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Kywilderness.com Discussion => Political Nature => Topic started by: roadkill on October 19, 2011, 10:09:19 PM

Title: Ron Paul
Post by: roadkill on October 19, 2011, 10:09:19 PM
I heard Ron Paul talking about cutting a trillion dollars from the budget and he mentioned doing it by eliminating departments. One of them was the Department of the Interior. If he is elected President and that were to happen, what department would the National Park system fall under? The DBNF is managed by the Dept. of Agriculture. Which department is the Red River Gorge and the Clifty Wilderness Area under the auspices of? He is being written off by a lot of pundits but do not count him out by any means.
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Ewker on October 20, 2011, 09:30:21 AM
off to get the pocorn and beer
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Mark W on October 20, 2011, 12:39:44 PM
National Park Service is part of the Department of the Interior, US Forest Service is under the Department of Agriculture. Someone told me that the USFS budget, however, is placed under "Dept. of Interior and related agencies" or something like that. Didn't make much sense to me than and still doesn't now, not sure if I got those details right or not.

Anyways, the Red River Gorge and Clifty Wilderness (and the entire Daniel Boone National Forest, for that matter) are managed by the US Forest Service.

I always get somewhat puzzled when I see Ron Paul bumperstickers in parking lots on public lands -- their rereational choices seem to contradict their political beliefs.
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Arthur on October 20, 2011, 04:10:50 PM
isnt 2 first names the sign of the devil or something?
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: roadkill on October 20, 2011, 04:54:04 PM
How are someone' s recreational choices contradicting their political beliefs if the have a Ron Paul bumper sticker on their vehicle on public lands? But back to my point, and maybe I need to clarify it. In all the polls, Paul has been pretty much the same, while one week Perry's in the lead, the next Cain, and the next Romney and it will be like this until primary season begins. Then you will see them drop out one by one. My prediction is that Ron Paul will be one of the last two in the race. His supporters are in it for the long haul. The earlier everyone else drops out, the better his chances are against the other candidate, because more focus will be on him. In the event he gets the nomination, and is elected President, what does that mean for our National Parks system, BLM ,etc. He mentioned eliminating the Dept. of the Interior.  Will the NPS and BLM be transferred to another department? (like maybe the Dept. of Agriculture).
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Mark W on October 20, 2011, 05:50:29 PM
How are someone' s recreational choices contradicting their political beliefs if the have a Ron Paul bumper sticker on their vehicle on public lands? But back to my point, and maybe I need to clarify it. In all the polls, Paul has been pretty much the same, while one week Perry's in the lead, the next Cain, and the next Romney and it will be like this until primary season begins. Then you will see them drop out one by one. My prediction is that Ron Paul will be one of the last two in the race. His supporters are in it for the long haul. The earlier everyone else drops out, the better his chances are against the other candidate, because more focus will be on him. In the event he gets the nomination, and is elected President, what does that mean for our National Parks system, BLM ,etc. He mentioned eliminating the Dept. of the Interior.  Will the NPS and BLM be transferred to another department? (like maybe the Dept. of Agriculture).

From my (limited) understanding of Ron Paul's political stances in particular, and libertarian ideology in general, they do not support government ownership of land other than military bases and essential buildings (prisons and courthouses, for example). They believe all land should be privately owned to facilitate business development (timber, mining, houses, etc.) and that the market should dictate the price persons pay to visit/use that private land.

I doubt that Paul would support those agencies (BLM, NPS) being transferred -- I assume he just wants them eliminated to save money. Law enforcement would probably still patrol those areas but interpretive centers (like the Mammoth Cave National Park visitor center of the one at Cumberland Gap or Big South Fork) would be closed as would campgrounds. It would not surprise me in the least if he motioned to sell off vast tracts of federal land to the highest bidder.

So, it amuses me to see a Ron Paul sticker on a vehicle at Mammoth Cave National Park and think that the person driving that vehicle would vote for someone that would shut down the public land that that individual is there enjoying.
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: keith on October 20, 2011, 07:51:49 PM
but do not count him out by any means.

