Archive for December, 2008

David Nolan on the LP

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Libertarian Party founder David Nolan has some interesting thoughts on the future of the Libertarian Party.

He sharply criticizes the job done by the Bob Barr campaign and calls for a re-radicalization of the LP.

Here are my thoughts on voting and the Barr campaign:

I ended up pulling the lever for Bob Barr, even though not voting on principle is also very appealing. Sure Barr’s campaign hasn’t been able to capitalize on the enthusiasm of the Paul campaign, and some of the campaign’s decisions have been quite questionable. (I’m thinking specifically of the decision to stiff Ron Paul while Campaign Manager Russ Verney was writing in praise of George Bush’s post-9/11 “leadership” - you know, the “leadership” that got us into Iraq, failed to make any reform in social security, authorized torture, spied on Americans, etc.)

Still, for most Americans who don’t even realize that Bob Barr is on the ballot, a vote for him is just a generic libertarian protest vote, which is exactly what I want it to stand for.

Weekly Standard Praises Ron Paul (One Year Too Late)

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Via @TAC, some praise and acknowledgment for Dr. Paul in the Weekly Standard:

Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain had much of value to say about the financial crisis as it raged through the headlines this fall. Rather than shred their campaign strategies, they played it safe, as most politicians would have. But in the name of justice we ought to recall that there was one candidate who did foresee our predicament with considerable accuracy when it still lay far in the future. Ron Paul, in almost every speech he made during the Republican primaries, spoke of bubbles, reckless credit growth, and the “unsustainability” of present policy.

Faulty Assumptions for the Detroit Bailout

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

The American Conservative magazine is one of my favorites. It is one of only three political magazines I have a subscription to - the others being Reason and Liberty.

But this article, by Patrick Choate, is infuriating. Choate argues for bailing out the Detroit Three, which he mistakenly refers to as the “American auto industry” (after all three of the “10 Most American Cars” are Toyotas).

Part of the problem is Choate’s assumption, laid out in the subhead: “If Wall Street warrants a bailout, why not Detroit?”  Let’s be clear Wall Street got a bailout, that doesn’t mean Wall Street warranted it.

Of all places TAC should know that just because the government did something, doesn’t mean it’s warranted, wise or even Constitutional. It’s sort of like saying “If Iraq warranted invasion, why not Pakistan?” After all, that’s where Bin Laden is right?

Later, he buys into the Big Three/UAW union’s propaganda. “a 100 percent closedown of the Big Three auto producers would result in the loss of almost 3 million U.S. jobs in the first year” he tells us. Nonsense. That’s only the case if the demand for cars drops simultaneously and all the assets of the so-called “Big Three” go dormant.

Without a bailout, if/when one, two or all of the Big Three go bankrupt, those valuable assets aren’t going to go to waste. They’ll be bought up at a discount and repurposed, most likely to make profitable cars. Many of the skilled employees that worked in the plants before will be needed to return to work in the plants. The same can be said of most of the suppliers, salesman and others who helped the Detroit Three produce, distribute, design and sell cars. Of course, the same can’t be said for the union officials who would be out of business, but who cares about those thugs?

Markets are incredibly vibrant and dynamic things. Resources don’t go to waste except when the government prevents the creative destruction that drives innovation. Choate may be right that the thinking that brought about the Wall Street bailout could be used to justify the a Detroit bailout, but that would just be repeating past mistakes. 

Haven’t we already thrown enough good money after bad?