Ron Paul’s Freedom Ain’t Free

Up until this point I was still watching Paul with great interest.  After all, you don’t really see a politician saying such wonderful things about freedom and transparent government out loud in public.  He and his supporters were also quite sympathetic figures given his treatment in the media.

Then I found a few very worrying positions of his.  On civil rightsGay rights.  Most recently separation of church and state.

It looked as though this was a candidate whose rhetoric was full of fundamental contradictions.  But his supporters made a passionate case for him, and in some instances an eloquent case.  Then he seemed to take a step forward on gay rights.

But it is in contemplating his position on church and state, education, civil rights and such that the fundamental flaw in his candidacy becomes glaring apparent.  His insistence on States Rights (and removing the power of the federal government on a number of issues), while on the surface appealing, is in reality opposed to the freedom he supposedly champions.

The cry of “States Rights” has always been a shallow argument, and August slices right through it like Zatoichi:

But the most frequently-used references to “states’ rights” seem to have, shall we say, and alterior motive, don’t you agree? The Declaration of Independence flat-out says that all men (and in modern times we’ve accepted that means all people) are equal, and yet whenever there’s some kind of equality people acquire, a lot of people suddenly feel the states should have the right to disagree with the founding document upon which the entire structure of American government is based upon.

This is nothing more than a dodge.  At best, it is an appeal to latent yearning for racist days gone by

August goes on to deliver the final blow:

So really, why should abortion be a “state’s right” to determine? Either you think abortion should be illegal or you don’t. Is there a particular reason you think it’s a crime in Wyoming but but in New Jersey? That goes the same for the death penalty and gay marriage… exactly what does geography have to do with this stuff?

Here is the problem with Ron Paul.  Championing States Rights is really advocating for States Rights over Individual Rights.  It places where in America you live above civil rights we have strove as a country to protect.

It also seriously trashes important aspects of what government provides.  Like education.  There are a lot of problems with the US education system.  One of them is rampant inequality in the quality of education provided.  Removing a federal authority and leaving this up to the states is not going to help that problem.  Leaving laws regulating discrimination up to the states is not going to help anything.  Put these together, and that troublesome aspect of affirmative action, race based admissions, will be legal again, but in a form not seen since before the civil rights movement.

Abortion will only be legal in some states.  Gay marriage?  In even fewer.  In some states Christianity will become the basis for the law.  What’s to stop them?  The magical free market?  This would presume everyone in a state that, for example, outlaws abortion and gay marriage suddenly decides to leave based solely upon those particular rights.  It presumes that the economic effects of removing those rights would devastate the state they were enacted in.  It presumes much, and goes on little.  When you look at history, you see a struggle to protect the rights of the minority.  Removing those protections people fought so hard to ensure will have one clear effect those rights:  It will damage or eliminate them.

This is why a Ron Paul presidency would be so good for corporations, and bad for things like unions and child labor laws.  Removing regulations only sounds like a way to bring about more freedom.  In reality, some regulations are necessary to protect against the abuse of the powerful.  This is the truth Ron Paul does not reflect.

This is why it would be a mistake to vote for Ron Paul.


35 Responses

  1. well put. There is virtually no doubt that it would also cost more. Also, you limited yourself to some fairly normal issues, but if states rights rules, whats to keep it from being a far more insidious issue?

  2. Here’s where I’m at. Nothing is now working. Nothing. The Feds have completely screwed up everything, and for a long time, I might add. This nation is in the critical care unit. It is clear how and why this happened.

    I believe in states rights. If I don’t like the states and its rights, I will move to where I will like it, but at least I will have that option.

    I think its time for something radically new. Can you even imagine calling states rights RADICALLY NEW.

    That’s what I’m saying.

  3. criminyjicket,
    Thanks. More insidious issues could easily crop up. For example,
    legalization of torture and spying on citizens come right to mind.
    I am very sympathetic to your motivations. But while nothing is moving forward, it is not because of a federal government. It is because of competing (and complementary) interests that have everything but the well being of the people at heart. This country is in critical care because of wide spread corporate hegemony and a disconnect between ordinary voters and the laws that get passed, to name just two foundational problems.

    On states rights, what happens you are too poor to move? How about if your whole family lives in that state? Or if all of the states with jobs you qualify for have laws you disagree with? Once you start adding in practical concerns, things get more than a little bit hairy.

    We could use something radically new, but what that something is is just as important as its novelty. States rights isn’t new. Its an old standby from the people who fought against the civil rights movement. We need an affirmation and expansion of rights, not a regression.

