T Nation

Ron Paul v Ben Bernanke

Follow the link to see the video:

http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/12/did_ron_paul_school_ben_bernan.php

Here’s the commentary:

Ron Paul’s supporters see the might of his common sense slashing through the doubletalk of the financial solons. I see a really, really smart economist responding to Ron Paul the same way you react to Cousin Mildred when she corners you after Christmas dinner to complain about the flouridation of the water supply. What Dr. Paul is saying doesn’t make any particular sense; American consumers are not particularly suffering because of the decline of the dollar, the dollar is not declining because of Fed policy, and the Federal Reserve has nothing to do with a relative scarcity of oil and food, which is what is driving the CPI increases he complains about. If we were on the gold standard, oil and food would still be getting more expensive, and people on fixed incomes would still be feeling the pinch.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Follow the link to see the video:

http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/12/did_ron_paul_school_ben_bernan.php

Here’s the commentary:

Ron Paul’s supporters see the might of his common sense slashing through the doubletalk of the financial solons. I see a really, really smart economist responding to Ron Paul the same way you react to Cousin Mildred when she corners you after Christmas dinner to complain about the flouridation of the water supply. What Dr. Paul is saying doesn’t make any particular sense; American consumers are not particularly suffering because of the decline of the dollar, the dollar is not declining because of Fed policy, and the Federal Reserve has nothing to do with a relative scarcity of oil and food, which is what is driving the CPI increases he complains about. If we were on the gold standard, oil and food would still be getting more expensive, and people on fixed incomes would still be feeling the pinch.[/quote]

So a declining dollar has nothing to do with the Fed inflating it, a falling dollar does not make oil relatively more expensive for Americans, given that oil is traded in dollars, and food prices do not go up because energy prices go up.

Glad we cleared that up.

If cousin Mildred kicks your ass that is one thing, but to have simpletons defend you, when you know Mildred is right, is probably more embarrassment than Bernanke deserves.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Follow the link to see the video:

http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/12/did_ron_paul_school_ben_bernan.php

Here’s the commentary:

Ron Paul’s supporters see the might of his common sense slashing through the doubletalk of the financial solons. I see a really, really smart economist responding to Ron Paul the same way you react to Cousin Mildred when she corners you after Christmas dinner to complain about the flouridation of the water supply. What Dr. Paul is saying doesn’t make any particular sense; American consumers are not particularly suffering because of the decline of the dollar, the dollar is not declining because of Fed policy, and the Federal Reserve has nothing to do with a relative scarcity of oil and food, which is what is driving the CPI increases he complains about. If we were on the gold standard, oil and food would still be getting more expensive, and people on fixed incomes would still be feeling the pinch.[/quote]

“Now move along folks…nothing to see here. We just going to float some more money into the system. If prices rise (as they have since the creation of the Fed) do not worry it’s absolutely normal under central planning authority…P.S. it isn’t stealing because we’re from the government and we only mean well!”

What a joke! Keynesians think government intervention is as natural as gravity. Of course they think Austrian free-marketers are wrong. Who would benefit under such a system…?

Here’s the angry letter Ms. Megan McArdle knew she was bound to receive. Before I launch into my main topic, I want to make a few matters crystal-clear: (1) Ms. McArdle needs a refill of her medication, and (2) as a result of that, I really intend to keep writing letters like this one until Ms. McArdle changes her ways. Now that you know where I stand on those issues, I can safely say that Ms. McArdle is obviously up to something. I don’t know exactly what, but she recently claimed that two wrongs make a right. I would have found this comment shocking had I not heard similar garbage from her a hundred times before. She says that she can change her evil ways. That’s a stupid thing to say. It’s like saying that her hypnopompic insights are Holy Writ.

If you’ll allow me a minor dysphemism, Ms. McArdle offers nothing but cheap insults and banal rhetoric. Or, to phrase that a little more politely, Ms. McArdle’s wisecracks are propaganda to the point of comedy and are so easily refuted as to render them useless even as such. That conclusion is not based on some sort of complacent, ill-natured philosophy or on Ms. McArdle-style mental masturbation, but on widely known and proven principles of science. These principles explain that if we don’t improve the physical and spiritual quality of life for the population at present and for those yet to come, our children will curse us in our graves. Speaking of our children, we need to teach them diligently that the only effective and responsible course of action is to restore the world back to its original balance – an often frustrating prescription, to be sure. To say anything else would be a lie.

Should we sit back and let Ms. McArdle set the hoops through which we all must jump, or should we give you some background information about her? That choice sure sounds like a no-brainer to me. She wants me to stop trying to champion the poor and oppressed against the evil of Megan McArdle. Instead, she’d rather I burst into tears. Sorry, but I don’t accept defeat that easily. While I agree with others’ assessment that there is no honor in her opinions, still, I find it necessary, if I am to meet my reader on something like a common ground of understanding, to point out that when I say that her rantings are irritable, I mean it. I don’t mean that they remind me of something irritable or that they have one or two irritable characteristics. I mean that they are irritable. In fact, the most irritable thing about them is the way that they prevent people from seeing that I admit I have a tendency to become a bit insensitive whenever I rebuke Ms. McArdle for trying to rewrite and reword much of humanity’s formative works to favor ruffianism. While I am desirous of mending this tiny personality flaw, some people apparently believe that if we don’t bother Ms. McArdle, Ms. McArdle won’t bother us. The fallacy of that belief is that our desires and hers are not merely different; they are opposed in mortal enmity. Ms. McArdle wants to demonstrate an outright hostility to law enforcement. We, in contrast, want to alert people that if she makes fun of me or insults me I hear it, and it hurts. But I take solace in the fact that I am still able to detail the specific steps and objectives needed to thwart her saturnine schemes.

