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In Which I Abandon Many of My Previously Held Beliefs and Attempt to Steer My Liberal Brothers and Sisters Towards The Harsh But Comforting Glow of Reality (and the conservatives can come along for the ride too, but frankly I think most of them are weird, and if you are socially conservative, I wonder why you even read my blog unless you just like getting angry)

September 14, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve come to the conclusion that most self-styled liberals have confused or combined two distinct questions in economics: how do we best divide the pie? how do we best make the pie bigger? The answers to these questions are distinct. Any piece of policy can have effects on both, but to use a single policy to address both issues is to ignore the fundamental difference between the two questions. I think that the problem many liberal leaning economist have gotten themselves into lately is that they have let their desire for social justice overshadow their understanding of market fundamentals.

As a progressive and a social Marxist, I understand and sympathize with their passion. The equitable distribution of society’s resources is a noble cause, and one that shouldn’t be abandoned. Unfortunately for us, the current ruinous state of the economy cannot be fixed by redividing the pie. It also can’t be fixed by government directed intervention.

They may be able to prop up employment temporarily with additional spending, but any of the jobs the government can create in this way are not sustainable. All of the contractors repairing schools and bridges are out of work again when the job is done. The liberal thesis is that the economy will somehow self-correct in the interim, but this correction will not take place because the strategy of financing these stimulus projects with deficit spending and tax hikes exacerbates the root cause of the countries structural economic problems: we are broke. Our country’s balance sheet is sagging to the right, which is the side that all of the debt is on if you are not familiar with accounting.

I am going to do a 180° on what I have written before and say that the government can’t afford to do more spending. I’ve called for it in the past, because of the low interest rates and excess capacity of our economy, but my outlook has fundamentally changed based the economic happenings around the world and the political ineptitude right here at home. The specific ineptitude I am referring to is the Republican Party’s debt-ceiling hostage fiasco and Obama’s latest Job Program theatrics. I think the damage done by the debt ceiling debate is self-evident. As for Obama’s latest policy objective, it is a half-assed jobs program that is more than a day late and trillions of dollars short. It might have been an okay idea if we hadn’t bailed out the banks, and if he had gotten it passed when he first came into office instead of pursuing his disastrous health care overhaul, and if it were about 3 or 4 times as big. But now, the window of time where it would have been effective has closed, we can’t afford it, and in it’s current incarnation, it’s not designed to actually pass anyway. It is a political ploy for him to blame the Republicans for his failed economic policy. The truth is that neither party is doing anything of substance. Everything has been reduced to a zero-sum game because of political squabbling. S&P knows this, the markets know this, and you and I should know it as well.

My interest rate argument, which essential went “we should borrow money now at 2% and spend it on projects that have a return of greater than 2%”, I think it is a pipe dream in this political environment that the money would get to where it needs to be. Furthermore, doing more research about the economy outside of the United States has led me to believe that interest rates are artificially low. The relative weakness of other currencies and the lack of safe assets has created a scenario where interest rates in the US are being held low because treasury bills have come to be viewed as a financial safe haven due to the overall shittiness of the developed world’s macroeconomic conditions. Current rates are not a reflection of the fundamental strength of the US economy or the dollar, but of our relative perceived strength in comparison to the Eurozone and equity markets. In addition to foreign capital flowing into treasury bills, we also have the Federal Reserve injecting trillions of dollars into the treasury market to maintain these artificially low rates. The continued injection of trillions of dollars into the economy will create inflation as soon as demand picks up. The reason it hasn’t created inflation yet is because banks, and the few corporations that have some, are parking their cash on their balance sheets or giving it back to the government by buying treasuries. The government is using this cash to pay off the interest on the treasuries that are already outstanding and to prop up the economy with its weak and ineffective “stimulus” policies.

(Even my “brilliant” “a trillion dollars for fusion energy plan” would probably end up destroying more jobs than it creates, as the entire energy sector would probably shed more than half of its work force after widespread fusion energy became available. It is not what the economy needs right now; when we are back standing on our own two feet, instead of being propped up by the Fed and China, it would be an excellent idea, but for now we need a fundamental change in the government’s balance sheet.)

Capital needs to be in private hands where it can flow freely to the enterprises that can put it to the best use. This is the only way the economy can be restored. Hatred of bank bailouts is not a reason to keep capital out of private hands… if anything, it is a reason to keep capital out of the government’s hands, because the government is the one who bailed out the banks! If the banks that made bad mortgages were allowed to fail three years ago, it would have caused a larger recession, but it also would have given us a solid foundation to recover from. We currently have no such foundation, and we are now headed towards an even more monumental collapse because of our failure to address these issues in 2008.

