After Posting Here, I’ll Buy Lunch and a Cup of Coffee from One of My Many Opponents

by Don Boudreaux on August 17, 2011

in Myths and Fallacies, Trade, War

Cato’s Sallie James exposes Mitt Romney for the ignoramus that he apparently is on matters of trade.  (And I love Sallie’s line on the IRS.)

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SweetLiberty August 17, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Love John Stewart’s exposure of the media’s blind eye regarding Ron Paul and the ignorant masses who support such libertarian drivel.

James N August 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm


tomharvey August 17, 2011 at 12:27 pm

The post Don linked to is entitled “Ron Paul Talks Sense on Trade”, which is why SweetLiberty is bringing him up, but as far as exposure/masses/drivel, I am also wondering: “What?”

Justin P August 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Remember Alinsky’s Rule for Radicals….SL is using rule number 5. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.

Just ignore the Troll.

Agree Totally August 17, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I agree totally.

Slappy McFee August 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm

If it truly is “libetarian drivel”, shouldn’t the media turn a blind eye to Ron Paul? Shouldn’t you be mocking Jon Stewart for bringing it up?

Sam Grove August 17, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I believe SweetLiberty is utilizing sarcasm.

Justin P August 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm

IDK…he called Freidman “fringe economics” on the last thread…

SweetLiberty August 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Sam is correct – the post reflects my sarcastic take on the mainstream media’s perspective which is that Ron Paul should be ignored because he spouts nothing but libertarian drivel – drivel according to the self-anointed pundits. RP and libertarians can be safely ignored because everyone just knows they are ridiculous anarchists. Opinions to the contrary are not even worth mentioning.

Also along those lines, Friedman IS a fringe economist according to the majority of esteemed professors if you ask the likes of Krugman and company. From the liberal perspective – which dominates education and therefore gets to define education – economics that suggests anything but bailouts, money printing, burdensome regulations, and interest manipulation is fringe.

As John Stewart’s piece on Ron Paul exemplifies, true libertarians are not to be taken seriously by “real” experts. The good news is that maybe, just maybe, the voters are tired of listening to the elite and are seeing through the gossamer facade of Keynesian economics and socialist politics which by every meaningful measure has failed. But until this sentiment manifests into a majority, the current majority will continue to define and ignore the libertarian fringe – a fringe to which I proudly belong.

Justin P August 17, 2011 at 9:30 pm

oKay. I haven’t seen enough of your posts to know the difference yet. I figured there have been a lot of tools from Kos here lately. Apologies.

muirgeo August 18, 2011 at 9:04 am

I linked to that video below.

I would like to see Ron Paul over ANY of the other Republican candidates as their nominee. But that video shows you how tainted corporate media is and how bought and paid for the republican party is.

Ghengis Khak August 18, 2011 at 11:13 am

I just have to try, since you seem to be so close to closing the loop on this one.

I would consider Dennis Kucinich to be an honest liberal politician, perhaps something of a “Ron Paul of the left”.

How did corporate media coverage go for Mr. Kucinich when he ran in 2008 vs. Obama, Hillary, et al? Can you not see the parallels between the way establishment Republican types treat Mr. Paul and the way the establishment Democrats treat Mr. Kucinich?

tdp August 18, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Dennis Kucinich is a self-important, whiny little bitch. I don’t want him to have any control over my life whatsoever.

Ken August 18, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Seriously? The guy who had wrote a political comic book about father time? The guy that sued over an unpitted olive? Mr. Moonbeam New Ager? The guy who says stuff like:

“I am running for President of the United States to enable the Goddess of Peace to encircle within her arms all the children of this country and all the children of the world.”

“Iraq does not pose an imminent threat to the United States of any of its neighboring nations.”

“We have weapons of mass destruction we have to address here at home. Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction. Homelessness is a weapon of mass destruction. Unemployment is a weapon of mass destruction.”

“The energy of the stars becomes us. We become the energy of the stars. Stardust and spirit unite, and we begin: One with the universe. ”

“We cannot hope to end terrorism by killing terrorists.”

Ron Paul is marginalized because he believes in small government, which almost no politician wants. Dennis Kucinich is marginalized because he’s a kook.


