Ron Paul's Age-Gap Politics of 'No'
by Gary North: Stalin
Committed No Crimes, Says Obscure Tax-Funded Professor
7 of this year, I wrote an article on the idealism of younger voters
who flocked to Ron Paul's campaign for the Republican Party's nomination
for President. It
is posted here. My opinions have not changed. I am convinced
that there is a bond between him and voters who are 60 years younger
than he is. I can think of no other nationally known American politician
in history who has bridged this gap, but with only a minority of
hard core voters, ages 30 to 77, in between.
This has something
to do with bills that are coming due. The
younger voters are expected by the older ones to "pay their
fair share." This means staying in the multiple Ponzi schemes that
constitute modern politics all over the West.
today expect younger workers passively to pay all of the bills that
were run up by politicians in the name of voters who got into these
schemes early. But the younger voters will not comply. They can't.
The bills are too large.
All Ponzi schemes die. They are actuarial impossibilities. Uncle
Sam is really Bernie Madoff, but on the scale of hundreds of trillions
of dollars, not a piddly $50 billion.
For now, the
politics of guilt keeps younger workers paying into the schemes.
Younger voters have the votes to kill off these schemes, but there
are two crucial missing factors: (1) personal economic pain sufficient
for them to consider cutting off these programs; (2) an understanding
of a moral philosophy that justifies this decision to kill the programs.
philosophy of non-interventionism at home and abroad is the moral
philosophy most suitable to an age-based, non-violent, political
revolution. Think of it as this: a revolution of pulling the
Ponzi schemes' plugs.
is not just an American political scenario. It is universal in the
influence has already crossed national borders. His foreign policy
is clear: "The United States government should leave foreigners
alone." This message appeals to foreigners all across the globe.
But this raises a question: "Why does he hold this view?" The answer:
the philosophy of non-interventionism. Some foreigners then
draw a correct conclusion: "This principle crosses borders." The
appeal to older voters, who have paid individual pittances into
them and want collective fortunes out of them.
For as long
as young people do not look at the economics of Ponzi schemes, they
go along with them. But, deficit by deficit, reality intrudes. The
systems are going broke. If the government funds them forever, younger
voters will go broke. Today in Greece, Spain, and Portugal, the
only factor that keeps young voters from being expropriated by these
Ponzi schemes is unemployment. Half of them can find no jobs. They
have no futures under the present regimes. They are beginning to
figure this out.
But they do
not know why they are locked out. They have never been taught free
market economics. Their teachers in tax-funded schools had no incentive
to teach free market economics, for free market economics helps
people to understand and identify Ponzi schemes.
why Ron Paul's message crosses the Atlantic is because of three
things: (1) he has identified the Ponzi schemes, (2) he has called
them into question morally and statistically, and (3) the Internet.
politics was always a package deal. It was the politics of "no."
It rested on two assumptions: (1) the principle of non-intervention;
(2) the obligation to vote "no" if the proposed legislation was
not authorized by the U.S. Constitution. Simple. Direct. Easily
understood. Universally ignored.
1865, there have been only three elected Washington politicians
who held this position: Ron Paul, President Grover Cleveland, and
Congressman Howard Buffett (Warren's father).
of "no" is a self-conscious reversal of all politics. Traditional
politics is based on the practice known as logrolling. A politician
approaches a colleague. He promises to vote for the colleague's
bill if the colleague will reciprocate. The two bills must be non-controversial
in each man's district. But most bills are. There are thousands
of them introduced in every term of Congress. This is the politics
Ron Paul reversed
the arrangement. He refused to vote for boondoggles introduced by
his colleagues. In return, he never has asked them to vote for boondoggles
for his district. He never introduced boondoggle legislation for
his district. This arrangement had not been heard of ever since
Howard Buffett left office in January of 1953.
of "yes" is based on this justification to the folks back home.
"I will bring home the loot." The politics of "no" is based on this
justification to the folks back home: "I will keep out the looters."
of "yes" is the politics of guns in people's bellies, either to
stop them from doing something or to force them to open their wallets.
The politics of "no" is the politics of having the government's
agents put their guns back in their holsters.
Congress late in the term of a Democrat who had resigned to take
a position in the federal bureaucracy. He entered in April of 1976.
He was defeated that November by 268 votes out of 180,000.
In that brief
stay in Congress, he gained the nickname, "Dr. No." In short, word
traveled fast. The villain of the first James Bond movie of 1962
was Dr. No. No one viewed Paul as a villain, but the moniker stuck.
I was Dr. No's
He hired me
in June to write his newsletters. Most congressmen had a newsletter.
They would send out a monthly letter. I was in the newsletter business:
Remnant Review. I recognized that his name needed to be in
front of voters once a week. So, I created two letters, each sent
every other week. One was one page, 8x10, two sides. The other was
four pages, 11x17, folded.
I never told
him what I would write. As far as I know, he did not proofread them.
He trusted me not to get him in trouble, either factually or ideologically.
He did not worry about what voters would think. He only wanted to
be sure that what was in those letters was consistent with his stated
philosophy of non-interventionism and Constitutionalism.
voters who complained in writing about his hard-core positions in
the newsletters, but nobody ever complained that he was going down
the road to compromise.
I have only
three regrets. This first one occurred to me only last month. We
never had a photo of the staff. This second one only occurs to me
as I write this report. I never saved copies of those newsletters.
third, however, has bugged me for over 30 years. I never saved a
copy of the first and last position paper I wrote for him, when
he voted "no" on additional American funding for the International
Monetary Fund (IMF). I arrived on Friday for my first day on the
job. I was told it had to be written for submission on Monday morning.
I began to write it on Friday. I came in on Saturday to finish it.
It was printed the following Wednesday. Congress voted overwhelmingly
to fund the IMF.
was one odd after-effect of that position paper. In what simply
never happens, the Senate Banking Committee, under Senator Proxmire,
invited Dr. Paul to testify as to why he planned to vote against
the bill. The Senate pays no attention to the opinions of Congressmen,
let alone the junior member in terms of seniority. My guess then,
as now, was that Proxmire really did want to know why anyone would
vote against the IMF. It seemed inconceivable to him.
With the IMF
trying to bail out the collapsing European banking system, using
American capital as collateral for the loans that it is trying to
raise, we know how things have turned out. Paul was right in 1976.
Proxmire was wrong. The IMF remains a far larger "golden fleece"
than the clever but peripheral examples of government waste that
Proxmire used to feed to the press with fanfare every month: his
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North [send him mail]
is the author of Mises
on Money. Visit http://www.garynorth.com.
He is also the author of a free 31-volume series, An
Economic Commentary on the Bible.
2012 Gary North
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