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About Me

Hello Everyone,

My name is Adam Stirling and I’ve worked since 2006 as a broadcaster, reporter, anchor, commentator, and talk show host in Victoria, British Columbia, where I have lived since I was four years old. I worked full-time at CFAX 1070 Radio from 2006 to 2012, before I decided to go back to the University of Victoria to finish a degree I had left only partially completed in the year 2001. I expect to graduate with a B.Sc. in Economics in April of 2015. I still do work on CFAX from time to time as a fill-in news announcer and talk show host.

My interests include politics, economics, law, public policy, science, technology, psychology, history, and pretty much anything else that can be debated. Oh, I also try to stay fit. I’ve had some weight problems during my life. I sought treatment for issues with clinical depression in 2002. It worked wonders for my mood and my mental sharpness, but it also caused me to slowly but surely gain weight for a number of years. Being both emotionally healthy and physically fit has become somewhat of a balancing act in terms of medicines and side effects, so I have to work hard to keep the weight off.

My political views are difficult to categorize. When it comes to social issues such as drug use, same sex marriage, religion, or reproductive rights, I favour a very liberal approach, almost to the point of libertarianism. My personal lifestyle could be described as quite a conservative one, but the core of my political philosophy is the belief that different people have different views and preferences on the same issues, and competing views can both be valid. For example, just because I haven’t personally chosen to take drugs, I don’t feel it would be appropriate for me to tell others to abstain. I have similar views on religion. I was raised to be a devout Baptist, regularly attended bible camp with my family, and I was baptised as a teenager. While I’m currently unsure of how to reconcile Church teachings with the physical universe we observe, I consider the decision to worship or not a deeply personal one, and I tend to bristle when governments or advocacy groups try to impose their own beliefs or moral codes on others.

My field of study is economics. Because of this, I have much more pragmatic views of how governments should, and should not, craft economic policy. For example, libertarians tend to believe a smaller government is always a better one, but this is not the case. There are instances in which government can indeed provide services to the public more efficiently than the private sector. I’ll spare you a lecture on the nature of free markets failing to effectively provide non-rival, non-excludable public goods and just point out that everyone benefits from having police forces discouraging crime, so it’s only fair that everyone should contribute to paying their salaries. In terms of how much a government should tax the public, it’s important to remember that the Laffer Curve model shows us that there is a point where raising taxes actually harms overall revenues. Just as smaller governments are not always better, higher taxes do not always increase the revenues governments have available to provide public goods that cannot be otherwise efficiently allocated by way of free markets.

So what does all this mean? Am I a socialist? Most certainly not. History has shown us command economies tend to be very inefficient, causing much more economic hardship than benefits for citizens. Furthermore, these economies do not end the phenomenon of rich elites ruling an impoverished underclass. With money removed as a method for determining one’s social influence, political connections often become one’s “wealth.” In these nations, inequality exists all the same.

So am I a Laissez Faire neoliberal? That’s a complicated question to answer. I believe free markets are excellent tools to distribute scarce resources efficiently most of the time; however, as any economist will tell you, markets can fail in a number of instances. Because of this, I believe it is important to have a government monitoring and regulating any economy to ensure suppliers and consumers both benefit from the fruits of free competition. So what do you call me if I’m not a socialist or a Laissez Faire conservative? I prefer to be called an economic moderate. If we have evidence government policy is not producing its desired outcomes, we must be willing to consider that evidence and modify our views if needed. My economic ideology is to try not to succumb to an ideology and be open to new evidence and new findings. It’s not exactly something you can fit on a sandwich board, but hey, logical arguments usually aren’t.

By the way, I also tweet about these subjects over at http://www.twitter.com/adam_stirling. I plan on using both twitter and this wordpress platform to comment on issues.

Oh, and last, but certainly not least, I like to have fun. Life is too short to be taken too seriously so you’ll often find me making sarcastic jokes or satirical comments in search of a laugh, usually cheap one (I take what I can get). I hope you like them, and if you don’t, try to remember it’s all in good fun.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy reading my various thoughts and views! Feel free to leave a comment or tweet at me. I try to respond to everything.

 

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