Friday, December 16, 2011

Why I Abandoned Ron Paul

You have to respect Ron Paul in that he is principled. A key moral principle is that if an action is wrong for others it's wrong for us. Ron Paul understands that and so he recognizes that various US invasions on the basis of perceived threats are wrong. He talks about the enormous human costs of our invasions. He asks us to think about how we'd feel if it was done to us.

I had a big Ron Paul sign in my yard in 2008. Still have the sign in fact. But I won't be putting it up this time. As much as I respect him and agree with him on many issues, he's just wrong economically.

Paul Krugman has been noting this recently. Paul's models have simply failed. People of the Austrian school of economics made some really bold predictions. They've just been dead wrong. That matters.

Today Paul Krugman has some similar erroneous claims from Peter Schiff from back in 2009. Schiff is a huge Ron Paul fan. I was likewise a fan of Schiff. I knew about how he was predicting a crash and being called a moron for it. Watch how accurate he is compared to Ben Stein. So yeah, he looked to be someone that understood what was going on. But even in that popular video you can see hints of how he's wrong. He's expecting a dollar crash. That hasn't happened.

On the other hand when you look to Krugman you see that he likewise saw the downturn coming due to the housing bubble and additionally let it be known that he expected the dollar to be strong. He also expected the downturn to be prolonged because there was on net no stimulus (you hear that Obama passed stimulus, but this wasn't enough to offset reductions in state revenue, hence no stimulus on net).

On a similar note, here's an interesting article regarding Friedrich Hayek. Similarly wrong about the Great Depression like Paul and Schiff are now.


Sheldon said...

This is what I just wrote on my Facebook page:

So last night I was watching the Republican debates, and Ron Paul was just nailing it on arguments against getting into another war with Iran, bringing the troops home now, and ending our imperialist interventions. He held is own against his war mongering competition and Faux News interrogators. Paul is wrong about everything else, but he is 100% correct on this. So today I, a self-identified socialist, registered as a Republican so I can caucus for Paul, and monkey-wrench the Republicans."

However, if Paul were to win the nomination, which is unlikely, it would be a cold day in hell before I voted for him in the general election, but I wouldn't vote for Obama either.

HispanicPundit said...

I told you then, when you were a big Austrian fan, that they were nuts, remember?

Btw, I don't know if I told you this, but I have actually met both Ron Paul and Peter Schiff. I remember an incident where I was having small talk with a bookseller at the FreedomFest inside of the Ballys hotel in Las Vegas. She was putting the libertarian books on display inside of a conference room where most people go to gather when they aren't attending one of the various conferences being done. As she is putting her books out in comes Peter Schieff. Immediately he demands to know where his book is. When the lady (an older, nice polite lady) notified him that they didn't have his book to sell - he became quickly irritated. Started telling her what a big opportunity she was missing out on and how many of the people attending his lecture are going to walk across the street and buy the book from someone else.

She told him it wasn't done intentionally. They simply missed it (He wasn't a big name then). But he wouldn't have any of it. Was very rude and pushy. You could tell that his ego couldn't take it.

I didn't like him before and REALLY didn't like him after that. Anyway, something anecdotal.

Jon said...

No I don't remember. Can you show me? I remember you saying it after I'd long rejected it, but not prior to that. Also I don't remember rejecting falsifiability. Show me that too. I think you have misremembered both.

Otherwise, interesting story. Schiff does really come across as a snake oil salesman to me lately. Like he's just extremely confident even in the teeth of all the evidence and he talks like you are a moron to not see it that way. I took his financial advice and lost some money. Luck spared me from losing tons, but I probably still lost a little. How about your encounter with Paul? What was that like?

I do like Paul a lot and will probably go vote for him in the Republican primary just to communicate the peace message (I'm still registered as a Republican I believe, though Michigan may have open primaries anyway). But I think Krugman is right in his recent full length column for the NY Times. If he won we would go into Depression. Chomsky has long said the same of Paul. He thinks the collapse would be immediate and it would then be replaced, so it couldn't be sustained at all. The only places this has really been tried are Africa, Latin America, and Haiti. Wealth and power here just wouldn't allow this kind of destruction.

HispanicPundit said...

The falsifiability statement was in your comments somewhere on this blog. I actually tried to look for it, but given that we've exchanged words on so many posts, it will take me much longer to find it than I have. But I'll keep an eye out...

Regarding Austrian economics, that is easier to find, as it was part of our email exchanges. Read our 3/12/08 discussion. Though our discussion was more Ron Paul monetary policy centered - but Ron Paul (and Schiff) are basically Austrian economists.

It's basically the same old story: me with consensus economics, you with fringe radicals. Atleast now you follow Krugman and he is, overall, mainstream.

Ron Paul was more of a quick intro and a picture. The guy is SUPER busy. Very polite and respectful though. No problems at all with him (I even got a picture, of just me and him).

Jon said...

HP you should call in to Schiff radio and argue with him. I'm thinking about trying that myself. He's always challenging Krugman to a duel. I could stand in for Krugman. You could challenge him on inflation from the Friedman standpoint. I've been listening to his show recently just to get a feel for it. Mostly acolytes call in, which I suppose is typical of any call in show. He's always talking about Krugman. Understandable because Krugman has been criticizing him lately.