Methinks1776 August 18, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Trouble is, I ‘ve heard Kucinich speak. In his own words. And it was painful. The man is a total fool. His economic illiteracy can only be dreamed of in the Econ departments of the finest Ivy league universities.

I don’t know what the left thinks of him, but he’s certainly not analogous to Ron Paul.

What I want to know is who are the idiots who vote for him?

Ghengis Khak August 19, 2011 at 2:22 am

Looks like a opened a can of worms here, but I think you guys are reading too much into my statements.

I certainly wasn’t saying that I want Kucinich in charge of anything. Only that he shares the characteristic with Ron Paul of seeming to be genuine/honest about supporting the ideology he espouses as opposed to anyone else who is/attempts to be master-of-the-universe/rent-seeker in chief (Obama, Romney, Bush, Clinton x 2, Bachmann, etc).

muirgeo August 18, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Kucinich was never near the top four. Ron Paul was second in Ames and Ron Paul was 2nd in the RNC straw poll this year and first in the poll of 2007.

But yeah I think party insiders and the press promote people based on other agendas. Howard Dean should have been the nominee in 04. But this with Ron Paul is even more blatant…. the war machine profiteers don’t like him.

Sam August 17, 2011 at 12:54 pm

The media blackout of Ron Paul continues…..he won’t win…..Americans aren’t comfortable with the Libertarian platform sadly. So, unfortunately, that leaves us with the discomforting possibility that we will get Bachmann. In my mind, this is reason to hope Romney can pull it off… least he’s not Bachmann. Nothing is scarier to me than politicians who say government should get out of the market and into people’s bedrooms. Bachmann is way too “social” conservative for my taste…..government has no business telling me how to live my life and as long as social conservatives fail to recognize the irony in their position, they must be ruthlessly opposed.

John Dewey August 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Sam: “Nothing is scarier to me than politicians who say government should get out of the market and into people’s bedrooms.”

Based on what I’ve read, I do not believe Michele Bachman wants the government to prohibit a gay lifestyle. She just doesn’t want government to grant the same legal status to same-sex unions that it does to heterosexual unions. That’s not government interference in the bedroom, but rather in the courts. And it is our elected officials job to make laws about legal status of individuals and groups of individuals.

With respect to the other major social conservative issue, abortion does not occur in the bedroom. Taking life away from the unborn occurs in hospitals and in clinics.

Just to be clear, I personally do not care much one way or the other about the issue of gay marriage, but I am passionate about saving the life of the unborn.

brotio August 17, 2011 at 11:52 pm


John Dewey August 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Not sure if you are aware, Sam, but Ron Paul supports the Defense of Marriage Act. That act allows a state to decline to recognize a same-sex marriage which was granted in another state. Paul does believe that an individual state, and not the federal government, should have the right grant or deny same-sex marriages.

Also, Ron Paul has been consistent in his opposition to abortion, which he first explained to me at a small 1980 meeting in Houston. He does believe, though, that this is also an issue which should be left up to the individual states.

Frank33328 August 17, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Well, no one’s perfect….

Ken August 17, 2011 at 7:29 pm


It is better to have a politician be DOMA and anti-abortion, but against the bailouts and economic intervention, than a politician who is for bailouts and economic interventions, but against DOMA and pro-abortion.

Comments like this are ridiculous, also, because it equates an minor quibbles (and yes, when looking at the massive damage federal policies do to the country, these two issues are minor) you have with Ron Paul to the numerous and insurmountable problems of Obama.

Lastly, Ron Paul has said on numerous occasions that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in defining marriage at all. His support of DOMA was due to the idea of federalism saying “I see that as an act that was prohibiting the move to nationalize [same-sex marriage] and force Iowa to accept the rules of Massachusetts or whatever”. And as you point out, despite his opposition to abortion, he isn’t in favor of having a national policy against it, the same way he isn’t in favor of having a national policy for it.

He rightly points out that both of these issues are NOT federal issues. They are state issues.


John Dewey August 18, 2011 at 9:43 am

Ken: “because it equates an minor quibbles (and yes, when looking at the massive damage federal policies do to the country, these two issues are minor) you have with Ron Paul to the numerous and insurmountable problems of Obama.”

