Monday, January 16, 2012

Anybody but Ron Paul

Jon Huntsman announced his withdrawal from the Republican race for the presidential nomination today. He was the one candidate that I could get excited about. I like Jon Huntsman for the following reasons...
  • He was not flashy. I think that a candidate that has less charisma will tend to be more systematic about problem solving on behalf of our country. He will work on meaningful things that are boring, but make a large impact on our lives. Huntsman prioritizing of simplifying the tax code is a good example of this.
  • Huntsman was the son of a manufacturer. I believe that one of the best ways to get our economy back is to focus on manufacturing again. Manufacturing is positioned to make a huge come back in the United States with the advancement of robotics. We must have a leader who is forward thinking enough to see this and make room for this change. 
  • Huntsman was a member of the Obama administration. This shows that he could  he could put partisan bickering aside to get the business of America done. He was a moderate who adapted to change, instead of extreme ideological views that alienate middle America from both sides of the process. 
  • Huntsman was familiar with our main competitor in bringing back manufacturing to the US. He was the ambassador to China. The strategy to "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" by Sun-tzu, a Chinese general & military strategist (~400 BC), is great advice for our relationship with China.  
  • Huntsman's strategy to keep banks from getting too big to fail is excellent. The banks are the most likely capitalists to expand our economy into the world bank. These are dangerous and unexplored waters. The European Union fortunately, went out ahead of us, and is suffering the consequences.
  • The shrinking middle class is a bi-product of this global monopolization of markets.
    Just as our country was able to regulate capitalism in the past. I have faith that the right leader can regulate greed in such a way that incentive is maximized, and the wealth is spread around. 
  • The moral issues of our day is the last reason on this list. It is not last because it is least important. It is last because this point forms the springboard for the rest of this post. Problems like abortion, and the flip side Euthanasia, marriage and cohabitation, runaway government spending and Keynesian economics are threatening to un-glue our institutions. When we redefine institutions too rapidly this short term selfishness can un-moor our vales in ways that wreck many peoples lives.
I am alarmed at the growth of libertarian ideology in our country. The philosophy of Ayan Rand is one that is both selfish and short sighted. There have always been people who would jump at ideas like get rid of the IRS, and to interpret Social Darwinism as the guiding principal of our country. It is bait that will cause many of us to squirm in the long term. It is what Joaquin Posada likes to call Marshmallow thinking. People who jump at short term gains do not wait for the long term benefits. They fall subject to fickle market pressures. The market does not always make sense. To base our governing principals on the fickle nature of the stock market is like eating your desert before your dinner. There may be a momentary satisfaction, but in the end the result is a stomach ache. Over a prolonged period of time this behavior could even lead to more serious stomach bypass surgery.

Ron Paul is the candidate who best defines this ideology. Dr. Paul's prescription of libertarian ideology may provide short term benefits to the younger population of our country for a short time. However, like most medicine what makes it effective is that it is a poison. The poison of libertarian philosophy will kill our babies and seniors, inebriate our youth, and make us irresponsible citizens who will not come to the aid of our neighbor. Is the priority of getting our fiscal house in order worth all the baggage that is likely to accompany it?

I think that it is possible to act fiscally responsible within our current democracy. We must back common sense bipartisan approaches like Simpson Bowles. We must choose to cut our deficit and welcome the Austrian school of economics. John Maynard Keynes has seen his day. It is time for the pendulum to swing back toward fiscal conservation. Libertarian philosophy is not the answer. It opens up far too many questions in the long term that none of us would find acceptable.

No comments:

Post a Comment