Ron Paul is a socially tolerant left-wing radical?

“Oh, my goodness, the John Birch Society! … Is that bad? I have a lot of friends in the John Birch Society" (Texas congressman Ron Paul).

In Tuesday’s Sydney Morning Herald, Tom Switzer describes presidential hopeful Ron Paul as a socially tolerant free-market crusader whose views on foreign policy are indistinguishable from the views of those on the radical left. Not everyone who knows Paul’s record would agree.

On Switzer’s account, Paul is a "true fiscal conservative" and "prophet" who wants to call an end to America’s costly military overreach:

Paul’s most endearing quality is that he has sincere beliefs – support for social tolerance, free-market capitalism, and a healthy scepticism of foreign military adventurism – and he is not afraid to yell them out. That sets him apart from the pack in this age of focus groups and media spin.

But in the New Republic, Will Wilkinson expresses a strikingly different view: "If you were an evil genius determined to promote the idea that libertarianism is a morally dubious ideology of privilege poorly disguised as a doctrine of liberation, you’d be hard pressed to improve on Ron Paul."

Wilkinson admits that liked Paul’s anti-war rants enough to contribute to his 2008 campaign, but goes on to demolish the claim that Paul’s libertarianism is principled and ideologically coherent. For example, while strongly endorsing libertarian ideas on individual rights Paul balks at applying those principles to immigration policy. Instead he hems and haws his way to a "a convoluted compromise that would continue to affirm the systematic violation of the individual rights of foreigners who would like to live and work in America, and those of Americans who would like to live and work with them."

Also in the New Republic, James Kirchick has tracked down a collection of newsletters from the 70s, 80s and 90s that went out under Ron Paul’s name. In his 2008 article ‘Angry White Man‘ he writes:

What they reveal are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing–but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics.

Some libertarians are appalled by Paul’s history. For example, in 2008 Brink Lindsey, Former Vice President for Research, wrote:

I hadn’t known about his old newsletters and their cesspool of racism and homophobia. But I didn’t need to know about them to know that I wanted nothing to do with Ron Paul’s brand of libertarianism.

Here’s why. I’m a libertarian because I’m a liberal. In other words, I support small-government, free-market policies because I believe they provide the institutional framework best suited to advancing the liberal values of individual autonomy, tolerance, and open-mindedness. Liberalism is my bottom line; libertarianism is a means to promoting that end.

Ron Paul, by contrast, is no liberal. Just look at his xenophobia, his sovereignty-obsessed nationalism, his fondness for conspiracy theories, his religious fundamentalism — here is someone with a crudely authoritarian worldview. The snarling bigotry of his newsletters is just the underside of this rotten log.

Lindsey’s animosity towards Paul highlights a fissure in the libertarian movement that goes back to the late 1970s. (I’ve written about that in a 2008 post: ‘The Cato Institute vs The Little Green Men… and Ron Paul‘). It’s a dispute that involves much more than arguments about whether Paul is or isn’t a bigot. Cato Institute founder Ed Crane’s recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal shows how uncomfortable Paul’s popularity makes some libertarians.

Paul denies that he wrote the bigoted newsletter articles that Kirchick and others have unearthed. But as Christopher Caldwell wrote in 2007, he doesn’t go out of his way to distance himself from groups outside the political mainstream. For example, he admits that he has friends in the John Birch Society even though he disagrees with them on some issues. "Paul’s ideological easygoingness is like a black hole that attracts the whole universe of individuals and groups who don’t recognize themselves in the politics they see on TV", writes Caldwell.

In a 2011 piece, Kirchick says that many of Paul’s libertarian supporters don’t seem to care about his past associations. In the end: "First principles of market economics gain credence over all considerations of social empathy and historical acuity."

Despite the criticism, some Australian free market supporters have warmed to Paul. For example, at Catallaxy Sinclair Davidson writes: "There is a lot to like about Ron Paul – but some of his positions are untenable." Others like Chris Berg are less sympathetic.

Switzer attempts to side step the controversy about Paul’s past. Perhaps like some of Paul’s US supporters he’s projecting his own views onto the maverick candidate.

71 thoughts on “Ron Paul is a socially tolerant left-wing radical?

  1. I have to admit, I’m over Ron Paul. Even if (and it’s a big if) the stuff published under his name wasn’t his, there’s a lot of videos of him spouting some classic conspiratard lines.

  2. As Skeptic Lawyer has pointed out, the only Republican left in the Prez race who doesn’t believe in “creation science” is John Huntsman. Or was, since Huntsman announced he was pulling out of the race tonight. The GOP really is the dumb party.

  3. Don

    Firstly let me say that (like Jacques) I dropped any support of Ron Paul as soon as I heard about those newsletters several years ago during another of his perennial attempts at the White House. Since then I’ve been reading about his crank conspiracy theories and a dedication to a peculiar form of isolationism and I’m happy about my rejection.

    On two occasions now you’ve used links to the New Republic that you seem to think is an authoritative source on the GOP and GOP candidates. Do you really think say New Matilda would be a good unbiased reference about the Liberal Party? Surely there must be some less unbiased reads on this subject out there, no?

    Having said that here’s some other things I find objectionable about Paul. I find his dishonesty cloaked in the Honest Abe bullshit hard to accept when he’s voted numerous times against spending bills while inserting his own earmarks for pork,…. all the while going around the place saying he’s critical of earmarks and pork. His skimming around conspiracy theories is also a shocker.

    His economic policies are for the most part, stock standard libertarian. However views on monetary policy are off the planet and would lead the US into a depression that could make the 30’s appear like a boom. The dolt talks about hardening monetary policy, bringing back the gold standard and firing the Fed. SHe wants to raise interest rates when the long end of the bond market is at historic lows suggesting severe economic weakness and a tendency towards deflation, as the bond market continually reminds us.. And while he’s doing this he would be tightening up on fiscal policy like a demon that’s been let loose from the leash. I have no problem seeing fiscal policy being dragged back from the abyss, but to harden monetary policy in an economy that is still highly leveraged and goods and services and labor market seemingly attuned to only asymmetrical nominal price movements (upwards) would be asking for serious trouble. Combine this with his fiscal tightening and it would be a one-way ticket to hell is my opinion.

    Regarding Brink Linsday’s comments.

    Here’s why. I’m a libertarian because I’m a liberal. In other words, I support small-government, free-market policies because I believe they provide the institutional framework best suited to advancing the liberal values of individual autonomy, tolerance, and open-mindedness. Liberalism is my bottom line; libertarianism is a means to promoting that end.
    Ron Paul, by contrast, is no liberal. Just look at his xenophobia, his sovereignty-obsessed nationalism, his fondness for conspiracy theories, his religious fundamentalism — here is someone with a crudely authoritarian worldview. The snarling bigotry of his newsletters is just the underside of this rotten log.

    I find it astonishing that Lindsay calls himself tolerant and then raises the issue of Paul’s religious fundamentalism. Truly tolerant. Not!

    I really don’t believe Lindsay understands libertarianism otherwise he wouldn’t be making such comments unless he had a bad night out on the turps. Libertarianism is basically about a person’s relationship to the state (minimal) and leaving others well enough alone. It speaks nothing about a person’s moral values or religious convictions (as long as others are not coerced). So what does Paul’s religious conviction have to do with Lindsay and his self-described tolerance? Zlich, so Lindsay’s tolerance is the sort where people need to agree with him and then he becomes intolerant. That’s not libertarianism at all.

    And what is tolerance exactly according to Lindsay? As a libertarian one doesn’t have to personally tolerate gay lifestyle, as long as one doesn’t support state sanctions against them. In fact in this situation it isn’t Paul who deviates from libertarian orthodoxy but Lindsay himself suggesting that because Paul my not like gays or whatever, that makes him lesser libertarian. That’s total bullshit. In fact Paul has made various comments supportive of libertarian type rights of gays to pursue their life without the threat of state sanction or various forms of state based discrimination.

    It’s Romney. I think he will be the next prez of the US.

    Mel:

    Romney is a Mormon like Huntsman. Both have a faith based on creationism, which is not science. There may be one or two which may believe in creationist science but the others have a faith based system. It’s not the same thing.

  4. Mel, as both Huntsman and Romney are Mormons, on what basis do you believe that one is a creationist and one isn’t? I don’t believe Romney has said a word about creationism. It’s possible they are both just ‘cultural Mormons’.

  5. Don
    Those racist newsletters were based explicitly on a strategy of outreach to racist southern whites then being promoted by Murray Rothbard (who was effectively Paul’s intellectual mentor). They probably weren’t sincere (which doesn’t excuse them) anymore than Rothbard’s previous outreach attempt at the New Left and radical blacks when he actually joined the Black Panther party.

  6. Ron Paul is the only Politician in the USA that wants to re-instate the Constitution,end the Wars and that evil Institution called the Federal Reserve.Both sides of politics hate him because he wants to give power back to the people.

  7. JC – Federal Reserve is roughly the equivalent to our Reserve Bank

    Ross – What does it mean to “re-instate the Constitution”? Who un-instated it? When did this happen? How will Paul re-instate it? Will this be subject to appeal to the Supreme Court?

  8. I agree with JC that Romney should and will be next President of the US. I don’t know why Mel thinks he’s dumb, he did better at Harvard Law than Obama, for example, which I understood to make him flat-out interstellar genius material.

    I’m not a fan of RP mainly for the reasons that both JCs have set out. I’m not a fan of Brink Lindsey because I’ve never read anything of his that wasn’t boring.

    I do think that one can be utilitarian libertarian (as Will Wilkinson and skepticlawyer are) or morally/ideologically libertarian and that both are defensible and reasonable positions to hold. Much like believing in social democracy as a means to freedom or because you think real equality is a moral imperative.

    Ideological social democrats/libertarians will generally agree with the utilitarian case for their ideologies but they ‘go further’ – typically, they will let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    So on those grounds as well I dislike Ron Paul.

  9. Doug

    I’m just joshing around a bit. I know what the fed is etc. I was messing around because I see so many people of late getting out there and sticking ” The Fed is evil” stickers on the Fed’s door. I just find it amusing seeing that the Fed is not exactly an out there type of institution and deals in some pretty arcane stuff.

  10. JC the US Federal Reserve is a private group of banks who in conjunction with other banks,they have the power to create all the new money from nothing and loan it as debt to the US Govt and its people.It all began in 1913 when Pres Woodrow Wilson signed away the right of congress to create new money for the people debt free.In 1914 the income tax came in to pay bankers for their counterfeiting activities.

    JFK had $500 million worth of new notes printed in the name of Congress as stipulated by the constitution to try and break this monopoply power of private banks but alas was assassinated.

    Do some research yourself.Also down load ‘The Secret of Oz’ by Bill Still.That will really make you understand how we are being shafted.

  11. JC the US Federal Reserve is a private group of banks who in conjunction with other banks,they have the power to create all the new money from nothing and loan it as debt to the US Govt and its people.

    Wow, that’s interesting Ross. So you’re saying a cabal of banksters own the Fed, right?

    Can you then explain something to me please. The Fed recently announced a profit of $70 billion which it promptly sent to the US treasury as a dividend. Why would it do that if it is as you say privately owned? Isn’t the Fed making an illegal transfer against it’s owners….this cabal of banks…. and illegally sending it to the US Treasury? Isn’t that fraud, Ross?

    It all began in 1913 when Pres Woodrow Wilson signed away the right of congress to create new money for the people debt free.In 1914 the income tax came in to pay bankers for their counterfeiting activities.

    You mean the Fed came in existence in 1913, right? So if the Fed is paying the banks, why is Fed making a dividend payment to the US Government? This doesn’t sound right, unless you’re thinking that the div was actually a ruse to confuse the public and another example of the shadow government in full operation.

    JFK had $500 million worth of new notes printed in the name of Congress as stipulated by the constitution to try and break this monopoply power of private banks but alas was assassinated.

    So the banks had JFK killed. I must admit, that this is a new one. Never heard it before.

