Thursday, April 11, 2013

Did Rand Paul Take a Swipe at Louis Farrakhan?

I think so. It occurred during the Q&A session following Rand's speech at Howard University. See the clip below. For the record, Farrakhan is pro-gold, anti-war and his followers aren't wilding on Michigan Avenue in Chicago after the sun goes down. The black community would be much better off if more listened to Farrakhan.

As for Rand, from calling for the song Knockin' On Heaven's Door to be played on a bus full of evangelicals to this toned-down swipe at Farrakhan, it suggests that Rand is not at all tuned-in with the subtleties of the world. This, again, raises the question, who is running Rand? Rand's macro moves are very sophisticated and suggest the thinking of a mind who understands subtleties very well. It ain't Rand. When he is out on his own, there is no clue he gets any nuances.

And, note well, during this clip, he does not come out against government loans for students, but only such loans in the context of a balanced budget.

(ht John Duncan)


  1. I am an African-American and have been a libertarian for nearly eight years. Regarding Rand Paul's response to the student's statement about favoring "helpful" government, Rand Paul had the golden opportunity to articulate why "helpful" government is actually harmful and how "helpful" government can lead to the loss of liberties. For extra credit, he could have even explained how "helpful" government is often even immoral per the non-aggression principle. Somebody like Ron Paul, Walter Block, or Walter Williams would have clearly done this.

    But Rand Paul blows this opportunity. His reply is in politican-speak instead of in plain English. The only harmful effects of big government programs that he mentioned in his reply is the harm to government budgets. The problem with this answer is that a non-fiscal conservative could always retort with the need for higher taxes or for deficit spending. But what about the problems of taxation to pay for such programs in the first place? Does the federal government have the constitutional authority to run these programs? (The answer is "No".) And even if it did, is it the proper role of government, anyway? What about the actual effects of these programs? Consider the combined effects of the student loan crisis and degree inflation. Consider how easy government funding contributes to rising tuition costs that make it difficult, if not impossible, for college students to work through their college careers like students in previous generations did.

    And, as a libertarian, it's very disappointing to hear a "libertarian" politician say things like "it's not like I believe in having no government", or "it's not like I'm against student loans", or "I believe in a government that spends what it takes in". Now, while I don't believe that libertarians have to be anarcho-capitalists, I believe that libertarians should be at least sympathetic to the sentiments expressed by Murray Rothbard and other libertarian and anarcho-capitalist thinkers about the state being a great evil. Rand Paul doesn't seem to think this way at all. Also, just to favor balanced budgets is not enough to be a libertarian. A government that takes in $2.7 trillion and spends more than that is not small government. If the government takes in $2.7 trillion from tax revenues, that's $2.7 trillion that's forcibly extracted out of the economy and diverted to the government sector. Imagine what millions of businesses and 300 million individuals could do with that $2.7 trillion. Compare that to what the feds do with it XD. It's not enough to just favor balanced budgets; small, constitutional government and no income tax should be absolute minimums. And no libertarian politician should defend a federal role in education, period.

    All and all, this entire speech not just this question-answer video, seemed more like an advertisement for the Republican Party, complete with politician-speak, and less like an explanation and a defense of libertarianism or even small-government conservatism. While Rand Paul does some good things from time to time, he is turning into a disappointment.

  2. I stopped listening to Rand a long time ago.

    I don't even know why I clicked on the video...I guess because there's lots of people still following him, including self identified libertarians.

    Anyway, in this instance Rand tells us he's 'ok' with taxes, unlike his Dad(who always when pressed says "zero" for taxes even if he's says 10% is "ok" for the short term).

    He's ok with using taxpayer money to pay some people's tuition, as long as gov't doesn't "borrow"(notice he didn't say print) more than gov't steals.

    I suspect his father's response would be so much different to the young man asking the question.

    That is the greatness of Ron Paul, the ability to make an argument convincingly and inoffensively.

    I've heard the argument about Ron Paul making a fortune from being an employee of gov't, participating in the organized theft that is gov't, etc.

    I can understand the argument and I'm not going to disagree with it, HOWEVER-if that was the price that was to be paid to convince people to become Austrians, libertarians, anarchists, was worth it.

    Unfortunately, his son will have no such impact.