Ron Paul on the Environment

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:
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.

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Church?: Would I entrust the economy to a priesthood of economic theorists, working from holy texts 60 years out of date?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.

[/quote]

First of all von Mises writings are as old as his arch nemesis, Keynes.

So if you are searching for the “modern” version the Chicago school is much, much closer to the Austrian school than to Keynesianism though von Mises considered them to be practically socialists.

So I would not want to Friedman to handle my money because I disagree with him on monetary policies, but Austrian economics is not some fringe sect but the foundation of a lot of modern economy and the ideological background of neoliberalism.

The very reason why there is an Austrian school is because Joseph II wanted his government employees to understand the relationship between law, economics and society.

Until the late 60s most Austrian laws students also took 2 years on top of it to study “Staatswissenschaften”.

When my country took the road to neo-Marxism, um, Keynesianism that course of study suddenly disappeared.

Joseph II idea is still valid, Austrian economics is the only school that always tried to understand the link between economy, government and laws on an axiomatic/deductive level which is why it has the most developed ideas how it all interacts.

Unfortunately a strictly axiomatic approach has disadvantages, like the inability to see when an option that is theoretically sound is way to expensive in the real world.

These are however nuances that will definitely not be discussed in an US presidential election.

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:
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.
[/quote]
Mises’ concerns were strictly with the methodology of economics. Austrians largely have problems with the positivistic method of the hard sciences being applied to economics. Predictions based on historical observation can be applied to physics, for example, but they cannot be applied to acting man. This is where all economics directed outside of methodological individualism fails.

Everything in the natural world concerning humans has to be understood as individual human action. Humans act with purpose; you cannot logically refute that claim without breaking this axiom.

How do we make choices in a world fraught with scarcity? Keynes doesn’t even come close to getting it correct.

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

Unfortunately a strictly axiomatic approach has disadvantages, like the inability to see when an option that is theoretically sound is way to expensive in the real world.

These are however nuances that will definitely not be discussed in an US presidential election.

[/quote]

Agreed, and agreed!
At last, there is something we can agree on; practicality trumps theory.
(Sorry, Lifty, the application of theory to life and government is a hazard. Just think about all the noble economic theories that have yielded terrific human suffering, collectively and individually.)

For example, I do know a Noble laureate in economics–to be fair, a profound theorist, a monetarist who probably has undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome, with whom I can discuss Bayesian analytics nonstop. I would not trust him to sell stamps in a Post Office, let alone propose government policy.

In a choice between pragmatism and theory, I choose practicality over ideology.

So, I think of Ron Paul’s attachment to the gold standard, to the abolition of the Federal Reserve, to ending the income tax–all this, is claptrap, impractical gobbledygook to seduce the naive and underinformed.

You definitely can apply this theory to government and therein lies our problem.

Government is made up of individually flawed people – not one collective organism that knows how to act and think by itself. It makes mistakes because humans are imperfect.

What is the solution?

Zap, are you unfamiliar with the libertarian approach to environmental issues? I mean, have you never been exposed to this point of view before? Ron Paul is just giving the standard LP response here.

You should read Rothbard. This subject has been breached many times.

Allow me to sum it up for you, very briefly:

The environment is a property rights issue. Respect for property rights is a core tenet of both libertarianism and capitalism. Libertarians would simply enforce existing laws which fall under this domain, rather than creating a seperate legal category pertaining to the environment alone.

What’s the Libertarian explanation for pollution? They say it happens the most on government property, because private corporations have no incentive to care for land which isn’t theirs. The libertarian solution would be for the government to sell off as much of it’s land as possible and put the national parks, wildlife reserves, etc, into the hands of private corporations, who would have an incentive to care for their own property.

Libertarians recognize that nobody has a right to pollute YOUR air, YOUR water, YOUR property, etc…

By the way, lawsuits wouldn’t necessarily be required to resolve property rights violations. If someone trespasses on your property, you can call the police. It’s much the same with “environmental trespasses” which violate the property rights of the owners. The police are charged with enforcing the laws against such violations.

[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:
Zap, are you unfamiliar with the libertarian approach to environmental issues? I mean, have you never been exposed to this point of view before? Ron Paul is just giving the standard LP response here.