Ms. McArdle insists that unsympathetic, anti-democratic Luddites are more deserving of honor than our nation’s war heroes. How can she be so blind? Very easily. Basically, if you’re interested in the finagling, double-dealing, chicanery, cheating, cajolery, cunning, rascality, and abject villainy by which Ms. McArdle may sensationalize all of the issues quicker than you can double-check the spelling of “counterexcommunication”, then you’ll want to consider the following very carefully. You’ll especially want to consider that there may be nothing we can do to prevent Ms. McArdle from making good on her word to curry favor with the most scabrous layabouts I’ve ever seen using a barrage of flattery, especially recognition of their “value”, their “importance”, their “educational mission”, and other petulant nonsense. When we compare this disturbing conclusion to the comforting picture purveyed by her intimates, we experience psychological stress or “cognitive dissonance”. Our only recourse is to balkanize Ms. McArdle’s abhorrent polity into an etiolated and sapless agglomeration.

Ms. McArdle maintains that her vices are the only true virtues. This is hardly the case. Rather, there is growing evidence that says, to the contrary, that her hagiographic adoration of Fabianism is indubitably sickening. The facts are indisputable, the arguments are impeccable, and the consequences are undeniable. So why does she aver that she can override nature? To rephrase that question, where do we go from here? Well, we all know the answer to that question, don’t we? But in case you don’t, then you should note that she wants to prohibit any discussion of her attempts to perpetuate the myth that she acts in the name of equality and social justice. While it is clear why she wants that to be a taboo subject, Ms. McArdle claims to be fighting for equality. What she’s really fighting for, however, is equality in degradation, by which I mean that Ms. McArdle maintains a “Big Brother” dossier of information about everyone she distrusts, to use as a potential career-ruining weapon. Is your name listed in that dossier? It is only when one has an answer to that question is it possible to make sense of Ms. McArdle’s exegeses because Ms. McArdle’s slaves all have serious personal problems. In fact, the way she keeps them loyal to her is by encouraging and exacerbating these problems rather than by helping to overcome them.

Who is behind the decline of our civilization? The culprit responsible is not the Illuminati, not the Insiders, not the Humanists, not even the Communists. No, the decline of our civilization is attributable primarily to Megan McArdle. Sure, she talks the talk but does she walk the walk? My best guess, for what it may be worth, is based on two key observations. The first observation is that her secret agents coerce children into becoming activists willing to serve, promote, spy, and fight for her stratagems. The second, more telling, observation is that Ms. McArdle takes things out of context, twists them around, and then neglects to provide decent referencing so the reader can check up on her. She also ignores all of the evidence that doesn’t support (or in many cases directly contradicts) her position.

The only way that Ms. McArdle could convince me that her opinions represent the opinions of the majority – or even a plurality – would be to feed me stupid-flakes for breakfast, at least insofar as this essay is concerned. She drops the names of famous people whenever possible. That makes Ms. McArdle sound smarter than she really is and obscures the fact that we can divide her excuses into three categories: argumentative, squalid, and capricious. So, does she believe, deep in the adytum of her own mind, that the purpose of life is self-gratification? I guess it just boils down to the question: Is she hoping that the readers of this letter won’t see the weakness of her argument relative to mine? If you maintain that we should all bear the brunt of Ms. McArdle’s actions then you won’t understand my answer no matter how carefully I explain it. You won’t understand my answer if you think that Ms. McArdle holds a universal license that allows her to poison the relationship between teacher and student. However, you have a chance at understanding my answer if you’re open-minded enough to realize that I am deliberately using colorful language in this letter. I am deliberately using provocative phrases that I hope will stick in the minds of my readers. I do ensure, however, that my words are always appropriate and accurate and clearly explain how Ms. McArdle’s ultimata are worse than the Black Death of olden times. Let’s be sure that I’ve made myself absolutely clear: Ms. McArdle is wallowing in the sty of snobbism. That shouldn’t surprise you when you consider that people often get the impression that the most mendacious publishers of hate literature you’ll ever see and Ms. McArdle’s cohorts are separate entities. Not so. When one catches cold, the other sneezes. As proof, note that Ms. McArdle’s roorbacks are more than just self-aggrandizing. They’re a revolt against nature.

