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Ron Paul Interview with Dylan Ratigan MSNBC - 10/5/11

Congressman Ron Paul was interview with Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC Wednesday, October 5th at 4:00 pm Eastern.


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Ron needs to master the F word

when talking about the Fed. The F word is financialization.

Karl Denninger explains it well here.

Famous Quote from Justice William O. Douglas

"The Constitution is not neutral.
It was designed to take the government
off the backs of people."

I think Ratigan means well

I think Ratigan means well but his approach is probably a bit too sophomoric. Though, I give him credit for coming up with an idea and being proactive about it. He needs to learn more about true free markets and the creature known as the federal reserve.

Following Campaign Donations

Paul probably would not support Ratigan's amendment. Donations vs. Term Served is a complicated matter.

If voters look at where the contributions came from they tell a lot about the candidate...If Look at Obama, Romney and Paul...Dr. Paul runs the cleanest finances and appears to have the support of the people not companies. Thats why he's great.

Obama's contributors - guys like Jeff Katzenberg donated 500K, and his company Dreamworks Picture gave another 2.5 million. Comcast 1.5 million - Comcast got favorable legislation to merge with NBC - by the Obama administration surprise, surprise.

Obama campaign is running 50% deficit (sound familiar). 85% disclosed.

Romney's 20 biggest sources are the largest Wall Street Banks. 94% from large corporations. 93% disclosed.

Paul's 0% corporation all individuals, zero debt. 97% disclosed.

"This isn't what the govern meant"

"Win the crowd and you will win your freedom"

To be fair, Ron Paul has

To be fair, Ron Paul has taken money from Google and Microsoft, etc.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Ratigan is NOT "one of us"

Ratigan is NOT "one of us" (as Napolitano would say).He DOES NOT understand Liberty and tried to trick Ron it the way he introduced he piece to night.
I would hope we stop supporting him as much as possible.

"Give me Liberty or give me death." Patrick Henry

I like Ratigan a lot. He is

I like Ratigan a lot. He is right in a lot of ways. Corporate influence over our government is a HUGE problem in our country, and is the primary reason why Dr. Paul hasn't already been elected president. If we had dealt with the problem, we may well have had a President Ron Paul back in '88.

The problem is that Liberty must take priority, and Ratigan's amendment conflicts with the principle of property rights. But then again, the huge increase in Liberty in our country that would result from that sacrifice is tempting to support.

Frankly, this is a problem that we need to solve. Liberty cannot be assured when corporate interests can influence our government. We, as members of the Liberty Movement, need to come up with a solution.

Also consider that a major reason why progressives aren't libertarians is because they want government to protect them from corporate influence. If we come up with a way to maintain liberty AND block corporate interests, we will be significantly better off.

Ratigan's suggestion is a starting point worth considering. But from a slippery slope perspective, it brings cause for concern. Let's think about how to adjust it to protect individual property rights while blocking corporate interests in our elections.

Freedom Wins!

I like him, too and he has

I like him, too and he has come a LONG way..getting better all the time..

Corporations and liberty

As a Progressive who is voting in the Republican primary in my state for Ron Paul but cannot support him in the general election, you are spot on when diagnosing that my biggest quibble in my understanding of the Liberty Movement is the lack of policy prescriptions to address the threat that corporations (or more precisely the Supreme Court's invention of corporate personhood) pose to my individual liberty and their corruption of the republic.

Corporations are creations of the state that only exist because their owners paid a fee to the government and filed some paperwork allowing them to exist. They have nothing to do with "we the people" and they have been endowed by our Creator with squat. So why are we pretending they are people and giving them First Amendment rights to express their will in our elections from their corporate treasuries post-Citizens United?

Corporations are amazingly efficient tools for managing capital and maximizing profits and their tremendous liability shield is great for promoting risk-taking, creativity and ambition. I think corporations, on the whole, have been a net positive for capitalism, the best and most dynamic economic system ever invented. But that still doesn't mean we have to treat corporations as if they are people with the same Constitutional rights as people. And that doesn't mean that Corporations can't yet get so out of control like Frankenstein's monster that they topple our Republic.

But don't take my word for it. Take Jefferson's:

"I hope we shall... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of their country."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Logan. November 12, 1816.

