Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ron Paul

Terras kinda sums up my views of Ron Paul quite well. However, I'll elaborate on some of the things that particularly tick me off.

For one thing, disabling the EPA IS NOT a good idea. Even though the EPA has been giving my state a bit of trouble, it has a vast responsibility and to be truthful, I don't trust private enterprises or the people to take that responsibility. The whole point of regulation is to prevent disease before it happens (ideally this would happen if we allowed the EPA to do its job instead of strangling it). In none of the times when public health was compromised did the people manage to quickly solve it without the loss of life. Take the EPA's List of Lists; It was painstakingly compiled from decades of science which showed those chemicals to be hazardous. And the thing about most of those chemicals is that their effects are not immediate. It's not like a factory that dumps poison in the water which causes everyone to get sick at the same time. People could be consuming some of those carcinogens for decades without feeling effects. Only when people start getting cancer or other diseases will they be aware that they are being contaminated. By now, it's far too late to file a lawsuit! The whole town has already been exposed for years to the carcinogen and will have to live with it for the rest of their lives. Had the EPA been monitoring the air and water, the chemical would have been found before it caused damage to people. Of course, this probably follows the inner selfishness of libertarianism, where as long as it's not you that's at risk, it's ok.

Now, Ron Paul also has the same attitude toward the FDA. Orac has this covered VERY well. However, there are MANY more examples of why we need the FDA to regulate and why mere lawsuits will NOT work. During the Bush administration, the FDA has taken a similar hit like the EPA to its budget and power, which led to less effectiveness. For example, take the whole thing with poisoned dog food. The FDA is currently under a huge shortage of inspectors (due to budget cuts and a transfer of regulation to private enterprise which is NOT working), so there are currently many food hazards coming into this country. I'm just using the dog food as an example. The only reason it was recalled eventually was because numerous pets eventually died after eating it. I don't know about you, but I would rather regulate my food instead of risking it killing me. And that's just the food portion of the FDA, to see what he'll do to medicine, I'd recommend reading Orac's post.

The next craziest thing Ron Paul has come up with is wanting to dismantle the Federal Reserve, which is one of the worst ideas in American history. This is one thing that I can definitively say has been tried and was a HORRIBLE idea. Back in the 1830s, President Andrew Jackson succeeded in destroying the Second Bank of the United States, which was essentially the Federal Bank at the time. Afterwards:
The destruction of the Bank loosed American enterprise from its only central restraint. Gorged with federal deposits and with no one to control their note issues, state banks went on a lending spree that built up a speculative bubble and ended, just as Jackson left office in 1837, in a sickening crash.
The destruction started almost two hundred years of extreme boom/bust cycles in the economy. It wouldn't be until Lincoln temporarily resurrected the bank to finance the civil war and Roosevelt finally established the Federal Reserve in 1913 when the American economy was finally stabilized. Now, in this period of even MORE globalization, I can imagine that the destruction of the Federal Reserve will have even GREATER consequences, and that again is one risk I DO NOT want to take.

No comments: