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The Ideological Rigidity of Ron Paul’s Economics

Posted on February 24 2010 3:30 pm
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Part 1 of my Ron Paul essay received more attention than I expected. His supporters are intense, to say the least.

As stated in that article, there are many things about Paul to like. But his monetary policies and his political rigidity are not among them. I do not dismiss the importance of sound monetary policies. Nor have I been pleased with the actions of the Fed over the last 2 years. But promoting a gold standard and competing domestic currencies are not solutions to our nation’s economic problems. I reiterate my main point: What is required are sound fiscal policies. With sound fiscal policies, sound money is likely to follow. We primarily have a fiscal policy problem and I prefer our politicians keep their eye on that ball.

But Paul has expressed opposition to other policies which I find objectionable. For example, he bases his support of certain trade agreements on the elimination of various transnational organizations such as the World Trade Organization, the IMF, the UN and a bunch of other alphabet city groups. These groups are not going anywhere soon. Paul is correct that certain free trade agreements such as NAFTA are far less than perfect. But opposing the better in the name of the perfect shows a predilection toward ideological rigidity. Paul opposes NAFTA and many other trade agreements that have been proposed. Further, Paul seems to believe support for such institutions puts us on the path to European style political unions with other countries. His paranoia/obsession with what he literally calls the NAFTA superhighway is an example of this. Whether the form such highways take, (as proposed by groups like NASCO for example), are optimal I wouldn’t know. But I am not afraid that our sovereignty is threatened by the existence of highways that more efficiently link North America. Sorry Paul fans, but this is “kook think”.

I agree with Paul that we subsidize illegal immigration and this should be stopped. But I support a far more open and expansive legal immigration policy than does Paul. As a libertarian, it is surprising Paul does not. He used to have this perspective but it apparently was unpopular during the 2008 election cycle, when he changed his opinion. He became more obsessed with keeping Mexicans out of America than with making the United States the place where opportunity abounds for all peoples. He sounds like Pat Buchanan again. One can simultaneously oppose being the welfare state for the world’s poor while supporting expansive immigration policies for those who seek opportunity. When it comes to immigration, Paul thinks like a “zero-sum” economics policy maker—the usual resting home of the far left. While Paul is not the only conservative who supports building a fence along our southern border, I am not one of them. This is a transparently absurd concept. He has no coherent immigration policy. This country has too many “third rails” in politics to be sustainable and immigration policy is one of them. I am surprised more libertarians have not called him on this.

Paul does promote many policies I support. I am sure I can write articles about other candidates whose policies I do not fully support, but who I could vote for. When you toss in his foreign policies, however, the total package which is Ron Paul is unacceptable to me.


Visit Michael Rulle’s Blog Here. See his previous NewsReal commentaries here.

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