Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Why I don't support Ron Paul


Update: I cross-posted this over at Donklephant, where the comment count is up to 83 and counting.

Caracarn, a regular Midtopia reader and commenter who I've known for a long time and greatly respect, took me to task in this post for curtly dismissing Ron Paul as a nutty libertarian. It's a fair point, so I decided to go into detail about why I think Paul is too far out there to be considered a good presidential candidate.

I think Ron Paul is great in some respects. I've got enough libertarian leanings that I voted for Jesse Ventura, and I certainly respect Paul's commitment to principles. But I think he often follows those principles out the window. Further, he's a strongly conservative libertarian, with whom I disagree on substantive policy issues.

Let's just go through the positions he admits to holding, on his campaign web site:

FREE TRADE
He opposes free-trade agreements as infringements on American sovereignity. He specifically sees NAFTA as part of a master plan to form a North American Union with Canada and Mexico. He opposes the International Criminal Court, World Trade Organization, GATT, etc. He in effect opposes any practical agreement that will work in a multilateral world, where the only way you make progress is if you get buy in -- and enforceability -- from dozens or hundreds of nations. He also opposes nearly all forms of foreign aid, which besides providing humanitarian benefits is a crucial diplomatic tool.

BORDER SECURITY
He's strongly anti-immigration, which is fine, and his proposals aren't actually nutty. But he elides over the cost of his plan, and I think his proposal to "eliminate welfare for illegal aliens" will have unintended and self-damaging consequences, particularly because he defines "welfare" as using hospitals, schools and roads, as well as social services.

DEBT AND TAXES
He supports low taxes and low spending, but he fetishizes the former as an absolute good and doesn't spell out how he's going to cut spending. He opposes the Federal Reserve system, mirroring conspiracy and gold-bug arguments that misunderstand the nature and function of the system and the money supply. He would return us to a gold standard, which is good for retirees but bad for economic growth unless it is jiggered to be essentially a fiat currency system like the one he decries.

EDUCATION
Paul would abolish the Dept. of Education and end all federal involvement in funding or regulating public education, except for offering a tax credit to pay for private school -- essentially a direct federal bribe to pull kids out of public school. Stuff like that makes it appear that he opposes public education in general, despite some statements to the contrary. Never mind that a consequence would be an increase in education inequality, with kids in poor states and poor areas receiving far worse educations than those in rich states or rich areas -- which can afford to fund their schools properly.

ENVIRONMENT
Here he takes a swat at Caracarn's favorite issue. A quote: "The key to sound environmental policy is respect for private property rights." While he does support renewable energy, opposes logging on federal land and doesn't believe in subsidizing polluters, his solution to environmental issues would be to let property owners sue each other over environmental damage.

That is not really a solution, being expensive, time-consuming and impractical. It ignores the hassle of suing, the difficulty in placing a monetary value on environmental harm, and the fact that environmental harm can be small on a given parcel but large in aggregate, or can affect a commons rather than an individual private property. Or that harm may not become apparent until it's too late, as with overgrazing or loss of topsoil. It also ignores the history of land use and degradation, which has shown way too many people willing to make a short-term buck in exchange for long-term harm. It doesn't address side issues, either, like how to save endangered species, or problems like preserving water quality where there's often no single, clear culprit available to be sued.

HEALTH CARE
He opposes universal health care, which is fine. And he has some good ideas here, like making all medical expenses tax deductible and making health savings accounts easier to use. But that won't help the people who can't afford health care in the first place: they either don't make enough period, or they don't pay much in taxes anyway. It won't address the problem of your health care being tied to your place of business, with many small employers (the engines of economic growth) either not offering it at all or offering expensive plans that provide lousy coverage. He ends up railing against bogeymen: HMOs, big drug companies and government bureaucrats. That's a screed, not a reasoned analysis.

HEALTH FREEDOM
That's his term, not mine. It mostly means doing away with the FDA to as great an extent as possible and preventing it from having any power over "alternative" medicines and treatments. I support his opposition to forced vaccinations, even though I think that in most cases refusing to get vaccinated makes no statistical sense.

HOME SCHOOLING
He will protect the right to home schooling, and demand that home-school diplomas count just as much as regular diplomas when it comes to college-admission and scholarship time. That's fine as far as it goes.

But he opposes any federal regulation of home-school activities or national standards or testing for home-schooled kids.

