The Great Protectors

How the GOP became safe for Ron Paul's trade and monetary views

That CNBC/MSNBC debate on Tuesday, the one ostensibly pegged to "Your Money '08," was supposed to be Ron Paul's Passchendaele. "There are plenty of people to whom Paul's anti-war, limited government message appeals," The Scotsman's Alex Massie wrote, "who might pause to reconsider their enthusiasm if he's seen banging on and on about returning to the gold standard. It may be a dangerous moment for the campaign." And the dangerous moment came early, after the top three Republicans had fielded their first questions and Chris Matthews asked Paul about "the bonanza in the hedge fund industry."

"There's transfer of wealth from the poor and the middle class to the wealthy," Paul said. "This comes about because of the monetary system that we have. When you inflate a currency or destroy a currency, the middle class gets wiped out. So the people who get to use the money first—which is created by the Federal Reserve system—benefit. So the money gravitates to the banks and to Wall Street."

Ah, yes: Here was the Ron Paul who shuffles into the House chamber at midnight, banging on about sound money with the righteousness of Huey Newton outside a police station. If you pricked up your ears you could hear sixteen little clicks as the rest of the GOP contenders bounced their eyes around their sockets.

Paul went on. "Today, this country is in the middle of a recession for a lot of people. Michigan knows about it. Poor people know about it. The middle class knows about it. Wall Street doesn't know about it. Washington, D.C., doesn't know about it." He swatted at all of the economic optimism that had just come out of Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, and Mitt Romney.

And when he wrapped up, he was punished with... a lusty round of applause.

The day after the debate, as I talked to beltway libertarians ("the intellectuals who congregate in Washington outfits like the Cato Institute or Reason magazine," as Michael Crowley has it), I found some resigned sighs and quiet disdain of Paul's economic answers. The only man in CNBC's post-debate punditocracy who supported Paul was that renowned student of Rothbard and Hayek, Robert Reich. "He touched on agricultural subsidies," Reich said. "He touched on military bloat: These are the things the other mainstream Republican candidates aren't talking about. They should be talking about it." Kudlow gingerly moved the topic to budget-cutting.

There were good reasons for Paul's reception, ones that tie into his resilience in the GOP race and the top candidates' inability to excite the base. Republican voters are angry. They're mistrustful. They feel burned out, spurned, and uneasy. And their party has both exacerbated their anger through campaign strategy and let that anger fester with what was thought, for a long time, to be a benign neglect.

Let's look at the neglect first. Cast your mind way back into the hazy days of 2004, when liberals were sputtering at the way poor or middle-class Republicans who hated their party's economics still trusted them on culture. Thomas Frank's What's the Matter With Kansas was one long jeremiad on this theme; one of its subjects was a rural Pennsylvanian who said Republicans were "tired of everything being wonderful on Wall Street and terrible on Main Street." Frank was stunned at this, the grotesque spectacle of rubes "voting Republican to get even with Wall Street."

Well, they still feel that way about Wall Street. They're just a little less excited about voting Republican. This month's Wall Street Journal poll (PDF link) was a revelation, a one-point proof that the conservative base is distancing from its spokesmen like Giuliani, Romney and Kudlow. Sixty-one percent of Republicans said they favored "tougher regulations to limit imports of foreign goods." Fifty-nine percent agreed that "foreign trade has been bad for the U.S. economy."

And why shouldn't they believe this stuff? The Republicans in power haven't worked to convince the country otherwise. They have sloganeered, sure, with arguments for tax cuts and paeans to American know-how best summed up by Sam Brownback's Bill-and-Ted-by-way-of-Branson one-liner: "This place rocks!" And then, when brainstorming ways of convincing nervous home-owners or manufacturers that their policies are working, they blame it on the Others beyond our borders.

California Rep. Duncan Hunter was a shambling joke of a candidate on Tuesday, a Nixonian flop-sweat machine with charisma on loan from Paul Tsongas's estate, but it's actually his arguments that Republicans have been borrowing to mollify the base. At the debate the frontrunners (and Paul) cheered the idea of Borse Dubai buying 20 percent of Nasdaq. Last year, when Dubai Ports World was set to take over six U.S. ports, House and Senate Republicans howled as if Mehmet II was sacking Constantinople.

And, of course, the party has espoused Hunter's build-a-wall ragemongering about illegal immigration. Its strategists haven't given up on that. In Massachusetts' Lowell-centered 5th Congressional district the GOP is making a surprisingly strong bid to win an open seat that's gone Democratic since the 1970s. The election is next week, so for the final stretch the Republican campaign has released a mailer attacking SCHIP. Not on its merits, and not on the idea of raising sin taxes to pay for expanded health care mandates. It attacks it for "giving benefits to illegal immigrants."

It's a strange argument for no small number of reasons—aren't we supposed to be worried about illegal immigrants bearing tuberculosis and leprosy?—and in the bigger picture, it's incredibly damaging. Arguments like this undermine the mainstream Republican argument that America's economic engine is humming along and that more government intervention will only slow that down. It tells people that they're right to be worried. Foreign powers and illegal aliens are making their lives harder, threatening disaster. And because Republicans aren't actually able to stop or retard these externalities, this is a double whammy: a much-hyped threat that the "elites" can't, won't, and don't know how to combat.

"An economy has psychological or, if you will, spiritual, dimensions," Charles R. Morris wrote when pondering the gap between glistening macroeconomic numbers and rock-bottom consumer confidence polling. "A conviction of fairness, a feeling of not being totally on one's own, a sense of reasonable stability and predictability are all essential components of good economic performance." When Republicans are cheap and dishonest about economics, worried voters indulge their fantasies about who's to blame for their angst. That's the context in which Wall Street and bank-bashing starts a room to cheering. That's another reason why Ron Paul has stopped being a punching bag and started looking like a mirror held up to a party in deep, deep trouble.

David Weigel is an associate editor of reason.

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  • ||

    Good piece, David.

  • VM||

    Agreed - very interesting, David!!

  • ||

    Speaking of RON PAUL and monetary views. Take a look at Ron's website
    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/
    And don't forget to throw him some of that fiat currency
    RON PAUL2008

  • Marshall||

    http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com/

    Something tells me we're not going to see Dondero in here much for this thread. He's apparently missing? I'm not sure if this is a joke or not.

  • ||

    Yeah, is it a joke that's not funny, or a plea for help that is? Not to worry Marshall. DONDEEERRROOOO'S clone EDWAAARRRDDDOOO0 will be posting in 5... 4... 3...