  4. One of the biggest problems here is that you’re presenting a fundamentally nihilistic argument. You’re saying that either the Federal Government will dominate us (by dictatorial power, by educational control, by endless creeping regulation) or the corporations will dominate us (by threat of starvation, by media control, by destruction of social and ecological environments).

    This, for obvious reasons, is not a highly persuasive argument. Socialist arguments are inherently entropic in their assumptions. They assume that society will degrade to an absolutely nasty result if left on its own. Libertarian arguments are inherently chaotic in their assumptions. They assume that society will constantly change and rearrange itself if left on its own.

    The argument that states rights will inherently lead to moral decay is an entropic one. The argument that states rights will lead to a more free governance process is a chaotic one. Both can’t be true – especially when you consider that the entropic argument is self-nullifying.

    If people are truly too apathetic to drive their state governments to freedom, can they really be counted on to keep their national government in freedom?

    The basic assertion (that the minority will not be able to defend itself) becomes stronger, rather than weaker, when the size of the population considered grows.

  5. Here another video answer (thanks to my friend RickB over at Ten Percent) that should illustrate why Ron Paul’s thinking, while attractive, is a non starter:

  6. It is a hell of a lot easier to change a state law, than a federal one. Again, what happens when your federal state is usurped, say, by a Cheney, or a Bush. Or a Lyndon Johnson. Or an FDR. Or a Scalia. I mean, it is well and good to say individual rights should be protected everywhere, but if you vest that protection in a central place, the ability to negate and crush that protection becomes that much easier.

    THIS is the fundamental question, and I pose this to all of you reading this. Do you believe that the most critical moral issue of our time is this doctrine of preemptive war, or war on “islamofascism” and basically everything else under the sun (“poverty”, drugs, etc)? Or do you believe that the most critical moral issue of our time is, as 9 out of 10 Republican candidates said at the most recent debate I will add, whether or not a woman has a federally protected right to have an abortion in the first trimester? (Please not, THAT is all that is protected. I’m a law student, just finished Con Law 2, I can point you in the direction of all the abortion cases, they basically just reach the same conclusion that most of the states did pre-Roe.)

    Again, I have said this countless times on countless blogs, but I’m a glutton for punishment, so here goes. Abortion rights or lack thereof, gay marriage or lack thereof, these are not things that are killing people on a daily basis. To me, and I’m sorry here because I generally like your blog, this is the absolute height of misplaced priorities. This screams “party line” rhetoric. The parties are the problem, you must think outside the paradigm or you will, and I promise you this, be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the previous years.

    We must move forward. I cannot in good conscience sit idly by any longer.

  7. Foolish foolish people. States Rights is good for several reasons…

    One, because the Constitution guarantees them in the 10th amendment. If you don’t like that, then change the constitution with a new amendment or repeal the 10th. Anything else is simply illegal.

    Two, it’s FAR FAR easier to make changes at the local and state level than at the federal level. This puts the power back in the hands of the people instead of special interests. Look right now, over 70% of the people want us out of the Iraq war, yet both congress and president simply ignore them. Can you imaging how difficult it would be to get a law passed or repealed at the federal people simply by popular demand? At the state level however it’s relatively easy as long as you have the support for it.

    Three, because of the ‘full faith and credit’ clause of the constitution, all states must respect the laws of other states… therefore you only have to have one state for example to make gay marriage legal and all the rest of them would have to recognize such marriages as legal and binding.

    And btw as far as states passing laws allowing torture and spying on americans… you shouldn’t just pull stuff like that out of your ass because these silly examples are already covered by the constitution and therefore not under the purview of states rights AT ALL. It is only those things which are not already covered by the constitution and amendments which are reserved for the states (and the people).

  8. This post is a classic example of “I like big government…but only when it does what I personally want it to do”

    Just get Ron Paul in there. Almost everything would be better without the Feds involved — charity, education, poverty, healthcare, etc.

  9. yes, i remember reading that when they suddenly realized owning another human being was wrong, the southern states ended slavery. The civil war wasa myth perpetrated by those bastards in the federal government.

    I think the most critical moral issue facing society today is religious intolerance, and societies acceptance of it.

  10. Unless you get your history lessons from hollywood movies, you’d probably know the civil war had very little to do with slavery.

    I think the most critical intellectual issue facing society today is religion and societies acceptance of it. 😉

  11. I appreciate your thoughts, but I still I agree with Ron Paul. You made me think about the child labor stuff in the other post, but to be honest the link you provided seemed to support his position. The issue was practically eliminated by the time the feds got around to passing legislation.