    Do some research yourself.Also down load ‘The Secret of Oz’ by Bill Still.That will really make you understand how we are being shafted.

    How am I being shafted exactly, as I live in Australia and the Fed is in the US?

  12. The Fed recently announced a profit of $70 billion which it promptly sent to the US treasury as a dividend. Why would it do that if it is as you say privately owned? Isn’t the Fed making an illegal transfer against it’s owners….this cabal of banks…. and illegally sending it to the US Treasury? Isn’t that fraud, Ross?

    What’s really confusing is that the Fed owns somewhere around $1.3 or $1.4 trillion in Treasury securities (about 8% of total US public debt)… and if the Fed is actually owned by the US Government, then surely it must be fraud to create securities and pretend you are selling them on an open market when all that happens is you buy them yourself… especially when using this trickery to demonstrate that the system is solvent.

    By the way, total yearly interest payments on that US public debt are sitting around $500 billion, so the Fed’s share should logically be around $40 billion of that… which is in the same ballpark as the profit they announced. I rather think it’s an elaborate shell game.

    Mind you, if it’s all so clean and above board, why was there so much resistance to an audit last year? You would think it would be audited regularly. You know what they say at the airport, “If you have nothing to hide sir, then you have nothing to worry about.”

    Goose, gander, you know the deal.

  13. What’s really confusing is that the Fed owns somewhere around $1.3 or $1.4 trillion in Treasury securities (about 8% of total US public debt)… and if the Fed is actually owned by the US Government, then surely it must be fraud to create securities and pretend you are selling them on an open market when all that happens is you buy them yourself… especially when using this trickery to demonstrate that the system is solvent.

    Tel,

    Why would you consider it fraud in the commercial sense? Public companies can buy and sell their own stock and they can also transact in their own publicly issued debt securities.

    So why would the Fed buying and selling securities the are or have been issued on behalf of the US government be considered fraud. The Fed is not dealing in it’s “own” securities. For a start issuance is done on behalf of the US Treasury on an agency basis. Buying is done on the open market either through tender, simple purchase by asking for offers or dealing through the various electronic screens.

    The term “fraud” is being thrown about too loosely these days and unfortunately it seems disturbingly to be coming from the libertarian side of the fence. Uncomfortably so. The Fed is not committing fraud and neither is the US government nor arms of the US government. You may not like the Fed as a institution, but is bogus and really misleading to be calling their operations fraudulent. They are not. It’s far better to criticize the Fed through legitimate means rather than throwing around the word “fraud”. Don’t like Central banking and fiat money, then explain why free banking or even the gold standard would be better, but not the fraud angle.

    By the way, total yearly interest payments on that US public debt are sitting around $500 billion, so the Fed’s share should logically be around $40 billion of that… which is in the same ballpark as the profit they announced. I rather think it’s an elaborate shell game.

    Not really, because aside from its equity position the Fed borrows the liability side of its balance from the US Treasury, Federal Agencies or foreign governments at prevailing arm’s length interest rates. The Fed doesn’t create money, The US Treasury does through it’s current account at the Fed. There is a name for that account but it escapes me for now.

    Mind you, if it’s all so clean and above board, why was there so much resistance to an audit last year?

    Because they felt that this information can unnecessarily spook the market is crisis situation when they are adding liquidity like in 08/09 to hold up the banking system or a particular institution that may not be bankrupt and facing a liquidity shortage. That’s why.

    You would think it would be audited regularly.

    This is confusing. Of course the Fed is audited each year by the relevant office that conducts audits. This was a special audit that was requested to look over the books and report back to Congress what activities had been conducted over 08 and 09. To say the Fed doesn’t go through a regular annual audit like other government departments is misleading.

    You know what they say at the airport, “If you have nothing to hide sir, then you have nothing to worry about.”

    Historically, liquidity provision at the Fed window has always been done in secret. The name of the institution doing the borrowing isn’t reported so as to prevent runs and panics. This isn’t something new by the way, but a long known practice.

    Seriously, my impression about all this is that players on the internet have really done a number peddling a whole heap of misinformation about the Fed its activities and it’s really unfortunate.

  14. JC 70 Billion profit to the US Govt is nothing compared to what they take.
    The US has a $15 trillion GDP and grows by usually by 3%.They create $450 billion pa from nothing and loan it back to the US Govt and people as debt.This 450 billion as stipulated by the US Constitution should be created by Congress as debt free money.

    Our Commonwealth bank for the first 11 yrs of its life created new money from nothing to equal some of the growth in our economy.In 1922 the powerful elites with the aid of Billy Hughes took over and Jack Lang had to borrow from England to pay for the Sydney Harbour Bridge at the height of the depression.

    The banksters have now taken control of Greece and Italy.They no longer pretend to hide their power ,just tell our Govts where to go.

    The Banksters help create both world wars and financed both sides.

    See the ‘Secret of Oz’ by Bill Still.It is all about the Wizard of Oz.L Frank Baum had deep econmic meaning for us all.In the Book Dorothy has Sliver Slippers which represented the cheap silver money of the masses.But the elites in 1873 made gold the new currency and 80% of the money was removed from the ecnomy.They were set on the Yellow Brick Road of monetary slavedom.The wicked witches of the East and West were Rockefeller and J P Morgan.You can download it for free off youtube.

    Ron Paul wants to End the Fed and restore the US Constitution.That’s why the elites hate him.

  15. Tel is right to a degree,”The Fed does not normally create much money” but the other banks which Rothschild,JP Morgan,Loeb Bros and Goldman Sachs also have interest in too.The Fed this time has created $ trillions.Ron Paul initiated a partial audit and found and extra $16 trillion in off balance sheet transactions which they loaned to their interest groups around the planet.This is capitalist cronism at its worst.

    They have power over our Govts and all the major corporations.This is who is behind the New World Order.Bush ,Obama Blair etc are just their puppets.

    http://globalresearch.ca/ This site will really educate you.

  16. JC 70 Billion profit to the US Govt is nothing compared to what they take.

    Really? Ross, unless you’re Bill Gates or Warren Buffet you have no business dismissing $70 billion like it was some drop in the ocean.