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    Damn, Dondero ran afoul of a pimp in TJ?

  • ||

    If he is the victim of foul play, he probably picked a fight with the wrong guy; in my exchanges with him it was clear that the man's conflict management toolbox contained only one tool: escalation.

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    Rudy has lost another vote.

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    I think the article is conflating sound monetary policy with trade protectionism. Ron Paul supports the former, but not the latter, although he mollifies the protectionist wing by condemning NAFTA, CAFTA, and the like.

    Rattling on about the gold standard isn't dangerous to Ron Paul -- it's a fundamental tenet of truly limited government. Anyone expecting a government with a printing press handy to ever limit spending and debt is dreaming.

    Certainly Ron Paul's position against illegal immigration concerns open-borders libertarians (like me), but getting elected in 2008 would probably be impossible without it.

    If Ron Paul were meant to win this election, we would be stuck in an unpopular war, the dollar would be on the verge of collapse, and the President and Congress would be teaming up to destroy centuries-old civil liberties. Oh wait, they are.

  • jimmy||

    last time i looked, inflation is like 2%, and that constitutes "inflating the currency?" unemployment is like 4.5%, and that constitutes a "recession?" wow, not only isn't ron paul a libertarian, he isn't even a republican any more. i suppose all those statistics were just cooked up by those evil federal reserve people. ron paul is right, just like al gore was right in 2000, i guess this is the worst economy ever. jeez, i know he has some good arguments to make, but he is only reinforcing the image of libertarians (current or ex) as crackpots.

  • iih||

    This is hilarious.

  • ||

    "inflation is like 2%"

    hilarious, thanks! oh man, you should've prefaced that w/ a diaper warning- i almost sh*t my pants laughing :-)

  • Jay D||

    I have to admit I got lost in the middle of the article. I was interested to see why Weigel thought Ron Paul was wrong on sound money, but the article twisted around to trade protectionism (which Paul is against) and immigration.

  • Kyle||

    come on jimmy..

    don't you Know the difference between monetary inflation and the government cpi?

    the money supply is increasing double digits _globally_.

    people who own stocks think the economy's great. and they're happy.

    people who own gold think the economy sucks. and they're happy.

    people who don't own stuff...not so happy.

  • ||

    Money is a medium of exchange, be it gold, paper, clamshells, etc. Its people's confidence in what the value of the particular monetary material is that gives it power. I am not a gold bug, I don't believe gold is "sound" money. I think fiat money is just fine as long as there are sound economic policies giving people confidence in it. But I do not think funding wars and giving money away is proper economics. I understand that Ron Paul wants to take away the government's power to make these mistakes by going to a limited supply currency, but I think the benefits of non commodity currency outweigh the risks. I think the preferable and acceptable compromise is to allow gold and other precious metals to become legal tender to mitigate the abusive tendency of central governments with regards to fiat money, but not to replace fiat money altogether. There's nothing magic about either gold or paper money, but a good economy should make as many people comfortable about engaging in trade as possible and if it takes more mediums of currency, so be it.

  • Dave Weigel||

    I think the article is conflating sound monetary policy with trade protectionism.

    I'm not conflating them as much as explaining why Republicans can't point at Ron and say "See? See? He's crazy!" They've let their voters believe that shadowy elites are taking away their prosperity, so when Paul makes another version of that argument, it hits a mark.

  • ||

    CAFTA and NAFTA are not free trade, they're favored trade. Ron Paul wants to eliminate favoritism and engage in WWAFTA (World with America Free Trade Agreement)

    As far as immigration, illegal immigration is not good, but a combination of stricter immigration enforcement with better immigration rules IS good. Paul wants to make sure people don't abuse the US, but also that the US gets the workers it needs.

    Paul is about as libertarian as it gets when it comes to economics, but he rarely gets to work the average American through his nuanced stances on TV.

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    I'd like to replace the phrase "shadowy elite" with "greedy morons" because I can't bring myself to see Wall Street or Capital Hill as evil geniuses, merely capricious windbags that flail around and smack around the little guy in the process.

  • ||

    "last time i looked, inflation is like 2%"

    2% by cooking the books by keeping energy costs and food prices out of the calculations.

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    Paul is basically right about everything he says, but I often get frustrated by the way he communicates his ideas. I would prefer that he sketch out the basics of how printing money causes inflation, before launching into esoteric diatribes no layman can follow. I think he often leaves the general public wondering what the hell he is talking about.

  • shecky||

    I view this as Paul's wink to the populist base that makes up the Republican vote pool. Perhaps he isn't the nerdy wonk he's often portrayed as, but rather a plain old shrewd politician.

  • Rick Fisk||

    David, pretty good piece but I think it's wrong to conflate sound money with protectionism.

    Ron Paul is playing this one perfectly in my opinion. He's taking the rhetoric of the left and applying it to sound money arguments.

    It is positively brilliant. Hardcore economic libertarians have ignored Leftist arguments to their own peril. Every person who notices that a transfer of wealth has been occurring from poor to rich is not suggesting that we reverse this by punitively transferring wealth back from rich to poor. That is the typical leftist argument to be sure. But when libertarians react in a knee-jerk fashion to a valid concern, they lose credibility AND any opportunity to educate people as to the true root cause of how wealth is truly being redistributed.

    Ron Paul is acknowledging that this wealth re-distribution is taking place, but the cause is not the evil 'capitalist dogs' as is typically suggested by the anti-capitalists - it is occurring because of our Keynesian market controls such as the Federal Reserve.

    It doesn't matter if the uninititated are first attracted to this message because of their leftist beliefs. They are becoming educated on the fraud which is our current monetary system evidenced by the rally Paul attended after the debate.

    During his remarks to a crowd of 2000-2500 supporters at the University of Michigan, a large group of them started chanting "GOLD! GOLD! GOLD!" and burning federal reserve notes.

    Ron Paul has already made himself the rallying cry for all freedom lovers in this country (and even throughout the world). Win or lose, he will be a historic figure and not the fringe crank he is made out to be.

    Mark my words.

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    2% by cooking the books by keeping energy costs and food prices out of the calculations.

    Exactly.

    It's inflation ex-inflation.

    As long as you remove anything whose prices keep rising from the formula, inflation will always be under control.

  • ben bernanke\'s helicopter||

    Beltway libertarians who actually understand economics give plenty of support to Ron Paul.