So he demands parity, while opposing any means of determining if they are, in fact, comparable. Never mind that his commitment to guaranteeing admission parity amounts to federal interference in a private decision (a college deciding whom to admit), something he claims to oppose everywhere else.

LIFE AND LIBERTY
Or, as we say in the rest of the world, "Abortion." He opposes it. He would repeal Roe v. Wade and leave such decisions up to the states -- while also authoring bills that would define life as beginning at conception. Such contradictions aside, it's a pretty standard anti-abortion stand.


NO TAXES ON TIPS
This is a minor issue, but the philosophical aspect is interesting. He, rightly, criticizes the unfairness of taxing estimates of tip income. But his solution is simply to exempt tips from federal taxes. Considering that wait staff, for instance, typically are paid a sub-minimum-wage hourly rate and make most of their money on tips, his solution would create a special class of worker whose income is largely tax-free. I'm curious to know why he thinks such people deserve such special treatment.

PRIVACY AND PERSONAL LIBERTY
This is Paul's strongest area. He opposes a national ID card, and wants tighter control on medical and financial information. He strongly opposes the Patriot Act. All good things, but he's an absolutist about it. For instance, one of the things he opposes is the rule that banks must report currency transactions of $10,000 or more -- a law that has proved very useful in uncovering fraud, money laundering, drug rings, terror financing and the like. I support greater privacy rights, but I think Paul takes it too far.

PROPERTY RIGHTS
He opposes abuses of eminent domain, which is good. But he's vague about where he draws the line. Many dogmatic libertarians, for instance, think zoning laws are a violation of sacred property rights. If your neighbor wants to put up a 24/7 metal-shredder on his property, your only recourse would be to sue him -- on what grounds I can only guess, because there wouldn't be any law prohibiting him from doing so. That's a recipe for clogged courts, well-paid lawyers and completely chaotic community growth.

RACISM
I agree with nearly everything he says here, although I think government has a role in combating racism: They can't legislate attitudes, but they can criminalize the most damaging expressions of racism so that minorities do not suffer unnecessarily for their skin color.

SOCIAL SECURITY
Here, oddly, is a program that Ron Paul doesn't just accept, he defends it like a lioness defends her cubs. Well, sort of. He says a "sacred promise" has been broken, and we're underfunding Social Security. So he'll propose laws ending taxation of SS benefits and requiring that SS taxes only go to fund SS -- in other words, the "lockbox" idea that would prevent the government from borrowing the surplus.

He also would prevent illegal aliens from getting SS benefits -- which is a fine idea, except that that's already the law, and illegal aliens almost certainly pay far more into the system than they take out.

But then it gets weird. Because he would also cut payroll taxes and let younger workers invest some of their SS payments in the private market.

This, then, is essentially Bush's plan for partly privatizing Social Security. Paul doesn't explain how he'll protect that "sacred promise" to retirees while also cutting payroll taxes, nor does he mention the $1 trillion to $2 trillion transition cost that would result.

SECOND AMENDMENT
He's a gun-rights absolutist. He opposed the assault-weapons ban, which is fine, and has sponsored various bills to allow guns in specific situations: national parks and airline cockpits.

But he also would repeal the Brady Bill -- the one that requires background checks before you can buy a handgun. He would also repeal the 1993 Firearms Licensing act, which required that recipients sign a receipt when receiving firearms in the mail and tightened licensing requirements for gun dealers, both moves intended to close loopholes that could dodge the Brady Bill requirements. He lumps in his efforts to end our membership in the United Nations, viewing them as a major threat to gun ownership.

WAR AND FOREIGN POLICY
He says, rightly, that we shouldn't go to war without a Congressional declaration, and that too often our foreign policy has led us to support despised rulers, such that we, too, became despised.

He opposes foreign aid, because it has backfired on us before.

He would bring all of our troops home from wherever they are.

He seems to think it's easier to fight wars that are thrust upon us than to dispatch troops overseas to prevent wars before they reach us. He also completely ignores the diplomatic and political benefits of providing financial and military assistance to friendly countries.

Or the military realities: had we not intervened in South Korea, for instance, North Korea would have overrun its neighbor. Had we not remained there for decades, they might have done it again. These days, South Korea is an economic tiger and has a large, modern, professional military. So it's completely reasonable to discuss whether it's time to bring our troops home from there (my answer: yes in isolation, but no if you take into account our interest in keeping tabs on the growth of Chinese power in the region). But Paul's isolationist enough that I'm not sure he would have intervened in the first place, much less kept troops there for more than a couple of years afterward.

