Ron Paul at UVU

In case you thought that Mitt Romney had unanimous support in Utah, you may be surprised to find out that Ron Paul was given rock star treatment at Utah Valley University a few weeks ago.  KSL noted that Ron Paul supporters turn out in droves for speech at UVU.

You may wonder why I attended a Ron Paul rally.  The fact is that presidential candidates usually skip Utah to campaign, because it is a foregone conclusion that Utahns will vote for the Republican candidate.  (The last time Utah voted for a democrat was in 1964 for Lyndon B. Johnson.)  It is true that Romney and Obama have visited Utah, but these visits were strictly fundraising dinners closed to the public.  I wanted to see a presidential candidate in Utah, even if he is not on the ballot, and I wanted to see Ron Paul for myself.  Frankly, I was astonished at the boisterous reception he received.  I didn’t know UVU was a bastion of libertarianism.

Ron Paul runs a different campaign.  His campaign is the “Love Revolution.”  He is really trying to start a revolution, and he’s not dissuaded by the lack of support.  He noted that few Americans supported the revolution, yet threw off British rule anyway.  He feels the same can happen with his campaign of libertarianism.  He even said that liberals support some of his ideas, such as his strong support for civil liberties.

Points of agreement

There are things that Ron Paul talks about that I support, and his support of civil liberties of something that resonates with me.  I do find it ironic that republicans claim to support small government, but have no qualms about supporting big government invasive airport scanners that virtually strip search passengers.  On this point I agree with Ron Paul.  We have given away much of our civil liberties and freedom in the attempt to thwart terrorism.  I am encouraged at reports that some of these scanners are being removed from airports.

Ron Paul wants to repeal the Defense Authorization act.  He hates this whole idea that presidents can assume responsibilities and powers, creating kill lists, that allows for the assassination of citizens.  The act gives president authority to arrest anyone, put them in prison without a trial, and they can be held indefinitely.  He noted that there are arguments that the law has not been used, but Ron Paul is skeptical.  He says that the law starts a little, but the principle allows it to grow when economy gets worse. We should look at other countries.  We won’t be immune.  Our job is important.  It is up to us to understand freedom, and not to succumb to temptations.

Ron Paul questions the war on drugs.  I think this is a fair question.  Is the war on drugs working?  Would it be better to legalize and regulate drugs?  Would legalizing marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs, and regulating them out of a “state liquor store” be a better  option, rather than filling our jails with drug addicts?  Would it be better to collect taxes on pot growers, rather than not?  I think these are questions worth exploring.

Ron approaches it from a different perspective than I do.  I want to look at this issue from an effectiveness point of view.  Are there more effective ways to deal with drug addiction?  I think throwing addicts in jail does not solve the problem, and trains criminals to be better criminals, rather than helping them.  (I suspect Ron Paul agrees with me on this point.)  But Mr. Paul approaches this from a personal responsibility point of view.  He says that some people worry that if you endorse freedom for individual, they might do things you don’t approve of.  Yes that is true, but it is not our responsibility to regulate others unless it hurts them.  Some bad habits hurt people and they should assume the responsibility.  Ron Paul says that they should suffer consequences.

I think Paul’s point of view is a bit simplistic.  Some people may say that doing drugs only hurts themselves.  In some cases, that may be the case.  However, when people do drugs (or alcohol), have sex, get pregnant, that drug or alcohol now affects a soon to be born child that will require intense medical care.  Babies are born with fetal alcohol syndrome, or addicted to drugs.  Now, society needs to decide what to do with this child.  Do we let the child die because the parents were so irresponsible?  Do we try to rescue the child?

If we choose rescue, there is a good chance that the child will suffer learning disabilities.  There is a good chance the child will suffer psychological problems.  There is a good chance the child will need to turn to a life of crime in order to survive.  There is a good chance the child will repeat the bad decisions of the parents.  So, I don’t think that it can be argued that the parents choice to do drugs only affects themselves.  It affects their children, and that affects crime against you and me.  Just what are the consequences that we should impose upon parents who get high and get pregnant?