I have.  If he wins the nomination I will eat your hat.
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Brownman on October 25, 2011, 08:59:35 PM
If Paul wins we can probably count on Georgia Pacific stepping in to manage the Daniel Boone National Forest and as many national parks as possible.  If you want to save money and balance the budget how about stopping the practice of invading and occupying less developed countries.  This along with all the bombs we drop on these poor souls is very expensive. 
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Trekker Forrest on October 30, 2011, 09:28:33 PM
Ron Paul stated four years ago in an interview that he believes the National Parks would be better managed if sold to private owners.  Once upon a time, the Department of the Interior managed all the lodges, restaurants, gift shops, etc.  Long ago, they subcontracted those to private agencies.  There's a strong feeling among the radical right that the parks themselves should also be managed by private agencies.  They would, of course, charge admission, and it would probably be a fairly high charge, (like Disney World and Kings Island) but then they would have the money to maintain buildings and trails and hire rangers.  Of course, you might see a Holiday Inn in the middle of the Gorge or atop Mt. LeConte, and you would probably see a Starbuck's in the old Snowball Room in Mammoth Cave.  But hey, the parks would no longer be a drain on taxpayers. 
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Mark W on October 31, 2011, 09:31:09 AM
Ron Paul stated four years ago in an interview that he believes the National Parks would be better managed if sold to private owners.  Once upon a time, the Department of the Interior managed all the lodges, restaurants, gift shops, etc.  Long ago, they subcontracted those to private agencies.  There's a strong feeling among the radical right that the parks themselves should also be managed by private agencies.  They would, of course, charge admission, and it would probably be a fairly high charge, (like Disney World and Kings Island) but then they would have the money to maintain buildings and trails and hire rangers.  Of course, you might see a Holiday Inn in the middle of the Gorge or atop Mt. LeConte, and you would probably see a Starbuck's in the old Snowball Room in Mammoth Cave. But hey, the parks would no longer be a drain on taxpayers.

Thanks for outlining that scenario. Would anyone here prefer it that way? A toll booth at Nada Tunnel and the other entrances to the Gorge? Vending machines at trailheads? And so on and so forth . . .

Also, it should be noted that if the parks and forests were privately managed the regulations on off-trail travel would likely be much stricter in order to keep all visitors corralled into the places where the owners could squeeze the most money out of them. It's private land and the owners can dictate where you can go and where you can't go and charge you with trespassing if you disobey. With public land, they can strongly encourage you to stay on the trail but relatively few places in the federal public land system require you to stay on trail.
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Trekker Forrest on November 01, 2011, 12:04:01 PM
It was NOT Ron Paul, but several years ago another privatization advocate addressed the off trail issue.  You would have different types of park passes you would buy on entering a park.  One would allow you to do everything around the centralized clusters of buildings.  A higher pass would allow you to hike the trails.  A higher one would allow you to backpack and stay overnight.  The highest one would allow you to go off trail.  The idea was that if you went off trail and they had to come rescue you, it would obviously cost more.  So your pass in effect included a sort of rescue insurance policy.  I want to make it clear Ron Paul himself has never addressed this at all. 
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Drift Woody on November 03, 2011, 02:29:50 PM
I've often heard the argument that private businesses run operations much more efficiently than government agencies, and while that isn't necessarily always true the real point being missed here is that the central purpose of a private business versus a public agency are entirely different.

The objective of a private business is profit for its investors. Once in private hands, a treasure like the Red River Gorge would be operated to put money into the pockets of the owners -- and this could include selling some of the best parcels to private parties who would not allow any access to the public.

It is a mistake to assume that RRG and other public lands would be maintained and managed for use by the public after being sold to private investors. If there is any mineral wealth to be found you had better believe it will be extracted -- and without any laws preventing the rubble and waste from despoiling the scenic beauty if Ron Paul has his way by eliminating the Environmental Protection Agency along with regulations in general.

The "conservative" movement has been very good at convincing much of the public that (to paraphrase Ronald Reagan) government is the problem, not the solution. However, what seems to be lost here is our founding concept that We The People ARE the government. I do not dispute that the implementation of this concept has been far from perfect. Money has corrupted our political process and Washington far too often serves the ineterests of the special interests that supply the cash to run political campaigns for office. But the solution should be to improve upon the implementation of our founding concept, not denigrate and abandon it.

Our National Parks were created to preserve and conserve the natural heritage and beauty of America. That purpose and the concept of land for all the American people to enjoy is not the same purpose and objectives served by privately owned business in pursuit of profit for the owners. Once in private hands the Red River Gorge and other great places we like to hike and explore will be out of our hands and changed forever in ways I think most of us here would sadly lament.

