Christie

by Russ Roberts on October 4, 2011

in Politics

Evidently  he will announce later that he’s not running.

Smart man. I like to think he actually realizes he’s not ready for the  job. This makes him very unusual among elected politicians.

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{ 129 comments }

Mitch October 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm

The whole Christie run for President drama reminds me of the Monty Python skit from the Life of Brian.

I am not the Messiah!

Only the Messiah would say he is not the Messiah!

chad October 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm

thank god….we didn’t need another establishmentarian to add to the 8 or so already running.

who will be the next dream candidate that the establishment will foist upon us (and who ron paul will subsequently put to shame)?

EG October 4, 2011 at 12:50 pm

You know, I don’t ask much from “libertarians”. Just that they stop lying to us, and to themselves. Ron Paul has been in the ‘establishment” for 35 years! And yet, by “libertarian” logic, he is the “anti-establishment”.

This is why the only candidate Ron Paul ever puts to shame, is himself.

Mike October 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Just being in the government doesn’t make you “establishment. From wiki: “An anti-establishment view or belief is one which stands in opposition to the conventional social, political, and economic principles of a society.”

Can you find more than a handful of other politicians who are as “extreme” as Paul?

Anotherphil October 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Just being in the government doesn’t make you “establishment.”

No, but being there 35 years does. Not exactly the citizen legislator.

Can you find more than a handful of other politicians who are as “extreme” as Paul?

Cynthia McKinney, Jim McDermott, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer. So?

dsylexic October 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm

elaborate on the ‘establishmentarian’ views Paul holds.ok he is not an anarcho capitalist. get your head out of your own ass

Superheater October 4, 2011 at 2:26 pm

See response on pork below.

Ron may not like pigs, but he’s surely loves bacon.

RM October 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Ron Paul is “establishment”? Is that why the MSM continues to ignore him? Is that why he gets most of his national exposure from Jon Stewart, on a comedy show that has remarkably leftist leanings?

If you feel RP puts himself to shame, how are you feeling with what you just did to yourself? Seriously. That was about the oddest comment I’ve ever seen.

EG October 4, 2011 at 1:59 pm

The media ignores him because he is a cooky old man who rambles on incoherently and says such total nonsense that only an army of 20 something zombie potheads can find him “interesting”. Whihc is why he gets his exposure from jon Steward…the guy who attracts mainly 20 something pothead zombies.

Anotherphil October 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Plus Stewart gets to portray him as the hidden core of anybody who opposes unlimited federal power. See, see what happens when you apostasize against Marx and Keynes?

vikingvista October 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm

“The media ignores him because he is a cooky old man who rambles on incoherently and says such total nonsense that only an army of 20 something zombie potheads can find him “interesting”. ”

Out of all the ideas that Paul writes and speaks about, that is your best characterization of them? I don’t know who you do the greater injustice–Paul or yourself.

SweetLiberty October 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I take Ron Paul like I do any other politician – one issue at a time. No politician speaks for me on every issue – which is why I want as much freedom over my own choices as I can possibly get.

EG October 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm

“Out of all the ideas that Paul writes and speaks about, that is your best characterization of them?”

Ron Paul speaks about 3-4 things, generally. Every single one of which he either uses fictitious data to support, or half-truths. Gold, the Fed, wars, and drugs. Have I missed anything else that Paul talks about? So when he speaks about wars, he completely invents data. When he speaks about drugs, he only speaks in half truths (massaged data like…number of arrests, while ignoring to mention to us things like number of convictions!). When he speaks about the Fed, he uses both half truths and fictitious data.

Look…I don’t care if he is right or wrong. I might agree with him on 85% of his positions on any of these subjects. its the fact that he insists on approaching EVERY subject in a dogmatic quasi-religious zealotry that immediately truns me, and other people, off. He has no respect for his listeners. He approaches everyone as if they need to be…”educated”…by him (and a lot of “libertarians” do that too)

yet another Dave October 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm

EG,
I saw Ron Paul on Freedom Watch last night and he was nothing like your description. Even if he’s wrong on all counts, he’s nothing like your caricature. In fact, every time I’ve heard him speak he’s been less rambling, more coherent and less nonsensical than any of your posts on this thread. (And I’m not a 20-something pothead zombie RP follower.)

Feel free to disagree with him on anything you choose, but the irony of your incoherent rambling nonsense is overpowering your message.

chad October 4, 2011 at 1:47 pm

he has been the lone voice for liberty for 35 years. if you really want me to lay out the laundry list, i’d be happy to do so….

EG October 4, 2011 at 2:01 pm

He’s obviously not bee the “lone” voice in anything. You “libertarians” need to stop with the cult of personality you’ve build around this one guy who clearly isn’t getting you anywhere.

Get over yourself. OTHER people also support “liberty” (why is it that “libertarians” always talk in such simplistic 1-word concepts?). You just don’t hear what other people say.

Anotherphil October 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm

cult of personality you’ve build around this one guy who clearly isn’t getting you anywhere.

I think that ship sailed with the hagiographical treatment of Ayn Rand. Many good ideas, but largely a cult leader.

chad October 4, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I’m listening very closely, but I guess I haven’t heard what others have said. Please enlighten me on how any of the others running are for allowing people to live their own lives unhampered by a violently interventionist government (or whatever multiword combo you want to use to explain liberty).

I’m itching to find someone who is for all of the things that vikingvista lists below, which I might add are the only ideas that make any sense.

EG October 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm

“allowing people to live their own lives unhampered by a violently interventionist government”

Just because you throw the word “violently”, doesn’t mean you get to impress anyone. The idiots protesting in front of Wall Street love to use such phrases a lot too. I see some similarities between them and “libertarians”.

What Vikingvista said below are in no way shape or form concepts which define “libertarianism”, freedom, liberty, capitalism, free markets or anything of the sort. They are ideas which define Ron Paul and the army which follows him.

I am for capitalism and freedom and free markets and liberty etc etc…and I don’t necessary have to believe in ending the Fed, or Gold, or ending all wars, or bringing all troops to the US. None of them are related to capitalism.

vikingvista October 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm

“What Vikingvista said below are in no way shape or form concepts which define “libertarianism”, freedom, liberty, capitalism, free markets or anything of the sort.”

The issue, which you raised, was whether or not he was establishment. Which of Ron Paul’s ideas do you believe are establishment again?

vikingvista October 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm

“I am for capitalism and freedom and free markets and liberty etc etc”

I don’t doubt it. It would be nice if someone of your intelligence would choose to carefully argue about specific points of contention instead of going on smearing rampage.

Fearsome Tycoon October 4, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Sort of like how mises.org is largely a Rothbard personality cult. Every couple days, they post a hagiography.

EG October 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm

“The issue, which you raised, was whether or not he was establishment. Which of Ron Paul’s ideas do you believe are establishment again?”

He’s been in there for 35 years. By what do you measure “establishment”? Barnie Franks has some ideas that are cooky too Does that make him “anti-establishment”? Having stupid ideas…doesn’t make you special.

EG October 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm

“Sort of like how mises.org is largely a Rothbard personality cult. Every couple days, they post a hagiography”

Yep. Those people are quite amazing in their petty silliness.

EG October 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm

“I don’t doubt it. It would be nice if someone of your intelligence would choose to carefully argue about specific points of contention instead of going on smearing rampage.”