So while I can't support Dylan Ratigan's amendment because it seeks to restrict an individual person's free speech right to contribute to political candidates that I am not willing to give up, I would LOVE it if we could get a ban on political donations from corporations, labor unions and PACs.

I mean if it wasn't for military-contractor corporation donations to politicians, does anyone think these wars would still be going on at this point? If the financial corporations couldn't donate to politicians, would the politicians still support the Federal Reserve and TARP bailout programs? If the car companies and labor unions couldn't donate to the politicians, would Detroit have been bailed out? If it wasn't for beer and pharmaceutical companies donating to politicians, do you think the marijuana prohibition would be in effect? OF COURSE NOT.

I just think it's too idealistic to say... yeah well we just need more politicians with the integrity and outlook of Ron Paul and we can change the foreign policy or change the Fed. But how can we get these folks in place if the game is rigged against people with integrity and the system so corrupt that most folks with integrity would rather not play. I think we need to reform how our politicians get in power before we will ever see these things change.

OK... getting off my soapbox now... I'll hang up and listen to your answer.

I think that the obvious answer

is to limit the power and scope of government, so that it has no power to do what people want.
Then, if gov't can't be the interventionist into the market that people are trying to purchase for influence, then the money will disappear.
Because nobody will pay someone to produce a result which they are not empowered to produce. Simple as that.
As soon as you give gov't the power to distribute money or control or contracts or whatever, there will be people trying to "buy them".

It is impossible to prevent human failings in corruption.
What IS possible is to limit the powers of humans to affect others in any way other than the limited duties proscribed to them in the Constitution, and nothing else. And in that way, nobody will attempt to "buy them" when it is clear that these gov't officials do not have the power to do what the bribers want.

To do this, people need to accept that the government will no longer do ANYTHING which people will be interested in influencing. It will be the simple administrator of extremely limited scope and size.

People will live their own lives, free from the evil influence of government and the corporations which government created. And people will have the responsibility to take care of themselves, without the nanny state dictating every breath they take.

You have set your sights on the wrong target. It's the government which needs to be reined-in. And if they are, the corporations have no interest in bribing them, and it will ALL go away by itself.

However, if a person INSISTS that gov't be allowed to be the distributor of "candy and gifts", then they can hardly complain about the abuse. For the reason that they support the redistribution concept, and love the power of gov't to "give out the candy and gifts" to the recipients that THEY PERSONALLY FAVOR, but decry any candy and gifts to those who they don't favor.
This is called "hypocrisy".
If you want things to work without corruption, you need to eschew the corruption which you favor, so as to also eliminate the corruption which you don't favor.

Are you the same BigT that

Are you the same BigT that posts on FITSNews?

limit the power and scope of government, so that it has no power to do what people want.


This sounds like you want to reduce government to essentially serve the same function as those powerless general assembly gatherings in the Occupy Wall Street protests.

No, I only post here as BigT, nowhere else.

I don't even know about FITSNews.

But, if you think about what I said, it is really the only workable solution.
You can try to stop crime till doomsday, and people will still do it behind closed doors.
If you remove the incentive from the bribers, by making the officials mere custodial administrators of strictly limited Constitutional functions, as was originally intended, then the corruption is permanently gone forever. All by itself.

The "rub" is that then it can't do things that are unauthorized,which is pretty much everything that the left wants it to do.
You have to give that up, or you'll never get rid of the corruption. Depending on gov't to police its own corruption is a pipe dream that the left can't seem to shake. It can't work, because it's against human nature.
The incentive MUST be removed, and that means the "candy man" needs to stop being allowed to hand out candy to ANYBODY.

I know the left can't stand to hear this, but they have created their own nightmare, and then they complain about it. You just can't say, "I only want you to be corrupt in the ways that I demand". It doesn't work.

reedr3v's picture

Hi; it was refreshing to read your comments.

Not often do I see Progressives who have studied economic policy objectively and also have taken the time to consider libertarian ideas.
I have some responses and questions.
First, I'm not sure you've read a lot of economists in the liberty movement, since I don't recall any defending the collusion of government and corporations to shield owners from liability. Libertarians object to evasion of responsibility for damage, fraud, etc. and do not think the government should collude in such acts.