Contrary to what Ms. McArdle would have you believe, I’ve heard her say that making my blood curdle is essential for the safety and welfare of the public. Was that just a slip of the lip, or is Ms. McArdle secretly trying to censor by caricature and preempt discussion by stereotype? I can give you only my best estimate, made after long and anxious consideration, but I do not pose as an expert in these matters. I can say only that just because she and her yes-men don’t like being labelled as “spleeny, bloodthirsty lummoxes” or “surly analphabetics” doesn’t mean the shoe doesn’t fit. If she had her way, schools would teach students that the moon is made of green cheese. This is not education but indoctrination. It prevents students from learning about how Ms. McArdle has been trying to raise funds for scientific studies that “prove” that principles don’t matter. This is what’s called “advocacy research” or “junk science” because it’s funded by lamebrained, loathsome fugitives who have already decided that trees cause more pollution than automobiles do.

We must learn to celebrate our diversity, not because it is the politically correct thing to do but because if I want to turn to a life of crime, that should be my prerogative. I decidedly don’t need her forcing me to. Astute observers have known for years that the very genesis of Ms. McArdle’s bumptious proposed social programs is in credentialism. And it seems to me to be a neat bit of historic justice that she will eventually herself be destroyed by credentialism. What conclusion should we draw from Ms. McArdle’s imprecations? How about that two wrongs don’t make a right? Although Ms. McArdle would rather I discuss the personality flaws of unwed, pregnant teenagers, I oppose her communiqués because they are stubborn. I oppose them because they are picayunish. And I oppose them because they will waste our time and money sooner than you think.

By the bye, Ms. McArdle claims that ebola, AIDS, mad-cow disease, and the hantavirus were intentionally bioengineered by villainous election-year also-rans for the purpose of population reduction. That claim is preposterous and, to use Ms. McArdle’s own language, overtly disorganized. No history can justify it. This is what her subalterns try to prevent us from hearing about on radio and television or reading about in popular magazines and large-circulation papers. There’s nothing controversial about that view. It’s a fact, pure and simple. It was a fact long before anyone realized that Ms. McArdle should clarify her point so people like you and me can tell what the heck she’s talking about. Without clarification, Ms. McArdle’s jeremiads sound lofty and include some emotionally charged words but don’t really seem to make any sense. In closing, although this letter has been lengthy there are still a large number of comments about Ms. Megan McArdle that I have had to leave aside. I didn’t even begin to mention, for instance, that her legatees are cut from the same mold as the most pouty nobodies you’ll ever see. Anyway, the important point is that my empirically validated theory is that Ms. McArdle’s acrimonious homilies are part of the workforce training agenda for the global planned economy.

I sit in sad repose as I put pen to paper concerning an issue I find most deeply disturbing. To begin at the beginning, Dr. Ron Paul promises his pals that as soon as he’s finished destroying our moral fiber, they’ll all become rich beyond their wildest dreams. There’s an obvious analogy here to the way that vultures eat a cadaver and from its rottenness insects and worms suck their food. The point is that Dr. Paul has found a way to avoid compliance with government regulations, circumvent any further litigation, and till the egocentric side of the totalitarianism garden – all by trumping up a phony emergency. Relative to just a few years ago, what I call petulant libertines are nearly ten times as likely to believe that honesty and responsibility have no cash value and are therefore worthless. This is neither a coincidence nor simply a sign of the times. Rather, it reflects a sophisticated, psychological warfare program designed by Dr. Paul to defy the law of the land.

By the bye, I once told Dr. Paul that he is the type of person who would shoot you just to see if his gun worked. How did he respond to that? He proceeded to curse me off using a number of colorful expletives not befitting this letter, which serves only to show that I welcome Dr. Paul’s comments. However, Dr. Paul needs to realize that people used to think I was exaggerating whenever I said that he is a mythmaker, an illusion builder, or to put it less politely, a trickster. After seeing Dr. Paul cause riots in the streets these same people now realize that I wasn’t exaggerating at all. In fact, they even realize that Dr. Paul’s disciples tend to fall into the mistaken belief that the majority of soporific dossers are heroes, if not saints, mainly because they live inside a Dr. Paul-generated illusion-world and talk only with each other.

Don’t get me wrong; Dr. Paul’s ignorant attempts to debunk myths often lead to the perpetuation of them. But Dr. Paul is guilty of a shocking display of dishonesty and sophistry. There are several logical contradictions in his position on this matter. For example, Dr. Paul has allowed himself to become a spokesman for the same point of view shared by dissolute, complacent morons, deceitful freeloaders, and chthonic, polyloquent-to-the-core blockheads while masquerading as an outspoken radical bucking the system. Ever since he decided to inflict untold misery, suffering, and distress, his consistent, unvarying line has been that he can scare us by using big words like “anthrohopobiological”. Doesn’t Dr. Paul realize that I don’t want my community tainted with such blatant solecism? The best answer comes from Dr. Paul himself. That is, if you pay careful attention to his directionless utterances you’ll undoubtedly notice that there is a problem here. A large, daft, poxy problem.

Dr. Paul keeps telling everyone within earshot that censorship could benefit us. I’m guessing that Dr. Paul read that on some Web site of dubious validity. More reliable sources generally indicate that it has been said that his game is to place scabrous adulterers (especially the headlong type) at the top of the social hierarchy. I, in turn, avouch that we must admonish him not seven times, but seventy times seven. Our children depend on that. I just want to say that Dr. Paul, with his craftiness and satanic theories, will entirely control our country’s exuberant riches eventually. Dr. Paul will then use those riches to suck up to batty, wrongheaded wimps. The moral of this story is that I don’t care what others say about him. Dr. Paul’s still unrealistic, mean-spirited, and he intends to crush people to the earth and then claim the right to trample on them forever because they are prostrate.

For the sake of concreteness, someone has to be willing to wake people out of their stupor and call on them to tackle the multinational death machine that Dr. Paul is currently constructing. Even if it’s not polite to do so. Even if it hurts a lot of people’s feelings. Even if everyone else is pretending that Dr. Paul is the one who will lead us to our great shining future.

It’s easy for Dr. Paul to declaim my proposals. But when is he going to provide an alternative proposal of his own? That happens to be a matter on which I do not care to venture either an opinion or a guess. I do, however, feel that I should state that Dr. Paul commonly appoints ineffective people to important positions. He then ensures that these people stay in those positions because that makes it easy for Dr. Paul to mute the voice of anyone who dares to speak out against him.

Either Dr. Paul has no real conception of the sweep of history, or he is merely intent on winning some debating pin by trying to pierce a hole in my logic with “facts” that are taken out of context. My next point of order is that if he thinks his announcements represent progress, Dr. Paul should rethink his definition of progress. In the end, the most telling thing is that he claims that dim-witted, self-serving degenerates aren’t ever heartless. Predictably, he cites no hard data for that claim. This is because no such data exist. It may sound strange to Dr. Paul when I say that he worships his own ignorance, but one of the goals of statism is to render meaningless the words “best” and “worst”. Dr. Paul admires that philosophy because, by annihilating human perceptions of quality, Dr. Paul’s own mediocrity can flourish.

Dr. Paul ought to unstop his ears and uncover his eyes. Only then will he hear that to which he has been too long heedless. Only then will Dr. Paul see that he pompously claims that honor counts for nothing. That sort of nonsense impresses many people, unfortunately. He claims that he’s the best thing to come along since the invention of sliced bread. I assert that the absurdities within that claim speak for themselves although I should add that we must remove our chains and move towards the light. (In case you didn’t understand that analogy, the chains symbolize Dr. Paul’s sexist ideals and the light represents the goal of getting all of us to do what needs to be done.)

Whatever your age, you now have only one choice. That choice is between a democratic, peace-loving regime that, you hope, may change the world for the better and, as the alternative, the lackadaisical and moonstruck dirigisme currently being forced upon us by Dr. Paul. Choose carefully because according to Dr. Paul, he is the way, the truth, and the light. He might as well be reading tea leaves or tossing chicken bones on the floor for divination about what’s true and what isn’t. Maybe then Dr. Paul would realize that he claims that I’m too namby-pamby to send his put-downs into the dustbin where they belong. I would say that that claim is 70% folderol, 20% twaddle, and 10% another lecherous attempt to cause (or at least contribute to) a variety of social ills.

Given Dr. Paul’s current mind-set, Dr. Paul rarely tells his grunts that he plans to make a cause célèbre out of his campaign to rewrite and reword much of humanity’s formative works to favor unilateralism. Let me recap that for you because it really is extraordinarily important: If we are powerless to shape a world of dignity and harmony, a world of justice, solidarity, liberty, and prosperity, it is because we have allowed Dr. Paul to inaugurate an era of reckless ethnocentrism. His sentiments will have consequences – very serious consequences. We ought to begin doing something about that. We ought to take up the all-encompassing challenge of freedom, justice, equality, and the pursuit of life with full dignity. We ought to spread the word that if he were as bright as he thinks he is, he’d know that many people respond to his treasonous, predatory philippics in much the same way that they respond to television dramas. They watch them; they talk about them; but they feel no overwhelming compulsion to do anything about them. That’s why I insist we invigorate the effort to reach solutions by increasing the scope of the inquiry rather than by narrowing or abandoning it. As this letter draws to a close, I want to challenge you, the reader, to make a genuine contribution to human society. That’s what I intend to do until my last breath.

Plus, the point a lot of those posters make, that inflation is relatively low, how do they know?

With hedonic statistics and similar creative accounting measures productivity and inflation percentages are easily manipulated.

We are approaching 3% in Europe and there is simply no way the US has less inflation.

Not that gas or food were still part of the American core CPI, they are apparently to “volatile”.

Yet I wonder who profits from a so called “low inflation”.

People willing to dumb even more T-bonds?

Someone not willing or able to raise interest rates?

Tyler Cowen on Ron Paul’s monetary economics:

http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2007/12/the-monetary-ec.html

[i]The monetary economics of Ron Paul
Tyler Cowen

Here ( http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/12/okay_so_why_not_competing_comm.php ), here ( http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/12/the_good_old_days_werent_alway.php ), and here ( http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/12/why_is_the_gold_standard_crazy.php ). I agree all around, noting only that inflation does, for mysterious reasons, seem to be a slight tax on savings (nominal interest rates don’t adjust completely to inflationary expectations, but don’t ask me why not). But that doesn’t change the overall argument very much. I’ll put the main point yet another way: with a commodity standard the money supply is often pro-cyclical, shrinking during business downturns. Who wants to risk that?

