Progressives are active politically because they want to improve society locally as well as the state of mankind throughout the world. This is a noble impulse, and one shared by the vast majority of people. But can the common good be achieved only by expanding government's roles and responsibilities?
Libertarians want many of the same outcomes progressives desire, but seek to achieve them by limiting government's roles and responsibilities. Both groups want human progress, but differ fundamentally on how to achieve it.
Below are ten honest questions directed toward self-identified progressives. By "honest," I mean that I am truly interested in hearing your answers; these are not intended to be "gotcha!" questions. Please leave your answers in the comments.
1) Are labor unions and corporations at all alike?
2) Imagine the employees of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) were to organize a union. What would be the effect if they were to stop work or strike?
3) Who benefits when the government declares "war" on an idea (such as terror) or thing (such as drugs or poverty)? Does anyone lose?
4) How can K-12 education be improved?
5) How are prices for goods and services set?
6) How can foreigners use the dollars Americans spend on foreign-made goods?
7) Why might the private sector do some tasks better than government? And why might government do some tasks better than the private sector?
8) Why do shortages (in things such as food or housing) occur?
9) What happens if a good or service is free of charge?
10) What is the purpose of government?
Only by establishing a common ground on values and ideas can we discuss various policies proposed to solve the ills our country faces.
My hope is that millennials of all ideologies can begin a productive discussion despite our various prior beliefs. After all, we'll be running the country in a couple of decades – what can we agree on today?