You have misunderstood my comment. I have no quibbles with Ron Paul. In fact, I’ve been a fan of Ron Paul since I first met him 31 years ago.

in my comment above, I was responding to Sam, who seemed to be both a Ron Paul supporter and a critic of those who are social conservatives. I was merely trying to point out to sam that Ron Paul has supported the very same social conservative positions which Michele Bachman now supports.

FYI, I believe that abortion is an extremely important issue for this nation. But I also realize that the nation is very divided on this issue, and we need to put it aside for the time being.

John Dewey August 18, 2011 at 9:51 am

Ken: “He rightly points out that both of these issues are NOT federal issues. They are state issues.”

Ron Paul and I agree on this point. Hpwever, Roe vs Wade made abortion a federal issue, and we cannot escape that. The position a presidential candidate takes on abortion is important to many voters precisely because of Roe vs Wade.

Make no mistake about this, both Ron Paul and I are strongly pro-life. Of that I am certain.

Muhammad Ali August 18, 2011 at 9:57 am

Don’t foul this board with your anti-abortion diatribe. Do that on your own blog. No one want to listen to your crap. You are not a libertarian; you are just a Moral Majority thug. Get lost!

Don Boudreaux August 18, 2011 at 10:00 am

Mr. Ali:

John Dewey remains, as he has long been, one of the most respected and valuable commenters here at the Cafe. Even when I disagree with him (which is seldom), I unfailingly appreciate his civility and the power of his arguments.

Dan H August 18, 2011 at 11:00 am

Mr. Ali,

There is certainly a strong libertarian argument to be made against abortion. Regardless, it is an issue that the Constitution is silent on and should be decided at the state level. The problem is, Roe v. Wade somehow found an inherent “right to privacy” in the 14th Amandement. This is one of the few disagreements I have with my libertarian friends every now and then. You do not have a right to privacy. If you commit a crime in your own home, you do not get away with it just because you “did it in private”. A respect of one’s privacy is usually derived from a private property rights and rights of contract.

In terms of abortion, there’s also the argument that it’s not necessarily a private matter, since there is a third-party involved (the father), of which 50% of the DNA of the child is from.

I don’t want to launch into a diatribe of why I don’t believe there is an inherent right to privacy, and even if there is, it could never extend so far as to trump the right to life of someone else (should you believe, indeed, that a fetus is a person that has rights).

But like I said, it really is a tough issue that should be decided at the state level, and I think ALL libertarians can agree with that.

Ken August 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm


Fuck you, baby killer.


SheetWise August 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm

In an instant-runoff election, I think Ron Paul would do quite well. The press is simply reinforcing the common perception that he can’t win. A new method of balloting is the answer.

Sam Grove August 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm

The press is simply reinforcing the common perception that he can’t win.

The press is handmaiden to the ruling class and wants to enforce the perception that RP can’t win.

SweetLiberty August 17, 2011 at 4:43 pm

“The press is handmaiden to the ruling class and wants to enforce the perception that RP can’t win.”

Yes, but the ruling class is incredibly good at propaganda and scaring the tar out of a multitude of voters who believe government is the only solution to so many problems. I can’t imagine Ron Paul winning given that he runs contrary to almost everything most people have been taught and have come to believe. The choice for most voters is socialism or socialism-lite (John McCain or G.W. Bush for example). The Iowa straw poll is the first real glimmer of hope that some are awakening to the founding principles that I believe made this country great – but I don’t have much real faith in the wisdom of the masses. Do you?

Chucklehead August 18, 2011 at 12:55 am

I agree that Ron Paul is being underplayed because he would upset the status quo and shift power centers from DC and NYC to state capitals and individuals. I also think that part of it is Ron Paul does not yearn to be president. Unlike others, who seek power, he seeks the office to distribute power. He would prefer to spend the next four years with his family and friends. The goal of his campaign is the cause of liberty, not the presidency itself.
As far as his abortion stance, consider this: he has delivered 4000+ babies. That also means that he has lost 1,000 to spontaneous abortions (AKA miscarriages.) That means that he has performed as many D&Cs, which is virtually identical to the abortion procedure. Therefore, he knows the gruesom reality. I don’t, and am willing to accept his judgement on this matter.