I agree with all of your points about corporations. But rather than add more regulations on top of the thousands that already exist and are misused, a cleaner solution is simply to remove the special privilege of corporate personhood so all business is subject to the objective discipline of the market, not the whims and back room deals of politicians and bureaucrats.

One question that really stands out for me: since you are a thoughtful person, whom would you support in a general election if not Ron Paul? If he were the nominee, it would mean a r3VOLution had occurred in the Republican party -- running a solid peace candidate against a war president.

Thanks for your thoughts

"I'm not sure you've read a lot of economists in the liberty movement, since I don't recall any defending the collusion of government and corporations to shield owners from liability. Libertarians object to evasion of responsibility for damage, fraud, etc. and do not think the government should collude in such acts."

Well it is absolutely news to me that libertarian economists oppose the invention of the limited liability corporation, but welcome news at that.

a cleaner solution is simply to remove the special privilege of corporate personhood so all business is subject to the objective discipline of the market, not the whims and back room deals of politicians and bureaucrats.

I am with you on the removal of the special privilege of corporate personhood, and I actually think that would address the main concern that I have about campaign finance as it stands because if corporations aren't people then they aren't entitled to free speech and then cannot donate to political campaigns. If the individual CEO wants to donate, they can go to it, but they can't use the corporate treasury and won't have to or be tempted to turn campaign donations into an operating expense.

That said, I have trouble believing that even if you got corporate personhood eliminated and even if you got government completely out of the way that the market would be objectively disciplined. Economic actors act irrationally and emotionally in their economic affairs ALL THE TIME. They also cheat. Or they act irrationally short-term for long-term gain and vice versa. And the concentration of economic power in monopolies and trusts than can result from an unregulated market also gums up the works in terms of market efficiency and economic equity.

Since you are a thoughtful person, whom would you support in a general election if not Ron Paul? If he were the nominee, it would mean a r3VOLution had occurred in the Republican party -- running a solid peace candidate against a war president.

That is an excellent point. It would be a very tough call for me.

But at this point I would probably still vote for Obama (not that it would matter in my particular state) in the general election.

The biggest boost I can give to Ron Paul is in my state's primary. And I'm not such a die-hard partisan that I haven't ever voted for Republicans or third parties in certain instances and I just like being able to push forward a Republican with the most integrity in the race and the one with whom I agree on at least some issues.

But I still do not reject my original leanings. And at the moment my economic beliefs (American School, not Austrian School) are more aligned with Obama than they are Dr. Paul. While I share Dr. Paul's concern about the Fed, I'm not opposed to central banks as a rule. I just don't like this one. I'd want a federal bank run more like the state of North Dakota's bank (sub 5% unemployment for more please). I also am concerned about what sort of Supreme Court justices that Ron Paul would appoint as we have very divergent views on things like the right to contract and the interstate commerce clause.

reedr3v's picture

Wow, kudos for honesty. For me, and for

most libertarians, the bottom line always is freedom/peace (the same since coercion must be used to arrest freedom.) So it quite takes away my breath to hear anyone own the view that a war chief is more acceptable than a freedom candidate. To keep this civil I will not detail my view of that choice. Suffice to say I cannot comprehend Americans putting their personal comfort before outright murder, torture, invasion, destruction of other peoples and countries.

On your other points, since you strive for open mindedness I hope you will learn a little about the Austrian view before dismissing it so easily. Wonderful free resources are available at mises.org.

IMO your concerns about cheating, greed, excess influence, etc. have all been answered thoroughly in many economic works in many available media: books, articles, podcasts, videos. Removing special privilege and enforced monopoly is the key. Why a free market is effective is precisely because it is not controlled by easily-bribed officials. It is the sum total of individual choices of free people, millions of us, all choosing and evaluating, and rejecting, trading goods, services, and reviews of the same, plus knowledge. Just look at the explosion of open source information. People naturally cooperate and share. Really, give freedom/peace a chance. You will like it.

I appreciate you keeping it civil

and even entertaining my presence on this forum to share my support for Ron Paul in the GOP primary despite my unorthodox views for this forum.

And I hope my presence here can help you all practice and hone your arguments as you make your pitch of Ron Paul to Progressives that you seek to pull into the Republican primaries right now, or if your r3VOLution succeeds, in the general election.