I know I have called for additional infrastructure spending and a Manhattan Project for renewable energy on these pages, but I am now forced to temper these beliefs with my conviction that the government is not capable of efficiently allocating resources. The projects created by government spending have all been designed to boost consumption rather than investment, and they have done a poor job even at that. This past couple of weeks , I’ve been reading Keynes for the first time since college (actually I never read him in college, I just got the encapsulated version presented to me in textbooks). This reading has given me the insight that the biggest problem in the economy right now is a lack of investment. The easiest way for the government to incentivize investment is to lower taxes and reduce spending. We need lower taxes to generate private industry investment, and we need reduced spending to keep the deficit under control and send signals to the markets that we are finally getting serious about getting our economic house in order.

This means that social safety nets will get cut. It means that real wages will fall. But there is no way around it at this point. The facts on the ground stay the facts no matter how deep we have our head stuck in the sand, or how much we hate the other party. The United States is essentially insolvent and the only thing keeping us afloat right now is our collective lack of desire to acknowledge it. We can shellac more layers of debt onto the problem, but it’s only going to give us a sharper hangover when we finally have to wake up to the next morning in America.

I know that lower taxes, especially on the rich, is a hard pill for progressives to swallow. The entire narrative of evil bankers and corporations require that we punish them, that they be made to contribute towards the maintenance of our social capital, social capital that has been eroded by our elected officials because of corporate malfeasance. The problem with this narrative is that it is wrong. It is not the corporations that are evil, it is the elected officials who let them be bailed out, who stuffed the regulatory agencies full of corporate cronies, who choose to cut the social safety net instead of let their corporate sponsors go bankrupt. The “leaders” on both sides of the aisle are guilty of these same transgressions. It is not a case of the Democrats being for the working joe union member, and the Republicans being for responsible governance. They are both the parties of corporate America. That is why an independent, outside candidates like Ron Paul or Jon Huntsman or Ralph Nader or Dennis Kucinich don’t get a fair shake in the media. That is why the big banks and corporations donate to both parties instead of just the Republicans or just the Democrats. That is why senators and representatives from both parties voted for the bailouts. The only reason the Republicans have flipped over to being against the bailouts and against more band-aid style stimulus spending is because there energized base is standing up and demanding it (believe me, the Republicans would love to bring home the bacon, especially the ones who were there for the Bush administration).

The Democrats could learn a lot from the Tea Party bozos that they love to deride. They may be stupid and bigoted, but at least they are loud and make things happen.

The Democrats masquerade behind the moral, populist high road, but it is all a charade. The Democrats have used this story of evil bankers to distract us from dealing with the fundamental realities of our country’s political economy. Obama hasn’t delivered anything to us, except a disastrous health care plan that makes huge concessions to the drug companies and medical equipment manufacturers (guaranteeing them outsized profits and artificial monopolies), and a stimulus bill that has rescued politically favored corporations at the expense of the tax payer, all the while tacking on another trillion dollars of the fundamental problem (debt) and doing nothing to create sustainable jobs, jobs that will still be here when the stimulus money runs out (if you think he has, or if you are the type of person who likes to quote how many people have health insurance now, or you’ve ever linked anyone to this site, please read this post that I wrote especially for you).

The Republicans are no better than the Democrats. They do a good job of speaking as if they understand the fundamentals of market capitalism, and pretending that they are for smaller government, but then when they are elected they shift their policy agenda to social issues and give favors and breaks to their corporate benefactors. They spend just as irresponsibly as the Democrats, and they do it in ways that are to the benefit of a selected few rather than the majority of this country’s people. I’m not going in as hard on them because I am really wanting to focus this piece on my friends and readers who are liberal democrats, because I feel like I have a greater chance of saving you than I do of turning a Tea Partier into a born again liberal. So yes, Republicans are very bad.

The bad news is that things are going to have to get a lot worse before they can get better. The good news is that things can get better, we just have to stop lying to ourselves, and stop believing the lies being told to us by the charlatans that we keep putting into office.

Of all the deficits we have, I think the biggest one is a deficit of leadership. The problems in both our economy and our government are structural, and they are related to each other. It is an addiction to spending and abuse of the power of appropriation that has given us these structural defects; the toxic mortgages were just the termites. Neither party wants to address the real issues because they know they are part of the problem; the biggest part.

