I am not an American, but American politics can affect us Europeans so it makes sense to follow American politics to se what might be coming down the line.
Ron Paul generates an intellectual and political excitement I have not seen in the USA for quite a long time. He is refreshingly honest about the consequences of his proposals.
Now it is clear he will not win the Republican nomination, what next for Ron Paul and his followers? Third Party? Join the Democrats? Stay in the Republican tent?
I'm confused... why is it "clear" that he will not win the Republican Nomination?
Because last I checked, we've only had 4 primaries -- one of which has yet to distribute its delegates yet. No one knows who has won Iowa yet - even the NY Times doesn't understand this: http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/primaries/delegates.
Last I checked, a candidate needs 1140 delegates from the 50 states, whereas less than 200 have been dealt out.
Last I checked, he's tying Obama and Romney in national polls of electability.
I write about Ron Paul on occasion at FreedomRoadPress. I think that for the short-term he will be just fine. The comment from ER above makes good sense, plus Paul has some very ardent supporters who will not desert him easily, if at all. It's difficult for Americans to understand how truly corrupt their government has gotten since 1980. I can only imagine how it must be for someone in Britain.
You are right to be concerned. America's woes are deep and, for the most part, relatively recent in the making (4 decades or so). Both of our major parties contributed heavily to our undoing, as has the Federal Reserve. I'm not sure how it is on your side of the water, but since 1980, in America, information is heavily controlled through monopoly. One can find truth on the Internet if diligent and willing to search for it. However, mainstream media here is a sideshow at best. A Russian friend of mine said it best when he told me, "The primary difference between you in America and we in Russia is that you believe your propaganda and we don't".
While a Ron Paul figure might be a Godsend for America, he may also find himself locked in a preverbal room unable to get a single thing done. A clean politician in the midst of a room of sewer rats is quickly either muddied to become one of them or demonized so as to be made totally ineffective. This subject alone is a topic rich enough to fill a book.
We also have the interesting effect that the White House has on a person. When elected president, they invariably change upon entering the president's abode. They change emotionally, age rapidly, and become hyper-vigelent. Those of us outside the White House do not know what it is that they learn upon entering that building, but it is evident that the information is something they did not know before they walked inside.
I can tell you this, the United States is at the beginning of decades of economic turmoil now that the Baby Boomers of America, Europe, and Japan are entering retirement age. It isn't difficult to trace the root causes of this particular disaster. However, it is very difficult to get this data in digestible form to a mass of people large enough to avert the rocks ahead.
The American people are a hardy lot. But, the majority of the generation living today has never faced a reality like we now face. All-in-all we have had an easy life since World War II. We grew up with parents who trusted their government, even though in the 60s, we Baby Boomers didn't trust it. But the government our parents knew isn't the government we have in place today. It wasn't run by large multi-national corporations whose shareholders might not even live here. Some politicians have always been puppets of the wealthy, but today it is a plague on our house.
In America, if you can control 435 people (the U.S. Congress), you can control 300 million. If you can distract the larger population, or better yet opiate our minds through technology (aka: television), to gain our quiet consent, then you have a clear path to accomplish what you desire with little resistance. Ron Paul understands this. That is why both parties want to trivialize him whenever the opportunity arises.
I wish our woes were as simple as Democrat or Republican, but they are not. For one thing, both of those parties no longer represent their historical platforms. Another issue is the re-definition of terms. Long familiar words no longer mean the same thing they once meant and, for the most part, the general population is ignorant of this fact. An example is inflation. This economic indicator has had its math revised numerous times since 1980. The math is continually tweaked to yield a low number. One only has to look around them and watch the prices of the basics of living rise to see it. And, people do see it. They sense something wrong. They just can't put their attention to the exact cause. Almost no one outside of academia understands that flooding currency into the economy to the tune of 15x more currency than existed in 1971 is what has eroded their purchasing power. They understand the sentence, of course, but only intellectually. They don't connect the information to being the cause of the problem. Particularly, when they can point to the low rate of inflation, and believe some contagion foreign to American soil is the cause.
Today, in America, our government meddles with the currency, they meddle with the stock market (Google the Plunge Prevention Team), and they prey upon the people. They cannibalize a portion of us to prop up the illusion that a Service Economy is real. It isn't, it is a political fiction. Governments have been guilty of this behavior for over two thousand years. Preventing the predatory nature inherent to government is precisely why our American Constitution was written the way that it was written. When I hear a politician spout, "America is a nation of laws", I cringe. Ridding themselves of a nation of laws is what motivated people around the world to come to America in the first place. Being a nation of laws is not a good thing. That is not representative of freedom or liberty. It is indentured servitude to a corrupt aristocracy. Hell, we are so drugged we believe that corporations are people!
"Both of our major parties contributed heavily to our undoing, as has the Federal Reserve."
Spoken like a true Tea Partier.
The truth is that the Federal Reserve has been doing a heroic job of avoiding an even deeper recession, and, hopefully, bringing us out of recession. In the face of the Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives sabotaging Obama's efforts to end the recession, the task fell mostly on the Federal Reserve. Bernanke has been doing a remarkable job.
To get back to the topic of this forum thread, Ron Paul will not be nominated as a Republican, and he's unlikely to run as a Libertarian independent, as much as I would like to see him do.
Sir, I have nothing to do with the Tea Party movement, nor do I wish to. I merely speak facts. I do not support what is going on the the House of Representatives and will not even listen to Eric Cantor's voice when watching CSPAN. I am disgusted with DC.
You are most welcome to disagree with me, as you do. However, the facts do not support your supposition. Bernanke is no hero, neither is Greenspan, nor Paul Volcker for that matter. Nor are Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. That is if you stop watching television and read facts about what has happened to our great nation over the past 40 years. Here is a sampling for you.
As Europe was recovering from World War II, and France achieved the milestone of re-pegging the franc to the Gold Standard, they undervalued it considerably. This created a flight of capital from the United States to Europe in the 1970s because trade debt had to be paid for in gold. Paul Volcker raised interest rates to double digits to put a drag on the economy and stop the flight of gold primarily to France.
Richard Nixon removed America from the International Gold Standard following the Feds intervention because the huge drag on the global economy was bad politics for Nixon. A good deal of Europe had previously decided to stabilize their own post-war fiat currencies by pegging them to the Gold Standard Driven U.S. dollar after World War II. After RN made that move, it destabilized many European economies (France and Britain excluded). The Fed began printing money in ernest after that, and the U.S. enjoyed the illusion of prosperity due to the lag of prices catching up to the money supply.
Ronald Reagan spent his presidency "talking" small government while growing our national debt and government spending exponentially at the same time. He also deregulated the media industry which sponsored much of the cost of his presidential campaigns. The resulting merger mania concluded with the 5 multi-national super-conglomerates that control almost everything we read, see, and hear today. This is the reason why you can change channels and hear not only the same news, but the same news at the same time in the same sequence of reporting.
Bill Clinton spent his presidency supporting the repeal of what little legislation remained to protect Americans from Wall Street and permitted the merger of investment and retail banking--something that had been prohibited since the Great Depression because it was a major cause of the Great Depression.
Protecting America from Wall Street investment banks is why the Federal Reserve was created in 1913 following the 1907 Banking Crisis which required a major banking bailout (financed by J.P. Morgan, Rockefeller, and others of the 1% class). After his presidency, Clinton's family moved to New York to reap the rewards of his service to Wall Street, his wife has enjoyed an "out of nowhere" career in politics ever since, and the rest is history.
George W. Bush may well go down in history as the worst president ever to be elected to office. Every Texas president in the last 50 years has created a war, and war is good for the Texas economy, which relies on the petroleum and technology. But, Bush's wars were different than the other two Texas presidents. He compounded the financial burden of war on the deficit with tax cuts financed through debt and adding a huge burden to Social Security with the unfunded Part D obligation. He did these deeds right smack in front of an avalanche of retirees, consisting of almost 1/3 of the American workforce, due to retire between 2010 and 2028. Stupid doesn't even come close to capturing the folly of his presidency, but as you can see, he does have competition.
Alan Greenspan's, whom I admire a great deal for his intellect--he was just wrong and says so himself, heavy printing of new currency combined with ultra-low interest rates and CPI meddling, created the fertile ground investment bankers needed to cash in on Clinton's good work. And, cash in they did. Entire countries had their economies collapse from the effects of these banks. And, in the United States, there is a "shadow inventory" of millions of homes (est is around 3 million) being kept off the market to hold home prices artificially high. The decade or so that the bankers will spend bleeding off this inventory onto the market will keep home owners underwater on their mortgages for probably another 20 years and ruin the chances of an entire generation of Americans to use home equity as a source of retirement income--the norm for retirees. This will place even more burden on America's social safety net.