    Look back to what you said and my reply.

    You said the Fed is a private institution. I questioned that if it is a private institution why would the Fed send over $70 billion as a dividend to the Federal government? You reply this is “nothing” is incoherent.

    The US has a $15 trillion GDP and grows by usually by 3%.They create $450 billion pa from nothing and loan it back to the US Govt and people as debt.This 450 billion as stipulated by the US Constitution should be created by Congress as debt free money.

    Our Commonwealth bank for the first 11 yrs of its life created new money from nothing to equal some of the growth in our economy.In 1922 the powerful elites with the aid of Billy Hughes took over and Jack Lang had to borrow from England to pay for the Sydney Harbour Bridge at the height of the depression.

    Interesting.

    The banksters have now taken control of Greece and Italy.They no longer pretend to hide their power ,just tell our Govts where to go.

    The banksters are about to get a shearing on their Greek bond positions at around 50%? Some control they are exhibiting Ross. I hate to see them losing control then.

    The Banksters help create both world wars and financed both sides.

    Oh yea, i forgot about that.

    S

    ee the ‘Secret of Oz’ by Bill Still.It is all about the Wizard of Oz.L Frank Baum had deep econmic meaning for us all.In the Book Dorothy has Sliver Slippers which represented the cheap silver money of the masses.But the elites in 1873 made gold the new currency and 80% of the money was removed from the ecnomy.They were set on the Yellow Brick Road of monetary slavedom.The wicked witches of the East and West were Rockefeller and J P Morgan.You can download it for free off youtube.

    Interesting. I’m like you, Ross. I take anything posted on you tube very seriously indeed, so thanks for the heads up and will look into it.

    Ron Paul wants to End the Fed and restore the US Constitution.That’s why the elites hate him

    I’m sure.

  17. T

    he Fed does not normally create much money” but the other banks which Rothschild,JP Morgan,Loeb Bros and Goldman Sachs also have interest in too.

    Hey Ross, dude, I hate to be the first to break the news to you, but Loeb Bros hasn’t been in existence since the 80′s in think. And was Kuhn Loeb. You sure you’re not thinking of a Jewelry shop on 47th street in the diamond district?

    The Fed this time has created $ trillions.Ron Paul initiated a partial audit and found and extra $16 trillion in off balance sheet transactions which they loaned to their interest groups around the planet.This is capitalist cronism at its worst.

    Really? Interesting. Big number.

  18. Looks like another fractional reserve banking thread of doom coming up here.

    Ron Paul and the Paleos have always been kooks. That’s why Gary Johnson, who is a utilitarian, level-headed libertarian with a terrific record as governor, would have been the best nomination for the republicans.

    As it stands he is running for the Libertarian Party, by far the most mainstream presidential candidate they have ever had.

  19. Yea, I don’t quite get why Johnson never took off. I always thought he had a chance for the prez even when he was Governor.

    You know Yobbo, I also think he didn’t quite have the killer instinct to fight hard for the nomination. It was like he really didn’t have his soul in the race. And the candidacy for the Libertarian party would be much easier to achieve, which at least gets him continuing name recognition that he can parlay for either taking a run at the senate or simply for business reasons.. getting on boards etc.

    You never know what these guys are really up to at times.

  20. When property is sold at auction, certain rules apply. In NSW there is a very clear rule, “It is an offence for an auctioneer to invent bids.”, and over in the USA they call it “Shill Bidding”, which is also what eBay calls it. It is illegal in most jurisdictions.

    The generally accepted definition of fraud is that a deliberate deception has occurred and that it was done to achieve some gain. Well, shill bidding is well known to be deceptive (it attempts to create the illusion of additional demand where none really exists), and obviously it is done by the seller in an attempt to push up a higher price (thus make a gain).

    So last I checked, government securities are sold at auction.

    It is highly implausible that you can have a situation where one wing of government is buying from another wing of government via an auction setting, without some variation on the “Shill Bidding” scam. At any rate, there can be no doubt they are meddling with the market price, they have admitted as such. Let’s just say that if you or I or any regular person tried this sort of thing it would be called “fraud”, but there you go, government does have it’s own special names for stuff when it’s them doing it.

    … always been done in secret.

    What? You mean the man at the airport was lying to me and there really is some justification for privacy? But that’s simply impossible, he had such a nice uniform.

    This isn’t something new by the way, but a long known practice.

    Well in the case of the Fed, it doesn’t go back before 1913, which would be regarded as a long time in the IT industry, but a relatively short time in the banking industry. Maybe you mean that private banks have historically kept their back-of-house funding arrangements private, and yes that does go back a long way, but you are at pains to point out that the Fed is not actually a private bank, it is indeed an arm of government, and should therefore be an, “of the people, by the people, for the people” thingy. That’s what makes Democracy work right? Voters get to see what’s going on so their votes will be well informed and meaningful.

  21. When property is sold at auction, certain rules apply. In NSW there is a very clear rule, “It is an offence for an auctioneer to invent bids.”, and over in the USA they call it “Shill Bidding”, which is also what eBay calls it. It is illegal in most jurisdictions.

    WTF? We’re having a discussion about the Fed and you start talking about the auction system and related rules in the Australian real estate market. Are you on some interplanetary travel?

    The generally accepted definition of fraud is that a deliberate deception has occurred and that it was done to achieve some gain. Well, shill bidding is well known to be deceptive (it attempts to create the illusion of additional demand where none really exists), and obviously it is done by the seller in an attempt to push up a higher price (thus make a gain).

    What the hell are you talking about? The Fed buys and sells securities for it’s money market operations and has been doing so since it was conceived and operating legally. You, an Australian living in Australia, are now telling me that what the Fed is doing is fraud?

    Is this some sort of joke? You can’t be serious.

    What I want to know is where is all this crap coming from? I know, it’s from Zerohedge, right? That guy has ruined so many minds you could fill a country.

    You need to stop reading the lunatic.

    So last I checked, government securities are sold at auction.

    Oh yea?

