Archive for the ‘"Ron Paul Republicans"’ Category
Chris Matthews is the ultimate defender of the establishment. Sure he impulsively defend the Democrats, but even more so he defends the government against the people - repeatedly demonstrating that he thinks that the few politicians that take their oath to the Constitution to heart are somehow not being serious.
That makes this clip with Doctor Paul all the more interesting:
I think that Peter Schiff gets it right:
While ramming their new legislation through Congress, the Democrats have taken great pains to point out that they do not intend to “socialize medicine.” But make no mistake, that’s where we’re headed. Even if some naïve centrists believe that their efforts have denied the Left a total victory, the practical implications of the current legislation sow the seeds for complete capitulation.
This first round of reform could be labeled as the ‘neutron bomb’ of the insurance industry: it leaves some of the private apparatus standing, but it irradiates whatever remains of the industry’s market viability.
The bill’s centerpiece is a clause prohibiting insurers from denying coverage based on a pre-existing medical condition. However noble and marketable an idea, this proscription removes the very basis upon which any insurance model operates profitably.
A system of insurance requires that premiums be collected from a pool of low-risk people so that funds are available in case a high-risk event befalls a particular person. In that way, premiums can be low and coverage can be widely available, even if the benefits offered are hypothetically unlimited.
For example, homeowners buy fire insurance even though their houses are very unlikely to burn down. Recognizing that a fire could wipe them out financially, most homeowners endure the cost of coverage even if they never expect to collect. The same model applies to health insurance in a free market.
However, the health care bill removes the need for healthy individuals to carry insurance. Knowing that they could always find coverage if it were eventually needed, people would simply forgo paying expensive premiums while they are healthy, and then sign on when they need it. But insurance companies cannot survive if all of their policyholders are filing claims!
Correctly anticipating this incentive, the Senate bill imposes an annual fine which gradually escalates to $750 for those who fail to buy coverage. So what? I would gladly pay $750 in order to avoid the $8,000 per year I pay now for personal health insurance. Currently, I’m relatively healthy for a 46 year old and I don’t anticipate making a big claim. But if I do, under the new rules I can always get ‘insurance’ after the fact. Heck, if I can stay healthy for the next couple of decades, I’ll save a fortune. Think about how much easier the decision would be if I were 20 years younger! Since most people are capable of figuring this out, the entire insurance industry would collapse under such a system.
There can be no question that $750 annual maximum penalty is a mere placeholder. It is the camel’s nose under the tent. When the non-discrimination provision kicks in, the only way these companies could remain solvent would be for Congress to raise the fine to the point where the penalty is greater than the gain of skipping coverage.
For me, that would have to be roughly $8,000 per year. Introducing such a fine right now would have surely killed the bill. So, the wily wonks in Washington have chosen to move slower, knowing that once the first step is taken, the second becomes inevitable.
However, there is another, more devious possibility. Perhaps our elected officials actually intend to bite the hands that feed them. They could double-cross insurance companies by not raising the fine in five years, thereby forcing the industry into bankruptcy as millions of healthy people opt-out. During the ensuing ‘insurance crisis,’ our courageous leaders could ride to the rescue with a nationalized, single-payer system.
The real tragedy is that the current bill does nothing to restrain the forces that are propelling healthcare costs into the stratosphere, namely: regulatory bans of insurance competition, the out-of-control medical malpractice industry, federal programs and subsidies, and a tax code that favors a third-party payment system - which alienates the patient from the cost of his care.
To consider that many in Washington have the nerve to market this multi-trillion dollar monstrosity as a “deficit reduction bill” is to realize that our representatives have lost all touch with reality. For those keeping score, the government made similarly rosy projections in the mid-1960’s when Medicare was first introduced. The inflation-adjusted cost of that program already exceeds the original estimate by a factor of ten. That’s probably where we are headed this time around.
In the most recent issue of Young American Revolution, W. James Antle III writes about the politics of Murray Rothbard.
Rothbard, an anarcho-capitalist, built the philosophical core of the modern libertarian movement. But instead of focusing on his philosophy, the article focuses on Rothbard’s long-standing search for a practical political movement that would build the foundation of his libertarian society:
Rothbard was not always pleased by the results of his excursions into electoral politics. Yet he never stopped trying to build political coalitions to fight against government encroachments and never lost hope that liberty could be more than an abstract ideal. His radical libertarianism—anarchism, really—did not blind him to the value of conventional politicking. The arena could not be ceded to believers in state power.
Read the whole article here.
And afterwards you can check out my article on the state’s war on tobacco from the same issue.
National media outlets are starting to take note of the fact that Rand Paul has a legitimate chance of becoming the next Senator from Kentucky. This from the Journal’s subscription only Political Diary:
Who says you can’t learn something from your parents? Ask Rand Paul, son of last year’s presidential wunderkind, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas.
The younger Mr. Paul, an eye surgeon, is making a spirited run for Kentucky’s open Senate seat, which is being vacated by Republican Jim Bunning. Earlier this week the campaign reported it had sucked up a whopping $1 million in the third quarter alone, much of that accomplished by Mr. Rand tapping into his father’s extensive, online grassroots national network. Mr. Paul’s total swamped the haul of Republican Secretary of State Trey Grayson, the favored candidate of the party leadership. Mr. Grayson announced about $643,000, and that’s after getting fundraising aid from Senate Minority Leader (and Kentucky Senator) Mitch McConnell.
