Ron Paul on the Environment

Q
What do you see as the role of the Environmental Protection Agency?
A
You wouldn’t need it. Environmental protection in the U.S. should function according to the same premise as “prior restraint” in a newspaper. Newspapers can’t print anything that’s a lie. There has to be recourse. But you don’t invite the government in to review every single thing that the print media does with the assumption they might do something wrong. The EPA assumes you might do something wrong; it’s a bureaucratic, intrusive approach and it favors those who have political connections.

Q
Do you think it should be illegal to emit harmful pollutants?

A
You should be held responsible in a court of law and you should be able to be closed down if you’re damaging your neighbor’s property in any way whatsoever.

Q
Who would set the law about what pollutants could and couldn’t be emitted? Congress?

A
Not under my presidency – the Congress wouldn’t do it. The people who claim damage would have to say, look, I’m sitting here, and these poisons are coming over, and I can prove it, and I want it stopped, and I want compensation.

What a fucking joke. How can anyone take this man seriously?

Let’s not have environmental regulations to protect our drinking water, just sue the guy polluting it. And prove harm in a court of law. Acid rain killing your lake? Prove it and then sue the polluter. Can’t do it? Tough shit.

One of the weak point in libertarian doctrine.

This is a problem Austrian economics has probably problems adressing due to the nature of it.

In essence it is a problem of public goods and I am sure most libertarians could be convinced that was it morally wrong in principle is the least wrong approach in real life.

Yeah thats pretty vague but seriously doubt that is the extent of the thought into that issue. The EPA sucks as it is and needs reform or change or maybe it does just need to be eliminated entirely and some new way to punish the offenders put into place.

When they make more from polluting than the offense costs them, why would companies stop? We already had many lessons about the lack of conscience from corporate America in the past few years. We certainly can’t wait for the EPA to get around to protecting us.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
What a fucking joke. How can anyone take this man seriously?

Let’s not have environmental regulations to protect our drinking water, just sue the guy polluting it. And prove harm in a court of law. Acid rain killing your lake? Prove it and then sue the polluter. Can’t do it? Tough shit.
[/quote]
What exactly is the government doing to protect water? They hire a bunch of chemistry flunkies to go around and monitor it. Can’t people who own it and use it do it themselves? I have a chemistry set I am willing to lend to the cause.

Besides, as he points out, correctly, the government is the largest polluter. They have no business regulating pollutants. Private property law could do this more effectively.

Besides this, the government doesn’t always have the latest technology so they don’t even know most of the time. Private industry knows their own property and when they are being affected before some government flunky will ever figure it out. We need a better respect for property and the rule of law.

Also, we should remind people to police their own pollution. Problem solved.

Here’s then ENTIRE interview that wasn’t edited down.

From Salon.com, a liberal website:

He is far more versed on environmentalism than most pollitician who ONLY PREACH it. He actually is part of an environmental group in his home town in Texas.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Let’s not have environmental regulations to protect our drinking water, just sue the guy polluting it. [/quote]

What’s the matter Zap? Can’t afford bottled water?

I wouldn’t have pegged you for the big-government-Kyoto-defender type. But tell me, aren’t you in the drinking water business? Looks like if this Paul fellow gets his way, juicy consulting contracts will be harder to come by.

Zap, Is there a candidate whith whom you agree 100% on all the issues with? If not than I would say that you are being a little over critical of Dr. Paul. It’s great if you disagree with his policies, thats what makes our country strong is to have disagreements and debate. However, you seem to continually name call, in a hannity esque manner which seriously hurts your credibility.

In other words, please continue to critique Dr. Pauls positions, but could you please refrain from attaching labels like Idiot, or some other derogatory label to him or others who may view things in the same light. Also just to be clear, this is one of the issues I think he is weakest on myself so please don’t take this as support for his environmental policy, though I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he is not in favor of pollution.

On a fiscal note, Citizens Against Government Waste, a taxpayer watchdog group has Dr. Paul rated very Highly in not only the current Congressional term, but for his lifetime he is rated very Good, like close to 90% which is hard to do based on thier standards.