We are able to enjoy RRG today and many other parks and wilderness areas due to the conservation efforts of people who recognized the intrinsic value of these places and that so much would be lost without securing it for future generations by having it publicly owned and adminsitered.

I know these are tough economic times and that many of us who in most circumstances would be good friends are at each others throats over politics and ideology, but on the issue of protecting a place like Red River Gorge (and on most issues that really matter) we really have a lot more in common than we sometimes acknowledge.

Please, let's not lose places like RRG forever by embracing a political ideology that most people really haven't thought through to its extreme and logical conclusions.
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: roadkill on November 03, 2011, 03:54:41 PM
      I know there are some Ron Paul supporters out there. Feel free to jump in. It wasn't my original intent for this post to take off in this direction the way it has, but I'm kind of glad it did. I want to throw a couple of things out there. California has 278 untis in it's state park system. Next year, around seventy will close. A couple of years ago, they thought over 200 would be closed. What's going to happen to them? Will a private company come in and buy them up? Will a foreign company or even a foreign government come in and buy them up? What is going to happen to them? This is due to fiscal problems.
      Could places like the DBNF be sold to the state of Kentucky? We have state forests. We have nature preserves. Crazy Horse in South Dakota is private now.  Could a private company come in and administer a national park under strict regulation, i.e., no mineral or resource extraction, no regulations on off trail hiking, etc. Yes, they may charge admission, but most national parks do. Heck, Natural Arch in McCreary County charges three dollars.
      There are many toll bridges, toll roads, seaports, even a state capitol building already owned by foreign companies. Might that be the future of the DBNF, the Red River Gorge, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, etc.
      Our nation's credit is going to be downgraded again soon. Is relying on government to protect our most treasured parcels of land the equivalent of expecting Lehman Brothers to  manage them in August 2008, when a collapse was right around the corner?
       Would it be better to keep these places in some capacity than to lose them outright?
       Just askin. I'll give my actual opinion a bit later.
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: CheeseyDean on November 04, 2011, 07:40:00 AM
I'm not really into all this political stuff. But a Gorge with toll booths? Admission charges? Permits for off-trail hiking? Maybe they'll even finally make a hotel on top of Raven Rock! Yeah, over my dead body. I've only just started coming to the Gorge a few years ago, and I'm not going to let something so precious be snatched away from me like that. Anyone who supports "private ownership" of the Gorge is not a true hiker or nature lover.

And another thing- the Gorge encompasses like three counties. How would they charge an admission fee to counties?
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Trekker Forrest on November 08, 2011, 10:53:11 PM
Well, The Breaks Interstate Park is in two states, Yellowstone National Park is in three states, and Glacier National Park is in two nations (even though we disguise that by calling the part in Canada by a different name).  Truth is, a lot of our parks span county and state boundaries: The Grand Canyon, The Tetons, The Boundary Waters, etc.
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: KeyserSoze on November 11, 2011, 08:46:22 PM
It is great that we have the DB National Forest as our playground, but honestly what is more important is that our country finds a way to get our spending under control by making major spending cuts to tackle a major debt.  It's a matter of priorities.  I visit private property all the time to go caving and hiking and I enjoy it just fine.  It is hard sometimes to get permission from private landowners currently because of liability concerns, however that is something that could also be remedied by libertarian ideals wishing to limit lawsuits.

I think we would be fine with private land owners controlling the land anyway.  There are great reasons to support private ownership besides the obvious point that private companies are more fiscally efficient.  Under private ownership the land would not be subject to blanket rules and restrictions imposed by government bureaucracy; such as with the cave closures we are experiencing currently.  These lands could open up to many more activities I'm interested in that the government would currently never stand for, such as rappelling and rock climbing at Mammoth Cave NP, mountain biking in the RRG, or hang gliding at Yosemite NP.