You should read Rothbard. This subject has been breached many times.


http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/air-pollution.html[/quote]

So let’s see here. If his environment may have been hurt, a libertarian calls on…the police!!! Who adjudicates this? What law? Oh, that’s right, since there is no legality to administrative law, justice is all derived from The Axioms of the Austrians! (written on parchment or clay tablets somewhere)

Now, having read Rothbard, I can attest that I have seen more clarity in the ravings of the denizens schizophrenia ward at the county hospital.

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:
Nominal Prospect wrote:
Zap, are you unfamiliar with the libertarian approach to environmental issues? I mean, have you never been exposed to this point of view before? Ron Paul is just giving the standard LP response here.

You should read Rothbard. This subject has been breached many times.

So let’s see here. If his environment may have been hurt, a libertarian calls on…the police!!! Who adjudicates this? What law? Oh, that’s right, since there is no legality to administrative law, justice is all derived from The Axioms of the Austrians! (written on parchment or clay tablets somewhere)

Now, having read Rothbard, I can attest that I have seen more clarity in the ravings of the denizens schizophrenia ward at the county hospital.[/quote]

Really?

A) Rothbard may be an anarchist, most libertarians aren`t.

B) Though I do not agree with anarchism, the brighter ones have excellent points, the first one being that most of our interactions are of an anarchic nature and yet the world still turns.

C) The ethical side of libertartianism is pretty sound, to compare them to the ravings of lunatics means not to have studied them.

D) And again, you are attacking an ideological platform that has roots that are hundreds of years old, dismissive uninformed posts like this might earn you the nickname Mick29, if I were into such displays of immaturity, but otherwise they just won`t do.

[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:
Zap, are you unfamiliar with the libertarian approach to environmental issues? I mean, have you never been exposed to this point of view before? Ron Paul is just giving the standard LP response here.

…[/quote]

Yes I am and it is incredibly flawed. I had hoped Ron Paul could actually step away from it and say and do the right thing instead.

I believe libertarians have much to offer in many area but I also think it is a flawed approach (like all others).

His failure to step away from the obvious shortfalls in the libertarian philosophy in this area indicates a weakness/glaring blindspot on his part. This really bothers me in a presidential candidate.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
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]

A President in the Making!!!

[quote]orion wrote:
DrSkeptix wrote:
Nominal Prospect wrote:
Zap, are you unfamiliar with the libertarian approach to environmental issues? I mean, have you never been exposed to this point of view before? Ron Paul is just giving the standard LP response here.

You should read Rothbard. This subject has been breached many times.

So let’s see here. If his environment may have been hurt, a libertarian calls on…the police!!! Who adjudicates this? What law? Oh, that’s right, since there is no legality to administrative law, justice is all derived from The Axioms of the Austrians! (written on parchment or clay tablets somewhere)

Now, having read Rothbard, I can attest that I have seen more clarity in the ravings of the denizens schizophrenia ward at the county hospital.

Really?

C) The ethical side of libertartianism is pretty sound, to compare them to the ravings of lunatics means not to have studied them.

D) And again, you are attacking an ideological platform that has roots that are hundreds of years old, dismissive uninformed posts like this might earn you the nickname Mick29, if I were into such displays of immaturity, but otherwise they just won`t do. [/quote]

(I will be charitable to you. You seem to need a little kindness.)

You must be referring to someone’s else’s post, since I as commenting on what I read in Rothbarts hysterical scree, and your comments are referring to something else entirely.

And just two more questions:

if a “platform” is hundreds of years old, is it not true that parts will have been adopted, or parts rejected because they are impractical or just wrong?

And question 2: I grant you a fairy wand and Ron Paul is president on 1/20/09. At 1 pm his able to do…what? He has no following in congress, no party (even the Republicans hate him), the committee heads owe nothing to him, he can’t buy them off because he will not have the poltical currency to do so; he can’t finance the purchase of a shoelace, and the State Department will look on him as a drooling idiot.

Nothing this man thinks or theorizes will see the light of day on 1/21/09. And his ideas moulder with him. ( See Perot, Anderson, Wallace, Thurman…)

But I guess I am the immature one here.