    Beltway "libertarians" whose chief focus is lower taxes and more abortions, whose economic understanding goes no further than fetishizing comparative advantage at the expense of everything else...

    Well, those are the ones you've been talking to.

  • ||

    Good article, David. Well written.

  • Anony||

    Obviously, Weigel is in the pocket of Big Federal Reserve Note.

  • ||

    The day after the debate, as I talked to beltway libertarians ("the intellectuals who congregate in Washington outfits like the Cato Institute or Reason magazine," as Michael Crowley has it), I found some resigned sighs and quiet disdain of Paul's economic answers.

    So beltway libertarians are as out of touch as beltway conservatives and liberals. What did they do after they griped about Pauls economic vision? Go and write up those policy briefs for Cato few read and no politician acts on? At least Paul is doing something pro-active, Cato seems like the least effective waste of money in the libertarian movement -- what do they do?

  • Fluffy||

    To a certain extent, Paul's economic views and limited government views aren't relevant to his candidacy.

    A President Paul would have no ability to reintroduce metals-based currency, just as he would have no ability to return the abortion question to the states immediately or directly, and no ability to get his voluntary school prayer amendment passed, etc.

    These positions are more usefully analyzed as "markers" letting us know how he would govern generally. For example, since he can't unilaterally get rid of all the government programs he thinks are unConstitutional, what would probably happen is that he would veto one budget after another until a budget passed over his veto. And the budget that would pass over his veto is likely to be a better budget for libertarian sensibilities than any budget any of the other candidates would get.

    The things directly in his control would be things like redeploying the troops out of Iraq, closing Guantanamo, stopping the sabre-rattling with Iran, ending intelligence programs that violate the 4th Amendment, turning over all the records the Bush administration is sitting on to the Justice Department and the Congress, ending the use of the state secrets privilege in litigation involving the executive branch, etc.

    So even if his economic views aren't shared by all libertarians in every detail, the details that are likely to become law are pretty much libertarian universals. So no one needs to do any sighing.

  • Ben in Iraq||

    Ron Paul would be the front runner had he not made such a big deal about leaving the war effort behind. He could have just made the case that Congress should have declared war, and not kept trying to tie the pressident up about it. I think he would have been number 1, but Centrism wins elections and having a winning viewpoint on the war is key to this years. Voters for the most part don't want another Vietnam where ultimately the US effort wins, but takes a huge embarassing hit when we leave. Ron Paul is a great guy, but he has been on the wrong side of whether or not the US is winning this conflict. (And we are)

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    Rattlesnake Jake, ChicagoTom:

    Measures of CPI less food and energy are calculated because food and energy prices are very volatile (they jump around too much from quarter to quarter, and season to season). Other prices don't jump around as much, so CPI less food and energy gives a better picture of how inflation is looking in the medium to long run.

    "Raw" CPI, with food and energy, is still calculated and reported. Feel free to inspect the data. Its trend isn't much different from CPI less food and energy.

    Jimmy, you're right--inflation is about 2% in the US right now. Don't expect it to stay there, though.

    The loonie is at US$1.0244.

  • iih||

    Jimmy, you're right--inflation is about 2% in the US right now. Don't expect it to stay there, though.

    The loonie is at US$1.0244.


    Can any one tell if the older rates could ever come back? I spend much of my US income in Canada, and I am really getting worried now. Any hints?

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Fantastic work, David. This is one of your best pieces of writing outside of the live-blogging of the debates.

  • ||

    Ron Paul is exactly right about Iraq and foreign policy in general.

    We went there on false premises. It's an aggressive, illegal, and criminal war; we should just get out and stop trying to police the world.

    As more Americans come to understand how their government LIES to them, perhaps they'll give more thought to being sucked into the miltary machine in the first place.

  • ||

    "Voters for the most part don't want another Vietnam where ultimately the US effort wins, but takes a huge embarassing hit when we leave."

    Waaaah? The US was propping up a series of dictators, spending billions and billions of dollars, our young men were dying at a rate that makes the current war seem like a tea party by comparison, the vietnamese people didn't want us there, the south vietnamese couldn't and didn't want to fight, and the north vietnamese weren't even close to collapse. We lost that war. The press didn't lose it, Jane Fonda didn't lose it, and the Smothers Brothers didn't lose it. We lost it.

  • ||

    people who don't own stuff...not so happy.

    And never will be.

    I honestly don't have any idea what the real rate of inflation is. I do know that in any inflationary economy, one of the smartest things you can do is borrow money on long-term notes, because you will be paying it back later with cheaper inflated dollars. You wouldn't do this only if you think the interest rates on long term notes exceed the rate of inflation.

    Interest on long-term debt is pretty low right now - in the single digits, so this doesn't this mean nobody is really willing to put their money where their mouth is on monetary inflation?

  • George W Bush||

    You lie, Frank Booth! We were about to win and the hippies stabbed us in the back! The hippies wanted us to lose because they love Pol Pot! Pol Pot was brought to power by the hippies and our bombing of Cambodia had nothing to do with it! I learned all of this while reading training manuals in the rest room at the Air National Guard!

  • ||

    "Ron Paul is a great guy, but he has been on the wrong side of whether or not the US is winning this conflict. (And we are)"

    The issue is not whether or not we're winning, it is should we be in these kinds of conflicts in the first place. Is it really the duty of the US to be involved in nation building?

  • ||

    The loonie is at US$1.0244.

    Can any one tell if the older rates could ever come back? I spend much of my US income in Canada, and I am really getting worried now. Any hints?


    Nobody knows for sure--predicting exchange rates is a game for suckers--but the estimates I've heard range from no lower than 90c to as high as $1.10 by the end of 2008.

    An 80, 70 cent loonie? Forget it, at least in the near future. May I suggest, dear Habs fan, you do more shopping in Plattsburgh, while you can. I don't expect Canadian prices to drop--I expect US prices to rise.

    Back on topic:

    Weigel hit the nail on the head. Ron Paul's overrated as a libertarian; to the extent he appeals to libertarians, it's to the paranoid, xenophobic and as often as not racist and anti-Semitic "libertarians" we find on lewrockwell.com (for example).

    Call me a Beltway libertarian if you must; I prefer the term reason Libertarian. lewrockwell.com "libertarianism" isn't so much libertarianism as the socialism of fools in libertarian garb.

    Alas, it's always been more popular than the real thing.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Also, Dugg.