On a caving forum I visit there is a topic currently discussing how the government in Georgia started charging fees to use their "public" WMA lands.  Somebody made the point that when the lands were owned by logging companies they had access for free and were able to drive directly to cave entrances.  When the government takes over the land they closed the access roads and started charging fees.  It is now a 1.5 hour hike to Ellisons Cave strait up the mountain side.  So how long before they start charging an entrance fee for the RRG?  It might as well be owned by a private company.
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Drift Woody on November 12, 2011, 11:50:38 AM
KeyserSoze,
Would you like the private ownership of RRG adhere to Libertarian principles, or should the government still have some power over how the land is managed and what it is used for?
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: KeyserSoze on November 13, 2011, 10:23:51 PM
One option would be to sell the land with conservation easements, which would put restrictions on the use of the land for the future.  Another option would be to simply keep the land government owned and allow sections to be controlled by volunteer groups that would manage areas individually and decide how their section could be used.  An example of this currently is the group Friends of Muir Valley, a group that helps manage and upkeep a private rock climbing and nature preserve near the RRG.  They do a great job up-keeping the trails and such.
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Drift Woody on November 14, 2011, 01:16:15 PM
Your 2nd option does not entail private ownership while your first option would deter private investors from buying the land in the first place, so the land would still be publicly owned with government rules in place.
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: roadkill on November 15, 2011, 10:29:29 PM
      Anybody on here ever heard of or read the US Constitution? Anyone know anything about economics or history and how nations have bankrupted themselves with their fiscal policy? Is it the opinion of some people on here that it is okay to live in a police state as long as they can go to the Red River Gorge?
      When I made my original post, I had just watched one of the republican candidates get knocked of his perch (Perry) and another rise to the top (Cain). I thought, gee, its as if they are thowing them up one at a time to see what kind of poularity they can generate. If they aren't good in front of a camera, or have skeletons in their closet, they'll fall and someone else will be waiting in the wings to take his/her place. Which brought me to Ron Paul. He's never going to be the frontrunner if things are left to the media. Paul's following is not like Howard Dean's from a few years ago. When Dean faltered, his following left him. Ron Paul's will not, IMO. That is when I posted the question about the Federal departments he wanted to cut. That is when a reply was made about bumper stickers, then I replied to that, then things took off in a different direction.
      I have noticed Ron Paul bumper stickers on cars at the Gorge, Cumberland Gap, and a lot of other places like that. I can't speak for every driver, but I would say that they like our parks, and forests, etc., but they like freedom more. And they don't like an enormous government that can't balance a budget that is leaving a mess for their granchildren's grandchildren to pay for. I would guess they don't like this new health care law that Congress didn't take the time to read before they passed it. And they are worried for the future of this country. And they are tired of the same crap from both sides.
      Ron Paul believes the Constitution  should be law of the land. He wants to end the Fed, he wants our troops home, he wants sound money, he wants the government to be small. I have not seen it on his site or the site of the Libertarian Partry, but my guess is he would be in favor of privatizing federal lands, but I'm not sure.  But, he isn't running for King, he's running for President. And he'd need to get the approval of Congress before he could do anything.
      A National park System was probably the last thing on our framer's mind when they drew up our Constitution. But they knew the new country wouldn't exist in a vacuum, so they included a 'necessary and proper' clause within the Constitution to cover future issues not specifically dealt with in the Bill of rights or the Constitution itself.                                       Cont'd



Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: roadkill on November 16, 2011, 06:03:39 PM
      The Framers also inserted a process to amend the Constitution if the situation of the day required it.
      In my opinion, I believe we SHOULD have national parks, forest, wilderness area, wetlands, etc., ideally operated by the federal government and not by a private company. Just like states have state parks and state forests, and cities have municipal parks, some places are so special and the intrinsic value are so great, and often cover more than one state, that they should be set aside and operated by the federal government for the enjoyment of everyone. One fear I have, and I would hope everyone would, is the path to financial oblivion that we are on. Look at Greece recently, and just this week Italy. These countries are virtually bankrupt. When will Italy sell off the Coliseum to find money to meet its financial obligations? When will Greece sell off the Parthenon to meet its loan bailout payments? Could this happen here? Absolutely.
      Our nation may recieve another downgrade in its credit rating soon. The Fed will probably do QE3 not too long after, flooding the money supply with more dollars, leading to inflation. What happens to the states? They can't print money. How will they operate? Only fifteen states are running a surplus currently. What happens when more end up like California? What's going to happen to the state parks they plan to close? What will hapen to Hocking Hills if Ohio goes insolvent? Would they sell it off to raise money? It is certainly a posiblility.
      We need to get back to sound money. We need to get back to Constitutional government. Or we'll lose more than just our parks. 
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Drift Woody on November 17, 2011, 02:19:01 PM
roadkill, on what basis do you think we're heading towards a police state?