    It is highly implausible that you can have a situation where one wing of government is buying from another wing of government via an auction setting, without some variation on the “Shill Bidding” scam.

    And what exactly did you find, inspector Clouseau? Oh yea, you found it implausible that the Fed can actually buy and sell securities to conduct money market operations and also agency sell securities on behalf of the US government. But you think it’s all a fraud. Okay dokey.

    At any rate, there can be no doubt they are meddling with the market price, they have admitted as such.

    They admit? Dude they fucking announce it!!!!, like they recently announced a twist operation, they announced the QEs and announce their weekly money marker operations and bond actions.

    Let’s just say that if you or I or any regular person tried this sort of thing it would be called “fraud”, but there you go, government does have it’s own special names for stuff when it’s them doing it.

    Dude , where the hell are you getting this stuff because a disturbing number of people are carrying this junk around in their heads. Where?

  22. Ron Paul wants to End the Fed and restore the US Constitution.That’s why the elites hate him.

    People like Ross support Ron Paul. That’s why this ‘elite’ won’t touch him with a 6 foot pole.

  23. We’re now back with re-storing the US Constitution – when and where was it stored, by whom, and \what’s wrong with its current storage?

  24. Homer

    Going from a Keynes pseduonym to a Jim Cairns pseudonym is quite a fall in status isn’t it? A bit like going from William Shakespeare to Dan Brown

  25. Jason ,

    It is the same thing really.

    One a combined a beer and a great name. This one merely spells it differently.

    Jim Cairns middle name started with F not B!

    Catallaxians aren’t too good on accuracy. I’m sure even Wikipedia could have told you that

  26. Homer:

    Please don’t think you should be getting out of this lightly. In fact I can’t fathom why you’re on this thread, seeing your positions may not be the same as Tel and Ross’s, but equally diabolical just the same….. as it only reminds us.

  27. Well JC I could understand you couldn’t fathom why I commented up at 32 but anyone who has merely gone through primary school could.

  28. JC
    “why would the Fed send over $70 billion as a dividend to the Federal government?”

    Because the shares held by the commercial banks get a guaranteed 6% dividend. Couldn’t find where I got that information.

    “Approximately 38 percent of the 8,039 commercial banks in the United States are members of the Federal Reserve System. National banks must be members; state-chartered banks may join if they meet certain requirements. The member banks are stockholders of the Reserve Bank in their District and as such, are required to hold 3 percent of their capital as stock in their Reserve Banks.” http://www.federalreserveeducation.org/about-the-fed/structure-and-functions/

    The institution is dodgy.

  29. Kelly;

    Ross or Tel, I can’t recall whom exactly said the Fed is owned by a cabal of banks. I then asked him? why the Fed sent over $70 billion to the federal government if the owners are this cabal of shadow banks secretly controlled by the shadow government.

    You Kelly, not wanting to be outdone in the conspiracy hierarchy think there’s a catch and go hunting around the web looking to prove me wrong or whatever and you come up with this:

    Because the shares held by the commercial banks get a guaranteed 6% dividend. Couldn’t find where I got that information.

    Where did you get that info as it isn’t in your link? However I’m not surprised the Fed would be paying a dividend to member banks if they have bought into the Fed system with their capital.

    Why the fuck is the institution dodgy, Kelly?

    Banks join the Fed for a number of reasons, but the main reason is accessing the Fed wire which moves around trillions of payments each day. Our RBA system is similar in certain way’s although the structure differs. The RBA has regional offices that service the banks in those regional areas like the RBA in Melbourne watches over the Victorian based banks. And we have an electronic system too that is run or controlled by the RBA and the banks access that to run their payments through (I think).

    Honestly, I’m at a loss to understand just why the hell there are so many people like you who think the Fed and the banks are in some conspiracy running a shadow government with the Fed. WTF are you schleps getting this crap from? Seriously.

    You link to a Fed website explaining the decentralized structure of the Fed and you then describe the institution as dodgy. WTF?

    You guys need some serious “financial psychiatric counseling”. I’m sure if you hunt around the medical profession you’re going to find a psychiatrist that specializes in people like you and the rest of the gaggle who have been caught up in this Fed conspiracy crap. If there isn’t I’m sure one will rise to the occasion and start treating people suffering Federal Reserve Psychosis.

    Aren’t I a trial blazer, Kelly? I’ve just named a new mental illness. I wonder if I do a write up on it, send it to the New England Journal of medicine and get published. If I do, would I stand a chance of winning next year’s Nobel prize in Medicine (I don’t think you have to especially be a medico to win it, for finding a new illness?

  30. Homer, didn’t you once say you had an IQ of 140? Are you sure you didn’t accidentally overlook a decimal point?

    Meanwhile, GOP nutbag Newt Gingrich has confirmed that if he is elected President he will not comply with any Supreme Court he disagrees with. Meanwhile Mitt Romney has confirmed that Joseph Smith really did look into a stovepipe hat to obtain the sacred text for the Book of Mormon.

    Send in the clowns. Send in the fucking clowns.

  31. Meanwhile Mitt Romney has confirmed that Joseph Smith really did look into a stovepipe hat to obtain the sacred text for the Book of Mormon.

    Shocking isn’t it? Like can how a self confessed Mormon believe in Mormonism? Who’s ever heard such a thing Mel.

    In any event voters in the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts didn’t care much when they voted him as Gov.

  32. JC
    “Another area of Board responsibility is the development and administration of regulations that implement major federal laws governing consumer credit such as the Truth in Lending Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and the Truth in Savings Act” http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/frseries/frseri.htm

    http://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/section7.htm about the dividend and also it appears to be tax free “Federal reserve banks, including the capital stock and surplus therein, and the income derived therefrom shall be exempt from Federal, State, and local taxation, except taxes upon real estate.”

