Civil Liberties

Justin Amash, Come on Down!


Libertarian trifecta!

Politico gives the next-Ron-Paul treatment to Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), one of the most libertarian voices in national politics. First four paragraphs:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As Rep. Ron Paul prepares to leave Congress after 2012, there is a man waiting in the wings to carry on his constitutional crusade: Michigan freshman Rep. Justin Amash.

"[Paul] has been a big supporter of mine from the very beginning. I don't think there's anyone out there who has championed the Constitution, limited government, economic freedom and individual liberty to the extent that he has over the last few decades," Amash said.

Paul, a Texas Republican who is retiring at the end of the current Congress, told POLITICO: "He impresses me by showing he truly understands what individual liberty is all about, and he is working hard to protect those liberties that I consider so important."

The two congressmen share not only mutual admiration but also the same line of ideological purity. Both flaunt a feverish desire to "end the Fed," devote themselves to constitutionally limited government and preach caution about military action abroad.

Whole thing here. Reason on Justin Amash here.

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  1. RP for President has two endorsers in the House. Who are they?

    1. Are they actually elected representatives?

  2. when someone asks what is meant by media bias, this article provides the answer: Amash’s “feverish” support for shuttering the fed. Feverish? Why not just call Amash a rabid Congressman who wants to starve children and deny medicine to little old ladies.

    1. i knew it. thx !

  3. Libertarian trifecta:
    #1 male
    #2 Autism Spectrum Disorder

    1. #3 An obsession with Lindsey Lohan’s soft (unadulterated?*) buttocks.

      *I’m thinking of that really awesome seen in The Parent Trap when she goes skinny-dipping. First time, as an 8 year old, I had an erection in public.

      1. Yeah, I wish she would have just gotten older and stayed looking like that so I wouldn’t have felt bad about jerking it to that scene once I was over 18.

        1. You feel bad about it?

          If I had been the director, I would have pulled a Thora Birch in American Beauty and had the parents give me permission to photograph Lindsey’s beautiful 12 year old body in full lighting.

          1. We originally filmed it in full lighting, but Quaid blew so much cum while watching the dailies in his trailer that the original print was no longer useable.

    2. #3 – irresistible charisma?


      #3 – massive pulsating brain?

      1. I heard your pulsating ‘brain’ wasn’t that massive, and you lost a bet about it…something about a big tattoo on your back…

        1. Oh, this is so sweet. Rather is trying to flirt with RC!

          1. Please, his wife had :”he’s my bitch” and her cel number tattooed under the dragon on his back

            1. Umm, that’s not where that tattoo is.

  4. I don’t get the ending the fed thing. Ending the dual mandate is wise since it reflects an archaic (even pre-Keynesian) understanding of macroeconomics, but why return to a system that clearly wasn’t working in the late 19th c.? Whatever, I hope RP wins. His really kooky stuff will be blocked by a relatively moderate congress, and he will be able to shape the debate on budgets, etc.

    1. I don’t think Ron, or any libertarian for that matter, wants to return to the previous system, instead they want an actual laissez-faire system. Which would obviously require closing the Federal Reserve (among a myriad of other things).

    2. The system wasn’t working due to Federal govt interference in the banking sector.

      Money is too important and vital to the economy to allow government to have anything to do with it.

      1. Whoa my middle paragraphs disappeared!

        Hastily typed version of the argument.

        Allow free banking and remove prohibition of branch banking and you get a far more stable system than was allowed to exist in the 19th century.

    3. If the only things RP does as president are to bring troops home and end or sharply curtail the WOD, I’ll consider it a radically successful presidency.

      1. anon from above. 100% agreed; I definitely have strong disagreement on individual issues with Paul, like the fed and resource backed currency stuff, but he really is the right candidate at the right time.

    4. Wasnt working?

      As some have said below, problems existed with government interference, but between the closing of the 2nd Bank and the opening of the 3rd (called the Fed for some reason), I wouldnt say the system didnt work.

      1. below means above.

    5. I would say that a banking sector that managed to finance the industrial revolution was working pretty fucking well, myself.

      1. Yeah, the whole reason the Fed came about is that the banking system was working too well back then despite regulation. The big New York banks were losing market share to regionals and too many people were starting to self-finance rather than borrow money at all. They (the New York bankers) had to do something to regain control of the system while they still had significant power.

    6. Laissez-faire banking has never existed and will never exist. You are always going to have government interference in finance. Leverage ratios in finance have to be controlled to an extent not necessary in the broader economy. See Bear Stearns and Lehman.

      1. Sure, but there was bank regulation without a Federal Reserve or Bank of the United States. Scotland has no legal tender and multiple banks that can print their own notes, and they have bank regulation.

        It seems to me that you’re switching the subject from “end the Fed.” Have you conceded that no Fed is possible?

        1. It’s probably impossible to the extent we wish to remain the world’s reserve currency.

          1. True, without the Fed transferring purchasing power back to the state from private hands through inflation, the U.S. couldn’t afford the military needed to bump off countries whose governments sell oil for non USD.