The federal reserve multiplied the money supply by 1,500% since Richard Nixon removed the U.S. from the international gold standard in 1971. The net effect of meddling with the CPI to mask inflation created by printing so much currency is also to reduce worker wages and retiree Social Security benefits. However, "prices" and "exchange rates" are not throttled back in the manner of income. The net effect is that you now pay a dollar for a cucumber that cost a nickel forty years ago. And spending that dollar hurts more than spending the nickel hurt--a lot more.
Go to the Federal Reserve, the White House, and U.S. Treasury websites. They all have this information posted there. All you have to do is ferret it out from the long thin layer of documents the data is spread across. For that matter, go to the Bureau of Justice Statistics and find out why 1 in every 130 Americans was under penal control in 1980, but today it is 1 in 31. We have had no presidential, or Federal Reserve, heros in the last 50 years. Some of their behaviors are criminal.
I happen believe these topics I write about are all very relevant to Texas Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul. They are relevant to the initial post of Ron Paul's honesty, to his position to close the Fed, to his discussion that America cannot afford more war, and other points in his platform. Moreover, they are relevant to why the political party that has been a major contributor to the mess we are in claims to be free of all blame, and claims that we should put the fox right back in the hen house yet one more time.
Ron Paul disagrees, and it is doubtful he will be elected. If he were elected, it is doubtful he would be effective as a president. Honesty at this late date is like going after a tank with a flyswatter. And, as your comments prove, waking the public to the facts is even more difficult.
We're not that far apart except wrt Bernanke and your overly pessimistic view of our country's history since World War II. Bernanke was a little late, but he's been doing yeoman service as our main hope for ending the recession. Closing the Fed would be a quite radical and risky move. Ron Paul is a better doctor than an economist or politician. I do like his ideas on foreign policy and his libertarian approach to issues that the social conservatives get so excited about. However, he's in denial about much of the institutions that have developed in this country since the Revolution.
Ralph, I just looked at your bio. Great work you are doing! In deference to Bernanke, he is a Depression Era expert without question. My take on the reason he is in there more confirms, than offsets, my concerns. What we're in store for is not a mystery for a Bernanke. I do respect him and I will accept that some of my emotion was misplaced because he certainly did not create the horror he is dealing with. This path was set in motion long ago. We could debate 65, 71, or 80, but it didn't just all appear in 2010.
I do not believe that an MD who delivered 4,000 babies in one of the most heavily sued specialties in medicine is anything less than very, very sharp. I also do not believe that Dr. Paul's views on economics are to be taken verbatim. I believe (although I'm no Ron Paul expert), that what he's really trying to do is stir the pot and keep it stirred. Closing the Fed isn't viable in the near term. We've diluted the currency exponentially too much to go back on a gold standard to stabilize it. Truthfully, at this late date, I don't know how we're going to stop what is on the horizon. Its a decade out, maybe less.
For me, the real gotcha here is debt. Europe, Asia and America need cash at the same time and they've all three given their cash to the U.S. Treasury. In the case of Europe and Asia, the cash is recorded as public debt. In the case of America it is recorded as the Social Security Trust Funds. There isn't any cash to pay these people. There isn't enough gold (if any gold still remains) to cover even a healthy percentage of our debt. Printing more money will trigger hyper-inflation. Not printing more money will trigger a run on the Treasury, and economic collapse. There are a half dozen more no win scenarios. And, the most aggravating part is that we are not in control of our destiny when it is debt we're dealing with. Our creditors control our future, that is China, Europe, and Japan in that order.
I need to stop so as not to write another page full. I suppose the bottom line is that it's been the same for two thousand years, probably longer. The biggest beasts to threaten the public welfare are governments and banks. It has always been so. On the upside, after the wave of Boomers has past from the global economy, I and many who study these things, see light at the end of that tunnel. It's 2010-2050 that are forecast to be the worst of it.
Ron Paul predicted the crash 5 years in advance.
Bernanke said that the economy was stable just hours before the crash.
Quit your misinformation campaign. Keynes was wrong. Krugman contradicts himself every week.
give it up.
This is the great job Fed is doing. My question is, Where did they get it from?
End The Fed.
Nice list! I can say this much, BofA used part of their bailout money to buy Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. (they also purchased Countrywide Financial) Fidelity (FMR) is the major shareholder of Morgan Stanley.
My recollection is that much or most of the money has been or will be paid back. The bailout money was loaned not gifted to the banks. And both parties supported the bank bailouts.