I have. His stance on the Fed is unsupported and unrealistic. His stance on military and defense is deceptive. His stance on Gold is downright ignorant. His stance on drugs is a half-truth. What else does he have?

vikingvista October 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm

So what is it about Paul’s ideas that you consider to establishment? His desire to abolish the Fed? His call to end foreign wars and recall overseas troops? His unwavering opposition to nearly every element of the welfare state? His desire to end several executive departments? The gold standard? Which of these establishment positions are you referring to?

“Lying” is such a strong accusation to be hurled from someone uttering such blatant falsehoods, don’t you think?

Anotherphil October 4, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Tech: Linux Fanboys.

Politics: Ron Paul Acolytes.

vikingvista October 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I am neither. But some hypocrisy is simply to obvious to ignore.

Superheater October 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Google this:

“ron paul pork earmarks”.

chad October 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Superheather’s fallen for the neocon trick of the evil earmarks.

It’s a fraud. It’s a way for the phony establishment to come out against big government and spending while not actually being against it, and it’s a way to give even more power to the already totalitarian office of the President. Earmarks are not spending; they allocate the money already in the coffers. If one of the phony baloney establishmentarians does not allocate it, the President spends it behind closed doors. Ron Paul, as usual, is the only one who understands the charade that is Washington. He requests earmarks for his constituents’ local projects, but votes against the actual spending itself.

Wake up, man. This is how they pull the wool over your eyes, by raising non-issues and beating them to death until everyone’s got the talking point down pat.

vikingvista October 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Superheater,

I don’t know if that is true or not. The list of things I disagree with Ron Paul about is long enough without adding anything more. But don’t you think it is rather hard to believe that someone could *sincerely* claim that the ideas that distinguish Ron Paul are establishmentarian?

EG October 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm

How a “libertarian” typically addresses anyone who isn’t within 99.9% agreement with his/her views:

“neocon trick”…”It’s a fraud.”…”phony establishment ” …”totalitarian office”…”phony baloney establishmentarians”… “is the only one who understands” … “Wake up, man.” … “This is how they pull the wool over your eyes” …etc.

Insert any filler words in between these lines. You’ve got a communist, religious fundamentalist, conspiracy theory nut, or “libertarian” argument ready made.

THIS…is why no one pays attention to you.

Seth October 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Did you read this part?

“I don’t think the federal government should be doing it. But, if they’re going to allot the money, I have a responsibility to represent my people.” -Ron Paul

This was actually one of the exchanges where I began to pay more attention to Paul because he didn’t beat around the bush and explained the seeming inconsistency well, though Cavuto didn’t seem to understand it at the time.

EG October 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm

He is a liar because he lies. I already pointed out one of his lies before; he continues to claim that there are 130 US military bases around the world. That, plainly, is a lie. He repeats it, even though its been pointed out to him a million times. Either he is an idiot..or he’s a liar. Nothing else I can say about that. If he thinks he needs to lie and insult our intelligence, to make his point, than he doesn’t deserve my respect.

Is he establishment? I don’t know. I don’t CARE. Somehow you “libertarians” have determined who is and isn’t “establishment” through some formula which I am not aware of (well, ok I know your formula: if they agree with us, they are revolutionary fighters for freedom. If they are against us on 1 tiny thing, they are statist establishment).

But someone with 35 years of government experience, ain’t anti-establishment. Period. Being anti-Fed doesn’t make one right, or anti-establishment. I don’t view his anti-Fed obsession, or his gold obsession, as a positive. I view it as the ramblings of an old fool who doesn’t understand anything he’s talking about (or allow others to make their points too)

He (along with the weirdos at Mises) have turned the “libertarian” movement into a personality cult associated with archaic economic nonsense (like gold) and pot. He (and the weirdos from Mises) have turned the “libertarian” movement into a caricature of a communist group; endlessly yelling and accusing everyone else of not understanding the words of the messiah, of not being pure, of counter-revolution.

Stop with the cult of personality. Please. You’re killing “us”.

chad October 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm

“I am for capitalism and freedom and free markets and liberty etc etc…and I don’t necessary have to believe in ending the Fed, or Gold, or ending all wars, or bringing all troops to the US. None of them are related to capitalism.”

What’s your definition of a free market, EG? Cutting the top marginal tax rate by five percent? Having the federal reserve create less money? Only invading those countries that have the most evil dictators? Yelling about labor unions and saying that they should scale down their demands? Enacting “smart” regulations? Following just those portions of the Constitution that aren’t archaic, in your opinion?

The problem with the so-called moderates is that they don’t mind the size and scope of the government, they just want its role to be a little bit different than their opponents.

Superheater October 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm

“He requests earmarks for his constituents’ local projects, but votes against the actual spending itself.”

I think I’ve heard this before.. oh yes, yep 2004. Its coming to me…reporting for duty..John Kerry. I voted for it, before I voted against it (or whatever the hell Lurch said, you get the drift)

So, now “libertarians” have adopted the term “neo con”, hmm..that’s kind of heavy borrowing from the left, both in pedigree and use.

Fred October 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I googled “130 military bases around the world” and the first link was a site called politifact and I clicked it.
Here’s a few quotes.

We tallied up all the countries with at least one member of the U.S. military, excluding those with personnel deemed to be “afloat.” We found U.S. military personnel on the ground in a whopping 148 countries — even more than Paul had said. (There are varying standards for what constitutes a “country,” so that may explain the divergence from Paul’s number.)

For this question [bases], we turned to an official Pentagon accounting of U.S. military bases around the nation and the world, the “Base Structure Report, Fiscal 2010 Baseline.”

According to this report, the U.S. has 662 overseas bases in 38 foreign countries, which is a smaller number than the 900 bases Paul cited. But here again, the list omits several nations integral to active operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, so it’s conceivable that the actual number of sites approaches 900.

chad October 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm

If you choose not to understand the way Washington’s budget process works, that’s on you.

vikingvista October 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm

EG: “Ron Paul has been in the ‘establishment” for 35 years!”
EG: “Is he establishment? I don’t know.”

Will the real EG please stand up? Or perhaps rapidly cycling contradictions are what characterizes the real EG. It certainly isn’t substantive arguments about ideas.

chad October 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm

You stay quiet about the bases, Fred! That’s a lie! Liar!

They hate us because we’re free, so we’re bringing freedom to them. It’s all very strategic, and you must defer to the wise commanders on the ground. Got it?

vikingvista October 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm

“Stop with the cult of personality.”

Whose personality?

“a caricature of a communist group; endlessly yelling and accusing everyone else of not understanding the words of the messiah”

Like accusing an entire heterogeneous group of people of “lying”? This is your iniquity, EG. You could attack specific ideas, but like a “caricature of a communist group” you instead choose to smear characters. Telling. So what brings you to a libertarian blog, anyway? You don’t have a dog to kick?

Sam Grove October 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Just to straighten things out, I don’t think you are lying, cjust a little confused. The claim is that the U.S. has over 700 military bases in 130 countries, not 130 bases in other countries.

EG October 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm

“The problem with the so-called moderates is that they don’t mind the size and scope of the government, they just want its role to be a little bit different than their opponents.”

Good way to put words in my mouth, build up a strawman argument, and then defeat that strawman argument. Well done indeed.