Thanks

V

http://www.ontheissues.org/2008/Ron_Paul_Environment.htm

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
What a fucking joke. How can anyone take this man seriously?

Let’s not have environmental regulations to protect our drinking water, just sue the guy polluting it. And prove harm in a court of law. Acid rain killing your lake? Prove it and then sue the polluter. Can’t do it? Tough shit.

What exactly is the government doing to protect water? They hire a bunch of chemistry flunkies to go around and monitor it. Can’t people who own it and use it do it themselves? I have a chemistry set I am willing to lend to the cause.
[/quote]

You don’t have the first clue

They are a huge entity. So what?

Private industry tries to avoid cleaning up their mess.

[quote]

Also, we should remind people to police their own pollution. Problem solved.[/quote]

That will do it huh?

I’m not a fan of the man’s environmental stand either. But I doubt four years of libertarian environmental theory will leave us in a cesspool. Paul’s theories regarding this tend to come straight from the mouth of Milton Friedman. But environmentalism was one of the few areas Friedman and I disagreed.

mike

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]Mick28 wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:

What a fucking joke. How can anyone take this man [Ron Paul] seriously?

I ask myself that question almost every time I hear him speak.[/quote]

I have tried to keep an open mind, but I agree: the more I hear, the goofier this fruitcake gets.

What we have here in Paul is a captive of an unworkable ideology whose view of reality is skewed to meet preconceived and archaic notions. So, too, with his “followers.”

Example 1: Environment. But there are such things as “public interests.” Would a man pay to build his own 40 feet of sewer if his neighbors would not? Of course not; but there is a public good to taxation and sewer building. Similarly, would we really have rational environmental policy if there were 40,000 tort suits adjudicated in the courts each year? Of course not; it is a pathetic and impoverished thought.

[I will defer a rant on Pareto optimality, or on the return to the gold standard, but those of you who are interested in that crackpot idea might choose to search wikipedia on Stanley Baldwin and Winston Churchill]

What passes for thought with the Paulists is a hodge-podge of the thinnest pop-politics. Dr Paul is a special type of demagogue, and a seductive one to the disenfranchised, or to internet kids with limited exposure to reality.

I am not at all impressed.

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:
Mick28 wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:

What a fucking joke. How can anyone take this man [Ron Paul] seriously?

I ask myself that question almost every time I hear him speak.

I have tried to keep an open mind, but I agree: the more I hear, the goofier this fruitcake gets.

What we have here in Paul is a captive of an unworkable ideology whose view of reality is skewed to meet preconceived and archaic notions. So, too, with his “followers.”

Example 1: Environment. But there are such things as “public interests.” Would a man pay to build his own 40 feet of sewer if his neighbors would not? Of course not; but there is a public good to taxation and sewer building. Similarly, would we really have rational environmental policy if there were 40,000 tort suits adjudicated in the courts each year? Of course not; it is a pathetic and impoverished thought.

[I will defer a rant on Pareto optimality, or on the return to the gold standard, but those of you who are interested in that crackpot idea might choose to search wikipedia on Stanley Baldwin and Winston Churchill]

What passes for thought with the Paulists is a hodge-podge of the thinnest pop-politics. Dr Paul is a special type of demagogue, and a seductive one to the disenfranchised, or to internet kids with limited exposure to reality.

I am not at all impressed.[/quote]

There are some problems regarding pollution and public goods in general.

And that is about the unworkable part part of it.

The rest is almost 100% Austrian economics and I am looking forward to your Nobel Prize speech where you explain in broad strokes how you have revolutionized economics by debunking them.

That would impress me.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
What a fucking joke. How can anyone take this man seriously?

Let’s not have environmental regulations to protect our drinking water, just sue the guy polluting it. And prove harm in a court of law. Acid rain killing your lake? Prove it and then sue the polluter. Can’t do it? Tough shit.

What exactly is the government doing to protect water? They hire a bunch of chemistry flunkies to go around and monitor it. Can’t people who own it and use it do it themselves? I have a chemistry set I am willing to lend to the cause.