In my opinion, being fully engaged in the world is a requirement for our own security, and serving as the world's policeman is a calling to which we are uniquely suited. Our challenge is to pick our battles and conduct ourselves in such a way that we do more good than harm, and do not simply throw our weight around for our own selfish interests. Paul would simply turn his back on the whole thing, which is appealing in its simplicity but would be appalling in its consequences.

All of the above is why I dismiss Paul as a serious candidate, and classify him more toward the nutty end of the libertarian spectrum. Some of his ideas have a certain resonance to them, particularly in a nation fed up with partisan bickering, perpetual crisis and a host of nagging problems that have no easy solutions. But he's vague on unpleasant details, and many of his ideas sound good in theory but would be disastrous in practice.

I look forward to the hail of rabid Ron Paul supporters who will show up to call me a dunderhead once this post hits the search engines....

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17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The research here is very poor. First, Paul does not support letting young workers put "some" of their SS money in private accounts (the Bush plan). He is far more radical. He wants to allow them to drop ENTIRELY out of the system. Second, Paul is not for a gold standard in the traditional sense but for private competition in money. I could go on but those are only two of the serious errors that came up with a cursory reading.

12/19/2007 2:23 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Paul does not support letting young workers put "some" of their SS money in private accounts (the Bush plan). He is far more radical. He wants to allow them to drop ENTIRELY out of the system.

My bad. That just compounds the problem, of course. since current workers pay the benefits for current retirees, how does he propose to uphold the "sacred promise" of Social Security when current workers are no longer paying into it?

Second, Paul is not for a gold standard in the traditional sense but for private competition in money.

He has called for a return to a commodity-backed currency, which is a flavor of gold standard thinking. To quote directly from the article: "The United States ought to link its currency to gold or silver again, Paul says. He puts his money where his mouth is. According to Federal Election Commission documents, most of his investments are in gold and silver and are worth between $1.5 and $3.5 million." He *also* believes the Constitution forbids the establishment of legal tender (i.e., a single national currency) and that we should return to the days of competing state and private currencies.

12/19/2007 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean Aqui,

"how does he propose to uphold the "sacred promise" of Social Security when current workers are no longer paying into it?"

By removing the military from overseas. This frees up money and potentially spends more military money at home.

12/19/2007 3:09 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

By removing the military from overseas. This frees up money and potentially spends more military money at home.

That sounds reasonable in theory. But how much money do you think that will save? Considering we're not talking about reducing troop levels, only bringing them home, so we'll still have the personnel costs; and many host nations make payments to help defray the cost of our stationing troops within their borders.

The best estimate I've found come from the Congressional Budget Office (scroll down to see Plan 3A and 3B). It concludes that bringing all the troops home would save about $1 billion a year -- hardly enough to make Social Security solvent, even after paying off the $7 billion in moving costs.

Getting out of Iraq would save a ton of money, but it's all borrowed money. So is deficit-hawk Paul really suggesting that we should go on borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars, but simply put it into SS instead of Iraq?

12/19/2007 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean Aqui,

"hardly enough to make Social Security solvent,"

1) More military money would be spent in the US, boosting GDP and tax revenue.

2) There may be room to reduce troop levels or cut military spending when you don't need to police the world(2 and 3 offset, I'm not sure where exactly Paul would come down on this):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States

3) He would be cutting other areas as well:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget%2C_2008
Department of Education $56 billion
Department of Homeland Security $34 billion

4) What are the other plans that you are so happy with? Something has to be done. His plan is probably politically easier than alternatives.

12/19/2007 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean Aqui,

"Or the military realities: had we not intervened in South Korea, for instance, North Korea would have overrun its neighbor."

So North Korea may have looked like Vietnam today? Sounds good to me.

12/19/2007 4:00 PM  
Anonymous John Matthews said...

Ron Paul’s main issues page which you reference only provides the briefest of explanations. If you truly wish to research and understand his positions on the issues, you need only read some of Dr. Paul’s writings:
http://www.ronpaul2008.com/articles/

Here is one example that helps explain some of the issues you have raised with his position on immigration.