Ron Paul wants us to get out of Afghanistan.  This does resonate with me, but I don’t know how practical it is.  Ron Paul says that American foreign policy is bad.  We prop up bad governments, and there are litanies of examples we can give.  We supported Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war.  We supported Osama bin Ladin in Afghanistan’s war with the Soviets in the late 1970s and 1980s.  We supported Egyptian President Mubarak until his people turned against him.  These are just 3 examples anyone can cite to show that American foreign policy often gets to pick from a bunch of bad choices.  Would Paul have supported the Ayatollah instead of Saddam?  Was it wise to allow the Soviets to invade Afghanistan unimpeded?  Now that the Muslim Brotherhood has taken over Egypt, is that a better option than Mubarak?  I think it’s easy to criticize, but what exactly would Paul have done differently?

Where Ron Paul loses me is his talk of ending the federal reserve (which brought boisterous chants at UVU “End the Fed!”) and returning to the gold standard.  Ron Paul said that the federal reserve causes inflation (he may be right there), and he assailed Keynesian economics, but honestly, would returning to the gold standard really bring more stability to the economy?  Wikipedia lists the depressions and recessions in U.S. history.  Let’s compare the number of economic depressions (I’ll ignore recessions or the list would be too long) prior to the implementation of the federal reserve when the country was on the gold standard.

  1. Panic of 1797
  2. Depression of 1807-1810
  3. Depression of 1815-21
  4. Recession of 1836-1838 (this led to the Kirtland Banking Crisis)
  5. Panic of 1857
  6. Panic of 1873-1879
  7. Panic of 1893
  8. Panic of 1896
  9. Panic of 1907
  10. Panic of 1910-1911

Creation of the Federal Reserve December 1913

  1. Depression of 1920-21
  2. Great Depression 1929-33

Ok, so which era looks more stable to you:  Gold standard or Federal Reserve Era?  We haven’t had a depression since 1933.  Hmmmm, my money says the federal reserve appears to be more stable.  Really, what makes Ron Paul think that the gold standard is all that and a bag of chips?

Now, I’d love to hear any persuasive arguments.  One of the things that tires me about political posts almost anywhere is that the discussion is dominated by a few people.  Please don’t dominate the discussion (especially W, J, and D).  What are your thoughts about libertarianism and Ron Paul?

34 comments on “Ron Paul at UVU

  1. The problem with Ron Paul is that he doesn’t actually want to be president, he just wants to run for president. This way he gets his ideas out there, he is treated like a rock star, but he doesn’t actually have to do anything. Sort of a right-wing Jesse Jackson.

  2. There was one other thing that Ron Paul said that bugs me. Many ultra conservatives complain that we don’t follow the constitution, as if there is one one interpretation of the constitution (which is THEIR interpretation.) The constitution is not perfect, and we often laud presidents that disregarded the constitution.

    Abraham Lincoln, one of our most revered presidents, routinely ignored the constitution. I don’t hear Ron Paul complaining about Lincoln. Slavery was constitutional, yet Lincoln issued the anti-constitutional Emancipation Proclamation (an executive order), bypassing Congress completely. Lincoln also is the author of using federal power to force the south into compliance, against the constitution. Lincoln also suspended habeus corpus, and put many citizens in jail without trial. Where is Ron Paul’s outrage for Lincoln’s power grab?

    If we always followed the constitution, women wouldn’t vote, blacks would still be slaves, and perhaps the Confederate States of America would have Ron Paul as president, with Jefferson B. Davis as their founding father.

  3. I have some major, major, major points of disagreement with Paul, but I’m glad he’s part of the political scene just because he helps break up the standard Republican/Democrat duopoly and challenges some of the things both sides take for granted. We need more voices like that in the political system, even if they never gain any real power.

  4. @Casey
    I mean that to be a reply to the OP and not #2, but as for what you said…I’m not sure exactly what Paul thinks about Lincoln but I have a father in law who’s a hardcore Paul supporter and he’s made it very clear that he supports the confederate cause as a matter of what he considers states rights, so, yeah, you’re not that far off.