I understand your concerns about our national debt and budget deficts, but you didn't explain how one leads to the other. Eliminating major departments of the federal government as Ron Paul suggests is an extremely radical solution to a problem that was caused by entirely different factors. Let's remember that 10 short years ago we had large budget surpluses that were projected to pay down our national debt within our lifetimes.

What happened during the last decade to change all that? The only federal bureacrcy created since then is the Dept of Homeland Security, and the only major increase to social programs was the prescription drug bill that costs much more than it should because Big Pharm made sure that lower prices couldn't be negotiated.

But those two changes weren't the biggest drivers of deficits. We've spent most of the last decade engaged in two prolonged wars/counter-insurgencies/nation-building projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unlike previous wars throughout our history, no additional funds were raised to pay for it. Instead, large tax cuts primarily benefitting the wealthy accounts for a big chunk of budget shortfalls.

Another huge factor is the financial crash caused by the packaging of toxic loans to be sold as investments. This resulted in a severe devaluation of the biggest assets of most Americans -- their homes and 401k retirement plans. Millions of jobs were lost, increasing the need for safety nets like unemployment compensation while at the same time reducing revenue even further. Most economists agree in a situiation like this government stimulus is needed to boost the economy. This was done and the economy stopped its freefall, but it added to the deficit and was insufficient to get the economy back to where it was before.

This debt wasn't caused by the departments Ron Paul wants to cut, and eliminating the Interior Dept and the Environmental Protection Agency will undo generations of efforts to preserve areas like Red River Gorge. It will also result in more poisons in our air, land, and water. Polluting industries will not police themselves; they have always sought to externalize their costs as much as possible by using the environment as their waste dump.

I agree with Ron Paul we need to end these unnecessary wars and cut military spending, but we also need to end the unnecessary tax cuts. The rich are richer than they've ever been and corporations are sitting on record profits, but these "job creators" aren't creating jobs because trickle-down economics will not work and never has.
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: roadkill on November 17, 2011, 05:09:42 PM
Driftwoody,
      This is sort of off topic, but you wanted to know why I as well as a lot of people think we're headed toward a police state, well, you mentioned it in your second paragraph, The Dept. of Homeland Security. You know, how they monitor sites like Flickr (c'mon, Flickr???), the TSA checkpoints for semis on interstates in Tennessee and Texas right now, but I'm sure they will be in all 50 eventually. This healthcare law, which if it goes into effect and people try not to purchase health coverage, they get fined at first, and then I would assume jail time comes eventually. The crap associated with flying somewhere. Before my time, in the late 1960's and even in the early 1970's, there were several domestic hijackings of airplanes, the most infamous incident being D. B. Cooper. There were hijackings in the 1980's, the Lockerbie incedent comes to mind.  But yet there wasn't anyone suggesting TSA agents patting people down everytime they flew somewhere. The public wouldn't have stood for it. How long before the government tells you you HAVE to have an IRA or a 401K?
      This isn't a forum to debate tax cuts, trickle down economics (even though Clinton adhered to it), all the smoke and mirrors that went on ten or so years ago (look out, Newt's in the lead,  God help us all), prescriptions for seniors, how I think 401k plans and IRAs are a sham to make bankers rich or any of that stuff.
      To make a long story short, we have been off the gold standard since 1971. In other words, money is created out of thin air, nothing is required to back it. As a result, printing presses have been running full throttle, and we have inflation, combined with a destorted economy because of government programs. That last part after the comma is another debate, inflation is a fact. From your previous posts, I am guessing you are in favor of  domestic government spending, but if the government is so good an honest with the people, why do they lie about inflation? Do you realize they don't include food when they calculate inflation? The one commodity everyone needs.
      Through inflation, they have wiped out the middle class, not tax cuts for the wealthy, not other factors like some claim. Inflation has also been used to finance unneccessary wars. If the Fed does a QE3, which I say will happen in the first part of 2012, inflation will increase further. States and municipalities will have to either raise taxes, borrow money, or cut services to continue to operate.    cont'd
     