  • ||

    I think the preferable and acceptable compromise is to allow gold and other precious metals to become legal tender to mitigate the abusive tendency of central governments with regards to fiat money, but not to replace fiat money altogether.

    Yeah, I think parallel currencies is about as good as we could do.

    Call me a Beltway libertarian if you must; I prefer the term reason Libertarian. lewrockwell.com "libertarianism" isn't so much libertarianism as the socialism of fools in libertarian garb.

    Yeah, and the Judean People's Front is full of gasbags, too. Same with the Front for the People of Judea. And don't even get me started on the People's Front in Judea.

  • Rick Fisk||

    "Nobody knows for sure--predicting exchange rates is a game for suckers"

    It would be child's play if the currency were backed by a commodity just as inflation would be easily measurable.

    That was the reason the founding fathers put so much importance on weights and measures. If you can't put any faith in their accuracy, you are subject to fraud.

    Calling Lew and others who write for him "anti-Semitic" and racist puts the lie to the claim that you are a "reason" libertarian.

  • ||

    Me? A splitter? Jehovah forfend!

  • iih||

    An Ottawa Reader:

    An 80, 70 cent loonie? Forget it, at least in the near future. May I suggest, dear Habs fan, you do more shopping in Plattsburgh, while you can. I don't expect Canadian prices to drop--I expect US prices to rise.

    Thanks. Go Habs Go! ;-)

  • ||

    "Ron Paul's overrated as a libertarian; to the extent he appeals to libertarians, it's to the paranoid, xenophobic and as often as not racist and anti-Semitic "libertarians" we find on lewrockwell.com (for example)."

    I've been haunting LRC for three years, and I know the silly controversies you speak of. Cast the aspersion if you must, but it's nonsense like all the other political nonsense in the world (for example). Also, you criticize with a broad and simple brush.

    Politics makes people act and think in bad faith. Come out of the cave.

  • ||

    Anony: Obviously, Weigel is in the pocket of Big Federal Reserve Note.

    I don't know if you've been lurking as long as I have, but I believe the correct phrasing would be "Weigel is shilling for Big FRN". Obviously.

  • Alexander Saint Croix||

    Paul's monetary assault is on Keynesian economic policies that permit the Federal Reserve to inflate the currency by printing more of it and lending it into the market. This policy made possible Truman's so-called 'war on poverty', in which we exported US inflation to the developing world and killed the dollar in the 50s and 60s. Truman's stealth-inflation prompted dollar decline and forced Kissinger/Nixon to end the Bretton-Woods monetary system in '72, ushering in the new era of derivatives and purely speculative markets. Go read about it for yourself. Paul is absolutely right about sound money. Today's dollar is worth $0.05 of 1971's dollar, and the trend will continue until our international lenders refuse to show up and the nation's economy falls to ruin. The housing market is a symptom of a much larger and more serious issue. I'm a 28-year old Minnesotan and these facts are a large reason why I support Ron Paul.

  • ||

    Politics makes people act and think in bad faith. Come out of the cave.

    Good point. And I was oversimplifying, yes. It is easy to get carried away with arguments on message boards. I'm not proud of it when I do.

    Not least because I ought to be working instead...^_^;

  • Russ 2000||

    I don't believe gold is "sound" money. I think fiat money is just fine as long as there are sound economic policies giving people confidence in it.

    I can understand not thinking gold is sound money, but "fiat money" and "sound economic principles" are contradictions in terms. If you are willing to believe double-speak, there's no hope for you. But I'm sure you don't actually have all your money tied up in cash, you have it tied up in investments. Which means you pretty much don't believe that fiat money has any sound economic principle behind it.

  • Mark Bahner||

    Ron Paul's overrated as a libertarian; to the extent he appeals to libertarians, it's to the paranoid, xenophobic and as often as not racist and anti-Semitic "libertarians" we find on lewrockwell.com (for example).



    Ron Paul has done more actual work for libertarianism than virtually anyone in the world. Certainly more than any Ottawa Reader of which I'm aware.

    I'm not saying that people should agree with what Ron Paul says. But if they're decent libertarians, they ought to at least *respectfully* disagree.

  • ||

    Russ,

    So are you saying that money need contain an inherent value to function? I'm not an economist, but as a medium of exchange, all you need is a certain confidence in the stability of the system supporting the money (in this case government). I believe that privately circulated "fiat" money would work just the same. I must have missed my monetary policy day in school if you are certain that I am incorrect in thinking the value of money is the agreement to exchange rather than the productive usefulness of the material the money is made out of or the physical material it represents.

  • Mark Bahner||

    ...but "fiat money" and "sound economic principles" are contradictions in terms. If you are willing to believe double-speak, there's no hope for you.



    What major economy in the world has run with anything other than fiat money in the last 30 years?

    I see maybe Switzerland up to the 1990s:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_standard

    Anyone else?

    If you say that every major economy in the world hasn't been operating on sound economic principles for the last 30 years...well, it's curious that the world economy hasn't been operating too badly.

  • SIV||

    all you need is a certain confidence in the stability of the system supporting the money (in this case government)

    Nothing is so stable as "governments". I mean, have you ever heard of one failing? Preposterous!

  • Fluffy||

    Mark, by limiting the discussion to so-called "major" economies you're spoiling the sample.

    Obviously if we only consider nations which are currently employing fiat currencies successfully, we won't encounter any fiat currency failures.

    To fairly consider the question of fiat currencies, we have to look at ALL of them. When you look at all of them, the record's not so great. How's that Mozambiqui currency working out?

    Why not also turn the question around? How many commodity-based currencies have failed or experienced hyperinflation? How many had to go through state-led devaluations?

    And looking at Lost in Translation's last post, I think there's an interesting angle for examination. LiT argues that as long as the public has confidence in the institution promulgating the money, the money will be sound. But from that one could argue that fiat currencies militate against liberty, because a state that limited itself to a scale commensurate with liberty would not overawe the population to the degree necessary to inspire confidence in a fiat currency. Early US attempts at paper currency didn't do too well. It is possible that the historical moment at which Nixon abandoned the gold standard was the first moment in which such a move could really have been contemplated, because prior to that time the state in the US just was not sufficiently dominant to make questioning of its fiat currency unthinkable. I'm not saying I think this, but it's an interesting line of thought to pursue.

