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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ron Paul's strangely pedestrian rant


From unz.com:
One of the great ironies of American politics is that most politicians who talk about helping the middle class support policies that, by expanding the welfare-warfare state, are harmful to middle-class Americans. Eliminating the welfare-warfare state would benefit middle-class Americans by freeing them from exorbitant federal taxes, including the Federal Reserve’s inflation tax.

Politicians serious about helping middle-class Americans should allow individuals to opt out of Social Security and Medicare by not having to pay payroll taxes if they agree to never accept federal retirement or health care benefits. Individuals are quite capable of meeting their own unique retirement and health care needs if the government stops forcing them into one-size-fits-all plans.

Middle-class families with college-age children would benefit if government got out of the student loan business. Government involvement in higher education is the main reason tuition is skyrocketing and so many Americans are graduating with huge student loan debts. College graduates entering the job market would certainly benefit if Congress stopped imposing destructive regulations and taxes on the economy.

The article reads as if a plucky Ron Paul Institute intern put together some basic libertarian talking points to post on the Institute's homepage only to have her crabby, octogenarian boss grab the copy and scratch out 'young people' and scribble in 'middle-class Americans' for publication in his mimeographed newsletter.

Contrary to Dr. Paul's jeremiad, Social Security and Medicare have become one of the few effectively populist programs keeping the elder-middle class afloat. They can evade the best efforts of the Federal Reserve to penalize their more prudential savings habits, as pointed out by the capable James Howard Kunstler here. But the Ron Paul Institute completely misses this angle in order to push its pure, theoretical, free-market dogma, on the unspoken assumption that corporate actors are immune to the same temptations as those of State actors.

I've pointed out here and herehow libertarian writers (among others) do backflips to avoid making actual observations in real time or drawing real-life conclusions from common experience. The commenters at the OP point out Dr. Paul's most hilariously obvious omission: the government's unrestrained immigration and deliberate social atomization. Libertarians, it seems, have their own sacrosanct Narratives, as Dr. Paul blithely criticizes one of the few government programs which allows the serfs on the tax farm to put some of that money back in their own pockets.

What's intriguing to me is how all the democratic, conservative and libertarian Narratives are now converging around the same set of universalist ideals: diversity is a good, in and of itself; culture is just individual preference, to the extent it exists at all; multi-national business entities are tempered by pure competition and won't engage in self-aggrandizing behavior.

It's almost as if a single elite stratum is funding all the various political outlets in this byzantine scheme to set the terms of the debate, you know?

Nah, can't be.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Which is why I, the libertarian, read The Occidental Observer in preference to Lew Rockwell or Mises.org.

Anonymous said...

...even though I vehemently oppose Social Security and Medicare. Ron Paul' sins of omission are indeed unforgiveable, however expedient they be.

Anonymous said...

If Ron Paul presented a credible threat to the status quo, he'd have found himself in a similar situation to James Traficant, or even worse, James Forrestal.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Libertarians don't have a lot to lose; it's not like Lew Rockwell is risking his lucrative sinecure at the World Bank. Ron Paul is the ultimate: retired, with wealth. But they sure all seem worried about staying within the Overton window.

Anonymous said...

The Last Ditch is one libertarian site that refused to tow the line. Totally marginalized. A lesson to all.