    “Supervision and Regulation

    (PDF)
    Responsibilities of the Federal Banking Agencies
    Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
    Supervisory Process
    Risk-Focused Supervision
    Supervisory Rating System
    Financial Regulatory Reports
    Off-Site Monitoring
    Accounting Policy and Disclosure
    Umbrella Supervision and Coordination with Other Functional Regulators
    Anti-Money-Laundering Program
    Business Continuity
    Other Supervisory Activities
    Enforcement
    Supervision of International Operations of U.S. Banking Organizations
    Supervision of U.S. Activities of Foreign Banking Organizations
    Supervision of Transactions with Affiliates
    Regulatory Functions
    Acquisitions and Mergers
    Other Changes in Bank Control
    Formation and Activities of Financial Holding Companies
    Capital Adequacy Standards
    Financial Disclousres by State Member Banks
    Securities Credit

    6

    Consumer and Community Affairs

    (PDF)
    Consumer Protection
    Writing and Interpreting Regulations
    Educating Consumers about Consumer Protection Laws
    Enforcing Consumer Protection Laws
    Consumer Complaint Program
    Community Affairs
    Consumer Protection Laws ” http://www.federalreserve.gov/pf/pf.htm

    So if you look at all the functions of the Fed system and consider it is partly owned privately, it is self regulation. That is dodgy. In Australia our RBA does not do many of the funtions the Fed does and we have APRA and ASIC.

    You can make the arguement that the Fed is just badly run it is not the system but to me seems like it is the system and they have too many powers and some private ownership creates a very strong conflict of interest. An example would be the Fed recommending TARP which let institutions sell crappy loans at way above there true value.

    Recently with the Aus banks they have been told they must meet basel III and they are protesting but fortunately they are being ignored. I have shares in one bank and I would prefer slightly lower returns with a very small possiblity of failure.

  33. Is every supporter of Ron Paul doomed to be a bank-conspiracy theorist? Is it a compulsory condition of membership of the Paulian Fan Club or something? sheesh

  34. JC
    “You’re a management consultant?”

    No why? do you have a job for me. I am just a small time investor. I do believe I have common sense though.

    You do know that Mitt has now been campaigning on auditing the Fed?

  35. Soon
    “Is every supporter of Ron Paul doomed to be a bank-conspiracy theorist?”

    “Conspiracy (civil), an agreement between persons to deceive, mislead, or defraud others of their legal rights, or to gain an unfair advantage”

    If using this wikipedia definition then not compulsory to be a Paultard but can help you into the membership lol. The point I am making is mostly the last one gain an unfair advantage.

  36. JC
    Well the US wouldn’t do too bad to consider adopting the Australian financial system as it works far better. My observation since looking into federal government issues and comparing the US model with Aus model is that the US has all this corporate welfare often through compulsory insurance schemes, FDIC, guaranteeing student loans etc. crazy healthcare system which is the most expensive in the world with lower outcomes than all rich OECD countries. Aus on the other hand has too much social welfare. Both have increasing tax rates as a share of GDP and both have the federal government taking over in education, hospitals, environment etc. which are all functions of the states this is reducing efficiency with duplication and continueing to grow the size of government. Ron Pauls message did make me consider what he is talking about and looking at the Aus situation which is almost identical, the difference being where money is being wasted but Aus wants to catch up on health and education with the current government delving more into those areas and there were even suggestions of regulating the banks like the US and making them lend money and still is in Greens policy to fix loan rates according to RBA rate. My attitude is to try and stop Australia mucking things up that we currently do well education, health and to fix up energy policy and welfare policies.

  37. the Tax Policy centre has the following Candidates reducing 2015 tax revenues

    Romney $600b
    Gingrich $1.3t
    Perry $1t
    Santorum $1.3t

    Obama $222b

  38. Well the US wouldn’t do too bad to consider adopting the Australian financial system as it works far better.

    By what metrics Kelly?

    The US experienced a major real estate crash. Normally no one ever gets out of those cluster fucks alive, no matter if the Fed or APPRA is doing the supervising.

    Having said that we do have a cleaner system with less (not zero) government intervention in the real estate markets on the demand side.

  39. well Jason I did say where the data came from.

    It isn’t hard to get the website.

    If you need some instructions then I can help.

    As for point or context, this thread has neither.

    There does appear to be a correlation between how much the candidate say they are a ‘deficit hawk’ and how much they will increase the deficit though.

  40. Soon
    It is only based on the numbers that were given in the most recent Presidential debate and has no real meaning. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203750404577171300032471184.html The reason it has no meaning is that the question was what would you like to get the tax rates down to. Paul answered 0% so that means he wants to run bigger deficits, I don’t think so but he would like to phase it out if possible.

    JC
    What you say has some truth but any extent of downturns will be much larger in the US. Non- recourse loans are terribly destructive along with lending to minorities (could be covered by normal discrimination laws) and tax deduction on interest on the family home encouraging larger loans and debt. Self regulation has proven time and time again not to work. If you are an investor and get badly burnt you have too much debt and haven’t valued the property well as it is no threat to your wealth in the long term if you have done these things and dont’ have a margin loan.

  41. JC you surprise me.

    What I want to know is where is all this crap coming from? I know, it’s from Zerohedge, right? That guy has ruined so many minds you could fill a country.

    Scroll on up to the top of the page, find the guy whose name begins with “R” and read about what he stands for. Yes I am talking about the principle sponsor of HR459 which has nearly 200 cosponsors, mostly Republican, from all over the USA. Yes I’m talking about the guy who has been on about the dangers of fractional reserve banking for more than two decades, the same guy who doesn’t like inflation. Oh never mind.

    Ross or Tel, I can’t recall whom exactly said the Fed is owned by a cabal of banks.

    Sheesh! Reading isn’t that difficult you know, I’ve met kids who could do it. Perhaps spit the gum out for an hour or two and you find it a lot easier to sound out words.

    I don’t know exactly what this audit talk is all about Kelly.

    Yawn.

    It’s audacious to turn up at a debate and employ a strategy of lambasting your opponents for having done their background reading on the topic while you proclaim the sanctity of your ignorance. Just suppose you bothered to listen to something that Ron Paul had to say, and then you would be so much better equipped to know why you hate him… imagine that!

  42. no Kelly it isn’t.All the candidates have put out pretty comprehensive documents on the topic.

