Saturday, October 13, 2007

Is Ron Paul our Savior?

Hello everyone!

I found myself in the middle of a MySpace debate about Ron Paul. Ron Paul has been getting a whole lot of hype on "the Internets" lately, and while I agree with his some of his political stances, I think others would be disastrous, especially for poor people. I've just spent an hour and a half composing a response to one of my MySpace friends, a former inventory coworker. It was a response to a response to a response about Ron Paul, and I figured, "I spent all this time working on this, so why not post it on my blog?" It's not very funny, but hey, I'm not getting paid for this.

My first message was basically a copy and paste of a DailyKos blog posting. He responded, but in the interest of privacy, I'm not going to include his message here. Here's my response to his response, with some minor tweaking done to make it more "blog-friendly":
Hey

Thanks for the response!

Yeah, [the DailyKos article] was definitely slanted, but it was the best I could find in a moment's notice. I do agree with Ron Paul about the war and (most of) his foreign policy, pulling out of NAFTA and WTO, his being anti-Patriot Act, anti-Federal ID card, etc.

But I totally disagree with him about immigration. He basically wants to build a big wall and round up all the brown people and send them packing. He says that they're unfairly using welfare benefits at the cost of taxpayers, but most illegals pay taxes too, usually more than they should because they rarely file for a refund at the end of the year. The problem isn't the people coming over here to work--it's the corporations that hire them to exploit them. And I haven't heard a peep from Ron Paul about going after them.

He wants to deny citizenship to babies born in America if their parents are illegal. But then you'd have a bunch of kids being born that weren't citizens of any country, which would cause a big mess. If we kicked them out, what if Mexico wouldn't take them? And then when they got older, they'd be probably be perfect targets to become slave laborers or child sex slaves (which goes on all the time in "undeveloped countries" and are exploited by "developed countries") because they'd have no country's laws to protect them.

Even though he's against NAFTA and WTO, he's big on embracing domestic free market policies, which basically means let all the corporations do what ever they want by "eliminating government barriers" such as minimum wage and any safety and environmental standards. From the mid 1800s to the 1930s, we had a "free market". This meant that people were working 14-16 hours a day, children were working in factories, and people were getting hurt or killed in factories and mines all the time. And it was a boom and bust economic cycle--business would be great for a few years, then there would be a surplus of goods that nobody wanted or could afford to buy, so they'd shut down the factories and most people would be out of work. Eventually, it led to the Great Depression until FDR implemented New Deal government regulation (see "Poor People's Movements" by Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward) which led to the rise of the American middle class.

On that same note, he wants to cut taxes, which is fine for regular people like us, but he wants to cut corporate taxes, too. He thinks this will cause businesses to hire more workers. But it doesn't work that way. The amount of workers they hire has to do with how many products or services the businesses are selling, not how much tax they pay. When we worked at WIS, the amount of people in a store was based on how many people it would take to get done in time, not what the corporate headquarters in San Diego was paying in taxes. When taxes go down, the CEOs give themselves bigger bonuses, but it never "trickles down" to the working class.

I'm totally fine with the Libertarian ideology when it comes to personal rights such as legalizing drugs, letting people marry whoever they want, unregulated gun ownership (though I'm personally opposed to guns), etc. But too much of it is about letting corporations do whatever they want and property rights (the more property you own, the more rights you have). Then there's the whole "eliminate welfare and replace it with charity" idea, but most charity is affiliated with churches. And if the church doesn't agree with your beliefs, they can turn you away.

I just think that Ron Paul, while he adds something to the Republican debates that is sorely needed, is not the answer to our problems.

Anyway, I'm a Poly Sci major, so I love talking about this stuff. I have to say, I know political debates can get heated, but even if we disagree, it's never personal with me.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond. Hope things are going well on your end.

See ya around!

Rob
There ya go. I welcome any and all comments.

Rob

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