The numbers have suddenly thrown a new light on the race. Mr. Grayson was figured a shoo-in for the nomination in next May’s primary. But Mr. Paul’s fundraising mojo, along with a recent Rasumussen poll showing him nearly as popular as Mr. Grayson in hypothetical matchups against Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo, may have some handicappers rethinking.
Rand Paul (yes, he’s named after the famous novelist) might also be a sign of the times. Like his father, he has a libertarian bent, and has focused the race on runaway federal spending, deficits, bailouts and earmarks — issues that Kentucky voters are eating up right now, as they worry about Washington and its spending binges. Mr. Grayson still has plenty going for him, including name recognition and a national party network to leverage to his advantage. But the younger Paul is a newcomer worth watching.
– Kim Strassel
One correction to the WSJ report: As Rand (shortened from Randal) explains in this video, he wasn’t named after Ayn Rand, even though he is a fan.
Justin Owings found me on Twitter due to our shared interest and passion in Vibram Five Finger Shoes and paleo/evolutionary fitness. We ended up chatting more and found more mutual interests — he was involved in the Ron Paul campaign in Georgia and helped design very cool t-shirts to help spread the word and interested in seasteading. He also manages financial media websites that are helping to spread the message on the real reasons for the economic crisis and housing bubble.
Justin is also a very forward-thinking and creative guy and, I think, will be a future player in the movement. Below is my interview with him.
Q: Justin, what causes do you care most deeply about?
Generally, I want people (myself included!) to have fulfilling, healthy, and free lives. That may sound a bit peace-on-earth-y, but it’s hard for me to imagine a better world than one inhabited by happy, fit, and autonomous human beings. What I like about my “cause” is that it is one that is inherently decentralized, has no single solution, and can be furthered over a cup of coffee. At it’s core, the idea is about getting in touch with what it means to be human. But that’s another discussion.
Q: What is your day job when you aren’t volunteering to create cool graphics for nonprofits or for the causes you believe in? Do you consider that your passion/life’s mission?
By day I manage a few financial media websites all involved with the ongoing economic calamity that began in late 2006. These sites are collectively branded with the “Implode-o-meter” logo. I wouldn’t consider dispersing information on the latest imploded banks, hedge funds, home builders, and lenders a life mission, but it’s been the most interesting and fun job I’ve ever had. It’s also enabled me to learn more about both entrepreneurship and the Internet.
Q: What is most rewarding about what you are doing in your life?
As bizarre as it may seem, the most rewarding work in my life right now (completely ignoring the fact that I’m about to be a dad) is spreading the word about the coolest footwear invented since … ever: Vibram fivefingers. I do this via a fan site called birthdayshoes.com. The great part about this pet project (A pro bono labor of love at this point!) is that it, in a roundabout way, gets people in touch with their humanity through their feet. The realization that you can run and play outside barefoot as an adult — it’s a freeing experience. And it opens the door to other revelations about health and movement, which gets back to my original overarching goal of healthier and happier individuals.
Q: As a younger version of yourself (child - teenage years) were you interested in “creating” or “doing”? Anecdotes?
I was always into art as a kid. I think the first t-shirt I designed was in fourth grade, but I was doing various forms of “art” before that. I’ve lost track, but I’ve designed a number of tshirts for organizations ranging from schools to churches to emerging institutes working to create new frontiers (i.e. the Seasteading Institute!). And of course, I’m into creating websites. My first website was on AOL back around 1995. It was not-so-creatively titled “The Owings Brothers Page,” and was adorned with probably ten links and a handful of animated GIFs. Thankfully, that page wasn’t archived publicly. It was atrocious.
Q: What are some of your most influential books or thinkers? And why?
Recently, I’ve been stuck on the ideas put forth by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan (and Fooled by Randomness). I’m fascinated by how humans have a tendency to want to oversimplify, centralize, and control things that are incredibly complex and dynamic. Taleb is the poster child of this idea.
Though I do not consider myself an Objectivist, I confess to being first snapped awake by Ayn Rand’s works (The Fountainhead being the pivotal read for me). Rand was the first author to frame human beings as autonomous individuals.
Q: What advice can you give to artists that are looking for an outlet for their creativity?
Keep trying different things until you find stuff that works. But once you’ve mastered what works, try something else (you don’t want to get into a rut!). Also, if you’re struggling with being creative, I always find it helps to have a few parameters that constrain my creativity. It’s strange, but placing limits on what I can create tends to focus my attention.
Finally, it helps to have a goal or purpose behind your art. Are you trying to push an idea? Present an emotion? Capture a perspective? Or maybe you’re just trying to make people laugh. Art for art’s sake can be interesting and even fun but don’t expect people to care about it.
Note: He and his wife just completed their “Project Aminowings” and just had their first baby — a girl! Justin pictured with li’l Aviana, a future liberty-lover.
And out of curiosity, are there any other movement people out there with Vibram Five Fingers? If so, give a shout-out in the comment section.
Another episode yesterday of Freedom Watch from Fox’s Strategy Room.
The first guest? British MP and RonPaulBlog.com reader (we’re on his blogroll) Daniel Hannan. Other guests include regulars Peter Schiff, Lew Rockwell and Steve Bierfeldt.