I haven’t followed Ron Paul closely, and while I like many of his libertarian ideas, I am discomforted by his overall anti-intellectual demeanor. He strikes me as the kind of person who has a natural attraction to conspiracy theories. However he is only allowed to believe the ones that coincide with his libertarian ideology. Which isn’t so many (most of those theories are dreamt up by non-libertarians and thus have anti-libertarian elements), and that means he ends up sounding more somewhat sensible than he really is.

I don’t doubt Paul’s sincerity, but I would like to know his theory of why most economists – even market-oriented ones – don’t agree with him on monetary policy. I suspect he thinks he knows some secret that others do not.

There’s what a politician believes, and how a politician believes. As I get older I put increasing weight on the latter. As a protest vote, Ron Paul seems fine, but hearing him or reading about him just makes me depressed. A good rule of thumb is not to get too excited about any candidate whose actual election would make the Dow lose thousands of points.[/i]

BTW, I just love how critical posts of Ron Paul stir up internet Paulnuts…

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:

A lot of allegations, rants and whatever else he found on the series of tubes.

[/quote]

May I offer Schopenhauers suggestion for the introduction of a Hegel text as a summary of what you posted:

Such stuff as madmen tongue, not brain.

I think painting a little Hitler beard on a Ron Paul picture might be a step up when it comes to legitimate critique compared to that drivel.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

“Now move along folks…nothing to see here. We just going to float some more money into the system. If prices rise (as they have since the creation of the Fed) do not worry it’s absolutely normal under central planning authority…P.S. it isn’t stealing because we’re from the government and we only mean well!”

What a joke! Keynesians think government intervention is as natural as gravity. Of course they think Austrian free-marketers are wrong. Who would benefit under such a system…?[/quote]

The kicker is that many of the critiques of Paul - and most of the ones I find - are from libertarian-leaning academics.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:

BTW, I just love how critical posts of Ron Paul stir up internet Paulnuts…[/quote]

And I just love how the myriads of economists who disagree with Ron Paul are always mentioned yet nobody takes the time to tell us were he is so obviously wrong.

Please enlighten us, because the 10000000 economists I just drew out of my ass say you can`t.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
I sit in sad repose as I put pen to paper concerning an issue I find most deeply disturbing. To begin at the beginning, Dr. Ron Paul promises his pals that as soon as he’s finished destroying our moral fiber, they’ll all become rich beyond their wildest dreams. There’s an obvious analogy here to the way that vultures eat a cadaver and from its rottenness insects and worms suck their food. The point is that Dr. Paul has found a way to avoid compliance with government regulations, circumvent any further litigation, and till the egocentric side of the totalitarianism garden – all by trumping up a phony emergency. Relative to just a few years ago, what I call petulant libertines are nearly ten times as likely to believe that honesty and responsibility have no cash value and are therefore worthless. This is neither a coincidence nor simply a sign of the times. Rather, it reflects a sophisticated, psychological warfare program designed by Dr. Paul to defy the law of the land.

By the bye, I once told Dr. Paul that he is the type of person who would shoot you just to see if his gun worked. How did he respond to that? He proceeded to curse me off using a number of colorful expletives not befitting this letter, which serves only to show that I welcome Dr. Paul’s comments. However, Dr. Paul needs to realize that people used to think I was exaggerating whenever I said that he is a mythmaker, an illusion builder, or to put it less politely, a trickster. After seeing Dr. Paul cause riots in the streets these same people now realize that I wasn’t exaggerating at all. In fact, they even realize that Dr. Paul’s disciples tend to fall into the mistaken belief that the majority of soporific dossers are heroes, if not saints, mainly because they live inside a Dr. Paul-generated illusion-world and talk only with each other.

Don’t get me wrong; Dr. Paul’s ignorant attempts to debunk myths often lead to the perpetuation of them. But Dr. Paul is guilty of a shocking display of dishonesty and sophistry. There are several logical contradictions in his position on this matter. For example, Dr. Paul has allowed himself to become a spokesman for the same point of view shared by dissolute, complacent morons, deceitful freeloaders, and chthonic, polyloquent-to-the-core blockheads while masquerading as an outspoken radical bucking the system. Ever since he decided to inflict untold misery, suffering, and distress, his consistent, unvarying line has been that he can scare us by using big words like “anthrohopobiological”. Doesn’t Dr. Paul realize that I don’t want my community tainted with such blatant solecism? The best answer comes from Dr. Paul himself. That is, if you pay careful attention to his directionless utterances you’ll undoubtedly notice that there is a problem here. A large, daft, poxy problem.

Dr. Paul keeps telling everyone within earshot that censorship could benefit us. I’m guessing that Dr. Paul read that on some Web site of dubious validity. More reliable sources generally indicate that it has been said that his game is to place scabrous adulterers (especially the headlong type) at the top of the social hierarchy. I, in turn, avouch that we must admonish him not seven times, but seventy times seven. Our children depend on that. I just want to say that Dr. Paul, with his craftiness and satanic theories, will entirely control our country’s exuberant riches eventually. Dr. Paul will then use those riches to suck up to batty, wrongheaded wimps. The moral of this story is that I don’t care what others say about him. Dr. Paul’s still unrealistic, mean-spirited, and he intends to crush people to the earth and then claim the right to trample on them forever because they are prostrate.