Ron Paul on immigration:
“Without a welfare state, we would know that everyone coming to America wanted to work hard and support himself. Since we have accepted a permanent welfare state, however, we cannot be surprised when some freeloaders and criminals are attracted to our shores. Welfare muddies the question of why immigrants want to come here.”
http://www.ronpaul2008.com/articles/131/amnesty-and-the-welfare-state/
http://www.ronpaul2008.com/articles/129/immigration-reform-in-2006/

There’s plenty of other articles “straight from the horses mouth” providing detailed explanations of the issues you’ve raised. It takes a little more time, but researching these articles will answer many of your questions and counter many of your objections. Thank you for your article and your considered opinion, but please take another good look before you make your conclusions.

12/19/2007 4:17 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

More military money would be spent in the US, boosting GDP and tax revenue.

That's a marginal increase, at best. There aren't enough troops, making enough money, for that to have a significant impact.

There may be room to reduce troop levels or cut military spending when you don't need to police the world.

Agreed. But that makes Paul a classic isolationist, and I think that's a bad idea. Sticking our head in the sand will not make us safer.

Department of Education $56 billion

A perennial favorite target of conservatives. I address this in my post, but okay: you've got $56 billion a year.

Department of Homeland Security $34 billion

Given that Paul wants to improve and increase border security, what makes you think any substantive portion of that $34 billion will actually go away?

4) What are the other plans that you are so happy with? Something has to be done.

I agree that we need to start paying off the deficit, make Social Security solvent and stop partaking in expensive foreign-policy adventures that leave us worse off in the long run. That doesn't mean I agree we need radical surgery.

We need a restrained, principled, clearly delineated foreign policy.

We need a hard-headed discussion on just how much government we're willing to pay for, cut spending to that level, and set taxes at whatever level is needed to eliminate the annual deficit, start paying off the national debt and pay back the money we've borrowed from Social Security.

His plan is probably politically easier than alternatives.

Not really; too radical in too many areas, for a president who will have to fight Congress to get his agenda through.

12/19/2007 4:58 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

So North Korea may have looked like Vietnam today? Sounds good to me.

The moral hazard of rewarding aggression aside, I suppose you could hope for that outcome. But otherwise the situations were quite different.

North Korea invaded South Korea, pretty much unprovoked. Unlike in Vietnam, where we called off democratic elections because it was clear that Ho Chi Minh would win.

The case for intervening in South Korea was morally and militarily clear. Our policy in Vietnam was much less defensible, ignoring our own crass actions, relying on the "domino theory" to justify it and confusing a homegrown operation with a tentacle of world communism.

12/19/2007 5:01 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Ron Paul’s main issues page which you reference only provides the briefest of explanations. If you truly wish to research and understand his positions on the issues, you need only read some of Dr. Paul’s writings:
http://www.ronpaul2008.com/articles/


Thanks. I'll take a look.

12/19/2007 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Darrin said...

Ron Paul does not oppose free trade agreements, NAFTA had little to do with free trade outside of its name (much like the patriot act). There is no 'humanity' within foriegn aid (especially they steal our money to give it to others). Foreign aid always gives money to dictators and fuels war and violence. He has mentioned how to cut spending already so that is a outright lie (he proposes eliminating handouts and ending the war. Downsizing the governemnt and its numerous unconstitutional departments).

Your position on a gold standard as 'bad for economic growth' only outlines your ignorance of economic theory. The rest of your answers are just as directly related to your ignorance of private property and market function. It would do you much good to do some real reading on economics from someone not affiliated with 'public choice' lunacy or expressing a fetish for the time tested bunk theory of Keynes. The following 2 examples of your ignorance are obvious:

1- Your answer on envirnmentalism and the concern over private suit, which is much how we functioned in the begining of industrial revolution until government stepped in and abolished this system of redress and replaced it with mercantile protection of business. Resulting in the pollutive skies we have now.

2- Health care is expensive due to government involvement, any analysis of policy and spending in that regard compared to relative cost of service or goods in that market yeilds a disturbing trend. Even the much hated (and rightfully so) HMO began as a government enforced and created organization of business. Not a free market development.

Your opposition to choice and private property rights is repulsive.

12/20/2007 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Darrin said...

This whole worship of this fantasy savior of the 'moderate' is rather repulsive and completely ignorant of history. "Moderate" populist morons have run this nation since the mid 1800s. Moderates... they want to rule your life personally and economically (as though there is a difference). Libertarians... dont want to do anything to you.

12/20/2007 12:29 PM  
Anonymous caracarn said...