  • Free Market Freddie||

    Don't panic because Paul says we have economic problems. Libertarians and other free marketeers must avoid the trap of defending a status quo that is not theirs to defend. High taxes, fanatical labor and environmental regulations and hair-trigger litigation make American manufacturing uncompetitive in world markets, so closed factories on Main Street should be a free market issue, not a leftist populist issue. Same for health care; the employer-based system (a creature of government regulations and tax laws, not markets) follows the same business model as a "single payer" health plan - the employer is a surrogate for the government offering the illusion of free health care in return for limited choices and centralized micromanagement.

  • Jason Mitchell||

    Ron Paul is right. When these mortgage companies make bad decisions and the Fed bails them out, it does hurt the little guy. If not immediately, then later. How can constantly adding more money into the system to keep wall street going higher and higher not have some negative recourse in the future?

    And the middle (and lower) class is getting crushed. With the way prices have went over the last few years we are hurting. Housing is unaffordable, milk is $5 a gallon, gas prices have more than doubled, on and on and on... so to hear everone but Paul and Hunter say the economy is going great is like a big spit in the face. Those of us who live paycheck to paycheck know it.

    What will solve it? I don't know. Socialism won't, but we will find that out when the Democrats take office. Sound spending and sane foreign policy would probably help. Very slowly start tightening up the dollar supply and reducing or eliminating taxes to aid people and businesses while this happened to keep Wall Street going would be a start. Returning to commodity based currency, or just allowing money to compete would be another.

    Market manipulation is not free market economics. Free markets are just like everything else, eventually there is an equal or greater reaction for everything you do. The effect of them devaluing the dollar and having a foreign policy that causes oil (and everything else's) prices to go up is that they will not be in office in January '09. Paul is the only one that seems to get that, and I am a Republican, a military veteran and have been for 10 years. When they get Paul out, I am gone too because there is no hope for the Republican Party anymore. Aside from Supreme court justices, Bush has been the biggest disaster for the republican party since Hoover got blamed for the depression.

  • ||

    [Inflation is] 2% by cooking the books by keeping energy costs and food prices out of the calculations.

    Actually, the rate of inflation may well be 2%, as separate from an increase in prices of goods and commodities.

    Inflation relates only to a rise in prices due to a decrease in the value of money resulting from an enlarged money supply. If prices rise due to non-monetary effects, such as a war increasing the price of oil, it definitely counts as an increase in price, but it is not inflation per se.

  • ||

    LiT argues that as long as the public has confidence in the institution promulgating the money, the money will be sound. But from that one could argue that fiat currencies militate against liberty, because a state that limited itself to a scale commensurate with liberty would not overawe the population to the degree necessary to inspire confidence in a fiat currency. Early US attempts at paper currency didn't do too well. It is possible that the historical moment at which Nixon abandoned the gold standard was the first moment in which such a move could really have been contemplated, because prior to that time the state in the US just was not sufficiently dominant to make questioning of its fiat currency unthinkable. I'm not saying I think this, but it's an interesting line of thought to pursue.

    It something to discuss. How much does pure psychology play into monetary valuation vs. economics of productivity and asset accumulation. It'd be interesting to see how many physical dollars are circulating around the world vs. their assumed value compared with Euros or pounds. While I do not like alot of the US government's domestic policies, something about the face it shows the world (along with something about Americans) has kept the dollar strong for the past two decades.

  • Mark Bahner||

    To fairly consider the question of fiat currencies, we have to look at ALL of them. When you look at all of them, the record's not so great. How's that Mozambiqui currency working out?



    No. Sorry. That's turning the argument on its head. This was the statement I was addressing:

    ...but "fiat money" and "sound economic principles" are contradictions in terms. If you are willing to believe double-speak, there's no hope for you.



    If "fiat money" and "sound economic principles" are a "contradiction in terms," and "double-speak," then there must be no examples of countries with fiat money operating with "sound economic principles."

    Given the fact that virtually every country in the world uses fiat money, this is essentially saying that every country in the world is not run with "sound economic principles."

    Everyone ought to be able to agree that the statements were a huge exaggeration.

    When Ron Paul speaks about returning to the gold standard, I (respectfully!) submit that he wastes precious "face time" on something that is so esoteric that he could never adequately make his case to a layperson in the time he has.

    If he instead pointed out the cost of the war in Iraq is already approximately $1500 for every man, woman, and child in America...and then followed that with..."So if you're in a family of 4 people, that's $6,000"...THAT would make a huge impression. People can understand that. If he then followed it up by pointing out that he's the only presidential candidate--Republican OR Democrat--who would never get the U.S. involved in a war without a Congressional declaration of war...THAT would make a huge impression.

    People can't understand why we should return to a gold standard. (In fact, even many economists would disagree that's necessary or even important.) People CAN understand what a family of four could do with $6,000.

  • ||

    I also think it is wrong to imply Ron Paul is protectionist. The republicans and all of the mainstream candidates are in favro of maintaing the trade blockades on Cube...ROn Paul is in favor completely eliminating trade sanctions against Cuba....NAFTA and WTO don't say anything about these egregious anti-free trade policies they implicit support the OPPOSITE of free trade...Cuba could very well be our 4th biggest trade partener if we freed up snactions with them!

    There are many other instances where NAFTA explicitly enforce tariffs and quotas that ROn Paul is AGAINST....the fact that even a liberatarian magazine repeats the mantra that Ron Paul is not for free trade is insane.

    The facts are that the relatively high real wages of americas middle class are going to continue to converge with Chinas as logn as we have free trade. I am in favor of that, but I think it is dishonest to pretend that middle class Michigan, Indiana and Ohio is benefitting from this! And yes the federal reserve does operate monetary policy in such a way that has been of great benefit to Wall Street at the expense of those on fixed incomes...teh CPI is totally bogus and it has been intentionally gamed to screw people who have governemtn generated payments linked to the CPI...hell, this helps me personally...but it is still true.

  • James Redford||

    Dave Weigel, you wrote on October 11, 2007, 2:25pm:

    ""
    I'm not conflating them as much as explaining why Republicans can't point at Ron and say "See? See? He's crazy!" They've let their voters believe that shadowy elites are taking away their prosperity, so when Paul makes another version of that argument, it hits a mark.
    ""

    Government, whatever its de jure status, strongly tends toward oligarchy. The bigger the government the stronger this tendency will be, since then the stakes of exercising a disproportionate influence over government policy is raised (as big government has the ability to, e.g., make or break business fortunes via its policies and how it chooses to enforce them).[1] That is true every bit as much for formal democracies. Consequenty, under government, the strong inclination is a winnowing effect whereby those who rise to the top of the private sector and the government sector are those who are willing to "play along to get along," i.e., amenable to supporting the furtherance of the political establishment's power.