EG October 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm

“We tallied up all the countries with at least one member of the U.S. military, excluding those with personnel deemed to be “afloat.” We found U.S. military personnel on the ground in a whopping 148 countries ”

Fred. Counting where there is AT LEAST ONE MEMBER of the US military, is not the equivalent of a military “base”. Every country that has a US embassy in it, has at least 1 US soldier in it. We have a “base” in Russia, apparently, according to the Rev. Ron Paul. My own country has…8…US soldiers in it (not counting embassy guards). Yes 8. They are there to train my country’s personnel for peace-keeping missions. Does my country have a “US military base”? No.

This is why…he is lying.

As your own quote says, there are only 38 countries with a US base in them. Fine. Not all of those bases, in fact almost all of those bases, are logistics bases, training bases, or joint bases with host nation (which means that we most certainly don’t pay or maintain all of them). Conversely, several countries have “bases” in the US…if we use the definition of joint training bases. Heck, even Poland has a “base” in the US apparently (just a few weeks ago they were testing their new anti-ship missiles in California)

Which is why…he is lying. Not only is he lying, but he is acting like the know-it-all…know-nothing that he is. Before opening his mouth and starting to “teach” everyone what “the truth man!” is, maybe he should consider what exactly qualifies him to be determining what is, and isn’t, a military “necessity”.

EG October 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm

“Will the real EG please stand up? Or perhaps rapidly cycling contradictions are what characterizes the real EG. It certainly isn’t substantive arguments about ideas”

If you re-read those two statements of mine you quoted, you will see that there is actually no contradiction in there, at all.

EG October 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm

“Like accusing an entire heterogeneous group of people of “lying”? This is your iniquity, EG. You could attack specific ideas, but like a “caricature of a communist group” you instead choose to smear characters. Telling. So what brings you to a libertarian blog, anyway? You don’t have a dog to kick?”

You will note that I called Ron Paul a liar. No one else. You will also note that I talk of “some “libertarians”. Also, you will note that this isn’t a “libertarian” blog, and that not only people who describe themselves as “libertarians” can be for free-markets and capitalism.

In fact, I’d love to describe myself as a “libertarian”, if I didn’t think the word was silly, pointless and redundant, and if I didn’t want to be associated with the the baggage that comes along with it (baggage that exists because of people like Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, the zombies at Mises, Ayn Rand types etc). I think both Milton Friedman and Richard Epstein have expressed somewhat similar feelings as mine, in better ways than I could.

Chucklehead October 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm

“I am for capitalism and freedom and free markets and liberty etc etc…and I don’t necessary have to believe in ending the Fed, or Gold, or ending all wars, or bringing all troops to the US. None of them are related to capitalism.”
Let me try to string this together.
The Fed is a corrupt institution owned by large banks, and are accountable to no one. They have debased the currency by 98% since inception. This amounts to a hidden tax with diminishes the economic liberty of all. Gold is a alternative, which as a element can not be inflated as it is created by stars. Gold supply increases by about 3% per year due to mining. Gold has been valued for thousands of years and does not oxidize easily, is infinitely malleable and stable.It is valuable across all cultures and is so desirable that it is a favorite of thieves.
Wars are a tremendous waste of resources, and require taxation which again costs us economic liberty. We defend many nations which acts as a subsidy, transferring our wealth abroad. Foreign occupation creates resentment and enemies, creating even more need for defense. At some point this is counterproductive.Furthermore there is a opportunity cost which is unseen. I for one am tired of paying to police the world. I bet we could reduce our foreign footprint by half without endangering our security.
This and the reduction of regulations, elimination of ancillary programs would greatly reduce the burden of government, and hence the burden on business and individuals. The consequence is more economic liberty, and hence, capitalism.
It is more detailed and intertwined than I am capable of explaining in this forum.

Seth October 4, 2011 at 5:48 pm

“I already pointed out one of his lies before; he continues to claim that there are 130 US military bases around the world.”

The lack of substance on that point is astonishing.

vikingvista October 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm

EG: “Ron Paul has been in the ‘establishment” for 35 years!”
EG: “Is he establishment? I don’t know.”
EG: “If you re-read those two statements of mine you quoted, you will see that there is actually no contradiction in there, at all.”

Simultaneously knowing and not knowing a thing is indeed a contradiction.

EG: “You know, I don’t ask much from “libertarians”. Just that they stop lying to us, and to themselves.”
EG: “You will note that I called Ron Paul a liar. No one else.”

Yet another contradiction.

EG: “My own country has…8…US soldiers in it (not counting embassy guards). Yes 8. They are there to train my country’s personnel for peace-keeping missions. Does my country have a “US military base”?”

I don’t know. 8 or 800 US soldiers on leave in a Holiday Inn or invited to advise at a foreign government’s facility does not constitute a US military base. But 8 US soldiers on duty in a US-owned military facility in a foreign country absolutely is. I’m sorry if the world doesn’t define “military base” the way you would like it to. You actually might be raising a good point about the actual size of the military bases, but you completely undermine yourself with all of your contradictions and false maligning of others.

EG: “He’s been in there for 35 years. By what do you measure “establishment”? Barnie Franks has some ideas that are cooky too Does that make him “anti-establishment”? Having stupid ideas…doesn’t make you special.”

I measure it the way it matters to most people–within the domain of ideas. You are trying hard to represent yourself as someone for whom ideas do not matter. You are well aware that “Barnie Franks” is a long time supporter and successful author of much of the body of ideas that define the establishment, in contradistinction to Paul. But ideas don’t matter to you, so that is not a distinction you want to make. Hundreds of thousands of US military personel are stationed overseas, with political and economic consequences that Ron Paul argues about. But to you, all that matters is that Paul’s specific numbers are different than yours (making him a “liar” or “idiot” rather than a disputer of figures). That’s because ideas do not matter for you. “Unsupported”, “unrealistic”, “deceptive”, “ignorant”, “half-truth” are defamations, not arguments. Perhaps you’ve offered something substantial elsewhere, but I haven’t seen anything here.

It obviously makes you angry that someone disagrees with some of your precious notions. That’s fine. But your hollow malignant responses and contradictory flailing suggest that is all there is–emotion. I sincerely hope the venting makes you feel better.

EG October 4, 2011 at 10:39 pm

“Simultaneously knowing and not knowing a thing is indeed a contradiction.”

Again, there is a meaningful difference between “is IN” and “is”. My “puzzle” was how can he be IN the establishment for 35 years, and not be establishment? I didn’t think I was making such a complicated point.

“Yet another contradiction.”

Again, I didn’t say all “libertarians” lie. I said I ask form them not to lie, specifically those who do (Ron Paul and his defenders).

“I don’t know. 8 or 800 US soldiers on leave in a Holiday Inn or invited to advise at a foreign government’s facility does not constitute a US military base. But 8 US soldiers on duty in a US-owned military facility in a foreign country absolutely is”

If you’re talking about “US OWNED military facility”, you’re going to get yourself into trouble in a heartbeat ;) Take my word for it, forget this issue before its too late (PS: What I’m trying to tell you, is that the majority of “US bases” overseas are joint bases with other countries, owned by those countries, or leased from those countries. You see?)

“You actually might be raising a good point about the actual size of the military bases, but you completely undermine yourself with all of your contradictions and false maligning of others.”