Sean, thank you very much. That's all I wanted--a serious look at Ron Paul and his issues rather than dismissing him out of hand. I respect you because you analyze things in a rational and comprehensive manner, which is so lacking in most of the national discussion.
I’d be very keen on delving into each of the issues you discussed, but that seems more suited to a discussion forum. I’ll just say this. I do not agree with everything Ron Paul espouses. However, it seems that at this point in time it is critical to get out from under the spell of Bush’s “war on terror” and the consequences it has brought in the form of invading other countries, increasing executive power, and dismantling civil liberties. I believe that Ron Paul would be the best person to reverse this dangerous trend and once again focus on the homefront rather than wasting our money, our life, and our integrity in overseas misadventures.
Regarding the homefront, I think that Ron Paul’s more extreme desires would be tempered by Congress. And Ron Paul seems like the kind of person who listens to reason and would come to conclusions through dialogue and compromise. I do think that the income tax should be abolished and it would level the playing field. I do think that we need to give a serious look at the Federal Reserve and perhaps abolish it too. Finally, I believe that Ron Paul may be the best candidate to fight back against the corporate takeover that has occurred in Washington.
The government needs a good shock in the form of Ron Paul.

12/21/2007 7:48 AM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Caracarn: Fair enough. As I noted in the Donklephant comments, your position is the most reasonable one in support of Paul that I've heard: we need him to shake things up, he's honest, noncorrupt and principled, and his worst excesses will be tempered by Congress.

But those excesses worry me a bit, particularly his isolationist tendencies and the whole anti-Federal Reserve thing.

Abolish the income tax? Only if you replace it with something like the FAIR tax -- and then you'd need a solid analysis of how the tax burden would shift around. The income tax has myriad problems, but I'd want to be sure we don't replace it with something worse.

12/21/2007 10:15 AM  
Anonymous serena1313 said...

Far be it I should accept at face value what others say, likewise nor take everything Ron Paul says as truth without looking at the whole picture: his strengths and weaknesses.

Ron Paul is seemingly forthcoming and seemingly principled, but that might not be exactly the case.

I agree that Ron Paul is too isolationist.

Apparently there is more to Ron Paul than what has been acknowledged. Now granted some is hearsay whereas on the other hand I watched Ron Paul interviewed at various times and read quite a bit about him.

For instance while interviewed on both Colbert and John Stewart, Paul stated he wanted to withdraw the US from UNESCO, NATO, the UN and other international alliances and treaties.

He wants to eviscerate: SS, education, Medicare, basically all social programmes.

He disbelieves in taxes of any kind apparently. He'd get rid of the fed and the IRS, etc.

He is a big believer in de-regulation thus allowing the markets free reign on the most part. (although regulations were minimized imagine what would happen if subprime mortgage, lending institutions and banks were completely de-regulated.)

He believes in privatization thus giving corporations more power.

He doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state.

He isn’t convinced by the evidence that global warming is man-made.

Is this what we are to expect with a Ron Paul presidency? If these are policies you support, then Ron Paul is your candidate.

I believe government can contribute and has played an active and productive role in our lives, but currently it is ineffective, wasteful and underfunded. For instance No-Child Left behind is too restrictive, too mandated; it leaves students learning how to test, period.

Until businesses can be trusted to keep our water and air clean, our food safe for human and animal consumption regulations are necessary.

[Oh Ron Paul would do away with the FDA, too.]

Pharmas and the healthcare system have raised prices, but lowered standards on the quality -- we pay more for less; news sources are profit-driven arms of the government; gas and oil companies gouged their prices. [imagine no regulations]

i do not believe in rolling back consumer rights, minimum wage, worker and consumer safety regulations. These laws protect our lives. Regulations are necessary for our health and survival.

i believe in providing a safety net for those who need it ... [SS, Medicare, etc.]

Other information from various sites:

# Ron Paul was one of 8 people to vote against the FTC being allowed to establish a do not call registry.

# Ron Paul has authored legislation saying that life begins at conception, to prevent federal money from being spent on family planning (that would include contraception), and has tried to amend the Constitution to "guarantee the right to life."

# Ron Paul has tried to repeal the Occupational Health and Safety Act and to abolish the minimum wage.

# Ron Paul wants guns in schools.

# Ron Paul has tried to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act to guarantee employees of federal contractors the prevailing wage and wants to make it easier to decertify a union.