    Such applies to media outlets and universities, as well; which, when combined with the government's own schooling and propaganda, inculcates the largest part of individuals' Weltanschauung from cradle to grave: the contents of that worldview being rather thoroughgoing, if muddleheaded and hodgepodge, forms of etatism, accompanying a high degree of political naïveté which such a position implies. Hence, the very intellectual tools which are prerequisite for sustaining an effective defense of liberty are absent most people.

    So also due to that effect of winnowing, there tends to be a confluence of ideology at the top level, for accrument of power becomes its own purpose as the government moves toward its logical conclusion: the total state, and all the horrors that come with it. Distinctions such as Democrat and Republican, "liberal" and conservative, etc., are useful for providing the hoi polloi with innocuous distractions, but they mean little at the top echelon.[2]

    Since all governments (including totalitarian dictatorships) ultimately can only exist due to the "consent" of its subjects (at least "consent" in the sense of resignation), it's understandable why the oligarchic nature of government would not be widely publicized by the political establishment within a formal democracy.

    The process of tendency toward oligarchy I've outlined above is intrinsic to government due to the inherent, perverse incentive structures which obtain under government (i.e., the internal logic of the system). Ultimately it doesn't matter how pure and good the intentions are of the people who set up the government, nor what type of government is nominally instituted: so long as the defining feature of government exists--that of a regional monopoly on ultimate control over the law--then this process cannot be avoided, since the inherent incentives of the system are such as to reward actors who bring about such outcomes (being that one who is able to inordinately influence the policies of a government can use that influence for his personal benefit and that of his friends, whereas liberty for society is a general benefit which accrues to no one in particular). All the good intentions in the world are no match against perverse incentives.

    The foregoing is the political economy basis for understanding government's tendancy toward oligarchy. But I'll here provide extensive empirical evidence to further show that wordly praxis matches the analysis.

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt noted concerning your termed "shadowy elites" in a private letter only published after his death:

    ""
    The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson--and I am not wholly excepting the Administration of W.W. The country is going through a repetition of Jackson's fight with the Bank of the United States--only on a far bigger and broader basis.
    ""

    (From President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a letter to Col. Edward Mandell House, November 21, 1933; contained in F.D.R.: His Personal Letters, 1928-1945, edited by Elliott Roosevelt [New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1950], pg. 373.)

    Roosevelt in the above letter mentioned President Woodrow Wilson ("W.W."). Below is what Woodrow Wilson himself wrote concerning this same matter:

    ""
    Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.

    ...

    [A]nd we have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated, governments in the civilized world--no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men.
    ""

    (From Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom: A Call for the Emancipation of the Generous Energies of a People [New York and Garden City: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1913] http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/14811 .)

    Here's some choice quotes from David Rockefeller:

    ""
    For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure--one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.
    ""

    (From David Rockefeller, Memoirs [Random House, 2002], pg. 405.)

    ""
    One is impressed immediately by the sense of national harmony. ... There is a very real and pervasive dedication to Chairman Mao and Maoist principles. Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution, it has obviously succeeded not only in producing more efficient and dedicated administration, but also in fostering high morale and community purpose. General social and economic progress is no less impressive. ... The enormous social advances of China have benefitted greatly from the singleness of ideology and purpose. ... The social experiment in China under Chairman Mao's leadership is one of the most important and successful in history.
    ""

    (From David Rockefeller, in his article "From a China Traveler," New York Times, August 10, 1973, pg. 31.)

    Edith Kermit Roosevelt, granddaughter of Theodore Roosevelt:

    ""
    The word "Establishment" is a general term for the power elite in international finance, business, the professions and government, largely from the northeast, who wield most of the power regardless of who is in the White House.

    Most people are unaware of the existence of this "legitimate Mafia." Yet the power of the Establishment makes itself felt from the professor who seeks a foundation grant, to the candidate for a cabinet post or State Department job. It affects the nation's policies in almost every area.
    ""

    (From Edith Kermit Roosevelt, "Elite Clique Holds Power in U.S.," Indianapolis News, December 23, 1961, pg. 6.)

    For the history on how the "capitalist" (i.e., mercantilist) elite in the U.S. bankrolled Communism as well as National Socialism, see the below scholarly books by libertarian Antony C. Sutton, Ph.D.:

    Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution, Antony C. Sutton, Ph.D. (New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House Publishers, 1974) http://reformed-theology.org/html/books/bolshevik_revolution/index.html

    (Note: Chapter I of the above book refers to a 1911 St. Louis Post-Dispatch cartoon illustration by Robert Minor. This can be viewed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Robert-Minor-Dee-Lighted-1911.png .)

    Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler, Antony C. Sutton, Ph.D. (Suffolk, England: Bloomfield Books, 1976) http://reformed-theology.org/html/books/wall_street/index.html
    http://www.mega.nu:8080/ampp/sutton_wall_street/index.html

    The Best Enemy Money Can Buy, Antony C. Sutton, Ph.D. (Billings, M.T.: Liberty House Press, 1986) http://reformed-theology.org/html/books/best_enemy/index.html
    http://www.mega.nu:8080/ampp/sutton_best_enemy/index.html

    See also:

    "Thyssen Funds Found in U.S.," International News Service (INS), July 31, 1941 http://www.infowars.com/print_prescott.htm

    Vesting Order Number 248, Federal Register, November 7, 1942 http://www.mbpolitics.com/bush2000/Vesting.htm
    http://www.mbpolitics.com/bush2000/Vesting%20248.gif

    "Bush-Nazi Link Confirmed," John Buchanan, New Hampshire Gazette, Vol. 248, No. 1, October 10, 2003 http://nhgazette.com/cgi-bin/NHGstore.cgi?user_action=detail&catalogno=NN_Bush_Nazi_Link

    "'Bush-Nazi Dealings Continued Until 1951'--Federal Documents," John Buchanan and Stacey Michael, New Hampshire Gazette, Vol. 248, No. 3, November 7, 2003 http://www.nhgazette.com/cgi-bin/NHGstore.cgi?user_action=detail&catalogno=NN_Bush_Nazi_2

    "How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power," Ben Aris and Duncan Campbell, Guardian (U.K.), September 25, 2004 http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1312540,00.html

    "How the Bush family made its fortune from the Nazis," Attorney John Loftus, former U.S. Department of Justice Nazi War Crimes prosecutor and current President of the Florida Holocaust Museum, September 27, 2000 http://www.tetrahedron.org/articles/new_world_order/bush_nazis.html
    http://www.john-loftus.com/Thyssen.asp

    The Bilderberg group is the top-tier of the globalist ruling elite. Groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission are the Bilderberg group's more public organizational branches which help to enact the agenda of the Bilderberg group.