Sam Grove August 19, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I don’t have faith in the wisdom of the masses, but do have faith in their self interest.

Ken August 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Romney is incredibly rich, so I think we should pay heed to his positions on trade. He made his money the old fashioned way – he earned it. Yes, he was born into wealth, but did he take any government money to double or triple his net worth? If he did, then I retract every nice thing that I said about him. You all that are knocking him are just jealous and envious of his wealth. Can you say “self-made man.” Get off you butts and invent an i-phone if you are so smart.

I like everything about Ron Paul, never mind that he may be a racist. A (half) black socialist man was sadly elected president, but I think that the order of characteristics for the next president are: 1) Mormon, 2) woman, 3) Hispanic, 4) Jew, 5) 100% black man, 6) libertarian. So, we will have to wait 6 more presidential cycles before we will see a libertarian president. I hope I live to see the day when all God’s children are free.

We must defeat Obama with a staunch conservative like George Bush. Those were the good ol days, my friends.



Ken August 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Not my comment.


Greg Webb August 17, 2011 at 2:58 pm

The comment does not read like something that you would write Ken.

MWG August 17, 2011 at 3:11 pm

The spelling and grammar are too good for it to be a spoof from muir.

vidyohs August 17, 2011 at 8:49 pm

It was the muirduck, rest assured.

I can tolerate the stupidity brought to the Cafe by George Ballela as the muirduck as long as he has ownership of it. If nothing else every court should have a jester. There isn’t an honest bone in his body, and that is clear from his politics and his social beliefs.

However, this cute little childish tactic he has taken to of using others’ identities to cause confusion and spread his crap is not something I think Don and Russ should be tolerating. He can be identified on such comments, and if he continues I for one won’t miss him if the good professors ban him. And, I think they should.

There isn’t an honest bone in his body, and that is clear from his politics and his social beliefs.

MWG August 17, 2011 at 10:17 pm

If it is the muir, it would be nice if Don or Russ were to ‘out’ him.

Ken August 17, 2011 at 11:13 pm

I wonder if it’s muir, but I would be surprised if it was. While he’s a tool, he’s always owned his idiocy.


brotio August 18, 2011 at 12:00 am

Due to the fact that these blind postings are (generally) grammatically correct, I also doubt that it’s Yasafi.

I think Invisible Backhand is really MaoDung-incognito, and am still on the fence as to whether those postings are sarcasm (a-la ArrowSmith) but the writing of these fake posts is more in that style rather than what Yasafi is capable of.

I do share your opinion that the person responsible should be banned.

Justin P August 18, 2011 at 10:34 am

Russ and Don should try and bring back Disqus for comments or something that requires a login to keep this sock-puppetry to the Pros (Glenn Greenwald).

Greg Webb August 17, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Hmmm…George Bush is not a “staunch conservative.” Rather, he was a big government type just like his dad who originally ran for a House seat in Houston as a liberal and then against Mr. Reagan for President as a moderate. He only become a conservative when he accepted Mr. Reagan’s offer to put him as VP. Then, he ran as a conservative in 1988, but acted like a liberal from 1989 through 1992, which is why he was voted out of office.

I do not think Mitt Romney is a good choice either. He talks the libertarian/conservative talk, but he walks the big government walk. He is, however, a better than President Obama. Ron Paul is my favorite.

Anotherphil August 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm

The first step to stopping the seeming unstppable advance of the statist pandemic is to rollback Obamacare. Romney-of Romneycare fame has no moral authority to do so. His “moral authority” to roll it back (on the premise that a tyrannical and economically disordered system is ok, as long as states do it) is too weak and quite frankly, I don’t think he’ll ruffle a single hair to rid us of that curse.

Obama-lite is still statism.

Romney (and Bush, Gore, any Kennedy, etc) is just one of too many legacy politicians. I know it started with the Adams’, but I can’t imagine the revolutionary war was fought to replace a hereditary monarchy with a system that uses election to crown the next generation into the family business.

SweetLiberty August 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm

“I do not think Mitt Romney is a good choice either. He talks the libertarian/conservative talk, but he walks the big government walk.”


