Ever since the 2008 global financial crisis and ensuing recession, I’ve developed a growing interest in economics and politics. Before then, I didn’t really feel like anything made sense to me.
I would identify with many liberal values; to me, wanting to help the poor and give underprivileged people better opportunities is a noble thing to do. However, I never agreed with the idea that hard-working people who managed to accumulate some wealth for themselves were somehow less deserving or “selfish”. How could people working to make a better life for themselves and doing it in an honest way be bad? Why did they deserve to be treated as cattle for the milking? It didn’t make sense to me and I didn’t see how I could support that, especially as I spent many years in the ghetto and I saw for myself many of the problems were not caused by these people but were in fact caused by poor incentives, many of them promoted by the government itself.
What were the alternatives? I believed in fiscal conservatism, but which actual party ever put that into practice? Social conservatism did not make much sense to me either because why should one group of people tell another how to live if that group of people is not doing anything to hurt the first group? Why should we prosecute victimless crimes? What exactly is conservative about spending lots of money on guns, bombs, and police-state legislation? These so-called conservatives were anything but. They were as eager as anyone else to feed at the public trough.
Then 2008 came and went, and I read and learned a great deal. I discovered the Mises Institute, as well as Ron Paul. At first I almost had to spit the information I was reading right back out. This stuff seemed so radical compared to what I had been reading in the main stream media that I felt that these guys had to be living in a dream world. I believed that in spite of all of the flaws, a strong government still served the interests of the people. However, I am an open-minded guy and I kept reading, and read from different sites and looked at both sides of the coin. I resisted because of the conflict with my existing information and knowledge, but what I was reading just made more logical sense to me. All of this time I believed that simply because I had the right to vote that somehow the government was a proxy for my own self-interest. I then came to realize that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The United States, and Canada for that matter, are most certainly not hell-holes like North Korea, and I consider myself fortunate to be here, but our democratic institutions are sick. We have been led to believe that the government serves the interest of the people simply because we have a vote. In reality, the incentive structure is perverted and government only superficially serves the interests of the people. Along the way, 1000 different special interests jockey at the helm in order to gain control. Everyone wants to milk the cow as fast as possible before someone else gets their hand at the teat.
The way I see it, many politicians are simply in it because they want the power and they want to be in control. They nominally support the interests of the people; they have to, after all, in order to get elected. However, if Canada can elect a university bartender that took a vacation to Vegas during the campaign to parliament and didn’t even bother campaigning, then it goes to show you that they don’t really have to support the interests of the people.
Who is Ron Paul?
Ron Paul is unlike most other politicians and doesn’t fit anywhere on the traditional left-right spectrum. He believes in helping the poor through proper incentives, not government mismanagement. He believes in friendly relationships and exchange with other countries, not nation-building and occupation. He believes in self-defense, not aggression. What makes our countries great places to live, and what makes places like North Korea horrible places to live, is that here we have the right to life, liberty, and property. The hellholes of this earth are such because they don’t recognize any of these rights. Our countries are great insofar as they recognize that all human beings have these rights, and they are sick insofar as they believe that some human beings have more of these rights than other humans.
His profession is that of a doctor, a profession dedicated to helping the lives of others. His political career is about returning the power of life, liberty, and property to the people, where they belong. His message is not always popular; in fact, he was shat on by the mainstream media during his 2008 campaign and if it wasn’t for the support of bloggers and his grassroots supporters, it’s not likely that he would be as well-known today. While his message is not usually popular with the mainstream media and entrenched interests, he speaks for truth and for freedom. No human is perfect, but Ron Paul may be one of the most principled statesmen of our time.
Those in government must never forget that they are the servants, not the masters of the people. Stuff like this should never happen in a civilized country. I don’t know how much one man can change institutions, but Ron Paul may be the one candidate for the 2012 election that represents true hope & change.
(This video is from the 2008 campaign but is a good one)
If you would like to learn more about Ron Paul and what he stands for, I recommend starting with his New York Times #1 bestseller The Revolution: A Manifesto (currently only $6 at the time of this writing!) (hardcover also available).
- Ron Paul Is The Man (20s money)
- Memo to Government: Cut Spending (Hope to Prosper)
- 18 Things You Didn’t Know About The Federal Reserve System (Len Penzo)
So, reader, at the risk of opening Pandora’s Box, what are your thoughts on the direction of the U.S. government, the 2012 election, and Ron Paul? Do you think he has a chance, and would be able to enact real change even if elected? What about his ideas on true freedom of choice in health insurance and the end to the rules that allow monopolies and oligopolies to persist? In this age of cynicism, it’s hard to be too hopeful about anything, but sometimes big things start with an idea. The Internet is breaking down barriers to communication so that the mainstream media no longer has a monopoly on the dissemination of information. Maybe it’s not too late for the ideas of liberty to take root once again.