Besides, as he points out, correctly, the government is the largest polluter. They have no business regulating pollutants. Private property law could do this more effectively.

Besides this, the government doesn’t always have the latest technology so they don’t even know most of the time. Private industry knows their own property and when they are being affected before some government flunky will ever figure it out. We need a better respect for property and the rule of law.

Also, we should remind people to police their own pollution. Problem solved.[/quote]

Not really.

A few problems:

Several hundreds of thousands of law suits more in a year?

If a company pollutes the air which might or might not cause a statistical spike in cancer rates, how do you prove with any certainty that any specific cancer case was caused by the companies pollution?

What if, like in the case of Seveso, a company kills hundreds of people? It is in principle a very large drunk driving case. I do not want to wait for an accident to happen, because no amount of money gives me my family back, even if a company can pay for so many deaths, which most cannot.

The main problem I see here is Paul has adopted a philosophy and he is going to try to make everything fit even when it clearly doesn’t.

Not a positive trait.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
The main problem I see here is Paul has adopted a philosophy and he is going to try to make everything fit even when it clearly doesn’t.

Not a positive trait.[/quote]

You mean like people who try to spread “freedom” with the sword and interpret everything as a positive sign?

If the insurgents kill more they do so because they get desperate, if they kill less it is because they have lost the ability to do more harm…

Or they even re interpret intelligence reports to justify attacking whole countries?

Yup, such people are dangerous.

[quote]orion wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
The main problem I see here is Paul has adopted a philosophy and he is going to try to make everything fit even when it clearly doesn’t.

Not a positive trait.

You mean like people who try to spread “freedom” with the sword and interpret everything as a positive sign?

If the insurgents kill more they do so because they get desperate, if they kill less it is because they have lost the ability to do more harm…

Or they even re interpret intelligence reports to justify attacking whole countries?

Yup, such people are dangerous.

[/quote]

The difference is it is debatable as to whether deposing a dictator with whom we had been fighting in a low grade war for the past 12 years was a positive thing. Strong arguments can and have been made both ways on this issue.

I cannot think of one realistic argument that supports Ron Paul’s position here.

[quote]Mick28 wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:

What a fucking joke. How can anyone take this man [Ron Paul] seriously?

I ask myself that question almost every time I hear him speak.[/quote]

That’s exactly what the entire country asks about Bush Jr.

[quote]jlesk68 wrote:
Mick28 wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:

What a fucking joke. How can anyone take this man [Ron Paul] seriously?

I ask myself that question almost every time I hear him speak.

That’s exactly what the entire country asks about Bush Jr.[/quote]

great picture!

[quote]orion wrote:
DrSkeptix wrote:
Mick28 wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:

There are some problems regarding pollution and public goods in general.

And that is about the unworkable part part of it.

The rest is almost 100% Austrian economics and I am looking forward to your Nobel Prize speech where you explain in broad strokes how you have revolutionized economics by debunking them.

That would impress me.

[/quote]

With resptect, for a change…

I am sure von Mises was a very fine man, a charming teacher ensconced in a his study on New York’s upper west side. He treated his students well. BUt his concerns, as I understand them, in broad strokes, were with questions of value, monetarism, and the impossibility of central planning to adequately assign value to a national economy. (That is, a centrally planned economy is doomed to failure and inefficiency. Looks like the theory worked, but it took 50 years to prove it, practically speaking.)
But I am no economist, and my Nobel Prize was in another field, but I point out that there have been many other countervailing theories in the last 60 years. The only free market is in the market of ideas, and I do not have to buy von Mises ideas to the exclusion of practicality.

So, would you entrust your stock portfolio to Milton Friedman? Is Austrian economics an exclusive and all-encompassing Church?: Would I entrust the economy to a priesthood of economic theorists, working from holy texts 60 years out of date? Gentle reader, no. Look at the steel-trap like thinking engendered elsewhere in these threads, and consider the consequences when a simpleton reads “religion” and writes policy.