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: roadkill on November 17, 2011, 05:49:08 PM
      States can't print money. So when they get in the shape CA is in, what will happen? They'll begin to sell off state owned assets. To whom? Either private companies or foreign governments. By the way, its not like taxes are low in CA and regulation is non existent. And they are closing state parks because they don't have the money to operate them. Eventually, the federal government will end up the same way. As soon as other nations refuse to take our currency, interest rates will rise, (they have been at record low levels for several years now), borrowing costs will go up for everyone including states and municipalities, then decisions will have to be made, how much and what to cut or sell off.
      Paul is the only candidate who talks of sound money and ending the Fed. He knows how the monetary system works. The other candidates either don't understand, and if they don't, that should disqualify them, or they are crooks in it for themselves. I have my own opinion as to which category each fall into.
      We can debate every other topic, like what the role of government  should be, taxes, etc., but if we don't have sound money, we're screwed. Look at what happened to other nations throughout history that destroyed themselves through inflation. They don't exist, except in history books.
      And on a side note, but related, I am not in favor of cutting the EPA. I believe that only the federal government can protect the environment. However, I do see Paul's point. If you get regulations legislated, companies will meet the guidelines. But what if the guidelines aren't stringent enough? People who suffer adverse conditions because of pollution, have no recourse against the companies so long as the companies were following the law. 
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: roadkill on November 17, 2011, 09:05:09 PM
    -A few more notes on previous posts. Trekker brought up an interesting point about Breaks Interstate Park being in two states. So, what if Virginia goes bankrupt and Kentucky does not or vice versa. Would the other state take over operation of the entire park? Can states acquire property in other states? What are the legalities?

   - Its been a long time since I've been in the Snowball Room in Mammoth Cave. You mean there isn't a Starbucks in there already?

   - As far as entrance fees to the Gorge, if that happened, would everyone here get that mad? I'm just wondering, because most, I believe, National Parks charge entrance fees, and a lot of state parks throughout the country do as well. Valley of Fire in NV, Custer in SD, and Clifty Falls in IN are three that I've been to. And they are all publicly owned.
     
   - Speaking to what Keysersoze said, as far as private ownership of lands, there are more instances besides Crazy Horse Monument in SD. Ted Turner is or was the largest private landowner in the U.S. There are plenty of places on private property here in KY that are neat to visit. Caves, waterfalls, there are a lot of arches on private property. I think we all know about the DVD's that mention them.
 
   Cheesey, where was your passion when Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae execs got huge bonuses recently, after those companies recieved huge bailouts? Or when other companies got bailed out a few years ago? Or when it becomes known that members of Congress are allowed to do insider trading when if any ordinary citizen did, they would go to jail?   
   
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Drift Woody on November 17, 2011, 09:19:58 PM
The idea that more stringent federal environmental regulations may be necessary is incompatable with Ron Paul's desire to eliminate the EPA. If regulations need to be improved, there is a process in place for that: it's called representative democracy. Informed citizens elect representatives and a president to represent their interests, which includes protecting public health by keeping toxins out of the environment. Unfortunately, this process is subverted when politicians are dependent on large sums of cash from special interests to get elected. The recent 5-4 Supreme Court decision equating money with free speech is a step towards plutocracy.

Libertarianism is fine in theory and I agree with Ron Paul on some things (especially curbing militarism) but in economic matters it ignores the power of concentrated wealth. It is just as unworkable at one extreme of the spectrum as communism has proven to be at the other. Some may call a return to the gold standard "sound money" but it belongs to a time in the past when wars were launched for gold. Nailing a country's wealth to a mineral resource with limited intrinsic value and limited supply that is susceptible to hoarding and speculation would be regress, not progress.

I agree our civil liberties have been compromised by the national security state for a very long time and more so recently with the "Patriot Act," the Dept of Homeland Security, and the so-called "war on terror." I don't think the Affordable Care Act (health insurance mandate) is a "police state" measure, though I have little regard for the legislation. I think 50 million uninsured Americans is a shameful situation that needs to be remedied, but a mandate to purchase insurance from private corporations is far from the best solution (I favor a Single Payer system).

This discussion has branched out into topics beyond what may have been originally intended, but they are all interrelated. I joined the discussion because I am adamantly opposed to reversing generations of efforts to establish parks and protect wilderness areas as a solution to budget deficits caused by other factors. The idea that landscapes like Red River Gorge should be privately owned may be in keeping with Ron Paul's libertarianism, but it would a disaster for outdoor lovers like us and for the preservation of these environments for future generations. Private investors would expect returns on their investments, and if they truly own the land they could do with it what they please. Clearcutting the forests and extracting any mineral wealth (with minimal clean-up) would yield the biggest profits, whereas maintining it for recreational visitors would require commercialization and high user fees.