  5. Ron Paul isn’t wrong about the Fed. Regarding panics prior to the Fed, see the amazing work of Ron Paul’s intellectual mentor, Murray Rothbard (and others, in Wiki format), here: http://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Financial_crisis

    And here’s testimony on fractional-reserve banking on economic stability pre- and post- Fed: http://mises.org/daily/6100/Fractional-Reserves-and-Economic-Instability

  6. I don’t believe returning to the gold standard would work but eliminating the Fed and transitioning to a debt-free monetary system vs. the current debt-based monetary system is highly desirable.

    Please take an hour or so to watch “Money Masters” or “The Secret of Oz” on youtube. You’ll never look at questions about the Fed the same.

  7. Skyler,

    I’m not a fan of Mises at all. I think that website is basically crap. Casey, interesting comment about Paul and the confederacy. I really did laugh out loud when I read that.

  8. @Mormon Heretic

    Care to back up your ad hominem with some logic? 😉 Nobody has a better explanation of all things economics than the Austrians (school of thought, not country).

  9. “Great Depression 1929-33”
    laughs…Who in their right mind actually believes the Great Depression ended in 1933?

    In any case, the crises that are listed here are not equivalent to depressions or recessions per se. To equate the two smacks of economic ignorance. Periods of monetary deflation are always preceded by monetary inflation. Fractional reserve banking had been around long before the Fed came into being, and is largely to blame for the panics. Even so, monetary crises were milder and shorter. The Fed is the creator of inflation, not its enemy. Capital cannot be printed from a press. It must come from savings. The artificial interest rates from the Fed distort the capital structure and are the principle CAUSE of recessions, not a tool for combating them. Monetary crises existed pre-Fed primarily because fractional reserve banking was in existence. The Fed doesn’t solve the problem, it only institutionalizes and centralizes it. Now, instead of local or regional panics, they turn into national and international crises.
    Read Hayek on this. He won a Nobel Prize for his work on how central banking distorts the structure of investment, production, and consumption, creating recessions. That was back when the Nobel Prize meant something.

  10. Skyler, I was introduced to Mises by Jon at W&T. I wasn’t impressed. See our conversation so you know why I am not impressed: http://www.wheatandtares.org/2011/04/08/even-a-broken-fox-news-is-correct-twice-a-day/

    Ben, your note “the crises that are listed here are not equivalent to depressions or recessions per se” is a good one and was noted by the wikipedia article. I don’t claim to be an economist, but I don’t understand your latest comment. What are you getting at?

    The artificial interest rates from the Fed distort the capital structure and are the principle CAUSE of recessions, not a tool for combating them.

    While I understand that the recessions previous to 1913 aren’t strictly analogous to our modern recessions, please explain to me why the recessions listed there are booms and not busts. From my knowledge of economic history (which isn’t great), it appears to me that there were endless boom and bust periods in the 18th and 19th century, more severe than most of those in the 20th century (excepting the Great Depression, or course.)

  11. @MH

    Ugh… “see these hundreds of comments for why…” I understand that time is valuable. I link people to stuff myself (constantly) because of how easy it is, but perhaps you could give me a short bullet point version of your complaints. Further, Mises is great, really great, but Rothbard surpassed his mentor both in economic theory and economic history. How familiar are you with him? You seem to have simply wiped aside the Wiki articles (which draw on Rothbard more than they do on Mises). That’s an intellectual mistake.

  12. Skyler, see comments 38, 43, 54, 81, 86, 94, 128 for a taste.

    Frankly, I question many of the foundational assumptions on Mises. But perhaps you can explain things better than Jon. Jon’s an anarchist, and not the best spokesman for the cause. (I asked him for bullet points and he quoted Mises, which isn’t exactly a bullet point.) LDSA and Justin are anarchists too, but much better spokesmen; still, they’ve got a long way to go to convince me that anarchy is the way to go.

  13. A fiat currency standard allows financial crises to be moderated through inflation. The price is endemic debasing of the currency, and no restraint on the growth of government, which has serious economic consequences as well. What person with an unlimited line of credit lives in the real world?

    As far as the nineteenth century financial crises are concerned, they had nothing to do with the gold standard. The proximate cause is fractional reserve banking, a legalized fraud that drives credit bubbles by artificially and unsustainably inflating the supply of loanable funds. Banks (meaning all modern banks) that embezzle customer deposits inevitably fail, turning something that in an honest economy is a mere readjustment in equity values into a full on financial crisis.

  14. The amount of research and effort put into this article is disappointing. Wikipedia=not the greatest source. and there have been many recessions since the federal reserve act, I’m sure other people have hashed that one out. all you would have to do to be informed about his views would be to take 2 minutes and one of many websites or go to youtube and watch a video with him. if you aren’t interested enough to do as much research as I do the night before a paper is due and I haven’t started it then why bother writing anything..

  15. Sorry my research is disappointing. So far the attempts to persuade me to change my mind have been disappointing as well.

  16. @MH

    What does Mises have to do with anarchism?

    I read the numbers you listed. I didn’t found anything very substantive, but perhaps your criticism of Mises (in particular) lacks intellectual substance. In any event, your position seems to be that human nature is such that without *planned* regulation, some people would fall prey (ripped-off, defrauded) to other people in the marketplace. Is that accurate?

  17. In response to the question about constitutionality. why would Ron Paul bother talking about Abe Lincoln? actually since he is associated with the mises institute which has many contributors who have very harshly criticized lincoln, I would bet that if you asked him about it, he would not come off as a lincoln worshipper at all. and we allowing women to vote was constitutional. they amended it, amending the constitution in the proper way is just fine. executive orders which attempt to declare laws are not. If you consider the founders intent(and why would you not) then it is pretty hard to come up with different “interpretations” of the constitution. the people who promote that idea are the ones who don’t want to be restrained by it, and their media cronies. any serious scholar can tell you what the founders meant when they wrote it.

  18. Some ideas…

    I don’t know a single Libertarian from Utah and most of the ones I do know aren’t even Mormon. But I’m not surprised that Libertarianism is popular in Utah. From what I can tell historically speaking the primary motivating force among U.S. Mormons regarding their relationship with government is: “Leave us alone.” Mormons were predominantly Democrat — the states rights party — in the 19th century. As the Repuclican party increasingly adopted the role of small government advocate — versus the Democrats moving toward social progressivism — the Mormons embraced it. The modern Republican party under Bush II came out of the closet as massive proponent of big government. This allowed Libertarians to claim the states rights/small government mantle. If I could invest in a political party, I’d buy stock in Utah Libertarianism. It’s only going to get bigger.

    The Libertarians I know hate Lincoln. They hate him to the point where they’ve started to adopt all the “Lost Cause” arguments employed by Southern apologists of the 19th centry. This is equivalent to a modern day anti-Mormon refusing to look beyond Howe’s Mormonism Unvailed to understand Mormonism. The historical revisionism employed by Libertarians in order to justify their political ideologies is either ignorant or unethical. Either way I find it repugnant. This shades my opinion of Austrian economics. I don’t know much about it, but it’s hard to shake the notion that if Libertarians like it, anything good in it must have been warped into a narrow-minded self-serving ideological bludgeon.

  19. @abdiel

    “The historical revisionism employed by Libertarians in order to justify their political ideologies is either ignorant or unethical.”

    You make some haughty claims. Care to back them up with some actual examples?

    Also, Austrian economics is a positive discipline whereas libertarianism a normative one. One can be an Austrian and a socialist ;).

  20. Skyler, yes, that is basically correct. The reason we have regulations in the first place is that some people manipulate the market to gain an unfair advantages, whether it was Standard Oil, Ma Bell, Bill Gates, the Carnegies, or any number of people that create monopolies. What is the incentive for people to behave ethically in a free market? Time and again, people take unfair advantage of a free market. Some basic regulation is essential.