For the sake of concreteness, someone has to be willing to wake people out of their stupor and call on them to tackle the multinational death machine that Dr. Paul is currently constructing. Even if it’s not polite to do so. Even if it hurts a lot of people’s feelings. Even if everyone else is pretending that Dr. Paul is the one who will lead us to our great shining future.

It’s easy for Dr. Paul to declaim my proposals. But when is he going to provide an alternative proposal of his own? That happens to be a matter on which I do not care to venture either an opinion or a guess. I do, however, feel that I should state that Dr. Paul commonly appoints ineffective people to important positions. He then ensures that these people stay in those positions because that makes it easy for Dr. Paul to mute the voice of anyone who dares to speak out against him.

Either Dr. Paul has no real conception of the sweep of history, or he is merely intent on winning some debating pin by trying to pierce a hole in my logic with “facts” that are taken out of context. My next point of order is that if he thinks his announcements represent progress, Dr. Paul should rethink his definition of progress. In the end, the most telling thing is that he claims that dim-witted, self-serving degenerates aren’t ever heartless. Predictably, he cites no hard data for that claim. This is because no such data exist. It may sound strange to Dr. Paul when I say that he worships his own ignorance, but one of the goals of statism is to render meaningless the words “best” and “worst”. Dr. Paul admires that philosophy because, by annihilating human perceptions of quality, Dr. Paul’s own mediocrity can flourish.

Dr. Paul ought to unstop his ears and uncover his eyes. Only then will he hear that to which he has been too long heedless. Only then will Dr. Paul see that he pompously claims that honor counts for nothing. That sort of nonsense impresses many people, unfortunately. He claims that he’s the best thing to come along since the invention of sliced bread. I assert that the absurdities within that claim speak for themselves although I should add that we must remove our chains and move towards the light. (In case you didn’t understand that analogy, the chains symbolize Dr. Paul’s sexist ideals and the light represents the goal of getting all of us to do what needs to be done.)

Whatever your age, you now have only one choice. That choice is between a democratic, peace-loving regime that, you hope, may change the world for the better and, as the alternative, the lackadaisical and moonstruck dirigisme currently being forced upon us by Dr. Paul. Choose carefully because according to Dr. Paul, he is the way, the truth, and the light. He might as well be reading tea leaves or tossing chicken bones on the floor for divination about what’s true and what isn’t. Maybe then Dr. Paul would realize that he claims that I’m too namby-pamby to send his put-downs into the dustbin where they belong. I would say that that claim is 70% folderol, 20% twaddle, and 10% another lecherous attempt to cause (or at least contribute to) a variety of social ills.

Given Dr. Paul’s current mind-set, Dr. Paul rarely tells his grunts that he plans to make a cause célèbre out of his campaign to rewrite and reword much of humanity’s formative works to favor unilateralism. Let me recap that for you because it really is extraordinarily important: If we are powerless to shape a world of dignity and harmony, a world of justice, solidarity, liberty, and prosperity, it is because we have allowed Dr. Paul to inaugurate an era of reckless ethnocentrism. His sentiments will have consequences – very serious consequences. We ought to begin doing something about that. We ought to take up the all-encompassing challenge of freedom, justice, equality, and the pursuit of life with full dignity. We ought to spread the word that if he were as bright as he thinks he is, he’d know that many people respond to his treasonous, predatory philippics in much the same way that they respond to television dramas. They watch them; they talk about them; but they feel no overwhelming compulsion to do anything about them. That’s why I insist we invigorate the effort to reach solutions by increasing the scope of the inquiry rather than by narrowing or abandoning it. As this letter draws to a close, I want to challenge you, the reader, to make a genuine contribution to human society. That’s what I intend to do until my last breath.

[/quote]

Ethnocentrism? Destroying the Moral fiber? Sexist ideals? Statism? Constructiong a multi-national death machine? Paul has “satanic theories?” Ok, apparently there are nutty detractors of Ron Paul, too.

[quote]orion wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:

A lot of allegations, rants and whatever else he found on the series of tubes.

May I offer Schopenhauers suggestion for the introduction of a Hegel text as a summary of what you posted:

Such stuff as madmen tongue, not brain.

I think painting a little Hitler beard on a Ron Paul picture might be a step up when it comes to legitimate critique compared to that drivel.

[/quote]

That drivel was apparently created by some automatic complaint generator. It was far too amusing not to share.

Now I have to go find said generator…

[quote]
BostonBarrister wrote:

BTW, I just love how critical posts of Ron Paul stir up internet Paulnuts…

orion wrote:
And I just love how the myriads of economists who disagree with Ron Paul are always mentioned yet nobody takes the time to tell us were he is so obviously wrong.