I think Ron Paul is more honest and more consistent in adhering to his ideology than the other candidates, but I think his ideology is impractical and would be very destructive.
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: roadkill on November 17, 2011, 10:15:42 PM
Driftwoody,
     I couldn't agree with you more about our civil liberties being compromised and everything being interrelated that has been brought up in this discussion. But on other things, we disagree.
     In 1913, the Federal Reserve Act was passed. Four years later we entered a European War that we had no business being involved. We had loaned Great Britain ten times what we'd loaned Germany, so guess which side we entered on. In 1929, we entered the Great Depression. We had never had a Depression like that, because we didn't have the Fed. All of FDR's stimulus programs did NOTHING to help get us out of the Depression. The Fed had contracted the money supply. When we entered WWII, money entered the system, and America was put back to work manufacturing armaments for the war effort. After the war enden, the world went back on the gold standard with the Bretton-Woods Agreement.  Then in 1971, Nixon took us off the gold standard and the dollar has lost 80% of its value since. It has lost around 99% since 1913. The Fed has never been audited. The Fed only began testifying before Congress in the 1970's.
     Try something. Look at a twenty dollar bill and then look at a one dollar bill. What makes the twenty worth more than the one? they both are made of 75% cotton and 25% linen. They both have approximately the same amount of ink. Again, there are many examples of great nations that have bankrupted themselves by way of inflation. If we keep going down this path, we're going to lose everything anyway. And if I were a betting man, and our federal government had ran out of buildings or roads to sell amnd decided to sell some land, places here in the eastern US would probably be the first sold. Hope it never comes to that. 
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: roadkill on November 26, 2011, 12:56:13 PM
  I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around (the banks) will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.             

  --Thomas Jefferson


    But hey, nothing could ever happen to the national parks or forests, right? The banks, in their benevolence, would certainly preserve them, right?
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Drift Woody on November 26, 2011, 06:30:31 PM
The banks would no more preserve our national parks and forests than any other private owners seeking profit.

Just one more reason why those who want to privatize everything and dismantle government (Ron Paul for example) are, at best, terribly misguided.
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: roadkill on November 26, 2011, 07:59:52 PM
Driftwoody,
    I can't say for certain RP would want to privatize federal lands. But he is not in favor of dismantling government. He wants Constitutional government. He believes the government oversteps it's bounds in too many areas. He wants sound currency. He wants to end the Fed. He predicted what would happen with real estate a few years ago. He is right about inflation. And you are right about the banks not preserving our parks and forests. But if we continue down this road much further, they are going to take them, along with everything else. Look at the people who just took over in Greece and Italy.
    Perhaps people who follow Keynesian economics (like our leaders in washington) and an interventionist foreign policy (like our leaders in Washington) are terribly misguided (wait, they aren't. They are being guided by the banks and military industrial complex).
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Drift Woody on November 27, 2011, 03:28:14 PM
roadkill,

I agree with you on the influence of the banks and the MIC. However, that is not an example of Keynesian economics. That is an example of special interest money (from the private sector) exerting influence over our government. The problem is that our representative democracy has been corrupted and subverted by the campaign cash politicians depend on to get elected.

Ron Paul wants to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency. I believe that would be an ecological and health disaster. If his contention is that the EPA is unconstitutional, then either he is wrong or the Constitution is deeply flawed. I think Ron Paul is wrong. The Founders understood the Constitution and the concept of self-government is not static, which is why they established the means for Amendment.
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: roadkill on December 04, 2011, 06:24:34 AM
Driftwoody,
     I didn't say that it was an example. I said people who follow it are perhaps misguided.  And as for the EPA, actually it is unconstitutional and the Constitution is NOT deeply flawed. The EPA was started by Executive Order, not by an act of Congress. It acts like a cabinet agency, it has a huge budget, and no real mission statement. So he's right in that regard. Personally, I believe we need an EPA. If Congress had authorized it, or the Constitution had been amended, RP wouldn't have a beef with it.
     From your posts on here, would I be wrong to say the EPA takes precedent over everything else? If so, you've got to be kidding me. Do you still believe we aren't turning into a police state after the events in New York and Norfolk, VA concerning TSA agents, and the proposed legislation by John McCain and Carl Levin a week or so ago? Do you really think we can fiscally continue much further without having to sell off assets like Greece is having to do? Do you still have faith in our currency and do you believe the government when they say there is no inflation? Do you still feel we live in a free society? We can debate these things in a free society and  petition our government to do things if we don't like a certain situation. But like I've said before, hey, as long as we can go to the Gorge, none of that matters, right?
Title: Re: Ron Paul
Post by: Drift Woody on December 05, 2011, 10:53:28 PM
Roadkill,