Where am I contradicting myself? Ron Paul makes no distinction between a joint training base where no US soldier sets foot on for 3 years at a time, and is owned by host nation…or 8 soldiers in a host country base training host country’s soldiers…or Ramstein air base. He has no concept of scale. And he does this on purpose, because he is deliberately trying to deceive his listeners to make a point. Furthermore, he makes no distinction between what is a training base, what is a logistics base, and what is an actual combat forward base. He does this on purpose too, to deceive. He will go on about “why are we still defending Germany?” Thats not a question anyone can answer…because we are not defending Germany. We have logistics bases in Germany, the vast majority of which have been closed and sold off since the end of the cold war (and the majority of the rest are already targeted fro being closed). He is deliberately deceiving in this aspect too. Not to mention, the outright lie about the bases in 130 countries.

And, to top it all, why is HE in a position to tell the military what sort of bases it needs, or where it needs them. Is he a military expert? Or is he just a big mouth know-it-all?

“I measure it the way it matters to most people–within the domain of ideas. You are trying hard to represent yourself as someone for whom ideas do not matter. ”

Chris Christie has been in gov. for 2 years. Ron Paul has been in for 35 years. Somehow the first thing that came to mind to some “libertarians” is “well good thing cause he’s part of the establishment”. But a guy with 35 years, isn’t part of the establishment?

Of course ideas don’t matter. Everyone has lots of overlapping ideas. Barnie Frank and Ron Paul agree on lots of things, at the end of the day. As far as I’m concerned, Paul’s ideas are nutty, and thats about it. He is as much establishment as Barnie Frank.

“Hundreds of thousands of US military personel are stationed overseas, with political and economic consequences that Ron Paul argues about”

He lies. The moment you lie to me, I don’t care what else you have to say. If Ron Pauls’ argument was so convincing, he wouldn’t need to fabricate lies to make it.

“But to you, all that matters is that Paul’s specific numbers are different than yours (making him a “liar” or “idiot” rather than a disputer of figures). ”

2+2 = 4 is not a disputable “figure” It is the only figure you can come up with. If Ron Paul wants to come up there and continuously for 35 years tell me that its equal to 5…than he is a clown. Nothing else there for me to say.

““Unsupported”, “unrealistic”, “deceptive”, “ignorant”, “half-truth” are defamations, not arguments. Perhaps you’ve offered something substantial elsewhere, but I haven’t seen anything here.”

So you want me to give arguments why “Gold” is not a good idea? I could…but why waste my breath.

“It obviously makes you angry that someone disagrees with some of your precious notions. That’s fine.”

Absolutely it doesn’t. I wonder how many Ron Paul zombies tolerate dissenting views (for that experiment, go talk to the people at Mises dot org). What gets me angry is that Ron Paul types have turned the “libertarian” movement into something that doesn’t tolerate dissent, doesn’t tolerate disagreement. If you disagree on 1 tiny thing, you are immediately branded ” a statist” and conversation ends.

EG October 4, 2011 at 10:58 pm

“They have debased the currency by 98% since inception.”

Chucklehead, whoever said that the value of a unit of currency has to remain constant? Where was this written?

“Gold is a alternative, which as a element can not be inflated as it is created by stars”

What about titanium? What about cooper? What about Plutonium? Plutonium is a lot better, I think. Why does currency have to be tied to the quantity of a physical object? Where was that written?

“Gold has been valued for thousands of years and does not oxidize easily, is infinitely malleable and stable.It is valuable across all cultures and is so desirable that it is a favorite of thieves.”

And? Thieves also steal cars. Cars are a lot better than gold.

“Wars are a tremendous waste of resources, and require taxation which again costs us economic liberty. ”

Cops are a tremendous waste of resources too, and require taxation which costs us economic liberty. But when you’re mugged on the street, you call the cops. You statist pig!!

“We defend many nations”

Yeah. Back in WW2 we defended England and liberated Europe from Nazisim. Then we defeated communism. Oh the horrors of defending freedom around the world.

“Foreign occupation creates resentment and enemies, creating even more need for defense”

Yep. They attack us because we attacked them after they attacked us. Yep. Its our fault for existing. But then again, why do we care that totalitarian pi*s-ants hate us? Shouldn’t they?

“I for one am tired of paying to police the world. I bet we could reduce our foreign footprint by half without endangering our security.”

Make the case. Convince enough people. Get to work. I won’t stop you…I just don’t want Ron Paul to lie to me to do it.

“This and the reduction of regulations, elimination of ancillary programs would greatly reduce the burden of government, and hence the burden on business and individuals. The consequence is more economic liberty, and hence, capitalism.”

I agree.

Dan H October 4, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Whoa there EG….

I must take issue with the “we defeated communism” line.

Communism essentially defeated itself. As early as the late 60′s, Soviet agents were defecting to the US and talking about how Soviet might was “a myth” and their perceived economic strength was just “painted rust”. We essentially failed at using military might to stop the spread of socialism/communism, even in our own hemisphere (or haven’t you heard of Cuba and Venezuela)? We sat idly by while Stalin gobbled up Eastern Europe after WWII, just as Patton had predicted. This may have been worse in the long run, as Stalin killed more people than Hitler.

Chucklehead October 5, 2011 at 1:24 am

“Chucklehead, whoever said that the value of a unit of currency has to remain constant? Where was this written?”
Sound money is the key to capitalism. Inflated currency distorts markets and transfer wealth. Inflation incentivizes borrowing and promotes debt over savings. We are in a worldwide debt crisis as a result. Both TARP and Quantitative Easing have the net effect of transferring wealth from the population to Wall Street. QE has the same effect as counterfeiting. TARP left a moral hazard of too big to fail. Goldman Sachs and Citi should have failed and depositors bailed out instead, perhaps with a haircut for the largest depositors, more like resolution Trust.
I can understand your frustration, as I too were more like you several years ago, until I spent the time researching for the root cause of our ills. Then one week I was sailing with old friend who is a international economist from SAIS and laid it all out for me, which led my study in a more Austrian perspective and away from econonometrics and the Chicago School. You are here seeking answers and that is a good sign.

Richard Stands October 5, 2011 at 1:25 am

Whether Paul’s summary of “bases” is accurate by one person’s definition or another’s, I find it interesting that military spending was hovering just below 400 billion from the end of the Cold War (where thousands of nuclear missiles were aimed at the U.S.) for the decade following.

Then starting in 2001 (maybe 9/11/2001?) military spending doubled over the next decade.

See here for a chart at a very nice site which lets you ply the data interactively.

While there is certainly a level of reorganization, retooling, and perhaps increased expenditure which rationally follows such an attack – and I’d be one of those libertarians who cede defense as a one of the core constitutional purviews of the federal government – does anything justify doubling those expenditures in 10 years?

vikingvista October 5, 2011 at 2:40 pm

EG: “Again, there is a meaningful difference between “is IN” and “is”. My “puzzle” was how can he be IN the establishment for 35 years, and not be establishment? I didn’t think I was making such a complicated point.”

If you (correctly) believe that there is no difference between “is in the establishment” and “is establishment”, then you yourself must believe it is a contradiction. Denying that belief is yet ANOTHER contradiction.

EG: “Again, I didn’t say all “libertarians” lie. I said I ask form them not to lie, specifically those who do (Ron Paul and his defenders).”

You ask for nonliars to stop lying? When you say that you want X to stop doing Y, then you are accusing X of Y.

