Update: The funeral service for Steve Collet is set for this Friday, Nov 1st, 2013, at 11 am, at Riviera United Methodist Church, located at 375 Palos Verdes Blvd., in Redondo Beach.
Friends of Steve Collett, the noted Libertarian activist, are commenting on his Facebook page that he has apparently passed away. If this is true it would be a great loss for the liberty movement. Reportedly he died at his home in Hermosa Beach, of unknown causes, after returning from the Reform Conference in Denver, which he blogged about just a couple days ago, here.
Collett ran for the 33rd District of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012, garnering almost five thousand votes according to Smart Voter.
Collett was a CPA, with a Masters in Business Taxation from USC. He also completed a Masters in Public Policy, at UCLA, this year. He completed a B.A. in Business Administration at Colorado College in 1976 after graduating from Arcadia High School in 1972. He owned his own business, Collett and Company, since 1999. He often allowed his offices to be used by the liberty movement in Los Angeles.
He was 58 years old, according to his bio (It notes him as being 57 but the bio dates back to last year’s Congressional campaign).
Collett got involved in a lot of issues but he was perhaps best known for advocating for drug reform. In his last blog post he wrote that “Objectives include compassionate treatment of drug users, consistent with public health and safety, and an end to the criminalization of people for what they choose to do with their own body.”
Collett is survived by two sisters, a daughter, a great many nieces and nephews, and his beloved his Great Pyrenees dogs, according to his Facebook page. That same page mentions that he saw “beauty in all major religions.”
Collett left us some great advice in a post he wrote on October 18:
There are three areas where Congress needs to act now to reduce deficits and improve the economy:
Immigration: Economists are nearly unanimous in the belief that immigration is positive for the economy. Immigrants come here for opportunity, they work hard, they buy products and services and create jobs. Facilitating paths to citizenship and empowerment of immigrants helps everyone. It is humane. Freedom to migrate brings prosperity.
Congress needs to pass an immigration bill that helps rather than hinders immigrants. We don’t need to spend $46 billion on pork barrel spending for walls and border police. We also do not need the government telling Americans what skills will be allowed in. Let the market decide. Empowering immigrants will help the economy and the deficit, as immigrants generate more tax revenue without raising tax rates.
Entitlements: Social Security and Medicare rank among America’s most popular programs. Facilitating immigration benefits entitlement programs without reducing benefits. Contrary to claims that immigrants are a net burden to these programs, immigrants tend to be younger and healthier and initially don’t qualify for many entitlements. Empowering immigrants increases the ratio of workers to retirees and makes both programs more sustainable. We will especially need the hands of immigrants as baby boomers join the ranks of the very old and require long term care. Immigration reform will generate net revenues, reduce deficits and help both foreign and native born in a humane and sustainable way.
Health Care: America has some of the greatest doctors and scientists in the world, but very unequal access. We spend double the amount on health care of comparable countries with wider access, better birth rates, longer life expectancies and higher reported levels of patient satisfaction. The battle over ObamaCare did little to solve the many problems created by the Affordable Care Act, and our representatives now need to fix what can be fixed to minimize the problems.
But if America is to make our doubly expensive healthcare system more efficient, we need to look at what works elsewhere, and which other approaches make sense for the United States. Congress needs to fix what it can with the Affordable Care Act, but will need bold innovation to bring down health care costs that now comprise 18 percent of our gross national product.
It is time to stop demonizing the opposition and make policy changes that can actually help the people. If Republicans want to be taken seriously as deficit hawks, they need to challenge spending on military and prisons in addition to health care and entitlements. Democrats need to understand that more government spending is not the solution. Spending wisely is what we want our representatives to do.
Rest in peace Steve and thanks for fighting the good fight!