Ron Paul – The Revolution: A Manifesto – Page 69 through 76

Page 69: In a free economy everybody has a right to their life and property and nobody has the right to interfere with the life and property on anyone else. In general, most people accept this premise. Nobody accepts theft as moral, even if the thief is going to do philanthropic things with the loot. Yet, when government does the exact same thing it is considered morally acceptable.

Page 70: We currently live under a system where everybody attempts to plunder everybody else through the mechanism of government. We should not allow the government to carry out any action that would be considered immoral if done by an individual. It is not only the poor who take advantage of the government. The rich manipulate the government to their advantage as well.

Quote: “The rich are more than happy to secure for themselves a share of the loot – for example, in the form of subsidized low-interest loans (as with the Export-Import bank), bailouts when their risky loans go sour, or regulatory schemes that hurt their smaller competitors or make it harder for new ones to enter and industry.”

Page 71: The idea that the government should not be allowed to loot the public has long been popular in the US.  Governments should not be allowed to grant privileges to specific industries because that makes the assumption that the people in that industry are more important than everyone else. Giving government the power to arbitrarily pick and choose winners and losers leads to a highly politicized body politic. It was never the intention of the founders to give the government any such power.

Quote (William Legget): “Whenever a government assumes the power of discriminating between the different classes of the community, it becomes, in effect, the arbiter of their prosperity, and exercises a power not contemplated by any intelligent people in delegating their sovereignty to the rulers.”

Page 72: The government should only have the power necessary to protect each individual’s person and property. It should have no power whatsoever to steer the direction of the economy. The US government limits the amount of sugar that can be imported into the US. This makes sugar more expensive for US consumers due to lack of competition. It also make American products that use sugar more expensive to produce. It is peculiar that such a relatively small portion of the population could foist its policy on the rest of the country.

Quote (William Legget): “In the exercise of this power of intermeddling with the private pursuits and individual occupations of the citizen, a government may at pleasure elevate on class and depress another; it may one day legislate exclusively for the farmer, the next for the mechanic, and the third for the manufacturer, who all thus become the mere puppets of legislative cobbling and tinkering, instead of independent citizens, relying on the own resources for their prosperity.”

Page 73: The proportionately small percentage of people working in the sugar industry benefit tremendously from the sugar quota. It makes sense for them to lobby hard to keep it in place. Whereas the higher cost of sugar, caused by the policy, is spread out over the entire population of the country. The cost to a single person is hardly noticeable.  They have no incentive to dedicate the necessary resources to get the quota removed. However, when you multiply this phenomena by the number of industries that lobby for privileges, the level of plunder becomes more obvious. We must always remember William Graham Sumner’s “the forgotten man.”

Quote (William Graham Sumner): “The type and formula of most schemes of philanthropy or humanitarianism is this: A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D. The radical vice of all these schemes, from a sociological point of view, is that C is not allowed a voice in the matter, and his position, character, and interests, as well as the ultimate effects on society through C’s interests, are entirely overlooked. I call C the Forgotten Man….They therefore ignore entirely the source from which they must draw all the energy which they employ in their remedies, and they ignore all the effects on other members of society than the ones they have in view. They are always under the dominion of the superstition of government, and, forgetting that a government produces nothing at all, they leave out of sight the first fact to be remembered in all social discussion-that the state cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it. This latter is the forgotten man.”

Page 74: Once government programs are started, they tend to exist permanently. People start to forget how things were before the government program and assume that things would be worst if the program was gotten rid of. Those who benefit for the program have every incentive to fight for the continuing existence and expansion of the program. The worse the program performs, the more money it is likely to get.

Quote: “In fact, the worse it does, the more funding it is likely to get-exactly the opposite of what happens in the private sector, in which those who successfully meet the needs of their fellow men are rewarded with profits, and those who poorly anticipate consumer demand are punished with loses.”

Page 75: Americans seem to think there would be no cultural activities in the US without the aid of government funding. That is false. In 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts requested $121 million from the federal government. Strikingly, private donations to the arts were $2.5 billion in 2006. There is no doubt that the private money was spent better than the government money. The federal government is not known for its artistic prowess. The existence and efficacy of private associations is nothing new. Alexis de Tocqueville, during  his famous trip to the United States, was pleasantly surprised by the number of voluntary associations he observed. Many would argue that private donations may well provide for the arts, but they could never suffice for taking care of the sick and poor.

Quote (Alexis de Tocqueville): “Wherever, at the head of some new undertaking, you see the government in France, or a man of rank in England, in the United States you will be sure to find an association.”

Page 76: Much less money would be needed to institute welfare if it came from private donations. Nearly 70 percent of the welfare budget is spent on government workers needed to administer the programs. Further, it is much easier to manipulate a government run organization than a private organization. It is the rich and powerful that benefit most from government programs, not the poor and middle class. Government programs ruin the economy by making goods more expensive and businesses lazier and less competitive. When the programs are paid for by printing more money, the rich and powerful score an even greater windfall.  John Chubb, of the Brookings Institution, conducted an interesting study on how many bureaucrats worked for public versus private schools.

Quote: “Given that the politically influential and well connected – neither of which includes the middle class or the poor – are the ones who tend to win privileges and loot from the government, I do not understand why we take for granted that the net result of all this looting is good for those who are lower on the economic ladder.”

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