A Review of Ron Paul’s Part IX "pillars of prosperity"
Dr. Ron Paul has published a new book this year, titled “Pillars of Prosperity: Free Markets, Honest Money, Private Property,” which contains an extensive compilation of his thoughts on economics and presents an excellent opportunity for a special book review. . This is the ninth and final installment of a longer review of the entire book, the full review of which will examine each individual part of the book and present a summary of the positions and arguments presented, which have sadly gone unrepresented to most Americans. “Part 9 – Expenses, Taxes and Regulations” is discussed here.
In the final section of the book, Ron Paul has compiled a series of miscellaneous writings on various topics related to the free market and government intervention. Major themes that have also been examined throughout the book are prominent in these discussions, including excessive government spending, intervention in the economy in an effort to help the poor, and discriminatory practices by Congress in the delivery of benefits. .
The government’s willingness to spend every penny and more than it can tax and borrow has been a frequent theme that Paul has raised throughout his speeches. When politicians can’t tax or borrow more, they turn to the Federal Reserve, which prints the money to cover the deficit. But this new money causes inflation and the banking system contributes to the problem. Paul claims that because of the fractional reserve system, money is multiplied by six. A creation of $1.5 billion of new money will eventually result in a $9 billion increase in total dollar supply.
Paul argues that the federal debt limit issue is essentially a joke. Designed to control congressional spending, politicians have frequently voted to increase the cap, rather than control the size of government. This is like a shopaholic giving himself a higher credit limit for his lenders, which is exactly like having no limit at all. Paul also likens the practice to “making minimum payments on a credit card. Keep in mind that the principal never goes down. In fact, it goes up all the time.” Nothing can stop the government from increasing spending more and more, as it hits one self-imposed limit after another with only higher limits and more spending.
However, the growth of government is not just an issue on both sides of the aisle. Paul has long argued that the Republican Party has lost its way, relinquishing the positions that elected them in the first place, such as cutting spending, not spending on deficits and eliminating waste in government. However, the Republican Party has sold out to the rights crowd. But this hasn’t even helped them gain more power or respect from special interest groups, as Democrats offer to spend even more than Republicans on all issues.
A good example of this trend toward growing government is the issue of nondiscretionary funding. If the money must be spent and control is out of the control of Congress, then these programs are out of the control of the people. Non-discretionary entitlement spending, according to Paul, is the dream of a statist, fostering the welfare state at home and the American Empire spanning the globe.
This government intervention and its willingness to spend more money than it has is the real cause of the growing gap between rich and poor. Congress, however, is only proposing more welfare and intervention, rather than examining the source of the problems. But increasing federal welfare funds also increases federal control and fosters dependency. Beneficiaries depend on the government for their money, and bureaucrats depend on more people receiving welfare to provide job security.
Paul’s solution to the welfare problem is for the government to end the huge tax burden on people so they have more money to donate to charities to help the poor. Where government destroys culture and creates dependency, charity encourages self-sufficiency. Paul writes that: “The history of failed experiments with social welfare and socialism shows that government can only destroy a culture; when government tries to build a culture, it only further erodes people’s freedom.” People who can only pocket small amounts of their paychecks cannot afford to help solve some of these social problems.
Another problem that could be solved with less regulation and lower taxes is that of the minimum wage. Imposing wage controls on the economy drives a wedge between the supply and demand for labor. This actually increases unemployment, the only problem the minimum wage was designed to fix. Paul is proposing lower taxes and deregulation that he says would promote job growth.
But spending, inflation and government intervention aren’t just a problem in and of themselves, according to Paul. Another, more serious issue is the discriminatory way in which Congress delivers its benefits. While it has passed laws to make it harder for the average person to pay off their debts through bankruptcy, Congress has bailed out several high-profile institutions using taxpayer money. Lockheed Corporation, New York City, Chrysler Corporation, and the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management are just a few of the companies or governments that Congress has considered taking money from poor and middle-class people and giving it to the fiscally incompetent. wealthy.
Even before these private corporations or governments get into enough trouble to consider bankruptcy, they can receive billions of dollars of the people’s money in corporate social benefits. For example, the two largest recipients of Export-Import Bank aid are the Boeing Corporation and the nation of China. It is inconceivable that America’s poor and middle class are subsidizing corporations and competitors in foreign nations.
Before Enron collapsed in late 2001, it also received billions of dollars in welfare. The company was one of the biggest beneficiaries of Eximbank, taking in nearly $600 million courtesy of the average American. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation also provided the company with nearly $1 billion to carry out twelve projects in foreign countries, many of which turned out to be complete waste (the power plant that Enron financed and built in India remains unsuccessful). used to this day). The financing provided to the company in the form of loans will not be repaid and the bill will end up being footed by the average American.
Companies like Enron also benefit from indirect government intervention in the market. The fact that the company complied with all the rules and regulations required by the Securities and Exchange Commission gave investors, trusting government institutions, a false sense of security because its financial statements were not questioned by the SEC. The easy credit provided by the Federal Reserve also allowed Enron to receive unsecured loans from large banks. These loans will also probably never be repaid now.
Of course, no government intervention would be complete without a contradictory intervention to complete the cycle of irony. For one thing, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley regulations (which Paul would get rid of) after the collapse of Enron and Worldcom, which were designed to provide more openness in financial reporting. On the other hand, they continued to wage a war on people’s financial privacy with further attacks on personal liberties after 9/11 under the banner of the open War on Terror. Hiding their own intentions to attack people’s financial privacy rights, these previously rejected proposals were resurrected, colored in the broad “fighting terrorism” brush, and launched into a fearful public.
Throughout this book, Ron Paul’s constant message has been to limit the power and size of government and increase the freedoms and power of the people. The enormous tax burden on the people, along with thousands of regulations that interfere with the free market, and the irresponsibility of a government that overspends and creates inflation have significantly eroded people’s awareness of their own power to control the government that supposedly it has been created to protect your life, liberty and property. Paul has always stated that it was his intent to record his beliefs about the proper role of government and to practice the principles he holds regarding government intervention in social spending and free markets. This book, Pillars of Prosperity: Free Markets, Honest Money, Private Property, is a valuable part of that record and shows that the congressman is one of the few politicians who believes that the principles of liberty are what make this country great. , rather than the politics of special interests.