    Reuters acknowledges that the Bilderberg group of European royalty and international central bankers groomed Bill Clinton and Tony Blair for the U.S. Presidency and British Prime Ministry, respectively:

    "Secretive Bilderberg group to meet in Sweden," Peter Starck, Reuters, May 23, 2001 http://www.propagandamatrix.com/reuters_bilderberg.html

    As the below BBC Radio report reveals from uncovered archived Bilderberg documents, the European Union and the euro European Union single-currency were both the brainchild of the Bilderberg group and secretly planned since the first Bilderberg group meeting in 1954:

    "Club Class," Simon Cox, BBC Radio Four, July 3, 2003 http://www.propagandamatrix.com/bbc_radio_4_bilderberg.mp3
    http://web.archive.org/web/20051023125305/http://sf.indymedia.org/uploads/bbc_radio_4_club_class.mp3
    http://web.archive.org/web/20030714183005/http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2003/07/1624491.php

    See also:

    "Inside the secretive Bilderberg Group," Bill Hayton, BBC News, September 29, 2005 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4290944.stm

    "Confessions of a Globalist: Bilderberger Admits Influence on World Decisions," James P. Tucker Jr., American Free Press, Issue #42, October 17, 2005 http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/confessions_of_a_globalist.html

    "Elite power brokers' secret talks," Emma Jane Kirby, BBC News, May 15, 2003 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3031717.stm

    "World government in action," Joseph Farah, WorldNetDaily.com, May 16, 2003 http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=32606

    "The masters of the universe," Pepe Escobar, Asia Times, May 22, 2003 http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EE22Ak03.html

    For more information on the Bilderberg group, see the below news archives:

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/archive_bilderberg.html

    http://www.propagandamatrix.com/archive_bilderberg.html

    As Lord Acton noted, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" (from a letter by Acton to Bishop Mandell Creighton, April 1887). One of the main pleasures and prerogatives of those who seek such power is the exercise of it. And when the world is one's oyster and one has grown tired of the usual thrills that money can buy, combined with effective legal impunity (so long as they remain servants of the establishment), the tastes of elites often seek out more bizarre and verboten thrills. For voluminous documentation on their more saturnalian escapades, see the below post by me:

    "Documentation on Elitist Child Sex-Slavery, Snuff Films and Occultism," James Redford, September 3, 2007 http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=4468

    Related to the previous item, in the below post by me, I provide massive amounts of documentation wherein the U.S. government itself admits it is holding innocent people indefinitely without charges (including children and U.S. citizens), torturing them, raping them--including homosexually anally raping them--and murdering them, and that the orders to do so came from the highest levels of the U.S. government:

    "Crushing Children's Testicles: Welcome to the New Freedom," TetrahedronOmega, August 12, 2006 http://www.armleg.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=59&mforum=libertyandtruth

    On the matter of the intensive conditioning of the public by government to recoil from conspiracy charges which inculpate it (while at the same time accepting the self-serving conspiracy theories the government promulgates), the following passage by Prof. Murray N. Rothbard is quite edifying:

    ""
    It is also important for the State to inculcate in its subjects an aversion to any "conspiracy theory of history"; for a search for "conspiracies" means a search for motives and an attribution of responsibility for historical misdeeds. If, however, any tyranny imposed by the State, or venality, or aggressive war, was caused not by the State rulers but by mysterious and arcane "social forces," or by the imperfect state of the world or, if in some way, everyone was responsible ('We Are All Murderers," proclaims one slogan), then there is no point to the people becoming indignant or rising up against such misdeeds. Furthermore, an attack on "conspiracy theories" means that the subjects will become more gullible in believing the "general welfare" reasons that are always put forth by the State for engaging in any of its despotic actions. A "conspiracy theory" can unsettle the system by causing the public to doubt the State's ideological propaganda.
    ""

    (From Prof. Murray N. Rothbard, "The Anatomy of the State," Rampart Journal of Individualist Thought, Summer 1965, pp. 1-24. Reprinted in a collection of some of Rothbard's articles, Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays [Washington, D.C.: Libertarian Review Press, 1974]: http://www.mises.org/easaran/chap3.asp .)

    A conspiracy is simply when two or more people take part in a plan which involves doing something unrightful or untoward to another person or other people (of which plan may or may not be kept secret, i.e., secrecy is not a necessary component for actions to be a conspiracy). This makes government itself the largest corporeal conspiracy to ever exist (given that it exists via a double-standard of doing unto others what it does not want done unto it), or that could ever exist.

    Since obviously more than one person was involved in planning the 9/11 attacks, then *by definition* the U.S. government's offical fairy tale is a conspiracy theory, as the U.S. government is putting forth a theory concerning the 9/11 attacks which involves a conspiracy.

    Furthermore, conspiracies are ubiquitous (witness all the laws on the books against conspiracy, and how many people are routinely charged under said laws), and the most egregious perpetrators of murderously brutal conspiracies are governments upon their own innocent citizens. More than six times the amount of noncombatants have been systematically murdered for purely ideological reasons by their own governments within the past century than were killed in that same time-span from wars. From 1900 to 1923, various Turkish regimes murdered from 3.5 million to over 4.3 million of its own Armenians, Greeks, Nestorians, and other Christians. The Soviet government murdered over 61 million of its own non-combatant subjects. The communist Chinese government murdered over 76 million of it own subjects. And Germany murdered some 16 million of it own subjects in the past century. And that's only a sampling of governments mass-murdering their own noncombatant subjects within the past century. (The preceding figures are from Prof. Rudolph Joseph Rummel's website at http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/ .)

    All totaled, neither the private-sector crime which government is largely responsible for promoting and causing or even the wars committed by governments upon the subjects of other governments come anywhere close to the crimes government is directly responsible for committing against its own citizens--certainly not in amount of numbers. Without a doubt, the most dangerous presence to ever exist throughout history has always been the people's very own government.

