Saturday, March 29, 2008

If Only Ralph Nader Supported the Gold Standard

I just saw Ralph Nader on Bloomberg television. He is critical of the bailout of Bear Stearns. To the extent that the major party candidates defend the bailout Ralph Nader is more serious intellectually than they are.

Looking at the minor parties, the Libertarian Party has a free market, limited government orientation but is dominated by vegetarians, nudists and those who favor animal rights.

Ralph Nader is right about the problem of special interests, but he does not fathom the underlying cause, which is big government. Nader supports the disease but complains about the symptom. He was excellent this evening with respect to the Bernanke Fed, but he lacks the intellectual foundation to consider that the Bernanke Fed does what the Fed does, and if he doesn't like it he needs to advocate reestablishing a fixed monetary standard. Rule by minority whine is ineffective.

Now let's look at the major party candidates. Hillary Clinton believes that the problem is lack of regulation and if there were only more regulation, then the bailout can be forgiven. Barack Obama's position is less clear, but I do not sense that he has a coherent strategy, and it certainly is not a free market one.

That leaves us with John McCain. Although Mr. McCain is beholden to the same special interest groups that inspire the bailout, he is not a vegetarian and he, at least in symbol, represents free market impulses. I suspect that the differences among McCain, Obama and Clinton with respect to subsidies to Wall Street are small. Nevertheless, Mr. McCain represents the most free market orientation. If Mr. Nader decided that our seven decade experiment of unlimited freedom to the banks to print money has failed, then he would have my support. Conversely, if the Libertarians would only grow up and focus on a few adult issues, they would have my support. Alas, I am left with Mr. McCain, who is the most logical candidate. In honor of this inspiration, I have sent Mr. McCain my $500 donation.

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