    The corporate rule we’re all under now is a direct result of federal programs and intervention. (Too poor to move? The Mexicans seem to manage to make it all the way to New Hampshire. Where there’s a will there’s a way.)

    At the end of the day, it’s about the Constitution. If we don’t like what it says, then we should change it.

    Obviously there should be some social safety nets for people, but you cannot convince me that the Federal Government, is the best suited to handle that.

    Of course, I do believe the most important reason is the 10th Amendment, but sadly nobody seems to care about the Constitution unless it serves to protect their interests.

    Those decisions, and programs, should be left up to the States, if for no other reason than we would have 50 different working models to examine and improve on.

    Another point you’re either missing or ignoring is that he really has little interest at this juncture in dismantling programs that protect and benefit the citizenry. That’s not the platform he’s running on, and he’s done nothing in his entire life to indicate that we cannot hold him to his word on that.

    He’s not a politician, he’s a statesman, and very likely the only one we will see in our time. The only way to truly create change is to vote for something completely different.

  12. @jiminycricket “yes, i remember reading that when they suddenly realized owning another human being was wrong, the southern states ended slavery. The civil war was a myth perpetrated by those bastards in the federal government.”

    The war was more about keeping the union together than it was about the slaves. Lincoln said ” If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would do also do that.”

    Every other country in the world managed to end slavery without a civil war, largely by using monetary compensation.

    It’s certainly an example of how the Constitution can and should be changed when we the people outgrow it, or decide we want more from it.

  13. You’re so full of it! Ron does not believe in special rights for special groups… Gays have the same rights as everyone else does, as PEOPLE.

    But of course just reading this tells me you are from the far left so you would have no idea what freedom is or should be.

  14. PS – I’m still voting for Ron and we’re signing up people by the thousands every day.

  15. Maybe you should learn how the constitution works and why states rights is important before you go throwing this crap out there.

    I notice you have other topics of the government screwing people over, but thats just bad people right? Yeah, the government would be great, if everyone just listened to you right? Thats seems to be the way all big government people think. And anytime it’s wrong, it’s just bad people or bad leadership.

    Learn how to use the constitution, and then maybe you will understand what is so great about it, and how it actually DOES give freedom AND solve social problems at the same time.

  16. Amendments bring freedoms and rights, rights are applied to people equally. That is how you amend the constitution. Not by abusing the general welfare clause, which only brings special rights, at the cost of taxpayers who get no such services.

    And what if the issue of slavery had been decided earlier on a federal level instead of a state level. All states would have likely have had slavery. Over time, states were abolishing it on their own. If all states had legalized slavery, then things like the underground railroad which freed many slaves could have never existed.

    Today, it’s not even an issue. But on abortion, there is a very good arguement that the baby is a life that has rights. Especially when people are charged with crimes like murder. Since you want to put it in the federal governments hands, then you leave them to make the decsions – in both ways, up to the people currently in office. All it really takes is 1 or 2 people to change and you can completely go in the other direction. Doesn’t happen that way on a state level.

  17. I have to agree with Buckwheat in that this entire post seems to basically be saying that you are all for freedom, so long as freedom means everyone will agree with you, because anything else is inherently evil. The real kicker about freedom is it means someone, somewhere is going to disagree with you, have the right to shove it in your face (metaphorically) and you have to deal with it, because you are free to do what you will, and they free to do what they will. Civil rights, gay rights, are all hogwash. The rights guaranteed to *individuals* by the Constitution and those that are inherent are yours no matter what label you carry.

  18. Actually, Ron Paul supports the Bill of Rights (as part of the Constitution, which he passionately defends), which covers all Americans and is not subject to override by the states. Fundamental freedoms would be protected.

    Ron Paul is pro-life, and believes abortion is wrong. But he also took an oath to defend the Constitution, which specifically limits the scope of federal power. Determining what is a crime is up to individual states (except for treason, piracy, and counterfeiting).

    Leaving divisive social issues to the states make them less, well, divisive. There’s not at much as stake in the arguments when the losing side doesn’t lose the whole nation. Plus, social mores do vary geographically. Why should people in Alabama have to live under the social mores of New York?

    As for big corporations, they all seem to be supporting Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, not Ron Paul. Makes you wonder why….

  19. Once again the author misinterprets Ron Paul’s “motives” by developing scenarios that are not part of Dr. Paul’s political and moral philosophy.

