Sunday, December 18, 2011

Why I support Ron Paul

1. Because my wife supports Ron Paul. Enough said.

2. I wanted to copy what I wrote on the Facebook in response to someone criticizing Ron Paul:

A. Realistically, he is the only politician that I know of (certainly, the only candidate) who shows any evidence of knowing what's going on with the economy. And, his changes seem reasonable to me: get rid of all the junk — departments in the government, FED, cut military spending (100 bases in Europe!.. against whom?.. Putin?), etc.

As to the "big guys", as my link about Bernanke shows, they are the last people who are willing to change the system. They are getting free money from FED. We need to bypass the big guys.

That is why Ron Paul is ridiculed in the media: because the big bankers want to keep getting bailed out (on a daily basis, as it happens) by Bernanke.

B. I think the biggest problem that faces us today is break-up of American society from within. Economic problems are only a sign of a greater stagnation and degradation of American society that had been happening since Woodrow Wilson took office. One can blame Wilsons, Carters, FDRs, Obamas, but these people would be unable to do what they did, had they lived in the 18th or 19th century.

So, yeah, I feel a little uncomfortable about Paul’s foreign policy. For the most part, not because I disagree with anything specific he says, but because I have been a Conservative Hawk for longer than I have been a libertarian.

I do think US needs presence abroad. I don’t necessarily think it must be done at the taxpayers’ expense. It must be done by private armies (competing with each other on free market) hired by international trading companies who have a direct stake in international stability. If those companies then want to include their "army" expenses in their bill to us (e.g., in the cost of gas), that’s fine. Let them all compete with each other on a free market to find the cheapest (and most acceptable from PR point of view) solution to the world stability. Much better than just giving an empty check to the Pentagon.

Otherwise, we’re getting a perpetual repeat of Barbary Wars. US merchants were being kidnapped by Barbary pirates, but instead of trading with another country instead or hiring their own protection, they got US Congress to build ships (using taxpayers’ money) to protect their trade.

But the bigger point is that whether one agrees with Paul on foreign policy or not, the problems we face at home are much-much greater than any potential, theoretical threat from Iran, N. Korea, or Russia.

C. Another point about economy is that it’s not just some numbers at the bottom of TV screen. It’s not just the price of tomatoes at local Shaw’s Market. Economy is the interaction between people of the society. It IS the society. Division of labor and successful exchange of goods and services are what makes up a civilization. So, "fixing economy" is fixing the society itself.


The Professor said...

The man is scary. I so wish Christie was running!

Certified Ashkenazi said...

It is not my job to defend every single statement that Ron Paul has made about Israel. He is not my Rebbe. He is entitled to his opinion whether a certain military action was or was not legitimate.

Overall, his stance towards Israel is better for Israel than that of any other candidates:

1. Leave Israel alone, allowing it to make sovereign decisions, not influences by the political climate in Washington.

2. Stop giving aid to Arab nations.

3. Support the right of Israel to defend itself. Sure, in this video it looks like he is against that, but at the same time, when all of the Congress condemned Israel for bombing Iraqi reactor, Ron Paul was the only one who voted "nay".

But the point is: if US doesn't act towards Israel as a puppet-master, it DOESN'T MATTER what US President thinks about a given military action or a given settlement program. See number 1.

4. Support free trade with Israel (as any other nations).

The other point is that whatever his views on foreign policy, his views on economy are much more important.

I still don't know what Christie's views are. Would he destroy FED if given power? Anybody about whom the answer is not unequivocally "yes" is not worthy of mentioning.

We are destroying the fabric of our society, the essence of the free exchange of goods and services between people. Whether or not one supports or condemns attacking Gaza is so not important at the moment.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

In other words, if we had a candidate whose plans would be to be heavily involved in controlling Israel (which is every candidate except Ron Paul), then yes, his opinion about what Israel does would be important.

But here we have someone who says: "I don't want what Israel does be dependent on what we think." So, what he thinks IS NOT important.

And it's not like he is saying here: "I don't want Israel to bomb its enemies." He is against bombing civilians. So, I may disagree with him, because in this case, Gaza civilians are collateral damage due to their own support of the militants. But the point is: he is not against military response; he is against the specific tactics that Israel was using.

guyinla said...