    Not only were all of these government mass-slaughters conspiracies--massive conspiracies, at that--but they were conspiracies of which the 9/11 attacks are quite insignificant by comparison.

    Moreover, terrorism is the health of the state (indeed, government is itself a subset of terrorism), which is why so many governments throughout history have manufactured duplicitous terrorism in which to serve as a pretext in order to usurp ever more power and control. In the below post by me is contained voluminous amounts of documentation which refutes the U.S. government's lying, self-serving, anti-historical, anti-factual, and provably false official fairy tale conspiracy theory concerning the 9/11 attacks, as well documentation on many other government-staged acts of terrorism:

    "Documentation on Government-Staged Terrorism," TetrahedronOmega, September 30, 2005 http://www.armleg.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2&mforum=libertyandtruth

    -----

    Notes:

    1. Witness the ridiculous legal persecution of Michael Milken and Martha Stewart, and the absurdist cases brought against Microsoft. Even the richest of moguls know that should the government, for whatever reason, take a disliking to them that it can trump up preposterous charges against them and a large portion of the public will cheer.

    2. For example, Bill Clinton calls the Bushes his surrogate family, and vacations with them regularly. Hillary Clinton has long had regular private dinners with Rupert Murdoch and she is now being politically supported by Murdoch, who is helping her raise funds.

    John Kerry and Bushes Sr. and Jr. are all Bonesmen in the occult sociey of the Brotherhood of Death (a.k.a. the Order of Skull & Bones at Yale), of which occult society was instrumental in the funding of Hitler and the Nazis. Bonesman Prescott Bush (Bush, Sr.'s father) had one of his banks and a number of his companies seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act for his financing of the Nazis even during wartime.

    Below are some articles on the Clintons being exceedingly close family friends of the Bushes:

    "Bill Clinton Talks Heart Surgery on 'Letterman,'" Associated Press, June 17, 2005 http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,159851,00.html

    From the above article:

    ""
    During a recent appearance together in Houston, Clinton noted that Barbara Bush had taken to calling Clinton "son."

    "I told the Republicans in the audience not to worry, every family has one--you know, the black sheep, kind of drifts off," he said. "I told them, I said, 'This just shows you the lengths at which the Bushes would go to get another president in the family and I wish I could get them to adopt Hillary.' "
    ""

    See also:

    "Opposites attract," Julian Borger, Guardian (U.K.), July 1, 2005 http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1518633,00.html

    "Inside Politics," transcript, CNN, June 17, 2005 http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0506/17/ip.01.html

    "Verbatim," Time, June 20, 2005 http://www.time.com/time/asia/magazine/article/0,13673,501050627-1074169,00.html

    "Barbara Bush Calls Bill Clinton 'Son,'" Drudge Report, June 17, 2005 http://www.infowars.com/articles/us/clinton_barbara_bush_calls_clinton_son.htm , http://www.drudgereport.com/flash5.htm

    Below are some articles on Rupert Murdoch's love for Hillary Clinton:

    "Murdoch to host fundraiser for Hillary Clinton," Caroline Daniel, additional reporting by Aline Van Duyn, Financial Times, May 8, 2006 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/61faabde-deb8-11da-acee-0000779e2340.html

    "Hillary Clinton defends link with Murdoch," Holly Yeager and Caroline Daniel, Financial Times, May 10, 2006 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/577ecd2e-dfc2-11da-afe4-0000779e2340,_i_rssPage=80fdaff6-cbe5-11d7-81c6-0820abe49a01.html

  • ||

    Smappy wrote: "Call me a Beltway libertarian if you must; I prefer the term reason Libertarian. lewrockwell.com "libertarianism" isn't so much libertarianism as the socialism of fools in libertarian garb."

    That site isn't libertarian per se. It is a site that espouses anti-war, anti-state, and pro-market ideas; some of which happen to be libertarian in nature -- some of which are anarcho-capitalistic.

    I have never encountered antisemitism or racism in general at that site. As a matter of fact they are big proponents of the Austrian School which strictly addresses those fallacies as counter productive to social cooperation.

    I think maybe you need to check your facts better and then maybe be careful about speaking unless you know what you are talking about.

  • James Redford||

    Below I further add evidence to my above post regarding the "winnowing effect whereby those who rise to the top of the private sector and the government sector are those who are willing to 'play along to get along,' i.e., amenable to supporting the furtherance of the political establishment's power":

    "Former CEO Says U.S. Punished Phone Firm: Qwest Feared NSA Plan Was Illegal, Filing Says," Ellen Nakashima and Dan Eggen with contribution from Richard Drezen, Washington Post, October 13, 2007; A01 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/12/AR2007101202485_pf.html

    Excerpt from the above article:

    ""
    A former Qwest Communications International executive, appealing a conviction for insider trading, has alleged that the government withdrew opportunities for contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars after Qwest refused to participate in an unidentified National Security Agency program that the company thought might be illegal.

    Former chief executive Joseph P. Nacchio, convicted in April of 19 counts of insider trading, said the NSA approached Qwest more than six months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to court documents unsealed in Denver this week.
    ""

  • ||

    Here is what Dave said in March 22, 2005:

    ". . . 'We have 150,000 soldiers risking their lives for us 24/7 in Iraq and Afghanistan. . . In what twisted universe is this not interesting?' A universe in which it's become apparent that we're winning the war, I suspect."

    He was a BS artist then and now he is misrepresnting Ron Paul's views on free trade...Answer this question. if "CFR team A" and the "CFR team B" and their precious UN sanctioned trade agrements are so incredibly pure in their free trade ideology then why is the first weapon out of their toolkit always "trade sanctions"? Why do all the CFR sanctioned candidates support keeping trade barriers up with a potentially huge trade partner like Cuba? Why do they intentionally punish the consumers in this country with trade barriers on sugar? Ron Paul is by FAR the candidate who is more consistently free trade!

    While I lean more free imigration than Ron Paul, his reasoning for his stance is national security, his point is that all of the BS stuff the governemnt is doing to restrict our travel does ZERO to protect us from terrorist if anyone in the world can waltz across the mexican or canadian border...think it is impossible to stop it? ok i happen to agree with you, so admit that the BS passport requirement for my 2 year old son going to Bermuda is a travesty, real Id is a travesty, taking our shoes off at the airports for our safety is a travesty, the department of Homeland security(SS in german) is a sick travesty.

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