I cannot comprehend Americans putting their personal comfort before outright murder, torture, invasion, destruction of other peoples and countries.

First of all, how can you not comprehend this when Americans have been doing this for a century? Or longer? Until you can comprehend this, how are you going to fight it?

Secondly, I think you presume too much by ascribing this rationale of a desire for "personal comfort" upon my Progressive leanings.

Both of us obviously do not want an America that murders, tortures, invades or destroys other countries, their people and their property.

We just disagree on what radical reforms are most needed to rein in the military-industrial complex. I worry that a limited, smaller federal government will be even weaker when it comes to standing up to the war-seeking whims of multinational corporations. I am presuming you think that a robust, massive federal government enables and reinforces the military-industrial complex.

This is our impasse.

reedr3v's picture

That does get to the heart of it. And you

are right that I find myself inadequate to assuage Progressive fears of freedom. It has often struck me that those who support a big government are seeking some guaranteed security in the very wrong place that betrays them consistently: a coercive monopoly rather than their own selves, families, communities, the masses of people of good will whom we meet every day in ordinary life, the spontaneous organization for good and sharing and assistance that we see clearly on the anarchic www and economic free trade.

Instead of personal comfort, personal security would have been a better choice of words. Either way an illusion, IMO.
If ever you have a few minutes to read Paul's End The Fed or Griffin's more detailed The Creature from Jekyll Island,I'd hope they would help explain the source of economic distortion and robbery of the people.

Thanks for your feedback.

One last time diving into

One last time diving into this topic before I start to feel trollish... it's not that I'm afraid of freedom.

You prize above all else the virtue of individual liberty, correct? I prize above all else the virtue of social justice. I know that's a bad word with many people, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes social justice and individual liberty interests actually overlap.

This is why I am on the same side as Ron Paul when it comes to things like the wars and hating government corruption and wanting to stop what is happening at the Fed or wanting to end the death penalty. These things offend his sense of individual liberty and my sense of social justice.

But obviously that's why we wind up on opposite sides on issues like union rights or tax policy or trade.

Here is a video which may help you understand the

non-aggression principle from a different angle. I will warn you - it will be hard to get past the tone of the speaker in this video. But if you can get past it, he describes the nature of the state in a very clear way - in case you are curious:

reedr3v's picture

Well, I hope you'll continue to input here

at the DP when you have insights to share.

One major correction: the core political principle for libertarians is the Nonaggression Principle. Yes that is derived from respect for each individual. It is the understanding that neither peace nor freedom stands without the other.
That is why we cannot support use of coercion; we know that a culture accepting the NAP will be one of social justice: voluntary, peaceful cooperation, no picking and choosing by manipulated majorities, no unintended consequences of arrogance and corruption by a controlling elite empowered to enforce mandates, using whatever force necessary: arresting, imprisoning -- even killing those who resist.

We don't seek to impose our ideas on you or anyone; we ask that you not impose yours on us. It might be interesting to you to google Panarchy as one of many ways people with opposing views could live harmoniously and peaceably even in the same geographical boundaries.

Reedr3v -

well done. I'm in awe of how you handled this discussion.

reedr3v's picture

Thanks Lao, we're all here to learn from

each other, right?

We don't need restrictions on

We don't need restrictions on how much money can be donated to a campaign. We need restrictions on what the politicians receiving said donations can do. Ayn Rand spoke of a separation of economy and state, much like the separation of church and state. A corporation could have no influence over how regulations are written if the government were truly constrained in what regulations they could impose. It is our failure that has given us every problem we face. We have allowed politicians to do what they want, while abdicating our responsibility as self governing citizens. The only solution is to take back that responsibility and not further restrict any part of the citizenry. I'm not optimistic, just saying.

Not a fan of Ayn Rand. At all.

That's great if her philosophy works for you. I won't try to persuade you otherwise, but she frankly is one of the biggest turn offs to libertarianism that there is for me personally. Just getting that out of the way.

But setting that aside, just so you can tell me whether I am understanding your argument fully: Do you make any distinction between human citizens and corporate citizens? Is there any distinction to be made on the propriety of the state imposing restrictions on the liberty of corporations versus the state imposing restrictions on the liberty of human persons?