    To quote Ron Paul:

    Simply put, freedom is the absence of government coercion. Our Founding Fathers understood this, and created the least coercive government in the history of the world. The Constitution established a very limited, decentralized government to provide national defense and little else. States, not the federal government, were charged with protecting individuals against criminal force and fraud. For the first time, a government was created solely to protect the rights, liberties, and property of its citizens. Any government coercion beyond that necessary to secure those rights was forbidden, both through the Bill of Rights and the doctrine of strictly enumerated powers. This reflected the founders’ belief that democratic government could be as tyrannical as any King.

    Few Americans understand that all government action is inherently coercive. If nothing else, government action requires taxes. If taxes were freely paid, they wouldn’t be called taxes, they’d be called donations. If we intend to use the word freedom in an honest way, we should have the simple integrity to give it real meaning: Freedom is living without government coercion. So when a politician talks about freedom for this group or that, ask yourself whether he is advocating more government action or less.

    The political left equates freedom with liberation from material wants, always via a large and benevolent government that exists to create equality on earth. To modern liberals, men are free only when the laws of economics and scarcity are suspended, the landlord is rebuffed, the doctor presents no bill, and groceries are given away. But philosopher Ayn Rand (and many others before her) demolished this argument by explaining how such “freedom” for some is possible only when government takes freedoms away from others. In other words, government claims on the lives and property of those who are expected to provide housing, medical care, food, etc. for others are coercive– and thus incompatible with freedom. “Liberalism,” which once stood for civil, political, and economic liberties, has become a synonym for omnipotent coercive government.

    The political right equates freedom with national greatness brought about through military strength. Like the left, modern conservatives favor an all-powerful central state– but for militarism, corporatism, and faith-based welfarism. Unlike the Taft-Goldwater conservatives of yesteryear, today’s Republicans are eager to expand government spending, increase the federal police apparatus, and intervene militarily around the world. The last tenuous links between conservatives and support for smaller government have been severed. “Conservatism,” which once meant respect for tradition and distrust of active government, has transformed into big-government utopian grandiosity.

    Orwell certainly was right about the use of meaningless words in politics. If we hope to remain free, we must cut through the fog and attach concrete meanings to the words politicians use to deceive us. We must reassert that America is a republic, not a democracy, and remind ourselves that the Constitution places limits on government that no majority can overrule. We must resist any use of the word “freedom” to describe state action. We must reject the current meaningless designations of “liberals” and “conservatives,” in favor of an accurate term for both: statists.

    Every politician on earth claims to support freedom. The problem is so few of them understand the simple meaning of the word.

  20. If Ron Paul would be so good for corporations, why aren’t corporations giving money to his campaign? If you look at the donor lists for all the candidates, you get a pretty good idea which ones will be good for corporations.

  21. Heh – good point, Mike.

    The fact is that all the regulation you need to protect folks from abuse is contained within the simple and elegant Constitution. The only thing Congress has ever done is create inequity and loopholes for more abuse.

    Now, we can debate environmental policy, which I may concede requires some sort of government action at the federal level (although we are seeing increasingly states like CA taking the lead, and good for them). But that is hardly a reason to vote against the single anti-war candidate in the field (I say that because Kucinich and Gravel clearly do not have the support to remain for the entire race).

  22. One last thing: I am still waiting for a good discussion of the 3 principles / Rules from Clash of Civilizations!

  23. 4. Nathan,
    How is it nihilistic to point out that power can be (and often is) abused?

    I find it very persuasive. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Having an all powerful government, or the other extreme, no government control at all, are both situations to avoid.

    You’re not really saying much here. I’m not saying states rights will lead to moral decay. I am saying that the catalyst of relying on rights at the state level will allow states that disagree with the federal protection of rights to change things as they see fit. In some cases, this will yield an expansion of rights. In others, it will bring about a reduction. The ethical problem this poses is, why should some people have more rights than others?

    Your point on apathy is *very* well taken. I’m really not sure. I do know that in some high profile instances, like civil rights, federal rights have succeeded where state level rights failed.

    Not neccessarily. When the reach of government grows, it becomes easier to protect (or infringe) upon the rights of minorities. That is the essential problem/benefit with larger scales of government. The more power, the more risk and benefit. I think a smaller federal government is a good thing, but it need not be an all or nothing proposition. We can strengthen government where it should be strong (protection of rights), and weaken government where it should not be (invasion of privacy, etc).

    5. Rafael,
    As always, thanks for the help. It doesn’t look like many people bother to click through (actually, this holds true much of the time with the main article, but doubly true for comments) to see videos and external links.

    6. bret
    Very true. It is a hell of a lot easier. And the argument for giving more power to the states is, on some levels, a good one. But for the protection of rights, I see that as needing to become more and more universal.

    The trap of having a government in place when a negative force comes to power is a very serious one. (What is wrong with FDR?). On the other hand, you can have that same despotic tendency arise at the state level. I think it is best, therefore, to have strong checks wherein the states and the federal government ensure neither limits rights, and have clear recourse in the event of a despot. But no solution is perfect. The best you get in any configuration is either a minimization of risk, or losing that risk in government to find it take hold in some other improvised power structure leaning into the resultant vacuum.

    It is neither the war nor rights like abortion. You are absolutely right, it is the system. This is one of the reasons Ron Paul’s rhetoric is so damn appealing. Why hearing him talk about transparent government is like a thirsty man listening to a candidate talk about water when the rest only want to talk about wine tasting. The problem is that simply changing the system for the sake of changing it will lead to more problems, not less. We need to take a wise approach, and simply throwing out as much of the federal government as Ron Paul wants to is not that approach. We shouldn’t have to take Ron Paul as some kind of libertarian prophet, with all his words either gospel or heresy. We can support the good and oppose the bad.

    Right now his fundamental approach to the dichotomy of state vs federal government is bad medicine for this country. We need to look forward, and that false solution will drag us backwards.

    7. tsoldrin,
    One, I’m not arguing against having states rights, merely upon abolishing rights at the federal level in favor of states rights alone.

    Two, Very good point. But also consider not all “special interests” are evil. That has become a scare word applied equally to environmental groups and corporations, physicians and pharmaceuticals.

    Dipping a tiny bit into the idea of chaotic social theory and one change bringing about another, might putting more power and impact into the state governments not raise the stakes, and hence make it more difficult than it currently is to effect changes at the state level? I’d say “relatively easy” misses the mark of the current level of difficulty, even though it is definitely much easier than attempts at the federal level.

    Three, interesting. I wonder how that plays into some states not recognizing marriages from those that support gay marriage. In any case that applies in a limited sense practically. Passing a law only guarentees that law within the state that passed it. All states do not currently have legal gay marriage because of Massachusett’s actions.

    Arguable. In the past states have ignored constitutional law in their own laws. I can see a state passing a law that bypasses the constitution. I see this being challenged, surely, but not universally. But it is a question of degree. Largely, you are right. But consider the current administration’s position on torture and spying. They aren’t even bothering to pass laws, they just act. By the same token, if you can see the federal government doing something now, certainly it isn’t a huge leap to see a state government attempting it as well.

    8. Buckwheat
    I am saying government is good when it provides and protects, and not when it abuses and limits. What on earth is wrong with that? Of course I only advocate government policies I agree with. Who does the opposite?

    9. Criminyjicket,
    Slavery and civil rights are both great examples to cite of why protecting rights is best when done at multiple levels. If the states are failing, then the federal government can step in. But I do think states should be able to overrule the federal when they provide more rights than the fed does.

    I think issues surrounding religion are pretty critical on a worldwide scale. I happen to favor issues of democracy and representation in government as the number one, but religious violence can’t be more than number 1.1.

    10. tsoldrin,
    The civil war had much to do with disputes over economic power, among other things. But it had the effect of forcing the southern states to recognize the freedom of the slaves. So the argument still holds very well.

    Interesting point on religion and societies acceptance. Do you mean problems of faith vs reason? Or faith influencing public policy?

    11 Alexia,
    I appreciate your comments as well!
    The linked article focused on Britain, and I don’t think it made a very salient point. It certainly didn’t apply to America’s situation, where efforts failed and stalled up to FDR’s law. Again, I think both the market and government played a role.

    Nifty point on the Mexicans. I can see how corporate rule is a result of incorrect intervention, and the wrong rules and regulations being in place.

    I can see arguments for having states run social safety nets. The biggest problem is the question of rights. I think rights are best protected at every possible level. I do not see a clear argument for removing some rights from the federal level, as Ron Paul wants to do with Gay Marriage, Civil Rights, etc.

    Another point you’re either missing or ignoring is that he really has little interest at this juncture in dismantling programs that protect and benefit the citizenry. That’s not the platform he’s running on, and he’s done nothing in his entire life to indicate that we cannot hold him to his word on that.

    His position on Civil Rights Law says otherwise loudly.