Greg Webb August 17, 2011 at 2:56 pm

And, Ron Paul is no racist. Calling someone a racist or a bigot are liberal buzzwords that means nothing.

Rugby1 August 17, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I often run into this mischaracterization because Ron Paul has opposed the Civil Rights ACT. For some reason people then presume that he is against “civil rights” as they miss that critical distinction between the “rights” and the “act.”

It kills me that people believe Ron Paul, believer in individual liberty, personal responsibility and someone who rails against government intrusion into our personal sphere, is a racist.

It is enough to drive me to drink!

SheetWise August 18, 2011 at 12:34 am

“It is enough to drive me to drink!”

As good of a reason as any other I suppose.

Greg Webb August 18, 2011 at 12:57 am

I’ll drink to that!

Richard Stands August 18, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Accusing someone of racism because he disagrees with the section of the Civil Rights Act which intruded into voluntary associations on private property is much like accusing someone of being a Nazi because he supported the right of Nazis to march in Skokie.

One can support the right to be stupid without advocating the stupidity itself.

JS August 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm

The republicans aren’t libertarians; not even close. They’re a bunch of Ronald Reagans, who didn’t eliminate any programs, interventions, or cut back any spending. All he did was cut taxes which helped pay for the continued socialization of America.

The key thing for smart people to realize is that quasi-socialism can be good for them because it freezes all the stupid masses into economic stratas below them, if they are intelligent enough to apply themselves. Socialism limits human competition. It protect’s people’s market shares who are clever enough to secure them.

I observe our society and see all the losers, and all the trash in Europe with the UK riot,-Amy Winehouse, Mediteranian mentalities (Greek, Italy, Spain, and the Muslim garbage heap) and it’s pleasing to me that they either get what they vote for or what their religion allows them, a serfdom of minimum wages and welfare, a dependancy that makes them indolent, and of no significant competitive threat to the rest of us who compete in the productive economic markets of the world.

We may be against slavery, per se, but the liberals have given them to us on a platter, and completely voluntary to boot. In fact, the masses around the world are demanding their continued servitude in exchange for their liberty.

We are an obese society on food stamps. That’s my competition. I think I can live with that.

kyle8 August 18, 2011 at 7:21 am

Except you are as ignorant as they are.

Millions of people not living up to their human expectations are just a burden. Millions of people living up to their human expectations would not be competition to you, they would be a market. And they would be producing and inventing things that made the economy more dynamic and made the world better.

You are applauding a dead ass loss.

Muhammad Ali August 18, 2011 at 9:53 am

“Millions of people not living up to their human expectations are just a burden.”

You live up to no ones expectations. You are a troll and a loser, plain and simple.

Muhammad Ali August 18, 2011 at 9:51 am

“Muslim garbage heap”

Who you calling garbage, dumb ass? I would call you a dirty pig, but that would be an insult to pigs. You will get yours sooner or later, you racist scumbag.

muirgeo August 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm

This is the dumbest thing I have ever read. You make no sense. And use poor examples to support your ides,…ie… Amy Winehouse. She suffered from health issues. I know many muslims and they are not garbage heap….you are a misinformed This is not muirgeo.

muirgeo August 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm

not me

muirgeo August 18, 2011 at 11:22 pm

but using my avatar and web link…

tdp August 17, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Paul Ryan is “strongly considering” running in 2012. Popular, experienced (more than twice as many years in Congress as the current president- three times as many, actually), articulate, and the closest mainstream candidate there is to libertarian. He has his own healthcare plan, a complete entitlement reform plan, and he wants to lower tax rates and eliminate loopholes. His plans and policies may not be perfect, but they are complete and thoroughly researched, and he can hold his own in any debate. If he enters the race, he could quite easily win if the economy and deficit continue the way Obama is trying to make them continue.

katedorrough August 18, 2011 at 3:59 am

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kyle8 August 18, 2011 at 7:17 am

Not an ignoramus, just pandering to a certain ignorant part of the electorate.

Muhammad Ali August 18, 2011 at 9:55 am

You have a PhD in ignorance.

muirgeo August 18, 2011 at 9:02 am

Here’s the people in power and with money working the system…. using the corporate media.

muirgeo August 18, 2011 at 9:11 am

This is libertarianism cannibalising itself.

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