So there I was, about a year ago.. first time ever I was introduced to the idea of Ron Paul. It was great, Libertarianism; freedom for all, liberty, etc. It was a romantic idea: the end of the war on drugs, legalization of various other things, FREEDOM! For once, someone that agreed with me on all levels; or so I thought. Because I tend to be skeptical of everything, including things I hold as truths, I pried into it a little bit. Let me parse some stuff from his website:
"Are you confused by all the talk about monetary policy, fiat money and inflation? You’re not alone. Bankers and politicians have worked hand in hand for many decades to obscure their activities from the public. They hide behind elaborate structures designed to inflate the money supply while creating the false impression that they are looking out for our best interests."
Oversimplifications of complex issues are very sexy. If it fits on a bumper sticker, it's gotta be good. (that doesn't fit on a bumper sticker, but "drill baby drill does"). This paragraph illustrates what turned out to be my key problem with the Ron Paul Revolution: he is an ideologue. His voting record confirms this, as I am sure he would have no problem with me saying he is. Whats wrong with ideologues? Well, human nature is not predictable. Things change, and when they do, those willing to adapt will be the survivors, and those who stick to their guns ("you're just not looking hard enough for the WMDs in Iraq.") look like assholes. I learned this long ago in reading philosophy, any time you set out to come up with a strict set of rules, they will always have exceptions. Even math has exceptions. If you ignore these exceptions, you become ignorant to what is directly in front of you.
So, back to the that paragraph; "They hide behind elaborate structures designed to inflate the money supply while creating the false impression that they are looking out for our best interests." Yes, they do. The fed has very little, if any oversight. This is wrong. But the correct answer is not the dissolution of the fed, IMO, the correct answer is oversight of the fed (and all other governmental institutions). What is wrong with the gold standard, why can't we go back to non-fiat money!? When I go to the bank, I want to be able to turn my cash in for the gold that backs it! No. If we used the gold standard, instead of fiat currency, we would not be able to adapt to the crisis at hand, the government wouldn't be able to make loans to banks to allow them liquidity to make loans to consumers. (various places on the Internet explain these concepts) The [printing] creation of money for loans is what has allowed people all across the US (and the world) to be able to buy homes on credit, instead of buying a home outright, or with considerable amounts of money down. Despite the current problem, the main source of a persons wealth is long, constant payments on a house over the span of 30 or so years. If everyone rented instead of owned homes (Not everyone, but far more), money, instead of going into that persons equity/wealth, would instead be funneled to people who already have plenty of money (or enough at least to own rental property), and is effectively a concentration of wealth. So yes, at first glance, dismantling the fed seems like a good idea, but some diving into the subject, at least if your not rich, reveals more, and prompts the question: why does Paul pander? Is he pandering, or does he really believe these things? I choose to believe that Paul really believes this is what is best for the country, albeit IMO, wrong. Read his website's fiat money/inflation paper with these things in mind now, it would then seem as if we shouldn't own houses because we can't afford them [outright], and that loans are the creation of money (which they are), and cause inflation (which they do). and think about this critically, and report back why inflation is not a bad thing per se. (Hint; I doubt there would be any raises in a commodity backed currency. Raises are generally to counter [if even that] inflation, however, not all things inflate at the same rate.) I have already gone over some of these issues about inflation, taxes, and otherwise in previous blog posts, and other essays, so read those.
I agree with Paul on some issues of course, the patriot act is one of the most appalling attacks on liberty America has ever seen. Of course the war on drugs is a goddamn joke, it's not to protect children, for goodness sake, when I was in High school it was far easier to get ahold of pot than it was to alcohol. I think this is the trap lots of people have fallen into; they agree with the personal freedom side of it, and figure, how in the world could I disagree with the other things?! Personal freedom! WOO HOO. But it's not just personal liberty.. not just for the PEOPLE, this is extended to business. Business should have very little freedom. Why am I anti business? I am not. Business is very necessary to the way of life in the USA, obviously. But business makes terrible mistakes. does anyone really think they can f*cking tell me that if business wan't told they couldn't dump their chems into rivers with no repercussions (at least immediate) that they would choose not to because they care about the environment? No. Would they have to when people found out they were doing it, and boycotted them? No, because all the other business that make the same product, or what-have-you, would be doing the same thing. Could one find a niche in a more green approach? Maybe, but their shareholders would shit bricks, since profit margins would decrease in contrast to the other companies, since the other companies were not paying extra to take care of waste. There's more examples, such as how employers treat employees, etc. maybe for another time.
It seems as if some of Mr. Paul's issues statements have disappeared from his webpage since last look. The last time I looked however, he had a short article about the Internet... against the Internet "regulation" (if you remember when this was a top issue, the Internet regulation was meant to tell ISPs that they couldn't restrict customers access to websites.) Paul was against this regulation, which really means that he would like to allow business to tell you what websites you can and can not visit. THAT WOULD BE THE IMMEDIATE DESTRUCTION OF THE INTERNET AS WE KNOW IT! THINK about that now. Do a thought experiment; Comcast can charge $1.00 per access to Skype, or to Vonage, but charge nothing to use their phone service. That is NOT A FREE AND OPEN INTERNET. This is why BUSINESS CAN'T BE TRUSTED WITH FREE REIGN. And for now, I rest my argument before I give myself a heart attack.
5 weeks ago