They are going to trick you into voting for one of them next year by making the other party into a boogieman, and it is going to scare you, and you are going to vote for a candidate who you think will do a less worse job than the other one… and your candidate may win, and you will look at his or her future policy accomplishments and say: “that’s not too bad… imagine what would have happened if the other guy got into office!” and you will feel good about yourself and your vote, or about as good as you can feel about such a thing, but deep down inside you will know that something is wrong, that the system is rotten. You will justify your candidates inefficacy by blaming democracy (“its the worst system, besides all the other ones! hahaha Churchill”), the two-party system (“well I can’t let that other bozo get into office”), the corporate interests (“it’s the greedy corporations that mess everything up”), the lobbyists (“it’s not really the corporations that are bad, but all the money they put into politics”), the banks (“they screwed us over by giving me a mortgage I can’t afford… why did they let me do that?”). It will be anybody but your candidate’s fault. Mainly it will be your fault, because you’ve read this piece, and now you know that the two major parties aren’t going to do jack shit for you (or maybe you don’t believe me… if so, leave me a comment or send me an email heftionezip(at)yahoo.com and tell me why not).

Vote for anyone but an establishment candidate.

If you want to vote for a liberal politician, vote for Ralph Nader.

If you are sick of politicians, vote for yourself, or your mom, or your best friend.

I’m going to be voting for Dr. Ron Paul. I don’t agree with the man on everything he has to say, but I believe his conviction in what he says, and I can’t say the same thing about Obama… I’m sure you remember from the last election cycle all the empty sloganeering and smooth rhetoric that whetted the media’s collective pussy and probably yours too. How many of those promises has Obama delivered on? How many has he even tried to deliver on? I’ll give him health care (for now… I’ll crack that coconut on another day), but Guantanamo? The Wars? Gay Marriage? The Economy? Wall Street/Banker Bonuses? Ron Paul has a 30+ year record of sticking to his principles that you can see in his voting record in congress. Get the man elected, and you know he is going to do what he says he will. And if you are still scared that he is going to criminalize abortion, or that disbanding the DoED will somehow hurt America, or that he is going to let corporations run amok and pollute all over the place… if those are the only things holding you back, keep coming back here and listening to what Dr. Paul has to say, because I think that 14 months might be enough time to assuage those fears and change your mind.

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Democrats: vote for Ron Paul in the GOP Primary

September 14, 2011 Leave a comment

If you know me personally, you will know I have had kind of a love/hate relationship with Ron Paul over the past several years. Part of the reason is my own shifting attitudes. Another part is some of the things I’ve heard him say this campaign cycle that sound like pandering to the Tea Party.

He’s really impressed me in the last two debates. I am glad he is getting the national television exposure, and I am even more excited that some of my liberal friends are starting to change their own attitudes about him.

There are still a couple of stumbling blocks a lot of liberals have with him. I think a lot of the “omg he can’t really want to do that?” vibe that people have is because they haven’t really gotten familiar with libertarianism outside of the caricatures of the Tea Party and Ayn Rand crowd. As someone who was raised in a libertarian household, and who has held libertarian beliefs long before I gave up reading Atlas Shrugged because of its cliched prose and one dimensional characters, I am hoping that I might be able to dispel some of the fears that sensible people might have about Dr. Paul.

Abortion: the government shouldn’t legislate abortion. Ron Paul thinks it should be up to every state, not the Federal government, to say whether it is illegal or not. This is inherently more democratic than categorically making it legal or illegal at the Federal level. So people who want abortions can get them in California. People who live in Kansas… another reason to gtfo of Kansas.

Civil Rights Amendment/Affirmative Action: Ron Paul’s objection to it isn’t based on racism, its based on his belief that the government should not have the power to step in and tell private business owners what they can or can’t do. I am sure he abhors racism, as any sensible person does. Legislating against racism doesn’t make it disappear. I belong to pretty much the most privileged demographic imaginable: heterosexual white American male. I think there is a tendency for people who are not directly effected by racism to want to “do something” to make it better, to clear their conscious of a perceived advantage that they have done nothing to invite upon themselves. The problem is that legislating corrective privileges for minorities makes us feel like we are doing something, that racism has been “solved” or “fixed”, and we go on with our lives. Racism hasn’t been fixed, and our failure to address it on a personal and cultural level is probably one of the greatest domestic issues facing our country (and the whole world). When the debate shifts towards “is Affirmative Action fair?” and away from “how do we treat people and why are these minority groups struggling socially and economically?”, we are doing a great disservice to society.

