Ron Paul on Jay Leno's

Discussion in 'Politics' started by buzzy2, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. Cutten


    The increase in global production, supply, and trade in the last decade and a half does not explain the huge fall in inflation from 1980 to 1990. That fall was almost entirely down to Paul Volker and the hard-money policies of the Fed during that period, continued (for a few years) by Greenspan.

    If you think a central bank does not have a decisive influence over inflation, then just go to Zimbabwe or Venezuela and report back with what is happening to prices in those countries, despite the continued availability of cheap goods in huge supply from China, India et al.
    #51     Nov 9, 2007
  2. Ron Paul is the only candidate running who doesn't believe the federal government shouldn't be your nanny or master.

    He actually sincerely believes in a long ago lost concept in American society - personal responsibility, without unwarranted intrusion by an Orwellian power structure.

    He brings to mind the old but potent adage that "people shouldn't fear their government; government should fear the people."

    And ceasing to throw people in jail for using substances that the government deems 'illicit' is just the tip of the iceberg on the glacier of things he would seek to rectify.

    Men are the masters of their destiny. Whatever that destiny shall be. It's all about freedom and personal liberty. Government has little to no rightful claim to infringe upon that inherent freedom.
    #52     Nov 9, 2007
  3. Cutten


    The main problems resulting from fiat money are asset price bubbles and busts as a result of intervening in the interest rate markets on massive scale, and serious erosion of the purchasing power of savings via inflation. We had a bust of historic proportions a few years ago, the Asia crisis before that, and now one of the biggest credit bubbles in human history is bursting, with damaging consequences for millions of citizens. There is also an incipient dollar crisis which if action is not taken, will also have serious effects (you can already see some in the rising price of gasoline, for example).

    Yes, a reasonably free economy can still grow steadily, but it will not grow as fast overall as an economy which does not distort its interest rates (since the distorted economy will have more malinvestment resulting in boom/bust greater than normal). Furthermore, inflation means that the growth will disproportionately benefit the financially sophisticated, and penalise the poor and working class (the least able to hedge vs inflation).

    It is clearly false to say that asset-backed currency is "impossible".' It may be difficult to persuade people to support it, but it is obviously not impossible, any more than invading a foreign country, or introducing socialised healthcare in the US is "impossible".

    I take issue with your presumption that government spending is cheap as long as interest rates on bonds are low. There are massive costs to government spending in addition to that. Firstly, huge portions of it are wasteful. Private capital on aggregate turns a profit on each dollar, maybe 5% real return on capital (or better) or the entrepreneurs and investors go out of business. Government on average turns a loss (probably quite a large one) on each dollar spent. Just look at any state run industry versus the results after privatisation. So every $1 reduced from government spending will result in a 1cent to 100 cent loss becoming a 5+ cent profit. That is a HUGE gain. 1/3 of the US economy is government spending. A 10% swing in value creation by getting marginal dollars from government to private hands would mean $150 billion in extra value creation per year - 3% of GDP. Compound that over 30 years and you have a giant effect - enough extra capital to increase average life expectancy several years, massively reduce infant mortality, and increase real wages dramatically higher for example. Capital is simply vastly more productive and efficient in the private sector, that is the pressing need for reducing taxes as much as is feasible whilst still maintaining law & order and national security, and keeping whatever social safety net society deems to be morally imperative.

    That is leaving aside the moral argument for lower taxation.

    Fiat currency has nothing to do with foreign policy. Genghis Khan did not have a central bank, nor did the Romans. The US in the 1930s was the most isolationist society in the western world, yet it had a central bank & fiat currency, and went off the gold standard.

    Switzerland until fairly recently had a gold-backed currency. They became one of the richest countries on earth (and still are).

    Liquidity is not remotely adversely affected by having a fixed or stable money supply. In fact, high inflation discourages liquidity because it raises the cost of holding cash balances. See how much cash people hold in Zimbabwe, or how easy it is to buy things there.

    Countries do not have fiat currency because of globalisation. Globalisation did not exist until 1990, yet fiat currencies were in place way before then. International trade in the 19th century was far higher as a % of world GDP than in the 1930s to 1970s period, yet the former was dominated by a gold standard and the latter was dominated by fiat currency.

    All your main points are contradicted by both theory and empirical evidence.
    #53     Nov 9, 2007
  4. Cutten


    Ross Perot got 19%, and he had no coherent political message other than "I'm not one of them". Have you seen Ron Paul's campaign donations recently? Pretty impressive, he is actually not far behind Hillary, and that is all from grass roots.

    Ron Paul is a long shot, but if there is any country in the world where someone like him can get elected, it is America. The US has historically had a much more robust grass roots democracy than any country since the ancient Greeks. I would not put it beyond the realms of possibility that someone like Paul could stage an upset. And even if he doesn't win, if he makes a mark, that could cause a sea change in American politics.

    I think you may be surprised by how many people vote for Ron Paul. His supporters are the *least* likely to stay at home and do nothing. They are the ones who have stayed home in the past because no candidate ever remotely represented their views. Now they have someone - it will be interesting to see what they do.
    #54     Nov 9, 2007
  5. Cutten


    Americans have one of the highest rates of home ownership and stock ownership in the world. If you account for asset ownership in savings data, US saving rates are actually perfectly ok. This idea of the US consumer as a 100% consumer who saves nothing is a pure fallacy.

    Treasury rates were very low in the 1960s, despite the forthcoming inflation ahead. The bond market can be wrong, especially at inflection points (it was also wrong at 15% rates in 1981). Commodity prices and the falling dollar seem to be demonstrating an upsurge in inflation, not a decrease. If your globalisation supply story is true, why is gold up 250% in the last 5 years, why are almost all commodities in secular bull markets? In a disinflationary world, that should not be happening, especially with so much extra supply of goods and labour coming onto the market.
    #55     Nov 9, 2007