The subject of my latest New Ledger article:
My libertarianish leanings–which counterbalance my conservative ones–notwithstanding, I really don’t have much use for many of Ron Paul’s arguments. We agree on certain economic principles, but a number of his arguments go too far for my tastes. And when it comes to foreign policy, his argument that the United States should adopt the views and the practices of the Founders is antiquated in a world where–unlike the world of the Founders–America is the preeminent power and should act differently than she did at the time of her founding, when she was weak, and had to chart a middle course between an exceedingly powerful Great Britain and a very powerful France.
My ambivalence regarding Paul’s arguments returns upon reading pieces like this one. Paul’s argument that we ought to dismantle the Federal Reserve and return to the gold standard is really not worth discussing at length, if only because the idea is so politically infeasible, not to mention guaranteed to cause significant and potentially dangerous upheaval if implemented. His foreign policy isolationism will serve to cost the United States her primacy in the world, allowing countries like China and Russia to fill the void.
Why Paul believes that this is good for our economic health–or good for the national security interests of the United States in general–is beyond me.
But give Paul his due; he is surely right to note that the Keynesian approach to reviving our economy has failed disastrously. He is right to note that deregulation is needed (let me add here that it is silly to think that with nearly 70,000 pages in the Federal Register, the problem facing the American economy is that we are just not regulated enough), and he is right to note that creative destruction ought to be allowed to run its course by permitting bankruptcies to take place instead of repeatedly bailing out failing companies and creating all sorts of moral hazard problems.