Follow US:

Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Penn Jillette on Libertarianism, Taxes, Trump, Clinton and Weed

Difficulty: 0

Let me lay on you what Libertarianism is to me.

Once again Im speaking for myself which is about as Libertarian as you can get.

I do not believe I know whats best for other people.

I also dont believe that other people know whats best for other people.

I can barely make decisions for myself.

I do my best to make decisions for my family.

Should my ten-year-old son take music lessons?

Thats a hard question for our family.

Do you want to push him into it or wait until he really wants it?

Those are hard decisions.

I have trouble making those for my family so making the decision of what someone elses

job in healthcare should be like who is in another part of the country who Ive never

met is not something Im qualified or desirous to do.

Thats Libertarianism.

Libertarianism is taking a right on money and your first left on sex and looking for

utopia straight ahead.

To me the way I was brought up in western Massachusetts, kind of a New England philosophy.

We believed in responsibility and keeping your nose out of other peoples business.

We believed in live and let live I think to a fault.

My mom and dad were older parents too.

My mom was 45 when I was born so I was raised by another generation.

You see my mom would be whatever120 now or 115 now.

A whole other generation.

My mom was bornnow youre going to see that my math is wrong.

My mom was born in 1909.

Shes dead now.

So its a whole different generation.

And my moms feeling about absolutely everything was who cares.

Her whole feeling on the gay rights movement was who cares who they want to get together


It doesnt matter to me.

Her whole feeling on drugs.

I have never had a sip of alcohol or any recreational drug in my life.

That was true for my mother, true for my father, true for my sister.

I dont know how many generations it goes back but never.

And yet my mom always thought that sure, any drug should be legal.

If youre living in a free country do whatever you want.

Take responsibility for it.

When you tell people about Libertarianism you just tell them we think you should take

as little from other people by force as possible.

And you should be able to do whatever you think is right.

Now thats a pretty heavy thing Im saying.

Because Im saying that if theres an 18-year-old girl who is the greatest math

whiz that we have in this country, lets say shes the smartest person in math we

have anywhere.

And lets say we give her a full scholarship to go to whatever school she wants to go to

Stanford, MIT, wherever she wants to go.

And she decides she wants to work at McDonalds and get pregnant at the age of 19.

Thats her decision.

Jim Morrisondid he have a worse life because he did an awful lot of drugs and died

at 28?

I dont know.

Ive already lived a lot longer than Jim Morrison but were his choices worse than mine?

I dont know.

I know I would not have liked to have lived like Jim Morrison although Id like to look

that good in leather pants.

But Kurt Cobain.

Did I want to live like that?

No, not even slightly.


I dont want to live like that.

But they probably dont want to live like me either.

Libertarianism is the strongest sense of please do what you want, try not to hurt me.

Our government has a monopoly on force, they have a monopoly on force.

The government is the only organization that is supposed to be able to use force.

The government is supposed to be a government of us which means in my thinking, my morality,

the government should only use force for things Im willing to use force for.

The government are the only ones that are allowed to use guns to hurt another person

or threaten another person legally.

So the question becomes what would I use a gun to do?

Now Im a coward and I have no skills with guns or with violence.

Ive never hit a person in anger in my life.

Ive been hit.

I never hit back.

So this is hypothetical.

But if I were not a coward would I use a gun to stop someone from being killed?


Would I use a gun to stop someone from being raped?


Would I use a gun to build a library?

Would I take money from someone to build a library?

Well Id certainly give my money.

Id certainly work.

Id certainly beg you for money to build a library.

Libraries really matter to me.

I was born in 55.

Im from a small town.

Without a library I would have known nothing.

I had to drive toI had to ride my bike to the library to learn about Lenny Bruce,

Franz Kafka.

I got Stravinsky records from the library.

It meant everything to me.

Libraries matter.

But thats the Libertarian question.

Now taking care of people.

Would you use a gun to take care of others?

Thats a hard one.

Because taxation is using violence.

Now people try to say taxation is voluntary.

Its not.

If you dont pay your taxes eventually somewhere down the line someone with a gun will show


They just will.

At some point if you dont do that.

What do we do with our taxes?

Would we use a gun to defend our country?