EG: “If you’re talking about “US OWNED military facility”, you’re going to get yourself into trouble in a heartbeat

You’ve got to be kidding me. What difference does that make? Whether they conquered the plot of land, lease it, buy it, or have no agreement about it at all, the US military owns its bases. They are US military facilities, supplies, soldiers, munitions, equipment, vehicles, etc. You are just being rediculous, looking for a technicality, but failing to do so. The DoD calling something a base ought to be sufficient for you.

And at any rate, how does this in any way dimish Ron Paul’s arguments about the political and economic consequences of US forces stationed overseas?

EG: “Where am I contradicting myself?”

I specifically pointed them out directly. And you then employed further contradictions attempting to deny them.

EG: “Ron Paul makes no distinction between a joint training base where no US soldier sets foot on for 3 years at a time, and is owned by host nation…or 8 soldiers in a host country base training host country’s soldiers…or Ramstein air base. He has no concept of scale.”

Good. Good point about scale. That makes Ron Paul neither a liar nor an idiot. Nor wrong. It means you could, if you so chose, counter with a reasonable complaint about Paul’s claim.

EG: “Not to mention, the outright lie about the bases in 130 countries.”

There you go again.

EG: “And, to top it all, why is HE in a position to tell the military what sort of bases it needs, or where it needs them. Is he a military expert? Or is he just a big mouth know-it-all?”

As opposed to…yourself? Have you convinced yourself to stop chiming in on these issues? Or has something happened to Ron Paul to strip him of his right to voice an opinion?

EG: “Chris Christie has been in gov. for 2 years. Ron Paul has been in for 35 years. Somehow the first thing that came to mind to some “libertarians” is “well good thing cause he’s part of the establishment”. But a guy with 35 years, isn’t part of the establishment?”

I don’t know what others meant about Christie being establishment. I’d say his distinctive qualities as an NJ governor are antiestablishment. So would, I imagine, the teachers unions and state employees. But Ron Paul may very well be the quintessential antiestablishment Congressman, given the history of Congressmen. I’m not sure what you think makes him establishment. He obeys government laws? He defends the Constitution? He follows Congressional procedures? He engages in the state democratic process? Be reasonable. You have to look at those things that distinguish Ron Paul from others. And of course nothing could be less important than the duration of his term in Congress.

EG: “Of course ideas don’t matter.”

And yet they matter enough for you to use them. Another contradiction. When I said you attempt to present yourself as someone who doesn’t care about ideas, I thought the contradiction was obvious–nobody who argues anything truly believes ideas don’t matter.

EG: “Everyone has lots of overlapping ideas. Barnie Frank and Ron Paul agree on lots of things, at the end of the day. As far as I’m concerned, Paul’s ideas are nutty, and thats about it. He is as much establishment as Barnie Frank.”

I still haven’t heard what ideas of Paul’s you consider to be establishment. You think “nutty” is establishment?

EG: “He lies. The moment you lie to me, I don’t care what else you have to say. If Ron Pauls’ argument was so convincing, he wouldn’t need to fabricate lies to make it.”

I have no idea what Paul told you. But you have yet to actually point out a lie. Lots of disagreement labelled as lies, but no lies demonstrated yet. You should hope nobody judges you by your own standard.

EG: “2+2 = 4 is not a disputable “figure” It is the only figure you can come up with. If Ron Paul wants to come up there and continuously for 35 years tell me that its equal to 5…than he is a clown.”

Well, if that is what Paul told you, then you have a point. Do you have a quote?

EG: “So you want me to give arguments why “Gold” is not a good idea? I could…but why waste my breath.”

I’d be happy with any reasoned argument against one of Paul’s positions, but have yet to get one from you. Even I have arguments against a state monopoly gold standard, but none of them involve using the words “liar” or “idiot”.

EG: ““It obviously makes you angry that someone disagrees with some of your precious notions. That’s fine.”
Absolutely it doesn’t.”

Screaming “liar” and “idiot” in response to Paul’s challenging your ideas is not the response of someone who merely ‘begs to differ’.

EG: “I wonder how many Ron Paul zombies tolerate dissenting views (for that experiment, go talk to the people at Mises dot org).”

I haven’t found many reasonable people in the comments sections of Mises.org, which is why I am here. But it doesn’t cause me to aspire to their behavior (except, of course, in response to that behavior–a rhetorical Viking does have a certain amount of rhetorical blood lust).

EG: “ What gets me angry is that Ron Paul types have turned the “libertarian” movement into something that doesn’t tolerate dissent, doesn’t tolerate disagreement. If you disagree on 1 tiny thing, you are immediately branded ” a statist” and conversation ends.”

Technically, even Ron Paul is a statist, but there is a certain proportionality lost when applying the term to all of its technical adherents.

You will nowhere find people more interested in engaging in ideas than in the libertarian community. If you don’t like some of them, you only have to ignore them.

vikingvista October 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm

EG,

BTW, don’t let my unqualified disagreement with some of your tactics make you think I don’t appreciate your presence on this blog.

James N October 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm

“I have. His stance on the Fed is unsupported and unrealistic. His stance on military and defense is deceptive. His stance on Gold is downright ignorant. His stance on drugs is a half-truth. What else does he have?”

That may very well represent the weakest, most unintelligent response I’ve witnessed to a direct challenge. Vague and unsubstantiated don’t do your response justice.

EG October 4, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Quick and dirty does the job for the purposes of that particular response. I don’t have to get into particulars of why I think these stances are ridiculous. Sufficient to say, I think they are. I ain’t gonna convince you or anyone else otherwise. Nor is it my intent.

nnn October 4, 2011 at 7:05 pm

I have to admit, that I have to question that he is “establishment” when the NYT and other sources constantly bloviate about how Ron Paul’s vision of america is a nightmare for all decent-thinking folk. If he’s establishment why does the establishment go into apoplexy over his positions?

Anotherphil October 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

he’s establishment why does the establishment go into apoplexy over his positions?

Its the theater of politics.

Methinks1776 October 4, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Ron Paul has been in the ‘establishment” for 35 years!

Oh, who cares? If Ron Paul is what’s “establishment”, then we need more of that kind of “establishment” because the other politicians are an entirely different and more repulsive “establishment”.

All politicians are repulsive (shocker!), but some are much more repulsive than others.

Dan H October 4, 2011 at 9:05 pm

As Thomas Paine said “Government is at best a necessary evil, and at worst an intolerable one.”

I’ll take the necessary evil of Ron Paul over the intolerable evils of Obama or Mittchelle Pawltorum.

EG October 4, 2011 at 10:12 pm

You can take whatever you want. The question is, what will the rest of Americans take? Clearly, Ron Paul is more of a distasteful pill than Obama or Mittchelle Pawltorum.

I don’t think a lot of people want to vote for a 79 year old who keeps talking about pot and cocaine and gold all day long.

If you “libertarians” want to win…stop picking such weirdos.

Methinks1776 October 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm

So, I take it you’re off the establishment non-issue and on to the electability non-issue? It’s just tough to keep up with your disorganized thoughts.

See, he’s not all that electable because he’s not as establishment as the establishment. And you don’t have to prefer the most electable candidate to have a legitimate preference. See how that works?

EG October 4, 2011 at 10:43 pm

See Methinks, I wasn’t the one who brought up the ‘establishment” issue. I merely commented how is it possible that someone who serves in the “establishment” for 35 years, all of a sudden is “non establishment”. But hey, whatever.

You can have all the legitimate preferences you want. But in the real world, none of it matters unless enough people thing it is a legitimate preference as well.