    As for the other discussion, I just frankly disagree that the 40 hour workweek, discontinuation of child labor was a result of free market decisions. Mises tried to claim that labor unions had nothing to do with that. I find such a claim quite spurious.

  21. @MH

    Contrast the incentive structure inherit in the market (voluntary interaction) with that in government (coercive interaction). In order to profit in the free market, you must satisfy voluntarily-paying customers; in order to profit in government you must promise benefits (paid for via coercion) and appeal to special interests (would be free market participants if not for their seeking government privileges). If human nature is as depraved as we both believe it is, under which system is that nature best kept in check? In other words, should greed be forced to make voluntary customers happy, or special interests that rely on the strong arm of the state?

    Forget Mises, Rothbard and all of the rest, and ask yourself, what did Satan promise Adam and Eve he would do when he was finally kicked out of their presence by Peter, James, and John, and under which incentive structure as outlined above would best facilitate the fulfillment of that promise?

    The voluntary free market as not the source of our economic woes, rather it’s giving certain individuals coercive monopoly regulatory powers over their neighbors.

    Back to Rothbard, who said it best regarding the nature of man:

    “In the deepest sense, then, the libertarian doctrine is not utopian but eminently realistic, because it is the only theory that is really consistent with the nature of man and the world. The libertarian does not deny the variety and diversity of man, he glories in it and seeks to give that diversity full expression in a world of complete freedom. And in doing so, he also brings about an enormous increase in productivity and in the living standards of everyone, an eminently “practical” result generally scorned by true utopians as evil ‘materialism.’

    “The libertarian is also eminently realistic because he alone understands fully the nature of the State and its thrust for power. In contrast, it is the seemingly far more realistic conservative believer in ‘limited government’ who is the truly impractical utopian. This conservative keeps repeating the litany that the central government should be severely limited by a constitution. Yet, at the same time that he rails against the corruption of the original Constitution and the widening of federal power since 1789, the conservative fails to draw the proper lesson from that degeneration.

    “The idea of a strictly limited constitutional State was a noble experiment that failed, even under the most favorable and propitious circumstances. If it failed then, why should a similar experiment fare any better now? No, it is the conservative laissez-fairist, the man who puts all the guns and all the decision-making power into the hands of the central government and then says, ‘Limit yourself’; it is he who is truly the impractical utopian.”

    Because man is fallen, wicked, we cannot trust him with the power to compel is neighbors. Auberon Herbert wrote something about that worth reading here: http://www.everything-voluntary.com/2012/10/the-evils-of-power-over-others.html

    I am what you call a voluntaryist. I believe that all human interaction should be voluntary. There are several types of arguments in defense of this moral philosophy. I invite you to read them here: http://www.everything-voluntary.com/2012/05/everything-voluntary-chapter-3.html

  22. Skyler, my interactions with Jon have given me a really bad taste in my mouth for voluntary ism. in a perfect perfect world, voluntary ism is a great idea, just like consecration. We don’t live in a perfect world, so I am happy to live a lesser law. Even God has regulations such as the ten commandments, baptism, etc. those are regulations. I don’t believe man functions well without rules. Even God gave Adam and Eve rules in the garden of Eden.

  23. @Mormon Heretic

    I know people who have a bad taste in their mouth for Mormonism because of one or two of it’s adherents. I don’t hold that against Mormonism, and you shouldn’t hold it against voluntaryism. There are voluntaryist and anarchist principles, and then there are the applications of those principles, often in gray areas that could use more scholarly work to iron out. I remember getting a bad taste, for example, reading about Rothbard’s views on children and parental rights. His application of the non-aggression and self-ownership principles (logically sound principles) may or may not be logically sound, but it’s gray areas like this that can unfortunately scare off those unprepared to deal with them. Same goes for many topics in the Church, especially in Church History.

