Wednesday, January 11, 2012

We Do Not Need the Establishment Media to Spread Paul's Message.

Ron Paul's second place showing in New Hampshire frightens the Establishment: Wall Street, the Federal Reserve Bank, the money center banks, and the the nexus of institutions that surround these, especially the legacy media from MS-NBC to Rush Limbaugh. According to The State Column Paul's popularity had surged five percent in a Reuters Poll prior to his win in New Hampshire. Now that he has come in second with better than 20 percent of the New Hampshire vote Paul's issues cannot be ignored.  If the Establishment continues to play its ignore-and-defame game, Paul's movement will continue to grow.  The end result will be the Fed's curtailment or abolition whether or not the Establishment is willing to debate him.  We do not need the Establishment media to spread Paul's message.

Paul's movement will grow because numbers bestow credibility, and the pain that the Fed and Wall Street have inflicted on the average American is becoming increasingly evident over time.  Our economic future is bleak; but our recent economic past is bleak too.  Real wages have been stagnant for the past 40 years, a stagnation unknown prior to the abolition of the gold standard, the expansion of the Fed's money-creation powers, and the expansion of government regulation under the Great Society.  The gold standard's abolition unshackled the Fed's power to destroy the American economy.  The massive harm it had done in the 1940s and 1950s through the federal urban renewal program that decimated America's cities expanded into a series of massive stock market, real estate, and financial bubbles that dwarf all past eras' financial instability.  The long term effects of the Progressive destruction of America's wealth will be felt for another century.

The most recent Fed-induced crisis began with the culmination of the long Reagan-initiated stock market bubble of the 1980s and 1990s, the short Bush real estate bubble of the early 2000s, and the collapse of European socialism in Greece, Spain and other southern European states, whose recent history is still another part of the sequence of Fed-induced bubbles.  

Ron Paul's strong showing augurs well for the future of America because the alternative to a decentralization and libertarian reorganization of the American republic is fascism, that is, increasing stagnation, decline, and government suppression.

To put Paul's performance in perspective, recall how radical his platform is. He is calling for the abolition of the Federal Reserve Bank, and he has received more than 20 percent of the vote.  Paul is a more radical candidate than the Communist Party's, and the Establishment would probably prefer a CP candidate to Paul.  No major candidate has called for the abolition of the Federal Reserve Bank in decades, possibly since the Fed was established in 1913. The Republicans who dominated the 1920s, especially Warren G. Harding and his vice president and successor Calvin Coolidge, did not question the Progressive institutions that Republicans Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, and Democrat Woodrow Wilson, had forged on behalf of Wall Street.

Until now, the media has been able to marginalize the few who have raised the gold standard and the Fed as issues.  But the Internet has increasingly made the legacy media obsolete, and the argument against the Fed is powerful.  Few institutions in world history have caused so much harm as has the Federal Reserve Bank.  The academic and Establishment ideologues who defend the Fed do not have historical evidence or palpable economic outcomes on their side. The Fed has gradually destroyed the American dream. Today, American industry is a pathetic shell of its former self, and its banking and business leaders empty-headed cuckoos who depend on public welfare and are unable to refrain from common criminality--witness the recent Corzine scandal.

Until this year, the Establishment has been successful at preventing large scale discussion about the Federal Reserve Bank.  Even now, the legacy media attempts to deflect discussion of Paul's chief issue by calling him names and raising difficult-to-explain positions like his opposition to federal laws like the Civil Rights Act.  It is difficult for Paul to explain complex positions to bubble-brained television announcers and to overcome a legacy media drumbeat of lies, such as Gary Weiss's recent syndicated column.

I am getting back into gold soon.  But the instability, decline, income inequality, and large scale business criminality that directly results from Progressivism is under direct threat, and this can only mean a reassessment of the wealth-reallocation machine that makes holding gold desirable. The Establishment is likely fearful, but it will have to engage Paul or cope with an ever more radical response. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Republican Debate a Big Government Stew with Small Government Seasoning

Tonight's Republican debate was a big government stew with small government seasoning. Ron Paul, who remains the only Republican candidate to raise the possibility of shrinking government, was the seasoning.   Stew-meat-and-potato candidates Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, and Huntsman talked  about the importance of the private sector and job creation, but they had nix to say about how to cut government. Gingrich said he favors less government; nevertheless, he offered ideas about how an ever-bigger government can spend on infrastructure. He, like rest of the beef, potatoes, and onions of the big-government Republican stew, had no specific plans to make government smaller; Gingrich and Romney merely say they like the private sector. Big government Progressives of the past like George W. Bush, George H. Bush, and Richard M. Nixon said the same kinds of things and did nix to shrink government. We can expect the same from tonight's stew meat.

Ron Paul may have been the small government seasoning,  but I found him not seasoning enough.  He made a number of good points, such as his mentioning that none of the other candidates had a any ideas on how to shrink government. But he erred in saying that the Fourth Amendment prohibits states from banning contraceptives. The decision that claimed this, Griswold v. Connecticut was the pivotal case of federal judicial imperialism that led to Roe v. Wade (the significance of this question escaped Mitt Romney, who seemed to not have heard of Griswold).

Paul's position is wrong if he claims to be the constitutionalist candidate. The Tenth Amendment states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

In deciding Griswold, the Supreme Court claimed that there are penumbras to the Constitution. But that claim is a flat contradiction of the Tenth Amendment.  The Tenth Amendment precludes any concept of penumbras. It says that powers need to be delegated. The claim that delegation can be through non-delegation, i.e., through penumbras or shadows, is self-contradictory.    Hence, Paul advocates expansion of federal power.  This is understandable when considering that many libertarians apply a state minimization approach--if something reduces government then they are for it.  Griswold reduced government when defined as the sum of state and federal government, but it sledge hammered states' rights.  In the long run states' rights reduce government because the states can compete.  By instituting federal control, the federal government imposes ever more fascistic control.

Equally unconvincing is Paul's apparent claim that the Commerce Clause permits the federal government to require that states sell contraceptives because banning them would interfere with interstate commerce.  That would imply that the federal government has the power to require that the states do anything it wants, since anything can be imported across states.  A national building code, for instance, could be viewed as a matter of interstate commerce. In fact, that is precisely how the Democrats overturned judicial resistance to the National Labor Relations Act. 

Paul claims to favor the Constitution, and Griswold is very much in the anti-constitutionalist, "living constitution" tradition.  If the Fourth Amendment is extended to "penumbras" and then foisted on the states through another series of illegitimate decisions starting with Gitlow v. New York, then pretty much anything goes as far as reinterpreting states' rights and the Constitution out of existence.

Rather than Paul's government minimization approach, federal government minimization is closer to the Constitution. Take the First Amendment, which says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."  This could not have meant that the states are forbidden from establishing a religion because all of them had established religions at the time the First Amendment was written. States have the right to establish a religion, although I don't favor their doing so.

My chief criticism of Paul, though, is that he should do more to state his case. The Republicans' debates are staged by media lackeys of the same special interests who gain most at public expense from the Federal Reserve Bank: Wall Street, big government, banks and big business.  As a result, the Republican debates are exercises in pointlessness. Paul was right to point this out, and thankfully  there is a Ron Paul to do so. At the point where he brought up monetary policy and the Fed there was a palpable freeze in the audience.  Discussion of the Fed and monetary policy are not permissible ingredients in big government stew.  For that reason,  Paul needs to do more to bring the debate about the Fed to the fore. No institution has been more destructive of the nation's welfare.  It takes guts to say things on national television that the debate planners don't want a candidate to mention. Paul is three quarters of the way there. But he needs to be more aggressive.The seasoning needs to be stronger.