When one takes a dogmatic black or white stance with no concept of directionality or movement, than Ron Paul is awesome (even if, his ides on the Fed and Gold are downright silly). I’m interested in getting things moving in the right direction, in the real world. But whatever works for you. s long as you’re happy…its quite irrelevant to me.

Dan H October 4, 2011 at 11:16 pm

EG,

Paul would have a legitimate shot if people like didn’t dog him for no apparent reason. You’re really reaching for reasons not to like him.

When people say the issue is electability, that’s a sham because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’ve heard literally dozens of people I know say “I agree with most of what Ron Paul says, but he’s just not electable”. Well why the hell not? If everyone is saying that their views align with him more than the other candidates, then surely he must be electable. But you see, saying he’s “not electable” is the fashionable establishmentarian response at the cocktail party.

Methinks1776 October 4, 2011 at 11:35 pm

See Methinks, I wasn’t the one who brought up the ‘establishment” issue. I merely commented how is it possible that someone who serves in the “establishment” for 35 years, all of a sudden is “non establishment”. But hey, whatever.

‘Twas your comment I was commenting on. It’s non-issue because you don’t seem to understand what is meant by “establishment”. I’m starting to think it’s an issue of language comprehension.

For instance, Don Boudreaux and Russ Roberts are members of the Academy, yet they aren’t like most academics. They aren’t “establishment” even though they have operated in the establishment for decades. Ron Paul has been a part of the establishment for a long time, but he is unlike the others in the establishment.

I’m interested in getting things moving in the right direction, in the real world.

You’re interested in platitudes?

Stone Glasgow October 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm

He’s a politician. It’s like being a hooker. You can’t be one unless you can pretend to like people while you’re fucking them.

vikingvista October 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Words of wisdom.

Chucklehead October 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm

What is the utility of all the repeated rumors that he was going to run? To sell news? I don’t get why this issue hasn’t died with the first announcement, and whose interest it serves?

chad October 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm

It serves his interest or else he would’ve squashed the second wave of rumors immediately.

Now when he runs for reelection in NJ, he can boast about his national status and can have a larger fundraising base.

And in 2016, if Obama wins in ’12, Christie can be the guy who everyone’s been salivating for since 2011.

Speedmaster October 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Yesterday, I saw someone claim that those who believe Christie is to fat to be president are … “girthers.” ;-)

vidyohs October 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Next up a report on WHERE DID HE GET HIS FAT AND WHEN DID HE GET IT!!!!!

Girthers…..neat.

Fearsome Tycoon October 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm

People who think being fat would be a problem obviously don’t know any Americans.

Richard Stands October 5, 2011 at 1:36 am

But is he “William Howard Taft Fat”?

Chris O'Leary October 4, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Quite a paradox.

If he’s smart enough to realize that he shouldn’t run, he’s probably qualified to be president and should be running.

Seth October 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm

It’d be nice if we could nominate folks. That way we seek them, rather than they seeking us.

SweetLiberty October 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Reminds me of the old bit attributed to Groucho Marx, “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”

RM October 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Christie will be a great president, but not today. Well, let’s rephrase that – Christie has the makings to be a great president, and if he continues to clean up NJ (my home state) then I have very high hopes for him. He’s no Libertarian, but he’s honest, candid, and a man of activity (well, at least political activity. He could use a few hours a day on the treadmill).

Fact is, most people in NJ voted for him not because they liked him, but because he was not Corzine. But generally speaking people have come to like him.

He’s better off not running, and to be honest, I don’t know why he has to keep saying he’s not running. Once was enough. Mitch Daniels said it once, and then they left him alone. Christie says it, and every pundit replies “he says no, but he left a door open.” Really? In what world does “I’m not going to run for president.” become “I’m not running now, but I’m leaving my options open in case I change my mind.”?

kyle8 October 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm

The main thing he has to recommend him in my opinion is his willingness to actually combat the unions and other entrenched government interests.

That is rare and makes him someone with real guts.

Methinks1776 October 4, 2011 at 8:45 pm

I have a friend who lives in NJ and he likes him also (as politicians go). But, he’s pissed off a lot of unions – teachers and police among them. He’s just waiting for Christie to be assassinated. Probably by a teacher.

The Other Eric October 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Can someone check? Is Generalissimo Francisco Franco still dead?

(A joke too obscure for those under 40.)

Richard Stands October 5, 2011 at 1:37 am

Chevy would get it.

chad October 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I heard Mitch Daniels is now reconsidering…

vikingvista October 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm

“I like to think he actually realizes he’s not ready for the job.”

Compared to what? To those who have preceded him? It’s a job with expectations no human will ever be ready for, and one routinely filled by buffoons and charlatans, and sometimes much worse. Perhaps by saying he’s not ready for it, you are just handing him a friendly compliment. He’s not ready to play the destructively clumsy fool.

Rob October 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Na…he’s just wise enough to see what happened to both Huntsman and Perry. He knows the wolves will never be satisfied.

Dan S October 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm

No one is ready for the job, given its description and expectations.

No one could be.

Ike October 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm

There’s a simpler explanation:

Getting into a race late means you’re handicapped, even if all the other candidates seem flawed.

A lot of early donor money has already dropped, and Christie would have to run a damned-near perfect campaign to overcome that disadvantage.

Running from an underfunded position opens the possibility that he would be seen as “damaged goods” for future elections.

This was a political calculation based on the possibility of a 2016 campaign. Watch for him to remake his image a bit between now and then — more strategic and calculated outrage and bombast — more homey straight talk — and the loss of about 30-40 pounds. (Not enough to lose the John Goodman jolly-guy vibe, but enough to fend off the “Is he going to have a coronary and stick us with the veep?” worries.)

Bank it.

MWG October 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm

^This.

I don’t know why the good professor sees Christie for anything other than what he really is; a politician.

SweetLiberty October 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm

2016? This prediction either condemns us to 4 more years of Obama or assumes the Republican President will do such a bad job as to be vulnerable to his own party. Here’s hoping you’re wrong!

ArrowSmith October 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm

I can’t trust a man who is obese to be President.

vidyohs October 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Anyone who actually wants the job is morally unqualified.

Anotherphil October 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Since nobody is conscripted, that means nobody is qualified.

vidyohs October 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Welcome aboard.

Anotherphil October 4, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I’m not “aboard”. Somebody has to be picked. “None of the above” has permanently declared himself ineligible.

There are jobs in the world where the occupant defines the responsibilities because the requirements are indefinite, onerous and unforgiving. The best qualification is character, which is exceedingly rare and frequently counterfeited and heavily discounted. Since Clinton, it’s openly scorned as a disability.

Here’s a better question: Who is qualified to determine who is qualified to be President?

vidyohs October 5, 2011 at 6:14 am

There is no disconnect between recognizing that there is no “presidential training” that qualifies a man for the office and also recognizing that someone has to be nominated and selected.

And I agree with you 100% that good character is the most important trait to look for.

SweetLiberty October 4, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I can’t trust a man who is breathing to be President. They can’t help but screw it up.

Now may be the time to consider granting FDR a fourth term. (That should make Muirgeo happy.)

Greg Webb October 4, 2011 at 11:38 pm

SweetLiberty, in the Democrat Party, the dead are permitted only to vote, but not to run for office.