    There are a number of ways to create change, but creating the wrong change is not always better than the status quo. Just look at the change from Clinton to Bush.

    12. Alexia,
    The war had the effect of forcing the southern states to end slavery.

    13. NH,
    So why does he oppose gay marriage? If I’m so full of it, then offering up proof should be cake.

    I understand freedom *very* well. Leftists brought you women’s suffrage, the civil rights movement, peace movements, the 40 hour workweek and workers rights, and too many affirmations and protections of freedom to name in a short space.

    14. NH,
    Okaaaay. Just recognize you are voting in a man who will remove a level of protection. When you travel state to state, remember “You rights may not apply”. (“None of the above” seems to be signing up the most candidates so far).

    15. badmedia,
    Again, I am not talking about removing states rights. I am saying don’t remove federal rights!

    Why is it so strange to consider that I can criticize government when it fails its responsibilities, and still not want to throw it out completely? Bad government is a *mix* of bad leadership and systemic issues. But you fix the systemic issues and find good people. You don’t throw your hands up and say “see? I told you all government was pointless”.

    The constitution is an important document, but it isn’t the bible. There is no need to evangelize either. I understand how vital it is. But one important thing to recognize, is that it protects rights at the federal level. That is what I support, and that is what Ron Paul does not, hence the disconnect.

    16. badmedia,
    Are you saying bad government doesn’t happen at the state level? That clearly isn’t the case, and you can look to the news for that (nevermind history!). Of course there is a risk to federal government. State government too. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a benefit.

    You need both. You need state and federal governments to protect our rights.

    17. Joel,
    I am saying protect rights at the federal level. Having the right to “shove it in your face” would depend upon the state you live in under Ron Paul.

    18. Doug,
    Then why oppose the civil rights act?

    His position on constitution over abortion is very principled.

    Not really. Corporations give to those they think are likely to win. Its a power play.

    (Sorry, just what I have time to comment on so far.)

  24. Good for the corporations? Let’s explain how government regulation corrupts our system.

    As an example, you mention Paul’s media treatment in your post. That’s an example of the corporate media. Murdoch is holding fundraisers for Hillary for crying out loud. This is more than just government and corporational entanglement, this is media entanglement as well.

    Now, would this be as bothersome if the federal government had zero impact on Murdoch’s business?

    Or, would you rather he spend millions more lobbying these SAME officials as to how these regulations should be written.

    Who is the politician (by nature, a power seeking, career driven individual) really accountable to? When incumbants win near 90% of elections, your best bet to stay in office is to ensure you get the donations needed to squash your challenger every few years. If you’re truly accountable to the people, you risk that money being funneled out of your campaign and directly into your next opponents.

    Where as on the web we have a free market of information. Let’s say “Big Media” gets really threatened by the New Media on the web. Think how stiffling it would be if the government decided regulation was needed to ensure the integrity of news sites on the web for the sake of the news-seeking consumer. All the sudden, every blogger ows a “blog tax” to remain online. Think the tax would in any way inhibit Nope, but it just might stiffle a bunch of competition.

    It’s this exactl line of reasoning that leads to so many of our regulations. We need to protect the consumer so let’s regulate industry x to ensure this product is safe. Easy cost to absorb for a huge company thanks to economies of scale. What about the small competitor that can’t afford a team of lobbyists to defeat the provision? His price per unit to meet the regulation is going to be way more than industry giants, and now, despite his innovative and efficient process, his avantages are nuetralized. That’s not capitalism, that’s corporatism.

    Instead of a new competetor in the market, he’s marginalized and can’t compete. There’s a good chance he gets bought out by one of the major companies mentioned above.

    And remember, just because there’s no government regulation, does not mean consumer groups won’t sprout up in thier place – this is more applicable today thanks to the web, than ever before.

  25. To the author, and I’m not sure you are implying this, though you certainly appear to be against Ron Paul’s political philosophy through posts in this thread and others.

    You state: “Again, I am not talking about removing states rights. I am saying don’t remove federal rights!”

    How is Ron Paul for removing federal rights? All Ron Paul is saying – follow the federal constitution as written. Follow the law. The federal constitution WAS written to protect the rights of the citizens – and mostly to protect them from the government.

    No doubt our federal government and federal courts have strayed from the constitution. Nobody can argue that. However, it is the law of the land. If you don’t like what the federal constitution says, either you have a constitutional convention to change it, or move to Canada.