It comes down to whether you think the foreign policy is important enough. I think there are significant threats, and if the military is substantially reduced, then the threats will be much greater. You think if we gut our military, Iran would be more, or less likely to attack us or israel. Also, it may not be possible for israel to deal with iran by itself anymore, once they can produce the bomb. True, if israel were left alone it could have, but now it may be too late. Also, I don't trust his judgement on foreign affairs to recognize a threat if one were to arise. e.g. his view that israel is the aggressor and radical muslims only hate us because we are involved in the middle east.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

Well, that would be true if things "hung in balance". In reality, we are overcommitted overseas. I can't imagine that America faces more domestic threats than the other top ten countries combined.

It seems to me a major waste of money to concentrate on building bases all over the world (I repeat, 100 bases in Europe -- why?) instead of concentrating on immediate threats to our soil -- which should be easy to control, since we are surrounded by two friendly nations and two oceans. (We may need to invest more into foreign intelligence, but that should cost significantly less than paying for all the soldiers and equipment.)

And its international threats should be taken care by the interested parties (e.g., oil companies, etc.) hiring private armies, "insurance companies" that hire private armies, whatever -- i.e., let the free market take care of that.

As to Iranian threat, I find it unlikely that they would nuke Israel; they know Israel already has more than 100 nukes (if I am not mistaken).

Anyway, defense of Israel is Israeli business, not American one. Those interested in helping Israel are free to do so privately, through whatever means (serving in the army; donating; hiring private organizations that will carry out military aid, whatever); they should not use the government to compel those who do NOT want to help Israel (either because they don't like Israel or because they do not think there is any significant danger) to do so.

Speaking of danger: I think all former Mossad chiefs, including the one who just retired, said that Israel would be worse off if Iran is attacked.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

> Also, I don't trust his judgement on foreign affairs to recognize a threat if one were to arise [...]

It's not his job to do that. It is the job of the Congress to recognize threats and declare wars. The president is Commander-in-Chief presiding over the wars that Congress has declared; plus, he is granted powers to initiate a short-term military action in case US is invaded (say, by Canada) and a quick response is necessary.

Neither of which Ron Paul has a problem with. He said that he would support a war that was started by the Congress (e.g., American involvement in WWII, which was voted for by the Congress) or respond to an attack on American soil (for the duration that the Constitution allows; during which time it is the job of the Congress to declare the war or order the end of military action).

Most of the troubles that we face today come from expecting different branches of the government to do what is not their job (either because it is a job of a different branch, such as with legislation, war declaration, etc., or because it's not the government's business at all -- such as with most of the government's social programs, market regulations, etc.).

guyinla said...

I didn't comment on the european bases. Again, it is america's problem if we prevented israel from attacking then it's on us if that harms them.
Also, I didn't say he wouldn't react or declare war. I said I don't trust him to read a threat correctly and take preemptive action to remove the threat. That is the president's job.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

> Again, it is america's problem if we prevented israel from attacking then it's on us if that harms them.

No. American government's mistakes of the past notwithstanding, there is no excuse to place responsibility for them on American taxpayers who had nothing to do with those decisions.

In any event, whatever help American government wants to provide comes with the price of Israeli sovereignty. Israel is much better off asking for private help from those Americans who are sympathetic to it. (And who would feel urgency to help to a much greater degree if they will know that it's their responsibility; not that of American taxpayers.)

Also, the reality is that Iran most likely does not present any danger to Israel. Attacking it seems to be not in Israel's interests. And Israel is capable of self-defense. At least that's the opinion of the Israeli military experts.

Any opinion to the contrary needs to be backed up by facts. The same goes for the presumed dangers that American currently faces that require its involvement all over the world. What dangers are these, and why can't they be solved by focusing on domestic security?

> I said I don't trust him to read a threat correctly and take preemptive action to remove the threat. That is the president's job.

Why is that his job? And why do you think Ron Paul would be incapable of it -- because he wants the US to be as involved in the policing the world as, say, Canada, Japan, or Australia? For instance, Japan faces constant threat from N. Korea (which has nukes). It doesn't mean that Japan bankrupts itself by overspending on military budget or constantly behaves itself aggressively towards N. Korea.

Anarchist Chossid said...

Well, governor Christie has proven to be a true friend of free markets. I can hardly imagine a worse governor for NJ at the moment (see my post titled USSR in NJ).

The Professor said...

Haha. Well, politicians....