When evaluating policy reforms, a simple "liberty principle" can be invoked only where policies that are liberty-augmenting are supported. But what happens in some facets of policies are liberty-augmenting while other facets are liberty-reducing? Even when following a Rothbardian definition of liberty, the concept can become vague with unresolved issues surrounding the principle of liberty. In a recent article in Reason Papers, Daniel Klein and Michael Clark present areas of potential disagreement when evaluating prospective policy reforms between direct, immediate effects, and overall liberty, including direct and indirect, or secondary effects. It is possible that a policy change could be directly liberty-reducing, but, overall, liberty-augmenting (or vice versa), suggesting a possible tension between the two. If such tensions exist and a reform is supposed to be evaluated based on the liberty principle, how does one choose between alternative policies?
Find the article at Reason Papers.