Methinks1776 October 4, 2011 at 11:42 pm

The Democrats in the Northeast have skipped the dead or alive thing altogether. In CT, when the Democrat was losing, they showed up in Bridgeport with trash bags of “lost” votes. Apparently, all the lost votes in the blue blue blue state were…well…blue and an unpopular ex-Goldman Congressman was re-elected. I wonder how many trash bags it’ll take next year.

Greg Webb October 4, 2011 at 11:55 pm

That is sad. Not only do Democrats lie and steal, but they are now engaged in new methods of voter fraud by creating votes for people that do not exist. But, such nonsense will continue to grow as government becomes more powerful and more able to dispense favors to cronies and punish enemies.

Anotherphil October 4, 2011 at 3:48 pm

But don’t you think it is rather hard to believe that someone could *sincerely* claim that the ideas that distinguish Ron Paul are establishmentarian?

I’ll jump in line and take a stab at this.

I’ve gotten to the point in life where I judge people by actions and results, not by speeches or positions.

In the 30 plus years Paul has been in office, the federal government has grown in size, scope and intrusiveness. Worse, while routinely doing things it should, it doesn’t do things it should.

Advocating, getting “face time” without significant (any) accomplishment is the political equalivalent of autoerotic behavior.

I’m also a believer that politics is the “art of the possible”. Surely something should have been accomplished in his 35 years. other than ensuring a good slice of pork before voting against the slaughter. Where’s the restraining equivalent of Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank? Simple, there’s not, because Paul wants to tilt windmills. Its so much easier to get on the nightly news for taking an outside-the-box position rather than doing the grunt work of coalition building.

A President Paul would be like Obama in one respect, imperiously demanding legislators enact his legislation. Why? Because having no base of support among former peers, he’ll have nothing else. Worse, his positions are destinations without directions. End the Fed? I’m listening. Now tell me how you’ll do it. Audit the fed? Ok, what kind of audit do you propose and what are the objectives? (Since I’m a CPA, I understand that term better than Dr. Paul). Start withdrawing U.S. personnel? I’m listening, but tell me about the unintented consequences (you know how having the Afghan mujahadeen fight the Soviets, eventually gave rise to Al Quaeda?).

vikingvista October 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I read your entire post. As reasonable as it was, nowhere did I see which of Paul’s positions you consider to be establishmentarian. I guess my question will remain unanswered.

Actions are how you should judge, I agree. Paul’s votes have been mostly vastly outnumbered. That is not because his positions are establishment. His legislative successes are almost nonexistent because of that, although he does actively seek alliances where he can find them, so it is not for a lack of trying.

But even Paul recognizes that isn’t where his greatest successes lie. He has a large and young following. He is changing minds and energizing people in a way that may affect political discourse, and maybe even outcomes, long after Paul is dead. His accomplishment is in the attention he is getting for his ideas. You and I will never be so influential.

You have many questions for Paul, about specific implementations. Sounds like you haven’t read any of his writings. I recommend you start there. That is another way in which he distinguishes himself from other politicians, who usually offer NOTHING but vague sound bites. Don’t expect to find details in the 30 or so seconds he gets every few weeks in the Republican debates. I assume you hold all politicians to this same standard? Odd then, that you use it to distinguish Paul.

Your statements about an imperious President Paul make no sense to me.

Anotherphil October 4, 2011 at 6:51 pm

I’m afraid that this has gone off track, due to a basic, but sublimated definitional issue:

Consider the original comment:

“thank god….we didn’t need another establishmentarian”.

To some obviously, the definition of “establishment” as applied to a politician is based upon their public positions and pronouncements. In that regard, Paul is not “establishment”.

However, there’s another view of politics that underlies the opposing view. We all know that political positions are often the results of calculation, not reasoned disposition. Some politicians view positions as momentary tools, to be discarded or revised whenever conditions warrant. Others take positions that they have only tepid interest in pursuing, either from a lack of passion or support, but which obtains the support of a small but deeply interested constituency. I don’t think Paul falls in either category, at least for some of his positions such as ending the fed.

There’s another category, advocates for relatively esoteric positions who believe (most) of what they say and relatively or absolutely, deeply. The They begin to see their rarity as indispensability and stridency for rectitude. But, that’s the problem, the whole point of a movement is expansion, either by conversion or coalition. So here we have a guy who’s made a career of out taking somewhat unusual positions-and that’s the point-he’s a politician. After thirty some years, you are a part of what you do.

I think most of us whose political sentiments encompass some, but not all “orthodox libertarianism”, have run across Paul supporters that deify the guy, when he exhibits many of the same characteristics of conventional politicians. The thing he’s hasn’t done, is cross the goal line. For that matter, I don’t even see many first downs. I’m not sure what I fear most. “Effective” politicians that institutionalize their agenda or ineffective don’t and drain energy.

vikingvista October 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I can’t dispute hardly anything in that very thoughtful reply.

But, I think your “goal line” is mypoic and unreasonably optimistic. I don’t think anyone’s goal should be legislative successes or democratic victories. Your goals should be the personal pursuit of understanding, and the persuasion of the man next to you. If we all successfully do that, all else will fall into place in the long run, in spite of the countervailing incentives inherent in the political system. Actually, there is no other way to effect change for any useful duration of time.

And Ron Paul has had more success at that than probably any libertarian alive today.

SweetLiberty October 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm

A lone voice voting against bad ideas isn’t going to accomplish much, other than at the margin occasionally tipping close legislation one way or another. Paul isn’t about creating far reaching bills like SOX or Dodd-Frank – he’s about repealing them. As a CPA, I’m sure you enjoy SOX because it means job security – but there has been a great deal of ink spilled describing the costly negatives involved with such “art of the possible” legislation, and whether or not you agree or disagree that the cost is worth it, someone like Ron Paul is representative of many libertarians who resent the burdensome overhead and Federal overreach of such legislation.

When you say, “End the Fed? I’m listening.” Does that mean you’ve read his book entitled End the Fed? If so, what do you disagree with? If not, then you are not really listening are you.

I don’t personally hold Ron Paul up on any pedestal, but there are many times when he – and voices like his – do represent my position on various issues. More so than any Democrat or any other Republican I can name. So I too will be tilting at windmills until those government subsidized windmills, solar arrays, and corn fields come tumbling down. Paul has just been tilting at them longer and harder than I have – though with about equal effect.

Anotherphil October 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm

“As a CPA, I’m sure you enjoy SOX because it means job security ”

It means nothing of the kind for me, nor for that matter MOST CPAs. Even the Big 4 gets little value from it now.

If you knew what you were talking about, you would realize the principal beneficiaries are lawyers. In 2002, a speaker on C-SPAN joked about it being “the securities attorneys full employment act”.

SweetLiberty October 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm

This from a 2005 article…

If you’re in the market for a good accountant, then don’t expect any bargains. Demand for experienced — and even rookie accountants — remains high in year two of the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform act, and so does the pay, according to industry experts.

“Hiring for accountants is definitely on the rise and has been for a period of time. All indicators suggest it will remain strong through the balance of the year,” said Brett Good, district president at Robert Half International Inc., the global staffing company whose salary data is used as a benchmark by the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics.

Good said the firm started seeing an uptick in accounting and finance salaries in early summer of 2004, when companies quickly realized they needed people with broad-based skills to handle a SOX audit and other regulatory requirements. By 2005, salaries for internal auditors at large companies jumped roughly 13% over 2004, and at medium and small companies increases were even higher for some positions.

SOX (especially in its original form) was good for the accounting business.