Department of Education: it sounds really bad to want to “eliminate the Department of Education”, but do you even know what the DoED does? Not a heck of a lot. t doesn’t establish schools. Most school funding comes from state and local governments. Curriculum standards are in the jurisdiction of the states. The DoED does “coordinate and administer” certain funds that go to schools; it has a 70 billion dollar budget, most of which goes towards administering and enforcing the No Child Left Behind act, which hasn’t done anything but frustrate teachers and students, and it pays government salaries for 5,000 federal employees. If the department were eliminated, the savings would pass along to tax payers or could go straight to the states.

Environmental Protection Agency/ Food and Drug Administration: the libertarian argument is that these agencies are unneeded and ineffective. The main problem is regulatory capture. The people who end up running these agencies are former chemical and drug company CEOs. They get watered down regulations passed, so it looks like they are doing something productive, when in actuality they justify the terrible practices of polluters and misleading food labels by giving them the government seal of approval. Certainly, libertarians argue for more person responsibility, but the real mechanism for fighting evil corporations is the tort system. Companies that mess up should be sued. The current problem is that when they are sued, they are not held liable because they were following the regulations. Ron Paul doesn’t want corporations to run amok in America, putting poison into the land and our food supply: he wants them to be held accountable, and he doesn’t want the Federal government to be a covert conspirator in their malfeasance.

Keep in mind that (despite what you may think at this point), I am not a Ron Paul maniac. I may be speaking more from the standard libertarian position than from what Ron Paul himself has said… so if you have an article or video contradicting anything I have to say, I would welcome adding it to the discussion. The real point I want to make, to liberals especially, is that he is not a maniac or hack like the other people running for president. If some of his ideas “sound crazy” at first, it’s just because the society and paradigms we have grown accustomed to are crazy, and his ideas stand in bold opposition to them.

If you are a democrat, you should register as a republican and vote for Ron Paul in the GOP primary. At the very least, he will divide and disrupt the party you hate, and if he wins, he will force Obama to debate the issues that really matter: the wars, the economy (Mitt Romney and Obama are 95% the same on economic issues… the media will play up that 5% difference, but don’t let them fool you into thinking it’s a real choice between two distinct solutions), and personal liberty (which he is all for despite his personal views against abortion and for Jesus… he is the only candidate who believes in personal freedom over his own personal ideology, or maybe a better way of saying it is that freedom is his primary ideology, Christianity is his secondary ideology. None of the establishment GOP candidates can say that, and Obama won’t even let you know where he really stands).

“But listening to lies does not make us safer, even though it might make us feel better about ourselves. The truth is that ending these misguided wars and occupations will make us safer, more prosperous and more free.”

September 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Ron Paul:

Ten years ago, shocking and horrific acts of terrorism were carried out on U.S. soil, taking nearly 3,000 innocent American lives. Without a doubt this action demanded retaliation and retribution. However, much has been done in the name of protecting the American people from terrorists that has reduced our prosperity and liberty and even made us less safe.

This is ironic and sad considering that the oft-repeated line concerning the reasoning behind the attacks is that they hate us for who we are – a free prosperous people – that we must not under any circumstances allow the terrorists to win. Though it is hard for many to believe, honest studies show that the real motivation behind the 9/11 attacks, and the vast majority of other instances of suicide terrorism, is not that our enemies are bothered by our way of life, neither is it our religion or our wealth – rather it is primarily occupation. If you were to imagine for a moment how you would feel if another country forcibly occupied the United States, had military bases and armed soldiers present in our hometown, you might begin to understand why foreign occupation upsets people so much.

Robert Pape has extensively researched this issue and goes in-depth in his book “Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It”. In fact, of the 2,200 incidents of suicide attacks he has studied worldwide since 1980, 95% were in response to foreign occupation. Pape notes that before our invasion of Iraq, only about 10% of suicide terrorism was aimed at Americans or American interests. Since then however, not only is suicide terrorism greatly on the rise, but 91% of it is now directed at us.