    The tax policy centre regularly does this. It even has the last presidential poicies and more

  43. Cairns
    So you mean if the candidates can be believed they will send the US government fiscally off the cliff even faster lol. Having read some of Romney’s policy it is all wish washy about how cutting a bit of red tape will make US great again and he basically says he will increase military spending at least in the debates. I think the lesson is can’t trust the lot of them.

  44. Imagine that. A Republican cutting taxes while pissing away money on conventional (ie. irrelevant) arms, leading with alacrity to an increased budget deficit. Again I am surprised; and shocked, shocked.

  45. JC@40.

    Sounds like something from the Citizens’ Electoral Council. You can google them, or just imagine if the most extreme denizens of Catallaxy and Larvatus Prodeo were locked together to come up with an agreed political and economic manifesto…somehow. The CEC would be it.

  46. Marks

    Funny characterization but off the mark ( pun intended). There are no regulars that support Paul at the Cat that I know of.

    Tel

    Scroll on up to the top of the page, find the guy whose name begins with “R” and read about what he stands for.

    You mean Ross? LOl

    Yes I am talking about the principle sponsor of HR459 which has nearly 200 cosponsors, mostly Republican, from all over the USA.

    So what? Most of them went along for the ride cynically, like all politicians do at times. A Fed audit was a not big deal as the Fed conducted itself above board as everyone knew.

    Yes I’m talking about the guy who has been on about the dangers of fractional reserve banking for more than two decades, the same guy who doesn’t like inflation. Oh never mind.

    Okay, so you’re against fractional banking. Are you trying to stealthily impose Sharia law. Tel? You may as well come out and say you support Sharia banking and at least be upfront about it.

    It’s audacious to turn up at a debate and employ a strategy of lambasting your opponents for having done their background reading on the topic while you proclaim the sanctity of your ignorance.

    Please enough. The legitimacy angle doesn’t work. Suggestions the Fed is fraudulent, dodgy, isn’t audited, there are a cabal of (insert Jewish) banks that own it and all that related tripe doesn’t do justice to this level of lunacy, which is now referred to as Federal Reserve psychosis.

    Just suppose you bothered to listen to something that Ron Paul had to say, and then you would be so much better equipped to know why you hate him… imagine that!

    I have actually and I don’t hate him, as I don’t hate anyone. I think he’s mentally disturbed. He picked up Misis “Human Action” once and after reading it thought he’s an expert in economics. He also seems to have picked up Murray Rothbard’s most appalling beliefs.

    As I said earlier, there are legitimate arguments to reform the US monetary system, as I believe the current reforms are top heavy with regulation, apply price controls and do little to remove moral hazard. There is a case for free banking and there may be a decent argument (although I haven’t seen it yet) for a gold standard. There is no case for the lunatic conspiracy theories the Paul and the Paultards believe about the Fed.

  47. JC, if you want to actually make the modest effort to link to one of Ron Paul’s speeches and quote some issue that you disagree with, then we might have some sort of discussion. If it amuses you and comforts you to just randomly come up with comical strawman misrepresentations then I’m absolutely uninterested, and frankly I’m a bit embarrassed to see someone behave like that in public.

    Here’s what he said 15 years ago, nothing much has changed since then, except for the worse.

    Recently it has been in the news that Alan Greenspan had raised interest rates, and he has received a lot of criticism. There were some recent letters written to Greenspan saying that he should not be raising interest rates. That may well be true, but I think the more important thing is, why does he have the power? Why does he have the authority to even be able to manipulate interest rates? That is something that should be left to the market.

    Not only is this a monopoly control over money and credit, unfortunately it is a very secret monopoly. Mr. Speaker, I serve on the Committee on Banking and Financial Services and I am on the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, and I myself cannot attend the open market committee meetings. I have no access to what really goes on. I have no authority to do any oversight. There is no appropriation made for the Federal Reserve.

    The recent news revealed that the chief of the janitorial services over at the Federal Reserve makes $163,000 a year, and yet we have no authority over the Federal Reserve because it is a quasi-private organization that is not responding to anything the Congress says. Yes, they come and give us some reports about what they are doing, but because Congress has reneged, they no longer have much to say about what the Federal Reserve does.

    http://www.ronpaularchive.com/1997/04/federal-reserve-has-monopoly-over-money-and-credit-in-the-united-states/

    Ron Paul has been rock solidly, consistently repeating the same message decade after decade, and still has to face outlandish make believe about what he stands for. Why do his critics need to keep inventing different Ron Paul’s to argue against? Is there a problem with answering the real Ron Paul?

    Let me also point out, all the years that Ron Paul has been saying stuff about the Federal Reserve, he has been right there in congress, getting onto committees, taking notes, asking questions, and HR459 is the culmination of that effort, and finally people are demanding real transparency, and a genuine independent audit, with fully published results, not a pretend audit.

    But the time will come, the time will come, because we will go bankrupt, because no country has ever done this before. No country can live beyond its means endlessly. No country can spend and inflate and destroy its money. There will be this transfer of wealth. It happened in many, many countries in this century. Of course, one example of the 20th century was the German inflation, and then there has to always be a scapegoat. The middle class suffers the most. Somebody has to be blamed.

    Currently today, I see a trend toward those of us who advocate limited government, those who detest big government as becoming the scapegoat saying, oh, you individuals who are against big government, you are the people who cause trouble, you cause unhappiness. That is not the case. People are unhappy. I meet them all the time because they are having a difficult time making it in this day and age. Who knows who the next scapegoat will be, but there will be one.

    … and right there is what George Monboit, Paul Krugman and others are in the business of doing… finding scapegoats to distract the masses and divert their rage as we find ourselves facing what should be unnecessary hardship. Sadly, it’s a broadly successful strategy, propaganda is a powerful tool, but the real Ron Paul is out there talking to real people and repeating his message, and it hasn’t changed.

  48. JC, if you want to actually make the modest effort to link to one of Ron Paul’s speeches and quote some issue that you disagree with, then we might have some sort of discussion. If it amuses you and comforts you to just randomly come up with comical strawman misrepresentations then I’m absolutely uninterested, and frankly I’m a bit embarrassed to see someone behave like that in public.

