Thursday, February 23, 2012

Is Ron Paul Correct About Military Non-Involvement?


The single thing that precludes Ron Paul from gaining wider acceptance among Republicans is his consistent position on the non-use of the military.

By and large, Dr. Paul's position boils down to one that states the military should be used to defend the U.S. ... on U.S. soil.  And gee whiz... sending our military to fight al Qaeda and the Taliban in the Middle East only makes them angrier.

Should the U.S. fight large land wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan... including occupation and nation building?  I think that is misguided.  Should the U.S. refrain from military action against al Qaeda and the Taliban?  I think that is also misguided.  Military action should be aimed at keeping an enemy in chaos and on the defensive until it loses its will to fight.

He would withdraw U.S. forces from the rest of the world and be reactive if there was yet another attack on U.S. soil by militaristic Islamic terrorists.  Possibly, he hopes that such action would convince them that the U.S. was sincere in wanting to live in peace with them and that would dissuade them from their goals of an Islamic-Sharia global empire where nonbelievers... infidels... were treated with contempt, barbarity, and disenfranchisement... like they are in such springtime places as Egypt.

As one of his supporters wrote in a comment:
By the way, my 13-year-old, who reads these comments suggests that you read or watch the Lord of the Rings. Aragorn is a great leader precisely because he is the type of man who does not seek power. Sauron was not an evil person at the beginning. He started off as wishing to impose order on the world. But the power of the ring consumed him and he did become evil. The power in the lesser rings consumed the human kings who possessed them and all of the 'good guys' rejected the One Ring because they understood just how dangerous the power that it represented really was. 
Of course, Tolkien leaned towards anarchy and hated the State just as Nozik did. Perhaps that is why they are held in such regard while the slimy public intellectuals that you appeal to in order to support your narratives are quickly forgotten and held in such low esteem by so many people.
Unfortunately, we do not live in a world of fantasy.  Is the anarchy of fantasy writers a good thing?  How about the chaos of fanaticism?  We live in a world where a single nuclear bomb in the hands of religious-political fanatics can leave the U.S. in shambles.

A "prevent defense" seldom works in football, fantasy, or real life.  That is why Dr. Paul's whole message does not resonate with those who do not live in a fantasy world.  Conservative Republicans love Dr. Paul's economic and limited government positions, but they also understand the enormous risks of his military position.

There is no logical connection between military strength and big government domestic spending programs.  There is no logical barrier created by military strength to free trade and liberty.  Those who attempt to make such connections are simply misguided... illogical.  We can afford to be strong; we can't afford to be weak.

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Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)