Keep going! Regardless of whether he can with the nomination or not, he is waking people up to the idea of liberty in all areas of life, at a really fast pace. And don't rule him out too early, Gingrich is not even on the ballot for some states, and Paul is expected to do well in the Caucus states. I personally predict him to come second. Why people are still voting for Romney, I have no idea.
On a related note, I am sort of fascinated by the way that the UK media has completely ignored Ron Paul. Or maybe there has been coverage, and I've just missed it.
Virtually no UK coverage of Ron Paul, because he is thought not to be a likely contender.
There's no coverage of him in the US either. The media is keeping Gingrich alive so they don't have to talk about Paul.
If you want news about Ron Paul, you have to go into the underground. The only time you hear anything about Paul is when someone accuses him of racism for the 753rd time; when someone asks him "will you run third party?"; when someone asks him "do you like Romney"; or "when are you going to drop out?"
Wake up: the media hates freedom.
For those who are still wondering why "people are passionate about Ron Paul", this is the best explanation I've come across
In my opinion: Ron Paul has a family organization to run and fund, and that is his focus. Money from books, speaking engagements, and notoriety , seem to be the name of his game and have been for years now. He's a great family provider, but is he really serious about anything else, or is that the reason he's running and seeking headlines and exposure. If it is, he has accomplished enough to keep the family coffers full. Now it's time to really fish or cut bait.
As for Rick Santorum, he needs to admit that global warming is a real, existing problem worthy of our concern and attention, and then start showing some honest anger at what concerned voters are honestly angry about, and concentrate on those concerns with proposed solutions. If not, he's stalled and wasting sincere people's money.
You really think that Ron Paul needs to worry about providing for his family after being a doctor for decades, a congressman for decades, now that his child Rand was a doctor for years, and now that his child is a congressman?
Really? You think that?
I've enjoyed the cross-polination of minds and opinions on this hub, thanks for an interesting discussion.
In spite of his Yoddaness to so many Ayn Randers out there, I genuinely like Ron Paul, for his passion and honesty and I resonate with many of the opinions here. I also enjoy the role he plays as the court jester, in that he seems to be the only one willing to speak truth to power on the Repub side.
But one has to face the fact that this man is a fixated zealot—a very dangerous trait in combination with the kind of power offered to a POTUS.
Still, I would take him over Newt or Mitty Walnuts . . .
this is what i think mitt wants to say to americans
my name is mitt
i'm in a clique
i like fireing people thats my schtick
i'm going to drive us into a ditch
when going to the doctor there will be a glitch
you wo'nt have insurence
aint that a rip
and democracy will go bit by bit
i'll make sure the poor take the hit
the rich will get richer lickety split
so if you pick me they will throw a fit
but we will just tell them they asked for it!
It is clear that he is the only brilliant candidate, sharp as a razor and educated! A persona of such charisma doesn't deserve to be buried in a gerontocratic party that represents the Republicans. He should aim at creating another party. It is time that the political scene grows with the introduction of alternatives!
by RVDaniels 6 years ago
Do you like Congressman Ron Paul and would you vote for him?Do you believe Ron Paul can be a good President?
by SparklingJewel 7 years ago
this guy is giving a perspective that needs to be heard Specifically, on all the metrics that a year ago everyone accepted as useful indicators of political standing, Ron Paul is not just a front-runner but a strong one.First, and most directly, he does extremely well in polls. The organization of...
by Susan Reid 6 years ago
I just had to share this WTF? Ron Paul supporter moment. I was in a store called Sacred Space in Durango, CO the other afternoon.The proprietress is a seer/healer. Does readings. Sells crystals and tinctures/herbs and other assorted spiritual sundries.The decor is sort of neo-fairy, if you get my...
by Evan G Rogers 6 years ago
Ron Paul is now in third place amongst polls throughout the UShttp://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour … mp;cad=rjaYet, he has only been given, total, in all three debates, 18 minutes and 47 seconds to speak.Out of 6 hours of air time, Ron Paul has...
by DIMIR 6 years ago
What makes people want to vote for Ron Paul?I'm not asking in a politically-charged-anger-invoking way. I am still not for him, nonetheless. The fact is, I see a lot of intellectual voters and youth choosing to support him. Researching his past, I've come on things I don't feel...
by Gary Anderson 9 years ago
This guy is or was high up in the Fed. The fed is a PRIVATE bank, despite the lie on their website. The fed is owned by private stock and the US government owns none of that private stock. http://www.frbatlanta.org/publica/eco-r … hriszt.pdf
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