    That’s what I don’t get. Why don’t we follow the law of the land, with its enumerated rights as written into the constitution – AND if we don’t like the laws – change them through a constitutional convention, rather than erode the constitution and how it protects the rights of citizens through more and more unconstitutional, coercive big-government laws that are illegally passed by congress and illegally backed by the courts? That’s disgraceful. It’s our lawmakers breaking the law.

    Either obey the law (the constitution), or follow the proper procedures through a constitutional convention to change it in regards to areas where too much freedom may be deemed dangerous.

    However, and to paraphrase Jefferson, I’ll take the problems that come with too much freedom rather than the problems that come with too little.

    Is Ron Paul’s message perfect? By no means. However, it is a heck of a lot better than the messages I see from the bought and paid for (by corporations, special interests, etc.) talking sound bites representing either party.

    What is SO refreshing about Ron Paul is that he is not beholden to any “group” EXCEPT for the American people as a whole, and as dictated by the constitution. Ron Paul is not beholden to corporations, lobbyists or special interests – where, if he were, he would put the interests of a few over the interests of the whole. Have we not seen Bush pervert the system enough through his bought and paid for politics, let alone through his flagrant disregard of the law?

    The constitution is certainly not perfect, but I do believe that our government has strayed so far from its values that moving back to following what the constitution dictates makes common sense – and if parts of it are outdated, change those parts through a constitutional convention.

    Why can’t our government just follow the law of the land (the constitution) and call for a constitutional convention if the people or the government feels the constitution needs some more teeth to protect certain groups or interests? What’s wrong with that?

    This habit of passing unconstitutional laws has gone so mainstream and gotten so out of control that it has made things much worse, rather than better. That alone, for this individual (together with the fact that all the other candidates on both sides are bought and paid for shills), is reason enough to vote for “Dr. No”.

  26. “So really, why should abortion be a “state’s right” to determine? Either you think abortion should be illegal or you don’t. Is there a particular reason you think it’s a crime in Wyoming but but in New Jersey? That goes the same for the death penalty and gay marriage… exactly what does geography have to do with this stuff?”

    It has nothing to do with geography. It should be states rights because then the people decide what their goverment is. Imagine a community of several thousands. They get together as a community and vote to allow medical marijuana. One day the fed comes in with guns and starts arresting everyone. WTF?? didnt everyone decide this was ok. Let the goverment ban acts of violence and coersion and have a system for peacefully working out conflicts(courts). Let the people on a local level determine what else their goverment should do. The federal goverment has become indistiguishable from the Mafia protection racket. They need more money to protect you. They say it is just for your own good. Please keep it at a local level where you can have some degree of control and can opt out by voting with your feet ( moving out ). You cant get away from state power and oppresion no matter where you move nowadays. Perhaps you think this is good but i prefer liberty.

  27. Fitness,

    you agree with me and say yeah, the system is a messed up, but decentralizing is not the solution. Are you implying that centralizing more is the solution? If that is the case, what you are advocating for would appear to be the inverse of what hardcore secessionists advocate for. Is it clear that the Constitution contemplates states as merely units of the Federal bureaucracy? And again, going back to the worry about concentration of power being abused – if more centralization is your answer, how do you address that worry?

  28. 19. Andy,
    I’m looking at his established actions and principles. Which of these conflicts with his “political and moral philosophy”? Is this conflict a problem for you?

    State action, itself, is not freedom. Collective action of any kind taken to protect freedom is just that, an act to protect freedom. Ron can talk all he wants about the need to limit government, but he is casting his net far too wide, and does not seem to care what protections are lost in the process.

    20. Mike,
    I have no idea. Perhaps they don’t think he is likely to win, and only want to bet on a sure thing. One question is, what will you do if he becomes a real frontrunner, and starts taking corporate donations?

    21. Bret,
    To through out the benefit of everything beyond the consitution just doesn’t make sense. Simply saying congress has never done anything good does not make it so. Disregarding the entirety of US history doesn’t help your point either.
    What I need is a reason to vote for him. Ron Paul might be against the Iraq war. He might be for a smaller military. But I doubt the man is for peace the same way Kucinich is. His stance on government does not lead me to believe he will be able to address our crisis in education, the environment, or health care. I have every reason to believe the civil rights act would be overturned on his watch. These are all reasons to just look elsewhere for a candidate to support.
    22. Bret,
    (I have not yet read this, and most unfortunately, am not likely to get to it anytime soon. My apologies sir.)