You're blending together several different issues, which does more to confuse than resolve the issues and can lead to false assumptions. In your previous post you wrote "Perhaps people who follow Keynesian economics (like our leaders in washington) and an interventionist foreign policy (like our leaders in Washington) are terribly misguided (wait, they aren't. They are being guided by the banks and military industrial complex)." It was reasonable for me to assume you were tying Keynesian economics together with the influence of banks and the MIC, given the way you tied them together in the same sentence. However, the fact is that politicians who subscribe to supply-side (aka trickle-down) economics are just as (if not more) likely to be influenced by Wall Street and war profiteers. The merits of different economic theories is an entirely different issue, but you saw fit to throw it in there because you apparently disagree with Keynes.

Whether or not the reorganization of smaller arms of different agencies into the EPA by executive order in 1970 was unconstitutional is a matter for Constitutional scholars (I'm not one; are you?) and for the Supreme Court. Given the moneyed interests opposing the EPA, I suspect it would have been successfully challenged in the Court if clearly unconstitutional. The fact is the EPA has been funded by Congress for 40+ years, which gives it the imprimatur of our Legislative branch. I was under the impression that Ron Paul was asserting the existence of the EPA was unconstitutional -- not merely the manner of its creation. My comment about the Constitution being "deeply flawed" was predicated on the assertion that the existence of the EPA was unconstitutional. I was disagreeing with that assertion and with Ron Paul if he was making it. Of course the EPA does not take "precedent over everything else." Your question was based on the assumption I knew the objection to the EPA was its manner of creation, but that issue had not been previously raised here. Does Ron Paul really have no objection to an agency serving the function of the EPA, and would he like to see it abolished and then re-created in a more "constitutional" manner? I have my doubts.

Regarding the US becoming a "police state" you first brought that up on Nov 15 in page 2 of this thread when you wrote "Anybody on here ever heard of or read the US Constitution? Anyone know anything about economics or history and how nations have bankrupted themselves with their fiscal policy? Is it the opinion of some people on here that it is okay to live in a police state as long as they can go to the Red River Gorge?" You made no mention of the apparatus of the national security state, so it was reasonable to assume you were implying fiscal policy and debt were leading us towards a police state. One could speculate that economic collapse might produce that result but such a conclusion is not obvious, which is why I asked you "on what basis do you think we're heading towards a police state?" Subsequently, we found ourselves basically in agreement regarding Homeland Security and the MIC.

Your barrage of questions at the end of your last post is full of false assumptions and apparent misunderstandings of the positions I've taken in this thread, which is why I'm trying to be as clear as possible here. Will you make the same effort? Your last question seems to imply that we can either have a free society or we can continue to have federally protected & adminsitered public lands like Red River Gorge. I don't think that's exactly what you were trying to say, but your point is far from clear when you tie different issues together like that. Sure, it's all realted, but we are not faced with such a stark choice. And we are not Italy or Greece, not by a long shot. And yes, we are still a free society even though we must remain ever vigilant against unacceptable infringements that have crept up like McCarthyism 60 years ago and the recently proposed legislation the president has threatened to veto.

What's really needed is rational discourse on the wisest course of actions to reduce spending, raise revenue, protect the environment, foster economic recovery, and keep our nation safe from threats both foreign and domestic. There are honest disagreements about potential solutions, which is why the rational discourse is needed. Unfortunately we see very little of that on the national stage, and all too often average citizens like us can't get past the ideological lines that have been drawn. The first Republican president once said A house divided against itself cannot stand. He was talking about the institution of slavery, but I think it's a lesson that still applies. I suspect the polarization of the American people between right and left is intended and fostered by those who own the politicians and the media so they can better accumulate wealth and power while the rest of us are at each others' throats. Just some food for thought.

-DW