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

[quote]Vegita wrote:
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[/quote]

Vegita,

In case you missed it, I asked you in one of the other 50 ron paul threads to pick a stance of his and we will discuss it.

I think you’ll find yourself not agreeing with MOST if not ALL of his stances.

Pick one.

JeffR

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:
if a “platform” is hundreds of years old, is it not true that parts will have been adopted, or parts rejected because they are impractical or just wrong?
[/quote]

…or just not understood.

Everyone starts from the premise that government is necessary for every function of society, completely forgetting our anarchic past.

Government is an invention, manifest for the purpose of controlling free people. Anarchism is the opposite of that – it is the absence of authority over the individual.

Recognizing that disputes are part and parcel to every society there must have been a method for dealing with these issues before the invention of the State. Communities still made rules and and were held accountable for their actions. They did not need a giant, monolithic agency to control every aspect of their daily lives – the State.

It is only through understanding the nature of human behavior that we can remove the shackles of government. We have to be willing to open our minds to the possibility of freedom and what it would mean for the individual.

People speak of the ideas of Jefferson and the federalists as if they were outdated ideas yet they forget…the ideas of liberty are brand new in comparison to our tyrannical past. It is tyranny and authoritarianism that is, in fact, out-dated – not freedom.

The question is not whether these ideas can work but how we can make them work. Learning is the only way it will happen.

[quote]JeffR wrote:

I think you’ll find yourself not agreeing with MOST if not ALL of his stances.

Pick one.

JeffR
[/quote]

This is what I have concluded once I really followed him.

Supplements are a good example. Most of us don’t want supplements banned. Neither does Ron Paul.

Most of us do want supplements to contain what they are supposed to contain.

Rob Paul doesn’t really care. He doesn’t want the government involved at all in making sure supplements are safe, effective or even properly labeled.

If you have a problem then you must take it to court. Good luck trying to sue!

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
JeffR wrote:

I think you’ll find yourself not agreeing with MOST if not ALL of his stances.

Pick one.

JeffR

This is what I have concluded once I really followed him.

Supplements are a good example. Most of us don’t want supplements banned. Neither does Ron Paul.

Most of us do want supplements to contain what they are supposed to contain.

Rob Paul doesn’t really care. He doesn’t want the government involved at all in making sure supplements are safe, effective or even properly labeled.

If you have a problem then you must take it to court. Good luck trying to sue! [/quote]

Do you realize you how much you’re sounding like a liberal?
You’re taking the “good intentions” argument. Ron Paul would tell you that you shouldn’t trust the government to have good intentions. Where power and authority are granted, they will be abused. As far as “not caring” is concerned, he would tell you that it is not his place to “care for” others by imposing his decisions on them. In a free society, people make their own decisions and bear the consequences.

If people are willing to pay for “inferior” cars, who are you to barr them from doing so? You can replace “cars” in the above sentence with drugs, supplements, foods, etc…

And what exactly is “inferior”, anyways? Can there possibly be a universal standard for such a term? It’s relative, by definition.

Austrians consider it a law of economics that free markets necessarily result in the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people. This rule stems from fundamental libertarian theories of human behavior: namely, methodological individualism and psychological egoism, the doctrine which holds that all individuals necessarily pursue their own self-interest at all times.

You cannot merely “disagree” with such a position. You must formally DISPROVE it, else there is no point in discussing it.

Finally, I have to mention the subjective theory of value, another core tenet of Libertarianism. This is the most important one of all. This is what distinguishes every collectivist ideologies from individualist ones.

Value is assigned subjectively. It’s not a universal quality. You can’t assign a universal value to protein powder or seatbelts or anything else you may deem to be a “necessity”. No one person can do that because it would violate methodological individualism.

[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
JeffR wrote:

I think you’ll find yourself not agreeing with MOST if not ALL of his stances.

Pick one.

JeffR

This is what I have concluded once I really followed him.

Supplements are a good example. Most of us don’t want supplements banned. Neither does Ron Paul.

Most of us do want supplements to contain what they are supposed to contain.

Rob Paul doesn’t really care. He doesn’t want the government involved at all in making sure supplements are safe, effective or even properly labeled.

If you have a problem then you must take it to court. Good luck trying to sue!