Yeah I guess weve got to, right.

Would we use a gun for everything we use for taxes?

So when I see the government doing something I ask myself would I use a gun to do that.

Now all of that being said that is the high level, the theoretical part of Libertarianism

to me.

In a nuts and bolts level it becomes much, much simpler.

It is one of the cases where the reality is simpler than the theory.

When someone is worried about Libertarianism they worry about what happens to public schools,

what happens to welfare, what happens to roads.

Those are the first three questions they ask.

And those are the hardest questions.

I will give you public schools.

I will give you welfare.

I will give you infrastructure.

I will not give you the government using a gun to take money from poor people and giving

it to rich people.

The biggest issue in Libertarianism is stopping corporate welfare.

What we give in welfare to the poor, we give in government money to the roads.

We give government money to the schools is nothing compared to the money we give to rich


The best way to stop crony capitalism, the best way to stop graft, the best way to stop

all sorts of bad stuff in government is to make government small enough.

The way you stop corruption is make it small enough that corruption doesnt pay.

Give the government little enough and theres not a lot to steal from them.

But government is buoying up the rich corporations.

The rich corporations love the government.

Theyve gained the system in a way an individual never can.

Any big corporation has a team of the best lawyers to figure out how they cannot pay


No middle class person has that.

They have regulations set to keep other people out of the business, right.

Even the manicure shops, you know.

They want to license, register everything so that other people cant get in.

Its limiting.

If you had a true free market you would not have the big mega corporations.

Libertarianism is not about rich white people getting a lot of money from corporations and

leaving everybody else to whistle.

Libertarianism is lets not use the government to take money from poor people and middle

class people and give it to rich people.

Because really thats all thats ever happened.

Thats all thats ever happened.

In our present climate we have somebody running for president who we know for a fact lied.

Lied a lot less than other people.

We know for a fact she lied.

And we know for a fact that she is an insider and that knows the way to play all the games.

We also know that she knows whats better for other people.

And we know that she says and claims and brags that she will do a lot of killing of people


We also know that she is essentiallyeven after Ive called her a liar, shes essentially

a good, honest person.

She essentially has a good heart.

She also has a 65 percent disapproval rating or higher.

Thats Hillary Clinton.

There are two things that I always believed about modern politics.

One was that everyone who had ever run for a major office was smarter than me.

And the second thing was there was no one worse than Hillary Clinton.

Both of those things have been disproven by Donald Trump.

Donald Trump, all the good qualities I mentioned about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump does not


Hes not skilled.

He does not have as far as I can tell any compassion.

And he does not have very much knowledge.

He does have a weird kind of charisma that I cannot understand myself.

It doesnt seem to work on me.

But certainly demonstrative that he has charisma that works for some people.

And hes willing to give easy answers.

And being willing to give easy answers which in his case arent answers, theyre just

I will fix it.

Weve got this problem, Ill fix it.

Well no, you dont get to say that.

You have to demonstrate how youre doing it.

But both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are very interested in getting a lot of power

for themselves.

I believe Hillary Clinton wants that power because she thinks she knows whats best

for other people.

Lets refer back to me saying I dont know whats best for other people.

I also dont think she does either but she believes that.

And I believe her hearts in the right place.

I dont think Donald Trump knows there are other people to be concerned about.

I dont think he even knows that.

Youve got those two.

And neither one of themthis is not fair to Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump is giving no theoretical policy ideas for how government should run.

Hillary Clinton is not giving enough for my taste.

Heres the debate I want to see.

Now I know that my buddy Gary, Gary Johnson, I know we were trying to get him to do the

debates that if he gets 15 percent hell be in the debates and thats wonderful.

We should all work for that.

Even people who dont like Gary want to see someone else on stage talking.

I dont see why you wouldnt want him involved in the conversation.

If Hillary Clinton really is great, let her talk to Gary in public.

Well theres nobody that entertains that Donald Trump really is great.

If you thought that for a moment, why not have Gary Johnson talk.

Heres the conversation I want to have.

I want to have this debate.

I dont even want to call it a debate.

I want it to be a simple conversation.

Bernie Sanders, Gary Johnson.

Put them side by side.

Two good people.