    I submit that it’s precisely because men aren’t angels that we dare not trust them with the powers of coercive government. I highly recommend this analysis by Robert Higgs: http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1982

    Also, here’s a great essay on objections to libertarian anarchism by Roderick Long, another I highly recommend: http://c4ss.org/content/13612

    I may or may not convince you of the merits of voluntaryism, but I hope to convince you to give it another hearing, to keep an open mind. My initial foray into libertarianism was via economic arguments. Now it’s primarily a moral, or ethical position for me. I simply don’t have the right to initiate force against you, nor have I the right to give that power to “government”.

    Rules are important, but we mustn’t assume that 1) government-made rules are best and 2) market-made rules aren’t enough. The market is always regulated. The question is whether or not that regulation should be “planned” by coercive government or “unplanned” by market actors, and which is more likely to promote peace, justice, and prosperity. I submit that it is the latter. Here are several articles on why that is so: http://www.google.com/cse?cx=004244432897794916980:jtm420j1ej0&ie=UTF-8&q=market+regulation&sa=Search#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=market%20regulation&gsc.page=1

    And on the “rule of law” and the depoliticization of law, I highly recommend John Hasnas: http://faculty.msb.edu/hasnasj/GTWebSite/TIL.PDF

  24. @Skyler J. Collins
    I didn’t mean to sound haughty. But I’ve already stated one example: the way libertarians embrace Civil War Lost Cause-ism.

  25. @abdiel

    Precisely what about the libertarian revisionism work on Lincoln and the Civil War do you have a problem with? For those unaware, here’s a good introduction: http://www.connorboyack.com/blog/the-worst-president-of-the-united-states

  26. I have to agree with Abdiel on the Civil War. Libertarian arguments abut the Civil War are atrocious at best. Boyack is hardly a sound authority on the matter. My short list of problems include the idea that the Civil War didn’t forever abolish the nullification theory, and the lost cause arguments that the war wasn’t about the south’s attempts to defend slavery.

    I actually have many problems with radical libertarians. It is one thing to be wrong, but almost without exception they are also arrogant and rude in their wrong opinions. They walk into my wheelhouse (published military historian including an emphasis on the American Civil War) and then insult me, question my spirituality, and claim they know the material when they obviously don’t. I’ve blogged about it several times:





    I appreciate your post MH. I waited this long to post because I had a feeling your comment section would get spammed and leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.

  27. @Skyler J. Collins
    For starters I have a problem with the way Boyack disregards slavery as a primary cause of the war — a classic lost cause approach. While states rights were certainly an issue, in lost cause-ism it’s used a smoke screen to occlude slavery as a pertinent issue. In 1859, while trying to promote the moderate stance of the Republican party Lincoln wrote: “All they [the South] ask, we [the North] would readily grant, if we thought slavery right; all we ask, they could as readily grant, if they thought it wrong.” The right of states to legally engage in slavery was the primary point of division.

    Dispensing with the issue of slavery, Boyack can ignore the counter argument that fighting slavery promotes states rights. As Lincoln said in 1854 in response to the Kansas-Nebraska Bill: “When the white man governs himself, that is self government; but when he governs himself and also governs another man, that is more than self-government; that is despotism.” The South, in promoting slavery, did more to undermine states rights than Lincoln ever did.

    The other issue I take with Boyack’s post is the list of “evils” perpetrated by Lincoln. It’s a common canard to point out Lincoln’s short falls without any context. Particularly misleading is his reference to launching a military invasion without the consent of congress. Lincoln engaged in some legal shenanigans without congressional support at the beginning of the war but had congressional support for most of it. In the eyes of the federal government there was no need to declare war in legal terms because they were suppressing a rebellion, not invading a sovereign state. His statement gives the impression Lincoln waged the war in opposition to congress.

    Finally Boyack overlooks Jefferson Davis’ failings, next to whom, Lincoln looks like a saint. All those accusation he levels at Lincoln, well Jeff Davis did them too and promoted slavery to boot. Invading neutral parties? Yep. Suspending habeas corpus? Yep. Imprisoning and executing his fellow Southerners because they continued to support the USA? Yep. Even ignoring the slavery issue, the South wasn’t the last bastion of states rights. They ended their own version of an “organized federation of sovereign states” themselves.