Please enlighten us, because the 10000000 economists I just drew out of my ass say you can`t. [/quote]

I believe I did that on the gold standard thread. http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=1793518&pageNo=10

Here’s another good post on the gold standard:

http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/09/theres_gold_in_them_thar_stand.php

[i]There’s gold in them thar standards!

04 Sep 2007 04:26 pm

Someone rather more partial to Ron Paul’s arguments in favor of the gold standard than I am asks me to write a post outlining my objections to it. All right, here goes.

Money is a mysterious thing. It is a store of value, it is a medium of exchange. It is, in a fiat currency economy, worth only what people think it is worth, and what they think it is worth can be oddly affected by what they think it may be worth in the future, resulting in self-fulfilling feedback loops (at least in the short term). Even in non-fiat currencies, such as the gold standard, the value of the underlying asset can be changed by rising (or shrinking) demand for money. Economists studying this fascinating topic tend to suffer from migraines as they suffer from all the mysterious–hell, nearly mystical–attributes of money.

However, over the last fifty years, economists have settled on some very broad areas of consensus. The first is, as famous libertarian monetary economist Milton Friedman wrote, “inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon”. When the supply of money outstrips the demand, prices rise. And this is by no means limited to fiat currencies; see the great Spanish inflation of the 16th & 17th centuries ( http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_437.html ), thanks to the steady influx of gold from the New World. Or check out the price of basic commodities in mining towns during the Gold Rush, when all anyone had was gold.

The second is that a little bit of inflation is okay–possibly even beneficial, since it helps the economy to overcome the problem of sticky wages ( http://ingrimayne.com/econ/Labor/Sticky.html ) when the relative value of labour has fallen. But a lot of inflation is very, very bad. Exhibit A is Zimbabwe; Exhibits B-�?? are every other economy that has had inflation near or above the double-digit mark; the higher the inflation, the worse the economy did. The feeling that the currency will experience an unpredictable amount of inflation dampens the willingness of the citizens to save and invest, which is why so many third-world loans are denominated in dollars.

The third is that deflation is also bad, and at the lower percentage values, often even worse than inflation. This surprises/offends/meets with the frank disbelief of many “sound money” types, who think that, barring local shortage, in an ideal world everything ought to cost the same or less than it did when Grandpa was a boy. (These sorts of opinions are cemented further by the fact that Grandpa, who is often the source of them, is usually living on a fixed income, and therefore feels that he would make out better in a deflationary economy.) The problem is, deflation does rather devastating things to anyone who has debt, since they now have to repay what they borrowed in more expensive dollars. Deflation means that, thanks to the abovementioned sticky wages, the economy has to deal with demand shocks by lowering output. Deflation can result in what’s known as a liquidity trap, a concept pioneered by liberal economist John Maynard Keynes and best elucidated by liberal economist Paul Krugman ( http://www.slate.com/id/1937/ )back before he left economics writing to focus on his hatred of George W. Bush. Deflation is what made the Great Depression so memorable. Deflation is so bad that almost everyone agrees that moderate inflation, in the range of 1-2%, is better than risking even a small amount of deflation.

Advocates of a gold standard dispute this. They argue that America experienced a long, slow deflation throughout most of the 19th century, without anyone getting hurt. What they neglect to mention is that people did get hurt, repeatedly, in the period’s awful financial contractions. Though we don’t have modern economic statistics for the period, it’s pretty clear that recessions were longer and deeper than they are now ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recessions ).

This is not only due to the gold standard; the era’s primitive financial system and its approach to financial regulation, which often ranged between lighthearted and foolhardy, also played substantial roles. But the gold standard also has to stand up and take a bow. There’s a strong correlation, for example, between how long a country hewed to the gold standard, and how badly it suffered from the Great Depression.

The gold standard cannot do what a well-run fiat currency can do, which is tailor the money supply to the economy’s demand for money. The supply of gold grows–or not–depending on how much of the stuff is mined. Demand also fluctuates for non-economic reasons; gold has uses besides being money, like industrial components and jewelry.

The lone advantage of a gold standard–and it is a real advantage–is that it prevents governments from inflating the currency. The problem is, this is only moderately true. The government, after all, can always modify its gold standard. Yes, you say, but it will pay a price in the markets, and this is true, but this is the same price it pays when it prints more fiat currency. Such practices do not go unnoticed for long.

As James Hamilton has pointed out ( http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2005/12/the_gold_standa.html ), gold-backed currencies, like all money with a fixed exchange rate, are subject to speculative attacks whenever the government’s financial position looks weak. Such speculative attacks often require punitive economic measures to fight off, which is one of the reasons that America suffered so nastily from the Great Depression–it raised interest rates in the middle of a recession in order to defend the credibility of its currency.

Also, since devaluations tend to produce sharp changes in the values of currencies, rather than smooth appreciations or declines, the economic dislocations are magnified. Imagine you’re a company with a contract denominated in dollars. If the value of the dollar gradually declines, you lose a little, but not too much, since you periodically renew the contract, giving you time to adjust the amounts. If, on the other hand, the devaluation pressure builds up over a period of years, and then all at once the government has to devalue by 20%, you end up badly hurt. You might go out of business. Now multiply that all across the country, and you can see why recessions used to last for years.