Yes, the attacks of 9/11 deserved a response, but the manner in which we responded has allowed radicals in the Muslim world to advance a very threatening narrative about us and our motivation in occupying their lands. Osama Bin Laden referred to us as “crusaders” with a religious agenda to convert Muslims, westernize their culture and take control of their resources. If we had targeted our response to only the thugs and criminals who attacked us, and refrained from invading countries that had nothing to do with it, this characterization would seem less plausible to the desperate and displaced. Blaming Islam alone is grossly misleading.

Instead, we chose a course of action that led to the further loss of 8,000 American lives, 40,000 wounded, and has left hundreds of thousands seeking help from the Veterans Administration. We are $3 to $4 trillion poorer. Our military is spread dangerously thin around the globe at the expense of protection here at home. Not only that, but we have allowed our freedoms to be greatly threatened and undermined from within. The PATRIOT Act, warrantless searches and wiretapping, abuse of habeas corpus, useless and humiliating circumstances at the airport, are just a few examples of how we have allowed the terrorists to win by making our country less free. Suicide terrorism did not exist in Iraq before we got there. Now it does. There are no known instances of Iranians committing suicide terrorism. If we invade and occupy Iran, expect that to change, too.

Sometimes it can be very uncomfortable to ask the right questions and face the truth. When a slick politician comes along and gives a much more soothing, self-congratulating version of events, it is very tempting to simply believe what we would like to hear. But listening to lies does not make us safer, even though it might make us feel better about ourselves. The truth is that ending these misguided wars and occupations will make us safer, more prosperous and more free.

Republicans Are More Scared of Ron Paul Than They Are of Barrack Obama

September 9, 2011 Leave a comment

And by “Republicans”, I mean the monied interests who control the Republican AND Democratic parties.

Something liberals of all stripes can do to disrupt the Republican Party: register as a Republican and vote for Ron Paul in the primary.

Categories: Politics, Ron Paul

Ron Paul: You Make Me Want to Cry

July 14, 2011 1 comment

My homie Ron Paul might be going a little too far off the reservation for me. I know it’s just a campaign ad, so it’s “meaning” is abstract to say the least, but is he really insinuating that we default on the national debt? It’s still early in the morning for me (anytime before noon is early for me), so maybe I am just not awake enough to understand the benefits of destroying the entire world’s economic order, however fraudulent fractional reserve banking may be.

Starting to think that maybe Godley and Creme wrote this song about Dr. Paul:

Looking Beyond a Society Based on Consumption or Why I Am Not A Randian or Objectivist

This post is inspired by, amongst many other things, this particular “piece of writing” that I saw on Google News Spotlight. It’s not very good but I am linking to anyway in hope of maybe getting some cross traffic or baiting some Randians to come argue with me.

I haven’t read Atlas Shrugged, so please don’t mistake this as some type of review or critique.

Imagine a world where, instead of the capital owning class going on strike, the lower and middle classes went on strike. They stopped buying durable goods, stopped eating out, stopped going on vacations, stopped investing in their 401Ks. What would happen to the economy and industry then? Granted, the working classes are generally unable to go on strike for prolonged periods. They are called the working class because they have to work. They don’t have nest eggs and investments from which they can draw an income. So they work. They aspire, they consume, and they keep the economy moving along because they have to: they have to feed and clothe and house themselves and their families.

But they don’t have to buy new TV’s and automobiles or overleveraged homes. These are cultural values, specifically consumer culture values. Partially they are the legacy of the “American Dream” that is itself rooted in the scientific revolutions of the Enlightenment and subsequently mankind’s gradual ascent from a Hobbesian existence towards the current level of comfort and physical security afforded to us today. Human beings are an aspirational animal. We are hardwired to accumulate material wealth because material wealth brings security. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes perfect sense. The only problem is that sometime thousands of years ago, mankind started to cultivate the land and form societies. These societies began to offer to human beings a way to escape the Darwinian struggle for survival, to a certain degree. Over time, it has brought us to a point today where natural selection is still in effect, although social processes have created an evolutionary environment in which it is not always the most adapted that survive and flourish. We have created a world of equal genetic opportunity, which is almost assuredly a great thing, but we still have these evolutionary impulses to conquer and acquire, to hoard what is scarce, and to have anxiety over our relative social position.