Do you realize you how much you’re sounding like a liberal?
You’re taking the “good intentions” argument. Ron Paul would tell you that you shouldn’t trust the government to have good intentions. Where power and authority are granted, they will be abused. As far as “not caring” is concerned, he would tell you that it is not his place to “care for” others by imposing his decisions on them. In a free society, people make their own decisions and bear the consequences.

If people are willing to pay for “inferior” cars, who are you to barr them from doing so? You can replace “cars” in the above sentence with drugs, supplements, foods, etc…

And what exactly is “inferior”, anyways? Can there possibly be a universal standard for such a term? It’s relative, by definition.

Austrians consider it a law of economics that free markets necessarily result in the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people. This rule stems from fundamental libertarian theories of human behavior: namely, methodological individualism and psychological egoism, the doctrine which holds that all individuals necessarily pursue their own self-interest at all times.

You cannot merely “disagree” with such a position. You must formally DISPROVE it, else there is no point in discussing it.

Finally, I have to mention the subjective theory of value, another core tenet of Libertarianism. This is the most important one of all. This is what distinguishes every collectivist ideologies from individualist ones.

Value is assigned subjectively. It’s not a universal quality. You can’t assign a universal value to protein powder or seatbelts or anything else you may deem to be a “necessity”. No one person can do that because it would violate methodological individualism.[/quote]

All that rambling and no reality. Sad.

[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:

This rule stems from fundamental libertarian theories of human behavior: namely, methodological individualism and psychological egoism, the doctrine which holds that all individuals necessarily pursue their own self-interest at all times.[/quote]

Setting aside the fact that we all think you are a worthless clown, your own position here refutes libertarianism as you explain it.

  1. All individuals pursue their own self-interest at all times

  2. Throughout history, no society has ever asserted their self-interest to live by anarcho-libertarian principles - as in, they have, historically, always exercised their freedom to not be libertarians.

  3. So, over time, people have routinely decided that acting in their self-interest means rejecting the very theory you suggest is supposed to stem from such an attitude.

One or the other is false. Either people don’t always pursue their self-interest, or self-interest doesn’t lead to libertarianism.

Either way, you have done your best to spout off as an intellectual who has answers, only to refute yourself by your own commentary.

But, on the other hand, if it makes you feel any better, somewhere the slow-blinking Lifticus is thinking your claptrap is “pure genius”, even if it is embarrassing bunk.

[quote]Mick28 wrote:

Great post, but I warn you, you have now incurred the wrath of all the T Nation Paulies and those 6 guys are very committed…or ought to be.

LOL

[/quote]

Don’t mess with Ron Paul. I heard Ron Paul was so tough, he once roundhouse kicked a guy, over the phone…

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
Nominal Prospect wrote:

This rule stems from fundamental libertarian theories of human behavior: namely, methodological individualism and psychological egoism, the doctrine which holds that all individuals necessarily pursue their own self-interest at all times.

Setting aside the fact that we all think you are a worthless clown, your own position here refutes libertarianism as you explain it.

  1. All individuals pursue their own self-interest at all times

  2. Throughout history, no society has ever asserted their self-interest to live by anarcho-libertarian principles - as in, they have, historically, always exercised their freedom to not be libertarians.

  3. So, over time, people have routinely decided that acting in their self-interest means rejecting the very theory you suggest is supposed to stem from such an attitude.

One or the other is false. Either people don’t always pursue their self-interest, or self-interest doesn’t lead to libertarianism.
[/quote]

Well said and insightful, as usual.

The answer will come, as it always does from ideologues: “the general public does not know what is in their best interest–we do.”

We see this with Leninists, liberals (“What is the matter with Kansas?”), and shortly, self-nominated libertarians, who have usurped and trashed a good name.
The totalitarian is marked by his insistence that one “philosophy” answers all of society’s needs. Do we now face this pretense from a Texas obstetrician pantomiming a libertarian ?

[quote]Mick28 wrote:
Great post, but I warn you, you have now incurred the wrath of all the T Nation Paulies and those 6 guys are very committed…or ought to be.[/quote]

Funny. By my count, there are more supporters of Ron Paul at T-Nation than of any other candidate - by far.