# Ron Paul wants to amend the Constitution to end birthright citizenship.

# Ron Paul wants to dismantle the Federal Reserve and prepare for a return to the Gold Standard, which would destroy the economy.

http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2007/11/ron-paul-and-his-followers.html

http://www.dailykos.com/

http://tinyurl.com/246z9n

12/23/2007 4:08 AM  
Blogger savy4 said...

I agree that this article does touch on a lot of key issues and stances of Ron Paul, however the answers against his issues are merely personal opinion.

Gold standard would not make for higher economic growth? Where did this come from? We are fooling ourselves now with an artificial growth, where money is produced out of thin air. The dollar is falling drastically, so much so that if we do not take immediate action many economists say that we might be headed for one of the greatest depressions of all times. A backed currency would stop the counterfeiting of money by the federal reserve and not fleece the middle class.

As far as being against NAFTA, there is no hidden agenda, there is a NAU trying to be pushed, there is a Trans-Texas corridor being planned. These aren't secrets, it is the people unwillingness to see this that is making Ron Paul look like a conspiracy theorist. President Bush signed, without the approval of ANYONE, plans to start the implementation of the NAU.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRIqlOGb9_U&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdxI0zClV_Y
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14Li0Wa5rc0&feature=related

As far as illegal immigration, it is fleecing our country. We are subsidizing people who have no right to be here at all. Yes it is cruel to let someone sick, die, but as long as we offer free health care for illegals, we are only going to attract more illegals.

Also where did you get this information from?
"and illegal aliens almost certainly pay far more into the system than they take out."
I would like to see some reference data that backs up that statement. I haven't seen a line of illegals at the IRS trying to pay their cash wages in taxes.

What does invading other countries and carrying on the Global industrial war complex have to do with security of the US? It actually hinders the safety of our citizens by antagonizing citizens of other countries by invading them. I have nothing against an Iraqi, but if they were flowing into to Texas like we are flowing into Iraq, I would be fighting tooth and nail to kill as many of them as a could.

We are losing our country to a few elite, who have zero right to pass legislation because they have never been elected to our government. What authority does the CFR, The Americas Society, and David Rockefeller have over you and me, none, and we should not perpetuate the existence of these controlling private interest elites, by acting like they do not exist.

12/27/2007 4:29 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

I agree that this article does touch on a lot of key issues and stances of Ron Paul, however the answers against his issues are merely personal opinion.

Well, yes. Hence the title, "Why *I* don't support Ron Paul."

Gold standard would not make for higher economic growth? Where did this come from? We are fooling ourselves now with an artificial growth, where money is produced out of thin air.

Money is merely a medium of exchange; it doesn't produce wealth by itself. It's only purpose is to *represent* value, so that I don't have to set up a complicated barter transaction in order to buy the things I need. It only works as long as people value its ability to perform that function. Neither fiat nor gold-backed money is valuable in and of itself; it's only valuable because I can exchange it for actual goods.

Economic growth depends on economic activity. An inadequate money supply can constrain growth by starving people of the capital they need. An excessively large money supply can likewise constrain growth by reducing the ability of people to buy things. For me the danger of a gold-based currency choking off growth is greater than the danger of a fiat currency getting out of hand.

The dollar is falling drastically, so much so that if we do not take immediate action many economists say that we might be headed for one of the greatest depressions of all times.

Which economists say that? Not the mainstream ones. A depression is highly unlikely; even if we head into one, it's not going to be because of the devaluing dollar.

As far as being against NAFTA, there is no hidden agenda, there is a NAU trying to be pushed, there is a Trans-Texas corridor being planned.

This is conspiracy-minded paranoia, pure and simple. The "Trans-Texas corridor" is hardly an NAU plot. There are legitimate questions about whether such a massive transportation project is worth the cost, but I fail to see how building modern highway and rail connections can possibly be considered a plot. I guess to avoid being consumed by Mexico, we should tear up the roads between here and there, just to be safe.

Also where did you get this information from? "and illegal aliens almost certainly pay far more into the system than they take out." I would like to see some reference data that backs up that statement. I haven't seen a line of illegals at the IRS trying to pay their cash wages in taxes.

That was in reference to Social Security. Illegal aliens gain employment using fake SS numbers. They pay SS taxes under those numbers. But since the numbers are fake and they are not citizens, they will never collect SS benefits.

What authority does the CFR, The Americas Society, and David Rockefeller have over you and me, none, and we should not perpetuate the existence of these controlling private interest elites, by acting like they do not exist.

And this is, again, mere populist conspiracy stuff.

12/31/2007 5:02 PM  

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