All of these impulses are putting us on a collision course towards collapse. I am not an expert on environmental science or population economics, but I believe it is fair to say that the scientific community, by and large, has seen the writing on the wall. The level of economic growth, as it is defined contemporarily by GDP growth, is unsustainable. The stock of natural resources on our planet is being diminished and the world’s population is continuing to grow, both at ever increasing rates. From the time of the Industrial Revolution to the end of the Second World War, the world’s population has grown from 1 billion to 3 billion people. Only a fraction of those people were lifted out of what we would consider poverty and into the ranks of the working consumer class. Today, the world’s population is near 7 billion and more than half of those people are currently playing “catch up” with the Western world in terms of industrialization and standards of living. Even though today’s industrial standards are more technologically sophisticated and efficient than what was used during the 19th and 20th centuries, the cost to the earth of giving 3 billion more people plasma screen displays and three bedroom houses will be tremendous.

The consumerist cultural values that are intrinsic to the operation of the current global capitalist system are unsustainable, and from an existential viewpoint, completely unnecessary in today’s world of abundant food and relative interregional security. Many recent studies have been done that conclude people do not gain any marginal happiness with income levels over a certain amount. I am not sure what that amount is, but the mere fact that it exists should tell us something about the end result of an aspirational consumerist society: it won’t end until the earth is dead or we change our values.

The middle classes can stop wanting to become the upper classes, and the lower classes can be assured of their own rights to be enfranchised as global citizens who are able to receive benefits from the technological and scientific progress that has been made over the last several centuries, we just have to want it and demand it, first as individuals, then as a society. We have to change our values.

Back to Atlas Shrugged: Atlas would be screwed without society at large. If the upper class really are the innovators, idea people, and heroes of society (which is a claim I am dubious of, but for the sake of argument I will let it stand), they still need a stock of workers to bring those ideas to life, and a marketplace full of consumers who are willing to purchase these ideas. Philosophically, the nobility of the capital owning classes lasts only as long as you give credence to consumption as an end in and of itself.

I try so hard not to be a Stan for this guy, but I just can’t help myself when he says shit like this:

“Last week marked an important milestone in the war on terrorism for our country.  Osama bin Laden applauded the 9/11 attacks.  Such deliberate killing of innocent lives deserved retaliation. It is good that bin Laden is dead and justice is served.  The way in which he was finally captured and killed shows that targeted retribution is far superior to wars of aggression and nation-building.  In 2001 I supported giving the president the authority to pursue those responsible for the vicious 9/11 attacks.  However, misusing that authority to pursue nation-building and remaking the Middle East was cynical and dangerous, as the past ten years have proven.

It is tragic that it took ten years, trillions of dollars, tens of thousands of American casualties and many thousands of innocent lives to achieve our mission of killing one evil person.  A narrow, targeted mission under these circumstances was far superior to initiating wars against countries not involved in the 9/11 attacks, and that is all we should have done.  This was the reason I emphasized at the time the principle of Marque and Reprisal, permitted to us by the US Constitution for difficult missions such as we faced.  I am convinced that this approach would have achieved our goal much sooner and much cheaper.

The elimination of Osama bin Laden should now prompt us to declare victory and bring our troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq.  Al Qaeda was never in Iraq and we were supposedly in Afghanistan to get Osama bin Laden. With bin Laden gone, there is no reason for our presence in the region – unless indeed it was all about oil, nation-building, and remaking the Middle East and Central Asia.

Hopefully bin Laden does not get the last laugh. He claimed the 9/11 attacks were designed to get the US to spread its military dangerously and excessively throughout the Middle East, bankrupting us through excessive military spending as he did the Soviets, and to cause political dissention within the United States.  Some 70 percent of Americans now believe we should leave Afghanistan yet both parties seem determined to stay.  The best thing we could do right now is prove bin Laden a false prophet by coming home and ending this madness on a high note.

Tragically, one result may be the acceptance of torture as a legitimate tool for pursuing our foreign policy. A free society, calling itself a republic, grounded in the rule of law, should never succumb to such evil.

At the very least we should all be able to agree that foreign aid to Pakistan needs to end immediately.  The idea that bin Laden was safely protected for ten years in Pakistan, either willfully or through incompetence, should make us question the wisdom of robbing American citizens to support any government around the world with foreign aid.  All foreign aid and intervention needs to end.

Our failed foreign policy is reflected in our bizarre relationship with Pakistan. We bomb them with drones, causing hundreds of civilian casualties, we give them billions of dollars in foreign aid for the privilege to do so, all while they protect America’s enemy number one for a decade.

It is time to consider a sensible non-interventionist foreign policy as advised by our Founders and authorized by our Constitution. We would all be better off for it.”

Categories: Libertarianism, Peace, Ron Paul