  29. well, if were only going by the constitution we can get rid of all that silly privacy’s not in there

  30. 24. Zack,
    That entanglement is quite nasty, isn’t it? But without a strong fed, where do you think enterprising corporations will go to seek more power? State government? Other corporations? Removing the fed won’t fix that. Removing the entangelment at the federal and state levels directly will. I’m saying if we have a sick animal, cure the disease, don’t put it down.

    Your point on incumbants is so accurate its sickening. Something needs to be done about it. I’m curious, does Ron Paul have a position on this? It seems to me the best way to fix it would be mandatory term limits: 1 term. No more incumbants! Of course the practical impact would probably make this a less than ideal solution.

    I’m all for consumer groups, but which consumer groups will be able to effectively work against systemic discrimination by employers? Byt state governments?

    And again with government, why not just throw out the bad, but keep the good?

    25. Andy,
    I’d say I am firmly against this central facet of Ron Paul’s political philosophy. Some of the garnish (like transparent government and a smaller military) sounds great, but the main dish doesn’t look like it will go down well.

    His stance on the civil rights act, or his relegation of gay marriage rights to the states (where he personally would prohibit gay marriage) are two good examples of rights he would work against if in office.

    You have really piqued my interest on the legality of federal legislation. I’m going to do some research on it when I have a bit more time, and write something up.

    The crux of it is I do not think giving up universal healthcare, a federal education department, or civil rights is a price I want to pay for whatever good things Ron Paul has to say.

  31. I guess where we disagree is how to cure the animal. I view your approach is akin to discovering the animal is alergic to the medication and the response is to double the dose. I see it as “regulating regulators with regulation” and I think it’s a path that has no end. The financial interests will always be deeply imbedded. Noble and genuine freshman congressman walk into an environment of entrenched lobbyists who know and understand the process far better than anyone else.

    If you like term limits…from ’97:
    “US Representative Ron Paul voted for each of the term limitation measures brought before the House of Representatives on Wednesday. While the measures failed, Paul said the real reforms needed to accomplish the same task must still be pursued.

    Serving in Congress from 1976 to 1984, Paul was the first person in modern history to introduce a term limits measure.”

    HIGHLY recommend you read this – addresses the exact systematic problems we are talking about.

    Refusing the pension puts him in an elite class of citizen-statesman. BTW, I do not support congressman taking a term limits “pledge” or anything like that – because that only gets rid of those most likely to support term limits legislation.

  32. Zack,
    Actually, the history of term limits goes back a bit farther than that, although I suppose what you consider “modern history”. If you count Presidential term limits, then he wasn’t the first in modern history.

    Refusing a pension is a cheap trick used by legislators who can afford it. It doesn’t impress at all. His position on term limits does though.

    Regarding dosage, I’m not talking about making government bigger. I want to make it better. Your analogy doesn’t really fit. If the problem is bad government, then making it bigger would mean making the dog fatter or giving it growth hormone, which is a really odd analogy, isn’t it?

    You want to make doggie into a tripod (or a unipod!), and I thinks that’s just cruel and unusual. I want to remove the ticks (lobbyists) and get doggie back on track chasing squirrels.

    I think it can be done.

  33. The problem is, there will always be ticks on the big, fat, bloated dog, because it has lots of blood to suck. Ticks and (as we call them down here) skeeters don’t bite skinny, little bitty, lean critters. At least, not nearly as much.

    If you want to see less waste and more efficiency, then you must shrink the bureaucracy.

    Paul and Kucinich are pretty good pals, from what I understand. To say that Paul is not as credibly a member of the Peace Party is a little wrong. “I would ask you to retract that statement!” Heh.

  34. Bret,
    So let’s put a flea collar on doggish the wunderpup and occasionally give him a flea bath.

    I just don’t see the argument for putting him down!

    Hmmmmmm. I could have sworn there was an article about some of his pro war stances, but I can’t find it! Just his support for the war with Afghanistan. So he isn’t was gung-ho on peace as Kucinich, but his stance on the military and getting involved with conflicts is definitely on the whole on that advocates non-involvement. The funny thing is, the Rhetoric he uses feels more like isolationism rather than pacifism, even if the end result is the same.

  35. Bah, come on man – the result is nowhere near the same. He advocates peace and trade, the very definition of INVOLVEMENT, not isolationism. He is not a pacifist, but he is not an aggressor either – and shouldn’t we demand that of our country? Should it no be there to protect us, and not to force us to march off to some foreign land to be killed for … oil profits? “spreading democracy”?

    The end result is not the same. Peace with free trade for all is how you spread freedom and ideas. Not through bombs. Not through corporate subsidies. Not through coercion. !!

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