Because I think there's a difference. And while I am all about human liberty, I have a lot of concerns about giving too much liberty to corporate "persons" because I have so little recourse on my own as an individual to hold corporations accountable when they infringe on my God-given personal rights to life, liberty and property.

Frankly I am not understanding how through self-governance and with the absence of state intervention that I hold a company accountable if that company pollutes my land. Either I'm going to need the state's help in imposing regulations on that company preemptively, or I'm going to need the state's help to provide me with the courtroom where I can sue that company that polluted my land after the fact.

It's this sort of situation where the anti-regulations, anti-government argument leaves me in the progressive camp rather than the libertarian camp.

Limited government does not

Limited government does not mean no government. In a libertarian society, the law would prohibit a corporation from polluting your land. If the corporation violated your property rights, they would be held responsible. The corporation and its officers. It is only when permanent bureaucracies are established that relationships between corporations and governments begin to flourish, laying the groundwork to violate the rights of others. Did the government agency not exist, a violating corporation, and its officers, would go straight to court to be accountable to a jury.

Who would hold the corporation responsible in court?

How is the corporation going "straight to court" without some sort of government involvement?

You mention the prospect that "the government agency did not exist." So are you advocating just ripping out the EPA structure and leaving it to local district attorneys or state attorneys general or the U.S. Department of Justice to police environmental conduct, rather than these entities working in concert with the EPA?

Or are you advocating that instances of pollution be settled as a civil matter through the law of torts rather than prosecuted by the state as a criminal matter?

The second scenario creates LOTS OF PRACTICAL PROBLEMS.
1. What if I don't have money to hire a lawyer to sue someone who pollutes my land? Do I not deserve justice? And doesn't this create an incentive for corporations to pollute in poor areas because they know they can always get away with it there?

2.Some libertarians deny the concept of respondeat superior (that is that an employer/corporation is responsible for the torts of an employee).
Without this concept, an individual landowner could thus only sue the individual polluter for individual assets rather than sue the corporation itself. This simultaneously makes the case VERY HARD TO PROVE and VERY HARD TO RECOVER EQUITABLE DAMAGES.



Your Assumptions

Here's my 2 cents....

You're assuming that the regulations will hold up against the corporations like they would a single individual in our society. For obvious reasons, it doesn't take long for one regulation to turn into 100, and eventually, those regulations are employed from the Corporations through the government to lock out competition.

Your concerns about protection from Corporations are understandable, especially in these times, but the Libertarian philosophy looks at an earlier step, one that you've overlooked.

Without vast gov't regulations to lock out competition, if a corporation is engaged in market manipulation, consumer fraud, price gouging... whatever, there would be another man waiting in the shadows to steal the consumers by offering a better way. Understand that there's no way to completely eliminate the practice of people screwing people, but in a libertarian society, there would be fewer victims and the losses would be felt by both the victims and the perpetrators.

If competition from motivated and determined entrepreneurs weren't shut out of the system via regulation that increases the cost of starting and growing business, the issues that concern you would be few and far between.

Man, it's late here and I'm worn out. I am honored to discuss such topics with you, but remember, no system is perfect. However, that which maximizes freedom for the individual will allow the market to weed out the manipulation naturally.

Without vast gov't

Without vast gov't regulations to lock out competition, if a corporation is engaged in market manipulation, consumer fraud, price gouging... whatever, there would be another man waiting in the shadows to steal the consumers by offering a better way.

What about monopoly power? Am I correct in my assumption that you think an idea whose time has come can always topple a rotten monopoly in an unregulated market?

I wish I had your faith in markets and in consumers. What a comfort that would be! But I am faithless in this respect.

I simply don't have faith that without some government regulation providing a fairer playing field that there will always be a way for that other man waiting in the shadows to break through the monopoly power and unequal bargaining power that exists when someone with a lot of capital competes against someone with little capital. So without that government regulation we're stuck with a lot of waste and a lot of needless suffering thanks to inefficient, corrupt monopolies.

Corporate interests never cared about

Who was elected. They often Fund both sides, and then provide money after the election. We need candidates that cannot be bought, and we need government with less power - so its value is less.