In short, you don’t get anything out of a gold standard that you didn’t bring with you. If your government is a credible steward of the money supply, you don’t need it; and if it isn’t, it won’t be able to stay on it long anyway. (See Argentina’s dollar peg). Meanwhile, the limitations on the government’s ability to respond to fiscal crises, the necessity of defending against speculative attacks in times of crises, and the possibility of independent changes in the relative price of gold, make your economy more unstable. It’s a terrible idea, which is why there are so few economists willing to raise their voices in support of it.[/i]

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
The kicker is that many of the critiques of Paul - and most of the ones I find - are from libertarian-leaning academics.
[/quote]

What, like Cato? They are not libertarians. They are liberventionists.

Just because someone calls him or her self a libertarian doesn’t mean he or she understands economics. The Chicago school is not a free-market school of thought if it does not advance free-market monetary policy. Being a Libertarian has little to do with understanding proper economic theory and how markets actually function.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:

[/quote]
The debate isn’t that we disagree with the people who oppose a gold standard. The debate is that what they consider bad effects free market economists understand to be normal and hence unavoidable even under central planning. The argument is that the gold standard restrains government and forces banks to operate as any other business without protection from insolvency. Banks operating under the Federal Reserve always suffer from malinvestment when interest rates are artificially determined. How does the Fed know what the interest rate should be?

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
… Being a Libertarian has little to do with understanding proper economic theory and how markets actually function.[/quote]

Well said.

Wait, wait wait. Are you telling me that economists don’t all agree with each other? Well, that’s news to me. I thought economics was like algebra with everyone agreeing on the right answer.

mike

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

“Now move along folks…nothing to see here. We just going to float some more money into the system. If prices rise (as they have since the creation of the Fed) do not worry it’s absolutely normal under central planning authority…P.S. it isn’t stealing because we’re from the government and we only mean well!”

What a joke! Keynesians think government intervention is as natural as gravity. Of course they think Austrian free-marketers are wrong. Who would benefit under such a system…?

The kicker is that many of the critiques of Paul - and most of the ones I find - are from libertarian-leaning academics.[/quote]

No, they aren’t.

The term “libertarian” gets thrown around a lot by people who don’t understand it. Bill Maher calls himself a libertarian, for instance. He’s not.

The Lew Rockwell and Von Mises crowd are the true libertarians. Rockwell was a close friend of Rothbard’s, who practically founded the movement, and was taught by von Mises.

Very few liberal academics are capable of grasping what libertarianism is really about. There is a huge amount of confusion and mislabeling in the political and economic lexicon. For instance, you have “free market” economists endorsing price controls, central banks, etc… You cannot take people’s own, self-appointed labels at face value.

Ron Paul IS libertarian. The academics who criticize him aren’t. It’s that simple. I’m telling you this because I’ve known about him for years. If Ron Paul isn’t a libertarian of the purest sort, then everything I know about that particular ideology must be wrong. I highly doubt that’s the case.

[quote]Mikeyali wrote:
Wait, wait wait. Are you telling me that economists don’t all agree with each other? Well, that’s news to me. I thought economics was like algebra with everyone agreeing on the right answer.

mike[/quote]

Mikey, because you’re an upstanding guy I am going to let you in on a little secret:

The biggest difference that mainstream economists disagree with about the Austrian School isn’t necessarily its conclusion but rather its methodology. Austrian methodology it completely axiomatic and therefore can only be wrong if it’s central tenant is wrong. Human action is consciously purposeful.

On the other hand, are all the other “free-market” schools which rely on mathematical modeling which must be based on observation. This does not work for economics because it is rooted in future human action – no one can predict the future actions of man. All observations of human action are in the past – historical – and therefore irrelevant to the future. History does not repeat it self – EVER!

Many of these schools agree in certain regards but, specifically, with the Keynesians they believe that the economy can be planned by simply altering one parameter here or there in their models – for example, by manipulating supply to create demand.

If the models are factually incorrect then what good does it do to manipulate anything?

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Mikeyali wrote:
Wait, wait wait. Are you telling me that economists don’t all agree with each other? Well, that’s news to me. I thought economics was like algebra with everyone agreeing on the right answer.

mike

Mikey, because you’re an upstanding guy I am going to let you in on a little secret:

The biggest difference that mainstream economists disagree with about the Austrian School isn’t necessarily its conclusion but rather its methodology. Austrian methodology it completely axiomatic and therefore can only be wrong if it’s central tenant is wrong. Human action is consciously purposeful.

On the other hand, are all the other “free-market” schools which rely on mathematical modeling which must be based on observation. This does not work for economics because it is rooted in future human action – no one can predict the future actions of man. All observations of human action are in the past – historical – and therefore irrelevant to the future. History does not repeat it self – EVER!

Many of these schools agree in certain regards but, specifically, with the Keynesians they believe that the economy can be planned by simply altering one parameter here or there in their models – for example, by manipulating supply to create demand.

If the models are factually incorrect then what good does it do to manipulate anything?[/quote]

Go easy Lifty, I was being sarcastic.

mike