population. Because they would now have the resources to fiance their liberty on their own. And not be dependent on taxpayers to take care of them, because now they would be taking care of themselves. This is why I've always linked liberalism with libertarianism, rather than classical conservatism. Because both liberal and libertarian come from the word liberty and I consider both political ideology's on the left, not the right because we both believe in individual liberty, as does Classical Conservatives. But liberal and libertarian both come from liberty, where conservative means to conserve the status quo.
Liberals, Libertarians, and Classical Conservatives differ on what the role of government should have in dealing with problems that the country faces. Especially on economic policy and the safety net. Classical Libertarians like Ron Paul and a lot of my friends on Facebook, believe that government should be out of the economy completely. Including not having any form of a safety net. And then there Libertarians like Gary Johnson who's running for President in the Republican Party right now. The best Republican candidate out there right (and I know that will offend a lot of Ron Paul supporters) that believe there should be a social safety net funded by tax revenue. But that the Federal Government should turn all of their social insurance programs over to the state government's for them to run. To put it shortly but not simply, block grant all of these programs to the states for them to run.
There seems now to be a growing riff or movement in the libertarian community that maybe there should be a role for government as it relates to social insurance. But it should be decentralized and be used to empower people, not subsidize them indefinitely. Which I believe is good for every political movement to have some diversity. But have a wide range of issues where most of its members agree on. So there's a point to having a political movement that can function.