Two paragons, you know.

Heres the debate I want to see.

Its not even a debate, a conversation, a public conversation in front of as much

of America as wants to watch it.

Bernie Sanders, Gary Johnson.

Both paragons, both virtuous, both honest, both smart, both concerned about other people,

both with experience in government.

And I want to hear Bernie Sanders say, you know, a lot of people in this country have

trouble taking care of themselves.

We need a strong infrastructure for business to thrive.

We need to protect our country, to protect the people around us.

We need a big strong government with a good solid safety net that can take care of people

and treat them with compassion and make better choices than some individuals will make.

We need a government where more qualified people can take care of those that arent

and where we can keep corporations at bay and where we can keep some money out of politics.

Thats what we need.

And heres some examples of how we can get there from where we are.

Here are the checks and balances we want to put in place on corporations.

Heres what we want to do with campaign finance.

Heres what we want to do with schools.

Heres some of my ideas.

But I want Gary Johnson to say, you know, all those things are problems.

But I think that maybe a little more freedom as opposed to a little more control from the

government might give us a lot of that.

I want individuals to have a little more money in their pockets and use that for charity

and use that for building.

And I think instead of putting up tariffs to keep foreign businesses out we can actually

make America more competitive, less taxes and let them have more power that way and

be more successful.

There would be more money all over the place.

We can take care of people.

I think thatll work pretty well and while were at it well stop the corporations

by not having a big government that flows money to them.

And then Bernie Sanders says back, you know, that sounds really good Gary.

It really does.

But there are some people who just plain are going to be left out.

Theyre not going to make it.

Theyre just not going to make it in your dog each dog free market economy.

Youre just willing to throw them away?

And then Gary says, you know, maybe a subsistence amount of money for everybody.

Maybe just get paid.

Just give them that money.

Because you know compared to what were paying for food stamps and all of that stuff

just writing them a check is much easier.

So maybe we can do that.

And Bernie says, you know what youre saying about keeping businesses over here kind of

makes sense Gary.

Maybe we can do a few less tariffs and a little lower taxes to help our corporations and maybe

thatll help a little bit.

And they go back and forth and they come up with an impasse where they dont agree.

And then the American people say, you know, lets try it Bernies way for a while.

Lets give it four years of Bernie because it seems like hes got some ideas.

Lets go four years with Bernie.

You know Gary youre a good guy.

Youve thought about this really hard and you made a really good case and we know youre

a good guy.

We like you.

We trust you.

But were going with Bernie now.

And we try that for a while.

And as Bernies doing this theres other people in the government that go what about

this and he pulls back on this and he adjusts and he does that.

And then he comes, you know, four years go by and the country goes lets hear that

debate again.

Maybe its someone else in place but whatever.

They do the debate again and they go, you know, we tried.

We dont really feel your burn.

Now feel my Johnson.

Well have Gary Johnson take over for four years and see how that goes.

And you go back and forth and you have a discussion of what we want to do as a country between

two good, honest, hard thinking human beings.

And please lets get one of them to be a woman by the next time we do this.


And lets get someone to be of color please.

Lets just do that.

Weve got plenty of people on both sides that arent just white guys.

But for right now my example of Bernie and Gary and we go back and forth like that.

Why arent we doing that?

Why do we have two people that all they agree on is that they should have power.

Two psychotic, power hungry, hated, unpleasant people clawing and scratching to take power

over other peoples lives.

Why not two people who are actually having a discussion about what direction our country

should go in.

And by the way were never going to go all the way Bernie.

Were never going to go all the way Gary.

But thats the discussion we have and let that go.

So that is what I think about modern politics and thats what I think about Libertarianism.

Yeah, maybe someday in the future we should go to anarcho-capitalism.

Maybe someday in the future we should go to full out socialism.

But for right now can we just do what every mother fucking American believes which is

stop giving so much money to the corporations, let the people have more control, let them

smoke dope, let them put what they want into their bodies, let them have sex with whoever

they want as long as theres consent.

And let them do that in every state.

Let them love who they want and enjoy life the way they want.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Is that a nut position?

The Description of Penn Jillette on Libertarianism, Taxes, Trump, Clinton and Weed