    In my opinion based on reading that one blog entry, Boyack lacks an expansive view and instead picks and chooses those elements of history that support Libertarian political ideologies. In fact his arguments are carbon copies of just about every other Libertarian I’ve read on the subject. Libertarians who desire to use these arguments have their task made easier because their ideologies dovetail nicely with certain aspects of lost cause-ism. So there is an extensive body of work to draw on that dates all the way back to the end of the Civil War itself. The fact these arguments have been around so long gives them the false impression of historical validity.

    If there’s value in Libertarianism, it doesn’t need to misconstrue history to make its case.

    BTW, Morgan, thanks for the blog links.

  28. @abdiel

    Boyack’s article was merely an introduction to libertarian revisionism on the topic. There’s plenty more by way of scholarly research. Here’s an interesting archive: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig2/lincoln-arch.html

  29. Libertarianism is probably the natural home for Latter-day Saints. The problem is that politics is not just about running on your principles – it’s about winning 51% so you can actually get something done instead of sitting around with 2% + your principles.
    Then it’s about knowing that effecting change in a democracy like ours, that Hugh Hewitt described well as: “deliberative majoritarianism”, takes time.
    I find it more effective to be a Republican and work within the party along with other like-minded people…but that’s just my opinion.
    – every good thing…
    Michael J. Snider

  30. In regards to the economic situations before the gold standard was gone, I suggest you go listen to Tom Woods lecture, “Economic Cycles Before The Fed” on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxcjT8T3EGU He points out that the problem in every single one of those cases was not the gold standard, but rather government interference in the free market and bad monetary policy. Essentially its the same problem we have with the Federal Reserve today, but only more so now because the Federal Reserve has more power than the government did before 1913. The problem is government interference and perpetuation of bad monetary policy. No system of money works when government tries to manipulate it artificially.

    And if you think there have only been two recessions since the Federal Reserve was founded in 1913, your history is just wrong. There has been one every ten years, at least, which the government tries to cover up through the Fed by artificially lowering interest rates and increasing inflation by printing more dollar bills to cover up the loss of actual wealth and value that is happening. Thus we have the appearance of wealth because we have more “money” but are actually poorer because our money is worth far less and has less and less purchasing power.

    As for what Paul would have done differently, I suggest you watch some videos of him on YouTube. He lays out pretty clearly what he would have done differently. Number 1 on the list is he never would have invaded in the first place. But there is more if you are willing to look it up. I also suggest reading Dr. Robert Pape’s studies on terrorism, published in book form as “Dying To Win” and “Cutting The Cord”, that show pretty conclusively that the US’s military actions in the Middle East are what is creating terrorism, and is in fact the main contributor to terrorism against the United States and what motivates people to become terrorists.

  31. Rob, what exactly would Ron Paul have done with Hitler? Bush I freed Kuwait from the Iraqis because he didn’t want a repeat of Hitler attacking (annexing) other countries. Bush II did make a mistake in invading Iraq–he should have talked to his dad more.

  32. I think its safe to say RP would not have invaded Europe. is that the answer you wanted??? good now go ahead and blab about how he would have taken over everything, just like your crappy textbook and high school history teacher told you. World war 2 might have ended much earlier had that Idiot FDR not conspired to get into it. to send millions of boys to their deaths. even winston churchill called it the “unnecessary war”. WW2 was woodrow wilsons fault if you ask me. read this article and instead of automatically discounting what it says at least consider the points made. http://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2009/08/31/did-hitler-want-war/ the same with the Japanese…they sent several offers for peace, and then FDR cut their supply of oil off. and I think bush II definitely took after his dad same stupid mistakes, but worse. the gulf war was horrible, they did terrible things and “saving” kuwait does not justify that.

  33. Elwood, From your answer, Ron Paul has a lot of “splainin'” to do if he wants to be taken seriously as a presidential contender. I seriously doubt that anything but a small minority will ever support the guy. I’d be interested if Rand Paul has similarly wacky ideas.

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