Ron Paul – The Revolution: A Manifesto – Page 101 through Page 105

Page 101: In 1820, 80 percent of the world lived in extreme poverty. In 1950 it was down to 50 percent. In 1994 extreme poverty was down to 24 percent of the world’s population. It is unique in the annals of history for such a large swath of the world’s population to experience such a dramatic rise in their standard of living in such a short period of time. The miraculous increase in the world’s standard of living is attributable to the free market. Foreign aid, on the other hand, causes the recipient country’s standard of living to move in the opposite direction. If the true history of foreign aid was known by the public it would be much more strongly opposed.

Quote: “If Americans knew the real story of foreign aid and how it has deformed recipient economies, aided repressive regimes, and even contributed to violent strife, they would oppose it even more strongly than they already do.”

Page 102: Cutting off foreign aid to other countries is not an isolationist position. It could only be considered isolationist to those who believe that people from different countries are incapable of helping each other without governmental action. Individuals who wish to participate in a program helping people abroad are perfectly able to do so. A recent study showed that in 2006 private American citizens donated  three times more money abroad than did the US government. In order to fully comprehend these issues, it is essential for a free people to understand economics. The Austrian school of free market economics has given a cogent and predictive theory of economics that has helped its adherents explain and predict financial crises for many, many decades.

Page 103: One of the great economists of the Austrian school is Ludwig von Mises. He wrote the classic Human Action: A treastice on Economics. Both his brilliance in economics and his moral courage are truly inspiring. Ludwig von Mises saw the economist’s job as being an intellectual who speaks truth to power, thereby tending to earn the scorn of those in charge. He was chased out of his homeland by the Nazis both because he was Jewish and because he was not afraid to denounce the Nazi party’s economic platform. At age 60 Mises found refuge in the United States. He had no job, little money and spoke no English. Mises had already produced a number of classics on economics in his native language, German.

Quote (Ludwig von Mises): “Economics is a challenge to the conceit of those in power. An economist can never be a favorite of autocrats and demagogues. With them he is always the mischief-maker, and the more they are inwardly convinced that his objections are well founded, the more they hate him.”

Page 104: Even after the age of 60, and in a language that was foreign to him, Mises continued to write phenomenal books on economics. Mises never stopped working against unsound economics. He spoke out and wrote against Keynesianism and all other types of central planning that had popular appeal. Mises had a tremendous influence on a new generation of young economists. In 1982 the Ludwig von Mises institute was founded to promote the education of free market economics in the Austrian tradition. Ludwig von Mises passed away in 1973.

Quote: “I sometimes hear people say that they find economics boring. That almost always means they’ve never read the Austrians, whose work brims with intellectual excitement.”

Page 105: It is incorrect to say that advocates of the free market are against protecting the environment. Supporters of private property must view any and all violations of property rights as illegal acts, punishable by the law. Businesses, regardless of their size, have no right to infringe on the property rights of others. Acts such as air and water pollution are violations of property rights. Therefore, raising taxes and fees on those who pollute is not the proper way to deal with the issue. Economist Martin Anderson views such a solution as akin to taxing thieves in order to prevent them from burglarizing your home. The court system should assess damages on any party who pollutes without the prior consent of those affected. There was once a time when American law treated the issue of pollution in just that way.

Quote: “Private business should not have the right to socialize its costs by burdening other people with the by-products of its operations.”

Quote (Walter Block and Robert W. McGee): “If a firm creates pollution without first entering into an agreement, or if the parties cannot come to an agreement fixing the cost and degree of pollution, then the court system could be used to assess damages.”

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