    Have you been too busy watching Paultard vids (again) to notice that I did in fact list numerous reasons why Paul is unqualified to be president let alone sit in the congress.

    I’ll repeat them.

    1, His monetary policy stuff isn’t just garbage but would cause the destruction of the US economy.

    2. His appalling newsletter.

    3. His ear mark dishonesty while voting against spending bills.

    4. His merely mouthed efforts not to dismiss conspiracy theories.

    5. His lies about the Fed Audit suggesting it (the Fed) has lent $20 trillion.

    6. His nutball foreign policy/

    Ron Paul has been rock solidly, consistently repeating the same message decade after decade, and still has to face outlandish make believe about what he stands for. Why do his critics need to keep inventing different Ron Paul’s to argue against? Is there a problem with answering the real Ron Paul?

    Are you kidding me? One doesn’t have to invent a single thing about Paul to dismiss him as a legit candidate. He does a great job of doing it himself.

    Let me also point out, all the years that Ron Paul has been saying stuff about the Federal Reserve, he has been right there in congress, getting onto committees, taking notes, asking questions, and HR459 is the culmination of that effort, and finally people are demanding real transparency, and a genuine independent audit, with fully published results, not a pretend audit.

    Oh, so the hundreds of regular audits the Fed has gone through since it began are pretend audits are they? This is why you people are nuts. Absolute fruitcakes. You guys make me laugh.

    … and right there is what George Monboit, Paul Krugman and others are in the business of doing… finding scapegoats to distract the masses and divert their rage as we find ourselves facing what should be unnecessary hardship. Sadly, it’s a broadly successful strategy, propaganda is a powerful tool, but the real Ron Paul is out there talking to real people and repeating his message, and it hasn’t changed.

    What the hell is that supposed to mean? I don’t need Krugman or Monbiot to explain to me Paul is a nutball. That can quite as easily come from the rational Right. He’s an embarrassment.

  49. JC
    And now you are just being silly.

    Conspiracy theories of a much larger quantum clearly not supported by Paul.
    If the US changes drug policies simular to those which are in Australia, NZ, Western Europe American society will collapse. Letting all the drug users out of jail will be dangerous and too many blacks on the street. Should be scared of the terrorists even though Americans kill themselves at approximately 4 times the rate of other western societies, when compared to Aus on a per capita basis it works out at about 9000 extra deaths per year due to homicide. So although sad and everything the twin tower thing is not all that significant as far as deaths go. Iran is on the verge of attacking other countries although they haven’t done it for 250 years and the IAEA does have inspections and the Iranians do tell they are enriching uranium to 20% so it is not secret and does not appear to be the acts of a secret program. Homophobic people. Israel supporters suggesting that all Israeli’s are just nice people, while most of the population probably are, the far right extremists who believe that the Palestinian territories are occupied lands that are actually Jewish because god gave it to them 2000 years or so ago and Jews have the right of return to their land is crazy and a cause of much of the problems , interesting blog (unfortunately is a Paul supporter). Creationism is complete crazyness. Majority of the population both here and US believing the Iraq propa-ganda especially about them being a threat to countries on the other side of the planet, no airforce, been bombed for 10 years, population same as Aus, trade sanctions for 10 years and they were toted as being able to take over the world.

    Another point you don’t actually seeing me defend many of Pauls solutions all that much but the balancing the budget and non-interventionism will do very good things for the US. Removing departments that duplicate the states is also very good. He is also the most likely candidate in my opinion to change banking and corporate rules to be more capitalist removing insurance schemes should be the number one priority, (health, banking, student loan guarantees and liability insurance) His solutions to things like healthcare are not better than any of the rest but he won’t/can’t make the system worse than it already is. Central banking you have actually seen me argue against what he suggests and I agree the current system is not good but do not agree with his solution and same thing again he won’t make it any worse than it already is and the concept of keeping some gold as reserve is good, but to go to a gold standard is probably technically impossible due to the physical quantity of gold in the world or allowing private organisations to create money (noting the fed already does) is not a good idea. The thing about the Fed giving a dividend to the government is that the government is only getting back some of the money it is paying in interest. I am sure the government is the biggest loan on the books.

  50. JC@63

    I wasn’t suggesting that anyone at the Cat supports Paul.

    I was linking you to what seemed to me to be the origin of the rather nutty propositions you yourself seemed to be objecting to, and in answer to your question as to where they may have originated. This group has some of the nuttiness of the extreme right, and the extreme left somehow combined – hence my other comment. Not much to do with Paul though.

  51. In Mark Lilla’s taxonomy, Ron Paul would be classified under the auspices of ‘redemptive reactionary’.

    JC is right, Paul’s economic program would be disastrous no matter which way you slice it. To Paul and his ilk (and also many of his opponents in the Tea Party) it is only through wholesale destruction and dismantling that something better can be achieved. A Christian ragnarok, if you like. Reformists everywhere should be very skeptical in their response.

  52. Dan
    The deficit is more than $1 Trillion. Needs someone who will do the job to cut it. Ron Paul is that man. No need to worry about any of his ideas if you believe that the US government is even partly functional as all he can do is use a veto which will be used to cut spending. The majority of the cuts will come from overseas spending and bringing the troops home which will let them spend more money in the US and cutting some departments, not cutting social welfare which could be considered his future goal along with tax cuts.

  53. Kelly,

    I’m not arguing that the deficit needs to be cut. In fact that has been my first default point. My argument is that if you tighten/harden monetary policy while cutting spending you will end up with a 1931 type scenario..

    And it’s nonsense to suggest that fiscal balance will come with deep cuts in military spending alone. Unless there is serious social security reform in the US everything else is fiddling around the edges.

  54. I think everyone agrees the US deficit is higher than it ought to be (although the yield on bonds in still real low).

    The question is how to sort it out without pointlessly worsening matters.

    The ‘expansionary austerity’ idea is bunk and my feelings are that the US should continue to run high deficits for a while longer to get its house in order. Ron Paul would not allow this.

    Maybe a bit of investment into things with multipliers (infrastructure, not arms) could be a good wheeze.

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