            Of course that’s not really to the benefit of the American people, is it?

            1. Tinfoil hat stuff aside, there is a great deal of economic benefit derived from being the center of world finance and trade. This is not entirely, but largely, because the dollar is the glue for the world economy. The fed is an important part of what goes on to keep it that way.

              1. Yeah, all the elderly people moving out of my home town because their annuity payments are not keeping pace with the rise on property taxes sure are lucky.

            2. Before the fed there was no inflation, or without the fed there would be less inflation? I get that you are concerned with printing money, but I am not sure how you think it is related to inflation. Money was devalued for a long time before modern finance for all kinds of reasons.

              1. Of course there is inflation without a Fed. Every time a bank loans out demand deposits there is inlfation. Every time someone mints new gold coins, there is inflation. In a free market inflation is held in check, though, because people choose to use currency that is most marketable and least likely to lose its value over the term they are holding on to it.

                Absent a Fed and legal tender laws, the only way that the dollar would retain its value would be for the entity defining the dollar (which would be Congress) to make it convertible to something like gold or petroleum and to not engage in inflation by printing notes convertible into inventory it does not posses.

                1. Under such a regime the USD could be a reserve currency – like the St Joachim’s Thaler it’s named after had been centuries earlier – by being associated with minimal growth in the money supply.

            3. In a mature financial market I ought to be able to achieve the same result by holding dollars instead of pesos, if the dollar is the more stable currency. Especially when we are talking about institutions “currency” may mean equities in companies, in which case you can opt into an asset backed instrument.

              Finance is driven by the ability to very quickly obtain cash to leverage up transactions, a kind of liquidity which is not realistic in asset backed currency systems.

            4. Anyway, interesting points; I appreciate it. Back to the grindstone.

        2. I think Scotland is a poor example of functioning without a federal reserve type institution. My understanding is that the issuers of currency function as clearinghouses for their notes (which are promissory notes for GBP). So really they are issuing currency against a reserve currency, even if it isn’t centralized in Scotland as such.

    7. what was the clear failure of the late 19th century system?

      1. Between the Civil War and WW1 — The Long Depression, 1882-1885 Recession, Panics of 1893 and 1896, 1902-1904 Recesscion, Panic of 1907, Panic of 1910-1911. There are probably several other more minor ones.

        Each was accompanied by extreme downturns in business activity and the ability to obtain finance. Not to mention runs on banks. However bad things have been, the economy has been far more stable post-Great Depression than in the century before it.

        1. I use the great depression as a breaking point only because the Fed’s monetary theory was very different before and afterwards.

        2. You know the most interesting thing about all those terrible pre Fed downturns? They’re mostly named after a single year because they were short, sharp corrections, a natural part of the business cycle.

          Meanwhile the Fed gave us the Great Depression, the terrible stagnation of the 70s, the current unpleasantness, and of course a number of minor shakes and shocks along the way.

          I don’t see runs on banks as an altogether negative thing. A bank is a business. Sometimes businesses fail. I’d rather have the occasional run then TARP.

          1. Arguing on the internet is like arguing with goats, but the empirical evidence is quite clear that recessions have been shorter in duration, less severe, and have more time in between them in the Fed era than before.

            And yes, banks are businesses, but because they operate as the lynchpin of capitalism by distributing debt (and leveraging that debt to grow the economy), they have to be treated somewhat differently. When banks fail economies fail. Moral hazard is important, but so is a functioning finance market unless we desire to return to an agrarian economy.

  5. So this guy’s the next Ron Paul in the House. Will it ever be possible to have more than one libertarian in the House at a time?

    1. Well, you can have two Sith at a time, so yeah, I’d say it’s possible.

      1. and in typical fashion, one will eventually destroy the other.

      2. One of the most stupid things in the entire Lucas universe. Two dudes versus a society of thousands, and the two dudes still kick their asses for a score of three generations. Why would you have the Sith be so limited, instead of exist as a countervailing guild? Naratively, it makes little sense to box yourself in, and it really shows in the second trilogy that you boxed yourself in. So stupid. I hate you Lucas.

    2. Depends on how many libertarians are willing to do the dirty work to get elected, rather than just complaining on the Internet in between doing their real work.

      1. …rather than just complaining on the Internet in between doing their real work.

        I’m way more devoted to liberty than that. I complain on the internet instead of doing my real work.

        1. When you become a 33rd degree Kochertarian, complaining on the internet is your real work.

      2. Thacker, you’ve been living off the good will that people mistake you for R C Dean for some time now.

  6. Amash’s Facebook feed is pretty good. He posts his stances on bills and what’s going on in the House that day:

  7. As much as I loathe my senators, at least I have Amash reppin’ me.

  8. devote themselves to constitutionally limited government

    What? Couple of fucking whack jobs.

  9. He is kind of nerd-hot, especially when he’s wearing glasses.

    1. You are making me uncomfortable with your female gaze.

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