Thursday, June 27, 2019

Letter to Jimmy Dore on Ron Paul and Free Markets

     I'm glad you've complimented Ron Paul for his consistent opposition to military intervention. It's regrettable that he's hired so many racist people to work and write for him, but I'm glad you're still willing to point out when he's right.
     I've heard you talk about interviewing Ron Paul, and supposedly proving him wrong about a free market system being possible and viable. I haven't seen that video. But I wanted to point out the following:
     Ron Paul has said that "we've never had free markets". There have certainly been times when free enterprise ownership and property ownership happened at higher rates, but that doesn't mean we had a fully free-market system.

     For example, on the border issue:
     While Paul may have a softly anti-immigration stance, he has also implied that if government were minimal or did not exist, then private property (and the risks involved in becoming a trespasser) would be the only thing stopping immigrants from coming to the United States.
     This could reasonably be construed to imply that in a free market society, individual property owners living along the border would be free to invite immigrants onto their property, and the government would be able to say little or nothing about it, because it would be fully private property, not the government's jurisdiction. As far as I know, America has never tried a system like that, with all property enforcement occurring voluntary (that is, unless you count vigilante border "protectors").
     It's also worth noting that there have rarely been times when the government both 1) adequately and effectively utilized its antitrust power against monopolies, and 2) declined to tax earned income.

     A real free market system would have no monopolies, no taxation of ordinary people's earnings, no state-controlled professional licensing systems, and most importantly, no government power to steal taxpayer money and then use that money to subsidize businesses and keep them afloat.
     Your point to Dr. Paul that "Markets have never regulated themselves" is perplexing. It's not that markets should be expected to regulate themselves. Consumers and workers are supposed to regulate the markets. By boycotting products they don't like, and companies which they feel are behaving unethically.
     But they're not able to fully boycott those products. First, because the Taft-Hartley Act prohibits secondary labor actions (i.e., coordinated boycotts which take place across multiple industries), and second, because subsidies exist (that is, government steals our money through taxes, and gives the money to its cronies in business).
     So we can try to put a company out of business through refraining from buying its products, but the government can just bail it out in order to save jobs. That may look like "capitalism", but it's not free-market, because it's government intervention in the economy. The fact that the intervention is for the benefit of businesses, should not sway free-market supporters towards capitalism, although regrettably it often does.

     I respect your opinion, but I believe that Ron Paul is right on this one. We have never tried free markets; we have never tried having government without monopolies; and most importantly, we have never tried depriving the government of its ability to bail out companies we don't like, insulate them from legal and financial risk, and deprive us of our freedom to have sustained, coordinated boycotts of private sector institutions which we don't wish to help fund.

Written on June 27th, 2019

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