Anotherphil October 4, 2011 at 7:15 pm

For a certain tier of accountants that was true TEMPORARILY. The Big 4 did, for a couple of years go nuts hiring, mostly because of the lack of guidance in implementing “404″ rules-so they documented EVERYTHING.

After “AS2″ was replaced, that frenzy was over. In any case, most accountants don’t ply their trade in the Big 4 (and those of us that did, left ASAP) . Most of us despise SOX because it was the ivory-tower machinations of academics that cared not a whiff about the practicality of their rules. There’s two types of organizations. Those that are too small to implement sox efficiently and those that are two big to do it effectively. Worse, it caused “standards competition”.

You think there’s any benefit for accountants from a law that suppresses capital formation? Perhaps you learned nothing from the industrial unions whose rigid craft lines and work rules caused the rapid degradation of their industries. Accountants are, as rule, a little smarter than that.

Do you think I said anything approving of SOX? What planet are you on?

As am aside, anything from 2005 in finance might has well be from 1905, given the nature of the industry. Its obsolete and irrelevant.

We can continue this, but I grow tired of people who google without the slightest indication of understanding.

SweetLiberty October 4, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Do you think I said anything approving of SOX?

Yes. This…

Where’s the restraining equivalent of Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank?

On the one hand, you don’t approve of SOX, but on the other you criticize Ron Paul for not being a politician who would promote SOX and do “the grunt work of coalition building”.

As am aside, anything from 2005 in finance might has well be from 1905, given the nature of the industry. Its obsolete and irrelevant.

Yet, you mention…

In 2002, a speaker on C-SPAN joked about it being “the securities attorneys full employment act”.

I guess 2002 is relevant and current, but 2005 is 1905.

We can continue this, but I grow tired of people who google without the slightest indication of understanding.

And I tire of those who cannot understand with or without Google.

SweetLiberty October 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Funny how this post about Christie has turned largely into Ron Paul bashing/support. As far as Christie goes, it seems I’ve heard him deny he’s running time and time again – but I guess this time, it’s official. :)

Becky Hargrove October 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I wish that Christie had run but I too understand why he didn’t. As for Ron Paul, he has more integrity than some realize. For one thing, he does not bludgeon people with his ideas. When I read End the Fed, I was surprised to find that he held William Greider in high regard, as I also do. My parents have spent most of their adult lives in the Texas county Ron Paul has represented. Anyone who thinks he is establishment is mistaken, for locals knew he would not bring the pork to Brazoria county, but voted for him anyway.

John Dewey October 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Becky,

I agree completely about Ron Paul’s integrity. I met the man in 1980 when he was running against Mike Andrews for that Congressional seat. I’ve casually followed him over the years. Ron Paul once seemed to me somewhat naive in his commitment to principle. Amazingly, his constituents have consistently rewarded him for that commitment.

FYI, Ron Paul’s discussion with us at Coastal Corporation in 1980 caused me to completely reverse my view on abortion. I have been pro-life ever since.

Dan H October 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Libertarian in-fighting is preciesly what hinders advancing the idealogy. None of us will ever agree 100% on anything, It’s not in our nature. We’re individualists, not collectivists. We think for ourselves.

But some of us often overstep the line of being free-thinking individualists to being outright bitter contrarians, as if we wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves if we didn’t have something to complain about.

I have my qualms with some of what Congressman Ron Paul has done in the past. I don’t agree 100% with his views…. but BY GOD, have you considered the alternatives?

SweetLiberty October 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Some time ago someone wrote something to the effect (I know, specific, huh) that Republicans can, at best, only be the stewards of government. In other words, a Republican who merely toes the line and refuses to sign off on any large new spending programs does nothing to reverse the “progress” of government, a progress which will continue forward again once Democrats regain power. Only someone with the balls to eliminate and reverse many of the overreaches can truly make a difference. Ron Paul is one such individual.

muirgeo October 4, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Who cares? Christie has no solutions.

Methinks1776 October 4, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Who cares. Lord Obama says you rip out kids’ tonsils and amputate limbs just to line your pockets. We should round up all the worthless scum like you who profit off the gullibility and unfortunate illnesses of innocent people and send you to the Gulag, where you can be of some use to society.

Anotherphil October 4, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Yet, you mention…

In 2002, a speaker on C-SPAN joked about it being “the securities attorneys full employment act”.

I guess 2002 is relevant and current, but 2005 is 1905.

In short YES.

Check the law, its still requires that three of the members of THE PCAOB NOT be CPAs. In short, to be qualified you must be unqualified-and its always lawyers filling those spots, and doing the legal work. Sarbox was a takeover by the legal profession by lawyers, .That HAS NOT CHANGED

AS2 was revised, and all the “extra” staffing in the Big 4 has wound way down.

Stick to what you know. (pail shovel sand)

Russ Roberts October 4, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Muirgeo,

One of the great lessons of economics is that there are no solutions, only tradeoffs, a lesson I think I first heard from Thomas Sowell.

Greg Webb October 4, 2011 at 11:47 pm

George, no politician has solutions to the nation’s economic problems. No single person or small group of people can ever know enough or acquire necessary information fast enough to make appropriate decisions to resolve those kinds of problems. Therefore, politicians should, like doctors, do no harm by not doing anything for awhile. Believe me, those idiots have done enough to destroy the US economy.

Anotherphil October 4, 2011 at 11:48 pm

There are no solutions, just tradeoffs.

Marty October 4, 2011 at 9:34 pm

So Russ,

What constitutes “ready for the job”?

Anotherphil October 4, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Anybody who was “ready for the job” would be dangerous.

Dan H October 4, 2011 at 11:18 pm

^this x1000

SheetWise October 4, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I’ll give Christie a few points — the guy is thinking, not parroting. He actually answers the questions that he’s asked. He’s not apologetic for what he thinks, and he says what he thinks. When he’s engaged in conversation — he’s not thinking about what he’s going to say, he’s listening — he’s already comfortable with what he’s going to say (and who he is). A very rare animal.

Greg Webb October 4, 2011 at 11:49 pm

I like Chris Christie and think that he would do a much better job than President Obama and a better job than the current Republican candidates. I also admire his choice not to run.

Richard Stands October 5, 2011 at 1:48 am

“I’ve said I don’t want to. I’m not going to. There is zero chance I will,” Christie told reporters Wednesday. “I don’t feel like I’m ready to be president. I don’t want to run for president. I don’t have the fire in the belly to run for president. But, yet, everyone seems to think that I’ve left the door open a little bit. But I don’t – short of suicide, I don’t really know what I’d have to do to convince you people that I’m not running. I’m not running.”

http://dailycaller.com/2010/11/05/christie-again-denies-2012-presidential-run/

Bob October 5, 2011 at 10:19 am

We’re in a sorry state when bully Christie a neo con, statist, global warming proponent and police state supporter is well regarded by libertarians.

Jordan Reynolds October 5, 2011 at 11:24 am

The bullying is the best part about him.

Anotherphil October 5, 2011 at 12:55 pm

We’re in a sorry state when bully Christie a neo con, statist, global warming proponent and police state supporter is well regarded by libertarians.

What is it about New Jersey, they think that when they elect a Reublican governor, that having triumphed over its instututionalized Democrat machinery makes them a Presidential Candidate..Tom Keane, CT Whitman, now Christie-all pushed as POTUS timber??

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